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Mohammedism attained to the zenith of its glory by the subversion of the Greek empire. Previous to this period, the Greek church had struggled successfully with the Roman church for independence and equality but the downfall of Constantinople effectually humbled both the ecclesiastical rival of Popery, and the temporal antagonist of Mohammedism. In the days of the Saracens, the Arabian imposture triumphed over the proud monarchy of Persia; but was only able to torment the declining remains of the once formidable empire of Rome. In the days of the Turks, it beheld the city of Constantine prostrate at its feet, as well as the capital of Chosroes. Still however did the Church of Rome continue her triumphs over sense, humanity, and religion. Unawed by the signal punishment of her sister of Constantinople, she resolutely set her face against the reformation which commenced under this trumpet, and persecuted those who protested against her superstition and appealed to Scripture: a more tremendous power therefore, than either the Saracens or the Turks, will be summoned against her by the blast of the third woe; which nevertheless will afterwards perish, united with her.
It is observable, that the precise duration of the second woe-trumpet is not marked by St. John in his prophecy of the Euphratèan horsemen. The Turks were prepared for the slaughter of the third part of men, an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year; or 391 natural years and 15 days: conse
quently the second woe-trumpet began to sound at the commencement of those 391 years, or in the year of our Lord 1281; but it does not terminate till the great earthquake in the West has taken place, and till a tenth part of the Roman city has fallen*. Then we are informed, that "the second woe is past, and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."
* Rev. xi. 13.
Contents of the little book-History of the Western Apostasy under the three woe-trumpets.
ST. JOHN, having shewn the effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the East, next passes to the collateral and contemporary history of the West': for the same woe-trumpet, which called into action the Mohammedan Apostasy, produced likewise the developement of the papal Apostasy; both these two little horns commencing their joint reign of 1260 prophetic days in the selfsame year.
In order to avoid needless confusion, the Apostle throws the whole history of Popery, during the tahole 1260 days, and under all the three woetrumpets*, into a sort of episode to his general
* Bp. Newton is certainly mistaken in saying, that the little book "properly cometh under the sixth trumpet." The little book itself repeatedly declares, that it comprehends all the 1260 years: but the 1260 years extend through the whole period of the three woe-trumpets; or at least through the whole of it, except that part which is included in the effusion of the last vial, and which synchronizes with Daniel's time of the end: whence it is manifest, that the little book must include, not only the sixth trumpet, but the fifth and seventh also. This is sufficiently
series of prophecies; which he terms a little book, or a codicil to his greater book of the Apocalypse. This little book comprehends the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth chapters of the Revelation: and, in point of chronology, all these chapters run parallel to each other, relating seve rally, though with some variety of circumstances, to the same period and the same events; so as to form jointly a complete history of the western Apostasy, and of all the principal actors in it.
1. The first chapter of the little book* gives an account of the treading of the holy city under foot during forty-two months; of the desolate phrophesying of the witnesses, during the same period of 1260 days; of their being slain by the beast of the bottomless pit; of their lying dead in the broad street of the great city during three days and a half; of their revival; of their triumphant ascent into the symbolical heaven; and of the earthquake which was
evident both from the date of the fifth trumpet, and from the termination of the seventh for the fifth trumpet begins to sound at the very commencement of the 1260 years, namely when the bottomless pit was opened in the year 606 by the fallen star Sergius; and the seventh trumpet brings us down, through the different stages of its first six vials, to the end of the 1260 years. Since then the little book comprehends the whole of the 1260 years, it must necessarily commence with the sounding of the fifth trumpet, and must likewise include the seventh trumpet. Accordingly we find, that the seventh angel is represented as actually sounding in the little book (Rev. xi. 15.); though a more particular account of the effects of his blast is reserved for a distinct prophecy in the large book. Rev. xv.-xix. * Rev. xi.
to overthrow the tenth part of the city, and to be the last event under the second woe: and it finally announces the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which brings us down to the end of the 1260 days; but announces it without descending minutely to, particularise its effects*. In this chapter (it is to be observed) the beast of the bottomless pit is barely mentioned: and no intimation whatsoever is given, either what this beast is, by whose instigation he acts, or whose minister he is; the prophet reserving these particulars for his two succeeding chapters.
2. The second chapter of the little book † lets us into the whole mystery of iniquity, so far as its original mover is concerned. We there learn, that the 1260 years persecution of the true church of Christ is the contrivance of that old serpent, the devil; who is represented under the image of a · dragon with seven heads and ten horns, in order to shew us by the instrumentality of what minister he was about to slay the witnesses, and to drive the woman into the wilderness.
3. The third chapter of the little book ‡, passes from the master to the servant; and shews us who is that minister of the dragon, that beast of the bottomless pit, which had already been represented as the murderer of the two witnesses. It describes
*Its effects are afterwards detailed very circumstantially under the seven vials, and in the chapters subsequent to that which relates to the pouring out of the vials.