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and 1663 had been brought out with more fitting prominence and emphasis. But our good brother is a lover of quietness. The battle-field is not his element. Such men are of God's making, and have their work to do. But it is well that there are spiritual natures of other stuff, and to which a much harder work is equally natural.

Troublous Times; or, Leaves from the Note-book of the Rev. Mr. John Hicks, an Ejected Nonconformist, 1670-1671. Transcribed by JANE BOWRING CRANCH, with an Introduction by the Rev. CHARLES STANFORD. Jackson & Co.-This book comes before us in form of 'fiction,' but we are assured that 'every leading incident is a wellauthenticated fact.' And instructive and deeply-interesting incidents they are. It is full of pictures of Nonconformist life through the dark days which followed the Restoration. The publication has our hearty commendation.

The Shepherd of Grove Hall: a Story of 1662. John Snow. This is a book resembling the former. Its narrative is designed to convey a just impression concerning the experiences of Nonconformists during the same times of trial; and the case was substantially as it is here presented. It is a volume adapted to suggest much true thought, and to awaken much right feeling.

Documents Relating to the Settlement of the Church of England by the Act of Uniformity of 1662. Kent & Co. Published by the Central United Bartholomew Committee.

ST. BARTHOLOMEW BICENTENARY PAPERS.-The Story of the Ejectment: a Lecture, by the Rev. THOMAS MCCREE, D.D. Nonconformity in 1662 and in 1862: a Lecture, by the Rev. R. W. DALE, A.M. Fidelity to Conscience: a Lecture, by the Rev. A. McLAREN, B.A.

TRACT SERIES.-Objects and Plans of the Central United St. Bartholomew Committee of Evangelical Nonconformists. The First Protest; or, The Fathers of English Nonconformity. A Summary of the Proceedings which issued in the Act of Uniformity of 1662. The Act of Uniformity and the Subsidiary Acts. The Farewell Sunday. The Effects of the Ejectment. So far the Central United Committee have carried out their publication scheme, and so far they have acquitted themselves very creditably. The volume of 'Documents' extends to more than five hundred pages, handsomely printed, embracing, besides the voluminous papers which passed between the Presbyterian ministers and the Prelates, the statutes relating to Nonconformity from the Act of Uniformity to the Act of Toleration, and large extracts from the Journals of Parliament, with other matters necessary to be read and studied by the man who would acquire a certain and thorough knowledge of the subject. All historical comment is left to be given in an Introduction of about a hundred pages, which it is expected will be published the first week in August. This Introduction will not, of course, supersede the fuller view of the great event of 1662, considered in its antecedents and consequences, which will be given in the volume to be published under the sanction of the Committee of the Congregational Conference. But, after the appearance of this

collection of documents, nothing beyond a limited selection of the most important will, we presume, be expected to appear as an appendix to that volume. The price of this collection of papers, bulky as it is, is only four shillings. It will be seen, accordingly, that the Committee must lose considerably by the publication, unless a large number should be sold. The separate Papers and Tracts are all well written, and adapted to their purpose. Their only fault is, that they seem to be intended mainly for persons who are supposed to know a good deal about the matter. This, indeed, is the fault of nearly everything that has hitherto been published by Nonconformists on this question. The tone of the above publications is in general tolerant and candid, though outspoken. Mr. McLaren's lecture, in respect to literary skill and force, perhaps takes precedence of the rest; but there is a tart, defiant ring sounding through it which does not tend to conciliate. Time, we doubt not, will mellow this tendency in manner, softening the edge, but leaving the breadth and the strength. If the Nonconformists are wise, they will purchase these publications largely, for distribution.

The Congregational Conference Committee have published an Address, Explanatory and Defensive of their movement, which may be obtained gratuitously for distribution, on a pastor's application for them; and also the Addresses delivered at St. James's Hall, which the Committee say they wish should be taken as the expression of their views as to the object of the Celebration, and as to the spirit in which they think it should be conducted. A statement is also about to be issued, showing the exact purpose of the proposed Memorial Hall.



OCTOBER 1, 1862.

ART. I.-The Life of Mahomet. With Introductory Chapters on the Original Sources for the Biography of Mahomet, and on the PreIslamite History of Arabia. By WILLIAM MUIR, Esq., Bengal Civil Service. Four Volumes. London: Smith, Elder, & Co. 1861.

THE poverty of our literature in reference to Mahomet and Mahometanism is so conspicuous and so inconvenient that we may well receive with gratitude Mr. Muir's very able endeavour to relieve it. With freedom from prejudice and independence of judgment, he combines an extensive and intimate knowledge of the most authentic sources of information, and, after several years of labour, has produced these volumes in the hope of contributing to the complete elucidation and final settlement of Mahomet's real character and claims. After a careful examination of them, and after comparing them with those of sundry of his predecessors and contemporaries, it appears to us that the author has abundant reason to be gratified with the success he has achieved. Most conscientiously prepared, and based on authorities whom the Moslems themselves appeal to as decisive, his work may be used with equal confidence both by the historian and the controversialist. We heartily commend it to every one who, on so important a subject, desires to have what, on the whole, is probably the best and completest book in any language, and shall avail ourselves of it and of other sources of information, in this paper, to present a few of the leading events of the Prophet's life, with a view to a brief illustration of his character and of the means and meaning of his


Born at Mecca in the year 570, Mahomet was, like most


Meccan children of good family, nursed by the Bedouins of the neighbouring desert. His father had died before he was born, and soon after his return from the desert in his sixth year, his mother succumbed to the grief and care of widowhood, and left her child to the care of his paternal grandfather. Scarcely two years had passed, when Abd al Muttalib, too, died, and the boy became the charge of an uncle, to whom the affectionate old man hopefully committed him. Abu Talib proved eminently worthy of his trust. He watched over his delicate and much-attached nephew with unfailing solicitude, and when he was twelve years of age, gave him a mount on his camel, and joined the caravan to Syria. Their journey extended to Bostra-perhaps further; and though it cannot well have been fraught with such appreciable religious and theological results as some of the biographers of the Prophet have supposed, it is only just to believe that it made impressions which had most important effects upon his subsequent life and character, which could never be forgotten, and which developed into consequences which could then be as little foreseen as they can now be retraced.

'He passed,' says Mr. Muir, 'near to Petra, Jerash, Ammon, and other ruinous sites of former mercantile grandeur; and the sight, no doubt, deeply imprinted upon his reflective mind the instability of earthly greatness. The wild story of the Valley of Hejer, with its lonely deserted habitations hewn out of the rock, and the tale of Divine vengeance against the cities of the plain, over which now rolled the billows of the Dead Sea, would excite apprehension and awe; while their strange and startling details, rendered more tragic by Jewish tradition and local legend, would win and charm the childish heart, ever yearning after the marvellous. On this journey, too, he passed through several Jewish settlements, and came in contact with the national profession of Christianity in Syria. Hitherto he had witnessed only the occasional and isolated exhibition of the faith: now he saw its rites in full and regular performance by a whole community; the national and the social customs founded upon Christianity; the churches with their crosses, images, or pictures, and other symbols of the faith; the ringing of bells; the frequent assemblages for worship. The reports, and possibly an actual glimpse, of the continually recurring ceremonial, effected, we may suppose, a deep impression upon him; and this impression would be rendered all the more practical and lasting by the sight of whole tribes, Arab like himself, converted to the same faith, and practising the same observances.'-Vol. i. pp. 33, 34.

Making due note of this journey into Syria, we are to think of the young Mahomet, after his return to Mecca, as engaged in not

Marries Khadija-His Personal Appearance.

257 very diligent and not very lucrative commerce, varied at intervals with the supposed effeminate and mean occupation of tending sheep, up to his twenty-fifth year. His character with his fellow citizens was that of a retiring and reflective young man of few business qualifications, with almost no talent for money-making, but singularly moral, and constant in observing the religious and other duties prescribed by the established Paganism. He was anything but the profligate scoundrel Dean Prideaux has described, and had even won for himself the byname, El Amin, or The Faithful.

At twenty-five the whole course of his life was changed. A wealthy and virtuous widow, largely engaged in trade, required a steward and superintendent for a caravan she was despatching to Syria, and the offer of the place being made. to Mahomet the Faithful, was gladly accepted. He appears to have managed Khadija's business better than he had usually managed his own, and brought back to her, it is said, an unusually handsome profit. The next thing was that Khadija, though forty years old and very wealthy, wished to marry the poor young man, who had nothing but a comely person and a good character to recommend him. Their union proved a remarkably happy one. Khadija is reported to have availed herself but little of her husband's newly discovered business talents, while Mahomet was well content with the freedom from commonplace anxieties, and the command of ease and leisure, secured through his admirable wife. As the years glided by, they were blessed with a son, who lived but two years, with a daughter, then a second daughter, a third, and a fourth, and last another son. On each of these occasions, there was a sacrifice to the idols of Mecca of one or two kids, according as the child born was girl or boy. How far Mahomet concurred in these acts of piety in his wife we cannot tell. All we know is, that he did not in any way forbid them. Khadija meant well, no doubt, did what was usual, and in his then state of indecision and inquiry, Mahomet did not feel at liberty to interfere.

We pass thus rapidly over earlier events, because the interest of the Prophet's life does not properly commence till after his fortieth year. His personal appearance at about that age is thus described by Mr. Muir :

'Slightly above the middle size, his figure, though spare, was handsome and commanding, the chest broad and open, the bones and framework large, the joints well knit together. His neck was long and finely moulded. The head, unusually large, gave space for a broad and noble brow. The hair, thick, jet-black, and slightly curling, fell down over his ears. The eyebrows were

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