Page images

the End” is now so far advanced in its progress, that the five first Vials of Wrath have been already expended. Consequently, as the present season is that

space which intervenes between the termination of the Fifth and the commencement of the Seventh Vial, it is proved by the chronological series of events, compared with the predictions of prophecy, to be that Interval which immediately precedes the predicted time of unprecedented trouble.





space which intervenes between the termination of the Fifth Vial and the commencement of the Seventh, is that period which takes place under the effusion of the Sixth Vial. Consequently it is with this period that the present Interval, which immediately precedes “the time of trouble,” synchronizes. In order therefore to shew, as it was proposed,

Secondly, that the State of the world and the Signs of the times at the present season, strikingly accord with the intimations of prophecy in relation to this Interval, it will be expedient to begin with inquiring what those intimations

[ocr errors]


It is said (Rev. xvi. 12.) “And the Sixth Angel poured out his Vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw (says St. John) three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the

It 66


False Prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. And he * gathered them together unto a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.”

The first intimation, which may be collected from this prophecy, respects the object on whom the contents of this vial were to fall. poured out upon the great river Euphrates." “ The great river Euphrates” is a symbol used in this book to denote the Ottoman Empire. It was from the great river Euphrates that the Four Angels were loosed at the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet (A. D. 1327. Rev. ix. 15) when the Second Woe on Christianity in the East was inflicted by the invasion of the Turkish armies, which at length obtained possession of Constantinople, and established a powerful monarchy on the ruins of the Eastern Empire. It was on this monarchy that the Sixth Vial was represented to be poured out, and the effects of this visitation are said to have been, that “its water was dried up;" a figurative expression, used in accordance with the symbol here employed, and denoting the gradual but progressive exhaustion

“ And they gathered them together," as the Greek idiom allows the passage to be rendered.

of the strength and resources of the monarchy in question. The language does not necessarily mean that its power should be utterly broken and annihilated under the operations of this Vial. Such an interpretation would not agree with the tenor of other prophecies; by which, as it has been already intimated, it seems more than probable, that this irreconcilable adversary of Christianity will at last openly unite with its other enemies, and will perish together with them under the Seventh Vial, in one combined and impious attempt to defeat the counsels and armies of the living God. But for the present, according to the intimation of the prophecy, its strength was to be weakened, its population wasted, and its territories dismembered and impoverished.

And needs it to be asked whether this description accords or not with the state of the Turkish Empire at the present season? In whatever year it may be conjectured that this Vial commenced its operations, it is plain, that for the last three or four years at least, its exhausting effects on the predicted object of its visitation have been severely felt, and most signally displayed. The desolations caused by the tremendous earthquakes at Antioch and Aleppo, the confusion into which the Empire has been thrown by the organized revolt of the Greek provinces, the defeat, year after year, of the fleets and armies hitherto sent in vain to subdue and quell the insurgents ; * the vacillating councils of the Divan; the awful mortality in the family of the Sultan — all these disastrous circumstances indicate the fast declining state of that mighty Empire; expose its imbecillity, and prognosticate its fall. What its future efforts, what its expiring struggles may accomplish, time only can disclose. But, so far as its present condition can warrant a conclusion, its waters are fast drying up. And so far, then, present appearances concur with the intimations of

pro'phecy, and prove that this is the Interval which it is assumed to be.

A second intimation to be gathered from the prophecy, respects the apparently tranquil state, during the interval in question, of the Papal

[ocr errors]

The writer wishes to remark that he by no means rests his argument on the prosperous issue of the Greek insurrection, nor presumes even to conjecture what the issue of that conflict may be. It may be the design of Providence for a time to defeat the hopes of the insurgents; and to reduce them under the power of the Pacha of Egypt, to whom it has been said that the Porte has transferred the possession of these provinces for fifty years, as the price of his present efforts to subdue them. But it is not clear that the success of this ambitious and almost independent chieftain might not equally tend to dry up the waters of the Turkish Empire, which, by whatever means it may be accomplished, is the event predicted in the vision.

« PreviousContinue »