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chapter. The military and naval department, and the finances, occupy, with sufficient precision and distinctness, the fifth and sixth ; though they contain a good deal of matter belonging to the questions discussed in the third. The seventh chapter treats of religion, manners, and customs; the eighth of women, and domestic economy, another separation singularly injudicious, as the subjects of those two chapters are nearly the same; and the book concludes with a desultory account of Moldavia and Wallachia. Instead of following this arrangement, we shall class whatever we have found scattered through the volume, relating to religion and religious establishments, under one head, and shall enter upon this fundamental subject, immediately after giving a short sketch of the Turkish history. We shall then consider the power of the Sultan, and the manner in which it is exercised. This will lead us to the checks, if such they can be called, which have been provided to it. We shall next describe the military and financial resources of the state, and then the manners and customs of the people. We shall conclude with noticing the situation in which the empire at present stands with regard to its neighbours. This arrangement will easily comprehend almost every material particular contained in Mr Thornton's work.
The Turks or Turkomans inhabited an extensive and fertile country bordering on the Caspian. From thence they made several eruptions, at an early period, into the Asiatic provinces of the Roman empire. About the beginning of the thirteenth century, their first great invasion took place under Soliman Shah, whose progress extended to the Euphrates. His son continued those conquests; and his grandson, Osman, laid the foundation of the dynasty which still bears his name,' 'After this period, they wrested the eastern provinces from the empire, one by one, in the course of a century and a half; and in 1453, Mahomet II. took the capital of the Greek emperors, and decided the contest which had indeed long been wholly in favour of the Ottomans, Their power now received constant and rapid increase. They reduced the Greeks to the abject state of vassals, tolerated only in a very private exercise of their religion, and permitted to retain certain civil rights, on payment of annual tribute. Their conquests extended, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, over the Saracen and Greek empires. They had subdued part of Persia,. and begun to threaten the dominion of Austria, from which they had already gained a part of Hungary. The alarm of Christendom was great and general. The statesmen of those times describe their solicitude in terms similar to those which are now applied to the common apprehensions of the French power. To what causes the decline of this powerful empire may be a
scribed, is a question discussed by Mr Thornton on very limited and superficial grounds. He imputes it entirely to the invention of gunpowder ; although he admits that Mahomet II. made use of artillery, and asserts, that the Turkish forces of the present day are only inferior to those who conquered the eastern empire in their want of good generals (p. 59. & 56.) But surely their not using gunpowder, and their want of generals, are direct proofs of a much more universal difference between them and their European neighbours, and of a degeneracy in their whole military system. The despotic and purely warlike structure of their governmentthe intolerant bigotry of their religion—the separation which this perpetuated between them and the rest of Europe—the obstacles which that opposed to their own progȚess in civilization,--may safely be stated as the causes of their not only failing to keep pace with the improvements by which they were surrounded, but degenerating, both in their civil and military in stitutions, from the times when their princes ceased to conquer, and the loss of the talent which alone they ever possessed, left nothing in its place.
1. The religion of the Turks, iş Mahometanism in its utmost purity, and in complete preservation from the days of its founder, They believe in one God, and in the divine mission of his prophet. They scrupulously follow, as the rule of their conduct, his precepts contained in the Koran, and his example ; together with certain sayings not recorded in that book, but handed down by tradition. The leading maxims thus delivered and religiously observed, are, the maintenance of the faith, the performance of certain outward ceremonies, and hatred of other sects. Their belief is inculcated as so necessary to eternal salvation, and so sure of working this end without the aid of good works, that we need not be surprised to find scarcely one freethinker in the whole of the Turkish population. A few reasoning men, may here and there be found, who hold that a life of sanctity, independent of faith, is sufficient. But the church condemns this as the worst of heresies; and those persons must keep their doctrines carefully to themselves. The inducements to hold the faith of their fathers, are so strong among an indolenţ and sensual people, that any doubt or scruple is likely to be rejected as a present injury, "Whatever happens during this life is well; God ordains it. If we live, we shall smoke so much tobacco, enjoy so many Cir., cassians, saunter away so many hours in our baths. If death comes to-morrow, we have kept the faith, and shall inevitably sup in paradise, --with better tobacco, fairer women, and more voluptuous baths.' A notion of this sort, once rivetted in the mind, at an early period of society, will account for the horror
with which every question relative to articles of belief, must after wards be received. It will account for the exclusive attention of those true believers to the concerns of the present moment, and their carelessness about futurity; for their implicit obedience to the easy injunctions of the Koran ; and their steady rejection of all more unpleasant doctrines. Besides holding this faith, they have only to perform the ceremonies of prayer, ablution, and fasting ; troublesome indeed, in some respects, from their frequent recurrence, but far more easy than the restraint of a single wicked inclination, the sacrifice of an interested to a principled view, or the fulfilment of any active duty; and their lives are pure before Allah.
As the object of the founder of this religion was power, he carefully enjoined such an implicit obedience to himself or his successors, as might ensure his divine authority in the state, and such a hatred of unbelievers, as might both keep alive the faith among his followers, and prepare the way for the conquest of foreign nations. The most unresisting and passive obedience to the sacred person of him who is at the head both of the church and state, is inculcated as a primary religious duty. He is the Zil-ullah, or shadow of God; the Padishah-islam, or emperor of Islamism; the Imam-ul-musliminn, * or pontiff of Mussulmans ; the Sultandinn, or protector of the faith. The title of Caliph, was first acquired on the conquest of Egypt; but the prerogatives anpexed to it, of sovereign pontif and depositary of the divine will, as handed down from Mahomet, had all along been exercised by the Turkish emperor. He is further, in his temporal capacity, denominated Hunkiar, or the manslayer ; it is the name commonly given him, and denotes the absolute power which he has over the life of each of his subjects, in virtue of his divine commission. Whoever submits without resistance to death inflicted by his order, is looked upon as sure of that eternal felicity of the highest order, which belongs to martyrdom. His edicts, always received with religious veneration, are welcomed with peculiar awe, when accompanied by a note under his hand enjoining obedience ; and whatever may be the tenor of such a command, the devout Mussulman kisses it as soon as it is presented to him, and piously wipes the dust from it with his cheek. The Pashas who rebel against his authority, are careful to mention his name with holy reverence; and, during the course of their disobedience, scrupulously comply with his orders in every point, except when he requires a resignation of their independence, or some sacrifice injurious to it. R 4
* Muslim is the fingular, Mussulman the dual, and Musliminn the plural : it fignifies resigned to God.”
When he sends his executioners to despatch a rebellious chieftain, . it is not uncommon to see the mere production of the imperial mandate, unaided by any force, silence all opposition, and command obedience from the rebel and his followers. Frequently, indeed, the executioner is stopped in his attempts to gain admittance, and himself put to death. But if he once performs his office, and the insurgent leader falls, there is no instance of his troops revenging his death on the bearer of so sacred a commission, though he comes singly, and trusts himself among an armed multitude of men, the moment before in the act of rebellion. Rycaut affirms, though Mr Thornton calls it an exaggerated picture, that the emperor would be obeyed, were he to command. whole armies to precipitate themselves from a rock, or build a bridge with piles of their bodies for him to pass rivers, or to kill one another to afford him pastime and pleasure.'
The disciple of Mahomet is educated in a haughty belief of the superiority of his own faith, and a suitable aversion towards all infidels, ' I withdraw my foot and turn away my face,' says the · prophet, « from a society in which the faithful are mixed with the ungodly. '-" The prayers of the infidel, are not prayers, but wanderings. ' Pray not for those whose death is eternal; and defile not thy feet by passing over the graves of men the enemies of God and his prophet.' The example of the prophet himself, who is recorded to have frequented the society of infidels, is of no avail in counteracting those intolerant precepts; and the more other nations have distinguished themselves from the Turk by their progress in wisdom and civility, the more obdurate has been his determination to keep within the pale of his own faith, and to despise their advances. The spirit of proselytism has been shown, not in any attempts to convert by argument: the extension of dominion was the only object of the prophet in proclaiming rewards to such as propagated the faith. Whoever refused the proffered creed, was either to be cut off, or reduced to the state of a vassal paying tribute ; and those who die in this holy war, pass immediately into paradise. "Wash not their bodies,' says the prophet ; ' every wound which they bear, will smell sweeter than musk in the day of judgment,' While to Jews and Christians, the alternative of conversion, or tributary vassalage was held out, the idolator was doomed to death, 'Kill and exterminate all worshippers of plurality,' says the Ķoran; and this command has, not infrequently, been literally complied with. The Persians, are, however, held in peculiar abhorrence; and it is deemed more praiseworthy in the sight of God to kill a single worshipper of fire, than seventy infidels of any other religion. The doctrines which we have just now hastily enumerated, are
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not, indeed, the only articles of the faith held by Turks ; nor are they unqualified, in the theoretical system of that religion, by other tenets of a better kind. But the history of Mahometanism, shows how much more prevalent they have been in practice, than the milder injunctions with which they are mingled ; and we shall reserve for a subsequent part of this statement, the trifling modifications with which the manners of the people prove that the worst precepts have been followed.
There are a great variety of minor doctrines, and of popular superstitions, recorded in different parts of the work before us, but not sufficiently important in their effects upon the political state of the empire, to merit a minute analysis. They are rather objects of literary curiosity, than capable of leading to any general views of the subject. We shall merely notice a few of them. The Turks abhor the worship of images, yet think it decentto reverence departed saints, and to visit their tombs. They chiefly invoke the names of Mahomet and his four immediate successors. They conceive idiots to be favoured by heaven, from their apparent insensibility to the evils of life, and their indifference to its enjoyments. They prize relics, or substances which have been in contact with persons of extraordinary piety; and ascribe to them cures and other miracles similar to those which the Roman Catholic superstitions inculcate. They dread the effect of sorcery, and provide against it by much the same contrivances as are used in the northern countries of Europe and Asia, They carefully observe dreams, and other accidental no tions, as ominous of future events; and have a superstitious aver sion to all pictures of the human body, believing that angels can. not enter the house where these are. The pilgrimage to Mecca is well known; they believe that it cures all former transgress sions, and hold that a man should set about it as soon as his means are double the expense of the journey. Such, at least, is the injunction of the Koran ; and only necessary impediments; as blindness, poverty, lameness, &c. are deemed to justify a Mussulman in neglecting this act of devotion. The black stone at Mecca is an object of peculiar reverence; it is expected to be endowed with speech at the day of judgment, for the purpose of declaring the names of those who performed the pilgrimage. The sanjac-sherif, or standard of Mahomet, being the curtain of the chamber-door of his favourite wife, is kept as the palladium of the empire, upon which no infidel can look with impunity. It is carried to battle with great formality before the sultan or vizier; and its return is hailed by all the Mussulmans of the capital going out to meet it. : The Turkish church is in every particular subordinate to the