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From Araby, the land of rocks and sands,

There flowed a wondrous river long ago.--Canto II, STANZA 1.

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.—REV. XVI. 12-16.

We now proceed upon ground on which we must tread softly. We are undoubtedly somewhere near the line which divides the past from the future. We may feel tolerably sure as to the application of those symbols which plainly refer to past events, but as to those which refer to the future we cannot be certain, except, perhaps, as to their general character. The peculiar character of specific events can only be determined by the events themselves. Yet there is much that is instructive in those symbols which plainly refer to future events, and they invite our attention and scrutiny. All the expositors to whom I have access express the opinion that the events indicated by this symbolism are yet in the future. Barnes, the most recent, who wrote his exposition twenty years ago, hints that the outpouring might have already passed, and the events following it might have been passing in his day.

From careful study of the subject, I am inclined to the opinion that the outpouring followed not long after the fifth



vial, that events indicated in the twelfth verse are nearly passed, and those indicated by the rest of the passage are in the near coming future.

I will first call attention to several observations on the demands of these symbols, and then see if we can find anything in recent and passing history that will meet the demands.

The great river Euphrates must, of course, symbolize some great anti-Christian power which has been arrayed against Christianity, and has stood in the way of the kings of the East in some movement which must have a bearing upon it, perhaps embracing it. Moreover, as it was a great river, and consequently made up from the gathering together of many waters, we should expect that this power would be composed of many peoples or nationalities.

The outpouring of the vial must symbolize letting loose upon this power some influence that would cause it to decay like the gradual drying up of a river after its sources are cut off by the failure of rains upon the hills and mountains which supply them. It would require not a sudden and violent, but a gradual decay.

3. The power must be associated in some manner with the dragon and the beast in their opposition to civil and religious liberty.

4. The three unclean spirits must be an outgrowth of these anti-Christian and anti-progressive powers, or at least must proceed from the same source.

5. The unclean spirits must do, or make men believe that they do, some great and wondrous things in order to gain an influence over the kings which they are said to gather together to the "great day of God Almighty."

6. This great day must symbolize some great conflict in which these malign spirits will be engaged, that will result in their overthrow. It may be a conflict among themselves, in which they will mutually destroy each other. Christianity has been helped by such conflicts, as we have already seen, more than in those where their adherents have been directly assailed and driven to take the sword in self-defense.

7. The Lord's coming as a thief, may symbolize his hand in the conflict, his enemies, and possibly his friends, not knowing it.

8. Their gathering the kings together into a place called Armageddon, must be regarded as only preparatory to the awful events of the seventh vial.

We may remark generally, before proceeding to a consideration of the application of these symbols, that, as the fifth and sixth trumpets, relating to the same powers, occupied a very long time, even centuries in their fulfillment, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the fifth and sixth vials would require a much longer time for their fulfillment than the preceding.

Do we find anything in current history answering the demands of these symbols?

As to the power indicated by the great river Euphrates, we may have little doubt as to its referring to the Mohammedan power,

now more particularly embodied in the Turkish Empire. The same symbol is used in the sixth trumpet, which is believed to refer to the rise of that power. The Mohammedan religion, as is well known, was first proclaimed by Mohammed, in the early part of the seventh century.* Its rise and progress are set forth in the fifth and sixth trumpets, showing God's method of visiting the corrupt Churches which had overspread Northern Africa, Southern Europe, and Asia Minor. The signs of corruption had begun to manifest themselves in the Seven Churches, as recorded by John. Five centuries after this, these portions of the earth were ripe for the inundation of God's wrath. This began to be revealed to John under the symbol of locusts released in vast numbers from the bottomless pit, at the sounding of the fifth trumpet. Mohammed began his career in Arabia; with the Saracen armies which he called around his standard, he spread his religion and power with amazing rapidity. Nearly the whole of Arabia soon submitted to his sway. Two centuries had not passed, before his successors had overrun Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, twice besieged Constantinople, overrun all of Northern Africa, broke over the barriers of the straits of Gibraltar, subdued Spain, crossed the Pyrenees, and carried the triumphant crescent up to the walls of Potiers, when the tide of conquest was checked at Tours, by Charles Martel, at the head of a great army, chiefly from France and Germany. A vast number-some say as many as two hundred and fifty thousand—were slain, and they were driven back beyond the Pyrenees, never to return. But the Moors remained in Spain for several centuries.

* Note 2, Canto II, stanza 1.

The Mohammedan power thus almost completely blotted out the nominal religion of Jesus, over more than half the Christian world. The ruin was sweeping; thousands of magnificent churches were transformed into mosques-many of them remaining unto this day. This power, after an existence of almost a thousand years, culminated in the siege and capture of Constantinople, and the establishment of the Turkish Empire, with that city for its capital. The Turks had been known as a people in the North of Asia, for fifteen hundred years. They had embraced the religion of Mohammed but a short time previous to this event. This completed the overthrow of the Eastern Empire, in judgment upon the corruptions of an idolatrous Church. In the application which our expositors make of the prophetic symbols of Revelation, it is regarded as the culmination of the second woe, or sixth trumpet, which ended in placing the sun of the Turkish Empire at its meridian, where it is called the great river Euphrates.* (See Barnes, in loco.) The propriety of choosing that rivert as a symbol of this power is seen, when we remember that it is a great river, and on its banks, on the fertile plain of Shinar, stood the renowned city of Babylon, the capital of one of earth's greatest and oldest empires.

The allusion to the kings of the East would seem to strengthen the position that the Turkish Empire is here intended. Kings must, of course, be taken here as representative of nationalities or races. We may, perhaps, understand the meaning of this to be, that the way of Eastern races may be prepared-opened to the reception of Christianity; i. e., some hindrance removed that has hitherto been in the way. Appleton's Cyclopedia says: “ Perhaps no country in the world is inhabited by so great a variety of races as the Turkish Empire. The Turks are divided into

* See Poem, Canto II, stanzas 1-27.

+ Note 3, Canto II, stanza 28.

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two races : The Osmanlis, or Turks proper, whose numbers are estimated at about three millions in European, and ten million five hundred thousand in Asiatic Turkey; and the Turkomans, who are principally found in Northern Mesopotamia and adjoining districts, and do not, probably, exceed an hundred thousand. The Greeks are about equally divided between the European and Asiatic divisions, and number somewhat more than two millions. The Armenians are about five hundred thousand in European, and two millions in Asiatic Turkey. The Sclavic nations, under which term are principally included Bulgarians. Servians, Bosnians, Herzegovinians, and Montenegrins, number about six millions, and are all in European Turkey. The Roumans, or Wallachs, a Daco-Roman race, inhabiting, chiefly, the Danubian Principalities, number about four hundred thousand. Besides these, there are upwards of one million Arnauts, or Albanians proper, inhabiting a province called after them; not far from one million Arabs in Asiatic Turkey, and four millions in the African Turkish possessions; about two hundred and forty thousand Syrians, all in Asiatic Turkey; about two hundred thousand Jews, ninety thousand Franks, or Western Christians, one million or more Koords, twenty thousand Gypsies, thirty to fifty thousand Druses, about the same number of Tartars, and a large number of Circassians and other Caucasians, and in Africa, Copts, Nubians, Berbers, &c.” The whole population, according to the larger estimate, is somewhat over forty millions. All these are held in subjection to the Turks, numbering, as we have seen, only thirteen millions—less than one-third of the entire population. That Turkish rule has been unfriendly to Christianity, every student of history knows. It has certainly been in the way of these races; and when taken away, there will be no political hindrances to the spread of Christianity. And through them, doubtless, will be prepared a way for still other kindred races of the East, not under Turkish rule.

Our second remark was to the effect that the outpouring of the vial upon that power must symbolize letting loose upon it some influences that would cause it to decay, like the gradual drying up of a great river. The gradual decay of the Turkish Empire during the present century,


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