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towns, Vicenza, Verona, and Bergamo, were ex“ posed to the rapacious cruelty of the Huns;” the rich plains of modern Lombardy were laid waste; and the ferocious Attila boasted, that “ the grass
never grew on the spot where his horse had « trod.” Rome herself escaped: and, by the sudden death of Attila, his empire fell asunder, and the great northern storm of hail was dissipated*.
“ And the second angel sounded: and as it were ~ a great mountain burning with fire was cast into “ the sea : and the third part of the sea became « blood; and the third part of the creatures, which “ were in the sea and had life, died; and the third « part of the ships were destroyed.”
The death of Attila took place in the year 453 ; and, with that event, the invasions of the Roman empire from the North, aptly symbolized by a storm of hail, were brought to a termination. The blast of the second trumpet introduces a new calamity from a directly opposite quarter of the world. What proceeds therefore from the South cannot with any propriety be represented by hail, Accordingly we find, that the contrary emblem of fire is used to describe it. A burning blast causes a great mountain to burst forth into a blaze; and afterwards, heaving it from its base, casts it flaming into the midst of the sea. This imagery is manifestly copied from a parallel passage of Jeremiah, which will afford us the best explanation of what
* Hist. of Decline, Vol. vi. p. 87--135
is intended by St. John. Addressing himself to Babylon, the Lord solemnly declares, “ Behold, I “ am against thee, O destroying mountain, which “ destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out “ mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from " therocks, and will make theeaburnt mountain*.' It appears then, that the destruction of Babylon is symbolized by the tearing up of a large mountain from its base, and by setting it on fire. Now it is well known, that Babylon is the constant apocalyptic type of Rome. Hence, in a prophecy like that of the trumpets which treats of the fall of the Roman empire, the symbol of a mountain, circumstanced precisely similar to the Babylonian mountain, cannot with propriety be interpreted as relative to any power excepting that of Rome alone. In the year 455, Genseric king of the Vandals sailed' from Africa, and suddenly landed at the mouth of the Tiber. Rome, once the mistress of the world, was now unable to resist the arms of a barbaricchieftain. During fourteen daysand nights it was given up to the licentiousness of the Vandals and the Moors; and was plundered of all that yet remained to it, from former conquerors, of public or private wealth, of sacred or profane treasure. Having thus at once satiated his rapacity and cruelty, Genseric set sail again for Africa, carrying with him immense riches, and an innumerable mul. titude of captives, among whom were the empress
* Jerem. li. 25.
and it felli
Eudoxia, and her two daughters. By former ravages the power of Rome had been greatly weakened, but by Genseric it was so completely broken * that in a little time it was utterly subverted. Hurled from its base, and plunged like a huge blazing mountain into à sea of wars and tumults, “ it
struggled hard, and gasped as it were for breath, through eight short and turbulent reigns, for the
space of twenty years, and at length expired “ under Augustulust."
“ And the third angel sounded: and there fell “ a great star from heaven, burning as it were a “ rivers, and upon the fountains of waters : and « the name of the star is called Wormwood; and
many men died of the waters because they were " made bitter."
We have seen, that the language used by St. John in describing the effects of the former trumpet is borrowed from a passage of Jeremiah, wherein the fall of Babylon, the apocalyptic type of Rome, is predicted: this, which is here employed
* So completely was it broken at this period, that many, among whom is Mr. Mede, have dated the fall of the Western empire from the year 455 or 456.
+ Bp. Newton's Dissert, on Rev. viii. Mr. Lowman supposes like myself, that the symbol of casting a mountain into, the sea, here used by the prophet, denotes the subversion of a kingdom by hostile invasion, • Great disorders and commotions, "especially when kingdonis are moved by hostile invasions, are ex“ pressed in the prophetic style by carrying or casting mouna "tuins into the midst of the sea.” Paraph. in loc,
by him, is taken in a similar manner from Isaiah. * Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king “ of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor “ ceased, the golden city ceased! The Lord hath “ broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre “ of the rulers-How art thou fallen from heaven, “ O day-star, son of the morning ! how art thou “cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the “ nations*.” Arguing then both from analogy of interpretation, and from the general tenor of the present prophecy, if the mountain of the second trumpet mean Rome, the star of the third trumpet must mean the prince of Rome ; precisely in the same manner as the mountain spoken of by Jeremiah means Babylon, and the star described by Isaiah as falling to the ground means the printee of Babylon. In the language of symbols indeer the shooting of a star from heaven to earth signities either the downfall of a king, or the apostasy of a minister of religion ; but in the present instance we cannot hesitate to adopt the secular interpretation. St. John is describing the calamities of the Roman empire in general, and the downfall of the Western empire in particular : hence it is more congruous to explain the symbol of the falling star secularly than spiritually. And this opinion is decidedly confirmed by the testimony of history. At the era of the third trumpet, that is to say at the era posterior to the hail-storm-of northern invasion
arid the fiery blast of southern devastation, we find that a great temporal star immediately connected with the blazing mountain did actually fall from heaven to earth; but we shall in vain, at the same period, look' for the apostacy of some remarkable spiritual star*. On these grounds, I doubt not that the falling star of the third trumpet is the line of the Western Cesars, which was finally hurled from the political heaven in the year 476 t. The last emperor Momyllus or Augustulus was deposed by Odoacer king of the Heruli, who put an end to the very name of the Western empire, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy I..
* The fallen siar of the third trumpet cannot be Arius, because he died before even the first trumpet began to sound.' His opinions were started about the year 918, and continued to agitate the East till about the year 381. The hail-storm of the first trumpet had long been collecting; but it did not burst still the year 395.
+ Mr. Lowinan most justly observes respecting this symbol, that “ the most natural interpretation of it seems to be this :
that, as the rising of 1 star denotes the rise of some new - power or authority, so the fall of a star from lienven signifies *" the full of some kingdom or empire." (Paraph. in loc.) He would have expressed himself however with more accuracy, had he said the fall of some king or emperor.
Mr. Mede applies the shooting of this star to the downfall of the Western Cesurs; and thence takes occasion to style it Hesperus, or the evening star of the West. I perfectly agree with him in his interpretation of the symbol; but think it right to observe, that he has no warrant for denominating the star Hesperus. In the Apocalypse it is simply called a great