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men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great,"
great,” — begin its operations; in the process of which, “the great city will be divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations will fall; and great Babylon will come in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath ; and every island shall flee away, and the mountains shall not be found; and there shall fall upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men will blaspheme God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof will be exceeding great.” Without staying minutely to inquire into the meaning of every part of this figurative language, it will be sufficient for our present purpose to observe that it comprehends a prediction of most tremendous judgments to be inflicted on the kingdoms of the Beast; of political convulsions and revolutions; of sanguinary and desolating wars, aggravated, it is probable, by intestine commotions, and religious animosities, and terminating in the utter extinction, by some providential dispensations, unusually aweful, of the Papal church and kingdoms, and of all their adherents and supporters.
Such is the present. Crisis. Such are the momentous circumstances which characterise and distinguish it. And hence, then, the In
quiry, to which allusion has been already made, and on which it is now designed to enter, originates. What it may be asked) in the midst of these unprecedented calamities, which will devastate and for ever annihilate the Papal kingdoms; what, in that eventful season, will be the Destiny of this country? What will become of England and her dependencies? Will she perish in the general overthrow ? Or will she be made a monument of mercy, and be spared in the day of indignation ?
Surely a question of such deep importance may well be entitled to the most serious consideration; nor can there be any thing unseasonable or presumptuous in endeavouring to penetrate, in a spirit of humble inquiry, so far as the means of inquiry be vouchsafed, into the counsels and purposes of the Almighty, on a point of such lively and momentous interest. It is hoped that this remark will justify the writer in his present attempt; and will screen him from the charge of temerity, and of indulging an improper curiosity; while he purposes humbly and diffidently to inquire, whether the Scriptures seem to throw any gleams of light: which, though not demonstrating, may in some degree illustrate, the probable Destiny of England during the predicted season of tribulation; and whether past events in her history, or circumstances in her present situation, may tend to corroborate the conclusions, or to increase and strengthen the hopes, to which the Inquiry into Scripture may have led.
In prosecuting the Inquiry suggested in the preceding chapter, the writer would begin with reminding his readers that the main, if not the exclusive, object of the Woe, announced by the Seventh Trumpet, and comprised in the Vials of Wrath, is to punish, and ultimately to overthrow, the Papal Church, with all those who adhere to her communion, or support her cause. These are
of the rest of the men, which not being killed by the plagues," inflicted under the former Woes, “yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk; neither repented of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thefts."* These are the nations of the Latin earth, the kingdoms of the Beast, which, unreclaimed by the judgments that had overthrown the Eastern Church and Empire are reserved as the immediate victims of the last remaining Woe; for whose punishment it is prepared, and in whose final destruction it will be expended. Against whom is it denounced by the Angel *, that they “ shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation,” but against those who “ worship the Beast and his image, and receive his mark in their forehead, or in their hand?” Who are those that, at the sight of the “ Seven Angels, having the seven last plagues, in which is filled up
* Rev. ix. 20, 21.
the wrath of God,” were represented to St. John as praising God for his approaching judgments, from which it is by consequence to be inferred that they were themselves exempt, but those that “had gotten the victory over the Beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name?” † By whom, when the Vials were poured out, is it specified that their effects were felt ? First Angel poured out his Vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the Beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." “ And the Fifth Angel poured out his Vial upon the seat of the Beast ; and his kingdom was full
* Rev. xiv.
f Rev, xv, 1, 2, 3, 4.