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Ver. 74.-". For they are the spirits of devils,
working miracles, which go forth 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, “ left he walk naked and they see his Thame.”.
Ver. 16.-“ And he gathered them together “ unto a place called, in the Hebrew tongue, • ARMAGEDDON.”
Ver. 17.-" And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, laying
IT IS DONE." Vor. 78. And there were voices, and «« thunders, and lightnings; and there was a “ great earthquake, such as was not fince men
the earth, fo MIGHTY AN EARTH: “ QUAKE and fo GREAT."
Ver. 19.-" And the great city was divided “ into three parts, and the cities of the nations “ fell; and GREAT BABYLON came into remem“ brance before God, to give unto her the cup * of the WINE, and fierceness of his WRATH.
Ver. 20.-“ And every island fled away, and " the mountains were not found."
Ver. 21.--" And there fell upon men a great “ huil out of heaven, every itone about the
weight of a talent: and men blafphemed " God because of the plague of the hail: for " the plague thercof was very great."
We have seen it foretold, under the first fix vials, that the wrath of God should be poured out on the enemies of the Gospel of Christ, on idolatrous Rome, Mohamedan deifin, 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 tenour of the subsequent parts of the Revelation, that the awful event is reserved for the GREAT DAY, when Chrift fhall come to subdue all his enemies, to raise the just from the dead, and to reign wilh them on the earth; and at the conclusion of all things, to fummon all the race of Adam, both quick and dead, before his folemn tribunal, and to pass a final judgment upon them, 5 according to the deeds done in the body.". That such a day Thall 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, thall know the time thereof. For Chrift himself, when speaking to the apostles, respecting these times, tells them, “ It is not for you
to know the times, and the seafons, which the fa. ther 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 ungodly). Thall say, peace, and safety ; " then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
travail on a woman with child, and they hall not "escape *." And when the disciples of Christ inquired of him “ When shall thefe things be, and " what shall be the signs of thy coining, and the end “ of the world?” He tells them expressly, “ Of that "day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in
Stotis * Acts, i.. * Thesl. Ve 29.3 St. Matt. xxix. 36en, C.VAKS 3
<3 heaven, but iny Father only." But although it is the all-wise 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 fucceffion of the first four vials, and froin the strong probability that the fifth and the sixth are foon to follow, the faithful believer in the word of God has reafon to Hope, and the wicked to fear, that the events of the feventh vial, which foretels the fecond coming of Christ, will not be very diftant in refpect of time.
: However, as it is the nature of prophecy. in general, that the events foretold Thall reinain, in a nieasure, 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 feventh vial, far be it from nie to attenpt to unfold either the time or the particular manner of them, beyond what Christ himleif, the apoftles, and the prophet, have said respecting them. So much, we inay humbly conclude, it must be the Divine will, should be studied and understood, in a good degree, by every true believer of the word of God, which commands us tó isa fearch the & Scriptures," as the only guide to a true knowledge of Chrifto for, says he*, " They are they which tef 46-tify of men, Besides, he enjoins us to be in daily expectation of those great events of so watch, therefore, 'for you know not when the Son of man 46 cometh. And so the prophet *, 'Behold, I come wias a thief: blefied is he thaizatcheth, and keep
seth his garments, left' he walk naked, and they 66. Tee his shame.
ni el-With a mind humbly impreffed with thig idea; Hhall proceed to the confideration of the awful and
important events foretold under the seventh and last vial of the wrath of God.
It may be feen throughout the Revelation, that when the prophet enters upon the events of a new period, or upon a new subject, his method is to take a brief view of the prominent features of it, pres viously to luis narration in detail. : To give one example. In the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters he briefly refers to the principal events of all the seven vials : but as the feventh vial was to contain the last most important and most decisive of the judginents of God, he reviews the great outlines in the texts under immediate consideration, before he proceeds to detail the events of this graud and awful subject. And here he briefly foretels a great lengue and cona fpiracy against the church of Christ, which is to take plače previous to his coming, describes the parties to that confederácy, and mentions the place in which they shall gather their mighty hosts together in-battle; the great day of the battle, the pouring out of
the seventh vial, and the immenfe deftruction of the · enemies of Christ, which thall follow.
He begins this review with a description of the parties to this conspiracy. And as this description leemis - to be the key to unlock the literal sense of many parts of his subject, I Tall give it a particular confideration. He tells us, that he saw three “ unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth 6 of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, " and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For " they are the spirits of devils working miracles, « which go forth to the kings of the earth, and of “ the rshole nporld, to gather them together to the " battle of the great day of God Almighty."
Let us, in the first place, inquire what the prophet means by this “ dragon," this " beast," and this “ false prophet;" and who are these “ kings of “ the earth,” and of the whole world? To solve these questions, we must apply to the Scriptures, for they are the best expositors of themselves; and when rightly understood, are infallible expositors. I have said before, that the “ Revelation" is a prophetic history of the church of Christ, in which three temporal enemies and opposers of the word of God are mentioned, viz. pagan idolatry, apoftasy, and atheism. The first has been the persecutor of the church of Christ, from the beginning up to these times; the second, during the course of more than the last twelve centuries; and the third, for the last ten years. The power of the first was so reduced by the provie dence of God, in converting pagan Rome to the truths of Christianity in the fourth century, that it has been destitute of ability to continue its persecutions ever since. The powers of the second, in like manner, have been, and are to be so weakened by the events and plagues of the first fix vials, that they are never again to be able separately to oppose the progress of the word of God : for there is no intimation given by the prophet, that they shall utterly be destroyed by the judgments of those vials. On the contrary, we shall presently see from the text, that they shall, at some future time, redoable their efforts to destroy the Gospel of Christ, and even to prevent his coming; Hitherto each of them have made the attempt separately, and at different times; but, hereafter made sensible of their inability, and despairing of success by their separate efforts, they are to enter into a great confederacy, under the patronage of Satan, to accomplish their ungodly purpose.
Who, or what kings or states, in what parts of the world resident, or oyer what nations spreading,