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by the promises of Divine support by the way, and the hopes of eternal glory at the end. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

I BEG leave to offer, for the consideration of your readers, the following remarks on the prophecies of Scripture relating to the Mohammedans, as a sort of supplement to a paper on the same subject in the Christian Observer for December 1802, signed JUVENIS. The events which have recently taken place in reference to Turkey, give new interest to the prophecies relating to the Mohammedan religion; and I cannot but hope that an attentive examination of them will lead to instruction and edification.

It is a singular circumstance, that Mohammed himself said that the prevalence of his doctrines should continue for twelve centuries. As Mohammed was not an inspired prophet, no stress must be laid upon his declaration. It however so happens, that if we deduct twelve centuries from the year 1826, we recur to the year of our Lord 626. Bishop Newton, commenting on Rev. ix. 1-12, observes concerning that very year (626) as follows: As the natural locusts are bred in pits and holes of the earth, so these mystical locusts are truly infernal, and proceed with the smoke from the bottomless pit." "It is also a remarkable remarkable coincidence," continues the Bishop," that at this time the sun and the air were literally darkened. For we learn from an eminent Arabian historian, that in the seventeenth year of Hera

clius half the body of the sun was eclipsed; and this defect continued from the former Tisria to Haziran (that is, from October to June), so that only a little of its light appeared. This seventeenth year of Heraclius coincides with the year of Christ 626, and with the fifth year of the Hegira; and at this time Mohammed was training and exercising his followers in depredations at home, to fit and prepare them for greater conquests abroad."

Paulus Diaconus (alleged by Hospinian in his work de Origine Imaginum, p. 178,) relates a circumstance not less remarkable than the one mentioned by Bishop Newton. He 66 says, Vapor, ut ex camino ignis, visus est ebullire inter Theram et Therasiam insulas ex profundo maris, per aliquot dies; quo paulatim incrassato et dilatato, igniti æstûs incendio, totus fumus igneus monstrabatur. Porro crassitudine terrenæ substantiæ petrinos pumices grandes, et cumulos quosdam transmisit, per totam Minorem Asiam," &c.

This event happened precisely at the time when Mohammed began to preach, and Pope Boniface the IVth dedicated the Pantheon to the images of the saints and martyrs, as may be seen in Hospinian: so that the event and coincidence confirm, that the Mohammedan apostasy, like the empire of ancient Persia, was permitted to prevail for the special purpose of punishing those who worshipped the works of their own hands, and demons, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, as expressly declared in Rev. ix. 20, 21.

In respect to the star which falls from heaven, Mr. Brightman, an old commentator, who published on the Revelation in 1618, is of opinion that by it is signified both the Mohammedan and Papal arch-apostates: the latter especially, in the character of the usurper of the key of Hades: to which opinion I most cordially assent, though I do not undertake the defence of it; but only

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of Bishop Newton's application of the fifth and sixth trumpets to the Mohammedans.

The time allotted to the first woe, which is the effect of the fifth trumpet, is five months. I am not aware that before Lord Napier, the inventor of Logarithms, discovered that a day prophetically signifies a year, any person suspected that it did so. He published in 1588, and his calculation of the times of Popery terminated in 1697 or 1700 (Floyer's Appendix to the Sibylline Oracles, p. 327; and Napier on Rev. xiv. 20.) Five months, according to this account, amount to 150 years; but as this period is twice mentioned, some have supposed that the entire number is 300 years. But what is most important is, to notice that all admit that the period of time allotted to the sixth trumpet and its effects is declared to be finished, in the words "The second woe is past," long before the ruin of the Saracen empire.

Sir John Floyer gives us the following chronological series of events in that empire.

A. D. 622. Mohammed was the first commander of the Saracens. He fled from Mecca in 622, when his Hegira begins.

637. Omar conquered Syria, Persia, Palestine, and Egypt.

638. Jerusalem was taken, after two years' siege; and it was then agreed that the Christians should not wear turbans, nor part their hair, as they did; but should wear girdles, and shave the fore-part of their head. 639. All Syria conquered by the Saracens.

640. Persia conquered. 641. Antioch destroyed, Damascus taken, Phenicia invaded, and Egypt subdued.

648. Osman conquered Barbary. 655. Muhavias conquers Rhodes and Cyprus.

663. He conquers Asia Minor, and invades Sicily.

685. Abdimelech began the conquest of Mesopotamia and Armenia

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1322. It comes to its end.

Bishop Newton further notes, that "Their commission is to hurt only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads-that is, who are not the true servants of God, but are corrupt and idolatrous Christians. Now, from history it appears evidently, that in those countries of Asia, Africa, and Europe, where the Saracens extended their conquests, the Christians were generally guilty of idolatry, in the worshipping of saints, if not of images; and it was the pretence of Mohammed and his followers to chastise them for it, and to re-establish the unity of the Godhead. The parts which remained the most free from the general infection were Savoy, Piedmont, and the south of France, which were afterwards the nurseries and habitations of the Waldenses and Albigenses: and it is very remarkable, that when the Saracens approached those parts they were defeated with great slaughter, by the famous Charles Martel, in several engagements."

If, then, there be a prophecy of the latter times more exactly and strikingly proved to have been fulfilled than another, it is the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, as explained by Bishop Newton. I am aware that many persons fix their attention on the difficulties which attend every question of this kind; asserting that the true explanation must answer in all points. But what religious or moral principle is free from difficulties? The truth is, that prophecy is "a light shining more and more unto perfect day;" and when the perfect day shall arrive, prophecy shall then cease, as does the dawn when the sun is risen. If, then, we will not attend to the warnings of prophecy, which accompany, and are attested by, the fulfilment of

prophetical miracle connected with them, till every difficulty be removed, we shall lose the entire benefit which prophecy was intended to bestów namely, that, "seeing we know these things before, we beware lest we also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from our own stedfastness." 2. Pet. iii. 17. If we seriously reflect upon the consequences of in attention to any part of the word of God, we shall not be deterred from attention to it, because all the diffi culties in the entire subject neither have been, nor can now be, removed; for, the light, which is to shine more and more unto perfect day, must in the mean time shine merely in part. But it is urged, that interpreters so widely differ that it is clear the time is not come for understanding the prophecies. In reply, I can bear my testimony that I have examined many works on this subject, and that the charge is not true. That all expositors agree in all things, is not maintained; but that many agree in many, and those most essential points, is undeniably true..

In proof of this position I shall make a few references to high authorities.

"The event" (says Sir I. Newton) "will prove the Apocalypse; and this prophecy, thus proved and under stood, will open the old prophets; and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it. For he that will understand the old prophets, must begin with this; but the time is not yet come for under standing them perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet accomplished. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets; and then, the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever.' Apoc. *. 7; xi. 15.

"There is already so much of the

prophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in this study may see sufficient instances of God's providence; but then, the signal revolutions, predicted by all the holy prophets, will at once both turn men's eyes upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them. Till then we must content ourselves with interpreting what hath been already fulfilled. Amongst the interpreters of the last age there is scarce one of note who hath not made some discovery worth knowing; and thence I seem to gather that God is about opening these mysteries. The success of others put me upon considering it; and if I have done any thing which may be useful to following writers, I have my design."—(Sir I. Newton on Daniel and the Apocalypse, p. 252.)

Whiston is the most exact commentator on the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, which is our immediate subject; and he says: "The reader must give me leave to say somewhat about, that grand rule of interpretation, which is of so great importance to the understanding of the Apocalypse; and the neglect whereof I look upon to have been the general occasion of almost all the errors of expositors, one way or other. I mean, that the order of all the visions is to be wholly taken from intrinsic characters in the book itself, and not at all to be conformed to any particular hypotheses or explanations; and that from such an order, first established, all the certainty and evidence of future applications is to be derived; and without such order so established, all expositions must be precarious and uncertain, and only depend on the fancy of every commentator. was the great Mr. Mede's settled and constant judgment in this matter; and his attempt, being built on this method, had such vast and unexpected success, that the body of the Protestant churches have generally declared themselves satis

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fied in the greatest part of his foundations, and of his superstructure. The learned Dr. H. More and Monsieur Jurieu generally follow Mr. Mede, and so are certainly some of our best commentators on this book." (Whiston's Essay on the Revelation, p. 107.)

My third testimony is that of Bishop Warburton. "How extravagant soever," says the Bishop, "some Protestant interpreters have been, when they gave a loose to their imaginations, yet the soberest of them have universally concurred with the wildest, that the man of sin, this Antichrist, could be no other than the man that fills the papal chair, whose usurpation in Christ's kingdom, and tyranny over conscience, by intoxicating the kings of the earth with the cup of his enchantments and himself with the blood of the saints, so eminently distinguishes him from all the other unjust powers, that the various churches who broke loose from his enchantments, agreed in supporting the vindication of their liberty on this common principle, that the Pope, or Church of Rome, was the very Antichrist foretold. On this was the Reformation begun and carried on on this the great separation from the Church of Rome was conceived and perfected: for, though persecution for opinion would acquit those of schism whom the the Church of Rome had driven from her communion; yet, on the principle that she is Antichrist, they had not only a right, but lay under the obligation of a command, to come out of the spiritual Babylon.

On this principle (the common ground, as we say, of the Reformation), the several Protestant churches, how different soever in their various models, were all erected, though, in course of time, some of the less stable have slipped beside their foundation." - (Bishop Warburton's Works, vol. v., p. 448.)

All these writers agree, that the Papacy is Antichrist, and that the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse predicts the pest of Mohammedanism.

A notioribus ad minus nota is the method of all sensible inquirers; and in the use of this method, Jurieu has in a few pages shewn the agreements of Protestants and Romanists respecting the meaning of the prophecies relating to Antichrist; discovered the point where their two systems diverge; shewn the error of the Romanists in diverging at this point, and completely refuted them: and most cordially do I subscribe to the closing remark of his admirable work, the Continuation of the Accomplishment of the Prophecies:-" We know of no Christian church in the West, except the Church of Rome, that doth not discern the papacy to be the anti-Christianism that is prophetically described in the New Testament. The most famous lights of the Church of England have taught us almost every thing that we know concerning that subject. Bishop Usher, Mr. Mede, and Dr. Bedle, and an hundred such as they, will easily carry the day above a thousand late writers, if there be so many."

SENIOR.

MISCELLANEOUS.

THE last Number of the "AntiSlavery Monthly Reporter" contains some very important facts and arguments, under the head of WestIndian Statistics; the substance of CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 308.

which readers.

we shall lay before our

A bold attempt having been made of late to refute the positions that the slave population of the 30

West Indies is decreasing, and that this decrease is mainly connected with sugar cultivation, it appears, justly remarks the "Reporter," to be the least exceptionable mode of arriving at the truth, to exhibit in a tabular form the statistical facts, bearing on the subject, which may be gleaned from the returns furnished by the colonial authorities, and laid before Parliament. For this tabular synopsis, which appears to have been drawn up with considerable labour and care, we must refer our readers to the " Reporter" itself; but the following are among the appalling results which it furnishes. It appears that the whole decrease of the slave population in our West-India colonies has amounted in six years to about 28,000, being 33 per cent., or

per cent. per annum. When we compare this with the growth of the slave population in the United States of America, where the increase proceeds at the rate of nearly 24 per cent. per annum, it involves a destruction of life equal to 3 per cent. per annum. At the American rate of increase, the slave population of the British West Indies, which in 1818 was 746,651, ought in 1824 to have been 858,648. Its actual amount in that year was only 713,317, leaving a deficit of 145,331, as compared with that rate of increase, which, with all the common disadvantages of a state of bondage, marks the superiority of the United States in the physical treatment of their slaves, and especially in respect to the larger quantity of their food, and the smaller portion of labour exacted from them; for on these must the rate of increase or decrease mainly depend. Now there must be something peculiarly deleterious in the British colonial system which can produce such fearful results-results which form of themselves a

complete answer to every attempt, however confidently made, and by whatever shew of evidence supported, which goes to exculpate that

system from the charge of cruelty, or to represent its administration as humane and lenient.

From the statistical details in the Reporter, a few plain inferences seem fairly deducible.

1. That the slave population of the West Indies continues to de

crease.

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This single fact we hold to establish incontrovertibly, against the system of slavery prevailing in our colonies, the charge of cruelty, and to disprove the evidence which has been alleged in favour of its general lenity. The treatment of the slaves, we are confidently told, has greatly improved of late. Who are they who tell us so? They are the resident planters, the very men whose character and conduct are involved in the question, and who have not only now, but in every successive stage of this discussion, from 1787 downwards, used precisely the same language. The declarations of the colonial legislatures, of the resident planters, of naval and military officers, of medical men, and even of clergymen, were to the full as strong in favour of the lenity of the system in the early periods of the controversy as in the present day. One main cause of this unvarying eulogy, doubtless, is, that, at all times, men, who are interested in upholding any system, are found very dexterous in palliating every circumstance connected with it which might endanger its stability. It is obvious that this tendency will be greatly increased, when those who have an interest in the system are actually engaged in its administration. Their reputation is then involved in its defence. Their pride and self-love impel them to support it, and to resent every attack upon it as a personal attack on themselves. But besides this, it is perfectly natural that men should mistake the growing, and almost unavoidable, diminution of their own sensibility to its evils, for an improvement of the system itself. They can recollect the horror

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