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tical dignitaries; and is not common therefore to the corrupt church at large, rulers as well as ruled, as are its false doctrines, superstitions, and idolatries. It is, moreover, a torture in regard to which, as in a corporeal disease, they are in a large degree passive; and not, therefore, a mere depravity of principles and practice, in which they are voluntary.
Mr. Cuninghame interprets it of the spirit of atheism, anarchy, and insubordination, which marked the French revolution ; Mr. Faber and Mr. Keith, of the infidelity; and Mr. Elliott, of “the outbreak of democratic fury, atheism, and vice, which characterized that event.” But atheism, infidelity, lawlessness, and vice, were common to the nobles and ecclesiastics, as well as the philosophers, demagogues, and rabble; while the torturing eruption was limited to those who have the mark of the wild beast and worship its image; and thence denotes an evil that was peculiar to the subjects of the civil governments and nationalized Catholic hierarchies, in distinction from those bodies, and that sprung therefore from their relations to their political and ecclesiastical superiors; and was that torturing sense of oppression undoubtedly to which I have referred it, antagonism of principles, wishes, and designs, and exasperation of hate, which were the first and most violent surges of that terrible social tempest. That eruption of rancorous passion exhibits all the characteristics of the symbol. The middle and lower orders were its subjects, in contradistinction from the superior. It was directed against the civil and ecclesiastical rulers; it was in a large degree involuntary, it was torturing, it was contagious and deadly.
CHAPTER XVI. 3.
THE SECOND VIAL.
And the second angel poured his vial on the sea; and it became blood as of one dead; and every creature of life died in the sea.
The sea denotes the population of a central or principal kingdom, in violent commotion. Wherever the drops, showered from the vase, fell on the waters, they became gore, as though one had bled there to death. The expanse became spotted with blood, like a vast battle-field, over which thousands recently slaughtered are strown; and all orders of animals to which the waters had before been congenial and the source of sustenance, were destroyed by them. The blood-spots on the waves, denote both that their blood whom the waters represent was to be shed, and that they were to shed the blood of others, sustaining a relation to them like that of fish to the waters which they inhabit, and besmear themselves with slaughter. This is implied in the color of the waves independently of the death of the creatures, and in their causing their death; and is shown in the representation under the third vial, that those who are symbolized by the rivers and fountains, are compelled to make blood their drink, or maintain their own life by the slaughter of others.
The sea is to the animals that live in it, and derive from it their nourishment, what a people is to the monarch, nobles, ecclesiastical dignitaries, and other influential orders, who owe to them their station and support. The bloodiness of the water therefore, through which all creatures inhabiting it died, indicates that those slaughterers of one another, whom the waves represent, are also to destroy all orders of their superiors.
This symbol denotes the second great act in the tragedy of the French revolution, in which the people slaughtered one another in feuds, insurrections, and civil wars; and exterminated with the dagger, the bayonet, and the guillotine, all the influential ranks—king and queen, nobles and prelates, civil magistrates and priests, military commanders and soldiers, persons of illustrious descent, of distinguished reputation, of talents and wealth ; and demagogues, politicians, and chiefs, who rose to conspicuity and influence by their acts as revolutionists. The slaughter commenced in the attack on the Bastille on the 14th of July, 1789. Similar violences were soon after perpetrated in every part of the kingdom. The people of the rural districts rose generally in insurrection and slaughtered the nobles, their families, and their supporters. The Parisian mob in October, attacked the palace at Versailles, and killed several soldiers, and on the 10th of August of the following year, slaughtered the king's guards, and drove him from the throne. In August, 1792, the revolutionary tribunal was established; and the extermination of the influential ranks commenced on a vast scale, and continued till not only the king, the queen, the princes, the nobles, the prelates, and thousands of their conspicuous supporters, were destroyed, but a great part of the leaders also of the revolution. In the civil war of La Vendée alone, a million of persons of all ranks and ages, are said to have perished.
Mr. Brightman expounds the sea of the council of Trent, and its bloodiness of their doctrinal errors.
But the sea is the symbol of a people in their political relations, not of an ecclesiastical council; and blood is indicative of a death by violence, not by disease.
Mr. Mede interprets the sea of the Catholic church, and the blood, of its laceration and dismemberment by the secession of multitudes and nations at the Reformation. But the sea is the symbol of a nation in its civil relations, not in its ecclesiastical. It is as worshippers of the beast, not as vassals of the fals prophet, that those whom the waves denote are stained with blood; and the blood denotes their slaughter of one another, not their conversion to the true faith.
Mr. Jurieu interprets the slaughter of the crusades. But that is not in conformity with the symbol. It is to represent the waters as removed to a distance in order to be tinged with blood, instead of receiving the coloring element in their usual position.
Mr. Daubuz regards the animals that died as symbolizing the crusaders, but that is to assume that they died by leaving the sea, instead of being killed by the agency of the waters.
Vitringa refers the symbol to the wars of the Ghibelines and Guelphs. But they were struggles between the emperor and pope and their respective parties for political supremacy. There was no extermination by the people of all their civil and ecclesiastical superiors.
Mr. Faber refers it to the reign of terror during the French revolution. Mr. Cuninghame regards it as denoting the slaughter of the French nation, without any consideration of their rank, not only by their own hands, but by those with whom they embarked in war, from the commencement of the revolution to the overthrow of the empire. But that is to overlook the distinction between the sea, which represents the tumultuary multitude and . the animals supported in it, which symbolize the superior orders. It is to disregard the representation also, that it was by the agency of the bloody water that all creatures of life were destroyed, not in any degree by their migration to the streams and fountains. The sea denotes only the destroying multitude: the animals destroyed, those of a different rank or relation whom they put to death, as the princes, nobles, priests, legislators, magistrates, military commanders, soldiers, demagogues, and
* Alison's Hist., vol. i. chap. 6; vol. ii. chap. 10, 14, 15, 17.
whoever assumed the attitude of resistance to their will, or became the objects of their envy or dread. Those domestic slaughters are said to have amounted, ere the close of 1795, to two millions.
Mr. Keith regards the symbol as foreshowing the maritime wars that followed the French revolution; Mr. Elliott as indicating not only the destruction of fleets and merchant ships, but also the revolutions and slaughters in the French, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies. But that is to exhibit the symbolic sea and that which it denotes as of the same species ; which is against analogy. It implies, also, that the creatures destroyed by the waters were literally those that inhabit them, and overthrows therefore his own exposition. It is to represent them, also, as killing one another in place of being destroyed by the crimsoned waters, which is to contradict the representation of the symbol. It is also to assume that actions of the same kinds, and of the same agents, and exerted at the same periods, are discriminated from each other, and represented by different and successive symbols, simply because some of them are exerted on water, or in its vicinity, and the others on land, which is wholly without authority, and a total misrepresentation of the reason for which different symbols are used. The diversity of symbols is in order to a representation of the diversity of agents and events which they foreshow; not of their geographical
They are exhibited in succession, not simultaneously, because the agents which they denote commence their agency at different periods, not cotemporaneously. To assume that the diversity of symbolic agents and actions is no indication of a difference of the agents and events represented, but only of the scene in which they are to appear, is to divest them of all their peculiar character, and reduce them to insignificance.
CHAPTER XVI. 4-7.
THE THIRD VIAL. And the third poured his vial into the rivers and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Righteous art thou who art and who wast, the holy, that
thou hast adjudged these things : for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets; and thou hast given them blood to drink. They are worthy. And I heard another at the altar say, Yea, O Lord, the God Almighty, true and just are thy judgments.
Rivers and fountains are to a sea what smaller exterior communities and nations are to a great central people. As the French nation was the sea, the rivers and fountains are the smaller communities and remote nations of the other apocalyptic kingdoms. The blood with which the rivers and fountains ran wherever the shower of the vial fell, denotes that their blood whom the waters symbolize was to be shed, and that they also were to shed the blood of others, as is shown by the representation that blood was to be made their drink, ;-a means by which they should gratify their passions, and be nourished, and continue to subsist, and the blood therefore of foreigners drawn in repressing their invasions. The exclamation of the angel who poured the vial on the waters, and the response of the angel at the altar, show that the rivers and fountains symbolize nations; that the nations who were to suffer and inflict the slaughters indicated by the blood, had persecuted the saints and witnesses of God, and shed their blood; and that the destruction to which they were doomed was to be in retribution of their crimes as persecutors, and was righteous, and was to be regarded and celebrated as such by the heavenly hosts.
This symbol denotes the vast bloodshed in the other apocalyptic kingdoms, in the insurrections and wars that sprung out of the French revolution. That destructive contest was commenced by the French with Austria on the 20th of April, 1792, and soon extended to Holland, Sardinia, Russia, Italy, Spain, England, Prussia, Switzerland, Denmark, and Portugal, and continued with little intermission for more than twenty years, in which the blood of millions of the French was poured out on the soil of the other kingdoms; millions of the other nations slain in resisting their aggressions ; and vast multitudes of the unarmed of both sexes put to death in the violences of revolution, the siege and sack of cities, and the repression of insurrections. All those nations had been persecutors of the saints and prophets, and blood was given them to drink. War became their trade, and the means by which they maintained their national existence.
Mr. Mede interpreted the rivers and fountains of the active agents of the beast and false prophet, as the Spanish soldiers in Belgium and the Jesuits in England, and deemed the symbolization fulfilled in their obstruction and slaughter in the sixteenth