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cause, it had arrogantly bent its power against him, and had endeavoured, by supporting idolatry, to obstruct that dominion which he himself claimed over the whole earth. Christ could suffer no competitor: “ I beheld,” says Daniel, “ in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom; and all people, tribes, and tongues shall serve him.Dan. vij. 13, 14. This Son of man therefore, in vindication of his right to universal monarchy, crushed his proud enemy, Rome, and with it the empire of idolatry. He threw down the seat which Satan had so long held there, and he fixed in its place his own throne, to which all people, tribes, and tongues, were to bend. To show his supreme power, this divine monarch chose to convert the centre of idolatry into the centre of divine worship and religion, and there he placed his viceroy to govern his holy kingdom, and to superintend his people to the end of the world. “The saints of the most high God,” continues Daniel, “shall take the kingdom : and they shall possess the kingdom for ever and ever.Ibid. v. 18

CHAPTER VII.

THE HISTORY OF THE FOURTH AGE OF THE CHRISTIAN

CHURCH.—THE OPENING OF THE FOURTH SEAL.

Apoc. chap. vi. 7. “And when he, (the Lamb,) had opened the fourth seal, I heard,” says St. John, “the voice of the fourth living creature, saying: Come and see.

V. 8. “And behold a pale horse, and he that sat upon him, his name was Death, and hell followed him. And power was given to him over the four parts of the earth,*, to kill with sword, with famine, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

This seal discloses to us the rise of the Mahometan empire, which opens the fourth age of the Church, about the year 622.

* In the Greek text, "power was given them over the fourth part of the

earth."

Here appears to St. John a pale horse, and he that sits upon him is called Death. The pale colour of the horse evidently agrees with the character of the rider, who is styled Death. This rider is Mahomet and his successors. He is named death, because he destroys mankind, as it is here said, with sword, with famine, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. It is well known from history, what destruction and desolation Mahomet, and his followers, the Saracens, and afterwards the Turks, have made in the world. Their two first instruments of destruction here named, are the sword, and famine or devastation. The sword was appropriated to the second age in the second seal; and famine was appropriated to the third age in the third seal. Their third destructive instrument is styled Death, a general term, which in this place we apprehend means “ Gunpowder;" and is in like manner appropriated to the fourth age, as it was invented in that period, and then employed by the Mahometans in a terrible manner. In fine, the last instrument of destruction here mentioned is. the beasts of the earth, that is, horse-troops or cavalry, which though generally numerous in the eastern countries, will be much more used by the Turks hereafter, as we shall see particularly in the account of the sixth age.

It is said that hell follows him, that is, the infernal spirits accompany Mahomet and assist him, and his followers, through many succeeding ages. For, power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, or, as the Greek text expresses it, power was given to them, viz. : to death and hell, or to the Mahometan princes, and the evil spirits, over a fourth part of the earth. Who is ignorant of the number of nations the Mahometans have conquered in Europe, Asia, and Africa ? Who does not know, that in those countries they have almost extinguished Christianity, and planted by force in its room a sensual and abominable religion? How many fair churches in Asia, founded by the apostles themselves, have been ruined by the Mahometans, and now scarce a handful of Christians to be found scattered through the vast countries of Minor Asia, Syria, Persia, &c. ? What remains are there now of Christianity in Africa, where formerly it flourished so much, and where were seen to shine such great lights of the Church, as a St. Athanasius, a St. Cyprian, a St. Augustine, &c. ? Those regions, having been subdued and overrun by the Mahometans, have received their superstitions and impostures. The same has also been the fate of that part of Europe, which has fallen under the dominion of the Turks. cause, it had arrogantly bent its power against him, and had endeavoured, by supporting idolatry, to obstruct that dominion which he himself claimed over the whole earth. Christ could suffer no competitor: “ I beheld,” says Daniel, “ in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom; and all people, tribes, and tongues shall serve him.” Dan. vii. 13, 14. This Son of man therefore, in vindication of his right to universal monarchy, crushed his proud enemy, Rome, and with it the empire of idolatry. He threw down the seat which Satan had so long held there, and he fixed in its place his own throne, to which all people, tribes, and tongues, were to bend. To show his supreme power, this divine monarch chose to convert the centre of idolatry into the centre of divine worship and religion, and there he placed his viceroy to govern his holy kingdom, and to superintend his people to the end of the world. “The saints of the most high God," continues Daniel, “shall take the kingdom: and they shall possess the kingdom for ever and ever.Ibid. v. 18

CHAPTER VII.

THE HISTORY OF THE FOURTH AGE OF THE CHRISTIAN

CHURCH.-THE OPENING OF THE FOURTH SEAL. .

Apoc. chap. vi. 7. “And when he, (the Lamb,) had opened the fourth seal, I heard,” says St. John, “the voice of the fourth living creature, saying: Come and see.

V. 8. “And behold a pale horse, and he that sat upon him, his name was Death, and hell followed him. And power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, *, to kill with sword, with famine, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

This seal discloses to us the rise of the Mahometan empire, which opens the fourth age of the Church, about the year 622.

• In the Greek text, "power was given them over the fourth part of the

earth."

Here appears to St. John a pale horse, and he that sits upon him is called Death. The pale colour of the horse evidently agrees with the character of the rider, who is styled Death. This rider is Mahomet and his successors. He is named death, because he destroys mankind, as it is here said, with sword, with famine, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. It is well known from history, what destruction and desolation Mahomet, and his followers, the Saracens, and afterwards the Turks, have made in the world. Their two first instruments of destruction here named, are the sword, and famine or devastation. The sword was appropriated to the second age in the second seal; and famine was appropriated to the third age in the third seal. Their third destructive instrument is styled Death, a general term, which in this place we apprehend means “ Gunpowder;" and is in like manner appropriated to the fourth age, as it was invented in that period, and then employed by the Mahometans in a terrible manner. In fine, the last instrument of destruction here mentioned is. the beasts of the earth, that is, horse-troops or cavalry, which though generally numerous in the eastern countries, will be much more used by the Turks hereafter, as we shall see particularly in the account of the sixth age.

It is said that hell follows him, that is, the infernal spirits accompany Mahomet and assist him, and his followers, through many succeeding ages. For, power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, or, as the Greek text expresses it, power was given to them, viz. : to death and hell, or to the Mahometan princes, and the evil spirits, over a fourth part of the earth. Who is ignorant of the number of nations the Mahometans have conquered in Europe, Asia, and Africa? Who does not know, that in those countries they have almost extinguished Christianity, and planted by force in its room a sensual and abominable religion? How many fair churches in Asia, founded by the apostles themselves, have been ruined by the Mahometans, and now scarce a handful of Christians to be found scattered through the vast countries of Minor Asia, Syria, Persia, &c.? What remains are there now of Christianity in Africa, where formerly it flourished so much, and where were seen to shine such great lights of the Church, as a St. Athanasius, a St. Cyprian, a St. Augustine, &c. ? Those regions, having been subdued and overrun by the Mahometans, have received their superstitions and impostures. The same has also been the fate of that part of Europe, which has fallen under the dominion of the Turks. How could such wide encroachments be made upon religion, but by the help and co-operation of the devil?

We must, however, here observe, that this prophecy, though already fulfilled in some measure in Mahomet and the Mahometan nation, will still be more fully accomplished, as we shall show hereafter, in Antichrist, who will be one, the greatest, and the most cruel, of Mahomet's successors. And hence appears the reason, why St. John is invited to the view of the present spectacle by the fourth living creature, which, as we have observed, represents the prophet Daniel; the reason is, because that prophet had foretold the coming of Antichrist and his great power, as we shall see in the sequel.

Here then we discover the rise and progress of a power, which in the course of time will become the mighty empire of Antichrist; the destruction of which is reserved to be the work of Christ himself, and thus the Lamb will show that strength, which he was said to receive, Apoc. v. 12. See p. 29.

Let us here further remark, that in each of the four preceding seals there appeared a horse, for his strength the natural emblem of power or empire: that in the first seal the horse exhibited the empire of Christ; in the second, that of heresy; in the third, the empire of Rome falling away; and in this fourth, the rise of the Mahometan empire, which, as no horse appears in any of the subsequent seals, we may conclude to be the last great temporal power that will exist upon the earth, an enemy to the Christian Church. The preceding Explication illustrated, by a brief Account ; of Mahomet and the Mahometun Empire.

Mahomet was born at Mecca in Arabia, in the year 571, of poor parents, who were of the race of Ismael. His father was a heathen, and his mother a Jew. Being very young when his parents died, he was educated by an uncle, who put hiin to trade. He afterwards married a rich widow, whose business he managed. Being arrived at about forty years of age, he commenced prophet, and set to compose à new religion. He said, that the true religion had been corrupted by the Jews and the Christians, and that therefore God had sent him, as his prophet, to restore it to its purity.

He taught them that there was one only God, but no distinction of persons in the deity. He exploded the incarnation and all the other mysteries of the Christian religion. Le adopted circumcision, and prescribed abstinence from wine, blood, and pork. On another hand he allowed every man to

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