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



Chapter 16

Section 1 Subsection 8

Historical Exposition


The peace of Tilsit had completely extended the new Frank domination over the Continent of Europe. By the judgments of the fourth vial thus far developed, Prussia was reduced by one-half; the two kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemburg were erected as a barrier against Austria; and the two feudatory kingdoms of Saxony and Westphalia, as a counterpoise to Prussia. Russia remained the only power untouched, though scathed. The Man of Destiny followed more and more the steps of Charlemagne. He had caused on the day of his coronation, the crown, the sword, and the sceptre of Charlemagne to be carried before him. But, unlike Charlemagne, who went to Rome to be crowned by the Pope, he caused the Pope to come to him in Paris, not to crown, but to consecrate his dynasty in the estimation of the worshippers of the Beast's Image; and modeled his new states upon the vast empire of that conqueror. The object of the resurrected and ascended witnesses of the Revolution of 1789, had been to destroy the Beast and his Image, in the re-establishment of the liberty of peoples; it had made citizens, and changed Europe into republics -.a state of things in no way typical of the future permanent results of the postresurrectional labors of the Saints, when under the command of "the Prince of princes," they shall have finished and rested from their labors. The work of the Revolution was simply transitional. The subversion of the ancient political order bya republican policy, prepared the way for what followed. Napoleon established a new military hierarchy, turned citizens into vassals, and transferred republics into fiefs. Potent and energetic as he was, and appearing upon the stage after a shock that had shaken the world to its centre and perfectly paralyzed it, he was enabled for a season to arrange it as he pleased. Thus the "great empire" grew up, with a civil discipline at home, which rendered France as obsequious as an army; and abroad, with its secondary kingdoms, its confederate states, its grand fiefs,and its supreme chief, "emperor," "mediator," "protector," and "king;" a perfect type of that greater and more glorious empire to be established by the Lord Jesus and his Brethren, as the result of "the war of the great day of the almighty Deity," which pervades the period of the seventh vial. Napoleon no longer experienced any resistance, and his commands were obeyed from one extremity of the European Continent to the other. The imperial power was at this moment at its maximum; and England, which had then eleven hundred vessels of war, was the only power that resisted his will.

At this crisis, as if to manifest his contempt, and to mark his defiance of all the potentates of Europe, Napoleon gave an extraordinary proof of confidence in the plenitude of his power, in the publication of the following decree, which signalized the approaching outpouring of the Fifth Vial, dated May 1808. "Whereas the temporal sovereign of Rome has refused to make war against England, and the interest of the two kingdoms of Italy and Naples ought not to be intercepted by a hostile power; and whereas the donation of Charlemagne, our illustrious predecessor, of the countries which form the Holy See, was for the good of Christianity, and not for that of the enemies of our holy religion: We therefore decree, that the duchies of Urbino, Ancona, Macerata and Camerino, be forever united to the kingdom of Italy: to which kingdom all cardinal prelates and natives of these districts are commanded to return by the 5th of June, on pain of confiscation of goods". This singular and salutary exercise of despotic power called forth a declaration from the Pope in which he maintained the rights of his See, and earnestly protested against the intended spoliation. This, however, did not prevent the entry of a French army, which took possession of all the strong places in the ecclesiastical territories. And this was followed by the annexation of Parma, Placentia, and Tuscany to the French empire; so that the kingdom of Italy was now guarded on every side by the empire.

After the lapse of some months, the Pope's protest was enforced by a sentence of excommunication against the authors and instruments of the act of spoliation. This was productive of new violence on the part of Napoleon, his "most dear son in Christ!" In 1809, the wrath of the fifth vial at length descended upon "the throne" itself. Its pontifical occupant, the Name of Blasphemy upon the Seven Heads of the Beast-Dominion, was arrested by his order, and brought as a captive to Avignon, in fulfillment of the saying, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity" (ch. 13:10). But this was not all. A provisional government was established in the ecclesiastical states; the Inquisition was abolished; many temporal and spiritual abuses were abrogated; and various civil and judicial reforms were introduced. Rome itself, wonder-fully improved and embellished in the hands of the Great Emperor, was degraded by decree from a sovereign to a subject rank. It was declared to be the second city of the New Empire; and empowered to send seven members to the Legislative Body; and a deputation, arriving from thence at Paris, presented an address of homage, to which Napoleon replied in style and language of an emperor of the West.

We have seen already that in the outpouring of the wrath of the third vial its plagues reached even to Rome; and that the papal states were transformed into the Roman Republic, in February 1798, when the Pope's temporal reign was declared to be at an end. On that occasion, the French ambassador wrote to general Buonaparte, "the payment of thirty millions (of francs) stipulated by the Treaty of Tolentino, has totally exhausted this old carcass; we are making it consume by a slow fire". It was on the 15th of February, while seated on his throne, and receiving the congratulatory worship of his cardinals. that the Pope was arrested by the French military, the ring of his marriage with the Romish Church torn from his finger; his palace rifled, and himself carried prisoner into France, where he died in August, 1799. All the territorial possessions of the church and monasteries were confiscated; all the sacerdotal vestments of the Pope and Cardinals were burnt; and the Pope's library, museum, furniture, and jewels, pillaged. This was a making of the Mother City "desolate and naked, eating her flesh, and burning her with fire;" not by the ten horns, however, but by the Revolution, as an earnest of what is yet to follow, at the hands of the Saints. But Rome was still the sovereign city of a Roman State, though it had lost its imperialism. But even this was soon after restored to her. Buonaparte's absence in Egypt, and the temporary success of the allies under the "invincible Suwarrow," enabled the worshippers of the Beast's Image to elect a new pope, Pius VII.' March 13, 1800; and to repair for a time, the ruin of the papal throne. Buonaparte's usurpation, and his restoration of Romanism in France, excited the hopes of the Pope, with whom he made a concordat in 1801. But they proved quickly delusive. "The designs of Napoleon," says Ranke, "were now (in 1805) revealed. The Constituent Assembly had endeavored to emancipate it-self entirely from the pope. The Directory wished to annihilate his authority. Buonaparte's notion was to retain him, but in a state of absolute subjection; to make him a tool of his own boundless ambition". After a while he was permitted to return to Rome. But, on his resistance to Napoleon's views, there followed in 1809, the outpouring of the wrath of the fifth vial upon the throne, originally given to him by the Dragon (ch. 13:3), in consequence of which the Roman State was abolished, and there was neither republic nor kingdom upon the Seven Hills.

The occasion of this disaster to the Pope was his sympathy with heretical England, then campaigning against the French in Spain, a diversion to their arms, which afforded Austria another opportunity of trying to restore the shattered fortunes of the Beast's kingdom. This obstinate and determined champion of the Image, seized the opportunity of Napoleon's absence and that of his army in Spain, and determined to make one more powerful effort for the reestablishment of the old order of the European world. A hundred and fifty thousand worshippers of the Beast's Image were marched into the field of blood and fire, and began the campaign in the spring of 1809. The Tyrolese rose in rebellion; king Jerome Buonaparte was expelled by the Westphalians; Italy was wavering, and Prussia was only waiting a reverse in the fortunes of the Great Emperor once more to take up arms. The campaign of the fifth vial commenced on the 18th of April. On the 22nd, the French and Austrians met in long and obstinate conflict at Eckmuhl. The slaughter was great, and the darkness of night alone rescued the Austro-Beast's forces from ruin. After this, Napoleon advanced rapidly upon Vienna, the city of the Beast's Dragonic Mouth (ch. 13:11; 16:13), the Imperial Aulic Council - into which, on the 10th May, he once more entered as a conqueror. As Napoleon used to say, "the hand of God leads my armies . This was true; they were so led, until the mission marked out for him Apocalyptically was accomplished. On the 5th of July, the Austrians stationed at WAGRAM, were surprised and disconcerted by the appearance of the whole French army in order of battle. Next day at sunrise, the contest began, and continued till night. The result of the re-newal of the battle was the dispersion and almost ruin of the Austrian armies, and the reduction of the Pope's Protector to a forlorn and hopeless condition. Austria sued for peace, which was granted, and signed at the palace of Schoenbrunn, the headquarters of Napoleon.

This notable opening of the campaign of the fifth vial by the conquest of the fifth coalition, was the military occasion of the issuing of his decrees from Schoenbrunn and Vienna for the humbling and spoliation of the Romish Mother and her Pope; which he had been threatening to do from the time of his triumphant entry into Berlin, in November, 1806. At this crisis he had an interview with the Papal Nuncio at Dresden in the Cabinet of Frederick the Great; and alluding to the refusal of Pius VII to exclude the English from the Papal States, and to declare war against them, in spite of flattery, coaxing, intimidation, and the most fearful threats, he said, as related in M.D'Hausonville's work, L'Eglise Romaine et le Premier Empire:

"The Pope is a holy man, who is made to believe all that they (Napoleon's enemies) think fit to tell him. They have presented to him my demands under a false light, just as Cardinal Gonsalvi did; and thus the good Pope gets angry, and says he will let himself be killed rather than yield. Who wants to kill him? good Heavens! But if he does not do as I would have him, most assuredly I shall take from him the temporal domain of Rome, but I shall always respect him as Head of the Church. There is no necessity for the Pope to be the Sovereign of Rome. The holiest Popes were not so. I shall make him an excellent allowance -3,OOO,OOOf. a year - that he may suitably represent his office. I shall place at Rome a King or a senator, and I shall cut up his states into so many duchies. What I want is that the Pope shall accede to the Confederation, and that he shall be the friend of my friend and the enemy of my enemies. I am the protector of the Church, and the Pope must be with me if he wishes to remain a sovereign; and certainly he may continue to be so if he acts as I wish him, because I have never intended, as he has been told, to take away from him the sovereignty of Rome. To come to the point, I have sent for you to tell you to quit Dresden in three days, and to signify peremptorily to the Pope that he must enter into the Confederation".

The Bishop replied:

"Your Majesty will permit me to repeat what I have already said, that the Pope being the common Father of the Faithful, cannot separate from some to attach himself to others; and that his ministry being a ministry of peace, he cannot make war on anybody, nor declare himself the enemy of anyone whatever without failing in his duties and compromising his sacred character".

The Emperor said:

"But I do not want him to make war on any one. I want him to shut his ports against the English, and to exclude them from his States, and that, as he is not able to defend his ports and his fortresses, he shall give them to me to defend. People have lost their heads at Rome. There are no longer any great men there, as in the time of Leo X. Ganganelli would not have acted so. How can the Pope imagine that I will consent to have between my Kingdom of Italy and that of Naples ports and fort- resses which, in time of war, may be occupied by the English, and may endanger the security of my States and my people? I want to be secure in my own house, for the whole of Italy belongs to me by right of conquest. The Pope has not crowned me as King, but as Emperor of France, and I succeed, not to the rights of Kings, but to those of Charlemagne. If I allow Sovereigns to be in Italy, it is not that they should favour my enemies and give me cause of disquiet. I want you to tell all that to the Pope, and explain to him his real interests. I had better intentions with regard to the Pope. I should have carried them out, and may yet do so; but he prefers being miserable and obstinate. If you are fortunate enough to persuade him, you do him a great service. I warn you, however, that all must be settled by the 1st of January, (it was then the 12th of November). Either the Pope will consent, and in that case will lose nothing, or he will refuse, and in this case I shall take his States from him. Excommunications are no longer in fashion, and my soldiers will not refuse to march whithersoever I bid them. Remember Charles V., who kept the Pope prisoner, and had prayers said for him at Madrid. I will do the same if I am driven to it. The Pope should not forget that I have raised up the altars in France; that I have restored religion; that I protect it in Germany, and that I shall continue to do so. Almost the whole of Catholicity is under my sceptre. The hand of God leads my armies, and this apparently is what displeases the Pope. He wants to cross me in every way. In Italy, in France, I have done much for the bishops and the priests. Everybody is content; but Rome is angry. It is not the Pope's fault; it is Antonelli's, and that other Cardinal he brought with him to Paris-how do you call him? Oh, aye! -Di Pietro. Di Pietrois an obstinate theologian who has no political views. The Pope complains of his poverty, and that he has not wherewith to go on. It is his own fault. I have paid (and more than I ought) the expenses of the first passage of my troops. I would have paid the second, the third - all the rest; but he wants to quarrel. Well, then, let them do so. I shall pay nothing more. Let the Pope only do as I would have him, and he shall be paid for the past and for the future".

Yes, Rome was angry, and the Pope persisted in his refusal. It is true, that excommunication’s were out of fashion; but angry and imbecile Rome, upon whom all experience is lost, still had faith in folly. Pius VII. hurled his mimic thunder against the emperor on June 10, 1809: but the Papal Jupiter had lost all his thunderbolts, so that the only party injured was his lying and blaspheming self. It was received with ridicule, and an order for his arrest. He was carried off prisoner to Savona, where he was detained nearly two years. While there he conceded the main point required by Napoleon, as stated in a Brief, bearing date Aug. 5, 1811, the preliminary condition of which was his separation for ever from Rome. On the approach of a British fleet, he was removed from Savona, Jan. 1812, to Fontainbleau. The Archiepiscopal palace of Paris had been repaired for his reception; for it was Napoleon's policy and intention to fix him and the Papal See in that abode: so that he could have "the False Prophet" (ch. 16:13; 19:20) then no longer the Image of the Beast, under his own eye and restraint in the New Capital of Catholicity. But, the sudden and wonderful overthrow of Napoleon's power prevented the establishment of his purpose. In 1814, "Catholicity having deserted him," says De Pradt, "four heretical kings (Russia, Prussia, England, and Sweden) bore the Pope back to Rome".

Thus as the result of the terrible plagues of these vials the kingdom of the Beast was darkened, but not destroyed. The power of Napoleon, the Scorcher of the Beast, began to wane after he had executed the divine purpose of blotting out his Roman throne. He had divorced Josephine, and allied himself to the sanguinary and heaven-cursed pope-protecting house of Austria, by marriage with Maria Louisa, in March, 1810; and now, in 1812, with the Anglo-Spanish war upon his hands, he proceeded to precipitate the armies of Europe upon the Magogian empire of Rosh, Meshech and Tobl. In alliance with Prussia and Austria, which engaged to assist him with very considerable forces, he began the fatal invasion of Gog's dominion with a mighty host of six hundred thousand men. On the 17th of August, after a furious contest at Smolensko, the Russians retired from the city, which they left to the French burning and in ruins On the 7th of September the two armies, the Russian of two hundred and twenty thousand, and the French of a hundred thousand, met at Borodino. Seventy thousand Russians, and forty thousand French, killed and wounded, lay upon the field. Moscow, the capital of Meschecb, was evacuated by order of its governor, Rostopchin; and two hundred thousand human beings, of both sexes, and of every age, became wanderers, preparatory to its conflagration. Napoleon arrived at the Kremlin, and was now at the zenith of his fortune. Fire burst forth in every direction. In speaking of it, he said, "this terrible conflagration ruined every thing. I was prepared for all but this: it was unforeseen; for who would have thought that a nation would have set its capital on fire? It was a spectacle of a sea and billows of fire, a sky and clouds of flame; mountains of red rolling flames, like immense waves of the sea, alternately bursting forth, and elevating themselves to skies of fire, and then sinking into the ocean of flame below. Oh, it was the most grand, the most sublime, and most terrific sight the world ever beheld!"

His retreat from Moscow  was most disastrous. The wrath of the fourth and fifth vials descended upon the hosts drawn from the nations worshipping the Beast's Image with terrible effect. They perished by thousands from cold, famine, pestilence, and war; so that, according to Segur, only a sixth part recrossed the Russian frontier. He had lost an army, the most formidable, perhaps, that any nation had ever brought into the field. The wars of modern Europe had furnished no instance of so extensive and complete a destruction; nor ever will again until Gog himself shall fall upon the mountains of Israel under the outpouring of the wrath of the sixth vial: nor does history record any event like it since Xerxes' invasion of Greece, B.C. 481.

This terrible destruction of the hosts led by Napoleon, was followed by the invasion of France by the British, who had expelled his armies from Portugal and Spain: and by the Russians, Prussians, and Swedes forming a sixth coalition for the restoration of the ancient order of things. The die was now cast; and the tide of events was turned The priests, the men having "the Sign of the Beast in their right hand" (ch 13:16) secretly conspired against him since his rupture with the Blasphemer of the Seven Hills: and the humiliated dynasties aspired to restore themselves. Negotiation had been tried, but failed; so that nothing but the outpouring of more wrath could determine the result. Deprived of the support of the people, who, in 1814, were mere spectators of the last act of the drama, Napoleon stood alone against the world with a handful of veteran soldier, aided by his genius, which had lost nothing of its audacity and vigor. He had to contend with the grand allied army of three hundred and eighty thousand men, marching from the north and east under Schwartzenberg by way of Switzerland Blucher by way of Frankfort; and Bernadotte, by way of Belgium  all aiming to concentrate upon Paris. Napoleon dexterously placed himself between Blucher and Schwartzenberg; he flew from one army to another and beat them both in Succession. His combinations were so powerful, his activity so great, and his manoeuvres so certain, that he appeared on the point of entirely disorganizing these formidable armies, and by the annihilation of them to put an end to the coalition.

But if he conquered wherever he was present himself, the enemy gained ground wherever he was absent. He was badly and treacherously supported by his generals. At length Paris, the only capital of the Continent which had not be en invaded during the awful outpouring of these terrible vials, now beheld the hosts of all Europe entering upon its plains, and on the point of undergoing the common humiliation It capitulated in the absence of Napoleon, March 31st, 1814, just 1260 years after the settlement of Italy by Justinian's Pragmatic Sanction A.D. 554. Eleven days after, perceiving that further resistance was' fruitless, he surrendered, and he renounced for himself and his children the thrones of France and Italy; and on the 20th of April, withdrew from the Continent to his little principality of Elba.

But, the worshippers of the Beast's Image, assembled in congress at Vienna, soon found, that between this minister of heaven's wrath upon blasphemers, and them, there could be neither truce nor peace. The astounding fact was communicated to them by Talleyrand, that the Exile of Elba had returned to France; that the Bourbon they had set up for king had fled; and that Napoleon was reinstated on the throne! They roared every one with the laughter of demons at the ; their merriment, however, did not last long - the event was too pregnant of mischief to be sported with. They threatened him with public vengeance as the enemy and disturber of the tranquillity of the world. All Europe now rang with preparations for war. Napoleon offered them peace, and to abide by the treaty of Paris; but his offers were disregarded; the Seven Spirits of the Deity had not energized him for peace; but to scorch the men of the Beast with fire: they had not yet had enough of this; therefore their hearts were hardened, and Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, in a seventh and last coalition, decided again to try the arbitrament of fire and sword.

The result of this appeal was the victory of Waterloo, June18, 1815. The loss on both sides was immense; and all concerned "were scorched with great heat". It was the last battle of him to whom "it was given to scorch the men" obnoxious to Divine wrath for their blasphemies and evil deeds, "with fire". Perceiving that he was no longer the object of public confidence, he declared his conviction that his political life was terminated, and again abdicated the imperial crown on the 22nd of June. Having issued a farewell addressed to the army, he left Paris on the 29th for Rochefort, intending to embark for the United States; but being unable to elude the vigilance of the English cruisers, and apprehensive of falling into the hands of the Russians, Prussians, and Austrians, whom he had so dreadfully "scorched", he surrendered to the British on the 15th of July, and claimed their protection. The island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic was assigned to him as his future residence by the Allied Powers. This was the sinking of "the sun of France" into the darkness of the shadow of death. His energetic protest against it was unheeded. He arrived there in safety in the fall of 1815; and, after a rest, from his thundering and scathing labors, of over five years, he expired on the 5th of May, 1821.




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