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quoted from different writers appear to lead to a very plain conclusion; yet I have not met with a single commentator, who states it to be his opinion, that it is probable, this memorable prophecy of Ezekiel principally relates to the Tartars. 'By Gog and Magog,' says Mr. Lowth, 'may moet probably here be meant the Turks;' and both MedeIIS and bishop Newton"7 speak of their being signified in these chapters of Ezekiel, as of a point that is well established. The principal reason which is given is, that the Turks, though they have now inhabited a different part of the world for centuries, are descended from the Tartars: but to me, I confess, this appears far from being satisfactory. The Russians and the Moscovites having been supposed by some to have been colonies sent out from the people of Rosh and Meshech or Mosoch; Mr. Bicheno supposes"8, that the army which will attack the newly peopled country of the Jews will consist principally of Russians. But Mr. Bicheno attempts not to shew, that there is, or that there ever has been thought to be, any conceivable reason for explaining Gog and Magog of the Russians; and it is to be remembered, that, whoever Gog and Magog may be supposed to be, they constitute the main part of the invading army, and that the others are lesser powers and auxiliaries, who are to march under the banners of Gog.
I shall now briefly allege some reasons in support of my conjecture, that this formidable army will principally consist of Tartars. That the name of Gog and Magog perfectly agrees with that idea has already been seen.
Thou shalt come, says Ezekiel, from thy place out of the North Parts119, thou and many people with thee. This account, it is plain, corresponds not so well to the situation of the Turks, who are principally settled in the warm regions of the South, as to that of the Tartars, who inhabit
116 P. 374, 751, 1000
117 Vol. II. p. 187; vol. III. p. 329.
118 Signs of the Times, Part II. p. 45.
119 XXXVIII. 15. Tjhis circumstance is repeated again xxxix. 2.
regions, which are in general cold and are extended to very Northern latitudes. That the invading host will come from a distance, the words of Ezekiel, it may be added, seem to imply: but the Turks, at present at least, are situated in Judea and the contiguous countries. Thou shall say, declares the prophet, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages,—-to take a spoil, and to take a prey. And again, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry anvay silver andgoldt to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil1TM. These particulars appear not to be descriptive of the regularly conducted wars of the Russians or the Turks, which are ordinarily wars of aggrandisement or defence; and there certainly seems reasonable ground for expectation, that they would have been spoken of in a very different manner, had they been the Turks come to recover the territories they had lost. But the prophetic statement completely harmonises with the general character of Tartar warfare, with the depredatory spirit, and the transitory inroads, of the shepherds of the North. The prophet represents them to be extremely numerous, as being like a cloud which shall cover the land; and it is well known, that there is no nation, which has been accustomed to bring such numerous forces into the field as the princes of Tartary. They are also spoken of as All of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army. To the Tartars, and to the Tartars only, this description exactly corresponds; for there is no other nation in the world, who constantly make use of cavalry alone131.' Ezekiel likewise says1", Ixuill smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine ar*
120 XXXVIII. 11, 12, 13.
121 ' Constant practice,' says Gibbon, had seated the Scythians 'so firmly on horseback, that they were supposed by strangers to perform the ordinary duties of civil life, to eat, to drink, and even to sleep, without dismounting' from their steeds.' vol. IV. p. 348.
122. XXXIX. 3.
Vol. II. i 5
rows to fall out of thy right handm; and it is observable, that the Tartars in every age have encountered their enemies with bows and arrows, and that these are the weapons which they still employ, in this respect differing both from the Russians and the Turks.
As the subject is in itself instructive and curious, I may be indulged in quoting from Mr. Gibbon some extracts respecting the manners of this nation of shepherds. At present the Tartar tribes are deterred from planning any schemes of invasion, and awed into tranquillity, by the armies and the fame of the Ottoman Porte, and still more by the mighty strength and vigorous administration of the Russian monarchy. But should these empires fall to pieces, the subsequent extracts display the extreme probability, that the Tartars, laying hold of this favorable opportunity for the renewal of foreign hostilities, will make a new and formidable irruption into some of the fertile provinces of Turkey114.
'In every age, the immense plains of Scythia, orTartary, have been inhabited by vagrant tribes of hunters and shepherds, whose indolence refuses to cultivate the earth, and whose restless spirit disdains the confinement of a sedentary life. In every age the Scythians, and Tartars, have been renowned for their invincible courage, and rapid conquests. The thrones of Asia have been repeatedly overturned by the shepherds of the North; and their arms have spread terror and devastation over the most fertile and warlike countries of Europe.' Many circumstances, indeed, concur to inspire the Tartars with a military spirit, and to en
123 See the Observations annexed to the Genealogical History of the Tartars by Abulghazi Khan, 1730, vol. II. p. 400. 'Most of the Tartars,' says the author of the observations, 'hang their bow at the left side, in a sort of case, when they take horse; but they carry their quiver upon their backs.' And Mr. Gibbon, speaking of them, says (vol. IV p. 350), 'the long Tartar bow is drawn with a nervous arm; and the weighty arrow is directed to its object with unerring aim, and irresistible strength.'
124 On the formidable irruptions of the Tartars in the 5ih, the 13th. and the 14th centuries see the note in vol. II. p. 115—118.
courage their invasion of countries that are feebly defended. Thi§"will appear, if an attention be paid to their diet, their habitations, and their exercises.
'In the military profession, and especially in the conduct of a numerous army, the exclusive use of animal food appears to be productive of the most solid advantages. Corn is a bulky and perishable commodity; and the large magazines, which are indispensably necessary for the subsistence of our troops, must be slowly transported by the labor of men or horses. But the flocks and herds, which accompany the march of the Tartars, afford a sure and encreasing supply of flesh and milk: in the far greater part of the uncultivated waste the vegetation of the grass is quick and luxuriant; and there are few places so extremely barren, that the hardy cattle of the North cannot find some tolerable pasture. The supply is multiplied and prolonged, by the undistinguished appetite, and patient abstinence, of the Tartars. They indifferently feed on the flesh of those animals, that have been killed for the table, or have died of disease.—The active cavalry of Scythia is always followed, in their most distant and rapid incursions, by an adequate number of spare horses, who may be occasionally used, either to redouble the speed, or to satisfy the hunger, of the Barbarians. Many are, the resources of hunger and poverty. When the forage round a camp of Tartars is almost consumed, they slaughter the greatest part of their cattle, and preserve the flesh, either smoked, or dried in the sun. On the sudden emergency of a hasty march, they provide themselves with a sufficient quantity of little balls of cheese or rather of hard curd, which they occasionally dissolve in water; and this unsubstantial diet will support, for many days, the life, and even the spirits, of the patient warrior.'
'The progress of manufactures and commerce insensibly collects a large multitude within the walls of a city; but these citizens are no longer soldiers; and the arts, which adorn and improve the state of civil society, corrupt the habits of the military life. The pastoral manners of the Scythians seem to unite the different advantages of simplicity and refinement. The individuals of the same tribe are constantly assembled, but they are assembled in a camp; and the native spirit of these dauntless shepherds i3 animated by mutual support and emulation. The houses of the Tartars are no more than small tents.—The palaces of the rich consist of wooden huts, of such a size that they may be conveniently fixed on large waggons.—The flocks and herds, after grazing all day in the adjacent pastures, retire, on the approach of night, within the protection of the camp. The necessity of preventing the most mischievous confusion, in such a perpetual concourse of men and animals, must gradually introduce, in the distribution, the order, and the guard,, of the encampment, the rudiments of the military art. As soon as the forage of a certain district is consumed, the tribe, or rather army, of shepherds, makes a regular march to some fresh pastures; and thus acquires in the ordinary occupations of the pastoral life, the practical knowlege of one of the most important and difficult operations of war. The choice of stations is regulated by the difference of the seasons: in the summer, the Tartars advance towards the -North :—In the winter they return to the South.—These manners are admirably adapted to diffuse, among the wandering tribes, the spirit of emigration and conquest. The connexion between the people and their territory is of so frail a texture, that it may be broken by the slightest accident. The camp, and not the soil, is the native country of the genuine Tartar. Within the precincts of that camp, his family, his companions, his property are always included; and, in the most distant marches, he is still surrounded by the objects which are dear, or valuable, or familiar in his eyes. The thirst of rapine, the fear or the resentment, of injury, the impatience of servitude, have, in every age, been sufficient causes to urge the tribes of Scythia boldly to advance into eome unknown countries, where they might hope to find a more plentiful subsistence, or a less- formidable enemy.'