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this trading spirit in man possesses a great deal, and has the handling of many things, like a great rich man.
So that we see now that those who follow the inventions of worldly wisdom for religion, never stand for truth, nor faith, nor a good conscience, when it would make against their cause; but the interest of every thing else must be sacrificed to their interest, or to make them rich, like a dishonest merchant.
Verse 9, “ The Kings of the earth have lived deliriously with her.” Signifies that those leading motives of selfishness which lead the people to fight against the truth (called kings) have been highly gratified in that, (while this whore reigned,) the truth had been suppressed, and ignorance, and wickedness had prevailed, the same as a great man lives deliciously when he is feasted with such things as he loves to eat and drink.
Verse 17, "Ships, ship-masters, and sailors," are mentioned as lamenting the overthrow of this Babylon, &c. which signifies, as the sea means the thoughts, and a ship means an invention of worldly wisdom, therefore, these ship companies signify those vain imaginations that go to and fro in the thoughts; and as I find, Eph. Iv, 14, that false doctrines are called wind, therefore those imaginations are wafted to and fro in the thoughts of false worshippers by the wind of false doctrine, to accomplish the purposes of those trading spirits, called the merchants of the earth, the same as merchants own, and send out ships to go to and fro in the sea, to accomplish their purposes and make them rich.
Verse 23, " For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” Signifies that by the intoxicating nature of these inventions, men were made to believe that a lie was the truth, in numerous instances; and whereas, her complete destruction is plainly declared in verses 21, 23, so far as to say, that she shall be found no more at all." It is
which shows 170 obvious that the buildings of false religion shall go out of existence; and at the same time it is signified that the evil dispositions of many people will lament that these inventions are detected;
they would practise them were it not that the truth has so detected. them, that they can no longer deceive, and these bad motives in the people, called the merchants, and kings are to be destroyed by and by.
And in the last, or 24th verse, it is said, that < the blood of Saints, and Prophets, and all that had been slain upon the earth, were found in her." Meaning that all the innocent blood which had stained the minds of men (called the earth) had been shed by the same hateful spirit of selfishness which
put forth those inventions.
Verse 1, "After these things I heard the voice of much people in heaven.” Signifies that while the pure testimony shall be poured out to its seventh degree, many will be converted to God, so that there will be much people in the heavenly spirit of truth, praising God for the destruction of the human inventions of religions
Verse 3, " And again they said, Alleluia, and her smoke rose up forever and ever." Which signifies that when the testimony of truth shall be de stroying those human inventions, those who entertain the bad motives which I mentioned, still opposing the testimony by objections, their objections are like smoke to hide the light of truth from the by-stander; “ rose up forever and ever," signifies to the ages
ages, or as many ages as any of these inventions continue, so as to be consuming away by the testimony of truth which destroys them. And, whereas, the reign of Christ
will subdue all things unto himself, therefore, when he shall give up the kingdom to God, forever and ever, or the ages of ages will be ended.
And that the objections of unbelievers are, in this vision, represented by the figure, smoke, is evi. dent from the following consideration : that smoke is only a vapor, so are those objections, and that testimony which clearly pours out the name, or character of God, like rain upon the ground, dispels those objections from the minds of men, thesame as a powerful rain clears the air of smoke.
Verse 7, “ The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Signifies the fulness of the gospel dispensation, in which Christ brings the family of man to him, as a bridegroom brings home his wife, she makes "herself ready," by believing in, and receiving Christ for her head and husband.
Verse 12, " And I saw heaven opened,” signifies ah opening into heavenly things in the minds of the faithful ; "and behold a white horse," the testimony of Jesus; " and he that sat upon him is called faithful and true," signifies Christ by his spirit going forth on his testimony; "and in righteousness he doth judge and make war," that is, he judgeth all men in righteousness, and makes war by his testimony, (or the sword which proceedeth out of his mouth, verse 15, which is the word of God,) against the devil, and his works, which is a righteous war.
Verse 14, " And the armies in heaven followed him tipon white horses." That is, those who are in the heavenly spirit of truth, follow Jesus with the same white, or pure testimony.
Verse 15, It is said that he ruleth the nations with a rod of iron." As in Psalm Ii, 9, which means that he rules in such wisdom and power as to dash and break in pieces every thing which is against his government.
Verse 17, " And I saw an angel staniling in the sun, crying to all the fowls that Ay in the midst of heavens,
come, and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God." “ An angel standing in the sun, signifies a light, and life-giving dispensation; "the fowls that Hy in the midst of heaven," signify those heavenly thoughts which fly, or move by meditations upon those exalted objects which compose the spiritual air in which the living soul breathes ; "come, and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God," signifies, let all those heavenly thoughts be gathered into the understanding, or into the sensitive powers, where you can see, and taste of a very great feast.
Verse 18, " That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and of captains, and of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of chariots," &c. Signifies that when those selfs ish motives which lead men to fight against God's truth, as kings, and captains, and mighty men lead others in war. When these wicked motives of action, I say, shall all be killed, or slain by the sword of the Son of God, which proceeds out of his mouth; then those heavenly thoughts, in meditations, will feast upon the event, and the wicked movements of these motives will be eaten up, and lost in the contemplation of what Jesus Christ hath wrought, while he was subduing all things unto himself.
Verse 19, “ And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his
You may remember that we saw in xvi, 16, that this same army was gathered to Armageddon, and there it remains, until we have an account of the overthrow of mystery Babylon the great; and then, as this army stands at Armageddon, or the destruction of troops, it now comes to the " battle of that great day of God Almighty" in which this army, now to be destroyed, makes war against Jesus and his army.
Verse 20, " And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet." We have seen before that the
woman who sat on the beast is taken, (that is, der tected, and is burning,) which means the buildings, or inventions of false religion which is the beast; now we are told that the beast himself, or false religion itself is taken, found out, or detected ; and the false prophet with him is detected, that is, the teaching of lies is taken along with the beast, as. they always wrought together, that is, mind ye, false religion, and the spirit that teacheth lies ; " these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone," the testimony of truth, which is the fire, having detected them, immediately be gins to burn or destroy them; that is, the truth so instructs the people that they discover the deceptions they have been under, and give up to the truth, and their minds are made free by the truth, and this fire burns with brimstone, which means the breath of the Lord, or that moving of God which causes the word of truth to prevail.
Verse 21, “ And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth : and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." By the remnant, is meant those motives that led the thoughts and words of the people to fight against the truth; which arc the kings, captains, and mighty men, and those thoughts, words, and motions of selfishness in the people, which fought against the truth, are the army that was led on; and this is the remnant that was slain by the sword of him that sat on the horse, that is, the word of truth so enlightens, and instructs, and reforms the hearts and lives of the people, that it kills all those wicked motives, thoughts, motions, and words, with which they were exercised before, and all the fowls were filled with their flesh: explained in the Key to verses 17, 18.