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RESPECTING THE EFFUSION OF THE SEVENTH VIAL.
The seventh vial must be viewed, as comprehending, not only the brief summary of its contents first given by the Apostle, but likewise all those grand events, which are afterward more copiously detailed, and which are placed immediately before the commencement of the Millennium.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air : and there came a loud voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying ; IT IS DONE. And there were voices and thunderings and lightnings : and there was a great earthquake, such as never was since men were upon the earth, such an earthquake, so great. And the city, the great one, became into three parts: and the cities of the nations fell: and Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his anger. every island fled away: and the mountains were not found. And a hail, weighty as a talent, descendeth from heaven upon the men. And the men blasphemed God from the plague of the hail : because the plague of it is exceedingly great
! Rev. xvi. 17-21.
It is well observed by Bishop Newton, that, as the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet contain many more particulars, than any of the former seals and former trumpets ; so the serenth vial contains more, than any of the former vials. To this observation it may be added, that the mode of arranging the seventh vial exactly corresponds with the mode of arranging both the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet. At the opening of the seventh scal, which comprehends all the seven trumpets and thence likewise all the seven vials, a brief syllabus is given of its contents : and those contents are afterward set forth at large, when the prophet goes on to treat of the several subordinate constituent periods included within it as a grand primary period'. In a similar manner, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, a brief syllabus is also given of its contents : and, afterward, those contents are set forth at large, when the prophet comes to treat of the seven vials, which are all included within the seventh trumpet as all the seven trumpets are included within the seventh seal”. So now again, at the effusion of 'the seventh vial, the very same plan is still pursued : for a brief syllabus of its contents is first given ; and, afterward, a larger explanation is afforded, when the prophet descends to treat of particulars
The subordinate matters, included within the
· Rev. viii, 1–5. See above book iv. chap. 4.
oracle of the seventh vial thus viewed in its largest extent, are: the annunciation, It is done ; the great earthquake ; the storm of hail; the final destruction of Babylon ; the marriage of the Lamb; the battle of that great day of God Almighty; and the manifestation of Christ and his armies mounted on white horses.
I. Immediately upon the effusion of the seventh vial, which is characteristically poured out into the air or atmosphere of the Roman earth; whence proceed thunder and lightning and hail, or the tumults and wars and invasions portentive of an expiring body politic: immediately upon the effusion of this vial, a voice out of the temple and from the throne of God himself proclaims, IT IS DONE.
This proclamation indicates, that the mystery of God, which was to be finished during the blast of the seventh trumpet, is now completed'. But that mystery, as all commentators allow, is the long permissive reign of the powers of darkness : at the close of which, the saints are to be delivered out of the hand of the little Roman horn, the scattered people of Daniel are to be converted and restored, the tyranny of the secular Roman Empire under its revived seventh head is to be finally broken, and the Mohammedan little horn is to be fractured without hand
Hence the comprehensive proclamation, it is
" Rev. x. 7. See above book i. chap. 4. 81. 3. (1.) II. 2. (2.) • Dan. vii. 25-27. xii. 1, 6, 7. Rev. xvii. 11. Dan, viii, 25.
DONE, solemnly announces the expiration of the latter 1260 years: a matter, fully allowed by Mr. Mede; though, from an error in synchronisation, he unfortunately makes the period of the seventh trumpet and the period of the seventh vial commence contemporaneously.
II. Ere the proclamation has well been made, in the midst of voices and thunderings and lightnings, a mighty earthquake occurs, which divides the great Babylon into three parts, which brings Babylon herself in remembrance before God, which overthrows the cities of the nations, and which dissipates every island and mountain.
On the principles of synchronisation, this mighty earthquake of the seventh vial is the same as the earthquake, which is announced alike both in the syllabus of the seventh seal and in the syllabus of the seventh trumpet: for, as the seventh seal comprehends all the trumpets, and as the seventh trumpet comprehends all the vials, the last event of the seventh seal must inevitably fall, not only under the seventh trumpet, but likewise under the seventh vial'. What is intended by the triple division of Babylon, can only be explained by the event: but the earthquake plainly relates to that final overthrow of the great city and to that complete dissipation of the apostate Roman Empire, which are here briefly announced, and which are afterward treated of at large.
See above book iv. chap. iv. in init. book vi. chap. 3.9 1.7.
III. Attendant upon the earthquake is a tremendous storm of hail.
Respecting this yet future visitation, nothing more can be said, than that, on the principle of. symbolic imagery, it denotes some dreadful attack made upon the beast and his adherents from that region of the north, where in the natural world hail and snow and ice are generated'.
IV. The destruction of Babylon, which is briefly alluded to as produced by the earthquake, is afterward described at large in a strain of poesy evi. dently borrowed from the ancient Hebrew prophets ?
This destruction is emphatically declared to be final and irremediable '. Hence, if, by the mystic Babylon when viewed ecclesiastically, we are to understand the corrupt and persecuting Church of the Western Roman Patriarchate; respecting which, so far as I can judge, there can be no reasonable doubt: we have a distinct prophecy, that, under the seventh vial and at the close of the latter 1260 years, the Church of Rome will be ultimately and utterly subverted.
V. Synchronically with that great event, or at least so far synchronically that they are both included within the same period of the seventh vial, occurs the marriage of the Lamb.