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" long prosperity of the Byzantine Cesars. In the “ confusion of darkness 'an assailant may some“ times succeed : but, in this greaç and general
attack, the military judgment and astrological
knowledge of Mohammed advised him to expect. " the morning, the memorable 29th of May, in " the 1453d year of the Christian era--- From the “ first hour, disorder and rapine prevailed in Con"stantinople, till the eighth hour of the same day;
when the Sultan himself passed in triumph through " the gate of St. Romanus-It was thus, after a
siege of fifty three days, thật Constantinople, “ which had defied the power of Chosroes, the "! Chagan, and the Caliphs, was irretrievably subs dued by the arms of Mohammed the second *.?" Thus, agreeably to the remarkable terms of the prophecy, were the forces of the Euphratèan çavalry prepared to the very day, the hour, the month, and the year, in order that they might slay the apocalyptic third part of men. They were prepared by the astrological superstition of their prince not merely to the year, but to the month; not merely to the month, but to the day; not merely to the day, but to the hour. They were prepared to the . first hour of the 29th day of the month of May in the year 1453 1;
* Hist, of Decline and fall. Vol. xii. p. 226, 239, 231.
+ There is a question respecting the day, the hour, the month, and the year, whether they denotę a certain.season of cantinyance or an appointed epoch of action. Mr. Mede, Mr. Brightmay, Sir
The cavalry of the Euphratdan warriors is des scribed as consisting of myriads upon myriads : and they are represented as wearing breast-plates of fire, of hyacinth, and of brimstone; or, in other words, red, blue, and yellow. The Turks brought inmense armies into the field, composed chicfly of horse; and, from the first time of their appearance, have been peculiarly attached to the colours of blue, yellow, and scarlet-The heads of
Isaac Newton, Bp. Newton, Mr. Fleming, and other expositors, adopt the former opinion : Archdeacon Woodhouse, on the contrary, asserts that “ the original language will not admit of “ this construction," and therefore rejects it altogether (Apoc. trans. p. 260, 262, 273.). Whether his assertion be perfectly well founded or not, I think him right in rejecting the idea that a season of continuance is intended. St. John frequently speaks of continuance of time ; and, whenever that is the case, he never uses the phraseology here employed (Compare Rev. ix. 5, 10. xi. 2, 3, 9. xii. 6, 14. xiii. 5. xx. 2, 4. with ix, 15.). Whence it is natural to suppose, that he is not here speaking of continuance of time. And the supposition is confirmed by finding, that, according to the translation of the Lxx, this very phraseology is used by Daniel to designate an appointed epoch. Blessed' is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days, that is, to the end of the 1335 days; ens muepees graba's tpaxoplas τριακονία σειλε. . But, even if it be allowed that continuance of time may here be spoken of by St. John, still none of the schemes of those commentators will be found tenable; because they uniformly, though with some variations of exposition, apply the supposed continuance of time to the period of the horsemen's conquests, whereas, if continuance be spoken of, it must be the continuance of their state of preparation : nouao. μενοι εις την ώραν και ημερας και μηνα και ενιαυλον. In the forther editions of this work I had adopted Bp. Newton's exposition's but I am now convinced that it is untenable. .
their horses were as the heads of lions, to denote their great strength and fierceness : out of their. mouths seemed to issue fire, and smoke, and brims. stone : and by this semblance of lightning, the prophet observed, that the third part of men were killed. This seems to be an allusion to the enormous artillery employed by Mohammed in the siege of Constantinople; by the instrumentality of which he chiefly succeeded in taking that city, and in thus slaying the apocalytic third part of men. The stupendous size and destructive efficacy of his cannon is described with much particularity of circumstance by the historian of that period *-The horses moreover had power to do hurt by their tails, as well as by their mouths, their tails being like unto serpents, and having heads. The Turks, like the Sarácens, were not merely secular conquerors, but were animated with all the wild fanaticism of a false religion. They professed and propagated the same imposture; they injured no less by their doctrines, than by their conquests; and, wherever they established their dominion, the Koran triumphed over the Gospel.
Yet, notwithstanding the signal overthrow of the Constantinopolitan monarchy, the rest of men, who were not killed by these plagues, repented not of their idolatrous worship of mediatory saints and angels, nor of their spiritual sorceries and fornication-Accordingly we find, that in the papal
Hist. of Decline and Fall. Vol. xii. p. 197, 211, 213.
church idolatry was at its height during the sounding of the sixth trumpet : in the same manner as Mohammedaniem 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 Mohaminedism. 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. They are said to be loosed, after having been bound;
and they are represented as attacking after their liberation the third part of men, and as finally slaying this third part: consequently, the second woe-trumpet must have begun to sound at the latter end of the thirteenth century, probably in the year 1281, when the Turks under Ortogrul gained their first victory over the Greek empire by the conquest of Cutahi. 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."