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long hair attached to their turbans, and they fought with javelins like the teeth of lions. 9th verse, “And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.” By their breastplates I understand shields, which the Turks carried in their battles; and history tells us that when they charged an enemy, they made a noise upon them like the noise of chariot wheels. 10th verse, “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months.” The Turkish horsemen had each a cimeter which hung in a scabbard at their waist, that they used in close combat after they had discharged their javelins, with which they were very expert, severing a man's or even a horse's head at a blow. And from the time that the Ottoman power or Turkish empire was first established in Bithynia, until the downfall of the Greek or Eastern Empire, when the Turks took Constantinople, was five prophetic months, or one hundred and fifty years. 11th verse, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” The Turkish government had a king when they began, as before mentioned, and he was a follower of the Mahometan faith, and truly a servant or messenger of this doctrine of the bottomless pit. The name of their first king, who is styled in history the founder of the Turkish empire, was Othoman or Ottoman, from whom the empire took its name, and has been called to this day the Ottoman empire. And great has been the destruction which this government has executed upon the world; and well may this empire be styled Destroyer, in prophecy the signification of Abaddon or Apollyon. i:2th verse, “One woe is past; and behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” This closes the fifth trumpet and the first woe, commencing at the foundation of the Turkish empire in Bithynia, in the year A. D. 1298, and lasting five prophetic months, or 150 years, which carries us down to the year A. D. 1448. When we take into
view the object and design of God in sending this judgment or scourge upon the men who have not the seal of God on their foreheads; the anti-Christian beast, who profess to be Christians, but are not; when we compare the history of those times with the prophecy — we have been examining, and the events which have transpired concerning the Ottoman empire, with the descriptive character given of them in this prophecy, — we cannot, I think, hesitate for a moment to apply the fulfilment of this trumpet and woe, to these events, time, and place; and must be led to admire the agreement between the prophecy and fulfilment, and to believe this book of Revelation to be indited by the unerring wisdom of the Divine Spirit; for no human forethought could have so exactly described these events, dress, manners, customs, and mode of warfare 1200 years beforehand, except the wisdom of God had assisted him. And if these things are revealed by God himself unto us, surely no one will dare to say that it is non-essential whether we believe this part of the revealed will of God or not. Shall God speak and man disregard it? I'orbid it, O Father; and let us have “ears to hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” We shall now follow the revelation of God into the sixth trumpet and second woe; and may we have the Spirit of God to assist us and lead our minds into the truth of these things. 13th verse, “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,” 14th verse, “Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.” By the sounding of the trumpet, I understand the commencing of those judgments which were to be poured out upon the earth under this trumpet; and by the “voice from the four horns of the golden altar,” the agreement of all the powers of heaven and earth to execute the design of God in this thing. By loosing the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates, I understand that God was now about to suffer the four principal nations of which the Ottoman empire was composed, which had in vain
attempted to subdue the Eastern Empire at Constantinople, and made but little progress in conquering Europe, now to take Constantinople, and to overrun and subdue one third part of Europe, which was the fact about the middle of the fifteenth century. 15th verse, “And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men.” The four angels, we may reasonably conclude, are a representation of the four nations that had embraced the Mahometan religion, and were now under the control of the Ottoman, viz., Turks, Tartars, Arabs, and Saracens. The time expressed in the last-mentioned verse is 391 years and 15 days. “To slay the third part of men,” is to destroy and conquer one third part of the governments or kingdoms of which the Papal beast had the control, which was true in the end. 16th verse, “And the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them.” In this verse the precise number of the army of horsemen is given, for John tells us “he heard the number of them.” And if we should understand the prophet to mean, as some suppose he does, 200,000, multiplied by a 1000, then the sum total would be 200,000,000, which would be more men than were ever on our earth at one time capable of bearing arms; therefore I believe this is not the meaning of the prophet, neither do I think that it was a succession of armies during the whole period of 391 years, making the sum total of 200,000,000, for this, too, would be incredible; for allowing a standing army of 15,385,000 to be recruited every 30 years, it would only make the two hundred millions; and this sum would be more than five times the number of all the standing armies in the known world. And from these considerations I have for myself given this construction, that the prophet John heard the number of 200,000 repeated, or twice told, which would make an army of 400,000 horsemen; and this would not be incredible. And what is to me strong proof of the fact is, that the history informs us that Mahomet II. came wgainst Constantinople about the year A. D. 1450, with an army of 400,000 * horsemen, and after a long siege took the city in the year 1453, and destroyed the Eastern Empire, which had stood more than ten centuries from its foundation by Constantine. 17th verse: “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth and brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone.” 18th verse, “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.” 19th verse, “For their power is in their month, and in their tails; for their tails were like 'unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” In these verses which we have now read, we are plainly informed that it was an army of horses, and men on them, which John saw in the vision. And the implements and manner of fighting, such as the trapping of their horses, and the instruments of fensive and defensive, gunpowder and guns, are as exactly described as any person could describe it without knowing the name by which we describe it at the present day. Fire, smoke, and brimstone, would be the most visible component parts of gunpowder. Fire and smoke we should see, and brimstone we should smell. And who ever saw an army of horsemen engaged in an action but would think of John's description, “out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone,” and in the breech of the guns were bullets, “like heads, and with these they do hurt”? Every part of this description is exactly applicable to an army of horsemen with fire-arms; and what is equally strong in the evidence is, that guns and fire-arms were invented but a short time previous to this trump-sounding, and the Turks claimed the honor (if honor it can be called) of inventing gunpowder and guns; and it is equally evident by the history that guns were first used by the Turks at the taking of Constantinople, they having one single cannon that took 70 yoke of oxen to draw it at the siege, as says Dr. Gill on this passage.
20th verse, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.” 21st verse, “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” In these verses, we have the character of the persons or government on whose account these plagues were sent. In the first place, they are represented as idolaters, as worshipping devils, idols of gold, &c., full of murder, sorceries, fornication, and theft. This exactly agrees with the description John has given of the “woman sitting on the scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and the abominations of the earth.” So we see that the fifth and sixth trumpets, and the two first woes, were sent as the judgments of God upon this anti-Christian beast, and clearly shows the decline of the power which she had exercised over the kings of the earth and the people of God for more than eight centuries, to the commencing of the sixth trumpet, when the Turks were let loose upon those kingdoms under the control of Papacy, conquered all Asia and about one third part of Europe, and were in the end the means of opening the eyes of many of the inhabitants of the world to see that the Pope's pretension of being the vicegerent of God was not well founded; for, if he could not foresee and resist the inroads of the Turks, – that infidel nation, — surely he could not perform those great miracles which he pretended to perform in order to support his ecclesiastical and civil power: and individuals, and afterwards nations, began to disregard his authority, excommunications, and bulls, until his power is now but a little more than a bishop of Rome.
Here we see the wonder-working ways of our God,