Chapter VI. The Ineffectiveness of the Vials to Produce Repentance.
…and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (Rev 16:10-11)
So had one Vial after another, as prefigured, commenced to be poured out on them that had the mark of the Beast, and that worshiped his image. And our idea of the severity of the sufferings is necessarily enhanced by the expression, “They bit their tongues for pain:” the rather perhaps if, as I think, it implies the manner in which all expression of thought and feeling against the oppressor would be repressed, as under an iron reign of terror. An aggravation this which, I need hardly say, was in a marked manner the accompaniment of the establishment of French domination, alike under the Republic and the Emperor, in every subjugated country of Western Europe. But what the moral and religious impression and effect? Alas! Just as when, after the 6th Trumpet’s tremendous scourge from the Euphrates, by which “the third of men,” or Eastern division of Roman Christendom, had been nationally destroyed, the report given in respecting “the rest of the men,” so far undestroyed, was, that “they repented not of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood, nor repented of their murders, or sorceries, or fornication’s, or thefts,” so now again, both during, and after, the pouring out of five out of the 7th Trumpet’s seven Vials of judgment, on the other parts of Anti-Christendom, and on the throne of the Beast itself, the prediction of the revealing Angel was to the effect that the inhabitants of the Apocalyptic world would not be brought to any real repentance of their sins against heaven; and that they would but blaspheme God, as the result of their pains and sores. Surely the judgment had been most significant of God’s controversy with the Beast, and them that had worshiped him. But, whatever else the result, true repentance towards God, it was fore-shown, would be no part of it. The rod would not be heard, nor He who had appointed it.