on Revelation 18 :11
The merchants of the earth - These are represented as mourning over her, because their traffic with her was at an end.
Bishop Bale, who applies all these things to the Church of Rome, thus paraphrases the principal passages: -
The mighty kinges and potentates of the earth, not havinge afore their eyes the love and feare of God, have committed with this whore moste vile filthynesse; abusinge themselves by many straunge or uncommaunded worshippings, and bynding themselves by othe to observe hyr lawes and customs. At the examples, doctrines, counsels, and perswasions of hyr holy whoremongers, have they broken the covenaunts of peace; battailed, oppressed, spoyled, ravished, tyrannously murthered innocents; yea, for vain foolish causes, and more vaine titles, as though there were neither heaven nor hel, God nor accounts to be made.
"And her mitred marchantes, hyr shorne souldiers, hir massemongers, hyr soulesellers, and hir martbrokers, waxed very riche, through the sale of hir oyles, creme, salt, water, bread, orders, hallowings, houselinges, ashes, palme, waxe, frankensence, beades, crosses, candlesticks, copes, belles, organes, images, reliques, and other pedlary wares.
"They have gotten in unto them pallaces and princely houses, fat pastors and parkes, meadowes and warrens, rivers and pondes, villages and towns, cities and whole provinces, with the divill and all els; besides other men's wives, daughters, mayde servantes, and children, whom they have abhominably corrupted. What profites they have drawen unto them also by the sale of great bishopricks, prelacies, promocions, benefices, tot quoties, pardons, pilgrymages, confessions, and purgatory; besides the yearely rents of cathedrall churches, abbayes, colleges, covents, for sutes and suche other. - Specially shal they be sore discontented with the matter, which have with hir committed the whordom of the spyrite, by many externe worshipings of drye waffer cakes, oyles, roods, relyques, ladyes, images, sculles, bones, chippes, olde ragges, showes, (shoes), bootes, spurres, hattes, breches, whodes, night capes, and such like.
"And they that have lived wantonly with hir, (Revelation 18:9), in following hir idle observacions, in mattenses, houres, and masses; in sensinges, halowings, and font halowing; in going processions with canapye, crosse, and pyx; with banneres, stremers, and torche light; with such other gaudes to folish for children.
"Alas, alas, that great cyty (Revelation 18:10) that beautiful Babilon, that blessed holy mother the Church, which somtime had so many popes pardons, so many bishoppes blessinges, so many holye stations, so many cleane remissions a pena et culpa, so many good ghostly fathers, so many religious orders, so much holy water for spirites, and Saint John's gospel, with the five woundes and the length of our Lord for drowning, is nowe decayed for ever!
'Alas, alas, who shall pray for us now? Who shall singe dirges and trentoles? Who shal spoile us of our sinnes? Who shal give us ashes and palmes? Who shal blesse us with a spade, and singe us out of purgatory when we are deade? If we lacke these things we are like to want heaven. These are the desperate complaints of the wicked."
on Revelation 18 :11
And the merchants of the earth - Who have been accustomed to traffic with her, and who have been enriched by the traffic. The image is that of a rich and splendid city. Of course, such a city depends much on its merchandise; and when it declines and falls, many who had been accustomed to deal with it, as merchants or traffickers, are affected by it, and have occasion to lament its fall.
Shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore - The merchandise which they were accustomed to take to the city, and by the sale of which they lived. The enumeration of the articles of merchandise which follows, seems to have been inserted for the purpose of filling out the representation of what is usually found in such a city, and to show the desolation which would occur when this traffic was suspended.
on Revelation 18 :11