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were killed by their breath. Their tails were serpents, with which they did much hurt.
Such is the hieroglyphic. The prediction, in simpler language, is evidently this. A countless army of horsemen should proceed from the Euphrates; they should inspire fear, and carry desolation, wherever they went; many should be destroyed by them; the tails like serpents indicated, that, when they had subdued and passed through a country, they would greatly afflict it, as by the stings under the former trumpet.
All this perfectly corresponds with the irruption of the Turks into Europe, their destruction of the eastern empire, and the miseries they brought upon corrupted Christians. The only objection that can be made to this application of this passage is, the length of time intervening between the fifth and sixth trumpets. But this has already been accounted for in our prefatory remarks.
As usual, I enter not into minute particulars of the history of this people. This you will find in authors who have expressly treated of them. I wish only to present circumstances enough to show the fulfilment of the prophecy. The Turks, originally from the Caspian Sea, were hired by the Sultan of Persia, against the Caliph of Babylon, who was then head of the Saracenic empire, in 832. When the Sultan, through their means, obtained the victory he refused to reward them; and they then drove him from his kingdom, and there established themselves. After some time, they made peace with the Caliph, and professed the Mahometan religion. In 1051, they obtained permission to set up an emperor of their own in the Asiatic territories, and they shortly after
established four sultanies, bordering on the river Euphrates. There for some time they were bound, restrained from extending their conquests, by their disputes, by the providence of God, and by the crusades. But, at last, they were united, and loosed, and permitted to punish degenerate Christians. In 1281, they obtained the first victory over Christians, by taking the important city of Kutahi from the Greeks. From that period, they often spread desolation over many parts of Christendom. In 1453, they took Constantinople, and overturned the eastern Roman empire; and their last victory was in 1672, when they took Cameniec from the Poles. The hour, day, month, and year, (according to prophetic calculation, in which a day represents a year, and the year is regulated by lunar computations,) amount to three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days. The years exactly point out the interval between the first and last of these conquests; and if historians had been as precise in mentioning days as years, we should have doubtless found the days equally exact. Since the year 1672, their dominion has been on the decline; and at the end of the sixth trumpet, the Ottoman power will fall, together with the temporal power of the Pope. In all their traits, they correspond with the representation of John: they came from the Euphrates; their armies consisted principally of horsemen; they breathed slaughter, and destroyed countless multitudes; the Mahometan imposture, and the absolute despotism, with all their attendant evils, with which those countries have been cursed that have been subdued by them, may express the torments inflicted by the snakes in their horses' tails; and I know not
whether it is fanciful to imagine, that the fire, and smoke, and brimstone, issuing from their mouths, may allude to the gunpowder and cannon, now so common, but first used by them at the siege of Constantinople.
The conclusion of the chapter informs us, that the design of this wo was to punish the degenerate professors of Christianity for those vices in which they indulged, and by which they were too much assimilated to the heathen; but that it did not bring them to repentance and reformation; and that therefore new judgments should be inflicted on them.
1. And now, think with solemnity and holy awe of the universality and power of Divine Providence : men, devils, all creatures, are submissive to it God has only to speak, and thou shalt be punished; he has only to will it, and in the midst of all calamities thou shalt be secure. Is the God of providence then thy friend? Art thou reconciled to him through the great Redeemer, and interested in his promises? Happy if this be the case: under the most appalling judgments thou mayest sing," Though the earth be removed, God is my refuge and strength." In every situation thou mayest look up to Jesus at the golden altar, pleading for his sealed ones, not permitting afflictions to approach them, or else converting them into blessings. But wo to thee if this be not the case! wo to thee if the God of providence be thine enemy! Thou canst not contend with him; though he bears long with the guilty, his vengeance will at last descend upon them. Oh! in time submit to his dominion embrace his Son: devote thyself to him, that thou mayest be happy. Never forget that this God, so holy and powerful, is not a distant and re
mote Being, on whose attributes thou mayest coolly meditate; but one on whom thou art absolutely dependent; with whom thou hast many solemn relations; who continually observes thee, and who will fix thee in heaven or in hell. With such a being it is not safe to trifle: such a being it is madness to oppose or offend.
2. See the necessity of the special grace of God for the conversion of man: the severest afflictions cannot of themselves change the heart: these men so severely punished, yet repented not. How often have similar examples been presented to us! How many of you, my brethren, have thus been visited by calamity, and yet are unsanctified! You have struggled, you have murmured, you have inwardly accused God of severity; and have become more hardened. Oh! let affliction make you, like the poor prodigal, think of your Father's house; let it drive you to his throne, and his arms; let it lead you to supplicate his grace: then, and then only, will it prove a blessing.
3. See the danger of neglecting spiritual mercies; because these were disregarded, spiritual judgments were inflicted. Abuse not the privileges you enjoy, lest God should give you up also "to strong delusion and to believe a lie." Preserve the truth and the purity of religion, lest you also become the prey or the victims of deceivers, and experience the indignation of God in this world and that which is to come.
4. Finally think for a moment of that world, the agonies of which are such, that it is emphatically true, that "men shall seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee
from them." There the immortality that ennobled these lost, unhappy beings, has become their curse : there they perpetually lament that they can never, never die: there they in vain pray that they may be blotted from existence; death flees from them: "the smoke of their torments ascendeth for ever and ever."
God of mercy! Father of our Saviour! save us from these agonies! Lead us now to the Redeemer: through him may we now obtain that spiritual life which will conduct us to a world, where, instead of these woes, our eternity shall be marked only by raptures and thanksgivings.