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of antiquity. But, secondly, it is nemePROlevov, rendered still stronger by the mixture of powerful, intoxica ting ingredients. Compare Isaiah li. 17-23; Psalm 1xxv. 8. “The Hebrew idea of which Saint John ex“presses in Greek, with the utmost precision, though “ with a seeming contradiction in termis, xenega olevov "angelov, merum mixtum; pure wine made yet “stronger by a mixture of powerful ingredients. In “the hand of Jehovah, (saith the Psalmist,) there is a “cup, and the wine is turbid; it is full of mixed “ liquor, and he poureth out of it, or rather he " poureth it out of one vessel into another, to mix it “perfectly, according to the reading expressed by the " ancient versions,) all the ungodly shall wring them “out and drink them.” The expression in the Sep“tuagint, Psalm lxxv. 8 : wolngiov0198 angels wanges " negecuales, which in the Chaldee is called a cup of “malediction, throws additional light on this pas“sage. Compare also Psalm xi. 6; Ix. : Jer. xxv. "15, 16, &c. : Lam. iv. 21: Ezek. xxiii. 32, &c. : “ Hab. ii. 16: Zech. xii. 2; also Hom. Il. xxii. 527; “ Odyss. iv. 290*.” Such terms were used to express the anger of God, terrible by temporal punishments, but most terrible by those torments beyond the grave, “ where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not “ quenched;" which ideas are also forcibly expressed in the words now before us; “ the smoke of their “ torment ascendeth for ever and ever.” Thus the terror of the greater evil is exhibited, to enable Christians to undergo the less with patient courage de scribed in the twelfth verse.
The voices of the angels had pronounced the punishments of those who, for worldly purposes receiving the antichristian mark, deny their Lord. A voice from heaven, from the throne itself, confirms their denunciations, adding thereto this consolation; that if the fiery trial proceed to its last stage, even to temporal death, this death shall be blessed ; shall in- . troduce the martyr to an eternal freedom from pain and trouble; his sufferings on earth shall be recompensed with everlasting rest and glory.
These four proclamations are plain in their meaning, and of easy solution to those who are versed in Scriptural language. They seem intended to be so, in order that all Christians may be encouraged in time of trial to preserve their allegiance to their Lord, the Lamb; whose banner is unfolded in this chapter.
called out with a loud sharp sickle, saying, voice to him who had Thrust in ihy sharp the sharp sickle, say sickle, and gather the ing; “ Send forth thy clusters of the vine of “sharp sickle, and ga the earth; for her “ther the clusters of grapes are fully ripe. “ the vine of the earth, | 19 And the angel thrust
“for her grapes are in his sickle into the 19" fully ripe.” And the
“ fully ripe.” And the earth, and gathered angel cast his sickle to the vine of the earth, the earth, and gathered and cast it into the the grapes of the vine great wine-press of the of the earth, and cast | 20 wrath of God. And them into the great the wine-press was
wine-press of the wrath trodden without the 20 of God. And the city, and blood came
wine-press was trod out of the wine-press,
Times of persecution, such as have been now represented under the antichristian powers, are times when: the faith and virtue of Christians are tried by the severest tests. Many are they, “who gladly receive “the word, but in time of persecution fall away.” Now such methods of God's Providence separate the good seed from the tares *. But the time of harvest and vintage, represented also in the Old Testament t, is a
* Which our Lord and his Angels are represented as doing; in Matt. xiii. 41. Mark iv. 29; where the word Openi zvoy is also used. + Jer. li. 33. Joel iii. 13. Is. lxvii, 1–7.
time not only of separation of the good from the wicked, but also of the final punishment or destruction of the latter, expressed by the act of burning the tares and chaff; and also by the bloody and furious appearance of him who, stained with the juice of grapes, treadeth the wine-press * The imagery of both harvest and vintage are brought together in the prophecy of Joel; which seems to give, in a short and abstracted form, the same picture as this passage in the Revelation. “ Put “ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get “ you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow:"for, their wickedness is great t.” This final vengeance of the Almighty upon his enemies, is evidently not yet accomplished. But such a general view of “God's righteous judgments” was proper to accompany the warnings and encouragements delivered in this chapter; in which is also generally displayed the successful warfare of the Lamb and his followers. “What particular events are signified by this harvest " and vintage, it appears impossible for any man to “ determine; time alone can with certainty discover: “ for, these things are yet in futurity; only it may be “observed, that these two signal judgments will cer“ tainly come, as harvest and vintage succeed in their " season, and, in the course of Providence the one will “ precede the other, as, in the course of nature, the “harvest is before the vintage; and the latter will “ greatly surpass the former, and be attended with a “ more terrible destruction of God's enemies. It is “ said, ver. 20, that the · blood came even unto the ""horses' bridles ;' which is a strong hyperbolical way “ of speaking, to express vast slaughter, and effusion