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by a reciprocation of interests, and the more remote nations to the east, and being also the limiting line of the Roman empire, it may likewise be used to denote that which separates and prevents an union in religion between the now eastern and western worlds. The kings and their nations were destined by the original counsel of God, declared by his prophets *, to flow into the Christian Church. This prophecy, in the western hemisphere has been most wonderfully fulfilled: but the eastern nations remain idolatrous, or immersed in maliometan superstition. And it is this superstition, settled upon the whole range of the modern Euphrates, which seems to be a principal impediment to their conversions. But this is not all; there is another Euphrates, another Babylon, which impedes. Not only this eastern branch of Antichrist, but his western horn also, more particularly denominated Babylon t, is found to place great obstacles in the way prepared for these kings and nations to pass over to the Christian Church. The Indian Mahometans are described by modern writers to be a kind of Christian heretics, inost averse to the Romish superstition; and till that superstition shall be in a greater degree removed, it is said there are little hopes of converting many oft hem to the Christian Church I. This enmity of the Mahometans to the papal religion is so great in the east, that there are said to be treasures of Christian manuscripts among them, copies of which might be obtained, if the owners could be assured that the copyists were not of the same party as the Pope g. “ The writers of the Romish * communion, by endeavouring to defend their own
* Is. ii. 2; Ixvi. 12. 18, 19, 20; xlix. 23. Mic. iv. 1.
Sir Wm. Jones, Asiatic Researches,
“idolatry “ idolatry and superstition, have rather contributed to " the increase of that aversion, which the Mahometans “now entertain against the Christian Religion.” Hence it appears that Antichrist, in both his horns or branches, (one of which is now seated on the Euphrates, and the other is scripturally known by the name of that Babylon which was formerly seated there,) occasions impediments, which must probably be removed, before the eastern nations with their kings can flow into the Church of Christ.
In the prophecy of Daniel, (ch. vii. 12.) a continuance in life is assigned to the three first beasts, or empires, after the fourth, or Roman empire, shall be subdued to the Messiah. Accordingly the eastern nations, beyond the pale of the Roman empire, are the latest converted to Christianity. But the difficulties will be removed; their conversion will take place; and “there " will be one fold and one Shepherd.” These observations may perhaps afford some light to the prophecy contained under the sixth Vial; which must remain involved in some obscurity, till the time when it comes to be fulfilled. This prophecy appears not only to bear some analogy and relation to that of the sixth Trumpet, but also to be in some degree cotemporary with it; with that part of it which runs the course of the 1260 years, to the end of the Gentile period t.
Ver. 13. And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, &c., three unclean spirits, as it were frogs.] Under the sixth Trumpet, as hath been before remarked, the prophecy stretches beyond its primary object, the armies led by the angels from Euphrates,) into the 1260 years, the period of the Gentiles, even to the end of it I.
* Sale's Koran, Preface, p. viii.
+ See note, ch. x, 1.
Thus also the sixth Vial, having discharged its plague upon Euphrates, opens a wider field, preparatory to the final wrath of the seventh Vial. The dragon, the beast, and false prophet, are now scen to act with united force, each contributing to the common cause, “ against the “battle of the great day,” which is expected under the seventh Seal, the seventh Trumpet, the seventh Vial. The evil spirits sent into the world on this occasion, are three ; each antichristian chief having produced one. They come forth from the mouths of their wicked parents; may probably therefore be employed in spread. ing those doctrines by which the kind of apostacy, to happen " in the latter days,” is promoted : and which is described by St. Paul as effected wyevuere adevous see διδασκαλιαις δαιμονιων, by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils". There is a striking resemblance in the two passages; qveUpale Simonewy W018v1c oyueid, “ spirits of “ dæmons working wonders,” that is, the same kind of wonders, as we have seen before worked by the false prophet, who whavã bice TU onuerct, seduceth by the wonders which he worketh. Of this nature seems to be this three-fold attack on the Christian Church; to seduce the kings and leading men; and to range the civil powers on the side of Antichrist. The seducing doctrines are personified; they are like frogs; they have the appearance of that loathsome and unclean animal, which infested Ægypt, when suffering her plagues. They are here as plagues ; as plagues upon the antichristians; for, such only are poured out in the Vials. They levy war indeed against Christianity; but since they appear, in the present instance, under the Vials, and not under the Trumpets, they are to be
• 1 Tim. iv. 1.
+ Ch. xiii. 14.
accounted * This is interpreted to signify the mountain of Megiddo, a płace famous for slaughter and destruction. 2 Kings ix. 27 ; xxiii. 29. Judg. v. 19. Zech. xii. 11. See Parkhurst, in voc. ; and Lowman on ihę Revelation, p. 202.
accounted as eventually bringing discomfit to the antichristians.
Whether all these impure seducing spirits are already come into the world, I take not upon me to pronounce: but the production of the first, the spawn of the dragon, seems already apparent. The proud, immoral, atheistical notions, which in the eighteenth century have been published by popular writers, and propagated by secret clubs and associations, and which have mainly assisted the revolution in France, and the attempt of its rulers to annihilate Christianity in the world, have much the appearance of being such. Yet these diabolical doctrines have not produced those pleasurable fruits which the seducing spirit had promised to his votaries. For if the tenets which they have broached, have been a plague to the inhabitants of the earth, the professors of the new doctrines have had their full share of 'the calamity. The bitter cup has been drunk, and its dregs wrung out, by those who introduced it, and by their adherents. Such may perhaps appear to be one of these frog-like evil spirits. But until "the “ great day” approaches nearer, we shall not be able to determine clearly the character of those wicked machinations, which will bring forth the powerful leaders of the world, to oppose the Messiah and bis Saints at the great conflict of Armageddon *. In this conflict, notwithstanding this combination of infernal and worldly potentates against the Lamb and his fol
lowers, the victory will be decisive, and the slaughter of God's enemies immense*.
Ver. 15. Behold, I come as a thief; &c.] See note, ch. iii. 3, 4. the same kind of warning is here repeated; assuring us, according to the constant tenour of Scripture, that notwithstanding all the signs afforded, and the preparations declared, “that day” will come upon the world unexpected. The victory obtained by the
Ch. xix, 17. ad fin. It has been already observed, that there is difficulty in determining the place of the third Woe; which is announced as coming after the end of the sixth Trumpet, and consequently is expected under the seventh. (See note, ch. xi. 14.) This dreadful time is not mentioned afterwards, and therefore can be clearly recognized and ascertained by the event only, which seems yet to come. But if I may be allowed a conjecture, (to which, as being such, I have a right to expect no implicit credence,) this seems to be its probable place. For let us examine the progress of the seventh Trumpet. Upon the first sound of it, (ch. xi. 15.) the triumph of the Messiah, (by which this Woe will probably be ended,) is celebrated; but only as prophetic of the victory. In ch. 12, a conflict begins; but, by the examination of this conflict, we have found it to belong to the seventh Trumpet only in a preparatory light; being a representation of events which had taken place before any of the three Woes, and concluding with events which confessedly must belong to the times of the sixth Trumpet; the poor estate of the Church in the wilderness. This therefore cannot be the third Woe. Chapter xiii. contains the rise of the beast and false prophet. But this is only a more detailed account of the transactions of the sixth Trumpet. The xivth, xvtb, and part of the xvith chapters contain the prowess of the Church militant, assisted by: the Vials of Divine Wrath. But under the sixth Vial, the evil spirit stirs up new mischiefs, which affect Christianity so fatally, as to enable her enemies to bring their battle-array against her. This then seems to be the place where the third Woe is most likely to operate, by effecting a numerous apostacy of Christians, resembling those which had happened under the two foriner Woes. This is the only hostile attack under the seventh Trumpet, and it is probably not of long continuance; for the Church is in extreme danger, and perhaps oppression; but she is suddenly relieved by her great Champion and Redeemer.