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the third part, as in the other trumpets, but their commission was against all the men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, that is, who were not the servants, of God, but had apostatized from the truth to superstition, idolatry, and persecution, and which was the case with the pretended Christians both of Asia and Europe, both of those who acknowledged the supreme authority of the Bishop of Rome, and of those who did not. But these locusts were not to kill these men, but only to torment them. This does not signify, in the strictest sense, that they were not to inflict death on any, for this they did on innumerable multitudes; but it means that, though they were to be the authors of numberless torments to both the Greek and Latin churches, yet they were not to destroy them in their corporate capacity. This was to be effected by the future woes.
As to the time during which these Saracen locusts were to torment them who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, it is said, in the fifth rerse, to be five months, prophetic months undoubtedly, or 150 years. Again, it is said, ver. 10. that “they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months;" the same period of time with that mentioned before, 150 years. There is some difficulty in reconciling this time, which the prophecy allots, with the history of facts. Some suppose that an allusion only is here made to those hot summer months in which locusts are wont to prevail and do mischief, without intending to mark out any certain time. Some, again, suppose, that as a prophetic month contains thirty years, the period of 150 years was intended, and that this reters only to that period in which the Saracens made their chief conquests, and occasioned the greatest calainities. Others imagine that both these five months are to be reckoned; and then the period of their tormenting men is fixed to 300 years. As it is not essential to iny design, I shall not labour to solve the difficulties which here present themsclves, it being enough for our present purpose, if this fifth trumpet be allowed to refer to the depredations of this cruel people. I shall therefore only beg leave to suggest to the curious, and to those who niay have more ability and leisure for the investigation, whether the first five months (the head or beginning of their depredatious may not refer to the severest period of their conquests and cruelties in Asia, where they had their beginning, and the latter
five months (the tail, or latter part of their enormities) to the time of their chief and most tormenting depredations in Europe *. Those who wish to see a more laboured explanation of these trumpets, may consult Brightman, Mede, Lowman, Newton, Whiston, and others. The Jatter of whom, except Mede, has the most originality; and though he may have some peculiarities, and start some hypotheses, which may be thought to be unsupported by good argument, yet, altogether, he seems to have had the most consistent ideas, and I acknowledge my obligations to him.
Ver. 2. “ One woe is past, and behold there come two woes hereafter. 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, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. · 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.” It is almost impossible not to believe that this woe refers to the Turks, who overthrew and entirely extinguished all that part of the Roman empire which they assaulted, by che taking and sacking of Constantinople, A. D. 1453, and by the entire conquest and possession of the eastern empire to this day. These people perfectly agree with the following description. They were to be prodigiously numerous,
especially in cavalry. (ver. 17.) Such has been the case • with the Turks; for they are reckoned to have had, at
one time, no less than 719,000 of them dispersed over the
* The chief reason for this division of the time of the calamities inflicted by the Saracens, I believe to be for the sake of the decorum of the symbol; for as the depredations of locusts continue but five months in the year, it would be a violation of that decoruin which the Holy Ghost always observes, to represent things different from what belongs to those creatures from which the symbols are borrowed.
killing and laying waste, to atchieve some of their greatest exploits, By means of his artillery, Amurath the Second broke into the Peloponnesus, and took several strong places; and in particular at their most fatal action, the taking of Constantinople, in 1453, such enormous guns were employed as had never been seen before. One is described to have been of such a monstrous size, that it was drawn by seventy yoke of oxen, and two thousand
If we moreover consider the cavalry as firing over the heads of their horses, not only do the men seem 10 have breast-plates of fire, but fire, and smoke, and brimstone, seem to issue from the mouths of their horses.
But it being allowed, as it is by almost all our writers, that the Turks are intended by this woe, what chiefly concerns us is, when was this loosing effected, of which the prophecy speaks, and for how long a time were these angels prepared to slay the third part of men? or the men of one of the third parts of the Roman empire? Concerning these four angels, see Mede's Key, p. 108, and Whiston's Essay, p. 199. They understand them to be four sultanies or kingdoms, which the Turks had at or near the river Euphrates, for several successions together, whose capital cities were Bagdad, beyond that river, and Iconium, Aleppo, and Damuscus, on this side of it. For a great while they were restrained to these parts, and could not extend their dominion as they wished. Several circumstances operated to effect this restraint, particularly the expeditions of the crusaders, in the .2th and 13th centuries, and the power of the khans of Persia, who, till the beginning of the fourteenth century exercised some control over them. But it is evident, that the several restraints of Providence, which had bound them, began to be taken off towards the end of the thirteenth, and the beginning of the fourteenth centuries. All our writers on the ancient Turkish history, complain of the barrenness of their materials, and the inaccuracy of dates; but let us trace this matter as well as we can. First observe the rise of the Ottoman famịly itself. The first person we read of, is this remarkable race, which has been such a scourge to Christendom, is Solyman Shah, who attempted, about A.D. 1204, say some, later, according to others, to retire out of Persia, to seek for himself and
followers a settlement under the Seljukidæ, who then reigned in Asia minor. In attempting to pass the Euphrates he was
drowned. This so discouraged his sons, that two of them returned back into Persia ; but Ortogrul, the third, with his three sons, Landoz, Sarubani, and (ihman, or Ottoman, still remained in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates for some time, till Aladin, the sultan of Iconium, received him, and gave him, and the four hundred families which emigrated with him, a country to inbabit Ortogrul died about the year 1289, and his son Ottoman continued the subject and soldier of Aladin. By his valour and success he raised himself to great eminence, and the race of the Seljukidæ terminating in Aladin, he fixed upon Ottoman to be his successor. Oppressed with age and infirmities, he is said, in his life-time, to have devolved on Ottoman the cares and prerogatives of royalty. Mr. Gibbon fixes this in A. D. 1299; but it is generally determined to have been in : 300. From comparing what is said of the length of his reign, and the beginning of the reign of his son Urchan, and other circumstances, there is reason to conclude that he began his reign in the year of the Hegira the Turkish epoch) 099 or 700, probably the latter. Now, as the Hegira began July 15, 622, A. C. and the Arabian years being lunar, and the Turks reckoning them by thirties, nineteen of which consist of 354 days, and eleven of 355, their year 700 would commence on September 16, 1300. Thus the fourth month of the Turkish year would be according to the Christian era, 1301. Historians seldom take any notice of this difference in the commencement of the Turkish years, and those of ours; but if an event is said to have taken place in the 700th year of the Hegira, this year commencing in 130 of our era, it is therefore set down as in that year. It is probable that Ottoman was inaugurated in the year of the Hegira 700 ; but history does not say on what day or month of that year; it might be towards the latter end of it. Mr.. Whiston endeavours very ingeniously to prove from certain circumstances, that he began his reign May 19, 1301. It would certainly afford some satisfaction, if we could prove to a day or a month from whence to date the beginning of the Ottoman empire. But I question whether this would be enough to prove the exact time of the loosing these four angels, or messengers of destruction. In Ottoman, it is evident that all these sultanies were united; but perhaps their loosing is to be reckoned from some great and successful expedition undertaken some time after he had mounted the throne. I think it is clear
that it was soon after the commencement of his reign; and if we are not able to prove the exact day or year, it does not invalidate the conclusion which we mean to draw.
According to Chalcocondylas, quoted by Mr. Whiston, soon after Ottoman was seated on the surkish throne, the Turks made an irruption into Europe, even as far as the Danube, and a second soon after. This second is ascribed to 1302. But let us bear Mr. Gibbon, (Hrst of the Rise and Fall of the Rom. Emp vol xi. p. 443.) whe cannot be suspected of wishing to serve the cause of Christianity. He laments, with all other writers on these subjects, the obscurity of the Turkish annals. He dates the first breach which Ottoman made upon the Greek empire July 27, 1299, but says it was after the Seljukian dynasty was no more. As authors are pretty well agreed as to the uncertainty of the Turkish dates, and as it is pretty clear that Aladin did not die till 1302, perhaps this date is not quite correct. However this may be, he says, " The Seljukian dynasty was no more; and the distance and decline of the Mogul khans soon enfranchised him (Ottoman) from the control of a superior. situate on the verge of the Greek empire; the Koran sanctified his gazi, or holy war, against the infidels; and their political errors unlocked the passes of mount Olym pus, and invited him to descend into the plains of Bithynia. Till the reign of Paleologus, these passes had been vigilantly guarded by the militia of the country, who were repaid by their own safety, and by an exemption from taxes. The emperor abolished their privilege, and assumed their office, but though the tribute was rigorously collected, the custody of the passes was neglected, and the hardy mountaineers degenerated into a trembling crowd of peasants, without spirit or discipline. It was on the 27th of July, in 1299 of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia; and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose sonje fore. sight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster.” In p. 341, he informs us, that till now “ all the emirs who had occupied the cities or the mountains, confessed the supremacy of the khan of Persia, who oftentimes interposed his authority, and sometimes his arms, to check their depredations, and to preserve the peace and balance of his Turkish frontier. The death of Cazan removed