Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Seventh Vial

“It is really as if in the atmosphere of the world there was some mischievous influence at work which troubles and excites every part of it. We are passing this year through a period of great excitement. It is so still. Some countries are in revolution, others are at war, and in several countries which are neither in revolution nor at war there are people who seem to delight in discussing how near they have been or are likely to be either to revolution or to war in the past, present, or the future. Really it is as if the world were indulging in a fit of political alcoholism, and the best that can be done by those of us who are in positions of responsibility is to keep cool and sober.”

Sir Edward Grey, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; debate following the Agadir (or Second Moroccan) Crisis, House of Commons, 27 November 1911; Hansard, vol. 32 cc47-165.

(Revelation 17:2, in which: “the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk” with an unsound vintage – is also in agreement with the above statement by Sir Edward Grey).

What follows below, is quoted from a prophetical work on the Apocalypse (or, Book of Revelation) that was published in the very same year that Marx & Engels unveiled their, 'Communist Manifesto' to the world. To the prophetic expositions of this biblical work - I have added [in brackets] some observations of historical realities:

“We are taught, then, to expect, at the period referred to, some sudden and great derangement of the political atmosphere of Europe [“It is really as if in the atmosphere of the world there was some mischievous influence at work which troubles and excites every part of it.” Sir Edward Grey, 1911, above], – [this derangement of the political atmosphere of Europe shall be] the consequence, most probably, of the action of the three spirits, who will succeed in charging it, as it were, with the most vicious, disorganizing, and antagonist elements which some event [the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand] will suddenly bring into fierce collision; and in a single day, as it were, the whole of Europe... will burst out in violent tumults and insurrections; that these will issue in a revolution of unprecedented magnitude [the Russian Revolution], – unprecedented both in the largeness of its sphere and the complete and radical character of its changes....

“The fall both of the little kingdoms and the great monarchies of Europe is plainly predicted in the Apocalyptic representation; for John saw in the earthquake every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. This revolution will be followed, or, more probably, accompanied, by a war of unexampled severity and horrors [the First World War]. The hail of the first trumpet was fulfilled in the descent of the northern [Germanic] nations; the hail of the seventh trumpet, in the terrible wars of the French Revolution; but here we have a hail-shower whose violence is more terrific, and its effects more destructive still; for every stone is about the weight of a talent. This symbolic hail will fall on Europe from some northern region, – for hail is a northern product... Such is the catastrophe which prophecy reveals as awaiting the... kingdoms of modern Europe. The prophecy of Daniel [also] synchronizes with [that of] the seventh vial, and throws light upon it. The symbols of the two prophecies are different, but their import is most obviously the same. Both portend an entire change in the social and political fabric of Europe, – the fall of its kingdoms, the extinction of its dynasties, the alteration of its laws and forms of government... and the obliteration even of the territorial boundaries of its States. Nothing short of this can fulfil the figures of Daniel and the symbols of the Apocalypse.

“The earthquake of the seventh vial is unequalled since men were upon the earth. Other revolutions strongly affected society: this will change the character of society.... In truth, the change has been going on for a century. It was began by the infidel writers of France, who sowed industriously the seeds which they knew would yield mighty revolutions to the world, after they should have gone to their graves. It next passed into opinion. And now it has completed its third and great stage, and stands before the world a fait accompli. History does not furnish an example of such another revolution, – a revolution which has advanced gradually, yet irresistibly, from its first principles, – which has moulded opinion for itself, – which has never advanced a stage till it had first prepared its ground, – which has required a century for its growth, and, now that it is fully developed, has changed the aspect of the world...

“The source and centre of that movement which shall issue in the great changes of that epoch, – must be held to be symbolized by... [the] sun.... and [also] by the angel that was now seen in this sun... This angel in the sun cried with a load voice, 'saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come, and gather yourselves unto the supper of the great God.' 'The fowls that fly in the midst of heaven' is a new symbol. Some suppose that regular armies are meant.... We are disposed to think that certain parties to arise at that epoch, are here symbolized, – parties holding loose and obscene principles, of predatory habits, and spurning the restraints of law. The doctrines of Socialism, or, as they are termed abroad, Communism, would lead, if carried out, to all that the symbol suggests. The angel invites them to a well-furnished banquet, – 'that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.' The various classes into which European society is at present divided, from monarchs down to citizens and persons in menial condition, are here enumerated. Their flesh is given as a repast to these symbolic fowls. By flesh we are to understand their lands and wealth... this shall be the latter end of those dignities, estates, and revenues, which have so long prostituted to the support of despotism... – even a universal pillage! The changes now in progress have only to proceed a little farther, and the parties indicated above would enjoy unbounded license to carry their principles into effect, and the terrible consummation which seems here to be prefigured would be reached.”

(Taken from: 'The Seventh Vial; Being an Exposition of the Apocalypse, and in Particular of the Pouring Out of the Seventh Vial, with Special Reference to the Present Revolutions in Europe', by Rev James Aitken Wylie, London, MDCCCXLVIII [1848]).

Concerning the three antagonistic “spirits” (mentioned in the above work) which are symbolically pictured in Revelation 16 (verses 13-16), and which between them call the “kings of the earth and of the whole world” to the great “battle” (more properly: 'war') styled in the Apocalypse – Armageddon: those of the Reformed faith were of the opinion that the first of these antagonistic 'spirits', issued forth from the Devil; and that the other two 'personages' mentioned – from which 'they' issue forth – symbolised earthly agencies; and also, that the Sixth Vial, under which they “go forth”: pictured the drying up of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and insightful. Looking forward to more from you.