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A Brief Commentary On The Apocalypse by Sylvester Bliss

The Fifth Vial.

|And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the wild beast; and his kingdom was darkened; and they gnawed their tongues through pain, and reviled the God of heaven, because of their pains and their ulcers, and repented not of their deeds| Rev.16:10, 11.

The beast, here spoken of, is the same seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast that ascended out of the sea (Rev.13:1), symbolizing the Roman empire in its divided form. Consequently the seat or throne of the beast would be the ruling power which exercised and controlled the government of these kingdoms. Just previous to this epoch, Napoleon had reached the summit of his power; and the subversion of his throne, with the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty in 1814 and 1815, is evidently here symbolized. Napoleon had become the idol of France, which worshipped at the shrine of his glory. With his fall, their sun was stricken from its firmament, and the kingdom was darkened.

The change being effected by foreign arms, the chagrin and mortification of his adherents was natural and expected. They were filled with pain and anguish at this termination of all their hopes. The re-imposition on them of the Bourbon line, revived all their former hatred towards their rulers and sense of oppression, symbolized by the ulcers of the first vial. They continued still a nation of infidels, performing the same works of blasphemy against God; and again and again have they risen in rebellion against their government.

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