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The seven Vials bear a certain analogy to the seven Trumpets: and, that this may the more conveniently be seen, the following comparative abstract is given :

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS.

THE SEVEN VIALS.

burnt up

1. Upon the land; hail, fire, { 1. Upon the land, aftlictive and blood; a third of the

to the worshippers of the trees, and all green grass

beast. . 2. Upon the sea; a burning

mountain; a third part of | 2. Upon the sea; as the the sea becomes blood;

blood of a dead carcase; and the third of the crea

every soul dies. tures die. 3. Upon the

rivers and 3. Upon the rivers and springs; a burning star, springs, blood; a just wormwood, falls, and many judgment and retaliadie of the embittered wa- tion on the murderers of ters.

the saints. 4. Upon the sun, moon, and

4. Upon the sun; the men stars; the third of which

are scorched with great is darkened.

heat, and blaspheme, and repent not.

75. The bottomless deep

opened, smoke and 5. Upon the throne of the
darkness, and scor- beast, darkeninghis king-
pion-locusts injure the dom; they blasphenie,
men unsealed, five and repent not.

months.
6. Four angels, loosed

from Euphrates, lead | 6. On the great river Eu-
the cavalry who slay phrates, which is dried up
the third of the men; to prepare the way of
the rest are unrepent- the eastern kings
ant.

The prophecy of Frogs, spirits of dethe times of the

mons, working wonGentiles, and of the ders to gather the witnesses, during kings of the whole 1260 days, is opened world to the battle of under this Trumpet. the great day.

7. Into the air; “ It is 7. The grand conflict “ done!” an unparallel

of the dragon, beast, led earthquake divides and false prophet, the great city into three with the Lamb and parts; cities of the nahis followers; in tions fall; Babylon rethe course of which membered; islands and the seven Vials are mountains are no more; poured out.

great hail; men con

tinue to blaspheme. The notes on chapter viji. 6, 7, &c., will shew the probable meaning of the terms Land, Sea, River, Sun; as used in both the Trumpets and the Vials. But in the explanation of these, and such-like terms, there is a certain distinction to be observed when we apply them to the different passages : for, under the Trumpets, the

attack

The three Woes.

attack is upon the Christian Church; under the Vials, upon the enemies of that Church. For it is clear, from the first Vial to the last, that the anger of the Lord is poured out, not on the Church, but on its foes. The first Vial falls expressly on the worshippers of the beast; and the third is declared to be a just retaliation on the murderers of the saints; the fourth falls on unrepentant blasphemers; the fifth is poured on the throne of the beast; and the last on the corrupt cities and Babylon. Therefore the land, and sea, and waters, and heavenly luminary, on which the four first Vials fall, are not to be accounted the very same, against which the Trumpets sounded warfare; but a land, sea, &c. bearing just analogy to them. Those, under the Trumpets, are the land, sea, &c. of the Christian world: Those under the Vials, of the antichristian. For the antichristian world has its divisions, as Mede has observed, which will answer to those of the Christian world. If the Land, of the Christian world, signifies the ancient worshippers of God, there are also the ancient worshippers of the beast. If the Sea, among Christians, represent their distant Gentile converts; the worshippers of the beast have also their Sea, the newly acquired converts to their superstitions or infidelity. Both Christianity and antichristianity have their rivers and springs of Doctrine, and their Lights. By this kind of analogy, it seems probable that the Vials, especially the four first of them, are to be interpreted. If the pure

Christian Church has been seen to suffer in its several parts and divisions, by the seven-fold warfare of its enemies, those enemies shall not enjoy a joyful and bloodless victory; the Providence of God will interfere; and they will suffer by corresponding strokes, justly proportioned. But, though each Vial may seem to answer

to

to each Trumpet; either in the part or division attacked, or in the effect of the attack; yet in point of time, they do not seem to range exactly against each other: each corresponding Trumpet and Vial does not appear to belong to the same period of history: for, the history under the Vials is confined (as before shewn) to the times of the beast; while the Trumpets appear to have an earlier date and origin. Indeed, all the Vials seem to have their rise out of one of the Trumpets, namely, the last; and therefore may be supposed to be confined to the history which that Trumpet comprehends. That Trumpet does indeed look so far back, as to the conflict of the dragon with the infant Church; but only by way of prelude; and in order to lay the foundation of the main subject of the prophecy, namely, the conflict of the antichristian beast with the Church. The vials seem to run the whole length of this important warfare.

The four first Vials, like the four first Trumpets, are of so very short and general a description, as not to encourage or justify a very minute application of them to particular passages in history. They will be found to have been generally fulfilled.

The first produces a noisome sore on the worshippers of the beast. This plague derives its figurative description, from the boil and blain inflicted by Divine vengeance on the Ægyptian persecutors of the anciert Church f. As they, in their impious attempts to oppose the God of heaven, felt his Almighty hand grievous upon them, to controul and punish; so, in the early attempts, made by the antichristian powers under the beast, to stifle pure Religion, they had difficulties to encounter, where they least expected them; and which

* See note, ch, vii. 7.

+ Exod. ix. 10.

N N

were

were to be surmounted only by their own sufferings. God did not perinit them to enjoy during that generation their expected triumph.

The second Vial produces blood, which, mixing with the sea, corrupts it. Blood, in Scriptural language, is a pollution and abomination; and from a dead carcase, heinously such*. The sea, the isles, the distant nations of tlie antichristian world, those who by terror or force were made converts, (as were some of the nations of the north to popery, of the south to mahometism,) forsaking their idols, worship the God of Heaven ;-but not in purity ;-so polluted is the worship, as not to save, but to destroy by spiritual death. Under the second Trumpet, which corresponds in some respects with this Vial, a third part dies; that is, a third of the Christians. There is a considerable part, who by the Grace of God escape spiritual death. Here, all die; and so also under the rest of the plagues; but the sealed Christian is not touched by these visitations. — Thus also under the plagues of Egypt, “ they, who fear the Lord,” have the privilege of escape f.

The third Vial is discharged also upon the waters : not upon the sea; but upon those waters which feed both land and sca; upon the sources of comfort, especially of religious comfort, to both 1. These sources of spiritual nourislıment become bloods. Instead of the “living

waters, flowing out into everlasting life ll,” they who · reject,oppose, or oppress the Christian Religion, generally receive in the lieu thereof a burdensome and uncomfortable yoke of superstitious folly. This has been ever the · case with Christian apostates, and particularly so in the

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* Lam. iv. 14. Lev. v. 2. Numb. v. 2. + Exod. ix. 4. 20, 26; X. 23. See note, ch. viii. 10. 11. See the preceding Vial. ll John iv. 10; vii. 37, 38.

great

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