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the new heavens and the new earth; and then represents its* " coming down from God with “ the new Jerusalem, and the blesssed reign “ of God, and the Lamb in it, for ever and is
SIXTEENTH CHAPTER OF THE REVELATION.
On the seven Vials of the Wrath of God.
And I heard a great voice of the waters say, Thou art out of the temple, saying righteous, O Lord, which unto the seven angels, Go art, and wast, and shalt be, your ways, and pour out the because thou hast judged vials of the wrath of God thus. upon the earth.
6 For they have shed the 2 And the first went, and blood of saints, and propoured out his vial upon the phets, and thou hast given earth; and there fell a noi. them blood to drink · for some and grievous sore up- they are worthy. on the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon
7. And I heard another them which worshipped his
out of the altar say, Even so, image.
Lord God Almighty ; true 3 And the second angel and righteous are thy judga
ments. poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the
8 And the fourth angel blood of a dead man: and poured out his vial upon the every living soul died in the sun; and power was given
unto him to scorch men 4 And the third angel with fire. poured out his vial upon the 9 And men were scorch. rivers and fountains of wa- ed with great heat, and blasters, and they became blood. phemed the name of God,
5 And I heard the angel which had power over these
* Rev. xix. 3:
plagues: and they repented garments, lest he walk na not to give him glory. ked, and they see his shame.
10 And the fifth angel 16 And he gathered them poured out his vial upon the together into a place called scat of the beast; and his in the Hebrew tongue Arkingdom was full of dark- mageddon. ness; and they gnawed their 17 And the seventh antongues for pain.
gel poured out his vial into 11 And blasphemed the the air; and there came a God of heaven because of great voice out of the temtheir pains and their sores, ple of heaven, from the and repented not of their throne, saying, It is done. deeds.
18 And there were voices, 12 And the sixth angel and thunders, and lightpoured out his vial upon the nings; and there was a great great river Euphrates ; and earthquake, such as was not the water thereof was dried since men were upon the up, that the way of the kings earth, so mighty an earthof the East might be pre- quake, and so great. pared.
19 And the great city was 13 And I saw three un- divided into three parts, and clean spirits like frogs come the cities of the nations fell: out of the mouth of the and great Babylon came in dragon, and out of the remembrance before God, mouth of the beast, and out to give unto her the cup
of of the mouth of the false the wine of the fierceness of prophet.
his wrath. 14 For they are the spi- 20 And every island fled rits of devils, working mira- away, and the mountains cles, which go forth unto were not found. the kings of the earth and 21 And there fell upon of the whole world, to ga- men a great hail out of hea. ther them to the battle of
ven, every stone about the the great day of God Al- weight of a talent: and men mighty.
blasphemed God because of 15 Behold, I come as a the plague of the hail ; for thief. Blessed is he that the plague thereof was exwatcheth, and keepeth his ceeding great.
Ver. 1.-" And I heard a great voice out " of the temple of heaven, saying to the se
ven angels, Go your way, and pour out " the vials of the wrath of God upon the « earth."
Ver. 2.-" And the first angel went and poured out his vial on the earth ; and “ there fell a noisome and grievous sore on “ the men which had the mark of the beast,
upon them which worshipped his image.
We have seen that the prophetic contents of the seven seals, relating to the rise and exaltation of the church over the heathen world, were revealed by Christ himself; and the visitations of God upon the church, by angels ; but here we find that the last plagues, or the last tremendous judgments of an offended God, represented under the figures of " the seven vials of his wrath,” are revealed to the prophet, by a great voice out of the temple “ of heaven,” or immediately from GOD HIMSELF. Hence, alone, there is reason to expect, that they are to be more exemplary and more decisive, than any of his former judgments upon the children of men, since the food. But to remove all doubt upon this point, the vials are expressly called* “ the last plagues." They are to be “ full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and everf.” And we are told*, that “ when the seventh angel (having vi the third and last woe-trumpet) shall begin “ to sound, the mystery of God shall be fin“ ished, as he has declared to his servants the “ prophets.” And, moreover, that when the seventh angel shall have “ poured out his vial into the air,t” there shall come “ a great “ voice out of the temple of heaven, from the “ throne, saying, IT IS DONE.”
* Rev. xv. 1.
† Ibid. 7.
Such being the decisive and tremendous nature of these vials, it is a question worthy of consideration, upon whom they are to be poured out? There is no reason to believe, from any part of holy writ, that they are to be emptied upon that remnant of mankind, who shall “ fear God, and give him glory.” Indeed this is the very condition offered by Christ himself, upon the performance of which they should avoid the threatening judgmentst. Besides, these are “ the children of promise, 9” “ the children of God. ” “ And God will not “ break his promise, nor destroy his children :" “ for God will dwell with them, and they shall " be his people I.” These vials, then, are destined to be poured out upon the hardened and incorrigible “ children of disobedience**" in whom Satan “worketh," and has persuaded them to believe they can live “ without God in the world.”
* Rev. x. 7.
Rev. xiv. 7. xi. 18. xix. 5.
+ Rev. xvi. 17.
Another question, which is of great importance, is, when is it, that the prophet give us reason to look for their effects? We have seen that he has divided his subject into three periods of events, under the allegories of seals, trumpets, and vials. The events of the two first, we have also seen, have come to pass, and the prophecies respecting them been fulfilled in the order foretold. Nothing then remains but the events of the third period, or of the seven vials. And as we know, from the annals of the world, that God has ever punished the wicked in all ages, pulling down kingdoms and states whenever the measure of their iniquities* has been full, and setting up others in their stead, according to his righteous purposes, can it be supposed, with any degree of reason, that his justice and his power are now asleep, when his all-penetrating eye sees men surpassing all former times in sinful and ungodluj lusts? when he sees whole nations, “ mockerst” of his holy word, and, with the most daring impiety, and outrageous blasphemy, proclaiming to the world, that He DOES NOT EXIST ; and when he sees these sons of Belialf, with unceasing exertions, disseminating, throughout the world, the poison of atheism, with design to frustrate the purposes of his holy will ? I say, can we suppose that a God, whose
eyes are too pure to behold evil, or to look upon iniquity
iniquity S, has suffered them to
* Dan. ii. 44.
† Jude, 18.