« AnteriorContinuar »
JUDGMENTS OF GOD UPON THE EMPIRE, MORE ESPECIALLY IN THE EAST,
ON THE SOUNDING OF THE SIXTH TRUMPET;
THE RISE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TURKS, OR OTTOMANS.
The four horns of the altar—Second “ Woe” comes at some distance of time from the first — Fall of the Saracens–First Turkish Sultan—The Turks a great people before they were restrained or “bound"—Divided into four kingdoms on the Euphrates—Their being bound—By their own divisions—By the Crusades—By the Moguls—Their being loosed—Rise of the Ottoman Power—Work it was to perform—Preparation for it -Time of its continuance—Description of the Turks—Their overthrow of the Eastern Empire—Fall of Constantinople— Establishment of Mahometanism on its ruins–Attempts on the West—Western Idolatry and Wickedness.
THE SECOND WOE TRUMPET;
THE JUDGMENTS BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE TURKS.
“AND the sixth angel sounded; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet.” (ix. 13, 14.)
For an account of the four horns of the golden altar—a description of which altar, as connected with these trumpets, was above given”—see Exodus xxvii.2.
They were eminences or upright projections, not merely for ornament, but also that beasts might be bound to them;—“Bind the sacrifice with cords even to the horns of the altar.”f But perhaps the more correct idea of the symbol is given in the margin of Ezekiel xliii. 15, where it is said, “The altar and upwards shall be four horns,”—or the “lion of God;”f horns being thus considered as expressive of strength, power, or kingdoms.
* Ch. vii. p. 120. f Psalms czviii. 27. f Exodus xxx. 10.
A voice proceeding from such a place is not only “a strong indication,” as Bishop Newton beautifully observes, “ of Divine displeasure, but plainly intimates that the sins of men must have been very great, when the altar, which was their sanctuary and protection, called aloud for vengeance.” Being said to proceed from the four horns of the altar, indicates that the strength and majesty of the Most High are concerned
in the infliction of this vengeance; and it seems to
express, that no intercession should any longer avail to prevent the execution of this woe. The command conveyed by the voice is :
“Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.” (ver. 14.)
These words convey the following ideas:–
1st. That some considerable time had elapsed since the former “woe.” It would seem as if the patience of God had waited long, before He brought again upon the professing backsliding church such another scourge as the last; and this idea is in harmony with the declaration made in the 12th verse, that “one woe is past, and behold there come two more woes hereafter :"—an expression which looks forward to a considerable space of time.
We have seen that it was in the year 762 when the Saracens ceased to be like “locusts,” and when they became settled, and built Bagdad, the City of Peace. Rahdi, who flourished about A.D. 940, and was the thirty-ninth of the successors of Mahomet, was the last who deserved the title of “Commander of the Faithful;” the last who spoke to the people, or conversed with the learned : the last who, in the expense of his household, represented the wealth and magnificence of the caliphs. After him, the lords of the Eastern world were reduced to the most abject misery, and exposed to the blows and insults of a servile condition.* In this fallen state, with their power diminished, their empire weakened, their revenues taken away, and with nothing left but the name, the rising power of the Turks broke in upon them, and upon the world. This great people proceeded originally from a nation which dwelt north-east of the Caspian Sea. One of the greatest of their early princes was Mahmud, who reigned over the eastern provinces of Persia one thousand years after the birth of Christ, and about four hundred years after Mahomet. “His father,” remarks Gibbon, “ was the slave of the slave of the slave of the Commander of the Faithful.” In his conquests he surpassed the limits of those of Alexander, F and for him the title of Sultan was invented. The following, as related of him by Gibbon, is deeply interesting. “His behaviour in the last days of his life evinces the vanity of these possessions, so laboriously won, so dangerously held, and so inevitably lost. He surveyed the vast and various chambers of the treasury of Gazna ; burst into tears; and again closed the doors, without bestowing any portion of the wealth which he could no longer hope to preserve.