Obrazy na stronie

head of the Roman beaft be reprefented as the fun of the Roman world. The effect of this plague is to fcorch men with great heat. By the fourth trumpet the fun was darkened, and its heat was confequently decreased. Here it is increased, yet not for falutary, but pernicious purposes; if, therefore darkening the fun there, fignified extinguishing the fupreme power in the government of Imperial Rome, increasing the heat of the fun here, obviously fuggefts the idea of defpotic authority, violently exercised by the fupreme power in the government of Papal Rome.

We can fuppofe many cafes in which the exercise of defpotic authority would occafion uneafiness to the subjects of the fee of Rome, and we might expect that it would prove hurtful in the iffue to the Pope's power. A violent exercife of defpotic authority met with refiftance even in a dark age; we might expect a refiftance ftill greater in an enlightened age, like the prefent. But at the period of pouring out this vial, when the Word and Providence of God fhall demonftrate the deformity of Popery, and the truth of this prophecy more clearly than they are apprehended in our day, we may infer, from the principles of human nature, that a signal vengeance shall overtake the exercise of defpotic authority. Let us fuppofe, for instance, that a

perfon of the fame character with Gregory VII. fhall again fill the Papal chair, and endeavour, by the fame measures which that Pontiff purfued, to retrieve the declining state of his affairs. I cannot doubt but thofe measures would occafion a combination of the powers of Europe, tỏ fet the Vatican in flames about his ears. Accordingly that event is reprefented in the following vial, moft probably as the confequence of the fcorching heat laid before us in this vial. The fubjects of his spiritual jurisdiction, though confcious of the illegality of his proceedings, and aware that they muft end in the ruin of the Papal fyftem, fhall not renounce their allegiance, but rather blafpheme God, than repent, to give him glory. They rather charge God with unfaithfulness to his promife, than acknowledge themselves in an error; affirm that he has failed to fulfil his word, "On this rock will I build


my church, and the gates of hell shall not pre"vail against her," rather than acknowledge that they have followed Antichrift, and mistaken the whore of Babylon for the fpoufe of Chrift.




The Fifth Vial.

"And the fifth angel poured out his vial up. "on the feat of the beaft; and his kingdom was « full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues "for pain, and blafphemed the God of heaven, "because of their pains and their fores, and "repented not of their deeds," Rev. xvi. 10,

This vial intimates the deftruction of the city of Rome, the throne or feat of the beaft. I have already (p. 60,61.) intimated my reafons for this opinion, as well as for fuppofing that the event fhall take place eighteen years after the fall of the temporal fovereignty annexed to the Papacy. The deftruction of Rome "fills the kingdom of "the beaft with darknefs." This expreffion refers to one of the plagues of Egypt; and we are told, that during the time it continued, "they ૮. faw not one another, neither rofe any from "his place," Exod. x. 23. I conjecture therefore, that when the event intimated by this vial fhall take place, the members of the church of Rome fhall be fo ftupified, that they can neither concert together, nor make efforts feparately for the prefervation of the Pope's authority. At the


fame time, they fhall experience insufferable torment, by seeing themselves and their religion in a fituation which they neither apprehended nor feared. "They gnawed their tongues for pain ;" yet instead of acknowledging the errors of their religion, now made manifeft by the difpenfations of divine Providence fulfilling prophecy, they shall obftinately adhere to their fuperftition; fo that like Pharaoh and his fervants, the more they are plagued, they shall be so much the more hardened, "blafpheming the God of heaven, be"cause of their plagues and their fores, and "not repenting of their deeds."

The deftruction of Rome is an event of fo great importance to the intereft of religion, that it is largely described, not only in the 18th chapter of the Apocalypfe, but likewise by the Old Teftament prophets, who fometimes have it only in view under the names of Babylon and Idumea, at other times refer to it, when thy describe the downfall of ancient Babylon, Nineveh and Tyre'. I fhall take the advantage

(1) The paffages that point to the downfall of Rome, either in a primary or fecondary fenfe, appear from the rules laid down in the First Part, to be the following: Ifa. xiii. all, by Rule III.; chap. xxi. 1.-10. Rule II.; chap. xxxiv. all, Rule IV. and. V. ; chap. xlvi. 1, 2. and chap. xlvii. all, Rule III. and V.; Jer. xlix. 13.-18. Rule

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tage of their united light to point out the agents, circumstances and confequences of this catastrophe. The agents are in general the feveral kingdoms of Europe, represented by the horns of the beaft. During the period allotted for his reign, they are his agents to perfecute Christ's faithful followers, Rev. xvii. 14. But when his reign comes to a clofe, their love fhall be turned to hatred, they fhall cut off the fources of wealth which flowed in to him, and to the church over which he prefides; they shall fwallow up her rich benegces, and burn the city of his refidence: " And the ten horns which "thou faweft upon the beaft, these shall hate "the whore, and fhall make her defolate and "naked, and fhall eat her flesh, and burn her

with fire. For God hath put in their hearts "to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their "kingdom unto the beast, until the words of "God fhall be fulfilled," Rev. xvii. 16, 17. But in regard some of the kings who committed fornication with her, that is, were members of her idolatrous communion, are reprefented bewailing her deftruction, Rev. xviii. 9. we can


Rule V.; chap. 1. 1,—3. ver. 9.-16. ver. 21.-32. ver. 35.-46. chap. li. 1.-14. ver. 25.-64. Rule III. and IV.; Ezek. chap. xxvi. all, chap. xxvii. all, chap. xxviii. 1.—19. Rule IV. and V.; Dan. xi. 40.; Rule V.; The whole prophecy of Nahum, Rule III. and IV.

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