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HYPOTHESIS

Concerning the Phials, one by one.

First, The effusion of the phials signifies the ruin of the antichristian beast.

This is apparent from the text, concerning which see Synchronism vii. part 1st. For as the former, and more ancient polity of the Roman empire was subverted by the plagues of the trumpets, so the last is to be subverted by the plagues of the phials. This is the cause of so great a similarity between them, since the last bears the image of the former Roman polity.

Secondly, The seven phials -are so many gradations of its ruin; for as the beast rose by degrees, so likewise will he be abolished by degrees.

Thirdly, Whatever that may be on which each of the phials is poured out, it suffers loss and injury by the phials; since the effusion of the phials is the effusion of the wrath of God. No interpretation, therefore, can possibly stand, by which the effusion of a phial would contribute to the good of that on which it is poured out.

Fourthly, The earth, the sea, the rivers, the sun, are something relative to the antichristian 418beast, which resemble the earth, the sea, the rivers, and the sun. For all the phials are poured upon the beast, and therefore each relates to something connected with the beast, or at least affecting his interest.

Fifthly, The whole body of the beast, or the antichristian universe, is tacitly compared by the Holy Spirit, in the same manner as in the trumpets, to the mundane system, of which the different parts are the earth, the sea, the rivers, heaven, and the luminaries, so that the earth in the pontificate universe would be so called from its resemblance to the earth, the sea from the same likeness to the sea, the rivers to the rivers, and the sun to the sun in the natural world.

Sixthly, Lastly (as we have observed more than once), because God employs angels as ministers of his providence, in exciting and directing the movements and revolutions of human affairs; therefore, those things which are performed by the hands of many, are yet attributed to an angel, as the president and director of the event to be transacted, according to a common mode of speaking.

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