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" pain, and blasphemed the Godof heaven, because “ of their pains and their sores, and repented not « of their deeds."
In the Apocalypse mention is made of two beasts, the secular and the ecclesiastical ; and it might be doubted which of the two was here intended, were we not assisted in our inquiries by the general context of the whole prophecy. Whenever the beast is simply mentioned, by way of eminence as it were, I believe it will invariably be found, that the ten-horned or secular beast is meant *, not the twohorned or ecclesiastical beast. In addition to this general proof, the particular context of the present passage may be adduced. The angel is said to pour his vial upon the seat
the seat of the beast. Now the first beast is expressly said to have had a seat or throne given him by the dragon ; because, although nominally Christian, he exercised his secular authority, like his predecessor the pagan Empire, in persecuting the Church of Godt : whereas no mention is made of the seat of the second beast, and for this plain reason; the secular authority of the Pope was confined within the narrow limits of an Italian principality, and all the persecutions which he ever excited against the faithful were carried into effect by the first beast through the instrumentality either of his last head or of his ten horns I. Hence I think it manifest, that the beast,
* See Rev. xiv. 9, 11. xvi. 2. xix. 19. * Rev. xi. 2.
All the different martyrs, who were persecuted to death
upon whose seat the present vial is poured, is the first or secular beast.
What is precisely meant by this judgment it is impossible at present to determine with any certainty, inasmuch as it is yet future. If however we may argue froin analogy, since the giving of a. seat or throne to the beast by the dragon evidently means the investing him with the same secular power of making war with the saints as that erer. cised by him while in his pagan state, the pouring out of a vial upon that seat so as to fill his whole kingdom with darkness seems most naturally to represent some grievous calamity which should materially affect that secular power of persecution, and fill his whole kingdom with consternation and confusion.
The beast here spoken of is the beast under his last head: but what power will be that last head, when the present vial is poured out, must be determined by the event *.
as heretics, after they had been found guilty by the ecclesi. astical courts were formally delivered over to the secular arin for punishment, " It is not lawful for us to put any man to « death,” was the constant language of the two-horned beast as it heretofore was of the Jewish priests when demanding the death of Christ. Sometimes even, with a crocodile affectation of clemency, the secular beast was besought by his mer ciful colleague not to deal too harshly with the condemned.
* I have already observed, that the last head of the beast is by the Apostle termed the beast himself. Since this was written, the battle of Austerlitz has been DD 3
“ And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon “ the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof
fought, and possibly the fifth vial has been poured out. · From the ambiguous nature of the Carlovingian head of the beast, which has sometimes been attached to one kingdom and family and sometimes to another, I dare not even now positively say, that the effusion of the fifth vial has commenced, but I am strongly inclined to believe that it has cominenced, and that the house of Austria now feels its baleful effects. This viul is said to be poured out on the throne or secular authority of the beast under his last head, the representative of which previous to the late campaign was the German emperor of the Romans; and it produces the effect of filling his kingdom with darkness. Let the reader turn his eyes to the present state of that unfortunate prince, and of (what anciently and indeed till very lately properly constituted his kingdom) Germany and Italy: and he will behold the power of the imperial throne subverted, and the Emperor degraded to the condition of a mere king of Austria, elbowed out of his empire, stripped even of his hereditary dominions, and trembling at the nod of an implacable enemy, who seems even now to be meditating his entire destrucion; he will behold Germany passing under the yoke of a new Charlemagne, and parcelled out according to the sovereign pleasure of a daring usurper, its ancient constitution annihilated, and itself full of political darkness and confusion; he will behold Italy equally degraded, equally dark, equally confused. And what is the consequence of these calamities? “They gnawed " their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven “ because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of 56 their deeds.” And do we find any thing like a reformation in Germany and Italy? They present only the hideous spectacle of the abominations of Popery blended with the blasphemies of Infidelity.
Though I scruple not to say, that there are strong reasons
“ was dried up, that the way of the kings from “ the East might be prepared. And I saw three “ unclean spirits like frogs come out of the month “ of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the “ beast, and out of the mouth of the false pro
phet. For they are the spirits of devils, work
ing miracles, which go forth unto the kings of " the earth even of the whole habitable world* " to gather them to the battle of that great day “ of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thie
for believing that the fifth rial has begun to be poured out, I repeat that I am unwilling at present positirely to make such an assertion. Whenever 'the waters of the mystic Euphrates are dried
under the sixth vial, we shall then know with certainty that the fifth vial, which precedes it, must have been poured out; we shall then consequently be able to determine whether the fifth rial was poured out at the close of the year 1805, or whether it relates to some yet future calamity about to befall the present Carlovingian head of the beast. This last however I fear we have not much reason to expect. The fall of the Turkish monuirchy will throw a wonderful light on the study of the Apocalypse; because it will definitely teach us in what part of it we are now living, and will prove that all the five first tials (let them relate to what they may) must have been previously poured out. If no events therefore, answering to those described under the fifth vial, shall take place between the present time and the downfall of the Turkish monarchy, I hesitate not to say, that that vial, which immediately succeeds the commencement of the scorching military tyranny predicted under the fourth, must have begun to be poured out in the late disastrous campaign. June 3, 1806. Ourguern örn, the whole lubituble zorld, was the name by D D 4
“ Blessed is he, that watcheth, and keepeth his “ garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his 6 shame. And they * gathered them together
into a place, called in the Hebrew tongue “ Armageddon."
Under the sixth trumpet, the four Turkish sultanies, the mystic waters of the Ottoman empire, issued from the river Euphrates : under the sixth vial, the waters of the same Euphrates are to be dried up. We cannot therefore reasonably doubt that the symbolical Euphrates means in both cases the same powerf. Rivers typify nations; and,
which the Romans, in the pride of universal dominion, were wont to designate their immense empire (See Mede's Works, Book iii, p. 705. and Parkhurst's Gr. Lex. Vox orxejlevn.). Such I believe to be the meaning of the phrase here. It is added as an explanation of yn, the earth.
* “ The verb singular ouinyecyev agrees with the neuter “ plural arabagle Travuala, whose office it was (vec. 14.) to “ collect the kings.” Archdeacon Woodhouse in loc.
+ Since this was written, I have seen a paper in the Christian Observer for January 1805, in which the Euphrates, here mentioned by the prophet, is connected with Rome ; on the ground that the literal Euphrates is connected with the literal Babylon; whence it is argued, that the drying up of the Euphrates implies the impending destruction of Antichristian Rome. Had the writer attended to the uniformity and strict exactness of the apocalyptic language, he would probably not have hazarded such a conjecture. The mystic streams of the Euphrates under the sixth trumpet manifestly relate to the infancy of the Turkish empire : the drying up therefore of those mystic streanis under the sixth viul must relate to its destruction. So again: if the Euphrates of the sixth rial is to be connected with Rome, the Euphrates of