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PREFACE.

The peculiarity of the times is such, and the temptations of Christians are so varied and multiplied, that it seems to be an urgent duty on those who receive light and help from the Holy Scriptures respecting the present state of the world, for their own guidance, to endeavour to communicate that light to others. Impressed by these feelings, the author again addresses his fellow Christians on this subject.

The present Treatise is grounded on a plain prophecy, and happily it is one in which there has been a large consent of Christian interpreters. The immediate application to us in this day, of the first part of this work, arises from the interpretation of the sixth Trumpet in the book of Revelation, as referring to the Turkish Empire. The author has therefore felt it to be desirable to shew, in the beginning, how generally this view has been received by those who have studied this book. He has gathered together various testimonies, by above one hundred witnesses, which might doubtless easily be multiplied, on the fact that the sixth Trumpet refers more or less directly to the Turks, from books in his own library, shewing, amidst many differences in other things, this general agreement. The reader will thus see with his own eyes, that it is no novelty of opinion arising from the peculiar character of these times, but the general interpretation received by Christians of all denominations, Roman Catholics, Greeks, Lutherans, Reformed, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, English, Irish, Scotch, German, Swiss, Dutch, and this interpretation has been maintained for several centuries, even from before the Reformation to the present time. Thus the voice of the Church on this part of the application of the prophecy, has probably been more harmonious than on any other part : the chief number of interpreters of all classes, applying more or less directly the sixth Trumpet to the Turkish Empire.

The signs of the decay of the Turkish Empire are continually manifested in the eyes of Christendom. The Malta Times of the 4th of Feb. 1845, gives the following Hatti Sheriff, read by the Sultan, (according to the information of its correspondent, dated Jan. 25,) in the Supreme Council in the beginning of the previous week, that is, about Jan. 13. The first day of the Mahommedan year, 1261, was Jan. 10. It is an affecting testimony from the Sultan himself, of an expiring empire just as the 1260 years have closed.

· TO MY FAITHFUL GRAND VIZIR,

Since my accession to the Throne, I have made known to the whole world, and have by numerous Hatts and various other Imperial Ordinances, proclaimed my royal intentions, which have for their exclusive object the development of the prosperity of my empire, and the insurance of peace and tranquillity to my subjects. By such means alone can fresh strength be added to our religion and to our country. I had believed that my desires had been generally understood; and although it is almost superfluous to recur to, and enumerate the various objects of my solicitude, it cannot be denied that either from the adoption of false principles, or from other causes, of all the efforts hitherto made to realize my paternal intentions, the reform of the army has alone been followed by any satisfactory results. Although this military reform acquires from day to day, by the grace of God, more stability, yet, as its future success must essentially depend upon the prosperity of my empire, and the welfare of my subjects, it is now organically defective from the want of this proper basis. This causes me an inexpressible grief, and I am deprived of rest by night and by day. In fact, although I have so frequently announced my intentions to my present ministers, and although I have laboured so hard to induce them to unite all their efforts in furthering with zeal and perseverance the good of my people, my endeavours have been

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80 fruitlees that I feel an extreme astonishment, and my Imperial Heart is filled with feelings of grief and disquietude, so deep that they can be known to God alone.

The Hatti Sheriff then goes on to command his ministers to concentrate their energies to devise measures for the prosperity of the empire, specially mentioning schools and a hospital. It is dated 11 Moharrem, 1261, that is, Jan. 21, 1845.

Contrast these affecting tones of this expiring empire with the boasting demands of its rising heroes. Bajazet, surnamed the lightning, at the commencement of the fifteenth century, writes to the Greek Emperor, "By the divine clemency, our invincible scymetar has reduced to our obedience almost all Asia, with many and large countries in Europe, excepting only the city of Constantinople, for beyond the walls thou hast nothing left. Resign that city ; stipulate thy reward ; or tremble for thyself and thy unhappy people at the consequences of a rash refusal.' Mahomet the Second, the conqueror of Constantinople, told the ambassadors of the Greek Emperor just before the conquest in 1453, • Return and inform your King, that the present Ottoman is far different from his predecessors : that his resolutions surpass their wishes ; that he performs more than they could resolve. Return in safety--but the next who delivers a similar message, may expect to be flayed alive.' (See Gibbon, Vol. XI. 458. Vol. XII. 190.) We may well say with David, How are the mighty

fallen, and the weapons of war perished! It would be endless to recount the testimonies to its decay. In Mr. Warburton's Crescent and Cross, the most recently published travels, we are told, “The tide of Islam is now rapidly subsiding into the narrow channel whence it overflowed. Mrs. Poole, in her English women in Egypt, in visiting the Hareem of Habeeb Efendee, when told of the sultan's being required to protect apostates from Islamism, replied with great earnestness, • It is but the fulfilment of prophecy. When I was a little child, I was taught that in this year great things would commence, which would require three

years

for their completion.'

The efforts of the great enemy of souls seem peculiarly directed to keep far away the divine armour of prophecy from the people of Christ. It is so mighty a weapon against him, when grasped by a firm and scriptural faith, that we need not be surprised at Satan's varied efforts to hinder its use. From the days of Porphyry, prophecy has been a special object of attack. But it is peculiarly painful to see a powerful and truly pious mind like Dr. Arnold's, who has done so much for his country by his reforms in school education, and who himself possessed so much spiritual truth and feeling, reviving as his own, the long-ago refuted charges of Porphyry and Collins. (See Jerome on Daniel, Lardner’s Testimony, Chap. XXXVII. on Porphyry, Bishop Chandler's Vindication, Book I. and Dr.

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