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would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh." St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians: "Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. . . . But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." St. Peter forewarns the Church Catholic 66 : But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night."

Still more striking is the likeness of our present text to part of our Lord's message to the Church in Sardis (ch. iii. 3, 4): "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white." Blessed indeed then is he that watcheth! he shall escape overwhelming shame : yea, much more, he shall abide in eternal fellowship with Christ.

Solomon most glorious in array

Put not on his glories without care :-
Clothe us as Thy lilies of a day,

As the lilies thou accountest fair,

Lilies of Thy making,

Of Thy love partaking,'

Filling with free fragrance earth and air:

Thou Who gatherest lilies, gather us and wear.

"Armageddon"-is, I see, interpreted "The destruction of the troops," and (on the same authority) is supposed to allude to the overthrow of Sisera and his hosts before Barak and his ten thousand (see Judges iv. 14, 15; v. 19-21).

"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air."— I trust that since modern accuracy has not yet forbidden our speaking of sunrise and sunset, we may also venture on occasion to revive the Four Elements of my youth.

Three elements have in turn been smitten; earth by the first vial, water by the second and third, fire (the sun) by the fourth. Then recommencing the series; earth (perhaps, the world) by the fifth; water (Euphrates) by the sixth: but fire (if the dragon and the spirits of devils may be assumed to represent it) musters on the contrary its rebellious force apparently for a final effort; not recking that the kingdom and the battle and the great day are all alike "of God Almighty."

The seventh vial is poured out" into the air," that element which may be termed the vital breath both of man and of fire: and we are reminded of St. Paul's phrase: "The prince of the

power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."

"And there came a great Voice out of the Temple of heaven." -I do not know whether I perceive or merely fancy a distinction. In previous passages (ch. xi. 19; xiv. 17; xv. 5) the Temple is spoken of as in heaven, the context having reference to God the Son, man's Redeemer and Judge. In this passage, "the Temple of heaven" (harmonizing with the words, "The heaven is My Throne") might seem to speak of heaven at large as being itself that Temple; and to do so at this point of the Revelation because the imminent Judgment and consummation will affect much more than humankind only. The Revised Version, however, by omitting the words " of heaven" precludes any such notion.

"It is done."-"God requireth that which is past."

Holy fear incites faith to humility, hope to prudence, love to obedience. Faith without humility presumes, hope without prudence misleads, love without obedience-there is no genuine love without obedience. "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me," saith the Sole Fountain of Truth and Love.

Fear, Faith, and Hope have sent their hearts above:
Prudence, Obedience, and Humility

Climb at their call, all scaling heaven toward Love.
Fear hath least grace but great expediency;

Faith and Humility show grave and strong;
Prudence and Hope mount balanced equally.
Obedience marches marshalling their throng,

Goes first, goes last, to left hand or to right;
And all the six uplift a pilgrim's song.

By day they rest not, nor they rest by night:
While Love within them, with them, over them,
Weans them and woos them from the dark to light.
Each plies for staff not reed with broken stem,
But olive branch in pledge of patient peace;
Till Love being theirs in New Jerusalem,
Transfigure them to Love, and so they cease.
Love is the sole beatitude above:

All other graces, to their vast increase
Of glory, look on Love and mirror Love.

"A great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth."-The latter clause is perhaps a saving clause, reserving pre-Adamite convulsions of which geology (if I am not mistaken) appears to detect tremendous indications.

O Lord God Only Wise, keep us or deliver us, I beseech Thee, from ignorant assertions and ignorant denials, from confusing probabilities with certainties and opinions with beliefs.

So be it to Thy Glory and our salvation, for the honour of Jesus Christ. Amen.

"And the great city was divided into three parts."—If we may understand by this division not simply one material result of the earthquake, but also internal dissension and a splitting asunder into parties, then the "three parts" may perhaps correspond with the dragon (devil), beast (world ?), false prophet (man): and we behold as in a picture that mutual hatred, inextinguishable ire, reviling, loathing, in which must end the cajoleries, befoolments, besottedness, of any congregation and assembly whose bond of union is evil deliberately chosen and finally adhered to.

"Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement. . . . Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand."

Whatever the secondary cause, a bitter foretaste of such mutual damage befell the Philistines when of old the Lord saved Israel by the hand of Jonathan and his armour-bearer : "And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling. . . . And, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another. . . . And, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture."

If our Lord's "parable" spoken to certain impious Scribes and Pharisees conveyed a prophecy as well as a lesson, may not this passage of the Apocalypse be reverently studied in connection with it?" If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.”

"And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath."-Great Babylon incurs but the greater destruction: better was it for "little" Zoar than for its neighbour cities in the day of retribution. Ill fares it with him that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.

"And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."-"I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds

of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger."

"And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven.. and men blasphemed God."-Jeremiah dwelling on the prolonged agony which in his day wrung Jerusalem, declared: "The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her." Incomparably great is the woe beheld by St. John, when extension of time is abused to enhance provocation: for in Jeremiah's experience some men even in extremity may so have numbered their days as to apply their hearts unto saving wisdom.

This crushing hail recalls the corresponding Egyptian plague : but then a shelter was provided; not so now.

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Man's extremity is God's opportunity so long as this proverb holds good true extremity has not been reached. But Wisdom has forewarned man of such extremity: "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."

Divine gifts are called by our Master "talents." Every gift must turn to the recipient's impoverishment, unless it be so used as to secure the true riches of goodly talents misused nothing will at last remain but as it were the avenging weight. First, gift; afterwards, reward or penalty: they all equally come out of heaven."

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"Every stone about the weight of a talent" :-of a talent I have done amiss with, or done nothing with. God forbid. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways."

CHAPTER XVII.

1. And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters : 2. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

As to its subject, the vision of this chapter does not in order of time appear to follow passages which more or less remotely precede it; but rather to be at least partially simultaneous, elucidatory, and so to say parenthetical. The very words "Babylon is fallen" (ch. xiv. 8), "Great Babylon came in remembrance" (ch. xvi. 19), show that her existence antedates either mention of her. So far then it becomes conjecturable that this present chapter will exhibit a traceable connection with previous portions of the Apocalypse; will, as it were, fit into what we have already studied.

Lord, Who by Thy Most Holy Spirit hast inspired Thy Prophets to speak and to write Thy word, grant us by help of the Same Spirit to study that blessed word which for each of us contains an individual lesson. Give us one by one grace to learn our own lesson, neither vexing nor envying one another; but so imbued with wisdom that we may become pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, void of partiality and hypocrisy, sowing righteousness in peace while we make peace. For our Peacemaker's sake, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Isaiah instructs us how profitably to contemplate God's judgments, while putting our whole trust in Him and honouring His Holy Name and His word: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. For He bringeth down

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