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a restriction which contracted too much the sphere of his pleasures; and he, accordingly, resolved to enlarge his privilege. The name of God was impiously made subservient to his design. The angelic Gabriel arrived with a new Sura; and the carnal adventurer was permitted to indulge, to the utmost, his most insatiable desires. “ O prophet, we have allowed unto thee the wives to whom thou hast given thy dower, and also the slaves which thy right hand possesseth of the booty which God hath granted thee, and the daughters of thy uncles, and the daughters of thy aunts, both on thy father's and thy mother's side, who have fled from Mecca; and any other believing woman, if she give herself to the prophet, if the prophet desireth to take her for wife.” Kor. ch. xxxiii. AbulFeda, in Vit. Mahomm. p. 147, says, that the prophet had allowed himself but fifteen wives, exclusive of concubines; but it is clear, from the passage here quoted, that he might have taken as many as he pleased. The “any other believing woman” is a sweeping clause.
The perjury of Mahomet found equal facility in obtaining the sanction of heaven. He had solemnly sworn, at the entreaty of one of his wives, that he would no longer cohabit with a slave of the name of Mary. But his eyes soon wandered back to the beauty which he had thus renounced; and the text was instantly conveyed to him from heaven, which allowed the renewal of his pleasures, and “ the dissolution of his oath.” Kor. ch. lxvi. Sub. Init.
His love for Zeinah, the wife of his adopted son, was equally to be consecrated by the divine approbation. She had long resisted his solicitations, but the celestial command was produced, and she was piously transferred to the chamber of Mahomet.
The pride of the woman afterwards boasted of this divine condescension. “ Other marriages, said she, are arranged by relatives and friends. Mine has been the work of heaven.” Kor. ch. xxxiij. and Note, by Sale, in loco.
It was not, however, enough to require that the dissolute passions of the impostor should be justified at will by a voice from heaven. The cruelty of spoliation and massacre was also to have its celestial sanction; and, after the militant prophet had overthrown villages and towns, and had degraded whole tribes into slaves, or coolly ordered them forth to indiscriminate slaughter, the annunciation was heard which vindicated the act of blood : “ A part of them ye slew, and a part of them ye made captives, and God hath caused you to inherit their lands, their houses, and their wealth.” Koran, ch, xxxviii. See also Abul-Feda. p. 79.
NOTE K. p. 71 FORTUNE is perpetually said to control the designs of men and gods:
Nempe dat et quodcumque libet, rapitque,
Ovid. de Trist. vii.
Ib. lib. ix. What, says Euripides, is the disposition of the gods? Is the progeny of man really their care? Is it not evident, that, satisfied with their own happiness, they abandon every thing to Fate and Chance? Or must we not rather admit that, whatever be their power and their wisdom, the Universe is governed by the operation of an eternal and invincible necessity, to whose dominion gods and men must equally submit?-Eurip. Hecub. act iii. The conclusion was as common as it was impious. Would it else have become the subject of theatrical declamation?
A splendid temple was erected to Equestrian Fortune at Antium, and the fickle goddess was there consulted and adored. Monuerunt et sortes Antianæ ut a Cassio caveret. Sueton. In Calig. c. 57. Vidimus apud Antium promoveri simulacra fortunæ. Macrob. lib. i. c. 23. See also Horace, Odæ, lib. i. 35. Cicero. De Nat. Deor. lib. iii.
This Divinity was not acknowledged solely in Italy and Greece. She was worshipped in Asia. Bubalus presented a statue of the goddess to the city of Smyrna. She was generally represented with the pole-star on her head, and the horn of plenty in her left hand, the one designating her power over the world, and the other implying that all blessings are in her gift.
In her chapel at Ægira her statue was placed beside that of Venus, because she was supposed to be of more importance in the concerns of Love, than beauty, virtue, or wealth; and in her temple in Bæotia, she appears holding in her arms an infant Plutus, as if she was the mother and nurse of the god of riches. Pausanias asserts that Greece abounded with statues, temples, altars, medals, and bas-reliefs, of this deity.
Pliny asserts her universal authority. Toto quippe mundo, in locis omnibus, Fortuna sola vocatur, sola laudatur, et cum conviciis colitur. Volubilis a plerisque, vero et cæca etiam estimata, vaga, inconstans, varia, indignorum fautrix. Huic omnia expensa, et
in tota ratione mortalium utramque paginam facit. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. c. 7.
Bishop Berkeley has quoted some authorities to prove, that the antients understood nothing more by Necessity and Fate, than the eternal reason of the law of nature, or the spiritual power by which the order of the world is administered and disposed. Siris. p. 271. But necessity and fate are directly opposed, by the best writers of antiquity, to the will and power of the gods, and plainly described as separate and distinct existences, and the irresistible rulers of earth and heaven. When Jupiter wished to save Patroclus, he iuquired into the decree of Destiny, and was compelled to resign the hero to his fate. Il. xx. Ovid asserts that the destiny of things is written on adamant, and describes Jupiter and Venus as proceeding to consult the Fates, in order to discover what was to be the lot of Julius Cæsar. Metamorph. lib. xv. Diana, in the Phædra of Euripides, approaches to console the expiring Hypolitus. I cannot, says she, change the order of destiny, but I shall revenge your death, by sacrificing some lover favoured by Venus. Hesiod, in bis Genealogy of the Gods, adverts also to this all-governing power, and describes it as the progeny of Night and Erebus; and Homer says, that the destiny of Achilles was twined, at bis birth, with the thread of life, and that, though the mightiest of the gods were his friends, his fate must be fulfilled.
Iliad. xx. The philosophers adopted the opinion of the poets. Quod fore paratum est, id summum exuperat Jovem. Cicer. De Divinat. lib. ii. c. 10. Την πεπρωμενην μοιραν αδυνατον εστιν απο φυγειν και των Osw. Herodot. lib. i. c. 91. Eadem necessitas et deos alligat. Irrevocabilis divina pariter atque humana cursus vehit. Seneca De Provid. c. v. p. 195. Pausanias enumerates the temples dedicated to Necessity, in many parts of Greece; and Plato affirmed that there were three Destinies, and pictures them with all the fancy and enthusiasm of the poet. Sometimes he places them in the celestial spheres. Their vestments are of the purest white, spotted with stars. Their heads are adorned with radiant diadems. They are seated on thrones blazing with the light of heaven; and they sing, in a voice more sweet than that of the Syrens, of things past, present, and to come. On other occasions, the philosopher imagines a string of diamonds, one end of which is lost in the heavens, and another touches the earth. Necessity, placed on a mighty and magnificent altar, holds this string between her knees, and the three Destinies, who are seated at the foot of the altar, turn it incessantly in their hands, and, as they turn it, decide the fate of the Universe. Plato. De Repub. lib. x.
NOTE L. p. 79.
IT may not be useless to advert a little more minutely to the opinions entertained by the schools of Greece and Italy, on the subject of a Providence.
Multa cernunt haruspices, say the Stoics, multa augures provident, multa oraculis declaruntur, multa somnia, multa portentis ; quibus cognitis multæ sæpe res hominum sententia atque utilitate partæ, multa etiam pericula depulsa sunt. Hæc, igitur, non ab alio alicui quam a Diis immortalibus data. Cicer. De Nat. Deor. lib. ii. $ 65
Epictetus and Marcus Antoninus entertained the same belief. Enchirid. $ 24. Marc. Antonin. lib. i. $ 27.
Pluto, in his Phædo, speaks of a prophetic madness inspired by the gods, and adverts to the various occasions in which the ecstatic insanity of the Priestess of Apollo and of Dodona had communi. cated the will of heaven.
Cicero admits that, if one class of philosophers asserted a Providence, the doctrine was violently opposed by another. Utrum nihil agunt Dii, an contra, magna dissensio est. De Nat. Deor. lib. i.
Pliny contemptuously discarded the opinion that the gods condescended to interfere in the management of humnan affairs. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. c. 7. And Minutius Felix, p. 95. ed. Var. scarcely avows even a partial and occasional interposition.
Cacilius, as quoted by Minutius Felix, ib. says-Christiani quæ monstra, quæ portenta confingunt? Deum illum suum, quem nec ostendere possunt nec videre, in omnium mores, omnium actus, verba etiam, et occulta cogitationes diligenter inquirere, molestum illum volunt, inquietum, impudenter curiosum: siquidem instat factis omnibus, locis omnibus interceptus, cum nec singulos in servire posset per universa districtus, nec universis sufficit, in sine gulis occupatus.
Seneca seeing to have believed that individuals might, on some occasions, be thought worthy of the care of the gods. Interdum curiosi singulorum. Epist. 95.
NOTE M. p. 88. " SURELY those who believe, and those who Judaize, and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believeth in God in the last day,
they shall know their reward, and no fear shall come on them.” Kor. ch. ii. vol. i. p. 12, 13. Yet, when it was required of the impostor to speak in a bolder tone, such an expectation was to be sanctioned neither in Jew nor Christian. For “whosoever followeth any other religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him, and in the next world he shall be of those who perish.” Kor. ch. iii. vol. i. p. 72. The learned Abulkesan Habalallah has written a treatise, De abrogante et abrogato, in which he enumerates a great number of abrogations or contradictions, of this nature, in the Koran.
The abrogations of the Koran are acknowledged and vindicated. “ When we substitute in the Koran an abrogating verse in lieu of a verse abrogated, (and God knoweth the fitness best of that which he reveals,") &c.—Kor. ch. xvi. vol. ii. p. 89. Never surely was there a more convenient doctrine. It perfectly enabled the prophet to meet all contingencies, and to remedy preceding inadvertence or indiscretion, by subsequent ordinances, better adapted to times and circumstances. The policy was crafty, but the impiety was gross; and Providence was represented as unstable and variable, to meet the vilest purposes of mortal mutability.
NOTE N. p. 89. THE examination of the sepulchre is founded on express tradition from Mahomet, and is plainly alluded to in the Koran, Ch. viii. vol. i. p. 47
It is, therefore, believed by every orthodox Mussulman; and the graves of the faithful are so made, that the buried bodies may more easily sit up in them during the examination of the angel. Sale, Prelim. Disc. sect iv. p. 57.
When the corpse is laid in the grave, it is received by an attending angel, who waits the approach of two black and hideous “ Examiners,” Menkir and Nakir. These, on the night of the burial, order the departed mortal to sit upright in the grave, and strictly interrogate him as to the purity of his belief in the unity of God, and in the mission of the prophet. If he answer rightly, they suffer him to rest in peace, and refresh his body with a breath of the air of Paradise. But, should they detect unsoundness in his faith, they seize him with irresistible might, and beat his temples with iron maces, till he roars aloud, and his shrieks are heard by every being from east to west but genii and men. They, then, press the earth on the corpse, “ which is to be gnawed and stung till the resurrection by ninety-nine dragons, each with seven heads."