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Having seen the successes achieved by the Saracens, and next by the Turks; having seen how history sustains and bears out the words of prophecy, I observe that the waves of the Euphratean flood, that overflowed its banks, and spread from the spicy groves of Arabia to Constantinople, are now retreating to their shores, or rather, drying up in their channels, and since 1820 the flood has evaporated day by day; and as the Euphratean flood retreats from the lands it has covered as by a deluge, and evaporates in the sunshine, or rolls to its ancient channel, thousands of true Christians, Armenians and Greeks, not, as their fathers have been, the worst specimens of a corrupt Christianity, but by the instrumentality of missionaries regenerated, illumined, and sanctified, begin to raise their heads, and to aspire after that glorious supremacy when Christ shall be King over all the earth. Constantinople may be Christian; yet it may not, and it must not be Russian. St. Sophia need not be under the auspices of the Czar, nor the patriarch of Constantinople made a subject of the patriarch of St. Petersburg; and yet the decay of Mahometanism is as plainly proclaimed in this sacred volume as any one fact that can happen in history. During the sixth vial, which began about 1820, the Euphrates is to be dried up, to make way for the kings of the East. It would take too much space if I were to quote all the proofs of this drying up ever since 1820, when the prophecy tells us it was to begin. The 2300 years of Daniel, I have already said, were to end in 1820. At that period, then, Mahometanism was to begin to give way. Now, just read the facts of the case. One interpreter, who wrote upwards of two hundred years ago, accepted the symbol of the “drying up of the Euphrates," as predicted under the sixth Apocalyptic vial, as the gradual exhaustion of the Mahometan power; and almost every prophetic
to my mind, absolutely conclusive proofs of the accuracy of this interpretation.
Another eminent interpreter stated, at least a hundred years ago, that about 1820 the Turkish power would begin its course of wasting and decay. That year, viz. 1820, is universally accepted by prophetic students as the beginning of the “drying up of the Euphrates,” or decadence of Mahometanism primarily in Europe, and progressively over all Asia.
It was in 1820 that Ali Pasha, of Yanina, proclaimed his independence, and hastened on the Greek insurrection. The Suliot Greeks raised the standard of revolt in November of the same year against the Sultan. In April 1821 the Moreote Greeks broke out in insurrection. Northern Greece, the Isles of the Ægean Sea, and the Danubian provinces revolted. In the Morea the Greeks destroyed an army of 30,000 Turks in 1823. By sea the Greeks beat the Turkish and Egyptian fleets in September 1824. In 1827, when the Greeks seemed for a season to give way, the combined feets of England, France, and Russia destroyed the Turco-Egyptian fleets at the battle of Navarino, saved Greece, and struck a blow against Turkey from which the Ottoman empire has never recovered. In 1828, Russia feeling insulted, declared war, crossed the Balkan, entered Adrianople, and Constantinople was saved only by the interposition of the Western ambassadors. But by this last step, the exhaustion of Turkey, or “ drying up of the Euphrates," was very greatly increased. Servia, Wallachia, and Moldavia were all practically detached from Turkey, and in the same year the Turkish province of Algiers became a French colony. As if the fanaticism of Turkey, which used to be its strength, had degenerated into folly and infatuation, she massacred the Janizaries, her right arm, and found this reform was her ruin.
Afterwards came the rebellion of Mehemet Ali, the Pasha of Egypt; and such was his progress, that if the Western powers had not again interposed, Turkey had been annihilated. From 1821 to 1831, earthquakes, plague, and pestilence almost depopulated Bagdad, Mecca, and Medina. The Rev. Mr. Walsh, the British Chaplain at Constantinople, writing in 1831, says, as I have already quoted, “Within the last twenty years Constantinople has lost more than half its population. Two conflagrations happened while I was in Constantinople, and destroyed 15,000 houses. The silent operation of the plague is continually active, though not always alarming. It will be no exaggeration to say, that within the period mentioned, from 300,000 to 400,000 have been prematurely swept away in this one city of Europe, by causes which were not operating in any other,-conflagration, pestilence, and civil commotion.” I give these historic facts to show that what the earliest students of prophecy were led to infer, respecting the gradual exhaustion of the Ottoman power, and the date of the beginning of its decline, has been exactly fulfilled.
So striking are the prophetic dates relating to the exhaustion of the Ottoman empire, that one interpreter of prophecy in 1840 fixed the period of its end at 1849, as the earliest date; and almost every student of prophecy, of any note or name, Mr. Elliot, Dr. Keith, Mr. Bickersteth, and Mr. Birks, were unanimous in regarding its utter overthrow as just at our doors, before the present invasion of Russia. I do not say that our views of unfulfilled prophecy are to regulate cabinets; but it is interesting to us calmly yet patiently to look on the present complications in the East as the irresistible harbingers of the speedy extinction of error; and we almost regret that our great nation should be dragged into war as if to avert what we regard as a foregone conclusion prophetically viewed, and a consummation, which, on other grounds, we would hasten rather than delay. But we do not war to maintain the Crescent, but to beat back from us and ours a powerful despotism. Students of prophecy are neither fatalists nor prophets, but investigators of those glimpses of the future which the Author of the Bible has been pleased to reveal.
The same prophetic record that thus indicates the near downfall of Mahometanism, informs us that this downfall is to make way for the march of “kings from the sun-rising.” Whether this refers to the Jews, as I believe, or to the emergence of the ancient Oriental Churches, is matter of dispute. But this is plain, that the Christians of the East will gain in all respects by the waning of the Crescent, and prove a better obstruction to Russia's ambition than the Turks.
Now, it seems clear from the words of Daniel's prophecy, that the great Mahometan delusion, for such, as Christians, we must regard it,—and its head and strength, the Ottoman dynasty, will not be struck down by a blow, as Russia expects, but must, if prophecy be true, gradually and progressively expire. It dies out; its waters are literally evaporated; it expires of age, decrepitude, and decay. I do not believe, from prophecy, that the Russian eagle will be allowed to tear it to pieces, or to have the Sultan's palace for its eyrie. I do not believe that it will be suffered to disappear, till the last pulse beats feebly in the Mahometan heart; but whether there is peace or war, Turkey is equally exhausted. If Russia persists in her infatuated ambition, Turkey, as a Mahometan power, will be destroyed; if Russia is compelled, before the bayonets of Europe, to retire to the Kremlin, the Turkish exchequer will be exhausted; and, in either case,