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“ laid waste Egypt, which was formerly so po.". " pulous and well cultivated. The French are " true Mussulmans-They have at all times been: " the true and sincere friends of the Ottoman Em-> “ perors, and the enemies of their enemies. May " the empire of the Sultan therefore be eternal;
but may the Beys of Egypt, our opposers, whose " insatiable avarice has continually excited dis“ obedience and insubordination, be. trodden in “ the dust and annihilated ! Our friendship shall “ be extended to those of the inhabitants of " Egypt who shall join us, as also to those who
shall remain in their dwellings and observe a
strict neutrality, and when they have seen our " conduct with their own eyes hasten to submit to “ us; but the dreadful punishment of death awaits " those, who shall take up arms for the Beys and " against us. For them there shall be no delivera 6s ance, nor shall any trace of them remain-All: “ the inhabitants of Egypt shall offer up thanks to " the Supreme Being, and put up public prayers. “ for the destruction of the Beys. May the " Supreme God make the glory of the Sultan of " the Ottomans eternal, pour forth his wrath on " the Mamalucs, and render glorious the destiny “ of the Egyptian nation *.”
This man, this tender respecter of the rights of nations and individuals, has since become Emperor.
* Cited by Kett, Hist. the Interp. Vol. 11. p. 258 261.
of the French; and, yet more recently, like Charlemagne, the uncontrouled Emperor of the West. There is no reason to suppose, that success will render him less ambitious; or that his conquests in Europe will induce him to give up his schemes against Palestine and Egypt. We may frequently observe a sort of undecided coincidence in the inspired writers, and in no instance perhaps more than in the present. It is predicted, that, at the time of the end, Antichrist and his vassals shall invade the East, and oppose the return of the converted Jews; but that some mighty mari, time nation, evidently hostile to Antichrist, shall be the carriers of God's message to them, and the appointed instruments of bringing them as a present to the Lord of hosts. Now Joel styles the army of Antichrist the northern army *; by which, I think, 'we can only understand, that to a person in the holy land it should appear as coming from the north. Such being the case, the route of Antichrist will be through Greece and Asia Minor; unless indeed, what is not very probable, we suppose him to circuit the Euxine. Accordingly Daniel represents his progress as being by land, and not by sea; as being an expedition, in which he should enter into the countries and overflow and pass over, previous to his entering also into the glorious land, and previous to the land
* Joel ii, 20,
not not escaping him*. But why should this expedition be undertaken by land, rather than by sea ? The answer is afforded us by Isaiah, in the course of the prophecy now under consideration : a mighty maritime power shall be friendly to the converted Jews, and therefore hostile to Antichrist ; consequently the same fleets, which will assist in the restoration of the former, will be an effectual obstacle to any maritime expedition upon a large scale undertaken by the latter. It is worthy of notice, that, as the prophets exactly coincide with each other respecting the route of Antichrist being by land and not by sea, so the existing posture of affairs exactly coincides with the declarations of the prophets. In the first edition of my Dissertation on the 1269 days, I had not an opportunity of noticing the direful conclusion of the war be. tween France and Austria ; a war undertaken with every reasonable human prospect of success, yet ä war which has given to a foreign usurper the sceptre of Charlemagne : I could only then ob. serve in general terms, that, without presuming to foretell its issue, the Christian could not reasonably doubt that the hand of God is now stretched forth over the earth in a peculiar and remarkable manner; and that all things would assuredly work together to fulfil those prophecies which yet remain unaccomplished, and to prepare a way for the
last tremendous manifestations of God's wrath *. The battle of Austerlitz has since decided the fate of the Roman Emperor *, and has opened to Buonaparte a free passage into the very heart of the Turkish dominions : nor can he surely be deemed guilty of any very great presumption, who is inclined to believe, that the late signal humiliation of Austria, and her constrained cession to France of Istria, Friuli, and Dalmatia, serve only to pave the way for the last tremendous enterprize of the infidel king. The downfall of the Ottoman empire, predicted under the sixth vial, is placed by St. John previous to the expedition of the beast and the false prophet into Palestine, and is apparently represented by him as being preparatory to it. What length of time indeed may be occupied in the preparations for this expedition, the Apostle does not determine; that a considerable length of time will be necessary for the complete organization of the great confederacy, seems only reasonable to ima. gine; but that the fall of the Ottoman empire will pave the way for it, appears to be almost asserted by St. John.
The tenor both of the present and the preceding prophecy necessarily leads us to conclude, that, at
* Postscript to Preface, 1st Edit.
+ Subsequent to my writing this, the chief of the house of Austria has formally abdicated the title of Emperor of the Romans, and has been constrained to dissolve officially the Germanic constitution. August 1806.
the period of their accomplishment, the Jews will abound in the land of Egypt. Mr. Niebuhr accordingly informs us, that “ the Jews are the most “ numerous class in Cairo, next after the Moham“ medans and the Copts. Some Pharisees or “ Talmudists reside here, as well as Karaites; who, " though not numerous, have a synagogue of their
own. ' The Talmudists are numerous and power
ful. They have long farmed all the customs; “ an undertaking, which brings them both wealth “ and credit. In the republican government of “ Egypt they find it easier to gain steady pro. " tectors, than in the other provinces of Turkey, “ where all depends upon the caprice of a Pacha “ who knows not how soon he may lose his place, " or of the superintendant of the customs who re“ sides in Constantinople. One proof of the “ consequence, which the Jews enjoy under the “ aristocracy of Cairo, is, that the offices of the "customs are shut upon their sabbath, and no
goods can pass on that day, although belonging " to Christians or Mussulmans *.”.
The prophet, having now foretold the temporary calamities' which the Egyptians should experience from the invasion of Antichrist, proceeds to announce their conversion to genuine Christianity. In the midst of their troubles, when they cry unto the Lord because of their oppressors, he shall
* Travels, Vol. i. p. 102.