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hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; for his device is against Babylon to destroy it." Ver. 28. "Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and the rulers thereof. The drying of the channel of the river Euphrates, to prepare the way for these kings and captains of the east to enter into that city, under its high walls, was the last thing done by the besiegers of Babylon, before her actual destruction. In like manner, the sixth is the last vial but one of God's wrath on the mystical Babylon; and the effect of it is the drying up of the channel, the last thing done against it before its actual destruction by the seventh vial.This opens the way for those who fight in a spiritual war against it, speedily to bring on its ruin.
Hence I think it may without dispute be determined, that by the river Euphrates in the prophecy of this vial, is meant something appertaining to the mystical Babylon, or the antichristian church and kingdom, that serves it, in a way answerable to that in which the river Euphrates served old Babylon, and the removal of which will in like manner prepare the way for the enemies to destroy her. And therefore what we have to do in the first place, in order to find out what is intended by the river Euphrates in this prophecy, is to consider how the literal Euphrates served old Babylon. And it may be noted, that Euphrates was of remarkable benefit to that city in two respects it served the city as a supply; it was let through the midst of the city by an artificial canal, and ran through the midst of the palace of the king of Babylon; that part of his palace called the old palace, standing on one side, and the other part called the new palace, on the other; with communications from one part to another, above the waters, by a bridge, and under the waters, by a vaulted or arched passage, that the city, and especially the palace, might be plentifully supplied with water. Another way that the waters of Euphrates served Babylon, was as an impediment and obstacle in the way of its enemies, to hinder their access to destroy it. For there was a vast moat round the city, without the walls, of prodigious width and depth, filled with the water of the river, to hinder the access of her besiegers: and at each end of the city, the river served instead of walls. And therefore when Cyrus had dried up the river, the moat was emptied, and the channel of the river under the walls left dry; and so his way was prepared.
Therefore it is natural to suppose, that by drying up the waters of the river Euphrates, in the prophecy of the destruction of the new Babylon, to prepare the way of her enemies, is meant the drying up her incomes and supplies; and the removal of those things which hitherto have been the chief obstacles in the way of those who in this book are represented as
at war with her, and seeking her destruction: (Rev. xix. 11, to the end, and chap. xii. 7.) Those things which have hindered their progress and success, or have been the chief impediments in the way of the Protestant religion. The first thing is the drying of the streams of wealth, the temporal supplies, revenues, and vast incomes of the Romish church, and the riches of the popish dominions. Waters in scripture language very often signify provision and supplies, both temporal and spiritual.* The temporal supplies of a people are very often in scripture called water; as Isai. v. 13. "Therefore my people is gone into captivity, and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst," i. e. deprived of the supports and supplies of life. And the drying up of the waters of a city or kingdom, is often used in scripture prophecy, for depriving them of their wealth, as the scripture explains itself, Hos. xiii. 15. "His spring shall become dry and his fountain shall be dried up; He shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels." Isai. xv. 6,7. "The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate; for the hay is withered; the grass faileth; there is no green thing. Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows." The brook of the willows, seems to refer to the waters of Assyria or Chaldea, whose streams abounded with willows. (Compare Psal. cxxxvii. 2.) So that the carrying away of the treasures of Moab, and the adding of them to the treasures of Assyria, is here represented by the figure of turning away the waters of Nimrim from the country of Moab, and adding them to the waters of Assyria, as the prophecy explains itself. Yea, even in the prophecies of the destruction of Babylon itself, the depriving her of her treasures, seems to be one thing intended by the drying up of her waters. This seems manifest by the words of the prophecy in Jer. 1. 37, 38. "A sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed: a drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up." Compared with chap. li. 13. "O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures:" with ver. 36. "I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry." The wealth, revenues, and vast incomes of the church of Rome, are the waters by which that Babylon has been nourished and supported; these are the waters which the popish clergy and members of the Romish hierarchy thirst after, and are continually drinking down, with insatiable appetite; and they are waters that have been flowing into that spiritual city like a great river; ecclesiastical persons possessing a very great part of the popish dominions. Accordingly, this Babylon is represented as vastly rich, in the
See Prov. ix. 17. Isai. xxxiii. 16.-xliii. 20.-Iv. i.-and lviii. 11. Jer. ii. 13 and 18.-xvii. 8 and 13, and in other places innumerable.
prophecy of the Apocalypse, especially in the 17th and 18th chapters. These are especially the waters that supply the palace of the king of this new Babylon, viz. the Pope; as the river Euphrates ran through the midst of the palace of the king of old Babylon. The revenues of the Pope have been like waters of a great river, coming into his palace, from innumerable fountains, and by innumerable lesser streams, coming from many various and distant countries.
This prophecy represents to us two cities very contrary the one to the other: viz. New Babylon and the New Jerusalem, and a river running through the midst of each. The New Jerusalem, which signifies the church of Christ, especially in her best estate, is described as having "a river running through the midst of it." Rev. xxii. 1, 2. This river, as might easily be made most evident, by comparing this with abundance of other scriptures, undoubtedly signifies the divine supplies: the rich and abundant spiritual incomes and provision of that holy city. Mr. LoWMAN, in his Exposition, says, "It represents a constant provision for the comfortable and happy life of all the inhabitants of this city of God." And in his notes on the same place, he observes as follows: "Water, (says he) as necessary to the support of life, and as it contributes in great cities, especially in hot eastern countries, to the ornament of the place, and delight of the inhabitants, is a very proper representation of the enjoyment of all things, both for the support and pleasure of life." As the river that runs through the New Jerusalem, the church of Christ, refreshing that holy spiritual society, signifies their spiritual supplies, to satisfy their spiritual thirst; so the river that runs through the new Babylon, the antichristian church, that wicked carnal society, signifies, according to the opposite character of the city, her worldly carnal supplies, to satisfy their carnal desires and thirstings.
The new Jerusalem is called in this book the Paradise of God, and therefore is represented as having the tree of life growing in it (chap. ii. 7. and xxii. 2.) And it being described as though a river ran through the midst of it, there seems to be some allusion to the ancient paradise in Eden, of which we are told that there ran a river through the midst of it to water it; (Gen. ii. 10.) i. e. to supply the plants of it with nourishment. And this river was this very same river Euphrates, which afterwards ran through Babylon. And in one and the other, it represented the divers supplies of two opposite cities. In Eden
it represented the spiritual supplies and wealth of the true christian church, in her spiritual advancement and glory; (Rev. xxii. 1, 2.) In the other, it represented the outward carnal supplies of the false antichristian church, in her worldly pomp and vain glory. (chap. xvi. 12.)
When the waters that supply this mystical Babylon, come to be dried up in this sense, it will prepare the way for the enemies of antichristian corruption, that seek her overthrow.The wealth of the church of Rome, and of the powers that support it, is very much its defence. After the streams of her revenues and riches are dried up, or very greatly diminished, her walls will be as it were broken down, and she will become weak and defenceless, and exposed to easy ruin.*
As the river Euphrates served the city Babylon for supply; so, as before observed, it served as an impediment or obstacle, to
When Joab had taken that part of the city of Rabbah, which was called the city of waters, whence the city had its supply of water, the fountains of the brook Jabbok being probably there-and which was also called the royal city, probably because there the king had his palace and gardens, on account of its peculiar pleasantness-the conquest of the rest of the city was easy. His message to David implies, that the city now might be taken at pleasure (2 Sam. xii. 27, 28.) It is possible that by the pouring out of the sixth vial to dry up the river of the mystical Babylon, there might be something like the taking of the city of waters in Rabbah. Some chief one of the Popish powers-that has been the main strength and support of the popish cause, or from whence that church has its chief supplies, may be destroyed, or converted, or greatly reduced. But these events must determine.
In the prophecies of Egypt's destruction, it is signified that when their rivers and waters should be dried up, in that sense, that the streams of their temporal supplies should be averted from them, their defence would be gone; Isai. xix, 4, &c. "The Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord-and the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up, and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up, and the reeds and flags shall wither Every thing sown by the brooks shall wither: The fishers also shall mourn.”
Those whose way was prepared to come in and destroy Babylon, by drying up the river Euphrates, were the army that was at war with Babylon, Cyrus and his host who sought her overthrow. There seems also to be all reason to suppose, that those whose way will be prepared to destroy mystical Babylon,by drying up the mystical Euphrates, are that king and army who are in the book of revelation represented as at war with antichrist. And what king and army that is, we may see in chap.xii. 7. and xix. 11. to the end; Michael the king of angels, and his angels; he whose "name is called the word of God and that has on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords; and the heavenly armies that follow him, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." Cyrus, the chief of the kings of the east, that destroyed Babylon, redeemed God's church from thence, and restored Jerusalem, seems in that particular affair manifestly to be spoken of as a type of Christ. God calls him "his shepherd, to perform his pleasure, to say to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid," (Isai. xliv. 28.) God calls him his Messiah; (chap. xlv. 1.) Thus saith the Lord to his anointed in the original, to his Messiah) to Cyrus. He is spoken of as one that God had raised up in righteousness, that he might build his city, and freely redeem his captives, or let them go without price or reward, (chap. xlv. 13.) He is said to be one whom God had loved; (chap. xlviii. 14.) as the Messiah is said to be God's elect, in whom his soul delighteth. As by Babylon, in the Revelation, is meant that antichristian society, which is typified by old Babylon; so by the kings of the east, that should destroy this antichristian church, must be meant those enemies of it who were typified by Cyrus, and other chieftains of the east, that destroyed old Babylon; viz. Christ, who was born, lived, died and rose in the east, together with those spiritual princes that follow him, the principalities and powers in heavenly places, and those ministers and saints that are kings and priests, and shall reign on earth; especially those leaders and heads of God's people, those christian ministers and magistrates, that shall be distinguished as public blessings to his church, and chief instruments of the overthrow of antichrist.
hinder the access of its enemies: for there was a vast moat round the city, filled with the water of the river, which was left empty when Euphrates was dried up. And therefore we may suppose that another thing meant by the effect of the sixth vial, is the removal of those things which hitherto have been the chief obstacles to the progress of true religion, and the victory of the church of Christ over her enemies. These have been the corrupt doctrines and practices which have prevailed in Protestant countries, the doubts and difficulties that attend many doctrines of the true religion, and the many divisions and contentions that subsist among Protestants. The removal of those would wonderfully prepare the way for Christ and his armies, to go forward and prevail against their enemies, in a glorious propagation of true religion. So that this vial, which is to prepare the way for Christ and his people, seems to have respect to that remarkable preparing of the way for Christ, by levelling mountains, exalting valleys, drying up rivers, and removing stumbling-blocks, which is often spoken of in the prophecies, as what shall next precede the church's latter-day glory; (as Isai. xlii. 13, &c.) The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall stir up jealousy as a man of war; he shall prevail against his enemies. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs: and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools; and I will bring the blind by a way that they know not, and I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight: these things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." (Chap. xl. 3-5.) "Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a high-way for our God: every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Chap. xi. 15, 16.) "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams thereof, and make men go over dry shod: and there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel, in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt." (Chap. lvii. 14.) "Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people." And, (chap. Ixii. 10.) "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people." (Zech. x. 10-12.) "I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and