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by Dr. John Thomas
The events of February 1848 have originated the "great earthquake" of the seventh vial.
It is the same eqrthquake as that of the eleventh of the apocalypse, and the nineteenth verse.
Its first shocks will be terrific; but they are only the premonitions of worse to come.
The earthquake, or political convulsion, which followed the resurrection and ascension of the witnesses in 1789, was awful, as all know who are versed in the history of the time.
But that fell far short of what God is preparing for Europe.
The tumult of the peoples, and the tempest whose howlings are heard even now, are thus intimated by the prophet, saying, "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation to that same time: and at that time Israel shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt".
This "time of trouble" is contemporary with the resurrection of a portion of the dead.
It is the epoch of Israel's deliverance, both of the Ishmael, and Isaac, seeds; and of the casting down of the thrones of the beast.
The convulsion which affects their overthrow is described by the apostle as "a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great".
Ascertain the calamities of former ages, and however terrible they may appear, this will exceed them all.
The Flood, Sodom, Egypt, Jerusalem, the fall of the Roman empire, were all judgments which chill the heart, and make the blood run cold to contemplate; but times have now come over the world which will have been hitherto unsurpassed.
The wrath of the sixth and seventh vials which remains, is about to overwhelm the nations with "torment and sorrow," for the cup of their iniquity is full.
The more immediate effect of the shocks of the past year will be the subdivision of Roman Europe, styled "the great city," into "three parts".
This division will be the result of war, for which governments are now preparing themselves, perhaps unwittingly.
The tripartite division is attended by the fall of the cities of the nations, as it is written, "The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell".
That is, as I take it, that in consequence of the approaching contest, growing out of the Frog-power manifestation of 1848, the ten kingdoms will lose their independence; by which a new partition of the Roman world will ensue; and that when this is brought to pass, events will flow more directly eastward.
But before "the cities fall," or as Daniel expresses it, "the thrones are cast down," Rome comes in for her final overthrow.
I say, "before," because these kings are to be parties to her tormenting, and are to "bewail and lament for her," to them, unexpected doom.
"Judgment" hath then to be given to Zion; far as yet she hath in no part performed her mission.
Then are prostrated the horns, the little horn, and the image of the beast, and consumed their dominion; but in connection with this earthquake of the last vial, she has "to destroy it to the end".
They are repressed for the moment; but things are progressing in such a direction as to bring the power of the democracy to bear against Austria and Rome, perhaps through France and Prussia.
When they have done their work, the saints must be again repressed repressed and suppressed, as they were in 1814 and 1815, by a power, however, that will subdue all for itself.