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tinian, by the victories of Belisarius and Narses, and in a Latino-Greek dynasty. A threefold ecclesiastical power, the Greek Emperor of the Romans, His Holiness of Rome, and the revived Western Emperor of the Romans, commenced their Antichristian reign over the church of God, and endeavoured to establish an uniformity of faith by the unchristian arguments of fire, sword and exile. A.D.553–1813. In the lapse of four hundred and ninety years from the preaching of John the Baptist A.D. 26, our Lord was again crucified by the apostacy of his people; Christianity was lost in the dress of the old superstition; and from the walls of the literal Jerusalem the abomination of image-worship was transplanted to the temples of the spiritual Jerusalem. Thirty seven years had intervened between the real crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem ; five hundred and twenty seven years had passed away from the emancipation of the Jews by Artaxerxes to the triumph of Titus : and the double fulfilment of prophecy gave again to Christianity the same period for its rise and fall. The conquest of Italy by Justinian brought the triumph of Popery at their second expiration, A.D. 553; and the saints have lived 1260 years of tyranny under the decemvirate of the Greek Emperors and the French Kings without the grand charter of Louis the Desired, and the late advances to universal toleration. But the errors of the church had not been unforetold by the apostles; and we must exceedingly wonder at the ignorance or the presumption of the church of Rome, which durst harbour her doctrines in the face of Scripture and reason. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving : for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little ; but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.” 1 Tim. iv. 1–9.
66 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind; and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using ;) after the commandments and doctrines of men ? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in willworship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Coloss. ii. 16-23. “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world. 1 John iv. 3. “ This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ : not by water only, but by water and blood.” 1 John v. 6. Yet the Roman church refuses the wine in the sacrament to the laity. The three remaining periods therefore of the preaching of the gospel bring not salvation but condemnation to the Empire, a savour of death unto death in them that perish,
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through
the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound.
Fifth Stage of the Public Sounding of the Mystery.
The fifth period of the authorised proclamation of the gospel brought the apostacy of Muhammed and his successors the Khalifs, who united in their persons the threefold offices of kings, priests, and generals. Their creed, which represented the Deity as the author of war, and the sword as the key of heaven and hell, drew forth from the desert sands of Arabia the warlike myriads of its longhaired inhabitants; and their numerous fleets and armies, consisting mostly of cavalry, led by their kingly emirs, darkened for a while the dominion of Rome and the rest of the world by the smoke of glory and conquest. From the first invasion of Syria, A.D. 632, to the accession of Harun Al-Raschid to the Khalifate of Bagılad, 786, the furnace of Saracenic fanaticism, burned with undiminished fury : Syria, Egypt, Africa and Spain, were successively torn from the Empire, by these sons of Satan; in the year 640 the victory of victories annexed Persia to the Khalifate; and 710 the frozen regions of Tartary, and the remote country of China submitted to the warriors. But from the accession of Harun, the dust of victory had subsided ; and one hundred and fifty years more of degeneracy discovered the locust-like tormentors to Italy and Greece. Their frequent and almost annual squadrons issued from Sicily and Africa. Their armies, composed exclusively of light horse, scoured the country in small squadrons, without caring to secure a retreat, or to attempt permanent conquests. Neither the sovereign, nor his feudatories, lost any portion of their territories; but the sting of desolation and misery, which these locusts left every where behind them, must have often made the invaded desire to receive them at once as their masters, than experience their continual bostilities. " The disciples of Abraham, of Moses, and of Jesus," says Gibbon, “ were solemnly invited to accept the more perfect religion of Mahomet; but if they preferred the payment of a moderate tribute, they were entitled to the freedom of conscience and religious worship.” Under such toleration the Italians and Greeks might have reasonably pre
ferred a political death under the sway of the Khalif, to a national independence under the intolerant rule of the Pope or the Emperor. From the accession of Harun 786, to the Khalifate of Rahdi, or accession of Otho the Great, 936, we may reckon the hundred and fifty years tormenting hostilities of these ravenous destroyers; and after the year 936, in which they surprised Genoa and carried off its treasures and riches, after having slain all its inhabitants save women and children, we hear of their ravages no more.
IX. 1.–And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a
star fall from heaven unto the earth : and to him 2 was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he
opened the bottomless pit ; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great fura.
nace; and the sun and the air were darkened by 3 reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came
out of the smoke locusts upon the earth ; and
unto them was given power as the scorpions of 4 the earth have power. 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 5 God in their foreheads. 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 6 striketh a man. And in those days shall the men
seek death, and shall not find it; and shall de7 sire to die, and death shall flee from them. And
the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle ; and on their heads were
as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as 8 the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair
of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of 9 lions. And they had breastplates, as it were
breastplates of iron ; and the sound of their wings
was as the sound of chariots of many horses run10 ning to battle. And they had tails like unto
scorpions, and there were stings in their tails :
and their power was to hurt the men five months. 11 And 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
tongue hath his name Apollyon, i.e. Destroyer. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two
woes more hereafter.
Sixth Stage of the Public Sounding of the Mystery.
After the Saracens had reigned for some time in the East, the Turks, who had been enlisted in their service, rose in arms against their masters, dispossessed them of Persia, and invaded the provinces of the Greek Empire. Three dynasties of Turks, the Seljukians, Kharismians, and Atabeks, issued from the former kingdom, and alternately ruled over, or possessed the Asiatic part of the Greek Empire. To these another dynasty succeeded, the Ottoman; and the four at last became consolidated into one Empire. From the time of the founding of the Seljukian dynasty by Togrul Beg, A.D. 1046, to the Ottoman, Mahomet II. .the Great, a period of about 400 years, the Turks had been restrained by the Crusaders, the Zingis