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symbols of civil and political commotions, of revolutions, devastation, and war — indicate the nature of those judgments which were to follow the sounding of the seventh trumpet; and which are subsequently detailed in the seven vials of wrath *; (Rev. xv. xvi.) when, after a reiterated statement of the songs of praise and triumph by the saints, and of the opening of the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven (the circumstances, which show that the events dependent on them are the same with those predicted in connection with the sounding of the seventh trumpet) the seven angels were seen 6 to come out of the temple, having the seven plagues, and were commanded to pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth."
But, while such was to be the Commencement of this period and of its concomitant judgments, it by no means follows, that these judgments were to continue in equally active operation, or even without some occasional intermission, throughout the whole duration of the “ Time of the End.” Neither the analogy of God's general dealings with mankind, nor the prophetical intimations themselves, would lead to such a conclusion. The circumstance of the vials being poured out in succession, one after another, might seem to indicate, that as there would be some seasons in which the judgment would fall with a more direct and heavier weight, so there might be others, in which its violence would for a time be mitigated, and a longer or shorter interval of repose be conceded. - There is, however, one point in which both Daniel and St. John decidedly agree; namely, that as this period advances in its progress and draws nearer to its close, the judgment will become more unmitigated, intense, and aggravated. We find in both these writers the specific mention of a particular juncture, in which these visitations of Divine wrath will recommence or augment their assaults with redoubled and even unprecedented fury. Daniel's words are these, -" And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time :" (ch. xii. 1.) while St. John says, in language nearly parallel, -" And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon
* The immediate effects of the first six vials are not particularly noticed in the concise description given in this vision of the period of judgment; but must be understood as included under the general intimations of woe and wrath, which it exhibits. The “lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, the earthquake and the great hail” seem more directly to refer to the effusion of the seventh vial, (Rev. xvi. 18)which, being the vial of consummation, when the predicted judgments of God will be fully accomplished, might be supposed, even in this hasty sketch, to require a somewhat more marked and specific notification.
(Rev. xvi. 18.) The events, indeed, which the Prophet and the Apostle describe as occurring in this time of unprecedented trouble, are not the same: and from hence it might at first sight be inferred, that notwithstanding the apparent similarity in the description, they are yet speaking of different times. But a closer attention to the subject will induce a contrary conclusion. The different objects which the two writers had in view, or, to speak more correctly, the different designs of the two Revelations separately vouchsafed to them, necessarily led to the mention of different events; but these were events, though distinct in themselves, yet so intimately united in their completion, as plainly to indicate that the time of unprecedented trouble, in connection with which they are respectively stated to occur, was one and the same. Daniel's vision specifically relating to the future destinies of Israel, the event, which the angel announced to him in reference to the predicted period, was the fulfilment of the prophecies in their behalf: — “ At that time thy people shall be delivered :” whereas the Revelation vouchsafed to St. John having for its object the disclosure of those judgments with which God would ultimately overwhelm the enemies of his Church, the events exhibited him as resulting from the effusion of vial of wrath, were the destruction of
Babylon, and the final overthrow of the Antichristian powers at the battle of Armageddon. A slight acquaintance, however, with the details of prophecy will be sufficient to remind us, that the event announced to Daniel, and those revealed to St. John, were events closely and intimately connected together: for, as the Fall of the mystic Babylon is generally represented, in the prophetical writings *, as preceding and subserving the deliverance of the Jews from their present dispersion, in the same manner as their return from captivity in Chaldea was made dependent on the Fall of the literal Babylon ; so it is especially in the effort to oppose this deliverance, from a general enmity to Christ and his Gospel, that the Antichristian powers are described, in their last formidable combination, as perishing in the battle of the great day of God Almighty. It clearly follows, therefore, that “ the Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation,” of which Daniel speaks, can be no other than the period of the seventh vial, mentioned by St. John, at the pouring out of which “ a great voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done: and there were voices, and
passages consult Isaiah xiii., xiv. 1-3., xxi. 9, 10., xliii. 14., xlvii., xlviii. 20., lxiii., Jeremiah 1., li., Ezek. xxviii, 24,