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at war with her, and seeking her destruction: (Rev. xix. 11, to the end, and chap. xii. 7.) Those things which have hindered their progress and success, or have been the chief impediments in the way of the Protestant religion. The first thing is the drying of the streams of wealth, the temporal supplies, revenues, and vast incomes of the Romish church, and the riches of the popish dominions. Waters in scripture language very often signify provision and supplies, both temporal and spiritual.*
The temporal supplies of a people are very often in scripture called water; as Isai. v. 13.
" Therefore my people is gone into captivity, and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst," i. e. deprived of the supports and supplies of life. And the drying up of the waters of a city or kingdom, is often used in scripture prophecy, for depriving them of their wealth, as the scripture explains itself, Hos. xiii. 15. “His spring shall become dry and his fountain shall be dried up ; He shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.” Isai. xv. 6,7.“ The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate; for the hay is withered; 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." The brook of the willows, seems to refer to the waters of Assyria or Chaldea, whose streams abounded with willows. (Compare Psal. cxxxvii. 2.) So that the carrying away of the treasures of Moab, and the adding of them 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 treasures, seems to be one thing intended by the drying up of her waters. This seems manifest by the words of the prophecy in Jer. l. 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. 13.“ O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures:" with ver. 36. “ I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.” The wealth, revenues, and 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 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 very great part of the popish dominions. Accordingly, this Babylon is represented as vastly rich, in the
* See Prov. ix. 17. Isai. xxxiii. 16.-xlüi. 20.--lv. i.--and Iviï. 11. Jer. ii. 13 and 18.--xvii. 8 and 13, and in other places innumerable.
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 through the midst of the palace of the king of old Babylon. The revenues of the Pope have been like waters of a great river, coming into his palace, from innumerable fountains, and by innumerable lesser streams, coming from many various and distant countries.
This prophecy represents to us two cities very contrary the one to the other : viz. New Babylon and the New Jerusalem, and a river running through the midst of each. The New Jeru. salem, which signifies the church of Christ, especially in her best estate, is described as having “a river running through the midst of it.” Rev. xxii. 1, 2. This river, as might easily be made most evident, by comparing this with abundance of other scriptures, undoubtedly signifies the divine supplies : the rich and abundant spiritual incomes and provision of that holy city. Mr. Lowman, in his Exposition, says, “ It represents a constant provision for the comfortable and happy life of all the inhabitants of this city of God." And in his potes on the same place, he observes as follows : “Water, (says he) as necessary to the support of life, and as it contributes in great cities, especially in hot eastern countries, to the ornament of the place, and delight of the inhabitants, is a very proper representation of the enjoyment of all things, both for the support and pleasure of life.” As the river that runs through the New Jerusalem, the church of Christ, refreshing that holy spiritual society, signifies their spiritual supplies, to satisfy their spiritual thirst; so the river that runs through the new Babylon, the antichristian church, that wicked carnal society, signifies, according to the opposite character of the city, her worldly carnal supplies, to satisfy their carnal desires and thirstings.
The new Jerusalem is called in this book the Paradise of God, and therefore is represented as having the tree of life growing in it (chap. ii. 7. and xxii. 2.) And it being described as though a river ran through the midst of it, there seems to be some allusion to the ancient paradise in Eden, of which we are told that there ran a river through the midst of it to water it; (Gen. ii. 10.) i, e. to supply the plants of it with nourishment. And this river was this very same river Euphrates, which afterwards ran through Babylon. And in one and the other, it represented the divers supplies of two opposite cities. In Eden it represented the spiritual supplies and wealth of the true christian church, in her spiritual advancement and glory; (Rev, xxii. I, 2.) In the other, it represented the outward carnal supplies of the false antichristian church, in her worldly pomp and vain glory, (chap. xvi. 12.)
When the waters that supply this mystical Babylon, come to be dried up in this sense, it will prepare the way for the enemies of antichristian corruption, that seek her overthrow. The wealth of the church of Rome, and of the powers that support it, is very much its defence. After the streams of her revenues and riches are dried up, or very greatly diminished, her walls will be as it were broken down, and she will become weak and defenceless, and exposed to easy ruin.*
As the river Euphrates served the city Babylon for supply; so, as before observed, it served as an impediment or obstacle, to hinder the access of its enemies : for there was a vast moat round the city, filled with the water of the river, which was left empty when Euphrates was dried up. And therefore we may suppose that another thing meant by the effect of the sixth vial, is the removal of those things which hitherto have been the chief obstacles to the progress of true religion, and the victory of the church of Christ over her enemies. These have been the corrupt doctrines and practices which have prevailed in Protestant countries, the doubts and difficulties that attend many doctrines of the true religion, and the many divisions and contentions that subsist among Protestants. The removal of those would wonderfully prepare the way for Christ and his armies, to go forward and prevail against their enemies, in a glorious propagation of true religion. So that this vial, which is to prepare the way for Christ and his people, seems to have respect to that remarkable preparing of the way for Christ, by levelling mountains, exalting valleys, drying up rivers, and removing stumbling-blocks, which is often spoken of in the prophecies, as what shall next precede the church's latter-day glory ; (as Isai. xlii. 13, &c.)
* When Joab had taken that part of the city of Rabbah, which was called the city of waters, whence the city had its supply of water, the fountains of the brook Jabbok being probably there--and which was also called the royal city, probably because there the king had his palace and gardens, on account of its peculiar pleasantness—the conquest of the rest of the city was easy. His message to David implies, that the city now might be taken at pleasure (2 Sam. xii. 27, 28.) It is possible that by the pouring out of the sixth vial to dry up the river of the mystical Babylon, there might be something like the taking of the city of waters in Rabbah. Some chief one of the Popish powers--that has been the main strength and support of the popish cause, or from whence that church has its chief supplies, -may be destroyed, or converted, or greatly reduced. But these events must determine.
In the prophecies of Egypt's destruction, it is signified that when their rivers and waters should be dried up, in that sense, that the streams of their temporal supplies should be averted from them, their defence would be gone ; Isai. xix, 4, &c. “The Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord-and the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up, and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up, and the reeds and flags shall wither. Every thing sown by the brooks shall wither : The fishers also shall mourn."
Those whose way was prepared to come in and destroy Babylon, by drying up the river Euphrates, were the army that was at war with Babylon, Cyrus and his host who sought her overthrow. There seems also to be all reason to suppose, that those whose way will be prepared to destroy mysticalBabylon, by drying up the mys. ticalEuphrates, are that king and army who are in the book of revelation represented as at war with antichrist. And what king and army that is, we may see in chap.xii. 7. and xix. 11. to the end ; Michael the king of angels, and his angels ; he whose “name is called the word of God and that has on his vesture,and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords; and the heavenly armies that follow him, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Cyrus, the chief of the kings of the east, that destroyed Babylon, redeemed God's church from thence, and restored Jerusalem, seems in that particular affair manifestly to be spoken of as a type of Christ. God calls him “his shepherd, to perform his pleasure, to say to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid,” (Isai. xliv. 28.) God calls him his Messiah ; (chap. xlv. 1.) Thus saith the Lord to his anointed in the original, to his Messiah) to Cyrus. He is spoken of as one that God had raised up in righteousness, that he might build his city, and freely redeem his captives, or let them go without price or reward, (chap. xlv. 13.) He is said to be one whom God had loved; (chap. xlviii. 14.) as the Messiah is said to be God's elect, in whom his soul delighteth. As by Babylon, in the Revelation, is meant that antichristian society, which is typified by old Babylon; so by the kings of the east, that should destroy this antichristian church, must be meant those enemies of it who were typified by Cyrus, and other chieftains of the east, that destroyed old Babylon; viz. Christ, who was born, lived, died and rose in the east, together with those spiritual princes that follow him, the principalities and powers in heavenly places, and those ministers and saints that are kings and priests, and shall reign on earth; especially those leaders and heads of God's people, those christian ministers and magistrates, that shall be distinguished as public blessings to his church, and chief instruments of the overthrow of antichrist.
• The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man; he shall stir up jealousy as a man of war; he shall prevail against his enemies.- I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs : and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools; and I will bring the blind by a way that they know not, and I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight : these things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Chap. xl. 3—5.) “ Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a high-way for our God: every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Chap. xi. 15, 16.) “ And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with his mighty wind shall be shake bis hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams thereof, and make men go over dry shod : and there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel, in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt.” (Chap. Ivii. 14.) “Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.” And, (chap. Ixii. 10.), “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast
up the highway ; gather out the stones ; lift up a standard for the people.” (Zech. x. 10–12.) “I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria ; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. 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; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away: And I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.” And it is worthy to be remarked, that as Cyrus destroying Babylon, letting go God's captives from thence, and restoring Jerusalem, is certainly typical of Christ's destroying mystical Babylon, delivering his people from her tyranny, and gloriously building up the spiritual Jerusalem in the latter days ; so God preparing Cyrus's way, by drying up the river Euphrates, is spoken of in similar terms, to signify the preparing of Christ's way, when he shall come to accomplish the latter event. Thus God says concerning Cyrus, (Isai. xlv. 2.). “ I will go before thee, and make crooked places straight.” And (ver. 13.) I will direct, or make straight (as it is in the margin) all his ways. This is like chapter xl. 2. 4.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.—The crooked things shall be made straight.", (Chap. xlii. 16.) “I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight."
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* If any should object against understanding the river Euphrates, in Rev xvi. 12, as signifying what has been supposed, that in another place in this prophecy, it is manifestly not so to be understood, viz. in chap. ix. 14, “Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates:" and that there is no reason to understand it in the vision of the sixth vial, as signifying something diverse from what is meant by the same river in the vision of the sixth trumpet :
I answer, That there appears to me to be good reason for a diverse under. standing of the river Euphrates in these two different places: the diversity of the scene of the vision, and of the kind of representation, in those two parts of this prophecy, naturally requires it. It is in this book, as in the old testament: when the river Euphrates is spoken of in the old testament, both in the histories and prophecies, it is mentioned with regard to a two-fold relation ; 1st, in its relation to Babylon; as its defence and supply. 2dly, in its relation to the land of Israel, God's visible people. And as it was related to that, it was its eastern boundary. (Gen. sv. 18. Exod. xxiii. 31. Deut. 1. 7. and xi. 24. Josh. i. 4. 2 Sam. viii. 3. i Chron. xviii. 3. 1 Kings iv. 21. Ezra iv. 20.) Agreeable to this diverse relation of this river, under which it is mentioned in the old testament, so must we understand it differently in different parts of the prophecy of this book of Revelation, according as the nature and subject of the vision requires.
In the xvth chapter, where the vision is of God's plagues on Babylon, preparing the way for her destruction, there, when the river Euphrates is mentioned, we are naturally and necessarily led to consider it as something appertaining to the mystical Babylon, as Euphrates did to old Babylon. But we cannot understand it so in the ixth chapter, for there the prophecy is not about Babylon. To mention Euphrates there, as something belonging to Babylon, would have been improper; for the nature of the vision, and prophetical representation, did not lead to it, nor allow it. John had no vision of Babylon; that kind of representation had not been made to him; not a word is said about Babylon till we come to the second part of this prophecy, after John had the vision of the second book, and Christ had said to him, “Thou must prophesy again before peoples, and nations, and kings,” chap. xi. The scene of the vision in the former part of the prophecy had been more especially the land of Israel; and the vision is concerning two sorts of persons there, viz. Those of the tribes of Israel who had the seal of God in their foreheads, and those wicked apostate Israelites who had not this mark. (Compare chap, vii. 3—8, and chap, ix, 4.) The vision in this ixth chapter, is of God's
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