Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

thing, to be accomplished in one half century, that religion, in the power and purity of it, should so prevail, as to gain the conquest over all those many things that stand in opposition to it among Protestants, and gain the upper hand through the protestant world ? And if in another, it should go on so to prevail, as to get the victory over all the opposition and strength of the kingdom of Antichrist, so as to gain the ascendent in that which is now the Popish world ? And if in a third half century, it should prevail and subdue the greater part of the Mahometan world, and bring in the Jewish nation, in all their dispersions ? And then in the next whole century, the whole heathen world should be enlightened and converted to the Christian faith, throughout all parts of Africa, Asia, America and Terra Australis, and be thoroughly settled in Christian faith and order, without any remainders of their old delusions and superstitions, and this attended with an utter extirpation of the remnant of the church of Rome, and all the relics of Mahometism, heresy, schism and enthusiasm, and a suppression of all remains of open vice and immorality, and eevry sort of visible enemy to true religion, through the whole earth, and bring to an end all the unhappy commotions, tumults, and calamities occasioned by such great changes, and all things so adjusted and settled through the world, that the world thence forward should enjoy an holy rest or sabbatism?

I have thus distinguished what belongs to a bringing of the world from its present state, to the happy state of the Millennium, the better to give a view of the greatness of the work ; and not, that I pretend so much as to conjecture, that things will be accomplished just in this order. The whole work is not the less great and wonderful, to be accomplished in such a space of time, in whatever order the different parts of it succeed each other. They that think that what has been mentioned would not be swift progress, yea amazingly swift, do not consider how great the work is, and the vast and innu. merable obstacles that are in the way. It was a wonderful thing, when the Christian religion, after Christ's ascension, so prevailed, as to get the ascendant in the Roman empire in about three hundred years ; but that was nothing to this.

a

[ocr errors]

a

Ans. 4. There are, as I apprehend, good reasons to hope, that that work of God's Spirit will begin in a little time, which, in the progress of it, will overthrow the kingdom of Antichrist, and in its issue destroy Satan's visible kingdom on earth.

The prophecy of the 6th vial, Rev. xvi. 12.... 16, if we take it in its connexion with the other vials, and consider those providential events, by which the preceding vials have man. ifestly been fulfilled, I humbly conceive, affords just ground for such a hope.

It is very plain from this whole chapter, as also the preceding and following, that all these seven vials are vials of God's wrath on Antichrist ; one is not poured out on the Jews, another on the Turks, another on Pagans, another on the church of Rome ; but they all signify God's successive judgments or plagues on the beast and his kingdom, which is in this chapter and almost every where in this book, called great Babylon. And therefore undoubtedly, when it is said,

. The sixth Angel poured out his vial on the river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the Kings of the east might be prepared ; by the river Euphrates is meant something some way appertaining to this mystical Babylon ; as that river that ran through Chaldea, called Euphrates, was something appertaining to the literal Babylon. And it is very manifest, that here is in the prophecy of this vial an allusion to that by which the way was prepared for the destruction of Babylon by Cyrus; which was by turning the channel of the river Euphrates, which ran through the midst of the city, whereby the way of the kings of the east, the princes of Media and Persia, was prepared to come in under the walls of the city, at each end, where the waters used to run, and destroy it ; as they did that night wherein Daniel interpreted the hand writing on the wall, against Belshazzar, Dan. v. 30. The prophecies of Babylon's destruction, do from time to time take notice of this way of destroying her, by drying up the waters of the river Euphrates, to prepare the way for her enemies ; Isa. xliv. 27, 28. That sailh to the deep, be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers ; that saith of Cyrus, he is my servant, and shall perform all my pleasure. Jer. li. 31, 32. One post shah run to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is laken at one end, and that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burnt with fire, and the men of war are affrighted. And verse 36. I will dry up her sea, and make her spirings dry. The Medes and Persians, the people that destroyed Babylon, dwelt to the eastward of Babylon, and are spoken of as coming from the east to her destruction ; Isa. xlvi. 11. Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel, from a fur country. And the princes that joined with this ravenous bird from the east, in this affair of destroying Babylon, are called kings, Jer. li. 11. The Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Niedes ; for his device is ao gainst Babylon to destroy it. Ver. 28. Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and the rulers thereof.—The drying the channel of the river Euphrates, to prepare the way for these kings and captains of the east, to enter into that city, under its high walls was the last thing done by the besiegers of Babylon, before her actual destruction : As this sixth vial is the last vial of God's wrath but one, on the mystical Babylon ; and the effect of it, the drying up the channel of the river Euphrates, is the last thing done against it, before its actual destruction by the seventh vial, and opens the way for those that fight in a spiritual war against it, speedily to bring on its ruin.

Hence I think it may without dispute be determined, that by the river Euphrates in the prophecy of this vial, is meant something appertaining or relating to the mystical Babylon, or the Antichristian church and kingdom, that serves that, or is a benefit to it, in a way answerable to that in which the river Fuphrates served old Babylon, and the removal of which will in like manner prepare the way for her enemies 10 destroy ker. And therefore what we have to do in the first place, in order to find out what is intended by the river Euphrates, in this prophecy, is to consider how the literal Euphrates served old Babylon. And it may be noted, that Euphrates was of remarkable benefit to that city in two respects : It served the city as a supply ; it was let through the midst of

a

the city by an artificial canal, and ran through the midst & the palace of the king of Babylon ; that part of his palace called the old palace, standing on one side, and the other part called the new palace, on the other ; with communications from one part to another, above the waters, by a bridge, and under the waters, by a vaulted or arched passage ; that the city, and especially the palace, might have the convenience of its waters, and be plentisully supplied with water. And another way that the waters of Euphrases served Babylon, was as an impediment and obstacle in the way of its enemies, to hinder their access to it to destroy it. For there was a vast moat round the city, without the walls, of prodigious width and depth, filled with the water of the river, to hinder the access of her besiegers : And at each end of the city, the river served instead of walls. And therefore when Cyrus had dried up the river, the moat was emptied, and the channel of the river under the walls left drý ; and so his way was prepared.

And therefore it is natural to suppose, that by drying up the waters of the river Euphrates, in the prophecies of the destruction of the new Babylon, to prepare the way of her enemies, is meant the drying up her incomes and supplies; and the removal of those things that hitherto have been the chief obstacles in the way of those that in this book are represented as at war with her and seeking her destruction, spoken of Rev. xix. 11, to the end, and Chap. xii. 7, that have bindered their progress and success, or that have been the chief impediments in the way of the Protestant religion. The first thing is the drying the streams of the wealth of the new Babylon, the temporal supplies, revenues and vast incomes of the Romish church, and riches of the Popish dominions. Waters in scripture language very often signify provision and supplies, both temporal and spiritual ; as in Prov. ix. 17. Isa. xxxiii. 16....xliii. 20.....lv. I.....and Iviji. 11. Jer, i. 13 and 18. xvii. 8 and 13, and in other places innumerable. The temporal supplies of a people are very often in scripture called waters ; as Isa. v. 15. Therefore my people is gone into capo fivity, and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude

1

1

#ried up with thirst. i. é. deprived of the supports and supplies of life. And the drying up the waters of a city or kingdom, is often used in scripture prophecy, for the depriving them of their wealth, as the scripture explains itself, Hos. xii. 15. “ His spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up; he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.” Ísa. xv. 6,9. « The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate ; for the hay is withered away ; the grass faileth ; there is no green thing. Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows." By the brook of the willows there seems to be a reference to the waters of Assyria or Chaldea, whose streams abounded with willows (compare Psal. cxxxvii. 2.) So that the carrying away the treasures of Moab, and adding of themi to the treasures of Assyria, is here represented by the figure of turning away the waters of Nimrim from the country of Moab, and adding them to the waters of Assyria, as the prophecy explains itself. Yea, even in the prophecies of the destruction of Babylon itself, the depriving her of her treasa urès, seems to be one thing intended by the drying up of her waters. This seems manifest by the words of the prophecy in Jer. 1. 37, 38. « A sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed ; a drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up." Compared with chap. li. 15. “O thou that

) dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures ;" with yer. 36. « I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry." The wealth, revenues and the vast incomes of the church of Rome, are the waters by which that Babylon has been nourished and supported; these are the waters which the Popish clergy and the members of the Romish hierarchy thirst after, and are continually drinking down, with insatiable appetite ; and they are waters that have been flowing into that spiritual city like a great river ; ecclesiastical persons possessing a tery great part of the Popish dominions : As this Babylon is represented as vastly rich, in this prophecy of the Apocalypse, especially in the 17th and 18th chapters. These are especially the waters that supply the palace of the king of this new Babylon, viz. the Pope ; as the river Euphrates ran Vol. III.

3 M

« AnteriorContinuar »