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A Brief Commentary On The Apocalypse by Sylvester Bliss

The Fourth Vial.

|And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and it was given him to burn men with fire. And men were burned with great heat, and reviled the name of God, who had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.| Rev.16:8, 9.

The influence of the sun on the earth and sea, is analogous to that of a government on the subjects of its rule. As the right degree of light and heat is conducive to vegetation, and the excessive action of the sun's rays will scorch and destroy; so a genial government is a blessing to the people, while its arbitrary and tyrannical acts are often insupportably oppressive.

With the overthrow of the French monarchy under the second vial, there arose new rulers in France, who usurped despotic powers, and subjected the governed to most oppressive exactions. The rich were impoverished, the nation was robbed, the business of the country was paralyzed, the obnoxious were slain, every species of misery and wickedness abounded, the males were subjected to military conscription, and hundreds of thousands of them were sent to subjugate surrounding nations. The countries they invaded were also devastated, and oppressed, and robbed by impoverishing taxations. These continued, though in a milder form, under the imperial rule, and all parts of the Roman earth felt the scorching effects of the devouring heat of French usurpation. But when Napoleon passed beyond the boundaries of the Roman empire, he was met and driven back by the snow and frost of the Almighty.

Notwithstanding the oppressions to which the people were subjected, and the exactions under which they groaned, they made no recognition of God's sovereignty. They saw not that this chastisement was from Him. They did not deprecate his wrath, nor acknowledge his righteousness, but still continued to be infidels and apostates. They continued to blaspheme the name of God, who had power over these plagues, and repented not to give him glory.

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