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grand and fatal irruption. For my own part, I can discover, in the interpretation of those commentators, who apply the sixth Trumpet to the Turkish Mahometans, only three instances in which it may appear more applicable to them, than to their predecessors in this warfare, to the Saracene followers of Mahomet; they are these : 1. That by which the four angels are supposed to represent the four governments, into which the Turks are said to have been originally distributed. 2. That by which the fire, smoke, and brimstone, are interpreted to signify the guns and gunpowder used in the Turkish armies. 3. That by which the “ hour, day, month, year,” are understood to express a certain continuance of time, applicable peculiarly to the Ottoman period. Now it seems to me, that none of these instances of interpretation are fairly established, but that all of them will be found to rest on weak and fanciful foundations. And if this can be shewn, it will then be allowed, even by the followers of Joseph Mede, that as there is nothing remaining in the prophecy, which restricts it peculiarly to the Ottoman Mahometans, it may be applied, with equal if not greater fitness, to the Saracene founders of that domination.
I. Joseph Mede, the ingenious deviser of this scheme, which represents the four angels to signify four Sultanies, or governments, has admitted no similar kind of interpretation respecting any other prophecy. The angel, who leads the host of the fifth Trumpet, he asserts to be a fallen angel, even Satan himself And it may be questioned, whether an angel is used, in the prophetical language of Scripture, to represent a kingdom or government, or even any earthly leader. But if this licence should be allowed, still the history of the Turks will not be found such as to warrant this application of it. The Quaternion of Turkish tribes, which Joseph Mede finds seated at or near the Euphrates, has its date from the year 1080; which will be found, unfortunately for this scheme, neither to reach in antiquity to the origin of the Turks, as a powerful nation, nor to their first irruption upon Christendom, as narrated in history; nor yet to accord with the time of their successful attack on the Eastern empire, in the fifteenth century. Mede confesses, that the four governments did not remain perfect and complete, but that they had undergone many changes, and were united under one leader, Othman, long before the time in which they are supposed to be prefigured in this Trumpet. But the warfare of the Turks upon the Christians will be found to have begun before these four sultanies are said to be established, Early in the eleventh century did they attack Christendom with immense armies, when the Grecian provinces on the Euxine Sea, and a great part of Asia Minor, were wrested by them from the Christians *. But the Turks were a great nation, long before any of these times. Seated upon Mount Imaüs or Caf (whence they deduce their origin), they were known in Roman history six hundred years
* Clavis Apoc. par. ii. syn. iv.
before the age of Othman. They were then able to muster four hundred thousand soldiers; and, during two centuries, became formidable to the three great empires surrounding them, to the Roman, the Persian, and the Chinese t. We must therefore
• Gibbon, Hist. ch. Ivii. Mosheim, cent. xi. ch. ii.
conclude, cunclude, that the application of the symbol of the four angels, to the four sultanies or governments, leading the Turks to their invasion of Christendom, has no fair and legitimate foundation. The Turks were not divided into four nations, nor seated on Euphrates, at the time of their irruption in the fifteenth century; nor was this their original seat. And if to be there seated, can give a claim to the application of this prophecy, the Saracene Mahometans will be found to possess this claim in an equal or superior degree. For, powerful tribes of the Saracens *, were seated in Mesopotamia adjoining to Euphrates, at the time when this apocalyptic vision was seen. They there touched upon the boundaries of the Roman and Persian empires; and made devastating incursions on each t. About the year 378, their armies spread desolation in the East ; and afterwards were employed by the Romans against the Goths [. Again, in the seventh century, the Mahometan Saracens were in early possession of Euphrates, having turned their victorious arms thither in the fourteenth year of their Hejirah. Cufah, seated on that river, became the residence of the Caliph Ali; and Bagdat, built in 762, by the Caliph Almansor, ten leagues from the site of ancient Babylon, was for many centuries the capital seat of the Mahometan dominion s.
If therefore it were a necessary part, to the completion of the prophecy, that the invading armies
• Called by the Greek and Latin writers of the first century, Scenites, because they dwelt in tents, but afterwards Saracens, from the Arabic, Sarak, a robber. Amm. Marcellin. lib. xiv. 4.
+ Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 1109. Plinii Nat. Hist. vi. 26. 28.
Socratis Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 36. Sozomen. lib. vi. C. 38. § Ockley's History of the Saracens.
should come from Euphrates, this will appear fulfilled in the Saracene invaders, more truly and completely than in the Ottoman Turks. And if, to answer to the symbols of the four angels, four distinct nations, or armies of invaders, are to be expected, I would suggest to the consideration of the learned reader, whether four distinct periods of successful Mahometan invasion, and by four different nations, may not be found to present themselves in history.
The first, by the Saracens, which in the seventh and eighth centuries subdued to the Mahometan laws, Syria, Palestine, Persia, Armenia, Ægypt, the States of Barbary, and Spain.
The second under the Mahometan Turks Maymud and the princes of the Seljuk dynasty, when in the eleventh century the extensive regions on the Euxine Sea, India, Anatolia, and Asia Minor, were conquered.
The third by the Mogul Tartars under Timour, or Tamerlane, in the fourteenth century, when in widely extended regions of the East, in China, Tartary, and a great part of Asia, Christianity was eradicated, not only by autliority and persuasion, but by the utmost efforts of persecution, to make way for the Mahometan creed
The fourth by the Ottoman Turks, in the fifteenth century, when the Eastern Roman empire fell to them, with its dependencies.
I do not propose this four-fold division as perfectly examined and arranged; esteeming it no necessary part to the completion of the prophecy : but if such a kind of fulfilment should be thought needful,
• Mosheim, cent, xiv. part i. ch. i.
it appears probable, that it will be more easily discovered in the history of all the Mahometan invasions, thau in that single one by the Ottoman Turks, . which has been exclusively applied to this prophecy.
II. The smoke, fire, and brimstone of the sixth Trumpet seem inconsistently understood, as expressive of the guns and gunpowder used by the Turks in the fifteenth century. Smoke from the bottomless pit, (ch. ix. 2.) under the fifth Trumpet, is applied by Mede and his followers to signify the darkening religion of Mahomet*. And, in prophetical language, it will certainly admit that application, as well as to the dark confused doctrines of the Gnostics. This is fair and legitimate interpretation; and, by referring to ch. xix. 20. xx. 3. 10. xxi. 8, it will appear, that in the pit or lake, whence the smoke ascended, were fire and brimstone. When therefore under the sixth Trumpet, we meet with smoke, fire and brimstone, united, our interpretation should be uniform. These, issuing from the mouths of the invaders of the Church, must, if interpreted consistently, be stated to represent corrupt, infernal, destructive doctrines. And these are applicable to the Saracens, in common with other Mahometans. But to understand them as signifying great guns and gun-powder, seems to be a force upon prophetical language, unworthy of the respectable names, which have countenanced the interpretation. It is not of Mede's devising ; I have found it in commentaries more ancient.
III. The hour, day, month, &c. are applied to signify a continuance of time, answering to the continuance of the successful warfare of the Ottoman
* Mede's Works, p. 497.