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their victory over Chriftians and idolaters, the picture of the invifible world was ftrongly' painted on the imagination; and the death which they had always defpifed, became an object of hope and defire '
The King who led these vaft armies is not only mentioned, but emphatically described as the angel of the bottomless pit, or abyss, whofe name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue bath his name Apol lyon. The title Abaddon is remarked by the learned Jofeph Mede to be an allusion to Obodas, the common name of the antient monarchs of that part of Arabia, from whence Mahomet came. Such in prophetical language was He who iffued from the abyss, or cave of Hera, to propagate his pretended revelations; fuch was He who pretended that he received his inftructions by the miniftration of the angel Gabriel, and who alleged a divine commiffion to justify bloodshed and deftruction. Mahomet profeffedly declared, that his faith was not to be extended by miracles, or by any gentle means, but by force of arms. "The fword," faid he, "is the key of heaven and of hell: a drop of blood
fhed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail, than two months of fafting or prayer: whoever falls in battle, his fins are forgiven; at the day of judgment his wounds fhall be refplendent as vermilion, and as odoriferous as musk: and the lofs of his limbs fhall be fupplied by the wings of angels, and of cherubim The whole course of his conduct was confiftent with thefe declarations, and his bloody career was marked by the facrifice of the laws of justice and the feelings of humanity, to his revenge and his ambition. "He fought in perfon at nine battles, or fieges; and fifty enterprises of war were achieved in ten years by himself or his lieutenants. The ufe of fraud and perfidy, of cruelty and injuftice, were often fubfervient to the propagation of the faith; and Mahomet commanded, or approved the affaffination of the Jews and idolaters who had escaped from the field of battle."
Under the banners of this DESTROYER, and his fucceffors, went forth the armies of Arabs and Saracens like locufts upon the earth for their numbers and the rapidity of their progrefs; and like fcorpions of the earth for
h Gibbon, c. 50.
i Gibbon, c. 50. their
their venom, and their power to inflict the most deadly wounds. Gibbon calls them,
Flights of Barbarians ;" and the Arabian writers defcribe the followers of Mahomet as fwarms of locufts flying into a country to confume its productions. And yet they are commanded, that they should not hurt the grafs of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree i." The locufts of the Prophecy are therefore not real, but typical locufts, and an hiftorical fact will fhow how well this restriction applies to the Mahometan armies. The Caliph Abubeker, who fucceeded Mahomet in the year 632, gave express orders to Yefid the General of his forces, not to deftroy 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 Chriftians, and they were raised up as the terrible inftruments' of the divine' difpleasure, to hurt thofe men who had not the Seal of God in their foreheads. Here is a defcription, concife indeed, but fufficiently characteristic of the Chriftians at the com
j Rev. ix. 4.
* Lowman, p. 123,
mencement of the feventh century, when Mahomet began to propagate his faith. They bad not the feal of God in their foreheadsthey were not diftinguished by the proper marks of their Chriftian profeffion. Such was the fact as we collect it from all the hiftorians of those times, and more particularly from Gibbon, who in his fortieth, forty-first, forty-third, and forty-fifth Chapters, has drawn, with a malignant pleasure, the dark picture of their enmities, their corruptions, and their vices. Of their fuperftition and idolatrous tendency, which appear evidently from the concluding part of the Prophecy, to be particular objects of the divine punishment, he thus fpeaks- The Chriftians of the seventh century had infenfibly relapfed into a femblance of Paganifm: their public and private vows were addreffed to the relics and images that difgraced the temples of the Eaft: the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and faints, 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 The The parts of the world which
Newton, vol. iii. p. 101.
remained most free from these corruptions, were Savoy, Piedmont, and the fouthern parts of France (which were afterwards the nurseries and habitations of the Albigenfes and Waldenfes), 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 year 732, they were defeated with great flaughter in feveral engagements, by the renowned Charles Martel, King of France".
To them it was given that they should noɛ kill them, but that they should be tormented. In the course of the fuccefsful inroads made by the Saracens, no government, state, or empire, was killed, or deftroyed. They greatly haraffed and tormented both the Greek and the Latin Churches; but they did not utterly extirpate the one or the other. They befieged Conftantinople, and even plundered Rome; but they could not make themselves masters of either of those capital cities. The Greek Empire fuffered most from them, as it was nearest to their own territories. They difmembered it of Syria, and of Egypt, and fome other of its beft and richest provinces;
Д Gibbon, c. 53.
• Rev. ix. 5.