Obrazy na stronie

though briefly called, in ver. 3, chap. viii., while the general state of the continent, or so-called Christendom, is farther alluded to in three con. secutive visions in the same chapter, upon which we will somewhat dilate ere we go on to the full development of the Eastern Question, as shown in the particulars of the 9th, 10th, and 11th chapters.

The first of these three visions is that, in which “seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel” were seen standing before portraitures of every form of creeping things and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the House of Israel pourtrayed upon the wall round about, and saying: “ The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.” Startling as it may seem, we believe it to be very possible that this vision had reference to the Great Exhibition at Paris in that very epoch, the year A.D. 1867; when about fifty-eight out of seventy of the great men of the earth were seen there, as by the Times alone; not in any wise honour. ing God, the Creator, when they assembled together; but ascribing all honour to great inventors, artists, mechanists, &c.; and virtually worshipping what God's word possibly alludes to ironically, as creeping things; locomotives of all sorts; and great guns all rifled—as abominable beasts. The second vision was one of women worshipping and “ weeping for Tammuz,” concerning whom an interesting paper lies before us by the Rev. G. W. Straton, entitled " Babylonianism, the historical proof that the Church of Rome is the Babylon of the Apocalypso." (Partridge & Co., 9, Paternoster Row.)

Tammuz is supposed to have been a son of Nimrod by Queen Astarte. His actual name was Assarac ; but he was known and worshipped in other lands by the names of Adonis, Horus, Apollo, and Tammuz. His mother, Astarte, was similarly worsbipped under the names of Aphrodite, Cybele, Semiramis, Isis, and Ashtaroth; this last signifying riches, And Mr. Straton's tract shows how false priests managed in the 4th and 5th centuries to transmute the worship of this mother and her son into that of the Virgin Mary and her wondrous Son-surrounding the worship of the latter with all the idolatrous splendour and superstition wherewith the former was worshipped.

Hence the condemnation in “the end," as by Ezekiel, of the worshippers of Tammuz, as applicable to all Romanising worship, of which women under guidance of priesthoods have always been among the chief promoters in every degree.

Thirdly, in the end of this eighth chapter, we have to consider a vision of “about five and twenty men ” with their backs turned toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east;" of whom it is said, " and they worshipped the sun toward the east."

And it was said, “Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here ? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger : and lo! they put the branch to their nose. Therefore also will I deal with fury; mine eye shall not sparo, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”

This is a vision respecting the Ecumenical council of 1869-70, under Pope Pius IX. When that council was arranged, there were appointed two subordinate councils, consisting each of 26 members, and one superior council of 24 members; the whole therefore has been


enigmatically pointed out in a vision of “ about five and twenty men.” These having turned their backs upon the true faith, are seen worshipping him who is called among them the Vicar of Christ.

Christ is “ the Sun of Righteousness," who is one day to arise with healing on His wings. His assumed Vicar, the Pope, is therefore ironi. cally spoken of as the sun; not in the East, but “ toward the East;" since Italy lies toward the East of Europe.

Now the Papacy is that system concerning which, the Pope being the head, it is declared in Revelation : “ By thy sorcery were all the nations deceived. And in her the blood of prophets and of saints was found, and of all that were slain upon the earth.' Therefore, the (Ecumenical council having consummated iniquity by the declaration of the “infallibility" of the Pope, on the 18th July, 1870; the fall of the temporal power of the Papacy followed closely upon the declaration of war made by the eldest son of the Papal Church, the French Emperor, Louis Napoleon, on the 15th July, 1870; and the fury of the Lord has begun to fall upon the Papacy, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Surely, in these three instanced visions “prophecy is a light shining in a dark place ;” and opens to us God's promise, - Ask of me things to come, concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”

CHAPTER THE SECOND. And now we come to a very striking portion of Ezekiel's prophecies: singularly descriptive after an enigmatical fashion of facts which have most recently been passing before our eyes; since we beheld the defeat of the Turks by Herzegovinian insurgents on July 30th, 1875, followed by the Servo-Turkish war of July 2nd, 1876, OPENING THE EASTERN QUESTION. Then the Conference of seven Ambassadors at Constantinople on the Bosphorus, in December 1876, followed by the Turco-Russian war of 1877; and that again succeeded by the Congress of Berlin in 1878: all of which we trust to be enabled to make manifest, as foretold, in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of the prophecies of Ezekiel.

Let us then take the ninth chapter in full detail, accompanying the text with current explanations.

Verse 1. “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice—the Servian War-saying, Cause them that have charge over the city--the chief rulers of the Continent—to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.

Verse 2. “And, behold, six men six Ambassadors of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey--came from the way of the higher gate, -by reason of jealousy concerning the Bosphorus--which is turned toward the north (see the map) and every man-fully armedwith a slaughter weapon in his hand-six representatives of armed nations--and one man among them-that is a seventh man, the representative of England --clothed with linen--as representing a Protestant nation-with a writer's inkborn by his side-with a free press, and being the only nation that has such—and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.”

The brasen altar denotes Constantinople: because brass, as by the divinely given interpretation of the image of the Gentile empires shown to Daniel, is the emblem of the Greek empire; and Constantinople is properly the capital of that empire ; and also because that city is a great centre of Mahomedanism: a brasen altar denoting a centre of false religion. When Ahaz, king of Judah, B.c. 717, met Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, at Damascus, he saw there an idolatrous brasen altar; and having sent the fashion thereof to Urijah, the high priest, he caused a similar altar to be made. Then moving the great altar for burnt sacrifice ordained for the true worship of God at Jerusalem, he caused it to be set on the north side of this idolatrously fashioned brasen altar, which, he said, should be for him to inquire by. Wherefore the brasen altar may well represent in the vision of Ezekiel, that centre of Mabomedanism, Constantinople, " The seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy " among the nations of the earth, most especially in these our days at the end of the Gentile dispensation.

Verse 3. “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub-possibly that power, the last of the four Gentile empires, the Roman—whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house—to the country and region next to Syria the Holy Land. For the city' being as aforesaid, Syria might fitly be emblematised as a house in that city:And he called to the man clothed in linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side—the ambassadorial representative of Great Britain, with its free press."

Verse 4. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem-as already explained—and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."

Accordingly our Ambassador the Marquis of Salisbury passed, starting from London-through Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, the whole continent, till he met the six other Ambassadors : the French, German, Austrian, Italian, Russian, and Turkish, at Constantinople. And in his so doing, doubtless, he marked those leaders in each capital who did lament over and exclaim against the evils of humanity, if any did so; while contemporaneously the British press in all its branches did deeply sigh and cry, for the abominations of the times, and the mass of evils surrounding and abounding in the Eastern Question.

Verse 5. “And to the others he said in mine hearing-I who write this have heard-Go ye after him through the city, and smite ; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women : but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.”

“ Then they began the slaughters of the end '--at the ancient men which were before the house." Accordingly, forbearing to dwell upon the whole subject of " the endwhereon we have entered, in which the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, and will give them that are wicked to the sword; we notice that certainly not within the experience of any living man have there been in Europe such multitudinous miscellaneous massacres of humanity, as those which have taken place since, the rod of Russian violence rising up against Turkish iniquity, the commencement of the slaughters of “the end” took place,


of and among those ancient men, the Mahomedans of Turkey, who as conquering Turkmans from the Euphrates overflowed and took Constantinople, on the 24th of May, 1453, A.D., and there abode for centuries, on the very threshold of God's house--the Holy Land.

Verse 7. “ And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts—the countries around Syria-with the slain : go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.”

Feeling the strength of accumulated evidence as we write, we cannot but ask direct, whether all these consecutive applied similitudes are not, to say the least, most curious and instructive, and exceedingly interesting to us Britons; when omitting to comment on the eighth, ninth, and tenth verses which are declaratory of general judgments on the earth, we notice the purport of the eleventh verse which reads, And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.”

Now, whatever be the upshot of events hitherto, or to whatever they may tend, it cannot be and is not denied, that our Ambassador, our Government, and our peoples have taken their stand mainly, and saving any points wherein they may have been led aside by a leaning to expediency, for truth and righteousness, good faith, and the observance of international treaties.

We have striven to uphold Turkey in the interests of peace, while yet most strongly condemning the iniquities of its rulers and their irregular soldiery. And when forced, by their evident want of all right principles and consequent inability of right practice, to give them up, at least 80 far as that we did not interfere to prevent the Russian invasion ;* we have alone by sea, in the interests of all Europe, stood forth to maintain appeals to law and order, as opposed to the rule of force and violence.

Our consciences are so far clear.

Surely our representative may in some sort stand and say in the “ Great Presence”-“I have done as Thou hast commanded me". especially when we remember what is written, “ Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ?”

Joseph Scott PhilLIPS, R.A. (To be concluded.)


THE CONFERENCE-A Christians, to discuss questions,

which are certainly pressing upon Dear Sir,—From the RAINBOW, the attention of an increasing numit appears that arrangements have ber of those to whom it has been been completed for a conference at given to attain to more enlightened, Maberly, at which in all probability comprehensive, and rational, bethere will be gathered a large num- cause more scriptural conceptions of ber of thonghtful and earnest the character of our God and Father,

* Being unwilling to join the Continental Powers, as feeling that we could not control their mighty armies with our necessarily small land contingent; and fearful whither their conduct would lead us.

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and His gracious and glorious pur- with a view to some arrangement poses in relation to the coming for a meeting or meetings. Kingdom and glory of “our Lord, We are called in these times to our Life, our Hope," and the eternal witness for the great truths which destinies and glorious possibilities to us are indeed “glad tidings of which await our race.

great joy." As an individual, I greatly rejoice I am, yours truly, that such a gathering is to take

PAUL PLATT. place, and congratulate all those 8, Alexandra Road, who may have the privilege of at- Moss Side, Manchester, tending it. Would I could be one of the number, or that it were at all possible for me in any way to

THE SPIRITS IN PRISON. help you in the matter of the ex- SIR,-I fully admit the great force penses which must be incurred. of Mr. Constable’s argument on this Doubtless He who has led you to, difficult question. I think he has and graciously sustained you in this made out a very strong case indeed. blessed work thus far, will take But what does he make of the words care that you do not lack the gold which almost immediately follow : and the silver which are His. I “who shall give account to Him can, however, and do pray that “the that is ready to judge the living and Maberly Conference may prove to

the dead; for on this account was be an historical event in relation to the gospel preached also to the dead, the greatest questions of the age.”

in order that they might be judged In connection with this subject it according to men in the flesh, bat has occurred to me that there must be living according to God in the of necessity be in many of the cities spirit ?" Here are some persons and large towns in this country, mentioned, to whom the gospel was very many of the readers of the preached while “ in the condition of RAINBOW, and others who are in death ;" for it cannot mean the sympathy with us, who like myself spiritually dead, inasmuch as the cannot possibly join you at the con- gospel is preached to none others. ference, but who would perhaps be

It is no idle compliment to say glad to have an opportunity of that whatever Mr. Constable writes meeting, say, for a day, or part of always deserves the most careful a day, or even for a few hours on consideration; and if he will favour successive evenings, for purposes

us with his view of this passage, it similar to those contemplated by will greatly oblige, your meeting.

Yours sincerely, In Manchester, for example, there

SAMUEL MINTON. are doubtless some such as are in- Fair Head, Putney. dicated above, who would esteem it P.S. Does not the reference to a privilege to meet with each other God's long-suffering while the ark for mutual counsel, and interchange was being prepared, and the small of thought and sentiment, upon number of persons saved in it, seem topics such as those which are to to indicate that St. Peter was thinkoccupy attention at your larger ing of sinful men living at that time, gathering.

rather than of spirits who then As a preliminary step, I shall be sinned? The time of their fall, too, pleased to receive communications

was not "

when," but long before, from any who are like-minded, the ark was built.

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