Imágenes de páginas

and the Czar was forced to the terms of the peace of Tilsit. Then you must see the blaze of Napoleon's wars beyond the Pyrenees,* in the long and bloody campaigns of the Peninsula. See the fires of battle at the two sieges of Saragossa,† in which sixty thousand men are said to have perished‡— Baylen, Reynosa, Burgos, Tuedela, and Corunna-where Sir John Moore fell, mortally wounded - Talevera, Albuera, Badajos, Salamanca, and red Vittoria, and other battles, which set the whole peninsula ablaze with the fires of war.§ These latter battles resulted disastrously to the arms of France, because Napoleon was called to face more formidable foes in the North, in 1809. Austria|| had sent forward large bodies of troops into the Tyrol and into Italy, and Napoleon must meet her again. So, in harmony with his usual tactics, instead of meeting them on the old fields of his glory, where his young laurels had blossomed at Lodi and Arcole, he aims at the heart of his foe, by pushing his mighty armies, like an inundation of flood and flame, down the valley of the Danube. The armies of Austria go down before him at Abensberg, Landshut, Echmuhl, and other minor points. As a consequence of this series of brilliant victories, the great conqueror enters Vienna in triumph, a second time. But the Austrians rally nobly, to crush the invaders, and, at Aspern and Essling,** towns on the flanks of the battle-field, he lost the first great battle of his life. He retreated, by his bridges, back to an island in the Danube, where he fortified himself, and, though in the extremest peril, recuperated and concentrated his armies, from the other side of the river and from Vienna, which still remained in his possession, and prepared for the awful battle of Wagram, where he annihilated the Austrian Empire, and put fifty thousand men hors du combat. From this point you must see the horrors of war increasing. You must follow Napoleon in his fearful campaign to Moscow, in which, during both the advance and retreat, by battle, cold and hunger, he lost over four hundred and fifty thousand men, besides destroying many thousands of his foes. Ninety thousand fell in the awful battle of Borodino alone. Follow that vast inun

*Note 21, Canto I, stanza 68.

See Canto I, stanzas 68-70.

Note 24, ibid.

+ Note 22, Canto I, stanza 68. Note 23, stanza 73. + Note 26, Canto I, stanza 74.

§ Stanzas 70-72

**Note 25, ibid.

Note 27, Canto I, stanza 75.


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dation, its van wrapped in the flames of battle and of burning towns set on fire by the Russians themselves, to prevent them from giving aid to the enemy, see its climax capped with the wide glare of the flames of burning Moscow, and tell me, if some malign power had not been commissioned to scorch the world. Napoleon returned, humbled, to France. The sun of his glory was waning. But it had not yet lost its power to scorch men. He repented not of his great ambition. He levied another army in France, vast in numbers, though he had to "rob the cradle and the grave to do it. The powers of Europe combined to crush him. Yet he won brilliant battles at Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, and others of less importance. At length, at Leipsic, more than half a million men met in the awful shock of battle. For three terrific days the conflict raged, and one hundred and ten thousand soldiers fell in the strife. Napoleon was defeated. His retreat was fearfully destructive, as he, having been so universally successful, took little precaution to guard against disasters on a retreat. But many more battles were fought, and he still dazzled the world with his victories. Nevertheless, the allies closed in on Paris, and March 31, 1814, Alexander entered the city. The little island of Elba,† in the Mediterranean Sea, was given him in exchange for the Empire of Europe. He staid there but eleven months, when an uprising in France recalled him.↓ The nation rallied around him again.§ Louis XVIII. left his throne, without a blow struck in its defense. Napoleon took possession, and the famous hundred days of the restored Empire astonished the world. He soon after met and defeated Blucher on the field of Ligny. But, in a few days after,|| his sun, which had scorched men so fearfully, went down in the cloud and flame and tempest of Waterloo.¶ His retreat was a worse defeat than the battle, and, in a few days more, the allies were again in possession of Paris. The greatest military genius the world ever saw, was now banished for life to that desert island in middle of the Southern Atlantic.** Look at the foregoing picture, and tell me, if the

*Note 28, Canto I, stanza 77.
Note 30, Canto I, stanza 78.
Note 32, Canto I, stanza 80.
**See Poem, Canto I, stanzas 81-83

+ Note 29, Canto I, stanza 78. Note 31, Canto I, stanza 79. Note 33, Canto I, stanza 81.

demand of the symbolism of our text is not fully met—if scorching men with a great heat be any too strong a figure.

4. Our fourth point: Were the nations on whom these calamities fell, made any better by them? They blasphemed the name of God, which had the power over these plagues, and repented not, to give him glory. It is a well known fact of history, that impiety, blasphemy and atheism were never more prevalent than in the republican, and afterwards imperial, armies of France. It was France that "Resolved, that there is no God, and that death is an eternal sleep." Has she repented of her sins? Has Paris, the great Sodom of modern times, repented of her sins? Behold her infatuated people abandoning themselves to the furies of a popular insurrection! Before the thunder-cloud has rolled away, which has desolated her provinces, dismembered her territory, and laid a quarter of a million of Frenchmen in bloody graves, or left their unburied bones to bleach on the field, those infatuated multitudes are tearing each other. Read the history of Paris during the last half century. Have her people brought forth fruits meet for repentance? Ah! gay and licentious city, the curse of God is upon thee. Has the nation repented of its mad ambition to dominate the world? Have Germany and Switzerland repented of their atheism, infidelity and profanity? Does a nation of Sabbath breakers afford good and satisfactory evidence that they have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God? Has Russia repented of her grasping ambition? She affords little evidence. Have supporters of ecclesiastical despotisin repented of their pretensions and purposes? Let the history of their recent councils and decrees answer. When the Pope is exalting himself into the place of God, and proclaiming his own infallibility, it looks very little like repentance. When many are revolving another crusade to enforce papal rule upon the unwilling necks of the people of the Papal States, it shows that the supporters of ecclesiastical despotism have not yet relinquished their insane idea of propagating the religion of Jesus with the sword. They repented not, to give him glory. Ah! no, ye despots of the world, your tottering thrones and upheaving kingdoms must receive other vials of wrath, before ye repent. Your tiaras

and scarlet robes must be scorched by other fires, before ye relinquish your insane ambition. I shall speak further on this topic under the next vial.

5. My last remark on the symbolism of the fourth vial was, that, while these calamities would tend toward the destruction of religious despotism, they would not tend to that exclusively. They have affected other interests, and avenged other sins. The campaigns in Italy were mainly battles between Roman Catholic powers, so that, whichever side was beaten, the defeat fell on such a power. But these wider campaigns smote Protestant as well as Catholic countries, while all tended, at the same time, to the destruction of despotism. But we shall study this point, also, more on a future occasion, so we will leave it here.



Now turn, my muse, to that old throne of power.-NOTE 33, CANTO I, STANZA SI.

And the fifth angel* poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast;† and his kingdom was full of darkness: and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

And blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores.-REV. XVI. IO-II.

THIS passage will furnish us with a wide range of topics that are of great interest to us now, as, if our former interpretations are correct, we are now seeing the effects of the outpouring of the fifth vial. To present the subject as its nterest demands, I shall have to spend several evenings upon it.

As this vial, being poured out upon the throne of the beast, was to affect despotism, directly, we will now speak of that, and some of its prophetic symbols, as used in other parts of the book of Revelation. We will ascertain the meaning of the phrase, Σπι τον θρόνον του θηρίου. We shall show that rov npíov symbolizes despotism.

I. We remark, then, in the first place, if we were looking for a symbol to shadow forth despotism, in all its forms, modes and extent, we could not find anything in nature, that would meet the demand. We must resort to some monster of the imagination, to find an adequate symbol. What principle has been more influential and varied? We speak of it as a principle, and not as a form of government. It is the disposition to tyrannize over others to hold their lives, property and conscience in the power of another. It is the + Note 36, Canto I, stanza 89.

*Note 35, Canto I, stanza 88.

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