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ed itself of every noxious quality by these storms of thunder, lightening and hail.
The great voice, out of the temple in heaven from the throne, saying, “It is done,” is a reference to what was faid to John by a voice from heaven chap. x, when he was prohibited from writing the seven thunders, which he then heard, because the time for them was not then come; but was told that he thould write them, in the days of the · voice of the seventh angel, for the mystery of God
should then be finished. When therefore this great voice out of the temple says, “ It is done," he gives him the signal, that this is the propet place, in which he should write these seven or fi nishing thunders; because this seventh vial is cotemporary with the founding of the trumpet by. the seventh angel, and under it the mystery of God shall be finished.
The thunders wrote out at full length under this vial, are those which John was prohibited from writing in chap. x, and which he is now allowed to write, by the great voice, which said unto him, it is done. To hinder a long repetition, the reader will please look back to the commentary on chap. x. 3, 7. and on chap. xi. 15,-19, from which passages he will see the connection between them and this one now under our view, and also that the seventh trumpet and seventh vial are cotemporary with each other.
This voice is said to come out of the temple in heaven; because, at the time of the event to which it refers, the wilderness state of the church shall be almost at an end, and its triumphant state, represented by the opening of the temple, shall be just at hand : and from the throne, because it shall then appear that the church of Christ is the kingdom of God, when every opposing power must fall before Him whose throne is in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all. There was a great earthquake, accompanied with a violent storm. Is was formerly shewn that, in the symbolical language, an earthquake signifies a revolution in the civil, political, and religious state of the world ; that it is always used in this book, to signify a revolution in all the places in which revolutions are predicted in it; and that when the earthquake is accompanied with thunder, lightening, hail, and storms, it always signifies that the revolution is brought about by wars.
This revolution shall be upon the earth, that is, the Roman empire : , but it shall be such an one as has not been since men were upon the earth. From the foundation of the Roman empire by Romulus and Remus to the present day, there have been many great and violent revolutions in Rome. It hath undergone, in its conftitution and government, a revolution from kings to consuls, from consuls to dictators, from dictators to decem
virs, from decemvirs to military tribunes with consular authority, from military tribunes to emperors, from heathen emperors to Christian emperors : Which last revolution, happening to fall within the period of these prophecies, is predicted in chap. vi. 12,-17, by the symbol of a great earthquake.
It underwent a greater revolution than any of these when the imperial government was overthrown, when the empire was totally diffolved by the northern barbarous nations, when the city of Rome, for a considerable time, ceased to be the seat of any government, and was only a small dukedom under the Exarchate of Ravenna. It underwent a great revolution, when the western empire, after this dissolution of it, was parcelled out into many independent kingdoms. It underwent a great revolution, when the Papal dominion was erected in Rome, and all these kings and kingdoms, however independent, werá controuled by the Papal nod. It underwent a great revolution when, at the glorious reformation, so many of these kingdoms fhook off all subjection to and connection with Rome; and the rest of them began to feel their own independence and power. This last revolution is predicted in this book, chap. xi. 13, by a great earthquake. But not one of these revolutions is to be compared with the one predicted in this paffage. “There was a great earthquake, such as was
“ not since men were upon earth, so mighty an “ earthquake and so great.” The greatness of this revolution is described in verses 19, 20, 21. in which, in fymbolical language, it is predicted that Rome and all her cities, islands, strong-holds, and dependences, thall be totally destroyed. After all her former revolutions, Rome lifted up her head, and even after the total diffolution of the empire by the northern barbarians; but, after this revolution, she shall never more be numbered among the kingdoms of the world. Her name would fink unto total oblivion, were it not that perhaps it may be remembered to the disgrace of her memory. As we proceed, it shall more fully appear in chapters xvii. xviii. xix. that Rome shall never rise more, either as a temporal kingdom or a church, after this revolution.
The events predicted in this vial shall take place in the end of the year 1999. They refer to the final overthrow of Papal Rome, as the last head of Roman government. But it was formerly shewn that the Papal became a temporal kingdom in the year 756, and that it was to continue for 1243 years, which two numbers, when added together, fix the termination of that empire to the end of the year 1999. Therefore this seventh vial, which predicts its final overthrow, nust refer to that year. This vial takes up little or no time, it relates only the nature and consequences of those
wars, which are predicted under the fixth seal. It is, as it were, the closing of the period of the , vials, and almost cotemporary with the opening of the succeeding period of the millennium. The seventh seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial, are all, in this respect, analogous. In chap. viii. 1. the seventh seal takes up almost no time; but just closes the seals, and opens up the trumpets. In chap. xi. 15,-19. the seventh trumpet takes up no time, but just closes the period of the trumpets, and opens up the succeeding period of the millennium, and refers to this feventh vial as cotemporary with itself, saying, “and there were “ lightenings, and voices, and thunderings, and " an earthquake,” sis