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the last days; And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him, and the king of the north shall come against him, like a whirlwind, with chariots, and horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land; and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hands also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Lybians and Ethiopians shall be at his steps. Upon this passage let it be remarked,
1. The time of this expedition of the infidel Power into the east, may well accord with that of the subversion of the Ottoman Empire, or the pouring out of the sixth vial; being directly after he has subdued his neighboring nations, and divided their land for gain, or formed the ten horns of the Antichristian beast; as we learn from the preceding verses. After the fulfilment of the fifth vial, in the overthrow of the Papal power, by the rise and instrumentality of Antichrist, it is natural to look, ere long, for the fulfilment of the sixth vial, in the overthrow of the Turks.
2. The king of the south and the king of the north, in the preceding parts of the chapter, meant Egypt and Syria. These are now under the dominion of the Turks. These names then may well be supposed to mean the Turkish empire. By the king of the south we may naturally understand the Turkish dominions in Africa, including not only Egypt, but also the states of Barbary. Some of these Turkish provinces may be directed by their grand master, to make some kind of "push” at the infidel Power; which will be followed by an attack from all the Turkish powers of the east, and possibly other powers confederate with them.
3. Upon this, the infidel Power goes forth with great fury; enters Palestine, now subject to the Turks; and many countries in those parts will be overthrown by him. The eastern Arabs, under the name of Edom,
Moab, and Ammon, are excepted from his conquests: which implies, that his conquests in the east will be very extensive. What can all this be, but the subversion of the Ottoman empire?*
4. The conquering Power beats his way round, into Egypt, where he finds access to whatever treasures the inhabitants may possess.
And the Egyptians, and Lybians, or states of Barbary, are found prostrate at his feet. May not this carrying of his arms into Africa, be a chastising of them for their pushing at him? From this expedition he retires, and affords opportunity for the accomplishment of the vast events, which will intervene between the sixth and the seventh vials.
5. As Antichrist is raised up for a rod of iron, to execute the judgments of God upon the nations, it appears rational to expect that he will be the instrument of the overthrow of the Turks. Many predictions concerning him represent him as subduing the nations, making the earth to tremble, and for the most part prospering in his enterprises, till the works of Divine indignation, for which he is raised up, shall be accomplished. We may naturally expect, then, that he will be the mean of the ruin of the Turkish power, that grand supporter of the Mohammedan delusion, as well as of the Papal; or that he will be the instrument of the fulfilment of the sixth as well as of the fifth vial.
As the way had been long gradually preparing for the subversion of the Papal power, before it was effected under the fifth vial; so the way has been preparing, in a series of providential events, for the ruin of the Turkish empire. I
It is remarkable, that a sect arose in Arabia, about the same time, in which Voltaire's scheme of Infidelity was planned, which is as threatening to the Mohammedan, as the scheme of Voltaire was to the Papal imposture. Abdul Wahab, a native of Aijerene, appeared about the middle of the last century, denying the Mohammedan religion. His followers, called Wa. habees, have become numerous and terrible. In 1802, their armed force consisted of from 80, to 90,000. Their expeditions were conducted with the greatest secresy and celerity. They had plundered Tyeef, Mecca, Medina, and Kubula, with terrible slaughter. They had demolished the tomb of Mohammed at Medina; and had destroyed the mosques, after having plundered them of their vast treasures. In short, they had effected a revolution in the government of Arabia. And the Turkish government were forced to purchase their friendship. The founder of this sect received his education under the chief Mohammedan doctors at Bassora and Bagdat. The Wahabees profess to believe in God: But they deny Jesus Christ, and all revealed religion. Thus the way has been providentially preparing for the subversion of the Mohammedan delusion, and consequently the ruin of the Turkish government, which rests, upon it. But the end of that empire will be with a flood of wrath, under the instrumentality of Antichrist, as appears from the forecited passage of Dan. xi, 40,-and the other considerations before mentioned.*
*It is not únnatural to suppose this conquering Power will lodge a colony of infidel Jews in Palestine, in this first expedie tion. See Faber upon this idea.
+Dan, xi, 36. For a particular account of the earthquakes, fires, plagues, &c. which have lately desolated many parts of the Ottoman empire, the reader is referred to Dr. Trumbull's Century Sermon,
*Should any object, that the drying up of the mystic Eu. phrates seems not consistent with a violent subversion of that empire by a foreign power; but seems rather to indicate a grad. ual decay, and kind of natural death; as the horn of the Ma. cedonian beast is said, (Dan. viii, 25,) to be broken without hands: I answer, The drying up of the river Euphrates, by Cyrus, that he might destroy ancient Babylon, was a sudden and violent event, produced by a foreign invading foe. But that event was predicted under the same figure, with the judgment of the sixth vial. I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. (Jer. li, 36.) That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up the rivers. (Isai. xliv, 27.) A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up. (Jer. I, 38.) These predictions were dalalled upon Babylon by the violent siege and artificial oper. ations of the Medo-Persian monarch. And the drying up of waters is a common prophetic figure to signify the violent sub. version of one nation by the arms of another. Thus the reduce tion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar was predicted; (Ezek. XXX, 12.) And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hands of the wicked. And the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea by the arm of the Most High, was noted under the same figare, Isai. li, 9, 10. The arm of the Lord is invoked; and the prophet says, Art thou not it, that hath dried the sea. I recollect no instance in prophecy, where the drying up of waters is used to predict the gradual decay, or kind of natural death of any people or nation. The drying up of the mystic Euphrates, then, we must naturally conclude, will be fulfilled by the arms of some powerful nation. The horn of the Mace. donian beast's being broken without hands, (Dan. viii, 25.) may be found to mean, that it shall be brokı without any hands to uphold; as is predicted of Antichrist, (Dan. xi, last)- yet shall he come to his end, and none shall help him. Such a clause is often added to the denunciations of Divine wrath upon the wick. ed; And there be none to deliver. Nune can deliver out of mine hands. But if that passage in Daniel relative to the Macedo. nian horn, truly mean, that it shall be destroyed without human aid, it must mean the gradual decay and death of the Moham. medan delusion; but oot of the Turkish empire, the last, most powerful supporter of it. It does not accord with the analogy of the judgments of the vials, or of the signal judgments of God generally, that the sixth vial should be fulfilled without any spe. cial, visible instrument of the vengeance. God usually works by means; and usually has visible instruments prepared, adequate to effects, which are to be produced. And we have no reason to believe the sigoal judgment of the sixth vial will be an exception to this general rule; notwithstanding that a writer of celebrity has suggested that this will be the case.
The object of the judgment of the sixth vial is ex. pressed--that the way of the kings of the east may be prepared. That the way may be prepared for the return of God's ancient covenant people to the land of their fathers. This sense accords with Mede, Moor, Durham, Pool, and others. That people are to be gathered to the Holy land before the seventh vial, or the battle of that great day of God Almighty. This point is made certain in numerous prophecies.* But they cannot return to the land of their fathers, till the Turk. ish empire is subverted. For Palestine is in possession of that empire; and the Turks, so long as they are in power, will never suffer Judah and Israel to resettle there.
*See Ezek. XXXviii and xxxix; Joel ili, Zech. xii, xiii, and xiv.
But why are the ancient people of God called the kings of the east? Perhaps the signal care which God has for so many ages taken of that people, and the wonders of Providence still in reserve for them, may entitle them to this mystic appellation. They were formerly called, a kingdom of priests.* And they are to become the most signal branch of that church, which is to be made kings and priests unto God. The phrase may have a special reference to the ten tribes, now in the east. In modern writings we are informed of a people in Persia, whither the ten tribes, at the time of their dispersion, were led, t called the Afghans, whose traditions and history seem clearly to evince, that they are the ten tribes of Israel. They entertain this opinion of themselves. And the best Persian historians give this opinion of them. The descendants of the dispersed Israelites may have emigrated to different and distant regions. Admitting that the scattered descendants of Israel may, after the battle of the great day, be gathered from the east, west, north, and south; from far, even from the ends of the earth;yet the Afghans in Per-, sia, it appears most highly probable, are that body of the ten tribes, who are to be restored with the Jews to Palestine, before the battle of the great day, or the seventh vial.& These Afghans call themselves Melchim, the Hebrew word for kings. These may prove to be the kings of the east, to prepare the way for the return of whom, to the land of their fathers, the mystic Euphrates must be dried up. For this empire extends between the Holy land and Persia, which lies in the east. And the Turks, being in possession of the Holy land, and being of a religion utterly hostile to our holy Revelation, are as fatal an obstacle in the way of the
* Exo. xix, 6. +2 Kings xvii, 6. Isai. xliii, 5, 6.
See Ezek. xxxvii, 16-21, in connexion with the context, and the succeeding chapter,