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445. be dried up, in the period to which this part
of the prophecy relates. The meaning, therefore, seems to be, that the barrier that has hitherto fubfifted between the East and the West (and which has prevented the communications of science, and the interchange of good offices,) is to be taken away, in order to prepare a ready means of access; in consequence whereof, those kingdoms that are situated in the Eastern parts of the world may be enabled to partake of all the light and knowledge of the West, and to communicate their good things in return.
And surely no period of time did ever, in so striking a manner, answer to this description as that now present does.
In the years 1741, 1742, 1743, and 1744, Commodore Anfon first made his compleat voyage round the world: and from that day to this have been a fucceffion of circumnavigators; the effect of whose labours has been, the opening a free and easy coinmunication with all parts of the globe, and particularly with those very countries to which the access is most properly eastward.
Even New Holland is now likely to be inhabited; and to be, in a degree, fomewhat
civilized. And the very motives of self-interest will, ere long, prompt the inhabitants of Europe, by degrees, to open a commerce of real use with the islands of the great Southern Ocean, to which the most ready approach is by the East.
Many, very many, new countries have been discovered in the period from 1740 to this hour : and it is now only, and within this short space of time, that we have become fully acquainted with the geography of our whole globe.
We ought not to forget, also, that during this period a most expeditious mode has been discovered by Commodore James, in 1754 *, of doubling the great Cape of India, and of 446. passing from the Coast of Malabar to the Coast of Coromandel, at all seasons ; notwitlistanding the Monfoons, which had before been a great and impenetrable bar during the chief part of
every year And, moreover, a most expeditious way of passing from Russia into the East by the North, and through the Deserts, has been sendered practicable, and brought even into constant use; insomuch that, at last, a folemn
* See Iyes's Voyage to India, p. 78, 94:
embassy from China to Russia (a thing never heard of before these years,) has passed that way.
Whilst, on the other hand, in the South, a constant road to India is now made use of, also by land, from Sueż to Bassora ; and a way opened in those parts to the East, even across the Euphrates itself, as effectually as if the Euphrates were dried up. .
And truly it may be added, that almost all the great news of the few preceding years has been concerning what expeditions have been preparing for the East, and what means of commerce with the East have been planned, and concerning what is doing there.
And farther, as we have advanced in this period under the Sixth Vial, commercial plans and treaties have been formed between the Powers of Europe at home; of which the first effect must unavoidably be, a greater extent of trade to the East, and of intercourse with
, Surely, then, this emblematical description of the drying up the river Euphrates, and of preparing a way for Kings from the Eastward, (who would take no pains to prepare it for themselves,) is exactly applicable to what is now
doing on the face of the earth, and to no other period of time whatever that has yet existed.
But this is not all ; for, if we take the em- 447. blem in another light, and conceive, (as we may do with propriety enough,) that, by a : great river is meant an influx of people ; and, therefore, that the Euphrates (as it was in antient times known to be an emblem of the King of Affyria *, and of his glory,) is now an emblem of that power which has succeeded in those parts to the seat of the King of Assyria, and to his dominion ; an emblem of the influx of the Turks from Scythia, and of the establishment of their kingdom both in Europe and Asia; (which kingdom and dominion so established has been the
barrier between the East and the West, at the very
same time that it has deluged all the Holy Land of Judæa, and destroyed its beauty and prosperity :) then here again, even in this sense, we see this great, emblematical river drying up; we see this empire fading away, and growing exceeding weak. It has already been in great danger from Russia, and has yielded up much. It no longer is formidable to the Empire of Germany. And there is
very time, a great fleet just built on the Black Sea by the Empress of Russia, which may probably, ere long, produce and effect such events as will be a compleat fulfilling of the Prophecy, whatever interpretation be put upon it. And, at leaft, we may add, that whether this fleet undertakes
any operations or no, yet the state of things that by this means has taken place cannot be without most important consequences, tending to annihilate that obstruction to free communication with the East which the Ottoman power has hitherto occasioned.
To the emblematical figure of the drying up of the river Euphrates, is added another figure:
Revelations, ch. xvi. ver. 13, 14. 13. Και είδον έκ τα σόμαλος το δράκονος, και εκ τ8 σόμαλος τα θηρία, και εκ τα σόμαλος το ψευδοπροφήτε, τενεύματα τρία ακάθαρτα ως βάτραχοι:
14. είσι γαρ πνεύμαζα δαιμονίων σοιένα σημεία, α εκπορεύεαι επί τες βασι
* This referred to the year 1787, when the 4to edit. of this Book was printing, that was published in Jan. 1788.