783. Verse 15. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, shall stand afar off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, signifies the state before damnation, and then their fear and lamentation, who have made gain by various dispensations and promises of heavenly joys. By "the merchants of these things," namely, of the fruits of the soul's desire, and of fat and splendid things, treated of in the verse next preceding, those are signified who by various dispensations, and promises of heavenly joys, became rich, that is, who made gain. By these "merchants" all are meant, as well the higher and the lower in their ecclesiastical order, who made gain by such things. That the higher are included, is manifest from Verse 23 of this chapter, where it is said, "For thy merchants were the great ones of the earth;" that the lower ones also are included, from Verse 11; see above (n. 771). By "standing afar off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning," is signified while they are still in a state remote from damnation, and still at that time in fear of punishments, and in lamentation as above (n. 769), where similar things are said.