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"And the fifth angel poured out his vial upor "the seat of the Beast; and his kingdom was full “of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues, for "pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven, be"cause of their pains and their sores, and repent"ed not of their deeds." This imports further judgements upon the antichristian kingdom; particularly upon the elder daughter, and the mother cities. The seat of the Beast is the same that was held by the Dragon, for the Dragon gave up his seat to the beast; and it intends plainly the central ground of the old Roman empire. It has been thought by some, that this prophecy respects particularly the city of Rome; and it is not improbable that, under this vial, something very extraordinary will befall that city; but it should seem that the seat of the Beast cannot intend less than the proper parts of the whole empire. This darkness, which, it will be observed, alludes to the last plague of Egypt, previous to the slaying of the first-born, is like that, darkness that will be felt. The effect of this vial will derange all the policies of the kingdom of the Beast; his Roman intrigues will no longer be of use....... no longer will he prosper and "practise," and
through his policy, cause craft to prosper in his "hand; neither his "flatteries," nor his "terrific "words," nor his "power over treasures," nor "his "wonderful exploits" in arms, nor the "marvelous things" which he shall "do against God," will any longer cause the world to wonder after him. And when the enemy can no longer prevail against the saints, and he finds that the servants of God are out of his reach, and that God will support in them his own name, he will then come out boldly against God himself, and not only blaspheme him who "stands up" in the "name "of God" on earth, but will openly blaspheme
the God of heaven;" and thus he will throw off
his disguise, and shew himself again in his proper shape, as the Dragon and Old Serpent. In these few words of the revelator, respecting this vial, an intimation is given also concerning their general nature, viz. that their effects are permanent; for the men who were first smitten, are here represented as suffering from their sores; and their wounds, inflicted by the first vial, are still green, It is intimated, moreover, that their pains are of the hopeless nature of the torments of the damned, who are often compared to a wounded serpent, whose last efforts are to bite himself; for they "gnawed their" blaspheming" tongues for pain."
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon "great river Euphrates; and the water thereof "was dried up, that the way of the kings of the "east might be prepared. And I saw three un"clean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth "of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. For they are the spirits of Devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of "the earth, and of the whole world, to gather "them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Bless"ed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his gar"ments, lest he walk naked, and they see his "shame. And he gathered them together into a place, called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon." This imports the decisive judgment upon insular Babylon. The event of this vial will totally circumvent her maritime policy, deep and consummate as it is; and put a final period to the reign of the proud mistress of the ocean. Immediately, upon which, the enemy will assume a more associated form; for such is the sordidness of this city, that she can be true to no cause but that of her commerce; and can ne
ver keep her faith, not even with her Babylonian kindred; but her great channel being dried up, and her interest, as separate from the continent, having thereby become extinct, the way is prepared for all parties to band together" against "the Lord, and against his anointed," as in one hearty cause. The forming of this combination will be urged on by the circumstance, that the fall of this queen of the waters will be a well known signal for the host of God to display their banners, and to move forward upon their enemies with a broad front; and, at the same time, unclean, i. e. lying spirits, having extraordinary powers to deceive, will go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to battle; but this grand coalition of the kingdom, which now more than ever, may be styled the kingdom of darkness, will be brought about chiefly by the madness of desperation....... Frogs were one of the judgments upon Egypt; but how much greater is this judgment of lying ministers, than that of the frogs of the river.
This confederate army are gathered into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. This appears to refer to the place where the host of Sisera was overthrown, often mentioned by the name of Megiddo; and which was a notable frontier post and fighting ground, of the land of Canaan. And the name of this place being given in the Hebrew tongue, indicates that the army of God brought into this field will be principally Hebrew; and that Jacob will then have again turned to the Lord: This note is similar to that respecting the Saracen conquests, of a name being given both in Hebrew and in Greek, indicating that the Jews and Greeks would be the principal sufferers. We have noticed, repeatedly, a certain character who appears like an Elijah, and who sustains a principal part in the scenes of the
vials; this, undoubtedly, is that " deliverer" who shall "come out of Žion, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Rom xi. 26. The watch-word, "Behold, I come," &c. being giv en at this moment, intimates the imminent danger of surprise, as the movements to commence this battle will be rapid and bold, on both sides, and made under the cover of night; and how reprehensible, how unsoldierly, how shamefully disastrous would it be for a man, a warrior, to suf fer himself to be overtaken and so completely surprised, that he must start from his slumbers, and bounce into the battle undressed from hiscouch? Or should a man be out "in the field," this word intimates that his summons to his post will be too urgent to admit of his returning "back to take his clothes."
"And the seventh angel poured out his vial "into the air; and there came a great voice out "of the temple of heaven, from the throne, say"ing, It is done. And there were voices, and "thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great "earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into "three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: "and great Babylon came in remembrance be "fore God, to give unto her the cup of the wine "of the fierceness of his wrath. And every isl"and fled away, and the mountains were not "found. And there fell upon men a great hail "out of heaven, every stone about the weight of
a talent: and men blasphemed God because of "the plague of the hail for the plague therecf "was exceeding great."........Here the description ends, not because the story is finished, but be cause the powers of description are exhausted, and a reference to the most dreadful events which have been known upon the earth, would fail in
giving, farther, any just idea of the indiscribable scene. Islands have been lost in the seas, and mountains have disappeared; but by what words can be told, or by what events described, the wreck of nature and the crush of worlds. Under this vial the whole work of judgment is done...... The battle described, chap. xix, ought doubtless to be considered as under this vial, and as being the great event referred to chap. xvi. 14. Nature has in readiness for this day an artillery of irresistible force; of the various descriptions of which powers, for suddenness of execution, the talent hail is reputed to be one of the most formidable; thus, Job xxxviii. 22, 23. " Hast thou seen the "treasures of the hail, which I have reserved a
gainst the time of trouble, against the day of "battle and war?" This vial being poured out into the air, imports the universality of this judgment. It may be observed, that in the course of the vials all the elements, fire and frost, air, earth and waters, as God's faithful servants, are thereby brought into action against his enemies. "A"las, who shall live when God doth this!"
In this last war, the uniform of God's host is splended, white and red, denoting purity and honor, righteousness and victory. And they are represented, chap. xix as coming into battle on horseback; which imports that they are knighted, and that, advanced to the legion of honor, they now compose the retinue of the king, who appears there personally, thus to lead them on. This imports, also, that they are visibly aided in this battle by angelic powers, which, in the Scriptures, are of ten represented by chariots and horses, and such like vehicles of war. When once standing on foot, they waded into Aceldama, like them who trod the wine-press of Edom, until their garments were deeply stained; and now mounted and borne on by cherubic strength, they ride so equally well, that their horses bridles skim the crimson flood.