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of the globe. It was here our Saviour was born, and accomplished the great and merciful work of our redemption, and it was hence, that the light of his gloriuus gospel was carried, with amazing rapidity, into all the surrounding nations by his disciples and followers. This was, in short, the theatre of almost every action recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
This vast tractof land was, in the earliest ages, governed by the Affyriand, Medes, Pursians, and Gricks, Upon the extinction of these empires, The Romans carried their arms even beyond the Ganges, till at length the Mahometans, or as they are usually called Saracens, Ipread their devastations over this continent, deiroying all its ancient fplendor, and rendering the most populous and fertile fpots of Asia, wild and uncultivated deserts.
Among the highest mountains of Asia are Arrarat, near the Caspian Sea, on which the ark of Noah rested, when the waters of the deluge subsided : and Foreb and Sinai in Arabia.
Alia is bour.ded north, by the frozen Ocean; west, by Europe, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas; south, by the Indian Ocean; east, by the Pacific Ocean, and is reckoned to be 4800 miles in length, and 4300 in breadth; comprehending, besides islands,
; Boundaries.] B Pacific ; fouth, by China, India, Perla, and the Cafpian fea; west, by Rufia; 3000 miles long, 2250 broad.
Air, fiil, and produktions.] The rorthern parts are excessively cold and barrer, but the southern more temperate and fertile. The country abour ds with unwholesome lakes and marshes, mountains and fandy deserts. Their commodities are chiefly skins of foxes, fables, ermine, lynxes and other furrs, also, flax, musk, rhubarb and cinnamon.
Religion.) The Tartars are chiefly pagans, ma hometans, or christians; the first are most numerous,
Government.) Muscovite Tartary is subject to the Emprefs of Ruffia ; Chinese Tartary to the Emperor of China ; other parts of 'Tartary have their own princes, or Chams, and some are subject to Persia and the great Mogul.
Character.] The Tartars are in general strong made, stout men; some are honest and hospitable, others barbarous and live by plundering. The
beauty of the Circasian women is a kind of staple commodity in that country ; for parents there make no scruple of felling their daughters, to recruit the feraglio's of the great men of Turkey and Persia. Theyavoid all labour as the greatest Slavery. Their only employment is tending their flocks, hunting and managing their horses. If they are angry with a person, the worst they wish him is, that he may live in ore fixed place and work like a Russian,
Hiftory.] The firit acknowledgeu sovereign of these dismal territories, was the famous Jenghis Khan, A. D. 1206. His descendants possessed it till 1582, when Mungls revolted to the Manchew Tartars, who reign in China. The Eluths became an independant state about 1400, and so remain.
C Η Ι Ν Α.
YHINA is bounded on the north, by part of Tartary; east, by the
without the Ganges; 1450 miles long, 1260 broad.
Rivers.] The principal rivers are, the Yamour, Argon, Yellow River and the Tay; besides a prodigious number of navigable canals, which are very convenient. Great numbers of the Chinese live constantly on the waters in these canals.
Chief cities.] This empire is said to contain 4400 walled cities; the chief of which are, Pekin, the capital, Nankin and ton Pekin is reckoned to contain 2,000,000 inhabitants. This city is entered by seven iron gates, within side of each is a guardahouse.
Government.] The emperor of China is absolute. He is, however, obliged, by'a maxim of state, to consider his subjects as children, and they regard him no longer, than while he behaves like a parent. The emperor is styled, Holy Son of Heaven, fole Governor of the Earth, Great Father of his People. The present emperor is descended from a Tartarian family; for about 150 years ago the Tartars over-ran and conquered this fine country. However, Tartary may now rather be said to be subject to China, than China to Tartary, since all the wealth of the United Empire centers in China, and Tartary is no small addition to its strength.
Religion.] Natural religion, as explained by their celebrated philofopher Confucius, is the estatlished religion of China. But the greater part of the people are gross idolaters, and the most numerous sect are those who worship the idol Fohi, which was brought from Tibet foon after the death of our Saviour. The Mahometans have been tolerated in China for 6 or 700 years, and the Jews much longer. Christianity had gained considerable footing in this empire, by the labours of the Jesuits ; but in the year 1726, those missionaries, being suspected of designs against the go. vernment, and teaching doctrines destructive of it, were quite expelled, and the christian churches demolished.
Character and inhabitants.] It is said that China contains 158 millions of inhabitants, between 20 and 60 years of age, who pay an annual tax.
The Chinese in their persons are middle fized, their faces broad, their eyes black and small, and their noses rather fort. It is thought good policy to forbid women from all trade and commerce, which they can only benefit by letting them alone. The women have little eyes, plump, rofy lips, black hair, regular features, and a delicate thougb florid complexion: the smailnefs of their feet is reckoned a principal part of their beauty, and no swathing is omitted when they are young, to give them that accomplishment ; so that when they grow up, they may be said to totter rather than to walk.
Air, foil, and productions. The air of China is generally temperate and, good, though sometimes very hot in the southern provinces, and very cold in the norihern. It is one of the most fruitful countries in the world; the mountains themselves being cultivated to the top. The principal productions of China are filks, cotton, precious stones, porcelain or china ware, quicksilver, tea, which is peculiar to this country, ginger, camphire, japand works, gold, filver, copper, &c. Curiosities. ] One of the greatest curiosities of China, and perhaps in the world, is that Aupendious wall separating China from Tartary, to prevent the incursions of the Tartars. It is supposed to extend 1500 miles and is carried over mountains and vallies, from 20 to 25 feet high, and broad enough at the top for fix horsemen to travel abrest with case. The Chinese have upwards of 20,coo letters or characters in their language.
History.] This empire is reported to have been founded by Fohi, who is said to have been the Noah mentioned in the bible, about 2240 years before christ. It is now governed by the emperors of the Dynasty of jhe Manchew Tartars, who conquered it, A. D. 1645:
INDIA IN GENERAL.
OUNDED north, by Tartary; east, by China and the Chinese Sea; length 4000 miles, breadth 2500.
Chief towns.] The capital cities of the Mogul's empire, are Agra and Delhi.
Air, soil, and productions.] In the northern parts of India the air is temperate; but very hot in the southern. The heats, however, are moderated by refreshing breezes from the sea, and from the rains that fall continually from the end of June to the end of Ocober. Some
part of India, especially in the northern provinces of the Mogul's empire, are fandy, mourtainous, and barren ; but in general the soil is fertile, producing plenty of corn, and the finest fruits. It is well watered with rivers, the chief are the Ganges and Indus. Their commodities are filks, cottons, callicoes, mulins, fattins, taffeties, carpets, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls,
porcelain, rice, ginger, amber, pepper, cinnamon, a great variety of me. dicinal drugs, and sugar.
Government. ] The Great Mogul is an absolute monarch ; but there are some princes in his dominions, called Rajahs, who maintain their independency. The other kings and princes of India are likewise absolute, but some of them tributary, the weaker to the more powerful.
Religion.] The Moors or Moguls, who are a mixture of Tartars, Per. fians, Arabs, &c. are Mahometans; but the natives of India, who are by far the most numerous, are chiefly Pagans, worshipping idols of various shapes; many christians are settled on the coast.
Chara&er.] In general the Indians are ingenious in arts; civil to strangers, and pretty just in their dealings; some are of a swarthy complexion, others are black as jet. They marry very young, the males before 14, females at 10 or 11. A man is in the decline of life at 30, and the beauty of the woman is on they decay at 18 ; at 25 they have all the marks of
History.] The first conqueror of the whole of this country was Jenghis Khan, a Tartarian prince, who died A. D. 1226. In 1399, Timur Beck, by conqueft, became Great Moguł. The Dynasty continued in his family till the conquelt of Tamerlane in the 15th century, whose descendents have possessed the throne from that time; but Kouli Khan, the famous Sophi of Perfia, considerably diminished the power of the Moguls, carried away immenfe treasures from Delhi; and since that erent many of the Rajahs and Nabobs, have made themselves independent.
Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean ; west, by Asiatic Turkey. Its length 1450 miles ; its breadth 1250.
Capital.] The chief city and residence of the fovereign is Ifpahan, a fine spacious town.
dir, foil, and productions. ] The north and east parts of Persia are mountainous and cold; the provinces to the south-east are sandy and desart; those on the fouth and west are very fertile. The air in the south is extremely hot in fummer, and very unwholesome. There is scarcely any country that has more mountains and fewer rivers. The productions of Persia are fimilar to those of India.
Character of the inhabitants.] The Persians are a brave, polite, and ingenious people ; honest in their dealings, and civil to strangers. Their great foible seems to be ostentation in their equipages.
Religion.] The Persians, in general, are ftri& followers of Maho. met's doctrine, but differ considerably from the Turks. There are many Christians in Persia, and a fect who worship fire, the followers of Zoro. after.
Government.] Persia is governed by an absolute monarch, called Shah or King, and frequently Sophi. The crown is hereditary, but females are excluded.
History.] The Persian empire was founded by Cyrus, after his conquest of Media, 436 years before Christ. It continued till it was over. thrown by Alexander the Great, 331 years before Christ. A new empire, styled the Parthian, was formed by the Persians under Arbaces, 250 years before Christ : but in A. D. 229, Artaxerxes restored it to its ancient title , and in 651, the Saracens put an end to that empire. From this time Persia was a prey to the Tartars, and a province of Indoftan, till Thomas Kouli Khan, once more restored it to a powerful kingdom. He was assassinated in 1747.
OUNDED north, by Turkey ; east, by the Gulphs of Persia and
Ormus ; south, by the Straits of Babel-mandel and the Indian Ocean ; welt, ty the Red Sea ; length 1300, breadth 1200.
In that part of Arabia, called the Holy Land, the inhabitants en oy a pure
and healthful air, and a fertile soil. The middle, called Arabia Deserta; is overspread with barren mountains, rocks, and fandy deserts. But the southern parts, deservedly called the Happy, although the air is hot and unwholesome, is blessed with an excellent and very fertile soil, producing balm of Gilead, manna, myrrh, callia, aloes, frankincense, spikenard, and other valuable gums ;-cinnamon, pepper, oranges, lemons, &c.-The Arabians, like most of the Asiatics, are of a middling stature, thin, and of a swarthy complexion, with black hair and black eyes. They are inuch addicted to thieving In 1750, a body of 50,000 Arabians, attacked a caravan of merchants and pilgrims, returning from Mecca, killed 60,000 persons, and plundered them of every thing valuable, though escorted by a Turkish army.-The Arabians in general are Mahometans, though there are fome Pagans.— They have many princes, some tributary to the Turks, others independent. - The Arabs are descended from Ilhmael, of whose posterity it was foretold, that they should be invincible, and have their hands against every man, and every man's hands against them. The famous impostor Mahomet was born at Mecca in the fixth century. He fled to Medina, A. D. 622. This is called the Hegira or Flight, from whence the Mahometans compute their time. He died 629, having propagated his doctrines through Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and Persia, leaving two branches of his race, both esteemed divine by their subjects.