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Pandora's box, than in Mohammed's history of Joseph.
In fact, of all the books which I ever attempted to read, the Koran contains the fewest ideas, and the most wearying sameness. I suppose they who, fully understanding Arabic, read it as, in some respects, a living language, find the periods and cadences sonorous and pompous. But it is the dullest book I ever opened and I turn from it with a sort of anticipated satisfaction, not only to the sacred scriptures, or to the writings of Christians, or to heathen moralists; but even to the entertaining and ingenious fictions and trifles of the Latin and Greek poets.
P. 30. 1. 30. Good fortune attended both.' What is the meaning of good fortune,' in the vocabulary of a Jew or a Christian? I read nothing of it, either in the original scriptures, or in our translation of them. In our Prayer Book translation of the Psalms, good luck' thrice occurs; and it would be an improvement if it were changed for some other term: but, as it is 'good luck in the name of the Lord,' it does not lead us to erroneous sentiments. The heathen considered Fortune as a sort of independent goddess, in some respects superior to their other gods; and they built temples and altars, and offered sacrifices, to her: and the clause, good fortune attended them both,' savours of the same heathenism. It has been seen how God made Christianity successful: but, as to Mohammed's success, we may write as one did under Pope Adrian's inscription, Hic Deus nihil fecit.' Indeed the same reprehension is far more justly due to all Mr. C.'s language in this passage.
Moses, Jesus, Mohammed: Jew, Christian, Turk, begin, continue, and end the whole; altogether independent of God, who is not mentioned, except as the law of Moses is 'the law of God.'-But this is not the worst. What shall we say to such language as this? 'If 'Moses should one day come to visit his castle, he 'would be surprised to find two castles built on the top of his and in a great rage, he would command 'one of his tempests, saying, Go ye and pluck 'them both off, and cast them away, and let me 'see no more of them.' How different the language of prophecy! "Thus saith the Lord God; "I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury, and there shall be an overflowing shower ❝in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury "to consume it. So will I break down the wall ye "have builded with untempered mortar," &c. 1 Are the tempests at the command of Moses? Are they his tempests? Surely this language is as contrary to the Old Testament as to the New. Let us at least, in pleading our several causes, not forget, that "the Lord reigneth."-Mr. C. makes the word Turk to mean the same as Mohammedan: (p. 29. 1. 22. 23.) but Turk is the name of a nation, not of a religious body. Probably, the Turks in general are Mohammedans: but the Mohammedans in Persia, the East Indies, and the interior of Africa, are not Turks.
P. 31. 1. 6. The castle of Moses will stand 'for ever.'-What says Jeremiah on this subject?
Ez. xiii. 10—16. Job xxxviii. 22-25. Ps. cvii. 25. Jer. x. 13. Jon. i. 4.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I "will make a new covenant with the house of "Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not
according to the covenant which I made with "their fathers, when I took them by the hand to
bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my "covenant they brake, although I was a husband "unto them, saith the Lord. And this shall be "the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will
put my law in their hearts, and write it in their "inward parts; and I will be their God, and they "shall be my people. And they shall teach no "more every man his neighbour, and every man "his brother saying, Know the Lord: for they "shall all know me, from the least of them unto "the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember "their sin no more.' Was not the apostle "warranted by this prediction to say, "In that "he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the "first old: now that which decayeth, and waxeth "old, is ready to vanish away?" Even the letter and form of the law of Moses, as it relates to ritual observances, has not only in its most important requirements been rendered impracticable, ever since the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, that is for above seventeen hundred years; but it has also been disregarded in many things practicable, by the Jews in their disper
P. 31. 1. 8. 'It was ordained that there should
1 Jer. xxxi. 31-34. Heb. viii. 8-13.
'be four empires,' &c. The Messiah is predicted by Daniel as coming under the fourth kingdom, made known by Nebuchadnezzar's dream: but his coming was predicted under the emblem of "a stone cut out without hands;" evidently intimating the feeble beginnings of his kingdom; being of the same import with the parables of the grain of mustard-seed, and of the leaven, by which Jesus Christ predicted the nature and progress of his gospel.2 Its original was small, and its success gradual, and at first unobserved by the rulers of the world: it proceeded without any human help, or power, and amidst great opposition from man. The coming of the Messiah must indeed be under the fourth kingdom; and so was the coming of Jesus: but it is his final success, when "the stone cut out without hands became "a great mountain, and filled the whole earth," which is predicted as taking place when the fourth kingdom was divided into ten kingdoms. There is no intimation that the Messiah should not come till that time: on the contrary the same prophet predicted that he should come before the desolations of Jerusalem.3 "Of the increase of his "government and peace there shall be no end," says Isaiah. Jesus came when the fourth kingdom had attained to its height of power and dominion: and by the influence of his gospel, and by those
weapons of warfare" which have been described, he undermined and subverted the pagan idolatrous
1 Dan. ii. 34, 35. 44, 45.
2 Matt. xiii. 31-33.
1 Is. ix. 7.
"that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, “and bringing into captivity every thought to the "obedience of Christ." Jesus himself appeared as a poor man, "not having where to lay his "head:" having been educated, not in the schools of learning, but in the cottage, nay in the carpenter's shop of Joseph; without wealthy or powerful connexions; and despised and opposed by all those who possessed learning, authority, rank, or influence, and those who were invested with the priestly character. He chose his immediate followers, and the ministers of his spiritual kingdom, the commanders in this holy warfare, from the fishing-boats of Galilee, or the receipt of custom. He paid no court to the great and noble, but "preached the gospel to the poor;" which was an additional reason of the opposition of the Jewish rulers to his claims, and continues to be so to this day." He went about doing good," in the midst of all kind of opposition, contempt, reproach, and contradiction; and, when his numerous and stupendous miracles so affected the common people that they wanted to make him a King, and to enlist under his banners as a temporal leader; he decidedly resisted or evaded their attempts, Having spent some years in constantly preaching the word of life; exhibiting all the time a spotless example, performing innumerable miracles of mercy, 'patiently suffering all hardships and injuries, and employing his hours of retirement in fervent devotion; he was at last. "led as a lamb to the