And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.…
I. EVERY BABEL-LIKE CITY OR SYSTEM, IS DOOMED TO DESTRUCTION, AND WILL FALL INTO AN ABYSS OF FEARFUL DEGRADATION. This is the lesson of all history from the beginning of the world. We see it in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms, and of the Greek and Roman Empires. Wherever we find a nation that is supremely devoted to the things of sense, we have Babel-like adolaters, who are destined to a certain fall and degradation. Such is the appointed end of every political or religious system that ignores God and His truth, and seek after material power and prosperity as the chief objects of life. Let a nation lose her faith in God — let her drive truth, virtue, love, and righteousness from her heart and life, and what will she become? Can she become anything else than a habitation of devils? Can she become anything else but the seat and prey of demon-like passions?
II. OBSERVE HOW DIABOLICAL THE PASSIONS OF MEN MAY BECOME. "The most terrible physical calamity that can be imagined," says one, "has no terror to compare with that of fiends let loose from hell and taking possession of human hearts and hands. A ship sinking in a tempest with its hundreds of helpless passengers; a Lisbon overwhelmed by sudden earthquake; a Pompeii buried alive beneath the lava and ashes of Vesuvius are very terrible to hear of, and to think of, but they are nothing to what Paris has lately seen. Her streets have been flooded with the worst passions of which human nature, satanically inspired, is capable. Men, women, and even children, born in the same streets, neighbours all their life long, who have traded and danced and sung together, pursuing each other to death with the ferocity of tigers, and inflicting all manner of dishonour and indignity on the mangled remains of the dead — and all this in the most polished and beautiful city in the world — what can it all mean, except it be an eruption of demons from the bottomless pit?"
III. WE SEE WHAT SOCIETY HAS TO EXPECT FROM THE APOSTLES OF INFIDELITY AND ATHEISM. When men have destroyed the idea of a God in their own minds, is it not natural to think that they will enter on a career of destruction in reference to other and smaller things? If they hesitate not to destroy the idea of a God — the fountain of right and wrong — will they shrink from destroying human life or property? If the idea of a God be not a sacred idea to such persons, do you think that the idea of the value of human life or property will be a sacred idea to them? No. Society has everything to lose and nothing to gain from such apostles of atheism and infidelity. Not from them, but from other and higher sources, would we look for the salvation of men.
IV. ALL MEN ARE IN DANGER OF FALLING INTO A BABEL-LIKE SPIRIT AND LIFE. For all are only too prone to put faith in the things of sense, and to forget the things that are unseen and eternal. The Babylonian spirit is not dead. Every man to some extent is a little Babel. We have faith in the powers of nature. We have faith in the sun, in the moon, in the star, in the coal, and in the seed that we cast into the ground. Do we believe also in God? Have we a real and lasting faith in Him? Have we such a faith in love, truth, virtue, and righteousness, as in the things that we see with the eye of our body and touch with our hands?
Parallel VersesKJV: And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.