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unto battle ; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails : and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his
name Apollyon.” There being scarcely any disagreement among interpreters concerning the application of this trumpet to Mahomet and the Saracens, it will not be necessary in this place to give a more than running paraphrase.
A “star," similar to the one under the third trumpet, in the person of Mahomet, fell in like manner from the political firmament, Arabia Felix being within the limits of Syria, one of the four kingdoms into which Alexander's conquests were divided. The religion and false doctrines which he propagated are said to come from hell, or the “bottomless pit:” and to have darkened the “sun,” the throne of the empire; and the “air,” the world in general. With this apostasy came an immense army of terrible invaders, who had their commission to “hurt all the earth, except the small remnant of the true church-those who had the “ mark of God in their foreheads;”—but which commission was only to “hurt,” that is, to ravage and scourge; not to " kill,” or destroy and overturn. Accordingly it is observed, that though on several occasions they besieged Constantinople, and even plundered Rome, yet that they did not make themselves masters of either of these places.
The time to which this commission was to extend, was “five months," or 150 years; which are reckoned from the year 612, when Mahomet fled from Mecca to Medina and first began to propagate his religion by the sword, to the year 762, when the Caliph Almanzar built Bagdad, and called it the City of Peace. From this time the Saracens became a settled nation, and ceased to make those extensive and rapid conquests which had formerly distinguished them; and their wars from henceforth were more like the ordinary contests of other nations. They were to “ torment
so dreadfully, and to bring such calamities upon the earth, as should make men weary of their lives. Their strength was chiefly to consist in their numerous cavalry; the Saracens through all ages having been famous for their horses and horsemanship. They were to wear, as their common attire, those ornaments which others consider as badges of royalty; their turbans“ being crowns of gold.” They wore beards, as men; and plaited or flowing hair, like women. Their strength and rapacity were as the "teeth of a lion ;” and their rapid career, as “many horses running to battle."
It is further added, that wherever they carried their arms they should establish the venom of a false religion—"they had stings in their tails:” and that they should have a king over them, whose name is the “Destroyer,” standing in the double relation of a temporal and spiritual chief; such as were Mahomet and the caliphs his successors, whose distinguishing official denomination was, “ The Commander of the Faithful.”
It is remarkable that no "THIRD PART” is mentioned here, as in the former trumpets—there is no limit to their devastations, but in favour of the servants of God. Accordingly, as Bishop Newton observes, “ It sounds incredible, yet most true it is, that in the space of eighty, or not many more years, they subdued and acquired to the diabolical kingdom of Mahommed, Palestine, Syria, both Armenias, almost all Asia Minor, Persia, India, Egypt, Numidia, all Barbary even to the river Niger, Portugal, and Spain. Neither did their fortune or ambition stop here, till they had added also a great part of Italy, as far as the gates of Rome; moreover, Sicily,
Candia, Cyprus, and the other islands of the Mediterranean Sea."
“ And the sixth trumpet 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 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. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand : and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 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." At the conclusion of the last trumpet it was said, “one woe is past; and, behold, there come two more woes hereafter.” As no very particular distinction is marked between the first and second “woes”—they being the same in kind, and both relating to the Mahommedan faith, and to two nations whose manners and customs were in many respects very similar—the above notice may be given to distinguish them, and more strongly to separate each period. As the former related to the SARACENS, so the presentone, with equal clearness, and with scarcely an opposing voice, belongs to the Turks, as will be abundantly demonstrated from the following particulars.
1st. It relates to a people who were settled upon the river EUPHRATES ! And it is well known, to all conversant with history, that the Turkish empiré was originally divided into four principal sultanies, bordering on the river Euphrates—which great river subdivided their dominions, and drew all its waters from their territories—namely, those of Bagdad, Damascus, Aleppo, and Iconium; or, as expressed by Gibbon, " of Persia, Kerman, Syria, and Roum."
2d. This people, it is said, were prepared by God to “slay ” for a period of 391 years; a prophetic “ year, month, day, and hour” amounting to that length of time. And the Turks were
“woe" to the Roman earth, from the capture of Prusa in Bithynia, in 1327, by Othman, who has given his name to the whole race, to the peace of Passarowitz, in 1718, by which a termination was put to the sanguinary wars between the Ottoman and Christian powers.