by James S. White
Fifth Trumpet (First Woe)
Sixth Trumpet (Second Woe)
Seventh Trumpet (Third Woe)
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEAR TORMENT
in the Fifth trumpet
Verse 10: "Their power was to hurt men five months."
1. The question arises, What men were they to hurt five months? Undoubtedly, the same they were afterwards to slay; [see verse 15.] "The third part of men," or third of the Roman empire–the Greek division of it.
2. When were they to begin their work of torment? The 11th verse answers the question:–"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 hath his name Apollyon."
1. "They had a king over them." From the death of Mahomet until near the close of the 13th century, the Mahometans were divided into various factions, under several leaders, with no general civil government extending over them all. Near the close of the 13th century, Othman founded a government, which has since been known as the Ottoman government, or empire, extending over all the principal Mahometan tribes, consolidating them into one grand monarchy.
2. The character of the King. "Which is the angel of the bottomless pit."
And angel signifies a messenger, or minister, either good or bad; not always
a spiritual being. "The angel of the bottomless pit," or chief minister of the
religion which came from thence when it was opened. That religion is
Mahometanism, and the Sultan is its chief minister. "The Sultan, or Grand
Signior, as he is indifferently called, is also Supreme Caliph, or high priest,
uniting in his person the highest spiritual dignity with the supreme secular
* See Perkins' "World as it is," p. 361.
When the address of "The World's Anti-Slavery Convention" was presented to Mehemet Ali, he expressed his willingness to act in the matter, but said he could do nothing; they "must go to the heads of religion at Constantinople," that is, the Sultan.
3. His name. In Hebrew, "Abaddon," the destroyer; in Greek, "Apollyon," one that exterminates or destroys. Having two different names in the two languages, it is evident that the character, rather than the name of the power, is intended to be represented. If so, in both languages he is a destroyer. Such has always been the character of th Ottoman government.
Says Perkins,–"He," the Sultan, "has unlimited power over the lives and property of his subjects, especially of the high officers of state whom he can remove, plunder or put to death at pleasure. They are required submissively to kiss the bow-string which he sends them, wherewith they are to be strangled.
All the above marks apply to the Ottoman government in a striking manner.
But when did Othman make his first assault on the Greek empire?
According to Gibbon, ("Decl. and Fall," &c.) "Othman first entered the territory of Nicomedia on the 27th day of July, 1299."
The calculations of some writers have gone upon the supposition that the period should begin with the foundation of the Ottoman empire; but this is evidently an error: for they not only were to have a king over them, but were to torment men five months. But the period of torment could not begin before the first attack of the tormentors, which was as above, July 27th, 1299.
The calculation which follows, founded on this starting point, was made and published in "Christ's Second Coming," &c., by the author, in 1838. "And their power was to torment men five months." Thus far their commission extended, to torment, by constant depredations, but not politically to kill them.
"Five months;" that is, one hundred and fifty years. Commencing July 27th, 1299, the one hundred and fifty years reach to 1449. During that whole period the Turks were engaged in an almost perpetual war with the Greek empire, but yet without conquering it. They seized upon and held several of the Greek provinces, but still Greek independence was maintained in Constantinople. But in 1449, the termination of the one hundred and fifty years, a change came. Before presenting the history of that change, however, we will look at verses 12-15.
THE OTTOMAN SUPREMACY IN
THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY-ONE YEARS AND FIFTEEN DAYS.
Verse 12: "One woe is past; and behold, there come two woes more
Verse 13: "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God."
Verse 14: "Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates."
Verse 15: "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men."
The first woe was to continue from the rise of Mahometanism until the end of the five months. Then the first woe was to end, and the second begin.
And when the sixth angel sounded, it was commanded to take off the restraints which had been imposed on the nation, by which they were restricted to the work of tormenting men, and their commission extended to slay the third part of men. This command came from the four horns of the golden alter which is before God. "The four angels," are the four principal sultanies of which the Ottoman empire is composed, located in the country of the Euphrates. They had been restrained; God commanded, and they were loosed.
In the year 1449, John Paleologus, the Greek emperor, died, but left no children to inherit his throne, and Constantine Deacozes succeeded to it. But he would not venture to ascend the throne without the consent of Amurath, the Turkish Sultan. He therefore sent ambassadors to ask his consent, and obtained it, before he presumed to call himself sovereign.
Let this historical fact be carefully examined in connection with the prediction above. This was not a violent assault made on the Greeks, by which their empire was overthrown and their independence taken away, but simply a voluntary surrender of that independence into the hands of the Turks, by saying, "I cannot reign unless you permit."
The four angels were loosed for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men. This period amounts to three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days; during which Ottoman supremacy was to exist in Constantinople.
But, although the four angels were thus loosed by the voluntary submission of the Greeks, yet another doom awaited the seat of empire. Amurath, the sultan to whom the submission of Deacozes was made, and by whose permission he reigned in Constantinople, soon after died, and was succeeded in the empire, in 1451, by Mahomet II., who set his heart on Constantinople, and determined to make it a prey. He accordingly made preparations for besieging and taking the city. The siege commenced on the 6th of April, 1453, and ended in the taking of the city, and death of the last of the Constantines, on the 16th day of May following. And the eastern city of the Caesars became the seat of the Ottoman empire.
The arms and mode of warfare by which the siege of Constantinople was to be overthrown, and held in subjection were distinctly noticed by the revelator.–1. The army.
Verse 16: "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them."
Innumerable hordes of horses and them that sat on them. Gibbon describes the first invasion of the Roman territories by the Turks, thus: "The myriads of Turkish horse overspread a frontier of six hundred miles from Tauris to Azeroum, and the blood of 130,000 Christians was a grateful sacrifice to the Arabian prophet." Whether the number is designed to convey the idea of any definite number, the reader must judge. Some suppose 200.000 twice told is meant, and then following some historians, find that number of Turkish warriors in the siege of Constantinople. Some think 200,000,000 to mean all the Turkish warriors during the 391 years, fifteen days of their triumph over the Greeks. I confess this to me appears the most likely. But as it cannot be ascertained whether that is the fact or not, I will affirm nothing on the point.
Verse 17: "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions: and out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone."
On this text I shall again refer to Mr. Keith for an illustration of it:–
"The color of fire is red, of hyacinth or jacinth blue, and of brimstone yellow, and this, as Mr. Daubuz observes, 'has a literal accomplishment; for the Othmans, from the first time of their appearance, have affected to wear such warlike apparel of scarlet, blue, and yellow. Of the Spahis, particularly, some have red and some have yellow standards, and others red or yellow mixed with other colors. In appearance, too, the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, to denote their strength, courage and fierceness.' Without rejecting so plausible an interpretation, the suggestion may not be unwarrantable, that a still closer and more direct exposition may be given of that which the prophet saw in the vision. In the prophetic description of the fall of Babylon, they who rode on horses are described as holding the bow and the lance; but it was with other arms than the arrow and the spear that the Turkish warriors encompassed Constantinople; and the breastplates of the horsemen, in reference to the more destructive implements of war, might then, for the first time, be said to be fire, and jacinth, and brimstone. The musket had recently supplied the place of the bow. Fire emanated from their breasts. Brimstone, the flame of which is jacinth, was an ingredient both of the liquid fire and of gunpowder.
Congruity seems to require this more strictly literal interpretation, as conformable to the significancy of the same terms in the immediately subsequent verse, including the same general description. A new mode of warfare was at that time introduced which has changed the nature of war itself, in regard to the form of its instruments of destruction; and sounds and sights unheard of and unknown before, were the death-knell and doom of the Roman empire. Invention out rivalled force, and a new power was introduced, that of musketry as well as artillery, in the art of war, before which the old Macedonian phalanx would not have remained unbroken, nor the Roman legions stood. That which John saw 'in the vision,' is read in the history of the times."
Verse 18: "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths." " 'Among the implements of destruction, he studied with peculiar care the recent and tremendous discovery of the Latins, and his artillery surpassed whatever had yet appeared in the world. A founder of cannon, a Dane or Hungarian, who had been almost starved in the Greek service, deserted to the Moslems, and was liberally entertained by the Turkish sultan.
Mahomet was satisfied with the answer to his first question, which he eagerly pressed on the artist,–"Am I able to cast a cannon capable of throwing a ball or stone of sufficient size to batter the walls of Constantinople?" "I am not ignorant of their strength, but were they more solid than those of Babylon, I could oppose an engine of superior power; the position and management of that engine must be left to your engineers." On this assurance a foundery was established at Adrianople; the metal was prepared; and at the end of three months Urban produced a piece of brass ordnance of stupendous and almost incredible magnitude. A measure of twelve palms was assigned to the bore, and the stone bullet weighed about six hundred pounds. A vacant place before the new palace was chosen for the first experiment; but to prevent the sudden and mischievous effects of astonishment and fear, a proclamation was issued that the cannon would be discharged the ensuing day. The explosion was felt or heard in a circuit of a hundred furlongs; the ball, by the force of the gunpowder, was driven about a mile, and on the spot where it fell, it buried itself a fathom deep in the ground. For the conveyance of this destructive engine, a frame or carriage of thirty wagons was linked together, and drawn along by a train of sixty oxen; two hundred men on both sides were stationed to poise or support the rolling weight; two hundred and fifty workmen marched before to smooth the way and repair the bridges, and near two months were employed in a laborious journey of a hundred and fifty miles. I dare not reject the positive and unanimous evidence of contemporary writers. A Turkish cannon, more enormous than that of Mahomet, still guards the entrance of the Dardanelles, and if the use be inconvenient, it has been found, on a late trial, that the effect is far from contemptible. A stone bullet of eleven hundred pounds weight was once discharged with three hundred and thirty pounds of powder; at the distance of six hundred yards it shivered into three rocky fragments, traversed the strait, and leaving the waters in a foam, again rose and bounded against the opposite hill.'
"In the siege, 'the incessant volleys of lances and arrows were accompanied with the smoke, the sound and the fire of their musketry and cannon. Their small arms discharged at the same time five or even ten balls of lead of the size of a walnut, and according to the closeness of the ranks, and the force of the powder, several breastplates and bodies were transpierced by the same shot. But the Turkish approaches were soon sunk in trenches, or covered with ruins. Each day added to the science of the Christians, but their inadequate stock of gunpowder was wasted in the operations of each day. Their ordnance was not powerful either in size or number, and if they possessed some heavy cannon, they feared to plant them on the walls, lest the aged structure should be shaken and overthrown by the explosion. The same destructive secret had been revealed to the Moslems, by whom it was employed with the superior energy of zeal, riches and despotism. The great cannon of Mahomet has been separately noticed; an important and visible object in the history of the times; but that enormous engine was flanked by two fellows almost of equal magnitude; the long order of the Turkish artillery was pointed against the walls; fourteen batteries thundered at once on the most accessible places, and of one of these it is ambiguously expressed that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets. Yet in the power and activity of the sultan we may discern the infancy of the new science; under a master who counted the moments, the great cannon could be loaded and fired no more than seven times in one day. The heated metal unfortunately burst; several workman were destroyed, and the skill of an artist was admired who bethought himself of preventing the danger and the accident by pouring oil after each explosion into the mouth of the cannon.'"
This historical sketch from Gibbon, of the use of gunpowder, fire-arms and cannon, as the instrumentality by which the city was finally overcome is so illustrative of the text, that one can hardly imagine any other scene can be described.
The specified time for the continuance of Turkish or Mahometan supremacy over the Greeks, was an hour, day, month, and year. A prophetic year, three hundred and sixty days; a month, thirty days; one day; and an hour, or the twenty-fourth part of a day. Three hundred and sixty, the number of days in a prophetic year, divided by twenty-four, the number of hours in a day, give us fifteen days. Three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days. Commencing when the one hundred and fifty years ended, in 1449, the period would end August 11th, 1840. Judging from the manner of the commencement of the Ottoman supremacy, that it was by a voluntary acknowledgement on the part of the Greek emperor that he only reigned by permission of the Turkish sultan we should naturally conclude that the fall or departure of the Ottoman independence would be brought about in the same way; that at the end of the specified period, the Sultan would voluntarily surrender his independence into the hands of the Christian powers, from whom he received it.
When the foregoing calculation was made, it was purely a matter of calculation on the prophetic periods of Scripture. Now, however, the time has passed by, and it is proper to inquire what the result has been–whether it has corresponded with the previous calculation.
I shall now pass to the question, has that supremacy departed from the Mahometans into Christian hands, so that the Turks now exist and reign by the sufferance and permission of the Christian powers, as the Christians did for some two or three years by the permission of the Turks?
First Testimony.–The following is from Rev. Mr. Goodell, missionary of the American Board at Constantinople, addressed to he Board, and by them published in the Missionary Herald, for April, 1841, p. 160:–
"The power of Islamism is broken forever; and there is no concealing the fact even from themselves. They exist now by mere sufferance. And though there is a mighty effort made by the Christian governments to sustain them, yet at every step they sink lower and lower with fearful velocity. And though there is a great endeavor made to graft the institutions of civilized and Christian countries upon the decayed trunk, yet the very root itself is fast wasting away by the venom of its own poison. How wonderful it is, that, when all Christendom combined together to check the progress of Mahometan power, it waxed exceedingly great in spite of every opposition; and now, when all the mighty potentates of Christian Europe, who feel fully competent to settle all the quarrels and arrange all the affairs of the whole world, are leagued together for its protection and defence, down it comes, in spite of all their fostering care."
Mr. Goodell has been for years a missionary in the Turkish dominions, and is competent to judge of the state of the government. His deliberate and unequivocal testimony is, that, "the power of Islamism is broken forever." But it is said the Turks yet reign! So also says our witness–"but it is by mere sufferance." They are at the mercy of the Christians. Their independence is broken.
Another Witness.–Rev. Mr. Balch, of providence, R. I., in an attack on Mr. Miller for saying that the Ottoman empire fell in 1840, says:–"How can an honest man have the hardihood to stand up before an intelligent audience, and make such an assertion, when the most authentic version of the change of the Ottoman empire is that it has not been on a better foundation in fifty years, for it is now re-organized by the European kingdoms, and is honorably treated as such."
But how does it happen that Christian Europe re-organized the government? What need of it, if it was not disorganized? If Christian Europe has done this, then it is now, to all intents and purposes, a Christian government, and is only ruled nominally by the sultan, as their vassal.
This testimony is the more valuable for having come from an opponent. We could not have selected and put together words more fully expressive of the idea of the present state of the Ottoman empire. It is true the Christian governments of Europe have re-organized the Turkish empire, and it is their creature. From 1840 to the present time, the Ottoman government had been under the dictation of the great powers of Europe; and scarcely a measure of that government had been adopted and carried out without the interference and dictation of the allies; and that dictation has been submitted to by them. It is in this light politicians have looked upon the government since 1840, as the following item will show:–
The London Morning Herald, 'after the capture of St. Jean d'Acre, speaking of the state of things in the Ottoman empire, says:–"We (the allies) have conquered St. Jean d'Acre. We have dissipated into thin air the prestige that lately invested as with a halo the name of Mehemet Ali. We have in all probability destroyed forever the power of that hitherto-successful ruler. But have we done aught to restore strength to the Ottoman empire? We fear not. We fear that the Sultan has been reduced to the rank of a puppet; and that the sources of the Turkish Empire's strength are entirely destroyed. "If the supremacy of the Sultan is hereafter to be maintained in Egypt, it must be maintained, we fear, by the unceasing intervention of England and Russia."
What the London Morning Herald last November feared, has since been realized. The Sultan has been entirely, in all the great questions which have come up, under the dictation of the Christian kingdoms of Europe.
WHEN DID MAHOMETAN INDEPENDENCE
IN CONSTANTINOPLE DEPART?
In order to answer this question understandingly, it will be necessary to review briefly the history of that power for a few years past. For several years the Sultan has been embroiled in war with Mehemet Ali, Pacha of Egypt. In 1838 there was a threatening of war between the Sultan and his Egyptian vassal. Mehemet Ali Pacha, in a note addressed to the foreign consuls, declared that in future he would pay no tribute to the Porte, and that he considered himself independent sovereign of Egypt, Arabia and Syria. The Sultan, naturally incensed at this declaration, would have immediately commenced hostilities, had he not been restrained by the influence of the foreign ambassadors, and persuaded to delay. This war however, was finally averted by the announcement of Mehemet, that he was ready to pay a million of dollars, arrearages of tribute which he owed the Porte, and an actual payment of $750,000, in August of that year.
In 1939 hostilities again commenced, and were prosecuted, until, in a general battle between the armies of the Sultan and Mehemet, the Sultan's army was entirely cut up and destroyed, and his fleet taken by Mehemet and carried into Egypt. So completely had the Sultan's fleet been reduced, that, when hostilities commenced in August, he had only two first-rates and three frigates, as the sad remains of the once powerful Turkish fleet. This fleet Mehemet positively refused to give up and return to the Sultan, and declared, if the powers attempted to take it from him he would burn it. In this posture affairs stood, when, in 1840, England, Russia, Austria and Prussia interposed, and determined on a settlement of the difficulty, for it was evident, if let alone, Mehemet would soon become master of the Sultan's throne.
The following extract from an official document, which appeared in the Moniteur Ottoman, Aug. 22, 1840, will give an idea of the course of affairs at this juncture. The conference spoken of was composed of the four powers above named, and was held in London, July 15th, 1840:
"Subsequent to the occurrence of the disputes alluded to, and after the reverses experienced, as known to all the world, the ambassadors of the great powers at Constantinople, in a collective official note declared that their governments were unanimously agreed upon taking measures to arrange the said differences. The Sublime Porte, with a view of putting a stop to the effusion of Mussulman blood, and to the various evils which would arise from a renewal of hostilities, accepted the intervention of the great powers."
Here was certainly a voluntary surrender of the question into the hands of the great powers. But it proceeds:
"His Excellency, Sheikh Effendi, the Bey Likgis, was therefore despatched as plenipotentiary to represent the Sublime Porte at the conference which took place in London, for the purpose in question. It having been felt that all the zealous labors of the conferences of London in the settlement of the Pacha's pretensions were useless, and that the only public way was to have recourse to coercive measures to reduce him to obedience in case he persisted in not listening to pacific overtures, and powers have, together with the Ottoman Plenipotentiary, drawn up and signed a treaty, whereby the Sultan offers the Pacha the hereditary government of Egypt, and all that part of Syria extending from the gulf of Suez to the lake of Tiberias, together with the province of Acre, for life: the Pacha, on his part, evacuating all other parts of the Sultan's dominions now occupied by him, and returning the Ottoman fleet. A certain space of time has been granted him to accede to these terms; and, as the proposals of the Sultan and his allies, the four powers, do not admit of any change or qualification, if the Pacha refuse to accede to them, it is evident that the evil consequences to fall upon him will be attributable solely to his own fault.
"His Excellency, Rifat Bey, Musleshar for foreign affairs, has been despatched in a government steamer to Alexandria, to communicate the ultimatum to the Pacha."
From these extracts it appears,
1. That the Sultan, conscious of his own weakness, did voluntarily accept the intervention of the great Christian powers of Europe to settle his difficulties, which he could not settle himself.
2. That they (the great powers) were agreed on taking measures to settle the difficulties.
3. That the ultimatum of the London conference left it with the Sultan to arrange the affair with Mehemet, if he could. The Sultan was to offer to him the terms of settlement. So that if Mehemet accepted the terms, there would still be no actual intervention of the powers between the Sultan and Pacha.
4. That if Mehemet rejected the Sultan's offer, the ultimatum admitted of no change or qualification; the great powers stood pledged to coerce him into submission. So long, therefore, as the Sultan held the ultimatum in his own hands, he still maintained the independence of his throne. But that document once submitted to Mehemet, and it would be forever beyond his reach to control the question. It would be for Mehemet to say whether the powers should interpose or not.
5. The Sultan did despatch Rifat Bey in a government steamer (which left Constantinople Aug. 5) to Alexandria, to communicate to Mehemet the ultimatum.
This was a voluntary governmental act of the Sultan.
The question now comes up, when was that document put officially under the control of Mehemet Ali?
The following extract from a letter of a correspondent of the London Morning Chronicle, of Sep. 18, 1840, dated, Constantinople, Aug. 27th, 1840, will answer the question:
"By the French steamer of the 24th, we have advice from Egypt to the 16th. They show no alteration in the resolution of the Pacha. Confiding in the valor of his Arab army, and in the strength of the fortifications which defend his capital, he seems determined to abide by the last alternative; and as recourse to this, therefore, is not inevitable, all hope may be considered as at an end of a termination of the affair without bloodshed.
Immediately on the arrival of the Cyclops steamer with the news of the convention of the four powers, Mehemet Ali, it is stated, had quitted Alexandria, to make a short tour through Lower Egypt. The object of his absenting himself at such a moment being partly to avoid conferences with the European consuls, but principally to endeavor, by his own presence, to arouse the fanaticism of the Bedouin tribes, and facilitate the raising of his new levies. During the interval of his absence, the Turkish government steamer, which had reached Alexandria on the 11th, with the envoy Rifat Bey on board, had been by his orders placed in quarantine, and she was not released from it till the 16th. Previous, however, to the Porte's leaving, and on the very day on which he had been admitted to pratique, the above named functionary had had an audience of the Pacha, and had communicated to him the command of the Sultan, with respect to the evacuation of the Syrian provinces, appointing another audience for the next day, when, in the presence of the consuls of the European powers, he would receive from him his definite answer, and inform him of the alternative of his refusing to obey; giving him the ten days which have been allotted him by the convention to decide on the course he should think fit to adopt."
According to the foregoing statement, the ultimatum was officially put into the power of Mehemet Ali, and was disposed of by his orders, viz., sent to quarantine, on the ELEVENTH DAY OF AUGUST, 1840.
But have we any evidence, besides the fact of the arrival of Rifat Bey at Alexandria with the ultimatum on the 11th of August, that Ottoman supremacy died, or was dead, that day?
Read the following, from the same writer quoted above, dated, "Constantinople, August 12th, 1840:"
"I can add but little to my last letter, on the subject of the plans of the four powers; and I believe the details I then gave you comprise everything that is yet decided on. The portion of the Pacha, as I then stated, is not to extend beyond the line of Acre, and does not include either Arabia or Candia. Egypt alone is to be hereditary in his family, and the province of Acre to be considered as a pachalic, to be governed by his son during his lifetime, but afterward to depend on the will of the Porte; and even this latter is only to be granted him on the condition of his accepting these terms, and delivering up the Ottoman fleet within ten days. In the event of his not doing so, this pachalic is to be cut off. Egypt is then to be offered him, with another ten days to delivered on it, before actual force is employed against him.
"The manner, however, of applying the force, should he refuse to comply with these terms–whether a simple blockade is to be established on the coast, or whether his capital is to be bombarded, and his armies attacked in the Syrian provinces–is the point which still remains to be learned; nor does a note delivered yesterday by the four ambassadors, in answer to a question put to them by the Porte, as to the plan to be adopted in such an event, throw the least light on this subject. It simply states that provision has been made, and there is no necessity for the Divan alarming itself about any contingency that might afterwards arise."
Let us now analyze this testimony.
1. The letter is dated "Constantinople, August 12."
2. "Yesterday," the 11th of August, the Sultan applied in his own capital, to the ambassadors of four Christian nations, to know the measures which were to be taken in reference to a circumstance vitally affecting his empire, and was only told that "provision had been made," but he could not know what it was; and that he need give himself no alarm about any contingency that might afterwards arise!" From that time, then, they, not he, would manage that.
Where was the Sultan's independence that day? GONE! Who had the supremacy of the Ottoman empire in their hands? The great powers. According to previous calculation, therefore, Ottoman Supremacy did depart on the eleventh of August, into the hands of the great Christian powers of Europe.
Then the second wo is past, and the sixth trumpet has ceased its sounding; and the conclusion is now inevitable, because the word of God affirms the fact in so many words, "Behold the third wo cometh quickly."
In the foregoing, Josiah Litch has brought us down through the prophecy of the trumpets, and the woes, to the last. We now wish to briefly notice some of the events to occur under the sounding of the seventh angel. A full exposition of the subject may be given in a Tract by itself.
1. The seventh angel is the last of a series of symbols, and, for this, and several other reasons, is not the same as the "trump of God," [1 Thess. 4:16,] and "last trump," [1 Cor. 15:52,] which is to raise the just.
2. The sounding of the seventh angel occupies a period of days. "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel," &c. Rev. 10:7. These days are doubtless prophetic, meaning years, in harmony with the time of the sounding of the fifth and sixth angels. But when the trump of God is heard, the sleeping saints come forth from their graves, and the living righteous are changed to immortality, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," and are caught up to meet their descending Lord.
3. Under the sounding of the seventh angel a series of events transpires.
The second woe ended with the sixth trumpet, Aug. 11, 1840; and the third woe occurs under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which commenced in 1844; and quickly" is the adverb that is used to warn us of its coming.
From the 15th verse to the end of the chapter we seem to be carried over the ground from the sounding of the seventh angel to the end, three distinct times.
Once in the verses last quoted. Here we are taken down from the commencement of the trumpet to the full establishment of the kingdom of God. In the next verse the prophet goes back and takes up other features of the scene as follows:
" The nations were angry :" Commencing with the wonderful revolution in Europe in 1848; and from that outburst of passion among the nations, their anger has been daily increasing ever since. Almost every paper of today shows the fearful degree to which it is now excited.
While we may speak of fulfilled prophecy with positiveness, we would apply unfulfilled prophecy with becoming modesty. We may, however, suggest that the anger of the nations will be immediately followed by the wrath of God, or seven last plagues; (See Rev. 15:1)
Once more the prophet carries us back to the commencement of the trumpet, in the following language;
Having introduced the seventh trumpet, the first great event that strikes the mind of the seer, is the transfer of the kingdom from earthly to heavenly rule. Christ takes to himself his great power, and forever crushes the rebellion of this revolted earth, a work seemingly delayed, Christ is established upon his appropriate throne, and God remains supreme over all. This picture being completed, we are pointed back to the state of the nations, the judgments to fall upon them, and the final destiny of both, saints and sinners.
This field of vision being scanned, we are taken back once more, and our attention called to the close of the ministration of Christ, the last scene in the work of mercy for a guilty world.
The temple is opened: the second apartment of the sanctuary is entered. We know it is the holy of holies that is here opened ; for the ark is seen, and in that apartment alone the ark was deposited. This took place at the end of the 2300 days, when the sanctuary was to be cleansed, the time when the prophetic periods expired, and the seventh angel commenced to sound.
Since then the people of God have seen by faith the open door in heaven, and the ark of God's testament there. They are endeavoring to keep every precept of the holy law written upon the tables therein deposited. They have received the reed, and are measuring the temple, the altar, and them that worship therein. They are uttering their last prophecy, before nations, peoples, and tongues. And the drama will soon close with lightings, thunderings, voices, an earthquake, and great hail.
The events of the seventh angel
necessarily cover much time. Among them we find mentioned,
"The nations were angry"
–"Thy wrath is come"
–"The time of the dead that they should be judged"
–"Give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great"
–"Destroy them which destroy [margin, corrupt,] the earth."
That the judgment of the dead refers not to the judgment of the righteous, for that takes place before the plagues are poured out, but to the judgment of the wicked during the 1000 years of Rev. 20; that the full reward of the righteous will be given when they inherit the New Earth, at the close of the 1000 years; and that at that very time God will destroy by the second death all who have corrupted the earth. And why may not the sounding of the seventh angel continue until the end of the 1000 years? and the third wo, cover all till sin and sinners cease to be at the close of the seventh millennium?