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Arabian officers and soldiers. When Yezid was marching with the army to invade Syria, Abubeker charged him (7) with this among other orders; “ Destroy no palm-trees, nor “ burn any fields of corn; cut down no fruit“ trees, nor do
mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat.” Their commiffion is to hurt only those men who have not the feal of God in their foreheads; that is those who are not the true servants of God, but are corrupt and idolatrous Christians. Now from history it appears evidently, that in those countries of Asia, Africa, and Europe, where the Saracens extended their conquests, the Christians were generally guilty of idolatry in the worshipping of saints, if not of images; and it was the pretence of Mohammed and his followers to chastise them for it, and to re-establish the unity of the Godhead. The. parts which remained the freest from the
genetal infection were Savoy, Piedmont, and the southern parts of France, which were afterwards the nurseries and habitations of the Waldenses and Albigenses: and it is very memorable, that (8) when the Saracens approached these parts, they were defeated with great Naughter
(7) Ockley's Hift. of the Sasacens. Vol. I. p. 25.
(8) Petavii Rationar. Temp. Part 1. Lib. 8. Cap. 5. Mezeray
by the famous Charles Martel in several engagements.
As they were to hurt only the corrupt and idolatrous Christians, so these (ver. 5, 6.) they were not to kill but only to torment, and should bring such calamities upon the earth, as should make men weary of their lives. Not that it could be supposed that the Saracens would not kill many
thousands in their incursions. On the contrary their angel (ver. 11.) hath the name of the destroyer. They might kill them as individuals, but still they should not kill them as a political body, as a state or empire. They might greatly harrass and torment both the Greek and the Latin churches, but they should not utterly extirpate the one or the other. They befieģed Constantinople, and (9) 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 lay nearest to them. They dismembered it of Syria, and Egypt, and some other of its best and richest provinces ; but they were never able to subdue and conquer the whole.
As often as they besieged Constantinople, they were repulsed
Abregé Chronol. A. D. 732. (9) Sigonii Hist. de Regno &c.
Italiæ Lib. 5. Ann. 846.
and defeated. They attempted it (1) in the reign of Constanstine Pogonaius A. D. 672 ; but their men and ships were miserably destroyed by the sea-fire invented by Callinicus, and after seven years fruitless pains they were compelled to raise the fiege, and to conclude a peace. They attempted it again (2) in the reign of Leo Ifauricus A. D. 718; but they were forced to defist by famin, and pestilence, and lofies of various kinds. In this attempt they exceeded their commission, and therefore they were not crowned with their usual success. The taking of this city, and the putting an end to this empire, was a work reserved for another power, as we shall see under the next trumpet.
In the following verses (7, 8, 9, 10.) the nature and qualities of these locusts are described, partly in allufion to the properties of natural locusts and the description given of them by the prophet Joel, and partly in allusion to the habits and manners of the Arabians, to show that not real but figurative locusts were here intended. "
The (1) Theoph. Cedren, ad. ann. ibid. Cap. 5. Conft. 5. Zonaræ Annales. Lib. (3) Vide Albertum, Aldro-, 14. Cap. 20. &c. Petavii Ratio- vandum, Theodoretum &c. apud nar. Temp. Part 1. Lib. 8. Cap. Bochart. Hieroz. Part. Poft. 1. Blair's Chronol. Tab. N° 34. Lib. 4. Cap. 5.--caput aut Part 2d.
faciem equinæ non abfimilem. (2) Sigonii Hift. de Regno A qua locuitæ ab Italis vocanItaliæ Lib. 3. Anno 718. Petav. tur cavalette. Col. 474.
The first quality mentioned is their being like unto horses prapared unto battle ; which is copied from Joel (II. 4.) The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and as horsemen, so shall they run. Many authors have (3) observed that the head of a locust resembles that of an horse. The Italians therefore call them cavalette, as it were little horses. The Arabians too have in all ages been famous for their horses and horsemanship. Their strength is well known to consist chiefly in their cavalry.
Another distinguishing mark and character is their having on their heads as it were crowns hike gold ; which is an allafion to the head-dress of ľne Arabians, (4) who have constantly worn turbants or mitres, aud boast of having those ornaments for their common attire, which are crowns and diadems with other people. The crowns also signify the kingdoms and dominions which they should acquire. For, as Mr. Mede (5) excellently observes, No nation had ever so wide a command, nor ever were so many
king(4) Arabes mitrati degunt. late regnatum fuit, neque tam Plin. Nat. Hift. Lib. 6. Cap. brevi temporis fpatio unquam 28. Sect. 32. Edit. Harduin. tot regna, tot regiones, fub Hic mitra velatus Arabs. Clau. jugum missa. Incredibile dietu, dian de Laud. Stil. I. 156. Po. veriffimum tamen eft; Octogin, cocki Not in Carm. Tograi ta, aut non multo plurium, Arab. pag. ult.
annorum spatio subjugârunt illi (5) Nulli unquam genti tam et diabolico regno Muhamme
kingdoms, so many regions subjugated in fo ' short a space of time. It sounds incredible,
yet most true it is; that in the space of eighty or not many more years, they subdued and
acquired to the diabolical kingdom of Mo• hammed Palestine, Syria,
Syria, both Armenia's, almost all Asia Minor, Persia, India, Egypt,
Numidia, ali Barbary even to the river Niger, i Portugal, Spain. Neither did their fortune
or ambition stop here, till they had added "allo a great part of Italy, as far as to the
gates of Rome ; moreover Sicily, Candia, Cyprus, and the other ilands of the Mediterra
nean fea. 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 the other trumpets, ' of the third part ; forasmuch as this plague fell
dis acquifiverunt Palæstinam, quantus hic terrarum tractus ! Syriam, Armeniam utramque, quot hic corona! Unde dignum totam ferme Afiam minorem, quoque obfervatu eft, non hic, Persiam, Indianı, Ægyptum, ut in cæteris tubis, trientis menNumidiam, Barbariani totam ad tionem fieri : fiquidem non Nigrum vsque fluvium, Lui- minus extra imperii Romani tanian, Hifpaniam. Neque fines quam intra ipfum caderet hic ftetit illorum fortuna, aut hæc clades, ad extremos ulque ambitio, donec et It: jæ mag- Indos sese porrectura. Mede nam quoque partem adjecerint, p. 468. ad portas, usque urbis Romæ ; (6) Arabes mitrati degunt, quinetiam Siciliam, Candiam, aut intonto crine : barba abraCyprum, et reliquas maris Me- ditur, præterquam in fuperiore diterranei insulas. Deus bone, labro. Aliis et hæc intonsa.