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ferocity, and valour, by which it laid waste more than one half the Christian world, and is, even at this day, as populous as any other upon the earth, the Chinese excepted) are not even intimated in this verse ; and, perhaps, will remain concealed, until the events themselves shall remove the veil. It may, in some measure, be occasioned by the habitual practice of chewing opium, that deadly poison, which, in the course of many succeeding ages, may have gradually and imperceptibly stupified and dried up, as it were, both their animal and intellectual faculties: or, by a general disaffection of subordinate princes, bashaws, and people (here figuratively represented by the word water,) to the terrible despotism of the Turkish government; or by the same licentious and satanical spirit of liberty, equality,atheism, and anarchy, which has so lately “ dried up" the enthusiastic loyalty and attachment of the people of France to their grand monarch, and prepared the way for the French revolution; or, by the intrigues and arms of Paswan Oglou, aided by the French republic, which seems already to have begun the work; or by all these means together. However, this is certain, from the evident purport of the text, that a very extraordinary indifference or disaffection in the people, to the government of the empire, must take place to fulfil this part of the prophesy.
But to what end are the loyalty and attachment of the Turks to be thus alienated from
their government? The text is explicit in answering this question. It is, “ that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared,” or, that the path to victory, and the conquest of an empire, so extensive and populous, may be made easy, and take up little of their time. But who are these “ kings of the East ?” It has been an ancient opinion among the Turks, founded, as I imagine, upon this prophetic verse, that their empire would, in time, be destroyed by the Russians, a great part of whose widely extended dominions are contiguous and Eastroard of the Turkish territory. From all which it seems more than probable, that the Russians and the Asiatic princes, their dependants and allies, are the “ kings of the East,” mentioned in this verse, for whom the " way" to conquest is to be “ prepared :” and that they will be the instruments of " pouring out" this vial of the wrath of an all-righteous God, upon the sensual and abominable apostacy of the Mohamedan church, the most so of all religious systems; that bloody and desolating enemy of the church of Christ, in the East.
Ver. 13.—" And I saw three unclean spi“ rits 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 FALSE
Ver. 14.- For they are the spirits of “ devils, working miracles, which go
“ to the kings of the earth, and of the whole “ world, to gather them to the BATTLE OF
THE GREAT DAY of GOD ALMIGHTY.
Ver. 15.-" Behold, I come as a thief. “ Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth “ his garments, lest he walk naked and they
see his shame."
Ver. 16.-". And he gathered them to
gether unto a place, called in the Hebrew “ tongue, ARMAGEDON.
Ver. 17.-" And the seventh angel poured 66 out his vial into the AIR ; and there came
a great voice out of the temple of heaven, saying, It is done.'
Ver. 18.-" And there were voices, and “ thunders, and lightnings; and there was a
great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon
the earth, so MIGHTY AN EARTHQUAKE and so GREAT.”
Ver. 19.-" And the great city was divid“ ed into three parts, and the cities of the 66 nations fell: and GREAT BABYLON came “ into rememberance before God, to give “ unto her the cup of the WINE, and fierce
ness of his WRATH."
Ver. 20.-" And every island fled away, " and the mountains were not found,'
Ver. 21.-" And there fell upon men a « hail out of heaven, every stone about the
weight of a talent: and men blasphemed “ God because of the plague of the hail; for “ the plague thereof was very great.”
We have seen it foretold, under the first six vials, that the wrath of God should be poured out on the enemies of the Gospel of Christ, on idolatrous Rome, Mohamedan deism, and the powers of atheism, as judgments for their wicked persecutions and opposition to his holy word. By these judgments they were to be severely punished and weakened, but not to be utterly destroyed. Indeed it appears, from the texts and the tenor of the subsequent parts of the Revelation, that the awful event is reserved for the GREAT DAY, when Christ shall come to subdue all his enemies, to raise the just from the dead, and to reign with them on the earth ; and at the conclusion of all things, to summon all the race of Adam, both quick and dead, before his solemn tribunal, and to pass a final judgment upon them, “ according to the deeds done in the body.” That such a day shall come, there is no truth in holy writ more frequently inculcated, or more firmly established. But when these events shall come to pass, it seems to be the Divine pleasure that no man, nor even the angels, shall know the time thereof. For Christ himself, when speaking to the apostles, respecting these times, tells them, " It is not for you to know the times, and the seasons, which the father hath put in his own “ power*.” St. Paul teaches the Thessalonians, “ That the day of the Lord cometh as “ a thief in the night: for when they (the un“ godly) shall say, peace and safety; then sud“ den destruction cometh upon them, as tra“ vail on a woman with child, and they shall “ not escapet.” And when the disciples of Christ enquired of him f “When shall these
things be, and what shall be the signs of thy
coming and the end of the world ?" He tells them expressly, “ Of that day and hour know“eth no man, no not the angels in heaven, but
my Father only.” But although it is the allwise pleasure of a righteous God, that we shall not know the exact day and hour of these awful events, I humbly trust that it will not be presumptuous to observe, that from the rapid succession of the first four vials, and from the strong probability that the fifth and sixth are soon to follow, the faithful believer in the word of God has reason to hope, and the wicked to fear, that the events of the seventh vial, which foretels the second coming of Christ, will not be very distant in respect of time.
However, as it is the nature of prophecy in general, that the events foretold should remain, in a measure, mysterious and obscure until they shall come to pass, and as it is expressly the Divine will, that no man, or angel, shall be apprized of the exact time of the events of the
vi Acts. i. 7
# 1 Thess. v. 2, 3.
St. Matt. xxiv. 36.