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the Most High] "shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,"— or 1260 years. Again, in Rev. xi. 3: “I will give power unto my two witnesses,” (true Christians,] “and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth"—that is, depressed - i. e. 1260 years. The “witnesses in sackcloth” of St. John's Apocalypse, are the saints worn out,” or persecuted by the same apostasy, referred to in Daniel, which is said to last 1260 years. I do not pause to identify this persecuting power with the Romish apostasy. This is almost universally accepted. The brands predicted in the prophecy are so fully developed by the Papacy, that dispute is barely possible. Indeed, the trouble to which mediæval monks and modern tractarians are put in getting rid of the almost universal interpretation is something wonderful.
Having seen the duration of this apostasy, let us try to take a step further,—When did it begin ? It is of no use to know the end of its life, unless we can ascertain the date of its birth. We find that the Emperor Justinian gave the Pope, in the year 532, not only spiritual jurisdiction, but civil power; in other words, constituted the great papal organization a politico-ecclesiastical power, and armed it with authority to enforce by the sword its rescripts, its laws, and its pretended obligations. I therefore date the commencement of the papal power, as fully organized, from the year 532; and if so, 1260 years added to that would bring us down to 1792, when history steps in to attest prophecy, and successive judgments begin to fall upon the Western Apostasy. Great convulsions then took place in every portion of Antichrist's dominions; all forces-infidel, political, and Christianplayed against it; God's people began to emerge from the midst of it; and that part of the prophecy which still continues, came into its initial active operation,—“He shall consume it with the spirit of his mouth,”—while it is waiting to be utterly “destroyed by the brightness of his coming.” From that era to this, the papal nations of Europe have been scourged, and Romanism wasted down to a shell, till it is rather a galvanized than a living thing. In France, it is a mere political tool; its hold on the great mass of the people is gone. In Italy, the higher priesthood is infidel. In Ireland, it is in its death-struggle. In England, its boasts, its glare and pretension, are signs of its exhaustion, not vitality. Just as the first wasting influences fell on the apostasy, the angel of the everlasting Gospel — that is, its various Missionary and Bible Societies, or, “the witnesses”-emerged from bondage, and were fully organized, with two previous exceptions, between 1793 and 1806.
I pass, in the next place, to another chronological date. The prophet Daniel specifies — and this relates to a subject which is now occupying men's attention in relation to the East—2300 years as the duration of the Mahometan power. The beginning of the 2300 years is dated by the most accomplished and learned scholars in prophecy at about the year 430 before the birth of Christ, or the era of the noon-tide glory of the Persian empire, and the splendid progress of Xerxes, the era of its culminating and meridian grandeur. From that date Daniel looks along the centuries to the epoch of its initial decay, and predicts that 2300 years from that date its decadence would begin. This lands us in the year A.D. 1820, when what is called in the Apocalypse the drying up of the river Euphrates, or the decaying or wasting away of the Mahometan power, should begin to take place.* Now, if this calculation be correct, we should expect that in the year 1820, or thereabout, the Mahometan power did begin to waste and wane. What are the facts ? In the year 1820, the “ Annual Register" states, “ The Ottoman empire had reached its meridian strength, free from all foreign invasion, and in possession of perfect peace.” What takes place soon after this? In the summer of that very year Ali Pacha revolted against the Sultan. In the autumn of 1820 the Greek insurrection broke out. Soon after, Northern Greece, the isles of the Egean Sea, and the Danubian provinces, al revolted from the Turkish empire. In the Morea, the Greeks destroyed an army of 30,000 Turks. In 1827, the combined fleets of Britain, France, and Russia destroyed the Turco-Egyptian fleets at the battle of
* I noticed that at the May meetings in 1854, noblemen and gentlemen, not professedly students of prophecy, referred to the Euphrates as the symbol of the Turkish power.
Navarino. In the year 1828, Russia crossed the Balkan, entered Adrianople, and Constantinople was saved by the interposition of the Western ambassadors. Servia, Wallachia, and Moldavia are at this moment held by the Russians. The Turkish province of Algiers is now a French colony. Turkey suicidally extinguished the Janizaries, her best troops. During the same period earthquakes, plagues, and pestilences have almost depopulated Bagdad, Mecca, and Medina. And the Rev. Mr. Walsh, the British Consul at Constantinople, writing in 1831, says, “Within the last twenty years, Constantinople lost more than half its population. Two conflagrations happened while I was at Constantinople, and destroyed 15,000 houses. The silent operation of the plague is continually active. It is no exaggeration to say, that within the period mentioned, 300,000 have been prematurely swept away in this one city of Europe, by causes not operating in any other capital whatever.” See how exact is the fulfilment of prophecy. These points I will state at greater length in my second Lecture.
The special prediction under the Sixth Vial is the drying up of the river Euphrates; that is, a progressive evaporation of Mahometanism, beginning in 1820, and expected by every student of prophecy to end in a very short time indeed. It is, you will observe, to die out: it is not to be struck down. It is the evaporation of a stream, not the destruction of a citadel at a blow. But
while this power wastes and withers, it does not follow that the Russian Eagle is to have the Mosque of St. Sophia for his eyrie. The Turks may not cease to be, when they cease to be Mahometans. They may become Christians. The 9,000,000 of Eastern Christians that are under the Crescent, and subject to all its insults, its oppression, and its tyranny, may rise up a glorious nation - a mighty dynasty — a nobler obstruction to Russian ambition than the decrepit and dying Turkish empire, which Western nations vainly try to keep up.
Turkey, just at the period predicted in prophecy, began to die out, as we have already seen. The evidence of this is recent testimony respecting her. Lamartine, in one of those sagacious aphorisms by which his eloquence is distinguished, says, “Turkey dies for want of Turks." This gradual decay of the Turkish empire identifies the period in which we now are with what is called in the Apocalypse the Sixth Vial. Mr. Habershon, in his excellent work upon the subject, calculated, in 1830, that the Turkish empire would cease to exist soon after 1849. He was not very far wrong. Its end is at hand. Every day I expect to hear of its stream dried up, of the Crescent waning, and of Turkey as a nation that was — not a nation mighty, and longer able to maintain itself. Plague, famine, pestilence, profligacy, are fast drying up her empire; her exchequer is now all but bankrupt; her momentary success against Russia is no earn