No More
Revelation 18:21
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying…

Six times over does this word recur, and always concerning the same fact. That fact, therefore, must be notable, and is intended to be noticed by us. Of what, then, is it thus repeatedly said, it is "no more"? A glance at this chapter shows that "the great city Babylon" is spoken of, and that accursed city meant heathen Rome to the mind of St. John. But full well we know that even when Rome pagan gave way to Rome papal, evil and sin, bloody persecution and cruel wrong, did not disappear. Therefore we take Babylon to mean far more than any Rome, or any city that is or has been on the face of the earth; we take it as telling of the whole kingdom of evil - that mighty empire, that hoary sinner against God and man. Though St. John meant Rome, his words tell of far more than Rome. And we, coming so far further down in the world's history, are able and glad to read in them this fuller meaning which we believe to have been in the Divine mind, though not in that of his servant. Let Babylon stand, then, for the city where Satan's seat is - the whole kingdom and dominion of the devil, and let us listen to the six times repeated stroke of the word "no more," which in our text and two following verses may be heard. The city is to be "no more," and her music "no more," and her trade "no more," and her food supplies "no more," and her lamp lit feasts "no more," and her marriage festivals "no more." Thus, by the utter desolation of a great city, such as that which came on Babylon, is set forth the fact of the final and complete overthrow of that kingdom of evil of which Babylon was the ancient type, and Rome, in St. John's day, the embodiment. Such utter overthrow is -

I. SIGNIFIED BY SYMBOL. See the mighty angel lifting aloft the huge and ponderous millstone and then hurling it, with all his force, into the depths of the sea. There, buried out of sight, sunk down into the bed of ocean, it shall never more be seen. Such is the symbol. One that seemed little likely of fulfilment when it was given, and even now, oftentimes, seems as if it never would be fulfilled.

II. VERIFIED BY FACT. Babylon had fallen, in spite of all its greatness, and heathen Rome was hastening to her fall. And other such Babylons have risen, and wrought their evil, and rioted in their sin, and, like her, have fallen. Therefore we may he assured that the last and greatest of them all will also one day be "no more."

III. LONGED FOR BY THE OPPRESSED. "How long, O Lord, how long, dost thou not avenge?" - such has been the cry of the oppressed for weary ages. "Thy kingdom come," is the cry we put up day by day.

IV. PROMISED IN THE GOSPEL. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," said Jesus, "because he hath anointed me to preach glad tidings to the poor," etc. (Luke 4.). And this is the gospel, that the kingdom of evil shall be "no more." It is present with us now, we know, in all its forms. But it is not always so to be. Ere the glad tidings were proclaimed, good men, sore perplexed and troubled, pondered much and sadly over the mystery of evil. They could not understand how God could let it be. Nor do we fully understand even now. But this much we know, that it is but for a time. And faith is able to grasp the promise of the gospel, and to "rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him."

V. REJOICED IN BY SAINTS. The joy of all heaven because of this overthrow of evil is told of in the next chapter. Their Alleluias ascend unceasingly, for that God hath judged the accursed city and established his own reign.

VI. CREDIBLE TO REASON. The evidence for the Divine existence and the Divine character - as holy, just, wise, and good - becomes more convincing the more it is considered, notwithstanding the existence of a kingdom of evil. Doubtless that kingdom is a great stumbling block to both reason and faith, but it is not an insurmountable one. But were it not for the truth we are considering now, that all this accursed rule of evil shall one day be "no more," we do not see how faith in God could live. For that faith necessitates as its corollary that evil should terminate and be "no more." Reason reiterates her conviction that if God be, evil must one day be "no more."

VII. ACCOMPLISHED BY CHRIST. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested." "I saw," he says, "Satan as lightning fall from heaven." "The prince of this world is judged." There was that, however imperfectly we may understand it, in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which effected the virtual overthrow of evil. Satan received his death stroke; he is no longer what he was. We know and confess that in some aspects of life it seems very hard to believe this. But when we consider what the power of our blessed Lord and Master has already done; how the might of his meekness, the love of his sacrifice, the attraction of his cross, have already subdued so many hearts and triumphed over so many foes, - then faith revives, and we can believe that, as he said, "the prince of this world is judged." Lord, we believe; but help our unbelief. - S.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

WEB: A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all.

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