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Russians had taken possession of the kingdom of Prussia; and had laid siege to Colberg, the only Prussian port on the Baltic. And a Russian army of 100,000 men were advancing to Silesia. In this distress the king of Prussia met them with desperate fury; but was defeated, with the loss of 20,000 of his men, in the battle near Frankfort. Succeeding defeats seemed to announce his total ruin. He had lost his
great marshal Keith, and 40 brave generals, beside many wounded and made prisoners. At Landshut also his army, on which he had placed great dependence, was defeated; and thus an avenue was opened to the Aus. trians into his favorite Silesia. It seems as though any general, excepting the king of Prussia, must in such a situation have given up all for lost! Berlin his capital was taken, and laid under tribute. But this veteran hero collected his shattered troops, and gave the Imperialists a defeat at Torgau; it cost him, however, ten thousand of the flower of his troops; while he occasioned dreadful carnage to his enemies. New armies from Russia pressed upon him. Colberg had been taken by the Russians; and Schweidnitz was ta. ken by the Austrians.
And his affairs began to appear desperate; when the empress of Russia died, and George III had come to the crown of England. A peace ensued. The combined armies of his enemies were recalled. The German princes unwilling to annihilate the house of Brandenburg, thus ceased from any further operations. Did not these events amount to a vial of Divine wrath on those Papal nations? And do they not perfectly accord with the description of the third vial?
England, having been a Papal nation, and defiled in some degree with the blood of the saints, was involved, more or less, in almost all these wars, from the opening of the period of this vial. And the British nation was not destitute of events at home, in which some part of her portion of this vial was fulfilled. Mary, queen of Scotland, having assumed the title of the queen of England, was a source of mischief be.
tween the English and the Scots, in the days of Elizabeth. The gunpowder plot, in the reign of James I, indicates the perils of those times. Charles I, had a turbulent reign, till a civil war broke out. ministers, Stafford and Laud, were beheaded. He was hated by his subjects. A rebellion broke out in Ire. land, and the massacre of the Protestants took place there. Charles demanded, in the house of commons, that five of his ministers should be apprehended. This was pronounced high treason against the people. The militia in, and about London, flew to arms. The king raised an army; the parliament another. The Scots joined the latter. Battles were fought. The independ. ent party arose, with Cromwell at their head. After several battles the king was defeated. Great numbers were killed. The royal interest was lost; and Charles was beheaded. Both the royalists and the Presbyterians hated Cromwell; yet they employed him in the reduction of Ireland, and against the Scots, whom he totally defeated. Cromwell was made generalissimo of the English armies against the Dutch, whom in several battles, he defeated. He usurped authority to dissolve the parliament, and to annihilate the council of state; and got himself declared Lord protector of the commonwealth of England. But he died in 1658, after an usurpation of nearly five years. Seven bloody bat. tles were fought with the Dutch at sea, in this interregnum. And it was a period of judgment. Charles II came to the throne. New troubles arose, not only in a war with Holland, but in commotions at home. Charles II was a base devotee to the court of France. His parliament remonstrated, but in vain.
A judgment of the most terrible kind now fell upon the capital of the English nation.
The plague broke out in London, and swept off nearly a hundred thousand of the inhabitants,
It broke out about the beginning of the year 1665, and continued till the next September. As the account of this plague is in many hands, it is not necessary to enter upon a minute description of it. Few ca.
lamities, even of that dreadful kind, have surpassed it in circumstances of terror and dismay. *
In a little short of a year, or on Sept. 2, 1666, the dreadful fire broke out in London, and destroyed the habitations, as the plague had done the inhabitants of a considerable part of that vast city.t
This was the city in which queen Mary had burnt and destroyed many Protestants; and was the capital of
* Possibly the following hint may be worthy of notice, as connected with the plague in London. It has been observed that the 16th century, while it opened a new era of blessings to the cause of Christ, opened also a new era of judgments upon the enemies of the Church, As a small item of this, it is ascer. tained in medical sketches, that the petechial or spotted fever, (a species of the plague) made its first appearance in Europe in the beginning of the 16th century. "The first particular account that we have of the petechial (spotted) fever, is by Fracastor, who says, it infested Italy in 1505 and in 1528." Burserius in his chap. x, says, “Since the beginning of the 16th century, the petechial disease has been universally known in Italy, and the whole of Europe.” Within several years this terrific disease has made its appearance in New England. To what degree it may prevail, or how far it may be among the means of the deso. lating judgments of the last days, the event alone will decide.
+ The following is the inscription on the monument erected in commemoration of this dismal catastrophe: “In the year of Christ 1666, Sept. 2, eastward from hence, at the distance of 202 feet, (the heighth of this column,) a terrible fire broke out about midnight; which, driven by a high wind, not only wasted the adjacent parts, but also very remote places, with incredible crackling and fury. It consumed 89 churches, the city gates, Guildhall, many public structures, hospitals, schools, libraries, a vast number of stately edifices, 13,000 dwelling houses, and 400 streets, Of the 26 wards it utterly destroyed 15; and left 8 others shattered and half burnt. The ruins of the city were 436 acres, from the Tower, by the Thames side, to the Temple Church; and from the vortheast, along the wall by the Holborn bridge. To the estates and fortunes of the citizens, it was merciless; to their lives very favorable; that it might resemble the last confla. gration of the world. The destruction was sudden; for in a small space of time the city was seen most flourishing, and reduced to nothing. Three days after it commenced, when this fatal fire had, in the opinion of all, baffled all human counsel and endeavors, it stopped as it were by a command from llearen, and was on every side extinguished."
a nation which had been one of the rivers and fountains of the Papal see.
James II succeeded Charles II. A rebellion broke out, headed by the duke of Monmouth, who assumed the title of king, as being the son of Charles II. He was subdued, and beheaded. James now made an impious attempt to re-establish Popery. He pretended to have power to dispense with laws. He instituted an illegal ecclesiastical court; admitted the Pope's emissaries; and made alarming encroachments on the civil and religious liberties of England. ple were in consternation. Lewis XIV was threatening Europe_with his despotic sway.
The first characters in England and Scotland sent to William, prince of Orange, then in Holland, who had married Mary, eldest daughter of James, (William and Mary being Protestants) to come and take the British crown. He embarked with a fleet and army for England, with the avowed design of restoring to the church and state their rights; which he accordingly did. Here was the noted English revolution, so favorable to the Protestant cause. In these events; in the struggles of the pretender; and in similar events; as well as in the bloody wars in coalition with other nations, already briefly mentioned, Britain had her portion of the vial of wrath upon the rivers and fountains of the Papal
The parts which Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, and Poland, shared in the judgments of this vial, have already been partially ooted; as these nations were engaged in several of the wars which have been described as raging in Christendom. All these nations had been, and some of them still were among the Papal rivers and fountains of water. And they had their parts under this vial, of being turned to blood. Should we trace their internal histories of that period, together with their bloody connexions with other nations, the truth of this remark would appear.
I must beg the reader's patience, while I make a few remarks relative to Poland. This was a bigoted Roman Catholic country.
The reformation made
some advances there. And after long struggles, the Protestant cause was legally established by the treaty of Oliva, in 1660; and guaranteed by the principal powers of Europe. But the Poles afterward, disre. garding the above treaty, and instigated by the most flagitious Catholic clergy, made a public massacre of the Protestants, under the sanction of law. And it may be instructive to trace more particularly their part in the judgments which we are contemplating. The Poles, soon after the commencement of the
period of this vial, had a long and bloody war with Russia and Sweden; and were defeated in their designs. They were “afterward engaged in a variety of unsuccessful wars with the Turks and Swedes:"* And afterward with the Turks and Russians. A terrible civil war followed, between the king and the Cossacs, a hardy race of people upon the frontiers of Poland. The king treated them perfidiously. And the brave Cossacs defeated the Poles in two great battles. Soon after the Russians again came to a rupture with the Poles: And they and the Cossacs took Smolensko, Wilna, and other places, and "committed the most horrid ravages in Lithuania.” The next year Charles of Sweden overran the great and little Poland, with dreadful slaughter. Soon afterwards the Poles, aided by the Tartars, cut the Swedes in pieces. The subsequent tumultuous state of Poland induced Casimir, their king, to abdicate the throne, and retire to France. This occasioned a new tempest of rivalship and contention. The weak Michael Wiesnowiski was chosen king. The Cossacs put themselves under the protection of the Turks, who attacked and “conquered all the provinces of Podalia, and took Caminiack, till then deemed impregnable.” The greatest part of Poland was now ravaged; and the Poles became tributary to the Turks. A train of wars with the Turks now succeeded. Upon the death of Sobieski, new scenes of distraction occurred. Different confederacies were now formed. The crown was put up for sale. Conti
* Guthrie, p. 499.