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by Dr. John Thomas
The dragon, of whose dominion this city became the seat after Constantine transferred the government from Rome, was the desolator of the Hebrew commonwealth.
He destroyed the city and temple, scattered Judah, and consumed the land with fire and sword.
These have been its works for nearly 1,900 years.
But of this long period, a portion has been separated which should reach to the time when "that determined should be poured upon the desolator".
Now, that "which is determined" is the wrath of God contained in the sixth vial, and which is appointed to be poured out upon the eastern division of the Greco-Roman Dragon.
When we look into the history of our own time, it is easy to perceive that the sixth vial began in 1820–3.
The other vials had been exhausted principally upon the western division of the empire, with the exception of the second, which affected the east and west alike.
The sixth, however, is poured out primarily upon the east, and drying up the desolator's dominion there, pours on until its stream is commingled with that of the seventh, by which both the east and west are wrapped in a universal conflagration, which terminates in the final destruction of the little horn, or two-horned beast and his prophet; the subjection of the ten kingdoms to the dragon of Constantinople; and lastly, their combined overthrow at the battle of Armageddon by the Lord of hosts.
The details of the sixth and seventh vials are amplified in that portion of the Apocalypse beginning at the fourteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter, and ending at the sixth of the twentieth.
But to return to the sixth.
The sixth trumpet brought up the four dynastic powers from the Euphrates, which was the western boundary of their domain.
They crossed this river under Alp Arslan, who, at the head of an immense cavalry, invaded the Roman dragon.
After "an hour and a day, and a month, and a year" from the invasion; that is, 360 years added to 30, added to 1 year and 30 days, which is equal to 391 years 30 days -- the period of Turkish preparation to seize the dragon's throne was complete.
On May 29th, 1453, Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks, who have retained it to this day.
The predecessor of Alp Arslan was Togrul Beg, who was constituted lieutenant of the prophet by the last of the Califs.
Togrul's successors down to the last Sultan inherited this lieutenancy, by which they were regarded as the political and spiritual head of the Mohammedan world.
The judgment of the sixth vial is to take away his supremacy, and to wrest from him the dragon's sceptre.
This is termed "drying up the waters of the Euphrates"; which occurs for the purpose of bringing about the restoration of Israel, who by the constitution of Sinai, are "a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation," and to whom belongs the adoption, through which "the kings of the east" are provided.
Now, when the Turks obtained possession of Constantinople, the Catholics were doomed to one of three things -- to turn Mussulman, to pay tribute, or to suffer death; and for apostates there was no mercy.
In June, 1844, which was 391 years and 30 days from the capture of the city, and the imposition of these conditions upon the conquered, religious liberty and the right of apostasy were conceded at the instance of the western powers.
This was 782 years and 2 months from Alp Arslan's invasion.
These facts suggested to me a principle of calculation in relation to the passing away of the Sultan's supremacy.
It was 396 years 131 days from Togrul Beg's investiture by the commander of the faithful, to the taking of Constantinople.