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been used by the Pope, to induce the king of France to break the peace between him and Philip, as before noted, strikingly indicated the devastations of those wars. His arguments were, “That the flower of the veteran Spanish bands had perished in the wars of Hungary, Germany, and the Low Countries; that the emperor (Charles) had left his son an exhausted treasury, and kingdoms drained of men; and that Henry might drive the Spaniards out of Naples, and add to the crown of France a kingdom, the conquest of which had been the great object of his predecessors for half a century.” These arguments imply the terrors of that period of judgments. And, that so great a monarch as Charles V should abdicate the Inperial throne, indicates the terrors of those scenes in which he had been engaged. And the histories of those times show these terrors to have been extreme.
At the general peace above mentioned, it is apparent, that an important era closed. In the articles between Philip and the Pope, the balance of power among the Italian states was poised with an equality not known before, since the commencement of that period of judgments. Upon which the historian observes, "From this period Italy ceased to be the great theatre, on which the monarchs of Spain, France, and Germany, contended for power and for fame. Their dissentions and hostilities, though as frequent and violent as ever, were excited by new objects, and stained other regions of Europe with blood, and rendered them miserable in their turn, by the devastations of war."* Had this judicious historian been designing to describe the close of the term of the second vial, and the transition from the second to the third, what more could have been said? He adds, “Exhausted by extraordinary efforts, which far exceeded those to which the nations of Europe had been accustomed before the rivalship between Charles V, and Francis I, both nations longed for repose. We accordingly find, that in the peace established in 1559, great pains were taken, by intermar
*Hist. Ch. V. vol. iv, p. 261.
riages and mutual concessions, to give it a decided permanency. All past transactions were to be buried in oblivion. “The Pope, (says the historian) the emperor of Germany, the kings of Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, the king of the Scots, and almost every state in Christendom, were comprehended in this pacification, as the allies either of Henry or Philip. Thus by this famous treaty, peace was re-established in Europe. All the causes of discord, which had so long embroiled the powerful monarchs of France and Spain, seemed to be wholly removed or finally terminated."* Soon after this Henry II, king of France, died. Pope Paul, a violent, perfidious Pontiff
, died. And his two nephews, most intriguing, mischievous characters in the court of Rome, were put to death for their crimes. “Thus most of the personages, (says the historian) who had long sustained the principal characters on the great thea. tre of Europe, disappeared about the same time. A more known period of history opens at this era; other actors enter upon the stage, with different views, as well as different passions. New contests arose, and new schemes of ambition occupied and disquieted mankind.”+ This brings us to the consideration of the next vial.
THE THIRD VIAL.
And the third Angel poured out his vial upon the rivers
and fountains of water; and they became blood. And I heard the Angel of the waters say, Thou art rightcous, O Lord, who art, and wast, shalt be, because thou hast judged thus: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy ways. (Rev. xvi, 4—7.)
As by the sea in the second vial, we are to understand Italy, as the seat of the judgment, including the great
*Hist. Ch, V, vol. iv, p. 300.
+Ib. p. 302.
Papal nations bordering upon it, as the instruments of the judgment of that vial; so by the rivers and fountains of water in the third vial, we are probably to understand the individual Papal nations as distinct from Italy, the seat of the Papal impositions. The rivers and fountains of water run into the sea. And the influence of the Papal nations in Christendom flowed into Italy, to support the Papal authority there instituted. If Italy then be symbolized by the sea, we might naturally expect the other Papal nations, as distinct from Italy, would be symbolized by rivers and fountains of water. *
And they, in their turn, to the remotest parts of Christendom, were now to experience terrible scenes of Divine judgment. And we find this vial fulfilled with awful precision. Some of the great Papal nations, which had been instrumental in the judgment of the second vial, and were in a sense included in the sea there turned to blood, were likewise included in the judgment of the third vial. But in the latter case their wars had no ini mediate concern with Italy. They might well therefore, in the third vial be symbolized, among
*Should any inquire, why it is not more proper to view the sea in the second vial as symbolizing all the Papal nations; and the turning of it to blood, in the second vial, as involving not only the scenes of judgment on Italy, which have been contem. plated, but also the scenes of the same nature, on other Papal nations, which are now to be contemplated, as fulfilliag the third vial? And whether this might not more properly leave the third vial to be fulfilled in the drying up of the sources of Papal wealth and power; which one might suppose to have been symbolized by rivers and fountains of water? Į reply as follows: It is evi. dent, that the third vial is of the same specific nature with the second, or literally blood. This we learn from the devout ac. knowledgment of the Angel of the waters. Thou art righteous, O Lord,-because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets; and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. Here we learn, that the third vial is fulfilled not by mystical, but literal blood. This devout acknowledgment of the Angel must be viewed as alluding both to the second and the third vials; which indicates them both to be of the same specific nature, or fulfilled chiefly by bloody wars. And the judgment with which they are visited is of the same kind with that wickedoess which occasioned it, blood,
the promiscuous nations of the Catholic religion, by rivers and fountains of water. And the peculiar Papal corruption and guilt of those great nations, might well entitle them to a double share in the judgments of these two vials.
I shall now note some of the events of the third vial. Upon the general peace in 1559, I have just quoted a passage from Dr. Robertson, which is pecul. iarly illustrative of the views which I entertain of the second and third vials.* A new era of wars, on the Papal nations generally, commenced; wars, prosecuted by different heroes, and undertaken with different views from those of the wars in Italy, in the preceding pe. riod.t To give a particular account of these, would be to write the history of Europe for two centuries; which would fill a volume. I shall only note a few leading events, in which I believe the third vial was fulfilled.
One great cause of the wars in Europe, subsequent to the peace of 1559, was the growing power of the house of Austria. Extensive territories had descended to Charles V, from his Austrian, Burgundian, and Spanish ancestors. And the new world in South America had become subject to his command, as the king of Spain. All these prerogatives and powers, Charles had transmitted to his son Philip. And he delivered up his doninions much improved from the state, in which he had received them, both as to extent of territory, and extent of the royal prerogatives. His people had become habituated to expenses, efforts, and subordination, unknown in Europe previously to his reign. The provinces of Overyssel, Friesland, Utrecht, and the duchy of Gueldres, had added a vast weight to the Burgundian provinces in possession of the first branch of the house of Austria. These, with the kingdoms of Spain, which Charles had found means to subject wholly to his authority, their vast territories and inexhaustible mines in South America, the kingdom of Naples, and the populous and fertile duchy of Milan,
*Hist. Ch, V, vol. iv, p. 261,
+[b. p. 302,
in Italy, which kingdom and duchy were, in the aforementioned peace, confirmed in quiet possession to the crown of Spain; these gave an amazing predominance to the first branch of the house of Austria, and rendered Philip formidable to the other European powers. The younger, or German branch of the house of Aus. tria, was also formidable. Ferdinand, the younger brother of Charles V, had, by the motion of Charles himself, in the midst of his Imperial career, been crowned king of the Romans, as a kind of lieutenant to Charles to manage his concerns in Germany in his absence. Ferdinand soon after, by marriage, acquired the crown of Hungary and Bohemia. These, added to his own crown, and to the ancient, hereditary Germanic dominions of the house of Austria, which fell to Ferdinand, rendered him a powerful monarch. And to add to his influence, the diet, upon Charles's abdi. cating the throne, conferred the Imperial honor upon Ferdinand. Happily for Europe, the two branches of the house of Austria were in a state of alienation from each other. But in time a regard to their mutual family interests overcame their alienation, and induced them to adopt the aggrandizement of the house of Austria for their common object. And the consequences were most serious. “A family so great and so aspiring, became the general object of jealousy and terror. And all the power as well as policy of Europe was exerted, during a century, in order to check and humble it.”* Its ascendency, and the terror it had inspired, continued, even after its vigor had become chiefly exhausted, by a long series of extraordinary exertions and wars, and the monarchs of Spain especially had sunk into debility. “The nations of Europe (says the historian) had so often felt the superior power of the house of Austria, and had been so constantly employed in guarding against it, that the dread of it became a kind of political habit, the influence of which remained, when the causes, which had formed it, ceased to exist.” In the progress of these wars, we are presented with a series of bloody and awful judgments on Papal nations.
* Hist. Ch. V, vol. iv, p. 310,