Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

never able to take Constantinople, or to subvert its monarchy, though they frequently attempted it ; the task of giving the fatal blow to its declining power being reserved for their successors the Turks.

The symbolical locusts were like horses prepared for the battle : the strength of the Saracens consisted chiefly in their cavalry— The locusts had on their heads as it were crowns like gold : the Arabs have constantly worn turbans; and even boast that they wear, as their common attire, those ornaments which among other people are the peculiar badges of royalty— The locusts had fuces as the faces of men, and hair as the hair of women : the Arabs, as Pliny testifies, wore their beards, or at least their mustachios, ás men ; while their hair was flowing or plaited, like that of women-The teeth of the locusts were as the teeth of a lion ; an expression frequently used in Scripture to denote great strength ;* the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle ; to represent at once the rapid conquests of the Saracens, and their proverbial skill in horsemanship: and they had stings in their tails like Scorpions ;: to signify that they should carry along with them, whereever they flew, a loathsome and deadly superstition.t

At the conclusion of the prophecy respecting the Saracenic locusts, it is added, “ One woe is past.” Now, since we had already been informed, that their power of doing mischief was limited to five months, or 150 years; it is evident, that the first woe-trumpet ceased to sound at the end of the 150 years, or in the year of our Lord 762. It further appears, that a considerable period of time was to elapse between the end of the first woc-trumpet, and the beginning of the second : for the prophet here simply intimates, that “ there come two more woes hereafter;" whereas, at the conclusion of the second woe, he asserts, “ behold the third woe cometh quickly.I

At the sounding of the sixth angel, a command was given him to loose the four angels which are bound in

* “ Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth : break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.” Psalm lviii. 6.

Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. ix.
We shall find in the sequel that this has been exactly the case.

[ocr errors]

the great river Euphrates, ready prepared to slay the third part of men for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. Thus liberated from their confinement, the four angels issued forth at the head of two hundred thousand thousand horsemen. The warriors themselves appeared to the prophet to wear breast-plates of fire, and hyacinth, and brimstone ; and from the lion-like heads of their horses seemed to proceed fire, and smoke, and brimstone. By these destructive flashes a third part of men were killed. The horses of the Euphratèan cavalry, like the Saracenic locusts, had power no less in their tails than in their mouths : for “their tails were like serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” Notwithstanding the death of the third part of men, the prophet informs us, that those, who had escaped these two successive plagues, still hardened their hearts, and repented not of their idolatry, their sorcery, and their fornication.*

The four angels are the four sultanies of the Turks ; the capitals of which were Bagdad, Damascus, Aleppo, and Iconium. These were long restrained from extending their conquests beyond the territories immediately adjoining to the river Euphrates, by the instrumentality, in the course of God's providence, of the crusades. But, when the Christians abandoned Syria and Egypt at the latter end of the thirteenth century, then the four angels on the river Euphrates were loosed. Ortogrul, dying in the year 1288, was succeeded by his son Othman ; who, in the year 1299, founded a new empire composed of the remains of the four Turkish sultanies.

Under the fifth trumpet, we have seen the men, who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, tormented but not killed. We now find, under the sixth trumpet, that the third part of men, or the Roman empire then

* Rev. ix. 13-21,
+ Late the proud seat of Saracenic domination.

# The number four twice occurs in the early history of the Turks, no less than in the precise number of their Sultanies. Soliman Shab was drowned in attempting to cross the Euphrates with his three sons ; and was succeeded by his youngest son Ortogrul, who had likewise three sons. I think however, that the four Sultanies are peculiarly , meant ; for prophecy usually speaks of states, rather than of individuals

. But, in whatever manner the prediction of the four Euphratèan angels be understood, it is accurately accomplished in the fortunes of the Turkish empire.

represented by the Constantinopolitan monarchy, is to be slain, and not merely tormented by the Euphratèan horsemen.

The space of time, allotted for the entire completion of this great enterprize, is an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year ; or 391 natural years and 15 days. The accurate accomplishment of this numerical prophecy is singularly remarkable. The Turks, under Ortogrul, gained their first victory over the Greek empire in the year 1281, by the conquest of Cutahi : in the yeur 1357, they crossed over into Europe : in the year. 1453, they took Constantinople ; and the remaining provinces of the empire soon followed the fate of the capital : in the year 1669, they made themselves masters of Crete : and in the year 1672, they wrested Cameniec, their last conquest, from the Poles. If now we compute 391 years from the year 1281, they will exactly bring us down to the year 1672. Upon this wonderful coincidence, Bp. Newton further remarks, “ if more accurate and authentic histories of the Ottomans were brought to light, and we knew the very day wherein Cutahi was taken as certainly as we know that wherein Cameniec was taken, the like exactness might also be found in the fifteen days.Since the time of their last conquest, the Turks have had various wars with the European powers, and with various success ; but they have never made any fresh territorial acquisition, and now in all human probability never will.

The cavalry of the Euphratèan warriors is described as consisting of myriads upon myriads : and they are represented as wearing breast-plates of fire, of hyacinth, and of brimstone ; or, in other words, red, blue, and yellow. The Turks brought immense armies into the field, composed chiefly of horse ; and, from the first time of their appearance, have been peculiarly attached to the colours of blue, yellow, and scarlet—The heads of their horses were as the heads of lions, to denote their great strength and fierceness : out of their mouths seemed to issue fire, and smoke, and brimstone : and by this semblance of lightning, the prophet observed, that the third part of men were killed. This is a manifest allusion to artillery and gunpowder, which were invented under the sixth trumpet, and were the main engines used by the Turks, in subverting the Greek empire-The horses moreover had power to do hurt by their tails, as well as by their mouths, their tails being like unto serpents, and having heads. The Turks, like the Saracens, were not merely secular conquerors, but were animated with all the wild fanaticism of a false religion. They profess and propagate the same imposture; they injure no less by their doctrines, than by their conquests; and, wherever they establish their dominion, the Koran triumphs over the Gospel.

* I have already stated, on what grounds the Roman Empire is represented as a :bird part of the symbolical universe. It may not be improper here to observe, that the death of a beast and the deatb of a community do not mean the same thing. The death of & beast denotes the extinction of those idolatrous principles which cause a pagan empire to be symbolized by a beast : whereas the death of a community denotes its subversion. Hence we do not find it said, that the Roman beast was slain by the Euphratèar borsemen, because such phraseology would not have conveyed the intended meaning of the prophet ; but that the third part of men, or the body politic of what remained of the original empire, was slain. Accordingly, in perfect agreement with this distinction, the Roman beast still continued to exist, and will exist to the very end of the 1260 years, notwithstanding the political death of the third part of men.

Yet, notwithstanding the signal overthrow of the Constantinopolitan monarchy, the rest of men, who were not killed by these plagues, repented not of their idolatrous worship of mediatury saints and angels, nor of their spiritual sorceries and fornication-Accordingly we find that in the papal church idolatry was at its height during the sounding of the sixth trumpet : in the same manner as Mohammedism attained to the zenith of its glory by the subversion of the Greek empire. Previous to this period, the Greek church had struggled successfully with the Roman church for independence and equality : but the downfall of Constantinople effectually humbled both the ecclesiastical rival of Popery, and the temporal antagonist of Mohammedism. In the days of the Saracens, the Arabian imposture triumphed over the proud monarchy of Persia ; but was only able to torment the declining remains of the once formidable empire of Rome. In the days of the Turks, it beheld the city of Constantine prostrate at its feet, as well as the capital of Chosroes. Still however did the church of Rome continue her triumphs over sense, humanity, and religion. Unawed by the signal punishment of her sister of Constantinople, she resolutely set her face against the reformation which

commenced under this trumpet, and persecuted those who protested against her superstition and appealed to Scripture : a more tremendous power therefore, than either the Saracens or the Turks, will be summoned against her by the blast of the third woe ; which nevertheless will afterwards perish, united with her.

It is observable, that the precise duration of the second woe-trumpet, is not marked by St. John in his prophecy of the Euphratèan horsemen. The Turks were prepared for the slaughter of the third part of men, an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year; or 391 natural years and 15 days : consequently the second woe-trumpet began to sound at the commencement of those 391 years, or in the year of our Lord 1281 ; but it does not terminate till the great earthquake in the West has taken place, and till a tenth part of the Roman city has fallen.* Then we are informed, that “the second woe is past, and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."

* Rev. xi. 13.

END OF VOL. 1.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »