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but they were never able to fubdue and conquer the whole. As often as they befieged Conftantinople, they were repulfed and defeated. They attempted it in the reign of Constantine Pogonatus, A. D. 672; but their men and ships were deftroyed by the fea-fire invented by Callinicus; and, after seven years ineffectual pains, they were compelled to raise the fiege and conclude a peace. They at*tempted it again in the reign of Leo Ifauricus, A. D. 718; but they were forced to defift by famine, and peftilence, and loffes of various kinds. In this attempt they exceeded their commiffion ; and therefore they were not crowned with their ufual fuccefs 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 fo deplorable 9, 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 defired to die, and death was far from them. They preferred death to the hard conditions of flavery and oppreffion to which
P Newton, vol. iii. p. 101,
Rev. ix. 6.
they were reduced, and earnestly wished to close the scene of their miseries and their lives together.
The vaft armies which followed the standard of Mahomet were composed of cavalry—they were like unto horfes prepared unto battle: The Arabs were always celebrated for the excellent breed of their horses, their expertnefs in all the equeftrian exercises, and the great advantages they derived from their fwift 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 drefs 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 obferves ", " No nation had ever fo wide a command, nor ever were so many kingdoms, fo many regions fubjugated in fo fhort a space of time. It founds incredible, yet moft true it is, that in the space of eighty, or not many more years, they subdued and acquired to the diabolical
. Rev. ix. 7.
"Newton, vol. iii. p. 103.
t Rev. ix. 7.
kingdom of Mohammed, Palestine, Syria, both Armenias, almost all Asia Minor, Perfia, India, Egypt, Numidia, all Barbary, even to the river Niger, Portugal and Spain. Neither did their fortune or ambition ftop 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; forafmuch as this plague fell no less without the bounds of the Roman Empire than within it, and extended itself even to the remoteft 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 treffės. * It was obferved by Pliny, that the Arabians wore a kind of turbans, or mitres on their heads; that they dreffed and twisted their hair in a particular manner; fo that one part of the
Saracens was diftinguished by it from another, Their teeth were as the teeth of lions.-They were as well furnished with the inftruments of destruction, as if nature had given them the teeth of the strongest animals.And they bad breaft-plates, as it were of iron-Well furnished with the means of deftruction, they were equally well equipped with defenfive As the locuft is defended by a hard fhell of the colour of iron, fo the Saracens were guarded by coats of mail calculated to repel the darts and other weapons of their enemies Y. Their formidable and clamorous onfet, when haftening forward to engage their enemies, was as the found of chariots of many borfes running to battle.
The exact feafon of the year, during which the Saracens made their most remarkable ravages and conquefts, is repeatedly pointed out. The men whom they affailed, were tormented five months. The locufts infeft the countries of the Eaft for the five warmest months, and they are inactive and torpid for
"The found of their wings denotes the swiftness and rapidity of their conquefts; and it is indeed aftonishing, that in less than a century they erected an empire, which extended from India to Spain." Newton.
? Lowman, p. 422.
the reft of the year. It is well known, that the manner in which the Arabs invaded their neighbours, was by fudden incurfions during the fummer months; retiring again and difperfing during the winter, and gathering together the next fpring, for a new fummer's invafion. According to the military laws and conftitutions of the Mahometans, war was forbid during the facred months, which were the two. firft and the two laft. The prophetical defcription is not lefs exact in a figurative, than in a literal fenfe. The days that conftitute the months, in which men were tormented, may be reckoned as equivalent to 150 years, according to the ufual mode of prophetical computation. Within the space of these 150 years, the Saracens made the greateft conqueft.
a Newton, vol. iii. p. rog."
The number being repeated twice, the fums 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 inclufive;" when their empire was broken and divided into feveral principalities, or kingdoms. So that let thefe five months be taken in any poffible conftruction, the event will still anfwer, and the Prophecy will still be fulfilled." Newton, vol. iii. p. 110, II. 1.