Page images

1. The first period of war commenced in 1700, and continued without intermiffion till 1721 inclufive; for when other powers terminated their destructions, and hushed the roar of war in fome parts of Europe, by the peace of Utrecht, in 1713, and by that of Raftadt, in 1714, then, as though alarmed left mankind fhould he too happy, the madman Charles the Twelfth of Sweden roused himself from his bed of affected fickness at Dometica, and prosecuted his war against Ruffia, Denmark, Pruffia, Poland, Hanover, and Saxony, with renewed vigor. In these wars the following powers were engaged: Sweden, Ruffia, Denmark, Poland, England, Holland, the Emperor, Spain, France, the Venetians, the Turks, &c. This was the first thunder.

2. The fecond, though very violent while it lafted, was of fhorter duration than the former, continuing only through the three campaigns of 1733, 1734, and 1735. In this war there were engaged the Emperor, France, Spain, Sardinia, &c. The interval of peace was short; for,

3. In

1737 the third thunder began to roll; nor did it cease to lay the fairest parts of Europe in ruins till 1748. In the wars which filled up this period of deftruction the following powers were engaged: the Emperor, Ruffians, and Turks, led the way; England and Spain quickly followed; France, Pruffia, and Holland alfo united to increase the calamity.

4. In 1755 commenced another period of war, which foon fct all Europe in a flame. Great Britain, France, Prussia, Saxony, Auftria, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal, experienced its effects, This period of war lafted till 1763, and was the fourth thun


5. The fifth, though extremely violent where it raged, did not extend itself fo wide. The parties engaged were the Ruffians, Poles, and Turks. The French and Corficans alfo increased the

About the year 1726 the treaties of Vienna and Hanover had like to have kindled a general flame throughout all Europe, but it being happily extinguished just as it was breaking out, and the expence of preparation being the chief evil, what happened between us and Spain can by no means be reckoned a thunder.

[blocks in formation]


roar. Poland was never fo defolated. This commenced in 1768, and continued five years.

6. Peace, as ufual, was but of fhort continuance, The difpute of Great Britain with, her American colonies, which broke out into an open rupture in 1775, was the occafion of a fixth general tempeft breaking upon the chief maritime powers of Europe, and which continued from 1778 to 1782, five years. The powers engaged were Great Britain, France, Spain, and Holland.

70The feventh and laft period of war was from 1788 to 1591, inclufive. The parties engaged were the Ruffians and Auftrians against the Turks; the Swedes against the Ruffians and Danes; the Belgians also, who revolted against the emperor, increased the tempeft. Denmark foon became neuter; and as far as the emperor and Swedes were concerned, peace was restored in 1790, but the Ruffians and Turks continued their flaughter till 1791. This was the feventh thunder...

This laft period of war feems, under Providence, to have been: among the principal caufes of the fuccefs of the revolutionifts in France; for those who may be thought to have been the most difpofed to affift the French court were otherwife employed. This: circumftance has not been unnoticed by the writers of the day. It has been obferved that it happened unfortunately with refpect. to the aristocratical party in France, that Europe had seldom been, through a long courfe of years, in a state lefs capable of affording. the fuccours which were now demanded by the princes, nobles, and clergy of that country, or in which the minds of the people, or the difpofitions of the fovereigns were lefs calculated for undertaking any enterprize, than at prefent. The mad ambition of the emperor Jofeph, under the influence of the overwhelming power and va defigns of Ruflia, to which he became fo miferable a dupe, befides the ruin and spirit of revolt which it fpread through his own dominions, had, in-no fmall degree, deranged the general policy of Europe. And it is worthy to be obferved that just when this prince was on the eve of making peace with the Turks, and which being accomplished, he might then have been able to turn: his attention to the fituation of his brother-in-law the king of


France, he died, (Feb. 26, 1790) His fucceffor, Leopold, immediately fet himself to accomplish what death prevented Joseph from executing; but no fooner was peace concluded with the Ottoman court, and his revolting fubjects in Brabant brought to obedience, than he died alfo, (March 1, 1791.) All thefe events counteracted every inclination which the court of Vienna might have to oppose the progrefs of the French revolution, and gave time for its gaining fuch a firm establishment, that before Francis, the prefent emperor, could be prepared for the meditated attack, the people of France were become too much enlightened into the enormities of the old fyftem, too much informed of their rights and strength, and too united, to be easily frightened into a retreat.

The courts of London and Madrid were occupied in a squabble about an object fcarcely bearing or deferving a name. The king of Sardinia, from the ftatè of his finances, of his army, of his fortreffes, was not in a condition to hazard any attempt in favor of the old defpotifm, till too late. We may add; the immense debts, contracted in the wars of the prefent century, (originating from the impolitic and ruinous practice of funding, which muft in the end, and perhaps very foon, terminate in events the most calamitous to thofe who have had resort to such unwise measures); thefe debts, I fay, and the confequent derangement of the finances of all the powers in Europe, proved highly favorable to the cause of the French reformers; and however great the fears of fome night be, refpecting the influence of this example, or however much inclined to liften to the fupplications of humbled defpotifm, or to fupport the caufe of the mortified nobility and clergy, whofe eries for vengeance filled every court and every country, yet they were fo fhackled by circumftances as not to be able to yield them immediate affiftance.

Thus have the wars of this century been preparing the way for the accomplishment of God's defigns in the overthrow of the tenth part of the antichriftian city, and the deftruction of the power of thofe privileged orders of men, who had been its chief fupporters, which appears to be the flaying of the feven thousand names of men predicted Rev. xi. 13. and which events were to be the prelude to the feventh trumpet, which is to bring those


judgments that are to perfect the overthrow of papal corruption and tyranny.

Seeing that God, by his fervants the prophets, has condescended in various known and allowed cafes, (as may be feen by comparing the writings of the prophets with hiftory) to reveal his purposes concerning the fate of nations, and that for the confirmation of his word, and the edification of mankind, it certainly becomes us to examine whether there be any tokens or figns by which we may know the prefent times, left the judgments of God come upon us when we are not aware, and find us, instead of waiting for him, as his faithful fervants, in arms against his providence, and in league for the fupport of his enemies, and the enemies of his children.

There never were greater or more important events, since the world began, than thofe to which we are witnesses ;-events apparently big with the moft awful confequences. Though what we have advanced refpecting the termination of the power of the Turks in or about the year 1697, and the accomplishment of the feven thunders, by the feven periods of war which have been fince that time, may not, by itself, prove that the time is arrived for the founding of the feventh trumpet, and for the commencement of that woe which is to bring antichristian idolatry, corruption, and oppression to an end, yet, in conjunction with other prophecies and events, it is poffible that it may form a strong probability-a probability as near to a demonftration as can be expected on fuch a fubject, and in the prefent ftage of the bufinefs. Compare atten-. tively. In that whole-piece picture (if I may fo call it) contained in chapter the eleventh, we are informed that after the two witnefles, or two defcriptions of witnesses, had lain politically dead in one of the streets of the antichriftian city, the mystical Babylon, for three prophetic days and a half, the fpirit of life from God entered into them, and they ftood upon their feet, and great fear, fell upon. them who faw them. This is a Jewish manner of deferibing the great political changes of nations from bondage to liberty, as may be feen by comparing this place with Ifa. xxv. 612, Xxvi. 12, 19, 21. Ezek. xxxvii. 1—14. What the prophets in the paffages referred to have defcribed as the refurrection of


the Jews from the dead, is allowed, on all hands, to be their rifing to civil and political existence, when they shall be restored from their difperfions and bondage to their own land and to liberty; and the spirit which is promised, Ezek. xxxvii. 14. to be put in them that they may live, is not that which is promifed Jer. xxxi. 33. and Ezek. xi. 19. but the spirit of political and civil life, preparatory to that greater blefling of the renovating Spirit of God. Upon the rifing of thefe witneffes from their state of death, they heard a great voice from heaven, (ver. 12.) that is, from the fupreme power, faying unto them, "Come up hither," affume the privileges and rights of freemen. "And the fame hour there was a great earthquake;" (ver. 13.) or, in plain language, without prophetic figure, a great national convulfion, from the struggles which the fupporters of corruption and tyranny made against the vindicators of the civil and religious rights of mankind. "And the tenth part of the city fell." This for ages paft has been supposed to refer to France, the tenth part of the antichriftian city, and events feem to verify the conjecture. This doubtless appears to point out one of the ten papal states or monarchies which had been the great fupporter of the perfecutions and oppreffions of the whore of Babylon, and which was to fall some little time before the founding of the feventh trumpet for the great and defolating woe; and no one of them has been, all through, so conspicuous in her cause as France.

"And in the earthquake"-not at the moment of the falling of the tenth part of the city, but in the earthquake which terminated in that event, "were flain of men feven thousand;" or, of the names of men, as it should be read. This has alfo, for near two centuries back, been fuppofed to be a prediction of the abolition of titles in France, and of the perifhing of thofe privileged orders of men who have been the principal fupporters of defpotifm, and the chief actors in the perfecutions which have raged against God's fervants, as may be feen more at large in the First Part of The Signs of the Times.

Immediately after the fall of this tenth part of the city, the third woe commences. Ver. 14. The fecond woe is past, and behol the third woe cometh quickly. And the feventh angel founded,


« PreviousContinue »