Sivut kuvina

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 Pogonátys, A. D. 672; but their men and Thips were destroyed by the sea-fire invented by Callinicus; and, after seven years ineffectual pains, they were compelled to raise the siege 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 erowned with their usual success p.” Although the followers of Mahomet did not fubvert the government of the countries which they invaded, yet their military laws adjudged fo many people to captivity, and the condition of the women in particular was so deplorable 4, being so much in the power of persons who fet no bounds to their passions, 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- slavery and oppression to which

P Newton, vol. iii. p. 101,
Lowman, p. 123


Rev. ix. 6.

they they were reduced, and earnestly wished to close the fcene of their miseries and their lives together.

[ocr errors]

The vast armies which followed the standard of Mahomet were composed of cavalry

they were like unto horses prepared unto battle 4: The Arabs were always celebrated for the excellent breed of their horses, their expertness in all the equestrian exercises, and the great advantages they derived from their swift and well appointed cavalry in their various wars and incursions. On their beads 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", nation had ever so wide a command, nor ever were so many kingdoms, so many regions 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

« No

i Rev. ix. 7.

• Rev. ix. 7.

Newton, vol, iii. p. 103.

kingdom kingdom of Mohammed, Palestine, Syria, both Armenias, almost all Asia Minor, Persia, India, Egypt, Numidia, all Barbary, even to the river Niger, Portugal and Spain. Neither did their fortune or ambition stop here, till they had added also a great part of Italy, as far as to the gates of Rome; moreover Sicily, Candia, Cyprus, and the other islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Good God! how great a tract of land ! how many crowns were here ! Whence also it is worthy of observation, that mention is not made here, as in other trumpets, of the third part ; forasmuch as this plague fell no less without the bounds of the Roman Empire than within it, and extended itself even to the remotest Indies,

Their faces were as the faces of men---they had a bold and manly countenance—but they wore their hair in an effeminate manner, They had their hair as the hair of women.The Saracens let their hair grow to a great length, and wore it plaited, and in tresses,

It was observed by Pliny, that the Arabians wore a kind of turbans, or mitres on their heads ; that they dressed and twisted their hair in a particular manner; so that one part of the

[blocks in formation]

Saracens was distinguished by it from another, Their teeth were as the teeth of lions. They were as well furnished with the instruments of destruction, as if nature had given them the teeth of the strongest animals. ---And tbey bad breaft-plates, as it were of iron-Well furnished with the means of destruction, they were equally well equipped with defensive

As the locust is defended by a hard shell of the colour of iron, so the Saracens were guarded by coats of mail calculated to repel the darts and other weapons of their enemies Y. Their formidable and clamorous onset, when hastening forward to engage their enemies, was as the found of chariots of many borses running to betile.


The exact season of the year, during which the Saracens made their most remarkable ravages and conquests, is repeatedly pointed out. The men whom they assailed, were tor. mented five months. The locusts infeft the countries of the East for the five warmest months, and they are inactive and torpid for

7. "The sound of their wings denotes the swiftness and rapidity of their conquests, and it is indeed aftonifhing, that in less than a century they erected an empire, which extended from India to Spain.” Newton. ? Lowman, p. 122.


the rest of the year. It is well known, that the manner in which the Arabs invaded their neighbours, was by sudden incurfions during the fummer months ; retiring again and difpersing during the winter, and gathering together the next spring, for a new summer's invasion. According to the military laws and constitutions of the Mahometans, war was forbid during the facred months, which were the two first and the two laft.

The prophetical defcription is not less exact in a figurative, than in a literal sense. The days that constitute the months, in which men were tormented, may be reckoned as equivalent to 150 years, according to the usual mode of prophetical computation“. Within the space of these 150 years, the Saracens made the greatest conquestb. Mahomet

· Newton, vol. iii. p. 109. - The number being repeated twice, the sums may be thought to be doubled, and amount in prophetic computation to 300 years: then, according to Sir I. Newton, “ The whole time that the Caliphs of the Saracens reigned with a temporal dominion at Damascus and Bagdad together, was 300 years, viz. from the year 637 to the year 936 inclusive;" when their empire was broken and divided into several principalities, or kingdoms. So that let these five months be taken in any possible construction the event will still answer, and the Prophecy will still be fulfilled.” Newton, vol. iii. p. 110, III."


« EdellinenJatka »