« VorigeDoorgaan »
445. be dried up, in the period to which this part of the prophecy relates. The meaning, therefore, feems to be, that the barrier that has hitherto fubfifted between the Eaft and the Weft (and which has prevented the communications of fcience, and the interchange of good offices,) is to be taken away, in order to prepare a ready means of accefs; in confequence whereof, thofe kingdoms that are fituated in the Eaftern parts of the world may be enabled to partake of all the light and knowledge of the Weft, and to communicate their good things in return.
And furely no period of time did ever, in fo flriking a manner, answer to this defcription as that now prefent does.
In the years 1741, 1742, 1743, and 1744, Commodore Anfon firft made his compleat voyage round the world: and from that day to this have been a fucceffion of circumnavigators; the effect of whofe labours has been, the opening a free and eafy communication with all parts of the globe, and particularly with those very countries to which the access is moft properly eastward.
Even New Holland is now likely to be inhabited; and to be, in a degree, fomewhat civilized,
And the very motives of felf-intereft will, ere long, prompt the inhabitants of Europe, by degrees, to open a commerce of real use with the islands of the great Southern Ocean, to which the moft ready approach is by the Eaft.
Many, very many, new countries have been discovered in the period from 1740 to this hour and it is now only, and within this fhort space of time, that we have become fully acquainted with the geography of our whole globe.
We ought not to forget, alfo, that during this period a moft expeditious mode has been discovered by Commodore fames, in 1754*, of doubling the great Cape of India, and of 446. paffing from the Coaft of Malabar to the Coaft of Coromandel, at all feafons; notwithftanding the Monfoons, which had before been a great and impenetrable bar during the chief part of every year.
And, moreover, a moft expeditious way of paffing from Ruffia into the Eaft by the North, and through the Deferts, has been rendered practicable, and brought even into conftant ufe; infomuch that, at laft, a folemn
*See Iyes's Voyage to India, p. 78, 94:
embafly from China to Ruffia (a thing never heard of before thefe years,) has paffed that
Whilft, on the other hand, in the South, a conftant road to India is now made ufe of, alfo by land, from Suez to Baffora; and a way opened in those parts to the East, even across the Euphrates itself, as effectually as if the Euphrates were dried up.
And truly it may be added, that almost all the great news of the few preceding years has been concerning what expeditions have been preparing for the East, and what means of commerce with the East have been planned, and concerning what is doing there.
And farther, as we have advanced in this period under the Sixth Vial, commercial plans and treaties have been formed between the Powers of Europe at home; of which the first effect muft unavoidably be, a greater extent of trade to the Eaft, and of intercourfe with thofe parts.
Surely, then, this emblematical defcription of the drying up the river Euphrates, and of preparing a way for Kings from the Eastward, (who would take no pains to prepare it for themselves,) is exactly applicable to what is now
doing on the face of the earth, and to no other period of time whatever that has yet existed.
But this is not all; for, if we take the em- 447. blem in another light, and conceive, (as we may do with propriety enough,) that, by a great river is meant an influx of people; and, therefore, that the Euphrates (as it was in antient times known to be an emblem of the King of Affyria *, and of his glory,) is now an emblem of that power which has fucceeded in those parts to the feat of the King of Affyria, and to his dominion; an emblem of the influx of the Turks from Scythia, and of the establishment of their kingdom both in Europe and Asia; (which kingdom and dominion fo established has been the great barrier between the Eaft and the Weft, at the very fame time that it has deluged all the Holy Land of Judæa, and destroyed its beauty and prosperity :) then here again, even in this fenfe, we see this great emblematical river drying up; we fee this empire fading away, and growing exceeding weak. It has already been in great danger from Ruffia, and has yielded up much. It no longer is formidable to the Empire of Germany. And there is
*See Ifaiah, ch. viii. ver. 7.
To the emblematical figure of the drying up of the river Euphrates, is added another figure:
Revelations, ch. xvi. ver. 13, 14.
13. Καὶ εἶδον ἐκ τῆ ςόμαλος τῇ δράκον]ος, καὶ ἐκ τῆ ςόμαλος τε θηρίε, καὶ ἐκ τῆ ςόμα]ος τῇ ψευδοπροφήτε, πνεύμα]α τρία ἀκάθαρτα ὡς βάτραχοι·
14. εἰσὶ γὰρ πνεύματα δαιμονίων ποιἕν]α σημεία, ἃ ἐκπορεύεται ἐπὶ τὸς βασι
* This referred to the year 1787, when the 4to edit. of this Book was printing, that was published in Jan. 1788.