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their victory over Christians and idolaters, the picture of the invisible world was strongly painted on the imagination; and the death which they had always despised, became an object of hope and desire f.”
The King who led these vast armies is not only mentioned, but emphatically described as the angel of the bottomless pit, or abyss, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddort, but in the Greek tongue baih his name Apola lyone. The title Abaddon is remarked by the learned Joseph 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 lane guage was He who issued from the abyss, or cave of Hera, to propagate his pretended revelations ; fuch was He who pretended that he received his instructions by the ministraa tion of the angel Gabriel, and who alleged a divine commission to justify bloodshed and destruction. , Mahomet professedly declared, that his faith was not to be extended by mitacles, or by any gentle means, but by force of arms. “ The sword,” said he, " is the key of heaven and of hell: a drop of blood
shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail, than two months of fasting or prayer: whoever falls in battle, his fins are forgiven ; at the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion, and as odoriferous as musk: and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels, and of cherubim h." The whole course of his conduct was consistent with these declarations, and his bloody career was marked by the sacrifice of the laws of justice and the feelings of humanity, to his revenge and his ambition." He fought in person at nine battles, or sieges; and fifty enterprises of war were achieved in ten years by himself or his lieutenants. The use of fraud and perfidy, of
cruelty and injustice, were often subservient · to the propagation of the faith; and Mahomet
commanded, or approved the assassination of the Jews and idolaters who had escaped from the field of battlei.” .
Under the banners of this destroyer, and ** his successors, went forth the armies of Arabs and Saracens like locusts upon the earth for their numbers and the rapidity of their progress; and like scorpions of the earth for:
their venom, and their power to inflict the most deadly wounds. Gibbon calls them, • Flights of Barbarians ;” and the Arabian writers describe the followers of Mahomet as swarms of locusts Aying into a country to consume its productions. And yet they are commanded, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any trees.” The locusts of the Prophecy are therefore not real, but typical locusts, and an historical fact will show how well this restriction applies to the Mahometan armies. The Caliph Abubekerk, who fucceeded Mahomet in the year 632, gave express orders to Yesid the General of his forces, not to destroy 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 Christians, and they were raised up as the terrible instruments of the divine difpleasure, to hurt those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads'. Here is a description, concise indeed, but sufficiently characteristic of the Christians at the com
; Rev. ix. 4. ! Rev. ix, 4.
$ Lowman, p. 123.
mencement of the seventh century, when Mahomet began to propagate his faith. They had not the seal of God in their forebeads they were not distinguished by the proper marks of their Christian profession. Such was the fact as we collect it from all the hiltorians 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 superstition and idolatrous tendency, which appear evidently from the concļuding part of the Prophecy, to. be particular objects of the divine punish, ment, he thus speaks". The Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of Paganism: their public and private yows were addressed to the relics and images that disgraced the temples of the East: the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and saints, and angels, the objects of popular yeneration; and the Collyridian Heretics, who flourished in the fruitful soil of Arabia, invested the Virgin Mary with the name and honours of a goddess." * The parts of the world which
remained most free from these corruptions, were Savoy, Piedmont, and the southern parts of France (which were afterwards the nurseries and habitations of the Albigenses and Waldenses), and on this account they escaped the calamities of the times. For it ought to be particularly noticed, that when the Sara. cens approached these countries in the year 732, they were defeated with great flaughter in several engagements, by the renowned Charles Martel, King of France :
To then it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented. In the course of the successful inroads made by the Saracens, no government, state, or empire, was killed, or destroyed. “ They greatly harassed and tormented both the Greek and the Latin Churches; but they did not utterly extirpate the one or the other. They besieged Constantinople, and even plundered Rome; but they could not make themselves masters of either of those capital cities. The Greek Empire suffered most from them, as it was nearest to their own territories. They dismembered it of Syria, and of Egypt, and some other of its best and richest provinces ;
* Gibbon, .53
Rev. ix, s.