Page images

of the fifth trumpet. And Napoleon, overleaping the bounds of his providential commission,-with an army of 400,000 men, was totally defeated, and it is thought at least seveneighths of this vast army perished! Thus perfect is the analogy also between the fifth trumpet and fifth vial, viewing it as having been fulfilled in that event; far more perfect than that between any other trumpet and its corresponding vial, if we except the seventh, which both give the

same event.

That tremendous vial commenced in 1789; and for 25 years its seven thunders roared most terrific, and its period continued till the defeat of Bonaparte at Waterloo, when that dynasty sank, and its vial of wrath closed. A first and most signal leader of the beast from the bottomless pit had then finished his work. In the first imperial reign of the secular Roman beast, the beast depended on no one emperor. Twenty reigned in the space of sixty years; but the beast was the same, though subject to reverses, till he fell, under the reign of Constantine. And this system of infidelity is to continue, sometimes in, and sometimes out of sight, till it goes into perdition in the battle of the great day under the seventh vial, as will be shown.

The papal nations, our text informs, "gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed God because of their pains, and repented not of their deeds." This wailing and anguish is given also in Rev. xviii., which describes the same event with the fifth vial. There can be no doubt of these papal wailings; and it is most manifest that their calamities led them not to repentance. The papal multitudes seem to be fully insulated from this blessing; given up to strong delusion to believe a lie;" and all their religion, being but an image of paganism,-issuing in practical and real infidelity and ruin! This hint of the same thing is strikingly given in Zeph. iii. 6, 7, which please to read, in connexion with verses 8, 9. We have there the same judgment, and attended with the same impenitence.


One argument more from analogy shall close this lecture. It is an old remark of writers, that the imagery of some, at least, of the vials is borrowed from the plagues of ancient Egypt. That the last vial was typified by the last plague on Egypt, is evident from the word of God, in

that the song of praise occasioned by the last vial, is called "the song of Moses and of the Lamb!" The last plague but one (the death of the first-born), set the chosen tribes out, at once, for the promised land. And the last vial but one subverts the Turks, and prepares the way for the recovery of the same ancient people of God. What shall we say, then, of the last plague and vial but two! That plague filled the realm of Egypt with darkness. And the last vial but two (the fifth) filled the kingdom of the papal man of sin with darkness: so the vial assures; and so the event stated as the fulfilment of it, assures us. The papal system did indeed experience, at that time, what may be viewed as answering well to the gross darkness in the realm of the Egyptians.

But it is happy to reflect that the tribes of Israel had, in all their dwellings, light; while the Egyptians had darkness which might be felt. And the true Israel of God, during the horrors of the French revolution, and the judgments which followed, had indeed the light of salvation among them; light to see clearly the abominations of the infidelity in which the beast from the bottomless pit gloried; light to enjoy their gospel ordinances; the light of the showers of the Spirit of Grace; and the light of the flying of the angel of missions through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Yes, and blessed be God, they had the light of the cloud of the Divine presence, directing and illuming their way, and distilling upon them the gentle rain of grace; while the same cloud of Providence flung darkness upon the enemy; thundering, as it were, with hailstones, and coals of fire; taking off their chariot wheels, and causing them to drag heavily!-a sure earnest that the sea of wrath shall, byand-by, return upon them, and plunge them in inevitable perdition. "O Israel, trust in the Lord; he is thy health and thy shield."


Vial VI.


Ver. 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.

The five first vials have been given, and shown to have been poured upon the papal beast. The sixth vial, it is believed, is designed to subvert the power of the Turks, the last and great supporter of Mohammedism. The rise of their power, it has been shown, fulfilled the sixth trumpet: and its overthrow, it is believed, will be the great result of the sixth vial. This antichristian power must be taken out of the way, to prepare the way for the restoration of the Jews. And the sixth vial will thus prove a counterpart to the sixth trumpet, bringing down the power to which that trumpet gave birth.

A river, in prophetic language, is a nation, or empire; as Isa. xviii. 2; "Whose land the rivers (nations) have spoiled." The rivers affected by the fourth vial, it has been shown, were nations. And the drying up of such rivers, is the overthrow of such nations. Ezek. xxx. 12; "I will make her rivers dry :" or, I will subvert Egypt, and its neighbouring nations, by Nebuchadnezzar. Psalm liv. 15; "Thou driedst up mighty rivers :" or, didst destroy mighty nations. The drying up of the Euphrates then must have its chief effect in the ruin of the empire of the Porte-whatever synchronical events of magnitude in other nations may attend its operation. Should other dynasties, under the period of the sixth vial, likewise fail ; it would but give an emphasis to the language of the sixth vial. The figure in the text, "the water thereof was dried up," has suggested to some the query whether this failing of the dynasty of the Porte is not to be effected in a gradual


succession of calamitous events? Reply: This figure, as found in the Bible, has generally, at least, been fulfilled by invading armies. See Jer. lx. 36, 37; and Isa. liv, 27, 28; where the destruction of ancient Babylon was predicted under this figure; and was fulfilled by the invading army of Cyrus. It is true, in Dan. viii. 25, the Mohammedan horn of the Macedonian beast (it is said) "shall be broken without hands:" which seems to favour the idea of the failing of the Turks, the last supporter of Mohammedism, by wilting away in a gradual course of calamities. This may prove true of Mohammedism, that it will fall into contempt, and die a kind of natural death, after its great supporter, the Turkish empire, shall be overturned by violent means. As that scheme of delusion has lived only by fire and sword; so when these means fail, it will naturally die. But whether its last supporter, the Turks, will come down without violent means, is the question. To make this vial analogous with the other vials of wrath, it would seem the subversion of the Turks must be by violent means. God has ever been able and ready to pro vide means adequate to his designs of vengeance. however the end of the Turkish dynasty may be with a flood of violent means in divine judgment; the way has for a time been preparing for the overthrow of that power by a variety of progressive calamities. A few shall be hinted. Constantinople, their capital, was eighteen times on fire in the last century, which consumed 120,000 buildings, and destroyed very many lives. Add to this, that in 1810, in one fire, 8,000 buildings were destroyed;-—and 80,000 people were driven from their homes. The subsequent ravages of fire in Pera were vast and terrible. In 1780, Constantinople was ravaged with a plague; and in the year following, it was partly destroyed by an earthquake. Adrianople, their second city, was, in 1752, more than half destroyed by an earthquake. Two years after, Grand Cairo was, by an earthquake, two-thirds shaken down, and 40,000 of its inhabitants buried in the earth. In 1755, the city of Fez was by the like judgment half destroyed, and 12,000 of its people burned alive. Plagues and earthquakes have, of late, ravaged various sections of the Turkish empire. The recent accounts of the cholera, in Constantinople, in Bagdat (the two capitals), and in other cities, have been of the most awful kind, as may be

well remembered. A sect arose in Arabia about the time of the formation of the Voltaire system of infidelity, threatening to the Turks, as was Illuminism to the papal see. Abdul Wahab appeared, denying the Mohammedan religion; and collecting a powerful army. In 1804, he had 100,000 men in arms, who ravaged Mecca, Medina, and other capital places, with great slaughter; seizing upon the treasures of the tomb of Mohammed; and, in short, forming a revolution in the government of Arabia, and causing the Porte himself to purchase their friendship. It is said that Constantinople has diminished her population 300,000 since 1812; and various parts of the empire have wilted away. See Hartley's Researches; in which we learn that many noted cities in these regions are now no more. Ephesus, Laodicea, Colosse, Antioch in Pisidia, Lystra, Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and Perga, are gone with the years beyond the flood. There has been indeed A gradual, and (I may say) rapid drying up of the Euphratean empire. The way has been wonderfully preparing for its utter downfall. But the sixth vial was probably to have its characteristic effect in violent attacks from the arms of hostile nations. This opinion I was led deliberately to form many years since, from the language of prophecy relative to drying up rivers, and the analogy of things. Soon after the battle of Waterloo, I expressed my belief that the sixth vial might next be looked for, to open upon the Turks by the attacks of hostile nations. When the insurrection of the Greeks appeared, I ventured to express my belief that this was the entering wedge of the great event; as it has proved to be indeed. The wars and successes of the Greeks; the subsequent war of the emperor of the north; and the still later successful attacks of the Pacha of Egypt; and the present state of the empire of the Porte, are now well known, as before the eye of the world. And we have here the manifest fulfilment of our text;—the drying of the river Euphrates!

The object of this vial is said to be, "that the way of the kings of the east may be prepared." This is future, and is of difficult solution. Mede, Moor, and others, have supposed this vial will soon be followed by the L'estoration of the Jews to Palestine; which could not have taken place, while the Turks were in possession of it. Granting this; who are the kings of the east?


« PreviousContinue »