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of perfect safety, under the immediate protection of God, and where, whilst this woe continues, the wicked shall not dare to approach to hurt them.
If, then, this woe is not to fall on those that love and fear God, it must fall on those his enemies, who, giving themselves up to 6 work all uncleanness with greediness,” conceive they can “ live without God in the world ;" upon those liars who " deny both the Father and the Son*.” In brief, it is to fall upon that atheistical herd of mankind, whether residing in France, or any other part of the earth, who have deluded their own souls to believe a liet, that there is no God. . But it may here be asked, when is the second woe to end, and the third to commence ? The probable conjecture is, that the second woe is nearly at an end, and that the third woe has already begun. I have been led to make this conjecture for the following reasons. In the first of the two preceding verses, we have the “ ascent of the two witnesses,” or a great reformation in the church; and in the second, “ a great earthquake,” or the destruction of the atheistical power of France; and we are told, that these two events are to come to pass " at the same hour,” or within the same short period of time: and then that " the second woe is past." But it is immediately added, * And, behold, the third cometh quickly," —
* 1 St. John, íi. 22.
+ 2 Thes. ii. 11.
Now the word quickly means here, as I humbly conceive, instantly, presently, at the same time, and, as it were, before the second woe is perfectly past. Indeed this construction of the word seems to be countenanced by the events; for I have before shown, that the two first woes were to fall on the Christian church, as divine visitations for her ingratitude and disobedience; that the Mohamedan and Papal. apostacies were to be the instruments of divine justice to inflict them, and that they were to continue 1260 years for that particular purpose : and it is clearly ascertained, by history, that those two apostacies laid the foundation of their power, and began the depression of the church, in the year 606; and had ever since, in a great measure, overwhelmed it with their apostacies and darkness. Now, if we calculate the duration of the two first woes from that æra, the period of the second woe will not expire until the year 1866, according to our present chronology; if we calculate it by synchronic years, not before 1845 : so that there will be, it least, forty-four years before the second woe will perfectly be terminated; and the true believers in the revealed word of God be delivered from their long captivity.
Indeed we know that the Mohamedan and Papal apostacies still exist, and hold a great part of the church in the chains of sensuality and idolatry. If, then, the second woe is nearly finished, and the third woe is to come “ quickly," or to commence before the second
woe shall completely be terminated, then THIS is the time to look for the commencement of those dreadful events which are to punish the antichristian world ; and more especially that part of it which “ has the mark of the atheistical beast, and worships his image*.”
Nor is this conjecture unsupported by a strong probability, arising from facts before us; for we have seen the revolutionary power of France instrumental in pouring out the wrath of God, upon one of the greatest and most unrelenting enemies of the church of Christ, the Papal hierarchy, by depriving it, at least of 30,000,000 of its devoted proselytes, and carrying desolation and misery into all the Roman Catholic countries. This they have done in the rs same hour," or within the same short period of time, overwhelming France, in particular, with calamities never before so “ quickly” brought upon the country since the deluge. What is yet more appositely remarkable, we have seen that the countries in general where the Protestant religion, and the “ fear of God,” have prevailed, have comparatively, been little affected by the machinations and destruction of the “ beast of the bottomless pit,” the avowed enemy of the church of Christ. In fact, it seems scarcely possible for any unprejudiced person to consider and understand the events of this third woe, as they are predicted, and more particularly described,
* Chap. xvi. 2.See postea, comment on the first vial.
under the “ seven vials of the wrath of God"," and to compare those which have lately come to pass with their proper types, there detailed, without perceiving, that the four first vials, have for some time, been pouring out upon the enemies of Christianity; as I mean, with the help of God, to show hereafter.
Ver. 15.4 And the seventh angel sound“ed; and there were great voices in beaven, " saying, The kingdoms of the world are be“ come the kingdoms of our Lord, and of « his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and “ ever.”
The prophet having now fully treated of the cvents of the first and second woes, under the fifth and sixth trumpets, proceeds, according to his custom, to take a summary view of the dreadful events of the third and last woe. This he does by representing the seventh angel, having the third and last woe-trumpet, as sounding or proclaiming the awful and irrevocable decree of a LONG-FORBEARING GOD, against the wicked opposers of his righteous will; and calling upon the seven angels, having the “ seven vials of the wrath of God, to execute itt" He farther represents, that upon hearing this decree, the church of Christ rejoiced and worshipped God: “ And there were great voices (rejoicings) in heaven," (the church) « saying, The kingdoms of the « world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, « and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever " and ever.” It is added, “ And the four and twenty elders” (meaning the saints and martyrs who had been the first-fruits unto God through Christ, and who shall reign with him “ as kings and priests unto God his ~ Father*"',) who sat before God on their seats, 'fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, “ We give thee " thanks, O LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, which art, " and wast, and is to come ; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
* Chap. xvi. 2.
† Chap. xv. xvi.
In the eighteenth verse it seems, that the church now properly acquainted with the conduct of the past world, and with the infinite righteousness and goodness of a long-forbearing God, vindicates his providence in general, and particularly with respect to this decree. For he goes on to say, “ And the nations were angry ;” that is (as I humbly presume to construe it,) “ the na-, tions of the earth, although they were the creatures of thy wisdom and pleasure, became degenerate, ungrateful, and rebellious, disregarding thy righteous judgment upon the antediluvian world for its disobedience, contempt of thy mercy, and for its manifold sins. They departed from the godly example of thy servant Noah, into polytheism, and all manner of iniquity.They next seduced thy chosen people, the Jews, to break their covenant with thee; to forsake thy laws, and to commit all manner of idolatrous
* Chap. v. 10. xx. 6.