on Revelation 16 :9
They repented not - No moral national amendment has taken place in consequence of the above calamities in that unhappy country, nor indeed any of those nations engaged against her in that long and ruinous contest, which has now terminated, (1817), without producing one political, moral, or religious advantage to herself or to Europe.
on Revelation 16 :9
And men were scorched with great heat - That is, as above expressed, calamity came upon them which would be well represented by such heat. It is said that this calamity would come upon people, and we are to suppose that it would be such that human life would be particularly affected; and as that heat of the sun must be exceedingly intense which would cut down people, we are to suppose that the judgment here referred to would be intensely severe.
And blasphemed the name of God - The effect would be to cause them to blaspheme God or to reproach him as the author of these calamities; and in the fulfillment of this we are to look for a state of things when there would be augmented wickedness and irreligion, and when people would become worse and worse, notwithstanding the woes that had come upon them.
Which hath power over these plagues - Who had brought these plagues upon them, and who had power to remove them.
And they repented not - The effect was not to produce repentance, though it was manifest that these judgments had come upon them on account of their sins. Compare the notes on Revelation 9:21.
To give him glory - To turn from sin; to honor him by lives of obedience. Compare the notes on John 9:24.
In regard to the "application" of this the following things may be remarked:
(a) That the calamity here referred to was one of the series of events which would precede the overthrow of the "beast," and contribute to that, for to this all these judgments tend.
(b) In the order in which it stands it is to follow, and apparently to follow soon, the third judgment - the pouring of the vial upon the fountains and streams.
(c) It would be a calamity such as if the sun, the source of light and comfort to mankind, were smitten, and became a source of torment.
(d) This would be attended by a great destruction of people, and we should naturally look in such an application for calamities in which multitudes of people would be, as it were, consumed.
(e) This would not be followed, as it might be hoped it would, by repentance, but would be attended with reproaches of God, with profaneness, with a great increase of wickedness.
Now, on the supposition that the explanation of the previous passages is correct, there can be no great difficulty in supposing that this refers to the wars of Europe following the French revolution, the wars that preceded the direct attack on the papacy and the overthrow of the papal government, for these events had all the characteristics here referred to:
(a) They were one of a series in weakening the papal power in Europe - heavy blows that will yet be seen to have been among the means preliminary to its final overthrow.
(b) They followed in their order the invasion of Northern Italy, for one of the purposes of that invasion was to attack the Austrian power there, and ultimately through the Tyrol to attack Austria itself. Napoleon, after his victories in Northern Italy, above referred to (compare chapter xx of Alison's History of Europe), thus writes to the French Directory: "Coni, Ceva, and Alexandria are in the hands of our army; if you do not ratify the convention I will keep these fortresses and march upon Turin. Meanwhile I shall march tomorrow against Beaulieu, and drive him across the Po; I shall follow close at his heels, overrun all Lombardy, and in a month be in the Tyrol, join the army of the Rhine, and carry our united forces into Bavaria. That design is worthy of you, of the army, and of the destinies of France" (Alison, i.continued...
on Revelation 16 :9
16:9 And the men blasphemed God, who had power over these plagues - They could not but acknowledge the hand of God, yet did they harden themselves against him.