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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 16

Section 1 Subsection 7

Act V  The Fifth Vial



"And the Fifth Angel poured out his vial upon the THRONE OF THE BEAST; and it was his kingdom which had been darkened; and they did gnaw their tongues with the anguish, and blasphemed the Deity of the heaven because of their pains, and because of their ulcers; and they repented not of their works" - Verse 10.


The subject of the outpouring of the fifth angel's vial of wrath, was "the Throne of the Beast." After giving the reader this information, it is added, that "it was his kingdom which had been darkened" - egeneto he basileia autou eskotomene: which was in effect saying, that the work of the preceding vials consummated in the fifth, had darkened the kingdom of the Beast.

The kingdom of the Beast was coextensive with the "Holy Roman Empire," and the countries of the Apocalyptic Babylon, as symbolized by the Beast of the Earth, and the Beast of the Sea; whose populations all worshipped the Image of the Beast, enthroned upon the Seven Mountains. The spiritual authority is superior to the temporal in dignity, if not in material power; but, where the spiritual and temporal are united, and its decrees obeyed by all peoples and rulers, ecclesiastical and secular, the throne it occupies is emphatically "the throne" of such a dominion. The kingdom of the Beast had many thrones occupied by secular potentates, none of whom had any legitimate spiritual jurisdiction. Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, Naples, and so forth, had no authority in Rome and the Papal States; while in all these countries, the Old Man of the Seven Hills made kings and peoples tremble at his frown.

At the crisis of the fifth vial, only one thing remained, for the complete darkening of the political organization of which this throne was the chief, and that was, the obliteration of it from among the kingdoms of the world. When this should be accomplished, there would then be no throne to shed forth the sunlight of its glory upon the kingdom of the Beast. The Bourbon kings of France, and Spain; the kings of Portugal, of Naples, of Sardinia, of Italy, were all wiped out; and the Holy Romano-German empire dissolved. All these old things had passed away; and all things had become new; in relation to which, the Pontifical Throne was a deformity and a curse. While therefore, the new things flourished in glory and power, this relic of an effete barbarism was decreed of Heaven to be wrathfully precipitated into darkness; and there to remain, until the reaction of unrepentant wickedness should cause its emergence from the shadow of death, in preparation for a second and final catastrophe at the hand of Christ and the Saints.




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