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"I WHISPER," and the echocs fly
Around the azure
They reach my Father's home.
To speak at first to me
To commune, Lord, with Thee.
In language all of love ;
Mine heart is drawn above.
The thrilling words may know,
And mutual accents flow.
Who own its fragrance poured;
Sweet incense to the Lord.
Revealed to us in One-
Through Jesus Christ, the Son.
Mrs. Joseph FEARN.
“THE SUBLIME PORTE.”
THE EAST GATE (OF EUROPE) which 18
AS BY THE PROPHECIES OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL.
CHAPTER THE THIRD. ET us now proceed to quote the tenth chapter of the book of the
prophecies of Ezekiel : Verse 1.-" Then I looked, and behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims, there appeared over them as it were a sapphire throne, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne."
In vision we behold the throne of “the Lord of Hosts "—how significant a title in the end of this dispensation when “the Lord of Hosts
mustereth the hosts of the battle" against the great day of the war of the “ last end”—the war of Armageddon !—the throne of the Lord of Hosts, set in the blue heavens for especial judgment, and proceeding, as regards “the end," and the fast approaching "last end,” spoken of in the book of Daniel, which follows the closing of the times of the Gentiles, and will terminate this dispensation of permitted evil before the second coming of Jesus Christ our Saviour, whose name is also called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Verse 2.-—"And He spake unto the man clothed with linen,"—the very same man who represented Great Britain at the Conference of Constantinople (since the Earl of Derby, having resigned his place in the Ministry on the 27th of March, 1878, his successor as Secretary of State in the Foreign Office proved to be that very nobleman, the Marquis of Salisbury, the former representative of Great Britain – a remarkable fact)," and said : “Go in between the wheels "— the convolving revolutions of policy—"under the cherub,"—the Power of ver. 3, chap. ix., whereon previously the glory of God's power rested—“and fill thine hand with coals of fire"-causes of dispute, as we say, burning questions
.“ from between the cherubims,”—the Great Powers—" and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.”
Now, no sooner was the Marquis of Salisbury brought into the Secretaryship of the Foreign Office than he addressed, on April 1st, 1878, a most decisive circular despatch to Her Majesty's embassies throughout Europe, which, by its clear definition of the political situation, and especially of the desires and determinations of Great Britain, at once arrested the plans of Russia, so that the Russians did not enter Constantinople; while it led to the Great Congress of Berlin on the 13th of June following:
But it was actually the power of Great Britain which, by the hand of the Prime Minister, filled with fire the hand of our ambassador, as it is written in the sixth verse :-“ And it came to pass when He had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels." And as by the seventh verse : “ One cherub "—the British Power—" stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims"
- the other Powers —" unto the fire”—the dispute—“that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen, who took it and went out."
Accordingly, the despatch of the 1st of April led to the Congress of Berlin ; and while it is written (ver. 8): “And there appeared in the cherubim the form of a man's hand under their wings ”—who shall say but that hand, thus mysteriously alluded to, was not the hand of our Prime Minister of Israelitish descent, the Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield ?
Our Prime Minister has for the present obtained for us that which he described as “ Peace with honour;" so accepted, whether rightly or wrongly, by the majority of our people; but the question must still arise-how long ?
True it is that we who write this essay have concluded-and with satisfaction-our second chapter, with that consolatory saying of the words which proceeded from the mouth of the man clothed with linen : “I have done as Thou hast commanded me.” And this must be our present mighty consolation.
But, after all, we cannot but ask how it can be that the continued maintenance of such an Empire as the Turkish can ultimately tend to the securing of a lasting peace ? Peace may continue for a very few years, enough to allow of the return of the Jews to the Holy Land; but the Word of God warns us that Gog-i.e. Russia—will “ descend and come like a storm " into that land " brought forth from the sword, gathered out of many people, like a cloud to cover the land.” That Russia will say: "I will go up to the land of unwalled villages ”-therefore, before the Jews have had time to fortify themselves; and, moreover; how can true peace -- lasting peace-over be made amid countries where false principles of Greekism, Romanism, and Mahomedanism abound.* Appearances are ofttimes deceptive. Peace grounded on ordinary principles of mere human policy has never yet proved lasting, and while we remember God's saying, “ there is no peace to the wicked, and muse over the abominations which have lately passed, and the corruptions which still exist, we may not rest in the peace obtained, nor venture to cry Peace, peace, when there is no true peace ; but look forward with the utmost solicitude, remembering that it is written : os When they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh."
As by the teachings of Ezekiel, coals of fire from between the cherubim were to bo scattered over the city, over Europe and Turkey-burning questions—seeds of future war; and while we endeavour with an humble desire after Divine guidance to interpret the mysterious visions of that prophet, we can but point out the truth as it appears to us and say, that while temporary peace is seemingly set forward, the actual spread of causes of extremo jealousy and heart-burning, is in all probability taking place among all the nations of the earth.
* The Times Correspondent, April 11, 1879, Constantinople, quotes opinions which may be often heard expressed by officials of the Porte, and have appeared in the Turquie. " The Congress of Berlin wished apparently to moderate the ambition of Russia and save the existence of the Turkish Empire ; but in reality it has done neither the one nor the other. It has not weakened Russia, and it has not left Turkey the means of entering on a new and strong state of existence. The Treaty of San Stefano certainly destroyed by a blow of the sword the Ottoman dominion in European Turkey, but it did not leave, comet-like, that long tail of complications, difficulties, and anomalies which we continue to see.
• The Treaty of Berlin maintains the Ottoman dominion in several Provinces of European Turkey, but it maintains it in a state of constant fever.
" What has the Treaty of Berlin given us ? A Bulgaria limited by the Balkans; an Eastern Roumelia which does not wish to be constituted according to the formula of the Congress : Bosnia and Herzegovina transferred to the possession of Austria ; the Island of Cyprus occupied by the English ; a great extent of territory annexed to Montenegro and Servia ; concessions made to Greece ; a war indemnity suspended like a sword of Damocles over Turkey's head ; the disheartening of the population, the prolongation of suffering, confusion in the public conscience ; paralysis of all the forces of the Ottoman Empire ; a dark, uncertain, cloudy future-in a word, chaos. That is what has been produced by the Treaty of Berlin.
" It has hastened and pushed on the precipitate march of events which must enshroud some small states, and may perhaps even enshroud certain great Powers if care be not taken to prevent it."
And now to revert to the tenth chapter under consideration : it appears that after the eighth verse there follows a highly figurative description and detail of the cherubims, which for the present we decline to enter into, only noticing that in the nineteenth verse of the same chapter it is said of them,' every one stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above." By which we understand generally that all the Powers of Europe are contemplated as intensely concerned about the Eastern Question, under the overruling and ever observant eyes of the God of Israel, who almost always, throughout Ezekiel, describes Himself by that name of awful significance in our days, “ the Lord of Hosts."
We proceed in continuation to the vision of the eleventh chapter, which reads thus :
Verse 1. “Moreover the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord's house, which looketh eastward”-denoting that the vision is still concerning the Eastern Question—"and behold at the door of the gate "-here denoting the opening for understanding the whole matter—“five and twenty men ; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.”
Surely it is very remarkable, that following the conference of seven men, ambassadors at Constantinople, with consequent massacres and war in Turkey, we should have seen at Berlin, an ambassadorial conference on the Eastern Question, at which precisely twenty-five men assembled around one table, namely, twenty Plenipotentiaries and five Secretaries. And " among them,” according to our text, were seen two Princes of the people, not princes by birth, but princes created from among the people : the Russian Gortchakoff, and the Prussian Prince Bismarck.
The extra supplement of the Ilustrated London News of June 22nd, 1878, shows this precisely, both by picture, and by ground plan of the table with twenty-five names printed around it.
Of these twenty-five men, it is just possible, that verse the second applies peculiarly to the two Princes seen among them, for it reads: “ Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city."
All men know the nature of the counsels of Prince Gortchakoff in tbe autocratic and aggressive Russian empire ; and the counsel of Prince Bismarck, that " Germany must be made by blood and iron," is entirely opposed to that Word of God, which, referring to the perfect law of liberty, declares concerning that which alone can produce established peace—“not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts ”- saith He who has all power.*
And the prophecy continues, verse 3, “ Which say, It is not near”.
* “It is the moral and purpose of M. Claczko's book, ingeniously and artistically evolved and worked out, that the destiny of Europe has been decided by her two Chancellors; that by express or tacit understanding, they have lent each other a helping hand upon all trying emergencies ; that Prince Gortchakoff answered for the neutrality or inactivity of France during the Austrian war of 1866 ; that Prince Bismarck repaid the obligation by keeping Austria aloof during the Turkish war, which closed with the Treaty of Berlin ; and that it is by the connivance of these two that all the convulsions of Europe during the last twenty years have been brought about."- Quarterly Revicw, January, 1879, p. 124.
referring, whether they know it or not, to the great day of the Lord which closes this dispensation—" let us build houses "-let us construct governments—"this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh ”-that is, they consider themselves as safe from the fire of God's wrath, as flesh within a caldron; this strange and wonderful simile being used, alas ! to denote the awful proximities which surround the actual position of the evil armed governments of these last days, before the closely approaching " last end."
“ Therefore," also it is written, ver. 4,“ prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man."
Verse 5. “And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; thus saith the Lord, Thus have ye said, 0 house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh and this city is the caldron : but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. Ye have feared the sword ; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel : and ye shall know that I am the Lord : for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you."
Our remarks upon the above nine verses may possibly be somewhat lengthy, but we trust to make them as brief as possible, and we hope also worthy of consideration.
Man has alway been in a state of probation; the creature having been made subject unto vanity, as saith the Scriptures -- yet “not willingly but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope."
But man has always, even after receiving help, fallen into forgetfulness of God!
Adam, the old world, the men who built Babel, the Patriarchs who went down into Egypt, their descendants who, brought out of captivity, were constituted a nation, beneath the two houses of Israel and Judah ; all were under probation, and all failed.
Israel, including the whole twelve tribes, was to have been the instructor of the nations in the wisdom and the ways of God: but Israel failed, and first the house of Israel was sent into captivity and scattered abroad; and afterwards the Jews were dispersed among all nations.
The latter having incurred especial displeasure, were to bo a markedly degraded people. The former, were to lose their very name as Israelites : and yet God spake to them, and said, addressing them as the house of Israel apart from the house of Judah, “ Thus saith the Lord
* Here we would refer our readers to that bold outspoken work, entitled, “Modern Christianity : a civilised Heathenism ;” which, while we offer no opinion upon its style or feelings or intermingled principles, can hardly be disallowed as setting forth a terrible amount of undeniable truth. Sixteenth thousand ! Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., London, 1876.