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while they overlooked and confirmed ulcers!" The sagacious reformer thus lit upon the very word in our text, to express the disease of popery now exposed; while he had no view of our text as applying to it! there is, in the original, ulkos, ulcer.

The word

The pope and Charles now made a bloody atttempt to crush the league of Smalcald, but were defeated essentially in the result, which issued in the peace of Passau in 1552, which was confirmed in the diet of Augsburg in 1555, which formed the basis of the religious order of Germany, in which much of the rights of conscience were recognised and established, and a death-blow was there given to the claims of the papal see. And the Reformation now spread into other lands with vast rapidity, and the pope himself felt the fatal effects of his sore, and languished under it. He next, to attempt a healing of his sinking cause, convened the council of Bologna. But, instead of meliorating, they heightened his disasters, by exhibiting to all Christendom a most glaring proof of the impotency and abomination of the papal cause. And the holy father, mortified with disappointment, dissolved the council. Upon this Charles himself took upon him to stigmatize the pope, and to render him odious even to the zealous Catholics. And various other occurrences aided his degradation,—as the following. Pope Julian bestowed his highest official gift, the cardinal's commission,-on an obscure youth of 16 years, known by the name of the Ape, because he took care of an ape in the family of his master. This event, at a time when light was fast rising, and the obligations of duty and decency were felt, and a blind veneration for pontifical distinction was fast abating, struck the people of Christendom with horror! Satirizing pieces filled Rome, condemning the pope for this outrage, and imputing it to a nameless criminal passion for the worthless youth! And soon after, this corrupt head of the papal see, while his nuncio was, at his direction, intriguing in a diet, to get the peace of Passau set aside, and he himself was wallowing in licentiousness at home, suddenly died! He had become averse to all official duties; and being, at a time, applied to for serious business; he, to get rid of it, feigned himself sick, and took medicine; upon which he sickened and died. And thus, while the Protestants were trem

bling at this papal attempt to crush the peace of Passau, the impious persecutor was called to give his account at a higher tribunal !

Millions of people now hastened to flee from so filthy a communion, as from a place infected with the plague! These exposures of papal corruption flew like lightning over Europe, and suddenly broke the enchantments of superstition in which such millions of the human race had been, for many centuries, so miserably enslaved.

We are assured, from the best authority, that "the charm that had bound mankind for so many ages, was now broken at once. And the human mind, in those vast regions, which had continued long as tame and passive as if it had been formed to believe all that papal delusion could teach, and to bear all it could impose,-roused up at once, and became inquisitive, mutinous, and disdainful of the yoke to which it had hitherto submitted. The wonderful agitation of mind, which at this distance of time seems strange, was then so general, that it must have been excited by causes which were of powerful efficacy. The kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, England, Scotland, and almost half of Germany, renounced their allegiance to the pope, abolished his jurisdiction within their territories, and gave the sanction of law to modes of discipline, and systems of doctrine, which were independent of papal power and hostile to it. Nor was the spirit of innovation confined to those countries which openly revolted from the pope. It spread through all Europe, and broke out. in different parts of it, with various degrees of violence. It penetrated early into France, and made progress there, so that the numbers of converts to the doctrines of the Reformation, soon became so great, and the zeal and abilities of their leaders so distinguishing, that they soon contended for superiority with the established church, and were sometimes on the point of gaining it. In all the provinces of Germany which continued to acknowledge the pope, as well as in the Low countries, the Protestant doctrines were secretly taught, and had gained so many proselytes, that they were ripe for revolt, and were restrained merely by the dread of their rulers, from imitating the examples of their Protestant neighbours. Even in Spain and Italy, symptoms of the same disposition to shake off the yoke appeared. And the pretensions of the pope to infallibility

and supreme power were treated by many persons of great learning and abilities with such scorn, and were attacked with such vehemence, that the most vigilant attention of magistrates, and the highest strains of pontifical authority, and all the vigour of inquisitorial jurisdiction, were requisite to restrain it."

Who, then, can doubt but the Reformation was a vial of divine wrath on the papal see? And who can doubt but it was the first vial? It was the commencement of papal ruin; and it operated precisely as it was long predicted the first vial should operate, to exhibit a fatal ulcer on the men of the papal community! This was most naturally the first of a series of divine judgments, which should fling into perdition that pillar of the kingdom of Satan. An exhibition of its total and extreme filthiness to the world, might have been expected to lead the way in the last plagues of heaven on that hateful Man of Sin; so that its corruption should stand exposed before the nations in the light of the sun. Fully does this event accord with the imagery of the first vial; as do its subsequent connected events of judgment with the imagery of the succeeding vials of wrath,—as will be shown in succeeding lectures. No other event has taken place, which has, compared with this, the least claim as a fulfilment of the first vial; and the claim of this is perfect.


It was attempted to be shown, in the lecture on Rev. xiv.; 1st and onward, that the appearance of the Heavenly Lamb there, on mount Zion (his earthly church) seems clearly to relate to this event, the Reformation. fully does the imagery there agree with it. Christ did indeed then appear on his earthly mount Zion. He had his 144,000 with him, with their foreheads bearing the inscription of his Father's name. Their numbers swelled, till their praises of God and the Lamb became as the voice of many waters, and of mighty thunders. Millions then came forward with a new edition of the song of redeeming love which none but the true people of God ever learn. They in purity fled out from the filthy embraces of the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth; and were thus, mystically, "virgins." They followed the Lamb; and were the first-fruits of better times ere long to be brought forward. And they were, in a good degree, freed from guile and fault, as there noted.

The synchronic events of the two sacred passages, shed light on each other; as is common in this mystical book.

The casting of the dragon from heaven, too, in chap. xii., it was attempted to show in a lecture on the passage, alludes to the same event. The devil was now cast from his height in the false papal church, where he had long, with awful success, carried on a war with Christ in his two witnesses, in a symbolic ecclesiastical heaven indeed! But he was thence hurled out unto the earth, in a full exhibition of the earthly and most degrading policy of the papal see. The loud voices here (like those of great waters, and mighty thunders, and harpers of sacred songs, in chap. 14), sung, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the glory of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down. Therefore, rejoice, ye heavens!" Yes, the heaven of the church, both militant and triumphant, did rejoice at the events of the Reformation.

The vials of wrath were given into the hands of the seven angels of judgment, chap. xv. 7, by a symbol of the ministers of Christ. Most fully was this part of the figure illustrated by the agency of Martin Luther, and his coadjutors in the Reformation. "And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God." Yes, Luther had the honour to commence a fulfilment of this! Other ambassadors of Christ united, and aided the event. Such figures of general import are often illustrated by individual instances of their accomplishment. Most signal honour is here put upon the gospel ministry; as is put, in a similar manner, upon the two witnesses, that they should be said to have power to shut heaven, that it rain not; and to smite the earth with all plagues, as oft as they will." May ministers of Christ duly and humbly admire such condescending grace of Heaven; and express their admiration by well-directed and unabating zeal and faithfulness.


But despisers of Christ in his ministers may well fear and tremble. For Christ will not fail to vindicate the ministry of the gospel, and honour them who honour him. And their cries to him, under the depressions of Zion, will not fail to bring down vials of wrath on her per



Vial II.


Ver. 3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

The first vial, it has been shown, was poured on the Roman earth, exhibiting the fatal corruption of the papal system. The second vial is here poured upon the sea, and turns it to blood. By the sea, in this connexion, must be understood the most central part of the papal dominion. "I will shew you the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters." "The waters are people, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." (Rev. xvii. 1, 15.) We have here a collected view of the sea, in this second vial; and of the rivers and fountains of water, in the third vial. The latter, we shall find to be, the nations of the old papal communion besides Italy; and the sea, Italy itself. There is a great fitness in denoting Italy by the sea, as it was the great centre of the papal multitudes, who are denoted by the waters on which this harlot sat; the capital of the papal powers; even as the sea is the centre and collection of waters from the rivers and fountains on the earth. Italy lies too, like a coot, in the midst of the sea. This literal fact may add an emphasis to the beauty of the figure, of denoting Italy by the sea, in our text. The following fact too, may add to its beauty. Italy was, at the time of this vial, in the 16th century, a collection of different states and governments of contending interests, like a tumultuous sea. Some of its territories were governed by civil powers; and some by ecclesiastical. The education of the latter, and their genius and connections with the court of Rome, rendered them so different from the other princes, that it was an unhappy source of jealousy and discord. This gave them a resem

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