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Millerite Signs of the Times February 1, 1840 by Josiah Litch


And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up.

We have had numerous questions propounded relative to the fall of the Ottoman power within the three last months, both by the friends and opponents of our cause. As we wish to give a full and distinct answer to them all, we present the following article for the satisfaction of that class of our readers. They will not only find all their question's answered, but we hope their faith in the word of God will be confirmed.


The time and event above named have excited deep interest in the public mind for more than a year past. It is therefore proper that the whole subject should be carefully reviewed, and the exact state of the case presented.


The calculations are founded on the 9th chapter of Revelation. Therefore, without entering into a very minute exposition of the chapter, it will be sufficient to give the outline of the views entertained in reference to it.

1. The fifth trumpet is believed to have introduced the Mohamedan delusion, and the time of its sounding to be divided into two periods. The first devoted to the general spread and establishment of the Mohamedan religion; the second to the wearing out and tormenting of the Greek kingdom, under Ottoman and his successors, but without conquering it. The period of torment was to be five (prophetic) months, or 150 years; beginning when the Mohamedan powers, of which the Ottoman empire was com- posed, had a king over them and began under him their assault on the Greeks. But from the time of Mahomet to the days of Othman, they were divided into various factions, under different leaders. Othman gathered those factions and consolidated them into an empire, himself the chief.

2. The sixth trumpet changed the nature of the war carried on between the Turks and Greeks from torment to death, political death, which was to take place at the end of the five months, or 150 years.

With these general remarks I will present the original calculation made on these prophetic periods, that the reader may have distinctly before him what we were to anticipate, and compare it with what has actually taken place. Let it be borne in mind, this was not written in 1840 and after the llth of August, and so adapted to meet the events of that day ; but it was written in May, 1838, It may be found in a book entitled

" CHRIST'S SECOND COMING," by J. Litch, published by D. H. Ela, Boston, p. 153—158.

"It was given after the rise of the Ottoman empire, to torment or harass and weaken men (the Roman empire in the east) five months. If these are prophetic months, as is probable, it would be one hundred and fifty years. But when did that empire rise ? Mr. Miller has fixed on A. D. 1298. Others, among whom is Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1299. He says—- Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia, on the 27th of July, 1299. He also remarks on the singular accuracy of the date, a circumstance not often found in the history of those times. He says—" The singular accuracy with which this event, is given, seems to indicate some foresight of the rapid growth of the monster."

If we date the origin of this empire in 1299, the hundred and fifty years would end, 1449. During that length of time, the eastern empire of Rome was harassed beyond measure by the Ottoman power, but was,not subjected entirely to it. The year 1448, Amurath, the Turkish Sultan, besieged Coria, one of the strongest cities in the Roman empire. The end of the five months would come the next year. We should naturally look for some great defeat of the Christian emperor's army.- But was it so? So far from it, that after a long summer's seige and a great loss of men, the fall coming on and the rains setting in, the Turks raised the seige and retired. The empire was now left in peace. One would be almost inclined to think the word of prophecy must now fail.

But the time came, and the word of God was confirmed by the event. " John Paleologus, emperor of Constantinople, was dead, and his brother, Constantine Deacozes, would not venture to ascend the throne without the permission of Amurath, the Turkish Sultan. He sent ambassadors to ask his consent before he presumed to call himself sovereign. This happened A. D. 1449. This shameful proceeding seemed to pressage the approaching downfall of the empire. Ducas, the historian, counts John Peleologus for the last Greek emperor, without doubt, because he did not consider as such, a prince who had not dared to reign without the permission of his enemy." (Hawkins1 Otto. Emp. p. 113).

Gibbon an infidel, is so struck with the singular accuracy of the record of the origin of this empire, that he attributes it to some foresight in the historian, of the rapid growth of the monster. But would it not become Christians better, to attribute it to the superintending providence of that Being who had set a bound for that and other empires, which they may not pass? who had given them power to harass and torment the empire of Constantinople five months; and to kill or subject it to their own sway, an hour, a day, a month, and a year; the whole being five hundred and forty-one years and fifteen days.

The sixth trumpet sounded ; and a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, said to the sixth angel which had the trumpet " Loose the four angels which are bound in the great rivet Euphrates." And the four angels were loosed which were prepared for an hour, a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

The four angels denote ministers of judgment. They refer to the four nations of the Seljukan Turks of which the Ottoman empire was composed, located near the river Euphrates, at Aleppo, Iconiom, Damascus, and Bagdad. Up to the period of 1449 they had indeed tormented the Christian empire but could not subject it. When the sixth trumpet sounded, God seems to have overawed the Greek emperor, and all power of independence seems, as in a moment, to have fled. He, in a most strange and unaccountable manner, voluntarily acknowledged that he reigned by the permission of the Turkish Sultan. The Turks very soon after addressed themselves to the work of reducing Constantinople. This they effected, A. D. 1453, four years after the emperor obtained permission to ascend the throne. The last third of the ancient Roman empire was now reduced by Turkish arms. The number of horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand; what this number means, expositors have been at a loss to determine. But I am inclined to believe with Mr. Miller, that it means two hundred thousand twice told, making 400,000, in all.. What makes this probable, is the fact, that the Turks usually had from three to four hundred thousand horsemen in their army. They had, when Constantinople was taken, three hundred thousand, and some say, four hundred thousand horsemen, beside many foot, and a fleet.

Since the fifth trumpet sounded, there has been an astonishing change in the arms of the Turks. They, then had breastplates of iron, and were armed with dirks and scimetars. Now the scene is changed, and they are prepared with breast- plates of fire, and of jacinth and brimstone. And out of the mouths of the horses, proceeded fire, smoke, and brimstone. Their power was in their mouth and tail; their tails were like serpents; long, cylindrical instruments like serpents with heads in them (bullets) with which they did hurt. This description has long been considered by- expositors as a description of fire arms and gun- powder. And, indeed, I do not know how any one who knew nothing of such instruments could describe them more clearly. The design of these plagues is stated in the twentieth verse. It was to lead the people on whom these plagues were inflicted, to repent of their sins and break them of devil worship, &c. But they did not re- pent, neither of their murders, nor their sorceries, nor fornications, nor of their thefts. They, like most on whom the judgments of God fall, remain impenitent to this day; and the Turks continue to oppress them.

But when will this power be overthrown ? According to the calculations already made, that the five months ended 1449, the hour, fifteen days, the day, one year, the month, thirty years, and the year, three hundred and sixty years; in all, three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days, will end in A. D. 1840, some time in the month of August. The prophecy is the most remarkable and definite, (even descending to the days) of any in the Bible, relating to these great events. It is as singular as the record of the time when the empire rose. The facts are now before the reader, and he must make what disposition of them he thinks best.

From the foregoing extract it will be perceived

1. That the 150 years began by a simple invasion of a Greek province, by Othman, July 27, 1299.

2. That at the termination of 150 years from that date, the Greeks voluntarily parted with their supremacy and independence, by virtually acknowledging they could not maintain their throne without the permission of the Mahomedans. Thus, from that time the Christian Government of Greece was under Turkish domination and about three years after, fell a victim to Turkish arms.

3. But what termination of Ottoman power were we to expect, in view of the manner of the origin of the Ottoman power in Constantinople? Most certainly, if we reason from analogy, a voluntary surrender of Turkish supremacy in Constantinople, to Christian Influence.

4. What is the history of the Ottoman power for the last year? The Sultan has been engaged in a quarrel with Mehemet Ali, Pacha of Egypt. The Pacha had rebelled against his master, the Sultan, declared his independence, and conquered a considerable portion of the Sultan's dominions, together with his fleet. These he refused to surrender.

"Subsequent to the occurrence of the disputes alluded to, and after the reverses experienced, as known to all the world, the ambassadors of the great powers at Constantinople, in a collective official note, declared, that their governments were unanimously agreed upon taking measures to arrange the said differences, and the Sublime Port, with a view of putting a stop to the effusion of Muslemen blood, .and to the various evils which would arise from a renewal of hostilities, accepted the intervention of the great powers. His excellency SHEKIH EFFENDI, the Bey likgiz, was therefore, dispatched as plenipotentiary to represent the Sublime Port at the conference which took place in London, (July 15, 1840.) for the purpose in question." (Extract from a translation of an official article from the Moniteur Ottoman, Aug. 22d.)

This conference was composed of England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The following extract from the same official document above quoted, shows the decision of the conference.

" It having been felt that all the zealous labours of the conferences of London in the settlement of the Pacha's pretentions were useless, and that the only public way was to have recourse to coercive measures to reduce him to obedience in case he persisted in not listening to pacific overtures, the powers have, together with the OTTOMAN PLENOPOTENTIARY, drawn up and signed a treaty, whereby the Sultan offers the Pacha the hereditary Government of Egypt, and of all that part of Syria extending from the Gulf of Suez to the Lake of Tiberius, together with the province of Acre, for life; the Pacha on his part evacuating all the other parts of the Sultan's dominions, now occupied by him, and returning the Ottoman fleet. A certain space of time has been granted him to accede to these terms, and as the proposals of the Sultan and his Allies, the Four Powers, do not admit of any change or qualification, if the Pacha refuse to accede to them, it is evident that the evil consequences to fall upon him will be attributable solely to his own fault. His Excellency, Rifant Bey, Mustesbar for Foreign Affairs, has been dispatched to Alexandria in a government steamer, to communicate their ultimatum to the Pacha."

From the foregoing extracts it appears the Sultan felt his weakness and most gladly accepted the intervention of the great Christian powers of Europe to assist him in maintaining his empire. In case war was the result of the decisions of the London conference, it, to all intents and purposes threw his dominions into the hands of those powers. As long as the decision of that conference was in his hands, he maintained his independence ; but the ultimatum once suffered to pass from him into Mehemet's hands, and 'the question of war or peace between Mehemet and his Allies was beyond his control; and if it did result in war, it must throw him entirely into the hands of the great powers. If Mehemet acceded to the ultimatum and the difficulties were peacefully adjusted, he would still remain independent, and support his own throne. When then was the question put officially within the power of Mehemet Ali?

The following extract of a letter from a correspondent of the London Morning Chronicle of September 18, 1840, dated Constantinople, Aug. 27th, will answer the question. Let it be understood Rifaat Bey left Constantinople for Egypt, August 5th, with the ultimatum.

'By the French Steamer of the 24th, we have advices from Egypt to the 16th; they show no alteration in the resolution of the Pacha. Confiding in the valor of his Arab army, and in the strength of the fortifications which defend his capital, he seems determined to abide by the last alternative ; and as recourse to this is, there- fore, now inevitable, all hope may be considered at an end of a termination of the affair without bloodshed. Immediately on the arrival of the Cyclops steamer with the news of the convention with the Four Powers, Mehemet A.H, it is stated, had quitted Alexandria to make a short tour through Lower Egypt: the object of his absenting himself at such a moment being partly to avoid conferences with the European Consuls, but principally to endeavor by his own presence to rouse the fanaticism of the Bedium tribes, and facilitate the raising of his new levies. During the interval of this absence, the Turkish government steamer, which had reached Alexandria on the llth, with the envoy, Rifaat Bey, on board, had been by his orders placed in quarantine, and she was not released from it till the 16th.

Previous, however, to the Port's leaving, viz. on the very day on which he had been admitted to pratique, the above named functionary had had an audience of the Pacha, and had communicated to him the command of the Sultan with respect to the evacuation of the Syrian Provinces, appointing another audience for the following day, when in the presence of the consuls of the European powers, he would receive from him his definite answer, and inform him of the alternative of his refusing to obey, giving him the ten days which have been allotted him by the convention to decide on the course he should think fit to adopt. But though this period must still elapse before his reply can be officially received, it may be said, in fact, to be already known, for, nothing daunted by the presence of the Bellerophon, which, with four other vessels, whose names are not given, is stated to have anchored off the port on the 14th, he had at once expressed to Rifaat Bey his resolution of confiding in the success of his army; and- the preparations he is making for a determined resistance are a sufficient earnest of his intention to keep to it."

From this letter, it appears, Rifaat Bey arrived at Alexandria on the llth of August, and threw the decision of the affair into the hands of Mehemet Ali. And from that time it was out of the Sultan's power to control the affair. It lay with Mehemet Ali to say whether there should be war or peace. True, the Turkish envoy did not have an audience with the Pacha until the 14th, avid did not receive his answer until the 15th, yet it was entirely under Mehemet's control, and not the Sultan's, after the llth.

But was the Sultan's throne in danger from Mehemet, that he needed the support of the great powers, and thus threw himself into their hands for support? Let the following extract from a manifesto he had put forth about the 20th of August and caused to be read in the Mosques, day after day, answer. It is taken from the same letter with the above extracts.

"The Port, in order to counteract this (the pretensions of Mehemet} has deemed it necessary to publish a manifesto, laying before its subjects a statement of affairs from the commencement of the quarrel up to ,the present period, and proving to them by the clearest arguments, that the Pacha himself is the enemy of their region, and that the object he is aiming at is to DETHRONE THE SULTAN, and warning them, under the severest penalties, against receiving and circulating the doctrines he (Mehemet} is preaching to them." If we can give any credit to the sincerity of the Sultan in putting forth this manifesto, he did consider his throne in danger from Mehemet.

The truth is, the Otto- man power in Constantinople was impotent, and could do nothing toward sustaining itself; and it has been since the 11th of August, entirely under the dictation of the great christian powers of Europe. Nor can it longer stand at all, than they hold it up. Finally, the London Morning Herald is tight when it says. (See the Signs of the Times Jan. 1. 1841,) " The Otto- man government is reduced to the rank of a puppet, and that the sources of its strength are entirely dried up."

In conclusion : I am entirely satisfied that on the llth of August, 1840, The Ottoman power according to previous calculation, DEPARTED TO RETURN NO MORE. I can now say with the utmost confidence,"The second woe is past and behold the third woe cometh quickly." " Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he. walk naked and they set his shame." L* 

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