Prophecy As Related To The “Eastern Question” -- By: George F. Herrick

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 027:106 (Apr 1870)
Article: Prophecy As Related To The “Eastern Question”
Author: George F. Herrick


Prophecy As Related To The “Eastern Question”

Rev. George F. Herrick

The Turkish capital is one of the great centres of the world’s political and religious strife. And although now, for more than a decade of centuries, the interest of the historic drama — national, philosophical, and religious—has been moving westward from the old world centres; yet one looking out from this point of observation cannot fail to see that the near future is sure to startle the apathetic Oriental in all these lands with most important events in both church and state. To a Christian mind the interest in all these passing and prospective movements concerns their relation and significance with reference to the coming of the kingdom of Christ, the establishment of the civitas Dei on the earth.

It is generally acknowledged that this generation is witnessing the fulfilment of some of the more remarkable and interesting prophecies of the book of Revelation. The states of Southern and Southeastern Europe are undergoing marvellous changes. The day of papal supremacy in national affairs is long since past; its influence even is well-nigh gone. What a contrast is Pius IX. in 1869, in respect of European influence, to Hildebrand in the latter part of the eleventh century, or to Innocent III. in the beginning of the thirteenth!

Believing the positions and arguments and historical interpretations of Mr. Barnes, in his “Notes on the Book of Revelation,” as related to the Papacy, to be well established in general, and in most of the important particulars also, some suggestions are here ventured in explanation of the purport of prophecies less elucidated and less discussed, which relate to nations of the East and the spread and

triumph of the gospel among them, “That the way of the kings of the East may be prepared.”1

It is proper that the reasons for dissent from the common opinion, held also by Mr. Barnes — that Mohammed himself and the religion he founded are referred to in the term “false prophet” in the Revelation — should be given here. While there is no question that the Mohammedan power is, under different forms, Saracenic and Turkish, separately and distinctly referred to, there are strong, and to us decisive, reasons for believing that the faith of Islam as a religion, or its founder, is nowhere mentioned or distinctly referred to in our scriptures.

1. The presumption is against the popular view. What we may term the usage of scripture is opposed to the interpretation which applies the term “false prophet” in the Revelation to Mohammed.

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