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length, and as they are both fulfilled, it is to be expected, that, in the application of them, there should be little disagreement among the commentators. Accordingly we have their general testimony to assure us, that the Saracens were the first woe. This was conceived to be undoubted by Sir I. Newton, by Mede and More, by bishops Newton and Hallifax, by Pyle, Whiston, and Jurieu, by Goodwin, Waple, and Fleming, by Cressener, Lowman, and Daubuz. In the account of this woe, which occupies the eleven first verses of ch. ix, one symbol occurs, so curious and so appropriate, as to induce me to take particular notice of it. The Saracens, in the figurative language of the prophet, are denominated locusts. Locusts,' says Dr. Lancaster3,
fly in such prodigious numbers, as that they form a great cloud and darken the sky, and then falling upon the earth, make a most terrible havoc of all the fruits thereof; and so are a proper symbol to signify an army of enemies coming in vast multitudes to make an excursion, in order to plunder and destroy a country: and therefore very properly represent here the Arabians or Saracens, who were always professed robbers, and made prodigious incursions upon the Roman empire particularly, as well as towards the Indies : making, wherever they came, most furious depredations.'
It is said in v. 9, that the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle ; * and Pliny affirms, that they fly with so great a noise of their wings, that they may be taken for birds. Their wings, and the sound of their wings, denote the swiftness, with which the Arabians atchieved their conquests4. • To shew their great rapidity,' says Dr. Lancaster, it will be sufficient to observe, that in the reign of Omar, the second caliph after Mahomet, these locusts had made such a surprising progress, (though his reign was only about ten years and an half) that they became masters of 36,000 towns, villages, and castles, in Syria, Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt; and carried on their conquests as far as Tripoli of Barbary. And this is observed by Khondemirs,' In v. 5, it is declared, that men should be tormented by them five months; and again in v. 10, that their power was not to hurt men five months. This, says bishop Newton, is said without doubt in conformity to the type ; for locusts are observed to live about five months, that is from April to September:' and, in proof of this, the prelate appeals to Bochart and to Pliny. Now, says the bp. of Bristol, if these months be taken for prophetic months or 150 years, it was within that
3 In his Abridgment of Daubuz.
4 Bp. Newton
of time that the Saracens made their principal conquests. Their empire might subsist much longer, but their power of hurting and tormenting men was exerted chiefly within that period. Read the history of the Saracens, and you will find that their greatest exploits were performed, their greatest conquests were made, between the year 612, when Mohammed-began publicly to teach and propagate his imposture, and the year 762, when the caliph Almansor built Bagdad, to fix there the seat of his empire, and called it the City of Peace. Syria, Persia, India, and the greatest part of Asia; Egypt and the greatest part of Africa ; Spain and some parts of Europe, were all subdued in the intermediate time. But when the caliphs, who before had removed from place to place, fixed their habitation at Bagdad, then the Saracens ceased from their incursions and ravages like locusts, and became a settled nation; then they made no more such rapid and amazing conquests as before, but only engaged in common and ordinary wars like other nations; then their power and glory began to decline, and their empire by little and little to moulder away.'
The second woe consisted of the wars and conquests of the Turks and Ottomans, which have fallen with so severe a weight on the corrupt inhabitants of Christendom. This
5 Herbelot, tit. Omar. 6 It is described in ch, ix. v. 11-21.
7 To be convinced that it is a woe with a reference to them, it will be sufficient to inspect it. After describing it, St. John says (v. 20, 21), And the rest of the men, which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not
is the general opinion of commentators; the opinion of all those whom I have named as harmonising in their explication of the first woe. But I shall quote only from one of them, and from his abbreviator, Dr. Lancaster Four angels, the messengers of the divine wrath, are represented as being bound in the great river Euphrates, and afterwards loosed, that they might slay the third part of men. The four angels, says Daubuz, are the Ottomans, 'and particularly refer to Ortogrul the third, with his three sons, Condoz, Sarubani, and Othman, who first passed the Euphrates, and laid the foundation of the mighty power of the Ottomans. The beginnings of that power were, observes this learned writer, “no less wonderful than those of the Saracens. By their being loosed,' I am now quoting from Dr. Lancaster, they were permitted to break into Christendom by their passing the Euphrates. And therefore the part of Christendom, which was to suffer by them, must be that which lay next to that barrier, being as it were guarded by it. The Eastern empire therefore is here intended, which both had the name, and kept up the pretensions, of the ancient Roman empire, which was the third part of the known world, wherein the Christian religion was planted. And in this empire, which was the third or chief part of Christendom, were the men to be slain; that is, deprived of their political life and government.-ACcordingly this event was brought about by Mahomet II. who by taking Constantinople, A. D. 1453, and by his
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 :-neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication nor of their thefts.
Notwithstanding that dreadful woe, afflicting the Eastern Christians,' which the prophet here describes, yet,' says Daubuz, “the Western did still continue in their idolatry, and took no notice of those dreadful warnings of God,' To darovice, the word translated devils, Dr. More observes, is to be understood of giving religious worship to dæmons, that is to say, to the souls of men deceased. Myst. of Iniq. p. 389. See this proved at Jarge in Mede, p. 783. It is to be remembered, that the worship of Images, at the period of the Ottoman conquests, was every where prevalent,
conquest of the empire of Trebizond, A. D. 1460 ruined all the power of the Eastern empire, in all the parts thereof, and this so effectually, that not one monarchy of those Christian princes which formerly possessed it was excepted from this common disaster; the Ottomans having gained, and still enjoying, all the dominions of the Eastern Cæsars.'
In order to apply the symbols of the first and second woe to the several events and particulars which they were designed to predict, it is obvious, that an exact acquaintance with history is indispensably necessary. Some observations of bp. Hurd may be here pertinently alleged. "That the argument from Prophecies should not convince those, who have not considered the occasion and design of them, the purposes they were intended to serve, and therefore the degree of light and clearness, with which it was proper they should be given; who have not studied the language in which these prophecies are conveyed, the state of the times in which they were delivered, the manners, the customs, the opinions of those to whom they were addressed; above all, who have not taken the pains to acquire a very exact and extensive knowlege of history, and so are not qualified to judge how far they have been accomplished ; that to such persons as these, I say, the argument from prophecy should not appear to have all that evidence which believers ascribe to it, is very likely ; but then this effect is to be accounted for, not from their knowlege, but their ignorance, not from their seeing too clearly, but from their not seeing at all, or but imperfectly, into the merits of this argument. And for those who have searched deepest, and inquired with most care, into this kind of evidence, they depose unanimously in its favor, and profess themselves to have received conviction from its.'
Whilst in v. 13 of ch. xi. it is foretold, that there would be a Revolution in the Tenth Part of the city, and an abolition of names or titles ; it is solemnly proclaimed in the following verse, that the second woe is past ; and, behold,
8 Serm, preached at Lincoln's Inn, vol. II. p. 74.
the third woe cometh quickly. In the three following verses the prophet touches on the happy changes which shall arise in consequence of that third woe, or the sounding of the seventh trumpet; and in v. 18 it is added, that when the wrath of God is come, he will destroy them which destroy the earth. Now those, who reflect that a Great Earthquake, to use the word in its figurative import, has recently shaken the European continent, and who believe that titles have already been abolished in the Tenth Part of the symbolic city, will be naturally solicitous to inquire, what are the subsequent events, which are to be accomplished during the last of the woes and of the trumpets, and to what class of persons those belong, whom the unerring voice of prophecy has denounced as the destroyers of the earth.
To those who are actuated by this solicitude I observe, that as each of the six preceding trumpets foretold a mighty war', which was to be followed by some important event; so also does the seventh; and to their attention I recommend the observations of the following commentators, on the effect which is to be produced by this most memorable of the trumpets. The events it foretells, they unite in asserting, belong to the Western part of the Roman empire, or the dominions of the ten-horned Beast.
• The third woe,' says bp. Newton, is the ruin and downfal of the antichristian kingdom. It does, says Mede, destroy the kingdom of the Beast". • The sole object of the third woe,' declares Dr. Cressener, is the party of the Beast; and it ends with the ruin of that party'.' That it brings on the total ruin of the Antichristian power, is the statement of Mr. Pyle. The object of the third woe or seventh trumpet, says Mr. Durham, is the executing of God's vengeance upon Antichrist and the kingdom of the Beast; the destroying of them that formerly destroyed the earth.'
9 Employed in the field of battle, and in the proclamation of war, the trumpet is a natural emblem of the latter.
10 P, 587, 591.