Imatges de pàgina

the second began to be poured out. A most celé: brated modern author observes; “It is no where said, that each vial is emptied, before its successor begins to be poured out. Hence it is not unreasonable to conclude that two or more of the vials may be pouring out at the same time, though the effusion of one commence before that of the other.”* Although the two first vials be of natures wholly different, yet the second soon commenced, to aggravate the effects of the first. Here the wisdom and mercy of God appeared. By the events of the second vial, God furnished employment for the powerful enemies of the reformation; and thus prevented their being able to withstand the effects of the first vial. Although the first vial began to be poured out for a course of years before the second, yet the two were to be poured out for the most part collaterally: The discovery of the surprising impositions of the Papal see, was to be made, and was to progress. While at the same time a train of sore judgments, from causes entirely foreign, for the most part, from those of the reformation, were to attend, both to exhibit the wrath of Heaven against the man of sin; and to protect the reformers and the reformed from his fury till their cause should be established. There can be no rational objection against this opinion, of the two vials being poured out at the same time. The reformation was not of a nature to come to a close, before the effusion of the succeeding vial should commence. It was to progress for centuries, till Popery should be no more, Other vials then, if they are poured out at all, must be poured out collaterally with it. And if so, what objection can be made to the effusion of its successor commencing soon after the effusion of the first? The nature of the case shows the necessity of such an event, and the goodness of God in it. Were a man to order his son to throw off the cover from a nest of vipers, would he not be ready at the same time, with his proper implements, to begin their destruction, and thus to prevent their de- ·

* Faber, vol. ii, p. 199.

stroying his son? We find the times of the seals; and of the trumpets. But we do not think it necessary to find all the effects of one to have ceased, before the succeeding one commences; nor to find equal distances of time between them. Their distances were unequal; and their effects often collateral.

We find in history, that after Charles V was elected to the Imperial crown, he was urged to repair speedily to Germany, on account of the innovations in religion, which were progressing there. “Unknown opinions concerning religion (says the historian) had been published, such as had thrown ihe minds of men into an universal agitation, and threatened the most violent effects.” And “the new opinions concerning religion made such rapid progress, as required the most serious consideration.”* Accordingly, as soon as Charles ar

" rived at Germany, he called a diet of the princes at Worms, we are informed, “to concert the most proper measures for checking the progress of those new and dangerous opinions, which threatened to disturb the peace of Germany, and to overturn the religion of their ancestors.”+ Now had not Charles and the Pope been diverted from this object, by the tremendous scenes of war, which soon opened upon them in Italy, and kept them employed till the work of the reformation became established, the reformers must soon have been crushed. Humaniy speaking, the events of the first vial could not have produced their designed effect, without the concurring aid of the judgment of the second. For which reason, as we may believe, the second vial was not deferred for that proportionable length of time, which might otherwise have been expected, when the whole seven were to occupy the space of several centuries. . When these things are considered, I trust no objection will arise to the explanation given of these two vials, from the partial synchronism of their events.

To trace in order the events, which I apprehend relate to the second vial, would be to write a long history. I shall mention only a few of those events. Let any

*Hist. Charles V, vol. ii, pp. 66, 89.

+Ib. p. 103.

one peruse the history of that period, given by Dr. Robertson, and he will not doubt whether the events were of sufficient magnitude to answer to the second vial. For but little short of 40 years we find an almost continual series of wars, of which Italy was chiefly the bloody theatre. The powers engaged were, the emperor of Germany, (who was at the same time king of Spain and of Naples) the king of France, the Pope, the emperor of the Turks, the king of the Romans, of Hungary and Bohemia, and more than once the king of England.' Terrible battles were fought. And all the calamities of sieges and captivities, and all those evils usually attendant on furious wars, were experienced in Italy. The Pope himself met with rough treatment. He was more than once a prisoner; and his capital was plundered. Cardinal Pompeo Colona, a disappointed rival of Pope Clement, instigated by the Imperial ambassador, while the Pope was engaged with Francis against the emperor, seized the gates of the Pope, at the head of an army, and dispersed his guards. The Pope fled to the castle of St. Angelo; which was imme.. diately besieged. The palace of the Vatican, the church of St. Peter, and the houses of the Pope's ministers and servants, were plundered. The Pope capitulated; being forced to agree to grant his cardinal a full pardon for all this conduct, and to withdraw his troops from the confederate army then at Lombardy. Not long after, Bourbon, who had fled disgusted from the king of France to the emperor, and had been made general of the Imperial army in Italy, and duke of Milan, marched at the head of 25,000 veteran troops toward Rome. They had been rendered desperate by want of money and provisions. And without the knowledge of Charles, they engaged in this expedition. The Pope then at war with the emperor, became alarmed, and speedily formed a treaty with Lannoy, another Imperial general, in which he agreed to a suspension of arms for eight months, and to pay 60,000 crowns toward the support of the Imperial army. Upon this, the Pope thought all was safe, and disbanded his troops. This credulous conduct his generals imputed to infatuation. Be it so,

it was designed to aid his unprecedented calamity! Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat. Lannoy informed Bourbon of the armistice which he had concluded with the Pope; and desired him to turn his arms against Venice. But Bourbon's hungry and half naked troops, elated with the idea of plundering Rome, would not be diverted from their object. And Bourbon him. self discovered little or no inclination to control them. They continued their march. The walls of Rome were scaled. Bourbon fell by a ball from the ramparts. His soldiers took the city. The Pope, thirteen cardinals and others, fled to the castle of St. Angelo. On his way thither, the Pope “saw his troops Äying before the enemy, who gave them no quarter; and heard the cries and lamentations of the citizens of Rome."* It is impossible to describe the horrors of the scene, which followed. Whatever a city taken by storm can dread from military rage, unrestrained by any leader, “whatever excesses the ferocity of the Germans, the avarice of the Spaniards, or the licentiousness of the Italians could commit, these wretched inhabitants were obliged to suffer.” Churches, palaces, and the houses of private persons, were plundered without distinction. No age, character, or sex, was exempt from injury. Cardinals, nobles, priests, matrons, vir- . gins, all were a prey to a brutal, enraged soldiery, deaf to every call of humanity. Nor did these outrages cease, as is usual in places taken by storm, when the first rage is over. Those 25,000 armed plunderers had the undisturbed possession of that vast wealthy city for several months; in which time their brutality scarcely abated. Their booty in ready money amounted to a million of ducats,t And what they raised by ransoms and exactions, far exceeded that sum. Dr. Rob. ertson observes, that though Rome had been taken at several different times, by the northern barbarians in the fifth and sixth centuries, it was never treated with so much cruelty by the Huns, Vandals, and Goths, as it experienced at this time. * Here let the reader be remained, that expositors suppose the first and second trumpets, (the fiery hailstorm upon the earth, and the burning mountain cast into the seat) to have been fulfilled by those sackings of Rome to which Dr. Rob. ertson here refers. And if Rome experienced greater severity under the ravages of Bourbon's army, than in those ancient calamities which fulfilled the first and second trumpets, surely this scene under Bourbon's army, together with those furious wars, which for nearly half a century shook Italy, Germany, and France, cannot be esteemed too diminutive to have fulfilled the second vial.

*Hist. Ch. V, vol. ii, p. 369. + Ducat, a coin struck by dukes; in silver $0,75; in gold 9s.6d." sterling,

While the Pope and his cardinals were confined in the castle of St. Angelo, and Bourbon's army were plundering Rome, the duke of Urbino advanced with an army of Venetians, Florentines, and Swiss, in the pay of France, sufficient to have relieved the Pope, and to have driven the army of plunderers out of Rome. The Pope from the ramparts of his castle beheld the advance of those troops at a distance, and leaped for joy, imagining relief was now at hand. But the duke of Urbino, having a private pique against the Pope, on coming in sight of Rome, pronounced the attempt to rescue the city too hazardous; and be wheeled his army, and retired; and thus left the Pope and Rome in all their wretchedness.

The Florentines rose in insurrection against the gov. ernment of the Pope, declared themselves a free people, broke in pieces the statues of Leo X, and of Clement, the then present Pope, and established their ancient popular government. The Venetians also seized Raven- . na, and other places belonging to the church. And the dukes of Urbino and Ferrara seized property be. longing to the Pope, whom they now considered as irretrievably ruined. Also Lannoy, Moncada, and the marquis del Guesto, three Imperial generals then in Italy, at the head of all the troops they could assemble

*Hist. Ch. V, vol. ii, p. 370.

+Rev. viii, 7, 8.

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