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In a word, the princes of the world, and the ministers of the sanctuary, the people and the pastors of the church, shall mutually join in an hymn of praise, when the judgment threatened in this vial shall be executed.
The Fourth Vial.
“ And the fourth angel poured out his vial on “ the sun; and power was given to him to scorch
men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of “ God, which hath given power over these “ plagues; and they repented not to give him
glory,” Rev. xvi. 8, 9. The sun, moon, and stars, in prophetic language, represent the government of any state, including the supreme and subordinate powers. Darkening the sun, moon, and stars, signifies the extinguishing of the government, destroying either its religious or political existence. Thus, when the sixth seal was opened, “the fun be6 came black as fackcloth of hair, and the moon * became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell " unto the earth,” Chap. vi. 12, 13. Expresfions which intimate the diffolution of the PaDd
gan Roman empire, as to its religious existence, an event fulfilled by Constantine. So, when the fourth trumpet founded, “the third part of the “ fun was smitten, and the third part of the
moon, and the third part of the stars, fo as. So the third part of them was darkened, and the “ day shone not for a third part of it, and the
night likewise.” Expressions denoting, according to the best interpreters that the government of Imperial Rome, as to its political existence, should be destroyed. An event fulfilled by. Totila, The sun therefore affected by the plague of this vial, must be the supreme power in Papal Rome. Now, the supreme power in Papal Rome, must be the Pope. Some indeed, for obvious reasons, pretend that the supreme power in the present Roman empire belongs, in temporals to the Emperor ; in fpirituals, to general councils, But to remove the doubts which inay arise from this variety of opinions concern. ing the supreme power in Papal Rome, it will be fulficient to observe that this prophecy inva- . riably represents the ruler of Rome and its territory, as the head of the beast, typifying the Roman empire, even he who exercises the fe. venth or last form of Roman government within the city. This description cannot apply either to the Emperor of Germany or to councils; but the uniformity of the emblem requires that the
head of the Roman beast be represented as the fun of the Roman world. The effect of this plague is to scorch men with great heat. By the fourth trumpet the sun was darkened, and its heat was confequently decreased. Here it is increased, yet not for salutary, but pernicious purposes; if, therefore darkening the fun there, fignified extinguishing the supreme power in the government of Imperial Rome, iricreasing the heat of the fun here, obviously suggests the idea of despotic authority, violently exercised by the supreme power in the government of Papal Rome.
We can suppofe many cases in which the exercise of defpotic authority would occasion uneasiness to the subjects of the fee of Rome, and we might expect that it would prove hurtful in the issue to the Pope's power. A violent exercife of despotic authority met with resistance even in a dark age; we might expect a resistance still greater in an enlightened age, like the prefent. But at the period of pouring out this vial, when the Word and Providence of God shall demonstrate the deformity of Popery, and the truth of this prophecy more clearly than they are apprehended in our day, we may infer, from the principles of human nature, that a signal vengeance shall overtake the exercise of despotic authority. Let us suppose, for instance, that a person of the same character with Gregory VII. shall again fill the Papal chair, and endeavour, by the same measures which that Pontiff pursued, to retrieve the declining state of his affairs. I cannot doubt but those measures would occafion a combination of the powers of Europe, to set the Vatican in flames about his ears. Accordingly that event is represented in the following vial, most probably as the consequence of the scorching heat laid before us in this vial. The subjects of his spiritual jurisdiction, though conscious of the illegality of his proceedings, and aware that they must end in the ruin of the Pa. pal system, shall not renounce their allegiance, but rather blaspheme God, than repent, to give him glory. They rather charge God with unfaithfulness to his promise, than acknowledge themselves in an error; affirm that he has failed to full his word, “On this rock will I build
my church, and the gates of hell shall not pre“ vail against her," rather than acknowledge that they have followed Antichrist, and mistaken the whore of Babylon for the spouse of Christ.
« And the fifth angel poured out his vial up“ on the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was “ full of darkness; and they gnawed theirtongues « for pain, and blafphemed the God of heaven, “ because of their pains and their fores, and “ repented not of their deeds,” Rev. xvi. 10,
This vial intimates the destruction of the city of Rome, the throne or feat of the beast. I have already (p. 60,61.)intimated my reasons for this opinion, as well as for supposing that the event shall take place eighteen years after the fall of the temporal sovereignty annexed to the Papacy. The destruction of Rome“ fills the kingdom of “ the beast with darkness." This expression refers to one of the plagues of Egypt; and we are told, that during the time it continued, “ they w faw not one another, neither rose any from “ his place,” Exod. x. 23. I conjecture there. fore, that when the event intimated by this vial shall take place, the members of the church of Rome shall be so stupified, that they can neither concert together, nor make efforts separately for the preservation of the Pope's authority. At the