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emerged from the cave of the abyss, and began to propagate his religion in the year 612; and Bagdad, or the city of peace, was built by the Caliph Almanfor, in the year 762." This was the first fixed establishment of the Caliphs, where they enjoyed the fruits of their conquests, and funk in luxury and repose. "In this city of peace, amidst the riches of the Eaft, the Abaffides foon difdained the abftinence and frugality of the firft Caliphs, and afpired to emulate the magnificence of the Perfian kings. After his wars and buildings, Almanfor left behind him in gold and filver about thirty millions fterling, and this treasure was exhausted in a few years, by the vices or virtues of his children" After the period destined for the ravages of the locufts, the rage of the Saracens for conqueft and plunder began to fubfide, the torments inflicted by these fatal Scorpions began to abate, and the diftrefs and defolation, which they had fpread over fo confiderable a portion of the earth, received an extraordinary check from their own inteftine difputes, and the fettlement of eftablifhed monarchies in Perfia, Africa, and Spain. The fovereignty of Arabia was loft
by the extent and the rapidity of conqueft. The colonies of the nation were fcattered over the Eaft and the Weft, and their blood was mingled with the blood of their converts and captives. After the reign of three Caliphs, the throne was tranfported from Medina to the valley of Damafcus, and the banks of the Tigris; the holy cities were violated by impious war; Arabia was ruled by the rod of a fubject, perhaps of a ftranger; and the Bedoweens of the defart, awakening from their dream of domnion, refumed their old and folitary independence ."
Notwithstanding fuch great and fignal punishments were inflicted upon the Chriftians of the Eaft, and of the South, and of the Weft, by the propagation of the false religion of Mahomet, and by the oppreffions exercised over them by the Saracen locufts, yet no general reformation was produced either in the establishment or the manners of the Chriftians. In vain did the Emperor Leo the Ifaurian, and his fon Conftantinus Copronymus in the year 718, endeavour to put a stop to the idolatrous practice of imageworship; and, in order to abolish it effectually,
* Gibbon, c. 50.
ordered all images to be taken from the churches. Their exertions were violently oppofed by the Bishops of Rome. Gregory II. confirmed the prevailing idolatry by the authority of a Synod, rejected the order of the Emperor, abfolved his fubjects from their allegiance, and even proceeded to excominunicate him; and he obtained a confirmation of the prevailing fuperftitions both in the East and in the Weft, by the decrees of general councils. Of this incorrigible wickedness we find notice given by the prediction of the woes which were to follow.
One woe is paft, behold there come two woes more hereafter. This mode of expreffion evidently shows that between the ceafing of the first woe and the beginning of the fecond there fhould be fome interval of time. With this intimation the event exactly correfponded, fince the power prefigured by the four angels bound in the Euphrates & did not invade the territories of the Roman empire, nor torment the Chriftians, who were eftablished in it,
• Rev. ix. 12:
Whitaker, p. 135.
The great river Euphrates, to whose banks they had been confined, defcends from the mountains of Armenia, runs through the provinces of Chaldea and Babylon, and is the centre of the Turkifh dominions.
till fome centuries had elapfed after the ceffation of the ravages of the Saracens.
One of the tribes of the Turks indeed made an irruption into the Greek Empire, fooner than the time allotted for the advance of " the Euphratean horsemen.” Twenty-five years after the death of Bafil, his fucceffors, in the year 1050, were fuddenly affaulted by an unknown race of Barbarians, who united the Scythian valour with the fanaticism of new profelytes, and the arts and riches of a powerful monarchy. The myriads of Turkish horsemen overspread a frontier of fix hundred miles, from Tauris to Arzeroum: and the blood of one hundred and thirty thousand Christians was a grateful facrifice to the Arabian Prophet But the Prophets notice only that particular nation, whofe firmly eftablished empire has lafted to the present day.
In the year 1055, Togrul Beg, Sultan of the Turks, after having fubdued Chorazin and Perfia, took poffeffion of Bagdad, the capital of the Saracen Caliphs. His fucceffors, Olub Anflam, and Melech Shah, conquered the regions of the Euphrates; and after the
eth 8 „Golvgn"
* Gibbon, c. 57.
death of Melech Shah, these conquests were broken into the kingdoms of Armenia, Mefopotamia, Syria, and Cappadocia, the capitals of which were Mizapharekin, Moful, Aleppo, and Iconium, according to Sir I. Newton. Bishop Newton fupposes thefe fultanies to take their names from the cities of Bagdad, Damascus, Aleppo, and Iconium, at the periods they fettled themselves there, but this difference does not affect the point in question. These four Sultans were for a confiderable time "bound," or reftrained from extending their conquests farther than the territories bordering on the Euphrates, by the croifades of the European Christians into the Holy Land, in the latter part of the eleventh, and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Religion probably forbad their molefting the Saracens during the attack of their Christian enemies. But when the Christians abandoned their conquests in Syria and Palestine, then "the four angels in the river Euphrates were loofed." Soliman Shah, the first chief and founder of the Othman race, was drowned in his attempt to pass the Euphrates, in his retreat from Jengis Chan: but Ortogrul, his third fon, obtained leave of Aladin, Sultan of Iconium, to fettle in the
1 Newton, vol. iii. p. 114.