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Rev.viii. 13. "And I beheld and heard an Angel flying through the midst of heaven saying, with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three Angels which are yet to sound.”
In prophetical scripture the sounding of trumpets is always used to denote the downfall of some empire, nation or place, or some dreadful battle which may decide the fate of empires, nations or places. At the fall of Jericho, the trumpet was the instrument in the hands of the Priest of the mighty God of Jacob, which cast down her walls, destroyed the
city, and a curse pronounced against the man that should ever build up her walls again. Again, the trumpet was the instrument by which Gideon put to flight the armies of the aliens. And the prophet Amos says, “shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?” Therefore we may reasonably conclude that a trumpet is the harbinger of destructive wars, and the dissolution of empires, states, or the earth, as the case may be. The seven trumpets mentioned in Revelations, the three last of which are mentioned in our text, indicate the final: overthrow of the powers spoken of in the prophecy. The four first had their accomplishment in the destruction of the Jews and their dispersion, in the fall of imperial Rome, in the overthrow of the Asiatic kingdom and in the taking away of Pagan rites and ceremonies.
The last three trumpets will claim our attention in this discourse. The first 'four having their accomplishment under Rome Pagan. So the last three under Rome Papal. These three trumpets and three woes are a description of the judgments that God has sent and will send on this Papal beast, the abomination of the whole earth. Therefore we see the propriety of the language of our text, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth," means
ing the worshipers of this Papal beast, the followers of this abomination. The fifth trumpet alludes to the rise of the Turkish empire under Ottoman, at the downfall of the Saracens. Ottoman uniting under his government the four contending nations of Mahometans, which had long contended for the power during the reign of the Saracen empire, viz. the Saracens, Tartars, Arabs, and Turks. These all being by profession Mahometans, were ready to follow any daring leader to conquer and drive out from Asia (and even make excursion into Europe) all who professed the Christian faith. They having embraced the errors of that fallen star, Mahomet, whose principles were promulgated by conquest and the sword, became one and perhaps the only barrier to the spread of the Papal doctrine and power in the eastern world. Here the Roman church had long held a powerful sway over the minds and consciences of the Christian or Greek church in the east, by the aid of the eastern emperor at Constantinople. But the Turks or Ottomans, whom the Lord suffered to rise up in Bythinia, on or near the head waters of the Euphrates, as a scourge against this Papal abomination, now became a check to the Roman power; and from this time we may reasonably date the declension of Papal authority. Therefore on the sounding of the 5th trumpet Rome Papal began to show a weakness which in every succeeding age has been more and more manifested, until her civil power has crumbled to ruin, and her ecclesiastical assumptions must sink, at the sounding of the seventh trump, to rise no more forever.
In the description of these trumpets we shall be able to apply the prophecy, as the writer believes, to those events designed by the vision which John saw.
Rev. ix. 1st." And the fifth angel sounded, and I sawa star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” After the downfall of Pagan Rome, and the rise of the anti-Christian abomination, Mahomet promulgated a religion which evidently came from the bottomless pit, for it fostered all the wicked passions of the human heart, such as war, murder, slavery and lust.
2d verse, “And he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” The figures used in this text are, the bottomless pil, which denote the theories of men or
devils that have no foundation in the word of God. Smoke denotes the errors from such doctrine, which serve to blind the eyes of men that they cannot see the truth. As the smoke of a great furnace, shows the great extent or effect of this error over the world. The sun denotes the Gospel which is the great luminary of the moral world. The air denotes the moral influence on the mind, which is commonly called piety. As air supports or gives to the lungs animation in the physical world, so does the piety of the heart to the moral.
This, then, is the true sentiment of this passage. And by reason of the Mahometan errors which would be believed or followed by a great multitude, the Gospel and the pious influence of the same would be in a great measure hid or lost to the world.
3d verse, And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth : and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power.” By these locusts I understand armies. See Joel 1st and 2d chapters. Therefore I should read this text thus : And there came out from chese Mahometan followers large armies, which should have great power to execute the judgments of God on this anti-Christian beast which had filled the earth with her abominations.
" And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men which have not the seal of God 'in their foreheads." By grass, green things and trees, Ps. Ixxii. 16: Hosea xiv. 8,1 understand the true church or people of God. By those men having not the seal of God, &c. I understand the antiChristian church or Papal Rome. Then this would be the sense: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the true church nor people of God, but only the anti-Christian beast or powers subject to her.
5th verse, " And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.” To kill is to destroy. Five months is in prophecy 150 years. To torment as a scorpion, &c. is to make sudden excursions and eruptions into the country, &c. Then this is the sentiment to me conveyed in the text : And the Turkish armies would not have power to destroy the Papal powers for 150 years, but would
make sudden and quick excursions into their territories, and harrass and perplex the nations under the Papal control.
6th verse, “ And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. About this time the Greek church in Constantinople were so harrassed by the Papal authority that it gave rise to a saying among them, “That they had rather see the Turkish turban on the throne of the Eastern Empire than the Pope's triara.” And any one who has read the history of the 14th century will see that this text was literally accomplished.
7th verse, “And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle ; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.” In this verse we have a description of the Turkish armies. In the first place they are represented as being all horsemen. This was true with the Turks, and no other kingdom since Christ's time, that we have any knowledge of, whose armies were all horsemen. They wore on their heads yellow turbars, which can only apply to the Turks, looking like crowns of gold.
« And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of hions.” They woré long hair attached to their turbans, and they fought with javelins like the teeth of lions.
9th verse, "And they had breast plates, as it were breast plates of iron; and the sound of their wings were as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.” By their breast plates 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 scimetar 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 lead at a blow. And from the time that the Ottoman power or Turkish empire was first established in Bythinia, until the downfall of the Greek or Eastern empire, when the Turks took Constantinople, was five prophetic months or one hundred and fifty years.
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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 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.
“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 Bythinia, 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 forebeads ; 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 fulfiment, 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, man. ners, 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? Forbid it, Oh 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