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shown. The one may be called the eastern, the other the western Antichrist.
Relative to the time of the commencement of this wotrumpet, Mohammed retired to his cave to form his scheme, in the year 606. In about one hundred and twenty years from this period, their conquests were won.
Take a medium then, of this hundred and twenty years, as the time for the fair manifestation of this grand imposture to the world, and it gives the year 666. The Koran, imbodying this scheme of imposture, was but a horrid bundle of falsehoods, superstition, and licentiousness, propagated by violent armies. And the soldiers were assured, that all who fell in battle propagating this religion, instantly ascended to a sensual paradise; which motive was calculated and designed to render them fearless and invincible.
Thus terrible was the judgment of the fifth trumpet on the multitudes in the eastern realms, who had rejected Christ and his salvation. So fatally did God subject them to Mohammedan tyranny, and to intolerable calamities. So fatal, even in time, was their rejection of the grace of God in the gospel of his Son. “Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord. Do they not provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces ?" Let gospel despisers beware ; for God is still the same; and the judgments in our text are held up in solemn warning.
Ver. 12. One wo is past: and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates,
15. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men,
16. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand ; and I heard the number of them.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
20. 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:
21. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
We have here the origin and advancement of the Turkish empire, another great supporter of the Mohammedan delusion. A voice from the four horns of the golden altar before the throne in heaven, calls forward the event of this trumpet. This is the altar, in chapter viii. 3, where Christ offers much incense with the prayers of the saints, that they may find acceptance with God. This circumstance hints to us, that this wo trumpet is in answer to the prayers of the saints thus perfumed. They pray for Zion; and God fulfils his judgments on their enemies in answer to their petitions.
Four angels are loosed that were bound in the river Euphrates, prepared for judgments. These angels im. port ministers of Providence, by whom he would chastise various nations of the papal empire. And they denoted four governments of Turks, located near the river Euphrates. Four governments of Seljukian Turks were indeed found there; one at Aleppo, one at Iconium, one at Damascus, and one at Bagdat. These ambitious powers had long been inclined to extend their dominions ; but they had been restrained from it as though “ bound"
by two causes : (1.) The armies of the Crusades from Europe to the Holy Land, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and (2.) By the attacks of the Tartars on these governments.
These restraining causes, at the time of the opening of this sixth trumpet, ceased. The wild crusades closed with the twelfth century; and the invasions of Tartars then became less formidable. The Turkish empire now in fact arose, in the union of these four Turkish sultanies under Ottornan, their first chieftain, about the year 1300. They threw off the Tartar yoke, and formed their plans for conquest. In 1363, they found themselves prepared to cross the Hellespont, into Europe, and commence there most furious ravages. This empire is said, in the text, to have been “
“prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay a third part of men. As though that voice from heaven had said ; This power shall make incursions with increasing success, as of an hour, then of a day, then of a month, and then of a year, to slay a vast portion of the people in those antichristian regions. Each incursion shall increase in length and terror, till they shall fix the seat of their empire in the heart of their enemies' country. And most precisely thus did the events take place. The armies of this Ottoman empire broke into Europe for plunder, and soon retired ; occasioning an alarm as of a prophetic hour. Bajazet, soon after, made a longer excursion, and threatened a general invasion of Greece; but an attack of the Tartars called him home; and the terror in Europe again subsided. This was an alarm for a prophetic day. After a season of rest in Europe, he commenced a new attack; took Adrianople, and other portions of Greece. And he besieged Constantinople for eight years, and probably would have taken it; but Tamerlane, the Tartar, took this opportunity to renew his attack upon the Turks, which caused Bajazet to raise this seige, and hasten home to protect his own dominions. This third invasion of Greece may well be noted as the alarm of a month,—or thirty years.
But the Turkish invasion of that south-east of Europe was soon after again pursued; when Mohammed Second took Constantinople in the year 1453, and made it the capital of the Turkish empire in Europe, established upon the ruins of the Greeks. This may well
be called the judgment of a prophetic year, whether definitely or indefinitely calculated.
Should it mean a definite prophetic year, or 360 years from the time of the Turks' becoming established in Europe; it would bring the commencement of their fall to about the
1818. The history of the Turks gives a clear illustration of the imagery in our text. Their armies were great, consisting chiefly of horsemen or cavalry. They were not usually found with less than 300,000 cavalry, and 60,000 infantry. They pressed like lions upon their enemies, and were rapid in their conquests. They enforced the Mohammedan religion. Their way of propagating it was with firearms. They subdued Greece, Asia Minor, and great territories in the east. Their hearts flamed with the wildest fire of enthusiasm and rage; and they tormented men with the most absolute despotism.
The number of their armies, as stated in the text, is amazing; “ten thousand times ten thousand ;” or one hundred million ! This number, one would think, must be a great hyperbole. It may possibly, however, be the number of all their armies, from the rise of their empire to its final extinction. The Turkish soldiery have been vastly numerous. The true sense of the text may be like that of the following scriptures ; " The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” (Psalm lxviii. 19.) “ Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” (Dan. vii. 10.) The passage most forcibly gives the idea, that the armies of the Turks would be vastly numerous, and powerful, and fully equal to all the works of judgment assigned them. And they are said, in the text, to have breastplates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone. Their horses' heads are like the heads of lions. And, says the text, out of their mouth issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone.” Suppose then, that John beheld, in vision, an army of Turkish cavalry, furiously charging an enemy, and firing over their horses' heads, and many of the enemy falling before them; while their armour was gleaming with burnished brass, as though of real fire; the view would seem to answer precisely to the description he gives in the text. Firearms had never been conceived of when the text was written: but they had come into use when it was fulfilled. The Turks, in this their
attack upon Europe, used both cannon and small arms. The latter they fired over their horses' heads, which gave the very appearance described in the text; as though fire and brimstone issued from the mouths of their horses, and slew their enemies. They are said to have had tails like those of serpents; and heads on their tails, powerful to do hurt. A poisonous and furious serpent, with a head at each end, full of fatal venom, is a striking emblem of those Turkish soldiers. They both subdued and tormented; and every touch was like that of such a serpent, full of malignity, poison, and death.
The obstinate impenitence of the residue of their enemies, who escaped death, is an affecting part of the sacred story.
“ The rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not !" Judgments should lead men to God with penitent hearts. This only is the happy result of afflictions. But most frequently is it otherwise with people deeply afflicted. And, as the best means of repentance and salvation do, if misimproved, effectually harden; so the most severe judgments, when misimproved, do but harden and prepare the soul for ruin. This was the fatal effect of the judgments inflicted by the Turks on the multitudes who fell under their yoke.*
Happy has been our exemption from such scenes of judgment as are described in these wars. Numerous millions were deluged in these scenes of vexation and ruin. Let us bless God that such has not, as yet, been our lot! We, too, might have had the brutal rage of furious and bloody millions let loose upon us.
But God, in our case,
* The stroke in our text, that “the rest of the men repented not,” &c. gives a lively view of the nature of Mohammedism; it brings no one to repentance; it produces no morality worthy of the name. The instance was never found that this religion ever produced a good man. But, like the Bohon Upas tree, it has ever filled its whole atmosphere with poison and death. It was at first a smoke from hell; it then produced nothing better than most hateful devouring locusts; nor has it, from that time to this, produced any character essentially better. No whisper of grace has ever blessed their hateful system; no heavenly dove ever hovered there! But hatred, and blood, and horror have reigned triumphant in all those dark domains. Most strikingly then does this stroke give their horrid case;
“And the rest of the men repented not of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols ; Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thefts!”