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period comprehends the three first vials. The vintage, on the other hand, occupies the termination of the third woe-trumpet, or the time of the end. It relates to the great controversy of God with the nations, and the entire overthrow of Popery and Infidelity. This period synchronizes with the second half of Daniel's account of the atheistical king*; and is comprehended under the seventh vial, the vial, as it may be termed, of consummation, The fourth, fifth, and sixth, vials are poured out in the intermediate space between the vials of the harvest and the vial of the vintage ; and the last of these three may be considered as preparing the way for the final mavifestation of God's wrath. Thus it appears, that, agreeably to the analogy of the natural harvest and vintage, some time will intervene between the figurative harvest and vintage ; tbat this time will be marked by the pouring out, at certain indefinite periods, of the fourth, the fifth, and the sizih, vials; and that at length, when the mystery of God is about to be accomplished, when the waters of the Euphrates are completely dried up, when a way has
been prepared for the kings of the East, and when · the great confederacy has begun to be put in
motion by the secret agency of the three unclean spirits, the last tremendous vial of the vintage will be poured out at the close of the 1260 years.
* Dan, xi. 40-45. xii. 1.
Subsequent to his account of the seven vials, St. John gives us a more enlarged prophetic history of the vintage, prefacing it with a description of the scarlet zohore previous to her being overtaken by the judgments of God. The events, which he particularizes, are the overthrow of Babylon, the battle of the kings of the earth, and the utter destruction of the beast and the false prophet, All these events are to be comprehended under the last vial, as is manifest from this consideration. The seven vials are expressly said to be the last plagues : but, if the events in question. be not. comprehended under some one of them, the vials certainly are not the last plagues ; because, in that case, they will be prior to those events : whence I conclude, that the events must necessarily be comprehended under some one of them.
But, since the events are described as terminating the present order of things previous to the Millennium, and since the last vial of the last trumpet of the last seal cannot but be considered as the vial of consummation, the events must unavoidably belong to the last vial.
These preliminary observations being made, I shall proceed to a particular consideration of each distinci vial,
Concerning the vials of the harvest. The two first woe-trumpets described the rise of the twofold Apostasy, Papal and Mohammedan,
and the plenitude of power to which it speedily attained: the third introduces the reign of Antichrist; and, after having foretold under the vials of the harvest the miseries with which he should afflict mankind, predicts under the vial of the vintage the downfall of the Apostasy and the total overthrow of all God's enemies.
We have already seen, that the third woe-trumpet began to sound on the 12th of August 1792,
immediately after the limited monarchy of France was overthrown, and when the tyrannical reign of liberty and equality commenced. This being the case, we must look for the pouring out of all the seven vials, which form so many distinct periods of the third woe-trumpet, posterior to the 12th of August 1792; observing however that the harvest itself must be considered as commencing, not merely with the first vial, but with the earliest blast of the trumpet, and that the miseries previously produced by the fall of the tenth part of the Latin city may be esteemed (to 'make the allegory complete) the first fruits of the harvest.
“ And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and
pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon < the earth. And the first went, and poured “ out his vial upon the earth : and there fell a noi.
some and grievous sore upon the men which “ had the mark of the beast, and upon them “ which worshipped his image.”
The earth is the Roman empire: the men, who bear the mark of the beast and worship his image, are the once superstitious, but now atheistical, mem. bers of ihe Latin Empire and Church: and the noisome and grievous sore, which is represented as first openly breaking out after the great earthquake wlich overthrow a tenth part of the city, and after the commencement of the reign of anarchy at the first blast of the third woe-trumpet, is the delusire spirit of atheism, or that gross lie of Antichrist the denial of the Father and the Son*
* This mode of expression is perfectly agreeable to the scriptural practice of describing spiritual by natural maladies (See Isaiah i, 5, 6.). Sir Isaac Newton supposes, that “ si durable plaque ofruar is signified by a sore and pain:” and Mr. Bicheno'bas followed him in this opinions applying the effusion of the first rial, which he thinks like myself was poured out in the autumn of the year 1792, to the calamities which the confederates of Pilnitz experienced from the arms of the French republic. But I cannot find, that we have any authority for annexing such an idea to the word sore. In 2. Chroni. vi. 28, it is used in a general sense, including war indeed, but including likewise, mmy other calamities. Signs of the Times: Part iii. p. 166, 167.
Nov. 20. 1807. Mr. Bicheno, like myself, places the sounding of the third risc, and the effusion of the first vial in the year 1792: but he objects to my mode of so placing them, on the score of the last trumpet bringing judgments on the enemies of the Church, not on the Church itself. I am not conscious of. having said any thing, which warrants such an objection., In considering the third woe as introducing Antichrist, I conceived it to bring very beavy judgments on the papal enemies
Since this imagery is borrowed from natural maladies, for the right understanding of it we must consider how such maladies operate upon the human frame. As the humours then, which at length produce a sore in the body natural, secretly work for some time previous to their eruption; so the humours, which produced this figurative sore in the body politic, had long been concocting previous to its open appearance. Atheism indeed, or at least principles closely connected with Atheism, existed in the very days of the Apostles; for even then were there many antichrists, even then was the sprit of Antichrist in the world: but it began to be more systemati. cally disseminated by the dragon, that original father of all lies, when he quitted his old station in the figurative heaven of the Latin church, and took a more advantageous position upon the earth. For a season, the noisome sore broke out only upon a few individuals: but, in the course of the latter half of the eighteenth century, the infernat ingenuity of Voltaire and his associates spread the poisonous humour far and wide through