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    “There is scarcely so uniform an agreement among interpreters concerning any part of the apocalypse as respecting the application of the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and second wo, to the Saracens and Turks. It is so obvious that it can scarcely be misunderstood. Instead of a ‘verse of two designating each, the whole of the ninth chapter of the Revelation, in equal portions, is occupied with a description of both.SSTR 30.3

    “The Roman empire declined, as it arose, by conquest; but the Saracens and the Turks were the instruments by which a false religion became the scourge of an apostate church; and hence, instead of the fifth and sixth trumpets, like the former, being marked by that name alone, they are called woes. It was because the laws were transgressed, the ordinances changed, and the everlasting covenant broken, that the curse came upon the earth or the land.SSTR 30.4

    “We have passed the period, in the political history of the world, when the western empire was extinguished; and the way was thereby opened for the exaltation of the papacy. The imperial power of the city of Rome was annihilated, and the office and the name of the emperor of the west was abolished for a season. The trumpets assume a new form, as they are directed to a new object, and the close coincidence, or rather express identity between the king of the south, or the king of the north, as described by Daniel, and the first and second wo, will be noted in the subsequent illustration of the latter. The spiritual supremacy of the pope, it may be remembered, was acknowledged and maintained, after the fall of Rome, by the emperor Justinian. And whether in the character of a trumpet or a wo, the previous steps of history raise us, as on a platform, to behold in a political view the judgments that fell on apostate Christendom, and finally led to the subversion of the eastern empire.”SSTR 31.1

    Chap. 9:1. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”SSTR 31.2

    “Constantinople was besieged for the first time after the extinction of the western empire, by Chosroes, the king of Persia.”SSTR 31.3

    “A star fell from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”SSTR 31.4

    “‘While the Persian monarch contemplated the wonders of his art and power, he received an epistle from an obscure citizen of Mecca, inviting him to acknowledge Mahomet as the apostle of God. He rejected the invitation, and tore the epistle. “It is thus,” exclaimed the Arabian prophet, “that God will tear the kingdom, and reject the supplication of Chosroes.” Placed on the verge of these two empires of the east, Mahomet observed with secret joy the progress of mutual destruction; and in the midst of the Persian triumphs he ventured to foretell, that, before many years should elapse, victory should again return to the banners of the Romans.’ ‘At the time when this prediction is said to have been delivered no prophecy could be more distant from its accomplishment(!) since the first twelve years of Heraclius announced the approaching dissolution of the empire.’SSTR 31.5

    “It was not, like that designative of Attila, on a single spot that the star fell, but upon the earth.SSTR 32.1

    “Chosroes subjugated the Roman possessions in Asia and Africa. And ‘the Roman empire,’ at that period, ‘was reduced to the walls of Constantinople, with the remnant of Greece, Italy, andSSTR 32.2

    Africa, and some maratime cities, from Tyre to Trebisond, of the Asiatic coast. The experience of six years at length persuaded the Persian monarch to renounce the conquest of Constantinople, and to specify the annual tribute or the ransom of the Roman empire: a thousand talents of gold, a thousand talents of silver, a thousand silk robes, a thousand horses, and a thousand virgins. Heraclius subscribed these ignominious terms. But the time and space which he obtained to collect those treasures from the poverty of the east, was industriously employed in the preparations of a bold and desperate attack.’SSTR 32.3

    “The king of Persia despised the obscure Saracen, and derided the message of the pretended prophet of Mecca. Even the overthrow of the Roman empire would not have opened a door for Mahometanism, or for the progress of the Saracenic armed propagators of an imposture, though the monarch of the Persians and chagan of the Avars (the successor of Attila) had divided between them the remains of the kingdom of the Caesars. Chosroes himself fell. The Persian and Roman monarchies exhausted each other’s strength. And before a sword was put into the hands of the false prophet, it was smitten from the hands of those who would have checked his career, and crushed his power.SSTR 32.4

    “Since the days of Scipio and Hannibal, no bolder enterprise has been attempted than that which Heraclius achieved for the deliverance of the empire. He permitted the Persians to oppress for a while the provinces, and to insult with impunity the capital of the east; while the Roman emperor explored his perilous way through the Black Sea and the mountains of Armenia, penetrated into the heart of Persia, and recalled the armies of the great king to the defence of their bleeding country. The revenge and ambition of Chosroes exhausted his kingdom. The whole city of Constantinople was invested—and the inhabitants descried with terror the flaming signals of the European and Asiatic shores. In the battle of Nineveh, which was fiercely fought from daybreak to the eleventh hour, twenty-eight standards, besides those which might be broken or torn, were taken from the Persians; the greatest part of their army was cut in pieces, and the victors, concealing their own loss, passed the night on the field. The cities and palaces of Assyria were open for the first time to the Romans.SSTR 33.1

    “‘The Greeks and modern Persians minutely described how Chosroes was insulted, and famished, and tortured by the command of an inhuman son, who so far surpassed the example of his father: but at the time of his death, what tongue could relate the story of the parricide? what eye could penetrate into the tower of darkness? The glory of the house of Sassan ended with the life of Chosroes; his unnatural son enjoyed only eight months’ fruit of his crimes; and in the space of four years the regal title was assumed by nine candidates, who disputed, with the sword or dagger, the fragments of an exhausted monarchy. Every province and every city of Persia was the scene of independence, of discord, and of blood, and the state of anarchy continued about eight years longer, till the factions were silenced and united under the common yoke of the Arabian Caliphs.’SSTR 34.1

    “The Roman emperor was not strengthened by the conquests which he achieved; and a way was prepared at the same time, and by the same means, for the multitude of Saracens from Arabia, like locusts from the same region, who, propagating in their course the dark and delusive Mahometan creed, speedily overspread both the Persian and Roman empires.SSTR 34.2

    “More complete illustration of this fact could not be desired than is supplied in the concluding words of the chapter from Gibbon, from which the preceding extracts are taken.”SSTR 34.3

    ” ‘Yet the deliverer of the east was indigent and feeble. Of the Persian spoils the most valuable portion had been expended in the war, distributed to the soldiers, or buried by an unlucky tempest in the waves of the Euxine. The loss of two hundred thousand soldiers, who had fallen by the sword, was of less fatal importance than the decay of arts, agriculture, and population, in this long and destructive war: and although a victorious army had been formed under the standard of Heraclius, the unnatural effort seems to have exhausted rather than exercised their strength. While the emperor triumphed at Constantinople or Jerusalem, an obscure town on the confines of Syria was pillaged by the Saracens, and they cut in pieces some troops who advanced to its relief—an ordinary and trifling occurrence, had it not been the prelude of a mighty revolution. These robbers were the apostles of Mahomet; their fanatic valor had emerged from the desert; and in the last eight years of his reign, Heraclius lost to the Arabs the same provinces which he had rescued from the Persians.’”‘The spirit of fraud and enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens,’ was let loose on earth. The bottomless pit needed but a key to open it; and that key was the fall of Chosroes. He had contemptuously torn the letter of an obscure citizen of Mecca. But when from his ‘blaze of glory’ he sunk into ‘the tower of darkness’ which no eye could penetrate, the name of Chosroes was suddenly to pass into oblivion before that of Mahomet; and the crescent seemed but to wait its rising till the falling of the star. Chosroes, after his entire discomfiture and loss of empire, was murdered in the year 628; and the year 629 is marked by ‘the conquest of Arabia,’ ‘and the first war of the Mahometans against the Roman empire.’ And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit. He fell unto the earth. When the strength of the Roman empire was exhausted, and the great king of the east lay dead in his tower of darkness, the pillage of an obscure town on the borders of Syria was ‘the prelude of a might revolution.’ ‘The robbers were the apostles of Mahomet, and their fanatic valor emerged from the desert.’SSTR 34.4

    “A more succinct, yet ample, commentary maybe given in the words of another historian.SSTR 36.1

    ” ‘While Chosroes of Persia was pursuing his dreams of recovering and enlarging the empire of Cyrus, and Heraclius was gallantly defending the empire of the Caesars against him; while idolatry and metaphysics were diffusing their baneful influence through the church of Christ, and the simplicity and purity of the gospel were nearly lost beneath the mythology which occupied the place of that of ancient Greece and Rome, the seeds of a new empire, and of a new religion, were sown in the inaccessible deserts of Arabia.’SSTR 36.2

    “The first wo arose at a time when transgressors had come to the full, when men had changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant, when idolatry prevailed, or when tutelar saints were honored—and when the ‘mutual destruction’ of the Roman and Persian empires prepared the way of the fanatic robbers—or opened the bottomless pit, from whence an imposture, which manifests its origin from the ‘father of lairs,’ spread over the greater part of the world.SSTR 36.3

    “And there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. Like the noxious and even deadly vapor which the winds, particularly from the south-west, diffuse in Arabia, Mahometanism spread from thence its pestilential influence—and arose as suddenly, and spread as widely, as smoke arising out of the pit, the smoke of a great furnace. Such is a suitable symbol of the religion of Mahomet, of itself, or as compared with the pure light of the gospel of Jesus. It was not, like the latter, a light from heaven; but a smoke out of the bottomless pit.SSTR 37.1

    ” ‘Mahomet alike instructed to preach and to fight; and the union of these opposite qualities, while it enhance his merit, contributed to his success; the operation of force and persuasion, of enthusiasm and fear, continually acted on each other, till every barrier yielded to their irresistible power.’ ‘The first caliphs ascended the pulpit to persuade and edify the congregation.’SSTR 37.2

    ” ‘While the state was exhausted by the Persian war, and the church was distracted by the Nestorian and Monophysite sects, Mahomet, with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome. The genius of the Arabian prophet, the manners of his nation, and the spirit of his religion, involve the causes of the decline and fall of the eastern empire; and our eyes are curiously intent on one of the most memorable revolutions which have impressed a new and most lasting character on the nations of the globe.”SSTR 37.3

    “Mahomet, it may be said, has heretofore divided the world with Jesus. He rose up against the Prince of princes. A great sword was given him. His doctrine, generated by the spirit of fraud and enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens, as even an unbeliever could tell, arose out of the bottomless pit, spread over the earth like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. It spread from Arabia, over great part of Asia, Africa and Europe. The Greeks of Egypt, whose numbers could scarcely equal a tenth of the nation, were overwhelmed by the universal defection. And even in the farthest extremity of continental Europe, the decline of the French monarchy invited the attacks of these insatiate fanatics. The smoke that arose from the cave of Hera was diffused from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. But the prevalence of their faith is best seen in the extent of their conquests.”SSTR 37.4

    Verse 3. “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”SSTR 38.1

    “A false religion was set up, which, although the scourge of transgressions and idolatry, filled the world with darkness and delusion; and swarms of Saracens, like locusts, overspread the earth, and speedily extended their ravages over the Roman empire, from east to west. The hail descended from the frozen shores of the Baltic; the burning mountain fell upon the sea, from Africa: and the locusts (the fit symbol of Arabs) issued from Arabia, their native region. They came, as destroyers, propagating a new doctrine, and stirred up to rapine and violence by motives of interest and religion.SSTR 38.2

    ” ‘In the ten years of the administration of Omar, the Saracens reduced to his obedience thirty-six thousand cities or castles, destroyed four thousand churches or temples of the unbelievers, and erected fourteen hundred mosques, for the exercise of the religion of Mahomet. One hundred years after his flight from Mecca, the arms and the reign of his successors extended from India to the Atlantic Ocean.SSTR 39.1

    ” ‘At the end of the first century of the Hegira, the caliphs were the most potent and absolute monarchs of the globe. The regal and sacerdotal characters were united in the successors of Mahomet. Under the last of the Ommiades, the Arabic empire extended two hundred days’ journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if we retrench the sleeve of the robe, as it is styled by their writers, the long and narrow province of Africa, the solid and compact dominion from Fargana to Aden, from Tarsus to Surat, will spread on every side to the measure of four or five months of the march of a caravan. The progress of the Mahometan religion diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions; the language and laws of the Koran were studied with equal devotion at Sarmacand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the popular idiom in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris.’SSTR 39.2

    “A still more specific illustration may be given of the power, like unto that of scorpions, which was given them. Not only was their attack speedy and vigorous, but ‘the nice sensibility of honor, which weighs the insult rather than the injury, sheds its deadly venom on the quarrels of the Arabs:—an indecent action, a contemptuous word, can be expiated only by the blood of the offender; and such is their patient inveteracy, that they expect whole months and years the opportunity of revenge.’”SSTR 39.3

    Verse 4. “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”SSTR 40.1

    On the sounding of the first angel, the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.SSTR 40.2

    After the death of Mahomet, he was succeeded in the command by Abubeker, A. D. 632, who, as soon as he had fairly established his authority and government, despatched a circular letter to the Arabian tribes, of which the following is an extract:—“This is to acquaint you that I intend to send the true believers into Syria to take it out of the hand of the infidels, and I would have you know that the fighting for religion is an act of obedience to God.”SSTR 40.3

    “His messengers returned with the tidings of pious and martial ardor, which they had kindled in every province; the camp of Medina was successively filled with the intrepid bands of the Saracens, who panted for action, complained of the heat of the season and the scarcity of provisions, and accused, with impatient murmurs, the delays of the caliph. As soon as their numbers were complete, Abubeker ascended the hill, reviewed the men, the horses, and the arms, and poured forth a fervent prayer for the success of their undertaking. His instructions to the chiefs of the Syria were inspired by the warlike fanaticism which advances to seize, and affects to despise, the objects of earthly ambition. ‘Remember,’ said the successor of the prophet, ‘that you are always in the presence of God, on the verge of death, in the assurance of judgment, and the hope of Paradise: avoid injustice and oppression; consult with your brethren, and study to preserve the love and confidence of your troops. When you fight the battles of the Lord, acquit yourselves like men, without turning your backs; but let not your victory be stained with the blood of women or children. Destroy no palm-trees, nor burn any fields of corn. Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat. When you make any covenant or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word. As you go on, you will find some religious persons who live retired in monasteries, and propose to themselves to serve God that way; let them alone, and neither kill them nor destroy their monasteries; and you will find another sort of people that belong to the synagogue of Satan, who have shaven crowns; be sure you cleave their skulls, and give them no quarter till they either turn Mahometans or pay tribute.’SSTR 40.4

    “It is not said in prophecy or in history that the more humane injunctions were as scrupulously obeyed as the ferocious mandate. But it was so commanded them. And the preceding are the only instruction recorded by Gibbon, as given by Abubeker to the chiefs whose duty it was to issue the commands to all the Saracen hosts. The commands are alike discriminating with the prediction; as if the caliph himself had been acting in known as well as direct obedience to a higher mandate than that of mortal man—and in the very act of going forth to fight against the religion of Jesus, and to propagate Mahometanism in its stead, he repeated the words which it was foretold in the Revelation of JesusSSTR 41.1

    Christ, that he would say.”SSTR 42.1

    Verse 5. “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.”SSTR 42.2

    “Their constant incursions into the Roman territory, and frequent assaults on Constantinople itself, were an unceasing torment throughout the empire, which yet they were not able effectually to subdue, notwithstanding the long period, afterwards more directly alluded to, during which they continued, by unremitting attacks, grievously to afflict an idolatrous church, of which the pope was the head. Their charge was to torment, and then to hurt but not to kill, or utterly destroy. The marvel was that they did not. To repeat the words of Gibbon: ‘The calm historian of the present hour must study to explain by what means the church and state were saved from this impending, and, as it should seem, from this inevitable danger. In this inquiry I shall unfold the events that rescued our ancestors of Britain, and our neighbors of Gaul, from the civil and religious yoke of the Koran; that protected the majesty of Rome, and delayed the servitude of Constantinople; that invigorated the defence of the Christians, and scattered among their enemies the seeds of division and decay.’ Ninety pages of illustration follow, to which we refer the readers of Gibbon.SSTR 42.3

    Verse 6. “And in those days shall men seek death, but they shall not find it; and shall desire to die, but death shall flee from them.”SSTR 43.1

    “Men were weary of life, when life was spared only for a renewal of wo, and when all that they accounted sacred was violated, and all that they held dear constantly endangered; and when the savage Saracens domineered over them, or left them only to a momentary repose, ever liable to be suddenly or violently interrupted, as if by the sting of a scorpion. They who tormented men were commanded not to kill them. And death might thus have been sought even where it was not found. ‘Whosoever falls in battle,’ says Mahomet, ‘his sins are forgiven at the day of judgment: at the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion, and odoriferous as musk, and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim.’ The intrepid souls of the Arabs were fired with enthusiasm: the picture of the invisible world was strongly painted on their imagination; and the death which they always despised became an object of hope and desire.”SSTR 43.2

    Verse 7. “And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle.”SSTR 43.3

    “Arabia, in the opinion of the naturalist, is the genuine and original country of the horse; the climate most propitious, not indeed to the size, but to the spirit and swiftness of that generous animal. The merit of the Barb, the Spanish, and the English breed, is derived from a mixture of the Arabian blood; the Bedouins preserve with superstitious care the honors and the memory of the purest race. These horses are educated in the tents, among the children of the Arabs, with a tender familiarity, which trains them in the habits of gentleness and attachment. They are accustomed only to walk and to gallop: their sensations are not blunted by the incessant use of the spur and the whip; their powers are reserved for the moments of flight and pursuit; but no sooner do they feel the touch of the hand or the stirrup, then they dart away with the swiftness of the wind.SSTR 43.4

    “The Arabian horse takes the lead throughout the world; and skill in horsemanship is the art and science of Arabia. And the barbed Arabs, swift as locusts and armed like scorpions, ready to dart away in a moment, were ever prepared unto battle.SSTR 44.1

    “And on their heads were, as it were, crowns like gold. When Mahomet entered Medina, (A. D. 622,) and was first received as its prince, ‘a turban was unfurled before him to supply the deficiency of a standard.’ The turbans of the Saracens, like unto a coronet, were their ornament and their boast. The rich booty abundantly supplied and frequently renewed them. To assume the turban is proverbial to turn Mussulman. And the Arabs were anciently distinguished by the mitres which they wore.SSTR 44.2

    “And their faces were as the faces of men. ‘The gravity and firmness of the mind of the Arab is conspicuous in his outward demeanor—his only gesture is that of stroking his beard, the venerable symbol of manhood.’ ‘The honor of their beards is most easily wounded.’SSTR 44.3

    Verse 8. “And they had hair as the hair of women.”SSTR 45.1

    “Long hair is esteemed an ornament by women.” The Arabs, unlike to other men, had their hair as the hair of women, or uncut, as their practice is recorded by Pliny and others. But there was nothing effeminate in their character, for, as denoting their ferocity and strength to devour, their teeth were as the teeth of lions.SSTR 45.2

    Verse 9. “And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron.”SSTR 45.3

    “The cuirass (or breastplate) was in use among the Arabs in the days of Mahomet. In the battle of Ohud (the second which Mahomet fought) with the Koreish of Mecca, (A.D. 624,) ‘seven hundred of them were armed with cuirasses.’ And in his next victory over the Jews, ‘three hundred cuirasses, five hundred pikes, a thousand lances, composed the most useful portion of the spoil.’ After the defeat of the imperial army of seventy thousand men, on the plain of Aiznadin, (A. D. 633,) the spoil taken by the Saracens ‘was inestimable; many banners and crosses of gold and silver, precious stones, silver and gold chains, and innumerable suits of the richest armor and apparel. The seasonable supply of arms became the instrument of new victories.’”SSTR 45.4

    Verse 9. “And the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.”SSTR 45.5

    “The charge of the Arabs was not like that of the Greeks and Romans, the efforts of a firm and compact infantry: their military force was chiefly formed of cavalry and archers; and the engagement was often interrupted, and often renewed by single combats and flying skirmishes, etc. The periods of the battle of Cadesia were distinguished by their peculiar appellations. The first, from the well-timed appearance of six thousand of the Syrian brethren, was denominated the day of succor. The day of concussion might express the disorder of one, or perhaps of both the contending armies. The third, a nocturnal tumult, received the whimsical name of the night of barking, from the discordant clamors, which were compared to the inarticulate sounds of the fiercest animals. The morning of the succeeding day determined the fate of Persia. With a touch of the hand, the Arab horses darted away with the swiftness of the wind. The sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. Their conquests were marvelous, both in rapidity and extent, and their attack was instantaneous. Nor was it less successful against the Romans than the Persians. ‘A religion of peace was incapable of withstanding the fanatic cry of “Fight, fight! Paradise, paradise!” that reechoed in the ranks of the Saracens.’”SSTR 45.6

    Verse 10. “And they had tails like unto scorpions: and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months.”SSTR 46.1

    “The authority of the companions of Mahomet expired with their lives: and the chiefs or emirs of the Arabian tribes left behind in the desert the spirit of equality and independence. The legal and sacerdotal characters were united in the successors of Mahomet; and if the Koran was the rule of their actions, they were the supreme judges and interpreters of that divine book. They reigned by the right of conquest over the nations of the east, to whom the name of liberty was unknown, and who were accustomed to applaud in their tyrants the acts of violence and severity that were exercised at their own expense.’”SSTR 46.2

    “Thus far Keith has furnished us with illustrations of the sounding of the first five trumpets. But here we must take leave of him, and, in applying the prophetic periods, pursue another course.SSTR 47.1

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