« ZurückWeiter »
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 trelles. * 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 Saracens was distinguished by it from another. Their
* Lowman, p. 121.
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 they had breaft-plates, as it were of ironWell furnished with the means of destruction, they were equally well equipped with defensive armour. As the locuft is defend ed 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 formi. dable and clamorous onset, when hastening forward to engage their enemies, was as the found of chariots of many horses running to battle,
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 alfailed, were tormented five months. The locusts infeft the countries of the East for the five warmest months, and they are iri
y « The found of their wings denotes the swiftness and rapidity of their conquests; and it is indeed astonishing, that in less than a century they erected an empire, which extended from India to Spain.” Newton.
Lowman, p. 122.
active and torpid for the rest of the year. It is well known, that the manner in which the Arabs invaded their neighbours, was by sudden incursions during the summer months; retiring again and dispersing during the winter, and gathering together the next spring, for a new summer's invasion. According to the military laws and conftitutions of the Mahometans, war was forbid during the sacred months, which were the two first and the two last. The prophetical description 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 a. Within the space of these 150 years, the Saracens made their greatest conquest b.
Newton, vol. iii. p. 109. 6 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 Damafcus 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
Mahomet emerged 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 funk in luxury and repose. " In this city of peace, amidst the riches of the East, the Abaslides foon disdained the abstinence and frugality of the first Caliphs, and afpired to emulate the magnificence of the Persian kings. After his wars and buildings, Almansor left behind him in gold and filver about thirty' millions sterling, and this treasure was exhausted in a few years, by the vices or virtues of his chil
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,
any poffible construction, the event will still answer, and the Prophecy will still be fulfilled.” Newton, vol. iii. p. 110, 111. Gibbon, c. 52. G22
ceived an extraordinary check from their own intestine disputes, and the settlement of established monarchies in Persia, Africa, and Spain.
The sovereignty of Arabia was, loft by the extent and the rapidity of conquest. 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 Çaliphs, the throne was transported from Medina to the valley of Damascus, and the banks of the Tigris ; the holy cities were violated by impious
Arabia was ruled by the rod of a subject, perhaps of a stranger; and the Bedoweens of the defart, awakening from their dream of dominion, resumed their old and solitary independence,”.
Notwithstanding such great and signal punishments were inflicted
the Chrif. tians of the East, and of the South, and of the West, by the propagation of the false religion of Mahomet, and by the opprefsions exercised over them by the Saracen locusts, yet no general reformation was produced either in the establishment or the
8 Gibbon, c. 50.