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by Dr. John Thomas
This could only be accomplished by a total eclipse of the Roman sun.
The Fifth Vial was, therefore, poured out upon the beast's throne.
The vengeance was terrific.
The people of the beast "gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but repented not of their deeds".
The power of the little horn was "consumed," but not yet "destroyed to the end".
The battle of Austerlitz in 1805 decided the fate of its dominion for a time.
Francis of Austria still retained possession of his hereditary domain, which included Hungary and Bohemia; but "the holy roman empire," says Sir Walter Scott, "having lasted full 1000 years, was declared to be no more, and of its ancient influence, the representation was to be sought for not at Vienna, but at Paris".
But the work was yet unfinished while the Papal Jupiter remained temporal sovereign of Rome.
Napoleon having to contend with the British Leopard in Spain, the Beast and the Image deemed it a favourable opportunity to break the yoke of their consumer.
Napoleon had required the Pope to declare war against England.
But England was too good a friend to receive such treatment.
He therefore refused; and replied to his demand by hurling the thunders of the Vatican at his head; while Austria, energized by British gold, assembled 500,000 men for the war.
This was in 1809.
In five days this mighty host was broken and dispersed.
The battle of Wagram reduced the little horn once more to inactivity; and the Corsican avenger obtained leisure to extinguish the Image of the Beast.
By a decree dated from the palace of the little horn at Schoenbrun, he annexed the Ecclesiastical State of the kingdom of Italy; and by a second decree, dated at Vienna, May 17, 1809, he suppressed the temporal sovereignty of the Pope; incorporated Rome with the French Empire; declared it to be his second city; appointed a committee of administration for its civil government; and settled a pension on the Pope in his spiritual capacity; all of which came to pass exactly 1,260 years from the capture of Rome by Totila and his Goths.
Thus, by the power given to "the earth," the dominion of the ten-horned, and two-horned, Beasts and their Image, was completely taken away till the fall of their consumer.
The kingdoms, or horns, of the Beast were all reduced to vassalage, while the imperial chief of the democracy created thrones, and made kings and princes of whomsoever he pleased.
It was a glorious sight to the eye of faith to behold him and his democratic nobles with the Beast writhing at their feet.
He claimed for his immediate liege subjects a population of 42,000,000 of souls; with Italy, Carniola, and the Illyrian provinces, as a portion of his personal empire.
His authority was almost absolute in Switzerland.
He was Lord of the confederation of the Rhine.
The King of Naples was one of his generals; and the Peninsular seemed on the verge of final subjugation.