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however, proves nothing in favour of Christianity; and it proves as little in favour of Muhammadanism.

5. The Muhammadan view of the rewards conferred by God on all who should fall in battle, must have wrought up the feelings of the fiery Arabs to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. All men desire to go to heaven; but, in the case of the Arabs, "the promise of Paradise was annexed to all in which they most delighted on earth."

And such a Paradise! All that a glowing imagination could anticipate of sensual enjoyment, was offered. No wonder, when such powerful stimulants were supplied, if the Arab became tenfold more warlike, more fanatical, more ferocious, and more invincible.

6. Almost the only indulgence which Muhammad refused to his followers was wine. He promised them wine in heaven-while he denied it on earth. But if Muhammad possessed the sagacity which there is every reason to think he did possess, he must have known that a religion which does not inculcate self-denial in some shape or other, is very unlikely to prevail. Man as a religious being, instinctively feels that a religion which involves no sacrifice cannot be true. This principle is also to be taken into account, in explaining the willingness of his followers to risk their lives on the field of battle.

Doubtless, also, Muhammad saw that he would not be able to control the Arab tribes, if their natural fierceness were inflamed by intoxication.

7. The following additional reasons have been mentioned by a recent writer as among the chief causes which enabled the system of Muhammad to take root at first. "The general adaptation of its civil and criminal laws to the existing constitution of Arabian society; the political liberty which it conferred upon the mass of its disciples, by making them equal in the eye of the law, while it limited the power of those in authority by religious ob

Hallam, as above.

ligations; the smallness of the taxes which it imposed; the simplicity, completeness, and consistency, of its whole code (of law); and the disunion and independence and differences of every kind, which subsisted among the Pagan, Christian, and Jewish Arabs."*

8. Add the important consideration that the Christianity of Arabia, Persia, Asia Minor, &c., with which the Muhammadan system came in contact, was exceedingly corrupt; and, by departing from the doctrines and precepts of the Bible, had lost its strength and vitality. Christians farther believe that the professors of such a corrupt system deserved signal chastisement, and that Muhammad was a scourge in the hand of God for the purpose of inflicting that chastisement.

These considerations will clearly shew that the success of Muhammadanism was nothing miraculous.

V. But I must hasten to consider the great proof on The Kurán itself which Muhammadans rely, as establishing that the Kurán is inspired. They

is no miracle.

say the Kuran itself is a miracle.

In the Kurán this is repeatedly referred to. "This Kurán could not have been composed by any except God; it is sent down from the Lord of all creatures." (Sura 10th.)

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Verily if men and genii were purposely assembled that they might produce a book like this Kurán, they could not produce one like unto it, although the one of them assisted the other." (Sura 17th.) "If ye be in doubt concerning that Revelation which we have sent down unto our servant, produce a chapter like unto it." (Sura 2nd.)

When it is said that the Kurán is incomparable as a composition, the meaning may be either that the sentiments are so, or that the language is so, or that both are so. Regarding the sentiments any one can judge who is able to read the Kurán either in the Arabic, or in any of the lan

* Lane's "Selections from the Kurán" p. 56.

guages into which it has been translated,-Latin, English, Hindustání, &c. Certainly, the Kurán is far from an incomparable book in point of sentiment. The historian Gibbon calls it "an endless incoherent rhapsody of fable and precept and declamation-which sometimes crawls in the dust, and sometimes is lost in the clouds.' This lan

guage is, perhaps, too severe; but, at all events, no educated European will express any great admiration of the Kurán. Much of it is borrowed from the Bible; but, as a whole, it is far less simple, far less pathetic, and far less sublime than the Bible. Such, at least, is the opinion of educated Europeans, whether Christians or unbelievers, and also, if I mistake not, of educated Hindus.

Again, with respect to the style. Unhappily, only Arabs can properly estimate the elegance, force, or harmony of the language. Generally speaking, they agree in stating that the style of the Kurán is singularly beautiful. Yet some learned Musalmáns have questioned this.f I may be permitted to remark that as the dialect of Arabic in which the Kurán is written, may now be called almost a dead language, it is extremely difficult to estimate its merits and demerits. The Kurán is written in a kind of balanced prose, with frequent rhyming terminations. This kind of com

position was once much admired among the Syrian Christians, from whom it has been thought Muhammad borrowed it; but in Europe neither the poetic cadence, nor the jingling sound, is deemed suitable to prose composition. It is difficult to say whether the Arabs or Europeans are right in this matter, and whether this feature of the Kuran is more a beauty or a blemish.

* Gibbon, chap. 1. p. 265. (Milman's Edit.) On a question of composition Gibbon's authority is of no small weight.

+ Pococke's Specimen Historiæ Arabum p. 224. (White's Edition.) Marracci, Prodromus iii. p. 75.

Lee's Martyn's Tracts p. 124, 135,

But even supposing the Kurán to be decidedly the most eloquent and sublime book in the Arabic language, the fact does not prove much. In almost every literature, there is one book which is confessedly the best in the language. No other Greek poet equals Homer; no other English writer is so sublime as Milton; no Sanskrit author can rival Kálidása, in the flexibility of his language and the beauty of his descriptions. But it does not follow that the works produced by these writers are inspired. In like manner, we may freely admit that Muhammad was a man of an ardent and poetic cast of mind, who could utter powerful strains of eloquence; but assuredly that will not establish the fact of his being inspired, and the "Apostle of God."

Internal Evidence.

The subject which we have just been considering, might be brought under either the external or the internal evidence ;—we have noticed it under the external, as the Muhammadans speak of the excellence of the Kurán as a standing miracle. We come now to consider what is properly internal.

I. One convincing argument against the Kurán is found in the glaring contradictions which The Kurán full of contra- exist in it. dictions.

The Muhammadan doctors are well aware of these contradictions, and they speak of "the two faces of the Kurán.” The explanation which they give of this remarkable fact is that God abrogated part of what He had first commanded. Muhammad himself refers

to the same thing: "Whatever verse we shall abrogate or cause thee to forget, we shall bring a better than it or one like it." (Sura 2nd.) It is rather extraordinary that an earlier part of the Kurán is sometimes held to abrogate a later. Thus in Sura 16th we read of wine as among the proofs of God's goodness and wisdom. "Of the fruit of palm.

trees and grapes, ye obtain an inebriating liquor and also good nourishment. Verily herein is a sign to people who understand." But in Sura 2nd we read: "They will ask thee concerning wine and lots. Answer, in both there is great sin, and also some thing of use to men, but their sinfulness is greater than their use." And in Sura 5th, "O true believers, surely wine, and lots, and images, and divining arrows, are an abomination of the work of Satan." Here the earlier chapters are held to abrogate the later.

It is possible that, in regard to any particular act, God might command it at one time, and forbid it at another; but it is not possible that He could declare a principle to be true to-day and reverse it to-morrow.

It is easy to discover a very different spirit in the chapters said to have been revealed at Mecca, from those said to have been revealed at Medina. The latter are far more cruel and exterminating.

The learned Al Jahedhi maintained that the Kurán was a body which could be turned either into a man or a beast.*

II. A powerful argument against the Kurán is drawn

The Kurán from the fact that it accuses the Bible of falsely accus

es the Bible. being corrupted.

Muhammad often accuses the Jews, and sometimes the Christians, of corrupting the Scriptures.

"They dislocate the words from their places, and have forgotten a part of what they were admonished." "And for those who say, We are Christians, we have received their covenant; but they have forgotten part of what they were admonished." "O ye who have received the Scriptures, now is our Apostle come unto you, to make manifest many things which ye concealed in the Scriptures." (Sura 5th)-"Woe unto them who transcribe [corruptly] the book [of the law]" (Sura 2nd).

* Pococke's Specimen, p. 225.

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