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5. The bottomless deep
opened, smoke and 5. Upon the throne of the
from Euphrates, lead 1 6. On the great river Eu-
to prepare the way of the rest are unrepent
the eastern kings. ant.
The prophecy of Frogs, spirits of dethe times of the mons, working wonGentiles, and of the ders to gather the witnesses, during kings of the whole 1260 days, is opened world to the battle of under this Trumpet.
the great day.
7. Into the air; 7. The grand conflict “ done!" an unparallel
of the dragon, beast, led earthquake divides and false prophet,
the great city into three with the Lamb and
parts; cities of the nahis followers; in tions fall; Babylon rethe course of which
membered; islands and the seven Vials are mountains are no more; poured out.
great hail; men con
tinue to blaspheme. The notes on chapter viii. 6, 7, &c., will shew thie probable meaning of the terms Land, Sea, River, Sun; as used in both the Trumpets and the Vials. But in the explanation of these, and such-like terms, there is a certain distinction to be observed when we apply them to the different passages : for, under the Trumpets, the
The three Woes.
66 It is
attack is upon the Christian Church; under the Vials, upon the enemies of that Church. For it is clear, from the first Vial to the last, that the anger of the Lord is poured out, not on the Church, but on its foes. The first Vial falls expressly on the worshippers of the beast; and the third is declared to be a just retaliation on the murderers of the saints; the fourth falls on unrepentant blasphemers; the fifth is poured on the throne of the beast ; and the last on the corrupt cities and Babylon. Therefore the land, and sea, and waters, and heavenly luminary, on which the four first Vials fall, are not to
be accounted the very same, against which the Trumstre pets sounded warfare; but a land, sea, &c. bearing just
analvgy to them. Those, under the Trumpets, are the
land, sea, &c. of the Christian world: Those under the 6, Vials, of the antichristian. For the antichristian world
has its divisions, as Mede bas observed, which will auswer to those of the Christian world. If the Land, of the Christian world, signifies the ancient worshippers of God, there are also the ancient worshippers of the beast. If the Sea, among Christians, represent
31 distant Gentile converts; the worshippers of the beast have also their Sea, the newly acquired converts to their superstitions or infidelity. Both Christianity and antichristianity have their rivers and springs of Doetrine, and their Lights. By this kind of analogy, it seems probable that the Vials, especially the four first of them, are to be interpreted. If the pure Christian Church has been seen to suffer in its several parts and divisions, by the seven-fold warfare of its enemies, those enemies shall not enjoy a joyful and bloodless victory; the Providence of God will interfere; and they will suffer by corresponding strokes, justly proportioned. But, though each Vial may seem to answer
to each Trumpet; either in the part or division attacked, or in the effect of the attack; yet in point of time, they do not seem to range exactly against each other: each corresponding Trumpet and Vial does not appear to belong to the same period of history: for, the bistory under the Vials is confined (as before shewn) to the times of the beast; while the Trumpets appear to have an earlier date and origin. Indeed, all the Vials seem to have their rise out of one of the Trumpets, namely, the last; and therefore may be supposed to be confined to the bistory which that Trumpet comprehends. That Trumpet does indeed look so far back, as leaders to the conflict of the dragon with the infant Church; hownie but only by way of prelude; and in order to lay the foundation of the main subject of the prophecy, namely, the conflict of the antichristian beast with the Church. The vials seem to run the whole length of this important warfare.
The four first Vials, like the four first Trumpets, it se are of so very short and general a description, as not to encourage or justify a very minute application of them to particular passages in history * They will be found to have been generally fulfilled.
The first produces a noisome sore on the worshippers. of the beast. This plague derives its figurative description, from the boil and blain inflicted by Divine vengeance on the Ægyptian persecutors of the ancient Church f. As they, in their impious attempts to oppose the God of heaven, felt his Almighty hand grievou upon them, to controul and punish; so, in the early attempts, made by the antichristian powers under the beast, to stifle pure Religion, they had difficulties to encounter, where they least expected them; and which
were to be surmounted only by their own sufferings. God did not perinit them to enjoy during that generation their expected triumph.
The second Vial produces blood, which, mixing with the sea, corrupts it. Blood, in Scriptural language, is a pollution and abomination; and from a dead carcase, heinously such * The sea, the isles, the distant nations of the antichristian world, those who by terror or force were made converts, (as were some of the nations of the north to popery, of the south to mahometism,) forsaking their idols, worship the God of Heaven ;—but not in purity;--so polluted is the worship, as not to save, but to destroy by spiritual death. Under the second Trumpet, which corresponds in some respects with this Vial, a third part dies; that is, a third of the Christians. There is a considerable part, who by
the Grace of God escape spiritual death. Here, all die; ha
and so also under the rest of the plagues; but the sealed Christian is not touched by these visitations.—Thus also under the plagues of Ægypt, “ they, who fear the “ Lord,” have the privilege of escape t.
The third Vial is discharged also upon the waters : not in upon the sea; but
those waters which feed both land and sea; upon the sources of comfort, especially of miet
religious comfort, to both . These sources of spiritual nourishment becoine blood §. Instead of the “ living “ waters, flowing out into everlasting lifel,” they who reject, oppose, or oppress the Christian Religion, generally receive in the lieu thereof a burdensome and uncomfortable yoke of superstitious folly. This has been ever the case with Christian apostates, and particularly so in the
* Lam. iv. 14. Lev. v. 2. Numb. v. 2.
great apostacies, the Mahometan and the Papal. There
A luininary, the Sun *. A similar stroke under the corresponding Trumpet, had produced darkness and igno- kule
fine di But there is a further progress, insomuch as the ben deprivation of the light of true Religion produces also religious feuds and animosities which are found to rage heures most bitterly in the persecuting party, ever most deficient in the knowledge and practice of what is good
hos oss and true.
The fifth angel pours his Vial on " the throne of 4,7 “the beast;" on his chief seat of empire and dominion. Pergamus, at the time of the vision, was declared "the " throne of satant:" and satan, or the dragon, gavel brescia his throne to the beast . But at this period, the beast, bikers by the ministry of the false prophet, had greatly ex- . tended his dominion, and his capital seat was elsewhere. He had now a vast two-fold empire; under the two horns of antichrist. But
“ his kingdom becomes “ darkened.” During the antichristian reign, there has been a long and dark age; an age of deplorable ignorance and superstition. The fanatical disciples of Malomet, at their first outset, forbade the cultivation of all
* See note, ch. viii. 12,
+ Ch. ii. 13. N N 2
Ch. xiii. 2. learning