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at the same time that this “ way is prepared, the three unclean spirits go forth to gather the kings of the earth and the whole world to the Battle of Armageddon," which will be shewn, in the fifth chapter, to denote a conflict undertaken to recover Jerusalem from the Jews. Hence the restoration of the Jews to Palestine must have taken place already, instead of being prepared by the drying up of the Euphrates.
A recent work, entitled “KINGS OF THE East," attempts at great length to establish an entirely novel opinion on this subject, viz., that the expression denotes the British nation as the conquerors and sovereigns of the vast peninsula of India, and that the way prepared for them, is to enable them to assist in restoring God's ancient people to the land of their fathers. It is obvious, however, that the last named objection, lies equally against this theory, viz., that it represents preparation being made for an event which must have transpired previously. The hypothesis, therefore, must be considered unfounded.
In the place of these and other opinions, I venture to suggest, that the kings of the east denote literal sovereigns, and that the expression, instead of bearing a mystical meaning, simply refers to the potentates exercising sway over the various kingdoms of the Eastern world ; and further, that the way which is prepared for them, is nothing more than that same way along which “the kings of the whole world” are said to to be gathered immediately after :—“And I saw three unclean 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.”—Rev. xvi. 13, 14. It is certain that kings of the east are included amongst the kings who engage at Armageddon ; and therefore, unless any objection exist
against it, the plainest and most obvious interpretation which the language is capable of bearing, appears to be, that the destruction of the Ottoman power is occasioned by the sixth vial, in order that it should offer no impediment to the expedition of the kings of the earth being joined by the sovereigns of the east.
“ And I savo three unclean 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.”—Rev. xvi. 13, 14.
“ The unclean spirits of devils,” here referred to, appear to signify, so many principles of action, adapted to instigate the kings of the world to that tremendous and fatal conflict : —that from the mouth of the dragon, probably will be Infidelity,—that from the mouth of the beast, worldliness, that from the mouth of the false prophet, superstition. It is difficult to conceive of spirits issuing from the mouths of these enemies of God and his cause as denoting any thing else than principles of action, promulgated by the agency and influence of devils ; and their being called “spirits of devils working miracles," either intimates the extraordinary influence of the great Adversary, and his confederates, in diffusing these principles, and perhaps working miracles with that view, or simply the devilish character of such sentiments. The circumstance of their being compared to frogs, seems to intimate the spiritual impurity which belongs to them.
The above appears to me to be the natural import of this sixth vial; and if the interpretation I have thus ventured to suggest be founded in truth, it is evident that there must be a manifest adaptation observable between the character of these spirits and the work they are commissioned to perform.
This fitness is accordingly most palpable in the theory just propounded. Infidelity,-a disbelief in the revealed will of God, must naturally tend to dispose men towards such an act of hostility against the purpose of the Most High, as the attempt to dispossess the Jews from their land. Similarly, the worldliness which proceeds from the mouth of the Wild Beast, evidently constitutes the grand motive to the attack (Ezekiel xxxviii. 12), and the fierce and long-continued enmity, induced by the Romish superstition against the
unbelieving Jens,” is too well known to require proof; so that the active promulgation of these principles, in the courts of monarchs, backed probably by Satanic wonders, would eminently tend to accomplish the object proposed by the infernal agents in this work, that of “gathering together the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”-Rev. xvi. 15. This intimation of the Lord Jesus to his people of his approaching advent, clearly refers to that impending mighty judgment upon mankind, which is elsewhere also styled the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. xxiv. 30). As the whole of the seventh chapter of this book, however, is devoted to the investigation of this subject, I shall only remark here, that the sudden character of this visitation, so plainly taught, should operate as a powerful motive to constant watchfulness on the followers of the Son of God :-" Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them : but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”—Matt. xxv. 1–5, 13.
“ 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 Babylon 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. 17-21.
The seventh and last vial is poured out into the air, signifying that it was not an instrument of wrath and destruction to any one class of men, but would affect that element which extends through all nature, and is in immediate contact with every part of the visible world ; by this means it would produce the desired objcct upon the whole of society, and at once complete the destruction of those enemies of God, which the previous vials had only partially accomplished :—“The day” has at length “ come that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and them that do wickedness shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them
ир, , saith the Lord of Hosts, and it shall leave them neither root nor branch."
A great voice hereupon is heard “out of the temple of God in heaven, from the throne," exclaiming, “IT IS DONE." The oath of that mighty angel whose glorious appearance is described, Rev. x. 1, is now at length performed, -" In
the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God shall be finished." Accordingly this vial puts the finishing stroke to the destruction of Civil and Spiritual Despotism, annihilates every enemy, both spiritual and temporal, to man upon the earth, and closes that mysterious dispensation of the Almighty, during which He has allowed the Adversary apparently to frustrate His plans.
“ 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." —Rev xvi. 18. These signs of commotion and judgment, immediately before the great earthquake, identifying this vial with the latter part of the seventh trumpet, can hardly be interpreted separately. They probably consist of a kind of general manifestation of divine wrath and vengeance on the occasion of this final judgment upon guilty
The "great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, 80 mighty an earthquake, and so great," is evidently the same as that previously described under the sixth seal. An important feature is here added, that of its being totally unparalleled, which the awful description of it there given would certainly lead us to infer. As the sixth seal will shortly be the subject of investigation, when treating of the Battle of Armageddon, it will be needless here to say more, than that the great earthquake denotes a tremendous and unparalleled revolution in the whole existing state of the world, and that especially it will overthrow those Anti-christian systems in Church and State, and those heathen idolatries which have for so many ages corrupted and destroyed mankind.
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell : and great Babylon came in remembrance before God to, give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” – Rev. xvi. 19.