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pair: and every thing seemed to portend the speedy dissolution of the Byzantine Empire. Yet the experience of six years at length persuaded Chosroes, to renounce the conquest of Constantinople, and to specify the annual tribute or ransom of the Roman Sovereignty; a thousand talents of gold, a thousand talents of silver, a thousand silken robes, a thousand horses, and a thousand virgins. Heraclius subscribed these ignominious terms : but the time and space, which he obtained to collect such treasures from the poverty of the East, was industriously employed in the preparations of a bold and desperate attack.
(2.) Such was the predicted eclipse of the eastern third part of the heavenly bodies : such were the baneful effects of the east-wind, when liberated in the year 603 by the long-coercing angel of the fourth trumpet.
But, as the characteristic of an eclipse is not permanence, the luminaries of the Greek Empire were destined after a time to recover their lost brilliancy. For the crime of an ambitious centurion, the nation, which he oppressed, was chastised with the calamities of war : and the same calamities, at the end of twenty years, were retaliated and redoubled on the heads of the Persians. By the insolence of Chosroes, the Byzantine Emperor was, at length, roused to manly exertion: the Arcadius of the palace arose the Cesar of the camp: and the honour of Rome and Heraclius was gloriously retrieved by the exploits and trophies of six ad
venturous campaigns. The result of the last decisive battle of Nineveh was the flight and the deposition and the murder of the Persian tyrant: the son of Chosroes abandoned without regret the conquests of his father : the Persians, who evacuated the cities of Syria and Egypt, were honourably conducted to the frontier : and a war, which had wounded the vitals of the two monarchies, produced no change in their external and relative situation'. At this period, the figurative eclipse passed away: and the luminaries of the Eastern Empire again shone forth.
Hist. of Decline, vol. viii. p. 206—256.
PETS OR THE FIRST AND SECOND WOE-TRUMPETS.
The effects, produced by the fourth trumpet, having been symbolically described as a great eclipse of the already shorn luminaries of the Roman Empire; St. John inserts a short explanatory pröem to the three last trumpets.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying in the meridian, saying with a loud voice: Woe,
Woe, Woe, to those who dwell upon the earth from the remaining voices of the trumpet of the three angels who are yet to sound'.
This pröem is of considerable importance in the arrangement of the Apocalypse ; nor is it lightly to be passed over, as a mere general declaration. It plainly indicates the commencement of a new and peculiar period : a period, which, as genus comprehends species, should contain within its chronological limits three successive seasons of eminent yet homogeneous calamity. The four first trumpets are placed together in a single class, both as bearing a general mutual resemblance in their nature,
1 Rev, viii. 13.
and as introducing the four threatened plagues from the four winds of heaven. Then comes the pröem to the three woes: and this pröem draws a strong and distinct line of demarcation between the four first trumpets and the three last trumpets; an arrangement, which thus leaves us no room to doubt as to the propriety of dividing the entire series into two classes, and which thence indicates the trumpets of the second class to bear a common character materially and essentially different from the common character sustained by the trumpets of the first class.
Such being the case, would we learn the common character which the trumpets of the second class may reasonably be supposed to sustain, we must define the common character which the already interpreted trumpets of the first class have actually been found to sustain : for, since the two characters of the two classes are indicated to be essentially different from each other, the definition of the one character will lead, by the rule of inversion, to a right understanding of the other character.
Now the common character of the four first trumpets is purely political. Hence the common character of the three last trumpets, though it may involve much that is political, must yet be something distinct and different; something not political, but yet something marked and peculiar.
What, then, can be the peculiarity, which forms the essence of the character of the three last trumpets, if it be not political ?
1. Clearly, religion, or rather hostility to true religion, must be the characteristic peculiarity of the three woe-trumpets: for the only two subjects, which are treated of in the Apocalypse, are Politics and Religion.
But, if hostility to true religion be the common characteristic of the three woe-trumpets as contradistinguished from their four merely political predecessors, we are immediately led to conclude, that the collective period of the three woe-trumpets is in fact the period of those 1260 years during which the Church is to be given up to the tyranny of the powers of darkness.
With this conclusion, the chronology of the three woe-trumpets will be found exactly to agree. The fourth trumpet, which introduced the plague of the east-wind, began to sound, as we have recently seen, in the year 603. Therefore the collective periods of the three woe-trumpets must, like the period of the latter 1260 years, commence after
I. At the sounding of the fifth trumpet or the first of the three woe-trumpets, a star is seen to fall, or just to complete its fall, from heaven to earth'. It receives a key; and opens with it the pit of the abyss. Forthwith there arises a thick smoke : and, in the midst of it, issues out a vast swarm of locusts with their leader Apollyon at their
Such appears to be the sense of the participle TentwKÓTA, here used: præsens-perfectum. Annot. S. Clarke s. T. P. in Homer. Iliad. lib. i. ver. 37.