dom, whose streets were not saturated with blood! Sir Walter Scott says, speaking of the Revolutionary Tribunal, "It requires an effort even to write that word, from the extremities of guilt and horror which it recalls.” "When Henry VIII. rouzed the fires of Smithfield, both against Protestant and Papist.... the association was consistency itself, compared to the scenes of the Revolutionary Tribunal, in which ....both sexes, and all ages, were involved in one general massacre, and sent to execution, by scores, together, and on the same sledge." "The quantity of blood which it caused to be shed was something unheard of, even during the prescriptions of the Roman Empire." "Those who witnessed the tragedies which then occurred, look back upon that period as the delirium of a national fever, filled with visions_too horrible and painful for recollection." Speaking of Carrier at Nantes, he says, "he might have summoned hell to match his cruelty, without a demon venturing to answer his challenge." "Blood" indeed, he says, they saw "stream in such quantities, that it was necessary to make an artificial conduit to carry it off.”

Thus the dreadful scene of retribution and vengeance BEGAN, and but began:-the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, shed on so many occasions by this guilty land, was to be avenged, not by one, but by a round of judgments. This un

heard-of state of things, in which "France had lost her king and nobles, her church and clergy, her judges, courts, and magistrates, her colonies and commerce "-in which "the greatest part of her statesmen, and men of note, had perished by proscription, and her orators' eloquence had been cut short by the guillotine,' was now to change, and a new scene was to be opened. After the fall of Robespierre, the terrors of the Revolution began to ebb and recede; and France, still possessed of one powerful engine, "her army and her ambition," was now to be the Lord's instrument of vengeance to other nations.-From 1793 to 1796.

3. "And the third angel poured out his vial upon the RIVERS and FOUNTAINS OF WATERS, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the WATERS say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and of prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments."

By "rivers," I understand the RICHEST and most FERTILE parts of the empire; and by “fountains of waters," those parts or places which are more eminently the head-quarters, the principal possessions, sources of the revenues, and where the

treasures are deposited, of THE CHURCH; or, in other words, what especially belongs to ecclesiastical concerns, and chief ecclesiastical rulers. And by these being "turned into blood," that such places shall be the scenes of unusually murderous, cruel, and protracted warfare, attended with robbery, spoliation, and rapine.

Accordingly, immediately after "the reign of terror" in France, we find that Divine vengeance and retribution fell upon those Papal nations and states more immediately connected with, and contiguous to, the Papal dominions; those which were most distinguished for enormous wealth, valuable treasures of art, and of the greatest beauty and fertility. One of the most extraordinary individuals of any age or nation, was at this moment raised up to guide the course of the French Revolution into these countries; and in their turns, Sardinia, Austria, Switzerland, Venice, and Italy, with the great cities of ROME, Genoa, Milan, Mantua, Naples, Florence, &c., may be said, for eight or ten years, to have successively become "a mass of gore, and the seats of perhaps the most destructive war that ever raged." These nations and cities were particularly the strongholds of Popery, and had been pre-eminently forward in the persecutions of the disciples of the Lord Jesus: accordingly, this is the reason assigned for their judgments: "For they have shed the

blood of saints and of prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink!"-From 1796 to 1806.

4. "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which had power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."

France, as the Lord's instrument of vengeance under the former vial, was, with the exception of the last year or two, a republic. But after the complete humiliation of the Emperor of Austria, and his consequent renunciation of the headship of the Roman empire, the Emperor Napoleon, who had already been crowned King of Italy, instantly became the "SUN" of the western Roman world, and its "seventh head.” A new scene again opened, and it is said, "power was given unto him to scorch MEN with fire"that is, to exercise a most tyrannical and arbitrary sway; not over any particular nation or peoples, but over "men" in general. Accordingly, instead of cherishing and fructifying the earth with a salutary and genial warmth, the rays of this political Sun scorched with all the fury of an intolerable military despotism, not alone the rivers and fountains of waters-the headquarters of the riches, wealth, and influence of Popery-but it extended to the remoter nations

of Europe; and during the next six years, from 1806 to 1812, Spain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Sweden and Denmark, and if not the soil, the blood and treasures, of England, felt its most malignant and withering influence. And it is said, by Him who well knew the effects of these judgments, that "men blasphemed THE NAME OF GOD, which had power over these plagues."

5. "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the SEAT of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

The throne of the Roman Empire, or of the great monstrous wild beast of Daniel's vision, or of the infidel beast, as described in Rev. xvii. was now, on Napoleon's becoming the seventh head, transferred to France. This vial, therefore, concerns that kingdom, and exhibits the downfall of the short-lived imperial power of its emperor, and refers to one of the most memorable and important reverses the world ever witnessed. France, which had on all occasions been the foremost to shed the blood of the saints, and to be the tool of Popery; whose history from age to age is stained with the successive persecutions of the Albigenses and Waldenses, with the massacres of St. Bartholomew, and the later persecutions of Lewis XIV., was yet to drink

« VorigeDoorgaan »