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volume will declare the whole truth, and no doubt many of their missionaries will be enlightened to see the bearing of the word of prophecy upon the times on which we are fallen: the proclamation will go forth, "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." And, though instances of individual conversions have not been, and we trust will not be wanting, this I apprehend will be one grand effect upon the heathen world-to prepare them to understand, and to acknowledge the hand of the Maker of heaven and earth, in the judgments which he is about to execute upon the apostate nations of the Christian faith. Nay already, in the remotest regions of the earth, the impression has been made, that great changes are about to take place in the Christian and Mahomedan nations. The epithet 'everlasting,' applied to the "Gospel of the kingdom, is peculiar to this passage, and seems to intimate the introduction of a dispensation of the kingdom which shall be for ever.
To these events, which prophecy has disclosed as taking place in the latter times, before "the great and terrible day of the Lord" come, we must add another; an event which will produce a considerable change in the constitution of the anti-christian adversary, before he sends forth his armies, for the invasion of the Holy Land; and this, as I observed in the introduction, together with the partial restoration of Israel, stands most prominent in the prophetic vision. It is the occurrence symbolized Rev. xvii. 16.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."
This seems to denote something to take place in the anti-christian empire before the beast and the kings are gathered together with their armies at Armageddon; of course before the body of the beast is given to the flaming fire, and before Babylon, considered not as a city, but as an empire, is destroyed by the immediate judgment of God. The woman here, as we are told in the eighteenth verse, “is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth;" and the instrument of her destruction is not He who appears in the great judgment of the nations, but these kings themselves, over whom she had reigned. This seems to denote the overturning of the supremacy and dominion of the Roman Church, which the kingdoms of the western empire had borne for so many ages as a beast of burden: the abolition, perhaps, of the Papal sacerdotal monarchy of the Roman see, the withdrawing of her revenues, and confiscation of her property, it may be with the literal conflagration of her city. The authors of her superstition, however, survive, and still answer to the symbols of the false prophet with the beast to the very last. These events we notice as preceding the coming of the great day. As occurring, therefore, if not before the pouring out of the last vial of judgment, yet before its close.
It is a very general impression among the students of prophecy, as we have before noted, that
we see at this present hour, in the decay of the Turkish power, that "drying up" of "the waters of the Euphrates," which was to mark the pouring out of the sixth vial. The effect predicted is, "that the way of the kings from the east," or "from the sun-risings," may be prepared. Many conjectures are abroad respecting the "kings from the east.” Some imagine the restored Israelites are signified. There seems no analogy afforded by prophetical language, indeed, to fix the epithet directly and absolutely upon them; though, as the time is evidently drawing nigh, a way must be made for that first restoration, and even for that second, of which we have been treating.
On this supposition, however, we cannot determine, whether the Israelites themselves are designated, or some powerful sovereigns of the eastern part of the world, who are to become the instruments of their restoration; and for whom, by the decay of the Turkish and Mahomedan powers, access to the Holy Land in this direction is to be afforded.
And in this point of view, that extraordinary extension of the British empire in that part of Asia, in connection with what has been said respecting the "merchants of Tarshish and the lions thereof," cannot but awaken many conjectures, as to what may be the designs of Providence in the raising up of this novel power in the east, through whose protection we see the foundations of an Apostolic Church already laid on the banks of the Ganges. However this may be in the secret counsels of God, the eyes of all expectants must be intensely fixed on this quarter
of the globe, to mark for what future changes in the political state of the eastern nations, the way may have been prepared, by the present minishing and decay of the Turkish and Mahomedan powers. Others have supposed that by the kings of the east, or the kings that are from the risings of the sun, Christ and his risen saints-"The word of God and the armies of heaven which follow him," are denoted. To this it has been objected, indeed, that the minishing or decay of an earthly power can remove no obstacle that stood in the way of these. And the weight of this objection we must acknowledge. But we cannot exactly determine with what latitude the prophetic language, "that the way of the kings from the east may be prepared," is to be understood. It is not impossible, that "the way prepared" may denote an opening to the production of such an arrangement of affairs, and of such a relative position of the nations upon earth, that the Son of Man, with the saints of the Most High, may come and take the kingdom, in the way and circumstances which have been ordained and predestinated of God.
Respecting the approach of Zion's Deliverer, there does, indeed, seem to be some allusion in Scripture to a progress from the east. I cannot think that prophecy in the forty-first of Isaiah, respects either Abraham or Cyrus:
Who hath raised up the just one from the east,
Hath called him to his feet?
Hath given up nations before him,
Hath subdued kings?
Hath rendered his sword as a column of dust,
He pursued them, he went on prosperously,
He touched not the road with his feet.”*
And again, verse the twenty-fifth :
'I have raised him up from the north, and he shall come,
And as the potter treadeth the clay."
If this, however, is the true application of the prophecy, we must look for the fulfilment, not at the first restoration of the Jews, but at the great day of the Lord, which we shall come afterwards to consider and we must say, "the way," indeed, is being "prepared," by the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates, but those, who walk in the way, appear not as yet. Nor is it impossible, that, as in other prophecies, there may be observed in this, first an inceptive, and afterwards an ultimate and more full accomplishment. In the predicted scenes of that great day, we may be able to trace, perhaps, not only the Mighty God "riding upon the heavens" "as of old," or "from the east," to the help of his people; but some parts of Israel miraculously conducted by the Divine presence in the same direction towards restored and rescued Jerusalem. This must be the subject of future inquiry.
Another prophetic symbol of the sixth vial, which vial we think is now being poured out upon the great river Euphrates, we must not pass over,
* "The road with his feet he seemed not to measure."-Bp. Stock. Compare Jeremiah xxxii. 24.