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had ever before occurred, or which they could have conceived as possible, that their amazement was vast. All these things tended to confirm the doctrines of the Reformation, and to set them beyond the control of all the thunders of the vatican. The emperor Charles, when he had sufficiently indulged his resentments at the union of the pope with the king of France, feigned sorrow for the great indignities done to his holiness, and restored him his church lands.

I might proceed to detail the terrors of those times; the wars of the Ottoman emperor with the papal powers; the ravaging of Naples by a Turkish admiral; the plundering and burning of Regio; and the ravaging and burning of the coasts of Naples and of Tuscany by the same; the civil wars that broke out in Italy; the attempt of the pope and Charles to crush the league of Smalcald; the disastrous attempt of Charles to regulate things to his own mind on the coasts of Barbary, in which he utterly failed, and the flower of the Italian youth were sacrificed; and other tremendous scenes, in which the ambitious veteran Charles felt himself exhausted to that degree, that he abdicated his throne to his son Philip, and retired from society. But enough has been exhibited to evince the magnitude and terrors of the scenes which are presented as a fulfilment of the second vial. The German emperor and the king of France were the prime instruments of this cup of wrath. And the fact, that the warlike and potent Charles spent his imperial life, and exhausted his treasures in those scenes of horror, till he was glad to leap from his throne, and retire from the face of man,-bespeaks their magnitude. To prepare the way for his abdication, Charles proposed peace to the king of France, which was established. He wished to have the merit, when quitting his imperial dignity, of establishing that tranquillity in Europe, which, for fifty years, he had banished from it; and this he accomplished. The greatness of these terrors is exhibited too in arguments which the pope afterwards pleaded with the king of France, to induce him to break his treaty with the successor of Charles, "that the flower of the veteran Spanish bands had perished in these wars; that Charles had left his son an exhausted treasury, and a kingdom drained of men; and that the king of France

might now drive the Spaniards out of Naples, and add to his crown a kingdom in Italy, the conquest of which had been so great an object of his ambition for half a century.

A general peace now ensued (A. D. 1559); upon which the historian says, "From this period Italy ceased to be the great theatre on which the monarchs of Germany, Spain, and France contended for power and fame. Their dissensions and hostilities, though afterwards as frequent and violent as ever, were excited by new objects, and stained other regions of Europe with blood, and rendered them miserable in their turn by the devastations of war. (Robertson's Charles V., vol. iv. p. 261.)

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Here, then, is the close of the vial on the sea in our text. The third vial, that on the rivers and fountains of water (other papal nations), was to follow after an interval. The historian adds, "exhausted by extraordinary efforts, which far exceeded those to which the nations of Europe had been accustomed, before the rivalship of Charles and Francis, both nations longed for repose." And in the peace which ensued, great pains were taken, by intermarriages and mutual concessions, to give it a decided permanency. All past transactions were to be buried in oblivion.

Most of the states and nations in Europe were to be comprehended in this peace of 1559; and we are assured, "most of the personages who had long sustained the principal characters on the stage of Europe, disappeared about the same time; and a period, better known in history, opened upon us. Other actors entered on the stage, and with different views and passions. New contests arose, and new schemes of ambition sprang up, and disquieted mankind."

This therefore brings us to the close of the second vial, and to the transition to the third, poured on the rivers and fountains of water, which, in the next lecture, will be considered.

We reflect, what must now be the views of those ambitious bloody men who, more than 300 years ago, excited and maintained that blaze of war, which, for fifty years, turned Italy to blood, and sent to a premature grave millions of the flower of the human race? The souls of. Charles V., of Francis I., and of all the human butchers

of that period, are now in existence. For more than three centuries they have been situated where they have had the most clear views possible of the importance of their day of grace, how they improved it, and what must be the eternal consequences! How vastly insignificant must those temporal ambitious objects now appear to them which excited those scenes of contention and blood! A most piercing view they must now have of the day in which all they have done must be unfolded, by the infinite, righteous Judge, before the assembled universe; when all the deeds of man on earth shall be unfolded, and all men shall be rewarded according to their deeds. A most feeling view of these things does, this moment, flash like the keenest lightning, through the souls of all such men of blood, who died in their sins. Three hundred years, and three millions, will bring them no relief. The last great day will give an infinite interest to the history of nations, not as events political, but as events of God's government for the fulfilment of his word, the salvation of his church, and the ruin of her enemies, "to the intent, that unto the principalities and powers, in the heavenly places, may be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." This will be one blessed employment of the eternal world of glory, to trace the lines of the divine government, wisdom, and goodness, in the whole history of the world, which will then lie open no doubt to universal inspection. Great, then, is the advantage of the believer over the man of the world, in glancing his eye over the events of the nations, as methods of infinite wisdom, to fulfil the sacred oracles, and advance his kingdom of salvation. The latter employment (the employment of the true believer) never excludes God from his own work, as would the wicked world, but beholds him in every thing; to meditate on the history of nations in the light of the prophecies, and to see the latter fulfilled in the former, is a delightful exercise of faith, and it inspires the pious exclamation, "Allaluia; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!"

Our lecture gives a lively comment on the sacred passage, "Surely, the wrath of men shall praise thee, and the remainder of wrath thou wilt restrain." Behold the pious Luther, and the reformers pursuing their great work of taking the fatal bandages of death from the eyes of

papal millions. And behold the pope launching his bolts of thunder, which hitherto, and for many centuries, had been able to plunge emperors and kings in ruin,-hurled in vain at the head of the reformer!



Vial III.

Ver. 4. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters: and they became blood.

5. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

6. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink : for they are worthy.

7. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

As the sea in the second vial has been shown to mean Italy, the seat of popery, so the rivers and fountains of water in this vial must denote the other papal nations. It might be shown from the prophets, that rivers and fountains of water are noted emblems of nations. And the papal nations were then about to receive that portion of these seven last plagues noted in the fourth vial. Various of the great papal nations that had been instrumental in the judgment of the second vial on Italy, should now have a share also in the third vial of wrath. Most manifest is the historic transition from the events of the second to those of the third vial. The historian of Charles V. says, after noting the general peace of 1559; "From this pe

riod, Italy ceased to be the great theatre on which the great monarchs of Spain, France, and Germany contended for power and fame. Their dissensions and hostilities, though as frequent and violent as ever, were excited by new objects, and stained other regions in Europe with blood, and rendered them miserable in their turn by the devastations of war." He says again, upon the close of the wars in Italy, "The nations of Europe united in a general peace. All causes of discord, which had so long embroiled the powerful monarchs of France and Spain, seemed to be wholly removed, and finally terminated. Other actors entered upon the stage with different views, as well as different passions. New contests arose, and new schemes of ambition occupied and disquieted mankind." This historian had no view of recording events which fulfilled these vials of wrath, but to write as a true historian. But the events are direct to our purpose. After the second vial ceased, the third was to commence. The same kind of judgments were to be executed on other papal nations; and so was the fact.

To give a full view of the wars which fulfilled this third vial, would be to write the history of the wars of Europe for a century. A sketch of these events may be very appropriate in this religious lecture,-viewing them as events of the divine government in fulfilment of God's word to Zion, and of his justice upon her enemies, according to the sentiment of the angels in our text. In the sketches of those judgments now to be given, we behold Jesus Christ, as the Captain of our salvation, pleading the cause of his church, avenging the blood of his martyrs, and calling anew on his people to confide in him. This is the sentiment which we must renewedly feel in the contemplation of these events of vindictive justice on the papal enemies of Zion. This will give a new and a religious interest to those wars in Europe. One great cause of these bloody scenes of strife was the growing power, and the dreaded ambition, of the house of Austria. Great territories had descended to Charles V. from his rich ancestors. These, together with the new world of South America, which had become subject to his control, he transmitted to his son Philip, king of Spain,-to whom he delivered up his dominions and royal prerogatives, which he had much improved; for his subjects had become ac

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