Obrazy na stronie

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." baseba

[ocr errors]


The unclean spirits, here described, are like frogs, amphibious animals, belonging neither to the land nor to the water, although partly to both; but of no fixed or determinate character. One of them is from out of the mouth of the dragon, which may be heathen Rome, or that Old Serpent, called the Devil and Satam; it is probably the spirit of infidelity : the second is from out of the mouth of the beast, or the civil power of the ten Roman Catholic kingdoms ; and it may be the same revolutionary spirit of insubordination, which burst forth at the French Revolution! the third is from out of the mouth of the false prophet, or the Romish hierarchy, and it can be no other than that spirit of Popish superstition and bigotry, by which ecclesiastical Rome has been distinguished from the first; and which now urges them forward to renew their old forms and maxims of government, at an era of the world, to which they are by no means adapt ed. A short reference to the leading features of the times, will shew that these three spirits have already gone forth into action. The infidel, and the revolutionary spirits, may be traced in every part of Europe; and it is not a ltttle singular that, in July


1819, exactly thirty years from the first burst of popular fury, in the French Revolution of 1789, there are held in England immense popular meetings, regularly organized, in which opinions are avowed, and resolutions passed, of a completely revolutionary cast,


and utterly subversive of the government; and that

at one of them the first blood was shed, which was



followed by a much larger effusion of blood at Manchester a month afterwards. The other countries of Europe are said to be equally disturbed, perhaps, even more so, from the operation of the same spirits: and, speaking after the manner of men, it seems impossible to conjecture, how and when these things shall end. The zealous spirit of the old Papal power, in renewing old forms, and bringing back all things, as far as may be to the old regime, has also been abundantly displayed since the expulsion of Buonaparte from France; and the Papacy has reared its head, striving to strengthen and extend its dominion in the several nations of the earth. How much longer,

X **

and to what extent these things may proceed,

it is not for us to say; but, with the passing events before us, it is not possible to deny, that these three unclean spirits have gone forth into action; and the purpose, which Scripture declares, is to gather together the kings of the earth, and of the whole world to battle. The setting up of the Papacy is very re



[ocr errors]


markable. Already are seen laws to restore the ecclesiastical power, to sanction new concordats, to re-establish the Jesuits, the monasteries, the inquisition, and many other abominations, which were brought to nought in revolutionary times: whilst the Roman Catholic priesthood is again employed, in setting up images, processions, masses, and saint worship, rebuilding the temples, which had fallen to decay, replacing the candlesticks upon the altars, and in republishing their false glosses upon Scripture. And the Pontiff himself is sending forth his bulls, to prohibit the use of the Scriptures in all places which are subject to his control. These things are well worthy of our attention; and if the three unclean spirits have indeed gone forth upon the face of the earth, it may be well to attend to the admonition contained in the words which follow, and to the blessing which is there pronounced.

Verses 15, 16.—“ Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

Armageddon, the place of gathering together, has been supposed to signify the mountain of Megiddo, which is a town of Palestine; and again, the destruction of Megiddo. And it is inferred, that as battle

will be fought there; and that armies of men will be collected before the pouring out of the seventh vial. The results, however, which are stated in the verses which follow, are not such as would proceed from a battle of this description. And if Calassio's interpretation of the word be right, as given under the proper name, a conflict of opinions, rather than of soldiers, is referred to, He translates it "Mons Evangelizationis, vel annunciationis," and the word seems to point to the land or spot, from whence the gospel is sent forth in the last days. And is not a conflict of opinions upon religious subjects evidently exhibited at this day, in every part of Europe, and more especially in this land of Bibles? Surely, at the very time in which the spirits of infidelity, of insubordination, and of Popery, have raised up their heads, the Spirit of the Lord has been manifested in his people: and, notwithstanding the empty professors with which it may abound, probably, there never was a period, when the word of truth had a freer course throughout the Jand; or in which souls in greater numbers were brought into the fold of Christ; or in which such various and such strenuous exertions were made to diffuse the word, and the knowledge of eternal life throughout the universe. This is foretold in Isaiah lix. 19" The enemy shall come in like a flood, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." The context makes it evident that this is a prophecy concerning the last days. Judging then after man's judgment, it should seem that strange results may be looked for, and, according to the word of prophecy, they will arise under the seventh vial.

Verses 17 to 21. -"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, saying, 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 before God, to give unto her, the cup of wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island 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 thereof was exceeding great."

The seventh vial poured out into the air, may be upon the spirits and minds of men, as preparing them to execute that, which God hath appointed. The effect which follows, is the most tremendous revolution ever witnessed upon the earth; and the prophet Daniel has described it as a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation. It can hardly be

profitable to risk conjectures, as to what may be the detail of circumstances, or the voices, and thunders,

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »