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effects of the last woe. Hence it is manifest, that the intermediate space must necessarily beoccupied by the little book and its introduction. Let us now attend the prophet in his account of the effusion of the vials, which are all comprehended under the third woe, and which must be divided into three classes: the vials of the harvest, the intermediate vials, and the vial of the vintage.
Concerning the effects of the last woe-trumpet, the
pouring out of the seven vials, and the restortion of the Jews,
The prophet, having separately detailed the effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the East and in the West, and having briefly touched upon the sounding of the third, now proceeds to give us a more full account of the miseries which it should produce. For this purpose he divides it into seven periods, which he distinguishes by the pouring out of seven vials; and, to shew us that they are all comprehended under the last woe-trumpet the commencement of the blast of which he had already announced, he styles them the seven last plagues. They are in fact the same, I apprehend, as the - seven thunders, the roll of which St. John heard, when he had finished his account of the second zoe-trumpet as afflicting the East. Conceiving rightly that in point of time they were the next in order to the events which he had last detailed, he seems to have supposed that they were immedi
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ately* to succeed them, and therefore prepared himself to write their history: but the great angel, having yet to reveal to him the contemporary effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the West and to bring down the second woe-trumpet to its complete termination, commanded him to “seal them
up and to write them not;" swearing solemnly by the Almighty, that“ their time was not yet, but “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel.” Those days are now come.
We have seen, that the great earthquake at the close of the second woe is the French 'revolution in the year 1789: and we have likewise seen, that the third woe came quickly after in the year 1792, when the reign of Gallic liberty and equality commenced. Then it was, that the voice of the seventh angel, or the third woeangel, began to be heard : consequently we may then expect, that the seven thunders would begin to roar, and that the seven vials full of the last plagues of an offended God would begin to be poured outt.
* The oth chapter of the Revelation terminates in the year 1672 with the siege of Cameniec; namely at the end of the hour, the day, the month, and the year, for which the Turkish horsemen had been prepared; whereas the second woe does not terminate till the end of the great political earthquake which commenced in the year 1789; and the third woe, which comprehends the seven vials, does not begin to sound till the year 1792.
+ Mr. Whitaker thinks, that the last woc-trumpet or the seventh trumpet is the same as the last trump at the day of judgment
The history of the two first woe-trumpets is given in a twofold order, as affecting equally both the East and the I’est: but the history of the third is given only in a single order, inasmuch as some of its vials are poured upon the one branch of the
mentioned by St. Paul. I have not met with any commentator who agrees with him in this opinion, except Daubuz and the Jesuit Cornelius à Lapide. As for the vials, he supposes many of them to have been long since poured out; and maintains that they will all be poured out before the sounding of the last woe, " after which he has never been taught to look for " any thing but the resurrection and its awful consequences." Thus he plàinly makes the seven lust plagues precede the last woe; and teaches us that the last of the three woes, whereof the two' first are the woes of the Saracens and the Turks, is the making all the kingdoms of this world the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. But this is a blessing rather than a woe: whence I have been induced to prefer the opinion of Mr. Mede, Bp. Newton, and Sir Isaac Newton, to that of Mr. Whitaker ; namely that the woeful part of the seventh trumpet precedes its joyful purt, and that it will bring much misery upon the earth ere the nations are converted to Christianity and brought into the pale of the Millennian Church. Since moreover the seventh trumpet is represented as the last woe, and since the seven rials are said to be the last plagues, I conclude with Bp. Newton that they must synchronize : otherwise there will be two last displays of God's wrath. Mr. Whitaker "says, that the seven vials are denominated the last plagues because in them is filled up the wrath 'of God; and thinks, that we ought to be cautious of considering them as termed last merely in point of time. Bp. Newton, on the contrary, argues, that they must be last in point of time; because the wrath of God would not be filled up in them, if there were others beside them. See Mr. Whitaker's Letter to Dr. Ogilvie, p. 33-Comment. p. 445.-Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xv. prefer the conclusion of the Bishop,
Roman empire, and others upon the other branch; all of them not equally extending to the whole empire, as was the case with the first and second roetrumpets. It may likewise be observed, that the contents of one vial are not represented as being fully poured out before another begins to be emptied; though it is evident, that they commence in regular chronological succession. In this respect there is a striking difference between the vials and the woe-trumpets. We are explicitly informed by the prophet, that the blast of the first woe-trumpet entirely ceases before the second begins to sound; and that of the second, in a similar manner, before the third begins to sound*: but it is no where said, that each vial is emptied, before its successor begins to be poured out. Hence it is not unreasonable to conclude, that two or more of the vials pouring out at the same time, though the effusion of one commenced before that of another.
Besides the division of the third wooc-trumpet into the seven vials, it is represented as compre- hending likewise two grand periods of peculiar distress, figuratively termed by St. John the harvest and the vintage. The harvest occupies, I conceive, the beginning of the third moe-trumpet, or the earlier part of the last days of atheistical infidelity. It symbolizes themiseries inflicted upon mankind by the tyranny of Antichrist, and synchronizes witla the first half of Daniel's account of the king who magnified himself above every godt. This * See Rev. ix. 12, 13. and xi. 14, 15. + Dan. xi. 36–39.