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An Address to the Public, and Especially the Clergy

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    THE ANGEL OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT, Revelation 9

    “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him 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 furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came locusts out of the smoke on the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded 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 God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months.”APEC 112.1

    There is a very general agreement at the present day, among prophetic expositors, that the subject of this prophecy is Mohammedism. I shall not, therefore, enter into a particular explanation of the various figures used in the prophecy, but take it for granted that those who thus apply it are correct, and confine myself principally to the examination of the prophetic periods mentioned in the chapter, and endeavor to show their fulfilment. If this can be done, it is in itself the strongest evidence that a right application is made of the prophecy, when it is applied to Mohammedism.APEC 113.1

    The first prophetic period which occurs in the chapter, is in the 5th verse; “that they should be tormented five months.” A prophetic month consists of 30 days, as in Revelation 13, and each day represents a year. Five months will amount to 150 years. During 150 years the locusts (or warlike armies of horsemen) which came out of the smoke, (the Mohammedan errors,) for the propagation of his religion, were to torment a certain nation of men. But what nation? And when were they to begin the work? These are questions to be settled.APEC 113.2

    I shall endeavor to determine the first question by settling the second. When, then, were the Mohammedan armies to commence their torment on a certain people for 150 years?APEC 113.3

    Verse 10, the period is again referred to. “And their power was to hurt men five months.” The 11th verse pointed out the time when those months were to commence. “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, (that is, a destroyer,) but in the Greek tongue he hath his name Apollyon,” (destroyer.)APEC 114.1

    The beginning of the five months, then, is when these armies have one king over them, of the character above described.APEC 114.2

    After the death of Mahomet, his followers were divided into various factions, under several leaders. In this state they continued until the close of the 13th century. They were then united under one government, under Othman, the founder of the Ottoman or Turkish empire. The founder of the government, as well as the government itself, was truly described when called Abaddon, or Apollyon, a destroyer.APEC 114.3

    But this king was to be the angel, or chief minister, of the bottomless pit, or of the religion which arose from thence under Mahomet. Such was Othman; and such have been his successors. Like the Pope of Rome, the Turkish Sultan has exercised supreme power, both civil and ecclesiastical, throughout his dominions. This empire was established A. D. 1299. “And on the 27th day of July, 1299, Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia,” to commence his attack on the Greek empire. (See Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.)APEC 114.4

    Beginning in 1299, the 150 years would end A. D. 1449. In that year, John Palaeologus, the Greek emperor, died, and left no children to succeed him in the throne; and his brother Constantine Dracozes*The original publication had the spelling “Deacozes.” was to succeed him. But, from some cause or other, although it was a time of peace, before he dared to ascend his brother’s throne, he sent ambassadors to Amurath, the Turkish Sultan, to ask his permission; and having obtained it, he assumed the government of the empire. Thus, for 150 years, from 1299 to 1499, although the two powers were almost continually engaged in broils and contentions, yet the Turks could not prevail against the Greeks. “Their power was to torment,” by sudden excursions. Thus far they might go, but no farther. The 150 years ended, and with it virtually ended the Greek empire; because from that time the Greek emperor only reigned by permission of his deadly foe. Thus closed the sounding of the fifth angel, and thus ended the first woe. The men then which they were to torment were the Greeks.APEC 115.1

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