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first woe-trumpets. He next proceeds to the parallel history of the Western branch of the Apostacy, which he gives at large under the two first woe-trumpets, and more briefly under the the third and, in order that his narrative may be unbroken, and that all confusion may be prevented, he throws the whole history of the western Apostacy, under all the three trumpets, and during the entire period of 1260 years, into a little book, or codicil to the larger book of the Apocalyse. And he finally details at large the operation of the last woe-trumpet, which contains within itself the seven vials, both in the East and in the West.
Concerning the three woe-trumpets themselves it may briefly be observed in general: that the first describes the rise of the two-fold Apostacy; the second represents it in the zenith of its power, till the primary and only partial manifestation of Antichrist ;* and the third exhibits its downfall, displaying at the same time the multiplied horrors of the harvest and vintage of the Lord, or the uncontrolled reign of the atheistical king and his subsequent destruction along with all the other enemies of God, and at length conducting us to that happy period when all the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.
* The French revolution in the year 1789. It professed to establish a limited monarchy, respecting at once the prerogatives of a lawful prince, and the liberties of the people. This only partial revelation of Antichrist deceived numbers, and led them to form the romantic idea, that France was become (to use the detestable cant of the day) a regenerated kingdom. Four years however were not suffered to elapse from the commencement of the revolution, ere the streets of Paris and the provin cial towns streamed with the blood of innumerable victims, ere the sovereign himself was brought to the scaffold, ere religion was abolished and a sort of jumble of atheism and idolatry was established in its stead. In the first year of Gallic liberty, Antichrist was partially revealed: in the fourth year of liberty, and the first year of equality (Aug. 12, 1792,) he threw off his mask of toleration, candor, and universal philanthropy; and stood openly revealed in all his native deformity. His lamb-like pretensions to reason, moderation, and humanity, vanished as the fleeting clouds of the morning and the astonished world suddenly beheld the existence of an "execrable power, which alone has steeled the hearts of its votaries against every feeling of nature has dared to sanction treason, parricide, lust, and massacre; and to infuse into the breasts of its subject multitudes a new passion, which has sunk them beneath the level of the brute creation: a passion for the sight of their fellow-creatures in the agonies of death, and a literal thirst for human blood." Hist. the Inter. Vol. ii. p. 215, 216.
Concerning the effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the east.
THE effects of the two first woe-trumpets in the East have been so fully and satisfactorily discussed by the excellent Bp. Newton, that I shall do nothing more than abridge his remarks, with the exception of noticing a single error into which I conceive his Lordship to have fallen.
At the sounding of the fifth trumpet, (the first of the three woe-trumpets) a star which had fallen* from heaven to earth, opened the bottomless pit and let out a vast swarm of locusts with their leader Apollyon at their head. The commission of these locusts was, not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; but only those men, who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; and, in point of time it was limited to five prophetic months, or 150 natural years. As for the locusts themselves, they were like horses prepared unto battle; their crowns were of gold; their faces were as the faces of men; they had hair as the hair of women; their teeth were as the teeth of lions; their breastplates were like breastplates of iron; they had the tails of scorpions, armed with deadly stings; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.†
Bp. Newton supposes the fallen star to be the impostor Mohammed; and yet afterwards represents the locust sovereign Apollyon as being Mohammed likewise. To say nothing of so plain a repetition, the prophet evidently describes the star and the king as being two entirely different persons. The fallen star opens the door of the bottomless pit, and lets out Apollyon with his locusts: consequently Apollyon was confined in the pit, till he was let out by the star: therefore Apollyon and the star
Such is the proper translation of relaxola, as Mr. Whitaker rightly observes.
Comment. p. 116.
Rev. ix. 1-11.
cannot both be Mohammed. Moreover, independent of this circumstance, the Arabian impostor can with no more propriety be symbolized by a fallen star, than the Vandalic monarch Genseric. Mohammed never was a star in the sense of a Christian pastor; and, when he afterwards became a sovereign, so far from falling from his high estate, he was uniformly successful in all his enterprises. We must look out therefore for some other character, to whom the hieroglyphic of a fallen star is more applicable.
I conceive then, that the fallen star of the first woetrumpet is no other than the apostate Nestorian monk Sergius or Baheira; who assisted Mohammed in the forging of his imposture, and who infused into it all the antitrinitarian venom of his own sect. The Mussulmans assert, that he first noticed their prophet while yet a boy : when he observed a luminous cloud around his head, which preserved him from the too intense rays of the sun; perceived the dry trees, upon which he sat, instantly to put forth branches clothed with verdant foliage, to serve him for a shade; and discovered the seal of prophecy, impressed between his shoulders.* But, according to Dr. Prideaux," the truth of the matter is, Mohammed did not fall acquainted with him till a long while after, when he was projecting his wicked design in his head; in order to the better forming of which, being very desirous to acquaint himself with the Jewish and Christian religions, he was very inquisitive in examining into them, as he met with those who could inform him. And in one of his journeys into Syria, either at Bostra as some say, or at Jerusalem as others, lighting on this Baheira, and receiving great satisfaction from him in many of those points which he desired to be informed in, he did thereon contract a particular friendship with him. And therefore, not long after, the monk, for some great crime being excommunicated and expelled his monastery, fled to Mecca to him; and, being there entertained in his house, became his assistant in the framing of that imposture which he afterwards vented, and continued
* Modern Univ. Hist. Vol. i. p. 26.
with him ever after till at length the impostor, having no further occasion for him, to secure the secret, put him to death."*
In the year 606, Mohammed committed the first overt act of his imposture by retiring to the cave of Hera: consequently then it was, that the fallen star Sergius opened the door of the bottomless pit. The locusts however and their leader did not immediately issue forth, or publicly disclose themselves: their open manifestation was to be preceded by the smoke and fumes of the false religion which they were about to propagate. Accordingly Mohammed emerged from his solitary retreat† about the year 609; and began to excite that smoke, which soon darkened all the eastern heaven. "Three years he silently employed in the conversion of fourteen proselytes, the first fruits of his mission. But, in the fourth year," or the year 612," he assumed the prophetic office, and resolved to impart to his family the light of divine truth." In this year 612 then, Mohammed and his disciples, or Apollyon and his locusts, may be considered as issuing from the bottomless pit, which the fallen star Sergius had been the main instrument of opening. Consequently the five prophetic months, during which the locusts were allowed to torment mankind, expired in the year 762; when the caliph Almansor built Bagdad as the future seat of his empire, and called it the city of peace. At this period, the Saracens ceased from their lo
* See Prideaux's Life of Mohammed, p. 47.
Mr. Whitaker's conjecture, that the bottomless pit, or the cave of the abyss, (which no doubt is the literal translation of the original expression) alludes to the cave of Hera, (caves being often considered by pagan superstition "as the seats of oracles and sources of inspiration,") has the merit of possessing much ingenuity ; but I am not perfectly satisfied how far it may be deemed solid. In the first place, it does not appear that we are warranted in taking symbolical language in a literal sense, unless it be avowedly descriptive; as, for instance, when the Euphratèan army is said to consist of horsemen, and to seem as if vomiting fire, and brimstone, and smoke: and, in the second place, Mohammed literally issued from the cave of Hera about the year 609, which will not agree with that part of the prophecy, which speaks of the locusts tor-. menting men five months. Whitaker's Comment. p. 123.
Dr. Prideaux makes the impostor emerge from his cave in the year 608, and spend four years in the private exercise of his assumed function. This arrangement however, no less than that of Mr. Gibbon, equally brings us to the year 612. Life of Mohammed, p. 15.
§ Hist. of Decline and Fall, Vol. ix. p. 284.
cust devastations, and became a settled people. Henceforth they no longer made such rapid conquests as they had formerly done; but only engaged in ordinary wars like other nations. The five months, or 150 years, being now expired, Mohammedism was firmly established; although the power of its particular votaries the Saracens began to decline, in order to make room for its new proselytes, described under the next trumpet.*
A command was given to Apollyon, and his symbolical locusts, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree-Accordingly it was the special injunction of Abubeker to the Saracens, that they should destroy no palm trees, nor burn any fields of corn; that they should cut down no fruit trees, nor injure any cattle except such as they killed to eat.
The commission of the locusts extended only to hurt those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads ; and, though they were permitted to hurt them, their warrant gave them no authority to kill them-Now it appears from history, that in the countries invaded by the Saracens a very great defection from primitive Christianity had taken place; for, before they began their ravages, the transgressors (to use the language of Daniel) were come to the full, the will-worship of saints and martyrs had extended itself far and wide, and the great Apostacy of 1260 days had commenced. Hence we find, that, when they approached Savoy, Piedmont, and the southern provinces of France, which had been but little tainted with the general disease, and which were afterwards the seat of the Waldenses and Albigenses, they were defeated with great slaughter by Charles Martel in several engagements. They were however only allowed to torment the great body politic of the apostate empire; they were not permitted to kill it. Accordingly, they were
* I cannot assent to Sir Isaac Newton's supposition, that the prophet's repetition of the five months, in two different verses, implies ten months, or 300 years. Had St. John meant to convey this idea, he would have joined the trvo periods of five months ́each, by a conjunction copulative, in the same verse; as thus: "their power was to torment men five months and five months." The illustrious commentator does not seem to have been aware, that upon the same principle, we must extend the persecution of the Church from 1260 years to trvice 1260 years; for the period is twice mentioned in the single prophecy of the woman's flight into the wilderness. Compare Rev. xii. 6. with