Be Done by as You Did
Revelation 16:6
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

They have shed the blood... thou hast given them blood to drink. Grateful, indeed, ought men to be not alone for the golden rule which commands us to do unto others as we would be done by, but also for the converse of that rule, the eternal law - that as we have done so shall we be done by. It is the lex talionis - the law that ordains "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;" that "with what measure ye mete, it shall be meted to you." And here in the text we have a vivid and awful illustration of it. And there have been a vast number more. They, everywhere and always, who have shed the blood of God's servants, have had given to them, sooner or Later, "blood to drink." Their turn has come, and it has been the more terrible because of what they have done to bring it upon themselves.

I. CONSIDER SOME ILLUSTRATIONS OF THIS LAW. Egypt. The memory of how she shed the blood of God's servants, and how blood was given her to drink, not merely in symbol by the water of her river being turned into blood, so that her people loathed to drink of it, but actually by the destruction that came upon her - the memory of all this is evidently fresh in the writer's mind. The atmosphere of Egypt, the bondage, and the Exodus, is all around this record of the seven vials. Israel under Ahab and other idolatrous kings. He and they shed the blood of God's prophets. But sure revenges came. At Carmel; in Assyria, where Israel was carried away captive, and where as a nation she perished. Assyria. Cf. the Book of Jonah for its sins and its predicted doom. Fate of Sennacherib. Destruction of Nineveh about B.C. 606, when Sardanapalus the king, in despair, burnt himself, with his concubines, eunuchs, and treasures. Persia. Cf. the Book of Esther, and the king's edict for the destruction of the Jews, and how averted and avenged. Greece. Cf. the Books of Maccabees, as to persecutions under Antiochus Epiphanes; his miserable death. Jerusalem. Cf. our Lord's words, "It cannot be that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem," etc. (Luke 13:33, 34). Her siege and fall. Rome, both pagan and papal (cf. Gibbon, for fall of pagan Rome; Alison, for calamities that came on Rome and Italy during the wars of the Revolution). France. Her persecutions of the Huguenots led on to the horrors of her revolution. Spain, once the greatest of European powers, became infamous for her bigotry and cruelties on all outside the Romish Church; she was the home of the Inquisition, and the auto-da-fe. But the persecutor's doom came upon her. Her glory has departed. The Stuart dynasty in England, who harried and drove tens of thousands of godly men out of the Church and out of the land; and then their turn came, and their race and name passed away in ignominy. And had England's loss of her American colonies nothing to do with her maintenance of the accursed slave trade? And did not America's civil war spring from that same bad cause? Such are some fulfilments of this law, some more, some less, evident. Doubtless Jerusalem, at the hour when St. John wrote in the very throes of her mortal agony, when blood was indeed given her to drink; and Rome, racked with civil war and the fierce factions fomented by this chieftain and that, and for whom yet more fearful fate waited - these were uppermost in St. John's mind. But the law lives yet, and lived before St. John's day; not one jot or one tittle of it has failed or can ever fail. And the Bible and the facts of life supply illustrations not a few of the fulfilment of this law in individuals as well as nations. And where the eye cannot trace the fulfilment, it is not to be thought that the law has failed. In his moral life - that which is within and unseen - the law can lay hold on the transgressor, and does so. Every man's sin finds him out, even if he be not found out.

II. ITS MODE OF ACTION. It is, like as most of God's laws are, self acting. There is no need for God to interfere to see that the law is vindicated. Power, perverted to persecution and oppression, and pampered by such means, becomes hideous and hateful to mankind, who after a while will turn upon the tyrant and hurl him from the place of power which he has prostituted to such vile uses. And so because he or they have "shed blood," blood is given, etc. Man may as well think to put in motion any given cause and to hinder the due effect from following, as to hinder the fulfilment of the law we are considering. Sow the seed, and its harvest will follow, not some other; there will be no need of miracle to secure this. And the seed of blood shed will infallibly secure a like harvest. Men may deny the existence of God, but they cannot deny the existence of laws, self acting, and which have an awful power of ensuring their own vindication, let men's opinions be what they will.


1. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that," etc.

2. The inveteracy, violence, and virulence of sin. Notwithstanding all that God has done, and does, to deter men from it, they will cling to it still.

3. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." "When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them." - S.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

WEB: For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this."

The Divine Righteous Judgments
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