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return of Israel, as was the Red sea, in front of the ancient tribes, when they came out of Egypt, and were in Pihahiroth.* But as the Red sea in that case was parted, as though it were dried up;t so the mystic Eu. phrates will be no less effectually removed under the judgment of the sixth vial.
Upon the fulfilment of the sixth vial, we read, And I saw three unciean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth 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 unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. I Here we find predicted a complicated, powerful, extensive agency, which will be in a special manner exerted in the period between the sixth and the seventh vials. Upon this prediction a number of things are to be noted. The greatness of the event is forcibly indicated, by the facts, that it was so long predicted; that the prediction occupied so considerable a part of the description of the vials; and that the event should occasion such a warning from the mouth of Christ, relative to his speedy, subsequent coming. Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. The origin of this agency is interesting:-Out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the
beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. The dragon here is the devil, as we learn in Revelation xii. The beast is Antichrist. And the false prophet is the Papal system, after it ceased to be a beast, at the rise of Antichrist, and was taken into his grasp as a tool of ambition. The devil will be suffered to exercise a powerful agency among men, at that period. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Rev. xii, 12.) His operations will be multiform, peculiar, and mischievous. And the great infidel Power, and his tool, the Papacy, will unite in des
+Isai. li, 9, 10.
Rev. xvi, 13, 14.
patching their agents over the world. And so completely under the direction of the wicked one will the whole agency be found to be, that it is said, For they are the spirits of devils. Their subtilty is indicated: like frogs. Unclean, hateful reptiles! Sly, out of sight, slippery, stationary, or swift in their motion, as will best answer their purpose; creeping into every apartment; as was said of the frogs in the Egyptian plague, —which shall go up, and come into thine house, and into thy bed chamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading troughs. Sly, yet bold, impudent, and disgusting. Their power of deceit is noted. Working miracles; doing wonders in the sight
The depth of their scheme, the unity of their design, their incredible perseverance, the corruptions of the human heart, and the agency of Satan, will all unite to give the most astonishing force to their operations. Every incident, every corrupt passion, and all the power of sly insinuation, will be pressed into their service. In a word, licentiousness, Infidelity, and false religion, will unite their influence to aid the same cause! The extent of this agency is amazing: Going forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world. If the whole world literally be not here designed, a great part of it surely must be understood. The nations favored with the light of Revelation will be included. The object of this combined and vast agency is interesting: To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. To prepare and gather the prople of the world to that battle, so abundantly predicted in the prophetic parts of the Bible; to the event, which may be called, the battle of that great day so well known. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon. This text probably will be fulfiled both literally and mystically.
There is to be a literal expedition under Gog, against the Church of Christ, consisting of the Jews and people of Israel in Palestine.* And Armageddon, or the mountain of
*See Ezek. xxxvii, xxxviii, and xxxix.
Megiddo, it is expected, will be the place literally where Gog and his bands will be destroyed.* And the nu. merous nations predicted to be in that vast coalition, will need the subtilest inanagement, to excite and give direction to the event. But the object of this subtile agency will no doubt have a mystical fulfilment. Count. less multitudes throughout the evangelized nations, will be prepared and marshalled, as in battle array against the Church, and the King of Zion; and will be cut off in fatal judgments, under the seventh vial.
A general spirit of licentiousness, Infidelity, and of false religion; will be found operating over the world; producing the most fatal effects to the temporal, and especially to the eternal interests of men; leading the multitudes of the people to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath; and thus to be found in the mystic Armageddon, when the day of that battle shall arrive.f
In the midst of the account concerning the three unclean spirits like frogs, we find a solemn pause; and our Lord in heaven gives the solemn admonition to the world; Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he, that watch. eth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Most'urgent warning! When such wickedness prevails the chariot-wheels of justice are near! God will take his enemies on surprise. They believe not in his coming. And the event will be to them like the coming of a thief; yea, like lightning from heaven. And all, whose souls are not adorned with grace, will sink with Infidels, under the shame of their wickedness, and the terrors of that day. Let this kind warning sink deep into the ears and hearts of Christians! Says inspiration to them, Ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Our blessed Lord has repeatedly predicted, that his coming shall be as that of a thief; unlooked for; unexpected by the wicked world; like the flood upon the old world; and like the destruction of Sodom. The perils of those times are predicted, and the most wake. ful vigilance enjoined. Blessed is he, that watcheth, and keepeth his garments. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
*See sec. ii, chap. iii, of the preceding Dissertation. +So great, complicated, and fatal an agency from the three kin. dred systems of licentiousness, of Io fidelity, and of false religion, as is predicted to go forth over the face of the world, after the sixth vial, cannot be expected to rise at once. It will no doubt have been a work of preparation, and of time. It will long have been in fatal operation, though not noted in the predictions of the vials, till after the accomplishment of the sixth, and to pre. pare the way for the seventh vial. The effects of these spirits of devils will then be more peculiarly seen, ripening people apace
for the tremendous harvest. They are therefore predicted as most no. torious at that period. But the prediction does not teach, that these three systems of influence will originate in that period. It does not forbid, but doubtless implies, that they will have been in operation for a long time. For such systems of influence are not organized at once. They will probably be found to have been ip operation from the time of the rise of Antichrist. The numerous predictions of the rise, and progress of Antichrist, teach, that this complicated agency, which shall be found so fatal, after the sixth vial, was prevalent and dreadful, long before it. These three unclean spirits have already long been discovered!
THE SEVENTH VIAL.
And the seventh Angel poured out his vial into the air;
and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Bab- . ylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (Rev. xvi, 17, to the end.)
Vast assemblage of figures, and of the most terrific kind. This is the most tremendous of all the vials.
It appears more terrible than all the preceding vials united. About as much is said to prepare the way for it, and to describe it, as with respect to all the other vials. No such preparations appeared for any, or all the other vials, as for this. And no such warnings were given. This is called, the battle of that great day of God Almighty; as being an event well known through the prophets. The events of this vial are future. The particulars are unknown to man. But from the numerous predictions of it, many probable things may be gathered. A great voice from the temple of heaven proclaims, It is done. The mystery of iniquity is finished. The enemies have had their day; and now God will vindicate his cause. The harvest of the earth is reaped; the wine-press is trodden. The voices and thunders and lightnings are striking expressions of the terrors of that scene. A great earthquake follows, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great: An emblem of a fatal shock of judgments, such as man has never seen: As our Lord predicted of the same event; For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Mat. xxiv, 21.)
And as Daniel predicts of the same event; And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time. (Dan. xii, 1.) The great city is divided into three parts. By the great city here is meant probably the empire of Antichrist. His subjects revolt and become each other's executioners. The cities of the nations fall. The Divine vengeance which breaks at Armageddon, and destroys Gog and all his bands, rolls and thunders through the nations; demolishes their capitals; and lays their cities in ruins. The Antichristian Babylon, including what remains. of the Papacy, comes into remembrance with God. The cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath is given. Every island flees away.
The mountains of great kingdoms are no more found. They are plunged in the sea of revolution and ruin. And even all these figures are inadequate to the cvents, Another is there.