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émerged from the cave of the abyss, and began to propagate his religion in the year 612; and Bagdad, or the city of peace, was built by the Caliph Almansor, in the year 762.” This was the first fixed establishment of the Caliphs, where they enjoyed the fruits of their conquests, and sunk in luxury and repose. “ In this city of peace, amidst the riches of the East, the 'Abassides soon difdained the abstinence and frugality of the first Caliphs; and aspired to emulate the magnificence of the Persian kings. After his wars and buildings, Almansor left behind him in gold and silver about thirty millions sterling, and this treasure was exhausted in a few years, by the vices or virtues of his children.” After the period destined for the ravages of the locusts, the rage of the Saracens for conquest and plunder began to subside, the torments inflicted by these fatal scorpions began to abate, and the distress and desolation, which they had spread over fo considerable a portion of the earth, received an extraordinary check from their own intestine disputes, and the settlement of established monarchies in Persia, Africa, and Spain. “The sovereignty of Arabia was lost
by the extent and the rapidity of conqueft. The colonies of the nation were scattered over the East and the West, and their blood was mingled with the blood of their converts and captives. After the reign of three Caliphs; the throne was transported from Medina to the valley of Damascus, and the banks of the Tigris; the holy cities were violated by impious war ; Arabia was ruled by the rod of a subject, perhaps of a stranger; and the Bedoweens of the desart, awakening from their dream of domnion, resumed their old and solitary independence «.»
Notwithstanding such great and signal punishments were inflicted upon the Chriftians of the East, and of the South, and of the West, by the propagation of the false religion of Mahomet, and by the oppressions exercised over them by the Saracen locusts, yet no general reformation was produced either in the establishment or the manners of the Christians. In vain did the Emperor Leo the Isaurian, and his fon Constantinus Copronymus in the year 718, endeavour to put a stop to the idolatrous practice of imageworship; and, in order to abolish it effectually, ordered all images to be taken from the churches. Their exertions were violently opposed by the Bishops of Rome. Gregory II. confirmed the prevailing idolatry by the authority of a Synod, rejected the order of the Emperor, abfolved his subjects from their allegiance, and even proceeded to excominunicate him; and he obtained a confirmation of the prevailing superstitions both in the East and in the West, by the decrees of general councils. Of this incorrigible wickednefs we find notice given by the prediction of the woes which were to follow.
& Gibbon, c. 50.
One woe is past, bebold there come two woes more hereafter. This mode of expression evidently shows that between the ceasing of the first woe and the beginning of the second there should be some interval of time. With this intimation the event exactly corresponded, since the power prefigured by the four angels bound in the Euphrates & did not invade the territories of the Roman empire, nor torment the Christians, who were established in it, till some centuries had elapsed after the cessation of the ravages of the Saracens.
• Rev. ix. 12
f Whitaker, p. 135 & The great river Euphrates, to whose banks they had been confined, descends from the mountains of Armenia, runs through the provinces of Chaldea and Babylon, and is the centre of the Turkifh dominions.
One of the tribes of the Turks indeed made an irruption into the Greek Empire, sooner than the time allotted for the advance of the Euphratean horsemen."
after the death of Basil, his succeffors, in the year 1050, were suddenly assaulted by an unknown race of Barbarians, who united the Scythian valour with the fanaticism of new profelytes, and the arts and riches of a powerful monarchy. The myriads of Turkish horsemen overspread a frontier of fix hundred miles, from Tauris to Arzeroum : and the blood of . one hundred and thirty thousand Christians was a grateful facrifice to the Arabian Prophet h.” But the Prophets notice only that particular nation, whose firmly established empire has lasted to the present day.
In the year 1055, Togrul Beg, Sultan of the Turks, after having subdued Chorazin and Persia, took possession of Bagdad, the capital of the Saracen Caliphs. His successors, Olub Anslam, and Melech Shah, conquered the regions of the Euphrates; and after the
Gibbon, c. 57.
death of Melech Shah, these conquests were broken into the kingdoms of Armenia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Cappadocia, the capitals of which were Mizapharekin, Mosul, Aleppo, and Iconium, according to Sir I. Newton. Bishop Newton supposes these sultanies to take their names from the cities of Bagdad, Damascus, Aleppo, and Iconium, at the periods they settled themselves there, but this difference does not affect the point in question. These four Sultans were for a considerable time " bound,” or restrained from extending their conquests farther than the territories bordering on the Euphrates, by the croisades of the European Christians into the Holy Land, in the latter
part of the eleventh, and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Religion probably forbad their molesting the Saracens during the attack of their Chriftian enemies. But when the Christians abandoned their conquests in Syria and Palestine, then " the four angels in the river Euphrates were loosed." Soliman Shah, the first chief and founder of the Othman race, was drowned in his attempt to pass the Euphrates, in his retreat from Jengis Chan: but Ortogrul, his third fon, obtained leave of Aladin, Sultan of 'Iconium, to settle in the
· Newton, vol. iii, p. 114.