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applies to the Mahometan armies. The Caliph Abubekerk, who succeeded Mahomet in the year 632, gave express orders to Yesid the General of his forces, not to destroy any palm-trees, nor burn any fields of corn, nor cut down any fruit-trees.
The fury and destructive ravages of the Arabs and Saracens were directed against the degenerate Christians, and they were raised up as the terrible instruments of the divine displeasure, to hurt those men who bad not the feal of God in their foreheads'. Here is a description, concise indeed, but sufficiently characteristic of the Christians at the commencement of the seventh century, when Mahomet began to propagate his faith. They had not the feal of God in their foreheads--they were not distinguished by the proper marks of their Christian profession. Such was the fact as we collect it from all the historians of those times, and more particularly from Gibbon, who in his fortieth, forty-first, forty-third, and fortyfifth Chapters, has drawn, with a malignant pleafure, the dark picture of their
Lowman, p. 123.
! Rev. ix. 4.
enmities, their corruptions, and their vices. Of their superstition and idolatrous tendency, which appear evidently from the concluding part of the Prophecy, to be particular objects of the divine punishment, he thus speaks—“The Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of Paganism: their public and private vows were addressed to the relics and images that disgraced the temples of the East: the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and saints, and angels, the objects of popular veneration; and the Collyridian Heretics, who flourished in the fruitful foil of Arabia, invested the Virgin Mary with the name and honours of a goddess.” m The parts of the world which remained most free from these corruptions, were Savoy, Piedmont, and the southern parts of France (which were afterwards the nurseries and habitations of the Albigenfes and Wal. denfes), and on this account they escaped the calamities of the times. For it ought to be particularly noticed, that when the Saracens approached these countries in the
m Newton, vol. iii. p. 101.
year 732, they were defeated with great slaughter in several engagements, by the renowned Charles Martel, King of France".
To them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented". In the course of the successful inroads made by the Saracens, no government, state, or empire, was killed, or destroyed. “ They greatly harassed and tormented both the Greek and the Latin Churches; but they did not utterly extirpate the one or the other. They besieged Constantinople, and even plundered Rome; but they could not make themselves masters of either of those capital cities. The Greek Empire suffered most from them, as it was nearest to their own territories. They dismembered it of Syria, and of Egypt, and some others of its best and richest provinces ; but they were never able to subdue and conquer the whole. As often as they besieged Constantinople, they were repulsed and defeated. They attempted it in the reign of Constantine Pogonatus, A. D. 672; but their men and ships were destroyed by the sea-fire invented by Callinicus ; and, after seven years ineffectual pains, they were compelled to raise the fiege and conclude a peace. They attempted it again in the reign of Leo Ifauricus, A. D. 718; but they were forced to desist by famine, and pestilence, and losses of various kinds. In this attempt they exceeded their commission ; and therefore they were not crowned with their usual success P." Although the followers of Mahomet did not subvert the government of the countries which they invaded, yet their military laws adjudged so many people to captivity, and the condition of the women in particular was so deplorable ?, being so much in the power of persons who fet no bounds to their paffions, that in those days men fought death, and could not find it, and they desired to die, and death was far from them". They preferred death to the hard conditions of navery and oppression to which they were reduced, and earnestly wished to close the scene of their miseries and their lives together.
Gibbon, c. 53.
,o Rev. ix. 5.
The vast armies which
o Newton, vol. iii. p. 105. 9 Lowman, p. 123.
* Rev. ix. 6.
standard of Mahomet were composed of cavalry--they were like unto horses prepared unto battle -The Arabs were always celebrated for the excellent breed of their horses, their expertness in all equestrian exercises, and the great advantages they derived from their swift and well appointed cavalry in their various wars and incurfions. On their heads were as it were crowns like gold-The turban was the peculiar dress of the Arabian chiefs, adorned with plates or bands of gold. And as the crown is an emblem of fovereignty, the prophetical allusion may refer to the numerous kingdoms which they overran. For as Mr. Mede excellently observes“, “ No na
tion had ever so wide a command, nor · ever were so many kingdoms, so many re
gions subjugated in so short a space of time. It sounds incredible, yet most true it is, that in the space of eighty or not many more years, they subdued and acquired to the diabolical kingdom of Mohammed, Palestine, Syria, both Armenias, ' almost all Asia Minor, Persia, India, Egypt, Numidia, all Barbary, even to the river
. Rev. ix. 7.
• Rev. ix. 7.