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“ isles of the Mediterranean; and over that part of the “ continent of Africa, which lies between the confines of “ Cyrene and those of Tingitania." * But after the aforesaid division of the empire, and the cession of the greater part of the præfecture of Illyricum to the Byzantine emperors, the western Illyricum was added to the jurisdiction of the præfect of Italy, so that his power now stretched itself not only over the provinces of Africa, the peninsula of Italy, and the dependent isles, but over all the upper and lower Lombardy; and from thence we trace its boundaries from the top of the Hadriatic sea, along its eastern shore, to the modern Alessio, from whence we cross the mountains of Argentum to the source of the Drino; pur. suing its stream to its confluence with the Save, and from thence to Belgrade, and along the shores of the Danube to its source, at the distance of thirty miles from the Rhine; crossing to Basil, we traverse the banks of the Rhine to its source; and leaving Gaul on the right, we reach the Mediterranean. Of this extent of territory, the greatest part to the north and north-east of Italy, is subject to the house of Austria ; tbe elector of Bavaria has a share of the Aat country; the Grisons inhabit the mountains; and the Venetians and Turks also possess a part.
Thus, when we recollect this well known, and distinct, threefold division of the einpire, at the very time when the judgments of the trumpets were inflicting; and take into consideration the difficulties which incumber those other hypotheses which have been mentioned, the argument, I think, very much preponderates in favour of the idea we coniend for.
We must bear in mind, that a third part is made the principal object of five of the trumpets: but there cannot be five third parts; and the fifth reference to a third part, in chap. ix. and 15, all agree to apply to the eastern empire; two or more, then, of the other four, must apply to one of the other threefold divisions. The two former, I conceive to be applicable to the præfecture of the Gauls, and the two latter to the præfecture of Italy: the third part under the first trumpet' to the continental and inland countries; and that under the second, to people inhabit. ing islands, and the maritime parts, and to naval affairs.
How cxact a picture do the visions exhibit of the con
sequences of the irruptions of the barbarous nations! The calamities of each trumpet were to be general, the hail and fire were cast on the earth; and the burning mountain was cast into the sea, but a third part only was to be destroyed and perish. To say nothing of the subordinate hordes, the depredations of the Goths were from Thrace to the extremities of Spain, through all the continental territories of the Romans in Europe; the destruction of the Vandalic Barbarians spread far and wide, from Belgæ, to the straights of Gibraltar, and on every shore of the Mediterranean; but it was the præfecture of the Gauls which these enemies more immediately affected. They contributed to the ruin of the other parts of the empire, but the immediate destruction of these came from another
Having detained the reader so long, in considering the calamities of the two first trumpets, and the objects to which they are to be referred, there will be the less occasion to enlarge on what follows. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters, and the name of the star is called wormwood : and the third part of the waters became wormwood ; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. “ Stars, in the pro“ phetic style (says Mr. Lowman) are figurative represen“ tations of many things; among others, they signify
kings or kingdoms; eminent persons of great authority " and power. Thus, in the prophecy of Balaam, Num“ bers, xxiv. 17. There shall come a star out of Jacob, and
* Mr. Faber thinks that my conjectures relative to the third part must be ill-founded, because we do not find that one particular præfecture was affected exclusively by the blast of one particulur trumpet, which, he thinks, the adoption of such a scheme necessarily requires. Vol. II. p. 8. He has evidently mistaken my meaning. I allow that the miseries of the first trumpet, at least, extended more or less to all the three prefectures. The question is not what præfectures were uffected by the miseries introduced by this trumpet, or thut, but what præfecture, or part of a præfecture, did they symbolically kill, or ene tirely conquer, and rend from the dominion of Rome. + Rev. viii. 10, 11.
“a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.” Attila, the king of the Huns, who, violating his treaty with the Roman emperors, and from being in their pay as an ally, fell from that alliance, and made war upon the empire, appears to be this blazing comet, which occasioned such great calamities. But though Attila, with bis luns, is particularly noticed, as being the principal instrument in intlicting the divine judgments here signified, yet, similar to the case under the former trumpets, others co-operated in accomplishing the same designs of Providence. The Ostrogoths, who, about the tiine that we suppose this star to have fallen on the rivers, obtained, or usurped, a settlement in Pannonia, were among the number, and who contributed not a little to the overthrow of the western empire.
“ In the reign of Attila (says the historian) the Huns " again became the terror of the world. † And I shall so now describe the character and actions of that formi. " dable Barbarian, who alternately insulted and invaded " the East and the West, and urged the rapid downful of “ the Roman empire." I All historians agree, that both the body and the mind of Attila were stamped with deformity and terror, insomuch, that no one could behold him, (says Jornandes) without concluding that he was sent into the world to disturb its repose. He styled himself, The scourge of God, and the terror of man: He is said to have made himself master of all Scythia, and Germany. Priscus observes, that no prince ever subdued such numerous countries in so short a time. His authority was acknowledged by all the states and princes from the Rhine to the most northern boundaries of the Persian empire. Great and many were his depredations in the countries watered by the Danube, and those other numerous rivers which pour their liberal streams into that mighty current, which Hows above thirteen hundred miles before it empties itself into the Euxine sea ; and here his Huns obtained a settlement, from whence the name of the kingdom of Hungary.
In the year 141, a war broke out between Attila and the Eastern Emperor. The castles and fortresses on the
* Gibbon, Vol. VI. page 221, which compare with Universal Anc. History, Vol. XVII. page z11.
+ The irruption of thie luns, A. D. 376, hias been already noticed, but their ravages at that period were beyond the limits of the Roinan empire. Gibbon, page 37.
Illyrian frontiers were instantly swept away by the inundation of the Huns; they destroyed, with fire and sword, the most populous cities in the neighbourhood of the Danube and Save; and “ the whole breadth of Europe, as it " extends above five hundred miles from the Euxine to “ the Hadriatic, was at once invaded and occupied, and “desolated, by the myriads of Barbarians whom Attila “ led into the field.” *
Of his desolations on the Upper Danube we have but an imperfect account; but that they were great and cruel there can be no doubt; his barbarity was worthy of the pride which prompt him to say, “ The grass never grew
on the spot where my horse trod.” The' opinion of Mr. Whiston is, that the rivers and fountains of waters
which this blazing star fell must be principally Lom“bardy." + But in the neighbourhood of the Rhine, also, bis desolations were great and many. In the year .45), he turned his arms against the Western empire, and entered Gaul with an army, as some report, of seven hun-dred thousand men, consisting of Huns, Gepida, Ostrogoths, Franks, Suevi, Heruli, and, in short, of all the Northern Barbarians. The cities were laid in ashes; the inhabitants massacred; and all the country round laid waste. The cities which suffered most, were Treves, situate on the Moselle; Tangres, in the bishoprick of Liege, Strasbourg, Spires, Worms, Mentz, Andernach, (all on the banks of the Rhine) with most of the towns in that neighbourhood. Advancing into the country, he divided his numerous army into several bodies, took, pillaged, and laid in ashes, many other cities. But, as though he had passed the bounds prescribed him, he met with a most disastrous defeat in the plains of Chalons ; two hundred and fifty thousand, or, as some authors report, three hundred thousand inen were left dead on the field of battle. I
Whether the Rhine, as being the boundary of the Italian præfecture but in part, is to be considered as one of the rivers referred to under this trumpet some may
doubt: but though that part of it on which much of the wrath of Attila fell, was beyond the limits of that præfecture; yet, we are not to expect a few miles this way or that, * Page 52.
† Essay, p. 184 1 Gilbon, p. 105--121. Univer. Anc. Hist. Vol. XVII. p. 152–155.
whether within the limits of the third part more fatally affected, or not, to be minutely, and distinctly, marked out in the vision, the miseries there endured might be sig, nified by the symbols belonging to this trumpet.
Attila, being rather enraged than disheartened at what had happened to his army in Gaul, immediately resolved to make an irruption into Italy: where he hoped to find more booty and less opposition. Having therefore reinforced his army from Scythia, he left Pannonia, whither he had retired, and entered Italy in the beginning of the year 452. * It is not possible to express the terror and consternation which so sudden, and unexpected, an irruption occasioned, even in the most distant provinces. He laid siege to Aquileia, the metropolis of the province of Venetia, which, after three months, he took by assault, pillaged it for several days, and laid it in ashes; not one house being left standing, nor one person left alive that fell into the enemies bands. The cities of Trevigio, Ve. tona, Mantua, Cremona, Brescia, and Bergamo, underwent the same fate; the Barbarians raging in every place with a fury which can hardly be expressed or conceived ; and putting all to the sword, without distinction of sex, age, or condition. From the province of Venetia, he ad, vanced to Milan, then the capital of the province of Ligu, ria, which he took and pillaged. The city of Pavia, and several other places in the neighbourhood, he laid in ashes, after having plundered them; putting the inhabitants to the sword. Into the neighbouring provinces also he carried the same devastation and slaughter, that, “ from the
Alps to the Appennines (says Sigonius), all was flight,
depopulation, slaughter, slavery, burning, and despair; “nor was there any shape of evil wanting.”+ Attila was preparing to go to Rome; but a peace was purchased. His commission was confined to the rivers, and Providence disposed him to listen, with respect, to the eloquence of Pope Leo, and to prefer an annual pension to the plunder of Rome, and the slaughter of its inhabitants. He quitted Lombardy, and died A. D. 453. His sons fell out about the division of his dominions; and the Huns were no longer the terror of the world.--A nation is strong to execute God's vengeance when he girds them with strength; but when they are no longer employed to fulfil his counsels, the strong become feeble.
Gibbon, p. 122–132. Unirer. Anc. Hist. Vol. XIV. p. 414, 4154 † Whiston's Essay, p. 187.