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paring for the subversion of the Mohammedan dela. sion, and consequently the ruin of the Turkish government, which rests upon it. But the end of that cmpire will be with a food of wrath, under the instrumentality of Antichrist, as appears from the forecited passage of Dan. xi, 40,--and the other considerations before mentioned. *
* Should any object, that the drying up of the mystic Euphrates seems not consistent with a violent subversion of that empire by a foreign power; but seems rather to indicate a grad. ual decay, and kind of natural death; as the horn of the Macedonian Beast is said (Dan. viii, 25.) to be broken without hands; I answer, the drying up of the river Euphrates, by Cyrus, that he might destroy ancient Babylon, was a sudden and violent event, produced by a foreign invading foe. But that event was predicted under the same figure, with the judgment of the sixth vial. I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. (Jer li, 26) inat sath to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up the rivers. (Isa xliv, 27) A drought 18 upon her waters, and they shall be dried up. (Jer. I, 38.) These predictions were fulfilled upon Babylon by the violent siege and artificial operations of the Medo-Persian monarch. And the drying up of waters is a common prophetic figure, to signify the violent subversion of one nation by the arms of another. Thus the reduction of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar was predicted; (Exek. xxx, 12.) And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hands of the wicked And the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea by the arm of the Most High, was noted under the same figure, Isa. li, 9, 10 The arm of the Lord is invoked; and the prophet says, Art thou not it, that hath dried the sea? I recollect no instance in prophecy, where the drying up of waters, is used to predict the gradual decay, or kind of natural death of any people or nation. The drying up of the mystic Euphrates then, we must naturally conclude, will be fulfilled by the arms of some powerful nation. The horn of the Macedonian Beast's being bruken without hands, (Dan. viii, 25,) may be found to mean, ihat it shall be broken without any hands 10 uphold; as is predicted of Antichrist, (Dan. xi, last)— yet shall he come to his end, and none shall help him. Such a clause is often added to the denunciations of Divine wrath upon the wick. ed; And there be none to deliver. None can deliver out of mine hands. But if that passage in Daniel, relative to the Macedonian horn, truly mean, that it shall be destroyed without human aid, it must mean the gradval decay and death of the Mohammedan delusion; but not of the Turkish empire, the last, most powerful supporter of it. h does not accord with the analogy of the judgments of the vials, or the signal judgments of God
The object of the judgment of the sixth vial is ex. pressed that the way of the kings of the east, may be prepared. That the way may be prepared for the return of God's ancient covenant people to the land of their fathers. This sense accords with Mede, Moor, Dur. ham, Pool, and others. That people are to be gathered to the Holy land, before the seventh vial, or the wattle of that great day of God Almighty. This point is made certain in numerous prophecies. * But they cannot return to the land of their fathers, till the Turk. ish empire is subverted. For Palestine is in possession of that empire; and the Turks, so long as they are in power, will never suffer Judah and Israel to resettle there.
The ancient prophets, in predicting the restoration of the Jews from their long dispersion, repeatedly annexed the idea of a drying up of water, to prepare the way for that event. To these passages the language of the sixth vial probably has some allusion. Isa. xi, 15. “And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in its seven streams, and make men go over dry shod. And there shall be an high way for the remnant of his people." Chap. x, ii; "And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves of the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up.” Here, to prepare the way for Israel's final restoration, the sea, and rivers are to be dried up. In the language of the sixth vial we find what river it is, that is to be dried up. It is the river Euphrates; or the empire nearest to the Eu.
generally, that the sixth vial should be fulfilled without any spe. cial, visible instrument of the vengeance. God usually works by means; and usually has visible instruments prepared, adequate to effects, which are to be produced. And we have no reason to believe the signal judgment of the sixth vial will be an exception to this general rule; notwithstanding that a writer of celebrity has suggested that this will be the case.
* See Ezek. xxxvi, xxxvii, xxxviii, and xxxix; Joel iii; Zech, xii, xiii, and xiv; Jer. xxxi; Isa. xi, 11-16; Jer. xxiii, 5-3; Hosea i, 10,11; and iii, 4, 5; and siv, 4-8.
phrates is to be subverted, to prepare the way for the resettlement of God's ancient people in their own land. The deliverance of that people from Egypt was attended with the literal parting of the Red Sea Their entrance into Canaan was preceded by the dividing of Jordan. Their deliverance from Babylon was preceded by the drying up, or the turning of the river Euphrates from that city. And the way is to be prepar. ed for their final restoration by a mystical drying up of the same river. “And there shall be an high way for the remnant of his people-like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. It is striking, that the drying up of the river Euphrates by Cyrus, was the great step, preparatory to the restoration of the Jews from Babylon. And tha: the drying up of the same river, in the six:h vial, is mystically the preparatory step for the final restoration of the Jews, and Israel. Perhaps we need look no fur. ther to find the allusion of the sixth vial. And as the drying up, by Cyrus, destroyed the power that had prevented the restoration of the Jews; so the drying up, by the sixth vial, will subvert the power now in the way of the restoration of the Jews,—the Turks.
But why are the ancient people of God called the kings of the east? Perhaps the signal care, which God has for so many ages taken of that people, and the wonders of Providence still in reserve for them, may enti. tle them to this mystic appellation. They were formerly called, a kingdom of priests.* And they are to become the most signal branch of that church, which is to be made kings and priests unto God. The phrase may have a special reference to the ten tribes, now in the east. In modern writings we are informed of a people in Persia, whither the ten tribes, at the time of their dispersion, were led, t called the Afghans, whose traditions and history seem clearly to evince, that they are the len tribes of Israel. They entertain this opinion of themselves. And the best Persian historians give
this opinion of them. The descendants of the dispersed Israelites may have emigrated to different and distant regions. Admitting that the scattered descendants of Israel may, after the battle of the great day, be gathered from the east, west, north, and south; from far, even from the ends of the earth;* yet the Afghans in Persia, it appears most highly probable, are that body of the ten tribes, who are to be restored with the Jews to Palestine, before the battle of the great day, or the seventh vial. † These Afghans call themselves Melchim, the Hebrew word for kings. These may prove to be the kings of the east, to prepare the way for the return of whom, to the land of their fathers, the mystic Euphrates must be dried up. I For this empire extends between the Holy land and Persia, which lies in the east. And the Turks being in possession of the Holy land, and being of a religion utterly hostile to our holy Revelation, are as fatal an obstacle in the way of the return of Israel, as was the Red Sea, in front of the ancient tribes, when they came out of Egypt, and were in Pihahiroth. * But as the Red Sea in that case was parted, as though it were dried up;t so the mystic Euphrates will be no less effectually removed under the judgment of the sixth vial.
* Isa. xliii, 5,6. + See Ezek. xxxvii, 16–21, in connex. ion with the context, and the succeeding chapter.
Possibly the kings of the east here may relate to, or include, the vast eastern kingdoms. They have been chiefly secluded from tho blessings of the gospel. But we are led to believe they will be brought to the knowledge of the truth, at the introduction of the Millennium. The Mohammedan delusion is a vast obstacle in the way of their conversion. And the drying up of the mystic Euphrates, will no doubt be an essential step toward preparing the way for the general conversion of the vast kingdoms of the east; whether this event is noted in the language of the sixth vial, or not. I have had some apprehensions that this language of the sixth vial may include such an event. It is striking that in a prediction of the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles, Isa. xlix, 12, as though vast companies of them were then visible, it is said, “Behold, there shall come from far; and lo these from the north, and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim." The latter, Dr. Parish has shown, in his Gazetteer of the Bible, most probably is the vast empire of China, This is indeed their
coming from far, and from the point opposite to the west; as Sinim clearly is in the text. "The Chinese books speak of their country under the appellation of Sin,” of which Sinim is the plural.
Upon the fulfilment of the sixth vial, we read, And I saco 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.I Here we find predicted a complicated, , powerful, extensive agency, which will be in a spe. cial manner exerted in the period between the sixth and the seventh vials. Upon this prediction a number of things are to be noted. The greatness of the event is forcibly indicated by the facts, that it was so long predicted; that the prediction occupied so considerable a part of the description of the vials; and that the event should occasion such a warning from the mouth of Christ, relative to his speedy, subsequent coming.— Behold I come as a thief: Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. The origin of this agency, is interesting: Out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. The dragon here is the devil, as we learn in Rev. xii. The Beast is Antichrist. And the false prophet is the Papal system, after it ceased to be a Beast, at the rise of Antichrist, and was taken into his grasp, as a tool of ambition. “For they are the spirits of devils,” The devil will be suffered to exercise a powerful agency among men, at that period. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knosceth that he hath but a short time. (Rev. xii, 12.) His operations will be multiform, peculiar, and mis. chievous. The great infidel Power, and his tool, the Papacy, will unite in despatching their agents over the
* Exod. xiv.
+ Isa. li, 9, 10.
Rev. xvi, 13, 14.