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    May 25, 1896

    “The Eastern Question. What Its Solution Means to All the World. No. 2.—The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire” The Bible Echo 11, 20, pp. 155, 156.



    THREE distinct portions of Scripture are devoted to the Turkish power. Let us carefully and candidly examine these, that we may see what word the Lord has for us in this our day.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.1

    God had in old time foretold the fall of Babylon and the succession of Medo-Persia to her place of power in the world. He had told of the passing of this power from Persia and Media to Grecia, and from Grecia to Rome. And now, before closing the book of His counsels He would tell of the fall of Rome and the passing of power from her to others who should succeed. In the line of the seven trumpets of the book of Revelation is given the breaking up of the might, empire and power of Rome. There are three great lines of prophecy in the book of Revelation, that run by sevens, and all extend to the end of time—the seven churches, the seven seals, and the seven trumpets. The line of the seven churches is the Lord’s messages to the seven stages of the church to the end of time, and treats only of the church. The line of the seven trumpets marks the great events in the ruin of the Roman power, and what should follow to the end of time, and thus treats only of the world; while the line of the seven seals treats of the church and the world as they would be related to the end of time, and thus treats of both.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.2

    The trumpet itself is the symbol of war. And in this alone is a suggestion that the seven trumpets would announce wars. But as the Roman power was the centre of all, it would have to announce wars with Rome. The first four trumpets give the fall of the Western Empire of Rome. The fifth and sixth trumpets give the fall of the Eastern Empire of Rome. And the seventh trumpet gives the fall of all nations and of the world itself. Let anyone read Revelation chapters 8, 9, and chaps. 11:15-19; 16:18-20, and he can see for himself that the seventh trumpet ends all things of earth.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.3

    The best exposition of the first six of the seven trumpets is Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” in the accounts of the Goths, the Vandals and the Huns; and of the Mohammedan Arabs and the Turks. By reading of the first trumpets in the eighth chapter it will be seen that a dreadful state of things is contemplated. Yet the last three are so much worse than the first ones that “Woe” is the chief characteristic of these. “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 trumpets of the three angels which are yet to sound.” Revelation 8:13.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.4


    THE fifth trumpet, the first woe, marks the rise and spread of the Mohammedan power; and the history that most clearly shows the fulfilment of the prophecy is found in chapters 50 and 51 of Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Anyone reading together Revelation 9:1-4, 7, 8, and these two chapters of the history, cannot fail to see that the history is but the complement of the prophecy, especially Revelation 9:4 and Gibbon, chapter 51, par. 10. This portion of the Scripture, it will be seen, views the rise of Mohammedanism and the time when they had a king over them, and then there is appointed a period of “five months”—one hundred and fifty days, and each day for a year (as used in symbolic prophecy, Ezekiel 4:6), one hundred and fifty yeas—in which they were to hurt men. And from this time when they had a king over them they take on a specially destructive character, for the word says, “They had a king over them ... whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Verse 11. The margin of the verse gives the meaning of this name in both tongues, which is “A Destroyer.” And as the Roman Empire is the leading thing contemplated in the prophecy, it is this, or what remained of it, which was to be destroyed by this destroyer.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.5

    In speaking of the events preceding the time when these men “had a king over them” the historian says:—BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.6

    “In this shipwreck of nations, some surprise may be excited by the escape of the Roman Empire, whose relics ... were dismembered by the Greeks and Latins.”—Chap. 64, par. 13.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.7

    But now that they have a king over them, and take upon them more than ever the character of a destroyer, the empire can no longer escape. Consequently, in the very next paragraph, the historian continues in the following important words:—BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.8

    “lt was on the 27th day of July, in the year 1209 the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia, and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster.”—Chap. 64, par. 14.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.9

    Several points in this quotation must be noticed.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.10

    1. Othman was the man who succeeded in bringing the disjointed elements of the Mohammedan power, into compact and distinctly organised governmental shape. From him consequently comes the term which still attaches to the government of the Turks, namely, the Ottoman Empire. From him dates the time when as never before “they had a king over them.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.11

    2. Note the expression of the history—“the destructive growth” of this monster. Thus distinguishing the very characteristic which is the one given in the Scripture concerning this very power of the destroyer.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.12

    3. The historian emphasises “the singular accuracy of the date”— a thing almost if not altogether without parallel in historical writing. In the original documents from which the historian drew his material, he found this date made so specific that he himself is forced to remark its “singular accuracy.” Yet to chose who recognise God’s dealings with the nations and kingdoms, and who consider that from the time when these had a king over them a period of a hundred and fifty years is given in which to do a certain work, It is not surprising that the date should be signified with such singular accuracy as to excite the particular attention and remarks of the historian.BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.13


    JULY 27, 1299, then, this period in this “woe” began. One hundred and fifty years from this singularly accurate date, extends to July 27, 1419. Then the word continues, “One woe is past and behold there come two woes more hereafter.” And now yet other elements of destruction are to be let loose. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.14

    An hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. Counting thirty days to the month, a year is 360 days, and “each day for a year” is 360 years. A month—30 days—is 30 years. A day is one year. These together give 391 years. From July 27, 1149 the 391 years reach to July 27, 1810. But there is “an hour” yet. An hour is the twenty-fourth part of a day. And (a day for a year) this would be the twenty-fourth part of a year, or fifteen days. Fifteen days from July 27 extends to August 11. Therefore on August 11, 1810, this period of an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, would expire. For this length of time and to this date, the power of the Ottoman Empire was to continue. And on that very day, the actual power of the Turkish Government passed into the hands of the great powers of Europe, and from that day to this, the very existence of the Ottoman Empire has been, and is now, solely by the support of these great powers. Several times since 1810 the Turkish government would have ceased to be, had it not been upheld specifically by those other powers. In a little pamphlet on the Turkish-Armenian question, lately published by the Armenian Society in London, we find the following statement concerning England’s connection with this matter:—BEST May 25, 1896, page 155.15

    “We are responsible for Turkey. We saved the Turk twice at least from the doom which he richly merited. The Duke of Wellington sixty years ago lamented that the Russians had not entered Constantinople in 1829 and brought the Ottoman Empire to an end. We have much more reason to lament that it was not destroyed in 1853 and again in 1878. On both these occasions we interfered to save it. But for us there would be no Sultan on the Bosphorus.”—Page 17.BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.1

    Again on the same page is a quotation from an article by the Duke of Argyle in the Times in which the Duke says:—BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.2

    “It is not too much to say that England has twice saved Turkey from complete subjection since 1853. It is largely—mainly—due to our action that see now exists at all as an independent Power. On both these occasions we dragged the powers of Europe along with us in maintaining the Ottoman Government.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.3

    We do not reproduce these statements for the purpose of attaching blame to England or to any other power; but solely for the purpose of making clear the fact that the Ottoman Empire since 1840 has not existed by its own power but wholly by the action of the other powers. In accordance with this fact teas pamphlet truly says:—BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.4

    “It is impossible to balk of the Ottoman Empire as if it were a nation like the United States or like Holland. It is an artificial ... creation of treaties, that is kept in existence by the Powers for their own convenience.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.5

    Thus on the 11th day of August 1810, the time set by the Scripture for the existence and work of the Ottoman Empire as such, expired. On that day the sixth trumpet ceased to sound, and the second woe ended; and of the seventh trumpet—the third woe—we read: “The second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of the Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wert, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”BEST May 25, 1896, page 156.6

    A. T. JONES.

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