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The 541 years 15 days, commencing July 27th 1299, would end on the 11th of August; just the day Rifat Bey arrived at Alexandria.
On the 15th of August, Mehemet gave his answer to the Sultan in the following note:
“Wallah, hillah, tillah,” (an oath, by God.) “I will not yield a span of the land I possess, and if war is made against me, I will turn the empire upside down and be buried in its ruins.
MEHEMET ALI." This was the decisive stroke, and under it the Ottoman power was thrown into the hands of the christian nations of Europe. And the very next day, the 16th, the consuls of the four powers took up the affair and remonstrated with him for his course, and threatened him if he did not submit. Since then, the Sultan has been under the necessity of submitting to the dictation of the European powers in all the affairs of his empire.
I am now entirely satisfied that on the 11th day of August, ACCORDING TO PREVIOUS CALCULATION, THE END OF 541 YEARS 15 DAYS, THE OTTOMAN SUPREMACY DEPARTED; and that on the 15th of August, the control of the empire was thrown into christian hands, from which it had departed 391 years 15 days before. Thus the Ottomans were loosed and prepared for an hour, a day, a month and a year, to slay the third part of men. That time ended and their power was broken, and christian power restored to Constantinople.
After the prediction of the Turkish power, the Revelator continues, chap. 10th, and relates what he saw farther. He saw an angel stand up in
the sea and upon the earth, who “lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that are therein, and the sea, and the things that are therein, that there should be time no longer. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished ; as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."
The Revelator was here permitted to anticipate the sounding of the seventh angel, and the event of his sounding, but the way was not yet prepared for presenting in due form the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
The history of the Greek church and their oppression by the Mohammedans was given in the 9th chapter, which brought us down to the ending of the second wo; but before the ever of the third wo could be fully presented, another line of prophecy must be brought up to the same period. That line was to give the suffering and depressed condition of true religion in the west, and its triumph before the end.
THE LITTLE BOOK AND ITS CONTENTS. REV. 10TH
AND 11TH CHAPS.
The Revelator was directed to go and take a little book out of the angel's hand and eat it up. This he did ; and was then told that he must prophesy again, before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The events of the little book are the events predicted in the 11th chapter. And it was those events he was to predict before peoples, nations, tongues, and kings, before he could fully present the third wo.
THE TWO WITNESSES PROPHESY IN SACKCLOTH.
Chapter xi. 1,2. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod; and the angel stood, say ing, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles : and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”
The temple here spoken of, and which the Revelator was commanded to measure, is the church of Christ, composed of his living members, whether Jews or Gentiles. See Eph. ii. 19-22. This is emphatically the temple of God; and it was the church he was to measure.
“ But the court ... leave out... it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot 42 months.”
In the ancient temple at Jerusalem the outer court was devoted to the Gentiles; into that they were permitted to enter and present their sacrifice to the priest.
-So also in the Christian temple, there are those who, although professed members of Christ's body, are no more than Gentile or outer court worshippers, after all. Such is, and has been, the character of the church of Rome. She, while God has had a seed to serve him, has been treading that holy city under foot, and for 42 months, or 1260 years, the saints were given into her hand to oppress, persecute, and put to death. This church was not, in measuring the true church, to be taken into the account as forming any part of the temple of God.
Verse 3d. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Verse 4. “ These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
The 4th verse seems to be a reference to Zech. 4th chapter. The prophet was presented in vision with a view of two olive trees. He asked, What are these ? and was told, “This is the WORD OF THE LORD unto Zerubbabel.”
The two olive trees, then, represent the word of the Lord. Had we no farther evidence as to the character and person of the two witnesses, this ought to be sufficient. But we have other evidence. John v. 39. Jesus said to the Jews, “ Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” Here the Savior explicitly asserted that the Old-Testament Scriptures bore witness of him. And hence they are his witness.
Again; Matt. xxiv. 14. He said, “This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations.” What is this but calling the gospel his witness? The Old and New Testaments are, therefore, Christ's two witnesses. They were to “prophesy," testify the truth of God, during all that long dark night of papal rule.
“ Clothed in sackcloth.” Sackcloth is the emblem of sorrow or mourning. So the word of God is represented as mourning over the desolation of the church during that reign of wickedness. But still it bore a faithful testimony, and many by its heavenly light were led to the Savior.
“If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies.”
If any man add to the words of this book, it testifies that God will add to him the plagues written therein. And if any take away from the words of this book, his part shall be taken from the book of life, and from the holy city. Again, John xii. 48. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Thus fire proceedeth out of the mouth of these witnesses and devoureth all who would hurt them.
" These have power to shut heaven that it rain not.” When the word of God was obscured, the rain of grace, the genial influences of the gospel, were withheld; revivals of religion, during the greatest part of papal rule, were almost unknown. “ And have power over waters to turn them to blood.” While the restraints of the word of God were withdrawn, the nations of the earth were continually involved in war and bloodshed,
“ And when they have finished their testimony,” or, according to Faber, when they are about to finish their testimony, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."
The beast from the bottomless pit is the same