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of there being no established religion at Mecca at that time to contend with, might reasonably have been expected. How soon his primitive adherents were let into the secret of his views of empire, or in what stage of his undertaking these views first opened themselves to his own mind, it is not now easy to determine. The event however was, that these his first proselytes all ultimately attained to riches and honours, to the command of armies, and the government of kingdoms.*

3. The Arabs deduced their descent from Abraham through the line of Ishmael. The inhabitants of Mecca, in common probably with the other Arabian tribes, acknowledged, as I think, may clearly be collected from the Koran, one supreme Deity, but had associated with him many objects of idolatrous worship. The great doctrine, *with which Mahomet set out, was the strict and exclusive unity of God. "Abraham, he told them, their illustrious ancestor; Ishmael, the father of their nation; Moses, the lawgiver of the Jews; and Jesus, the author of Christian. ity, hath all asserted the same thing; that their followers had universally corrupted the truth, and that he was now commissioned to restore it to the world. Was it to be won. dered at, that a doctrine so specious and authorized by names some or other of which were holden in the highest veneration by every description of his hearers, should, in the hands of a popular missionary, prevail to the extent in which Mahomet succeeded by his pacific ministry ?

4. Of the institution which Mahomet joined with this fundamental doctrine, and of the Koran in which that institution is delivered, we discover, I think, two purposes that prevade the whole, viz. to make converts, and to make his converts soldiers.

The following particulars, amongst others, may be considered as pretty evident indications of these designs :

1. When Mahomet began to preach, his address to the Jews, the Christians, and to the Pagan Arabs, was, that the religion which he taught, was no other than what had been originally their own. 56 We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down unto us, and that which hath been sent down unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaąc, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses and Jesus, and that which was delivered unto the prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between any of them.”+ 66 He hath ordained you the religion * Gib. Vol. 18. p. 244.

† Sale's Koran, c. ii. p. 17.

which ħe commanded Noah and which we have revealed unto thee, O Mohammed, and which we commanded Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, saying, Observe this reJigion, and be not divided therein."* 66 He hath chosen you, and hath not imposed on you, any difficulty in the religion which he hath given you, the religion of your father Abraham.”+

2. The author of the Koran never ceases from describing the future anguish of unbelievers, their despair, regret, penitence, and torment. It is the point which he labours above all others. And these descriptions are conceived in terms, which will appear in no small degree impressive, even to the modern reader of an English translation. Doubtless they would operate with much greater force upon the minds of those to whom they were immediately directed. The terror which they seem well calculated to inspire, would be to many tempers a powerful application.

3. On the other hand, his voluptuous paradise; his robes of silk, his palaces of marble, his rivers and shades, his groves and couches, his wines, his dainties; and, above all,

; his seventy-two virgins assigned to each of the faithful, of resplendent beauty and eternal youth; intoxicated the imaginations, and seized the passions of his Eastern followers.

4. But Mahomet's highest heaven was reserved for those who fought his battles, or expended their fortunes in his

6 Those believers who sit still at home, not having any hurt, and those who employ their fortunes and their persons for the religion of God, shall not be held equal. God hath preferred those who employ their fortunes and their persons in that cause, to a degree above those who sit at home. God hath indeed promised every one paradise, but God hath preferred those who fight for the faith, before those who sit still, by adding unto them a great reward; by degrees of honour conferred upon them from him, and by granting them forgiveness and mercy."I Again, “ Do ye reckon the giving drink to the pilgrims, and the visiting of the holy temple, to be actions as meritorious as those performed by him who believeth in God and the last day, and fighteth for the religion of God? they shall not be held equal with God. They who have believed, and fled their country, and employed their substance and their persons in the defence of God's true religion, shall be in the highest degree of honour with God; and

• Ib. c. xlii. p. 393. + tb. c. xxij. p. 281. Ib. c. iv. p. 73.


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these are they who shall be happy. The Luri seadet them good tidings of mercy from him, and good vil. ad of gardens wherein they shall enjoy lasting piezsıras They shall continue therein for ever. foe with God se great reward.** And, once more. “ Ferily God hath purchased of the true believers their souls and their substance. promising them the enjoyment of paradise, on condition that they fight for the cause of Gott, whether they slay or be slais, the promise for the same is assuredly due by the law and the gospel, and the Koran.*** ;

5. His doctrine of predestination was açplicable, and was applied by him to the same purpose of fortifying and of exaiting the courage of his adherents. "If any thing on the maiter had happened unto us, we had not been slain here. Answer. if ye had been in your houses, verily they wonid have gone forth to fight, whose slaughter was decreed to the places where they died."

6. In warm regions, the appetite of the seves is ardent, the passion for inebriating liquors moderate. In compliance with this distinction, although Mahomet laid a restraint ipen the drinking of wine, in the use of women he allowed an almost unbounded indulgence. Four wives, with the Liberty of changing them at pleasure together with the persons of ail his captives. ** was an irresistible bribe to an invian Tirrior. God is minded," says he, speakng of this very subiect. -- to make his religion light unto Fuu. zor nan was created weat." How diferent this from che unaccommodating purity of the gospel? How would Haaonec hare succeeded with the Christian lesson in his mouth. - Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hain committed adultery with her already in his heart?": it must be adued, that Mahomet did not venture upon the prohibition of wine, till the fourth year of the Hegira, or the seventeenth of bis mission.ft when his military successes had completely established bis authority. The same observation holds of the fast of the Ramadan, 11 and of the most laborious part of his institution, the pilgrimage co Mecca. • Ib. e. is. p. 131.

+ II. p. 164. t 'The sword (saith Mahomet is the key of heaven and of hell; a drop of blood shed the cause of God, a pight spent in arms, is of more avail tban two months of fast. or prayer. Whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven at the day of Judgment

Cuids shall be resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk and the loss of -> shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim.” Gibb. vol. IX. p. 256.

© C.ii. p54. I c. iv. p 63.
ft Mod. Pn. Hist. vol. I. p. 120.

11 lb. p. 112
Latter, however, already prevailed amongst the Arabs, and had grown out
Cessive veneration for the Caaba. Mahomet's law, in this respect, was rath.
sance than an innovation. Sale's Prelim. p. 122,

" Gibb. p. 255.

What has hitherto been collected from the records of the Mussulman history, relates to the twelve or thirteen years of Mahomet's peaceable preaching, which part alone of his life and enterprize admits of the smallest comparison with the origin of Christianity. A new scene is now unfolded. The city of Medina, distant about ten days journey from Mecca, was at that time distracted by the hereditary contentions of two hostile tribes. These feuds were exasperated by the mutual persecutions of the Jews and Christians, and of the different Christian sects by which the city was inhabited.* The religion of Mahomet presented in some measure, a point of union or compromise to these divided opinions. It embraced the principles which were common to them all. Each party saw in it an honorable acknowl-edgment of the fundamental truth of their own system. To the Pagan Arab, somewhat imbued with the sentiments and knowledge of his Jewish or Christian fellow-citizen, it offered no offensive or very improbable theology. This recommendation procured to Mahometanism a more favourable reception at Medina, than its author had been able, by twelve years' painful endeavours, to obtain for it at Mecca. Yet, after all, the progress of the religion was inconsiderable. His missionary could only collect a congregation of forty persons. It was not a religious, but a political association, which ultimately introduced Mahomet into Medina. Harassed, as it should seem, and disgusted by the long continuance of factions and disputes, the inhabitants of that city saw in the admission of the prophet's authority, a rest from the miseries which they had suffered, and a suppression of the violence and fury which they had learnt to condemn. After an embassy, therefore, composed of believers and unbelievers, and of persons of both tribes, with whom a treaty was concluded of strict alliance and support, Mahomet made his public entry, and was received as the sovereign of Medina.

From this time, or soon after this time, the impostor changed his language and his conduct. Having now a town at his command, where to arm his party, and to head them with security, he enters upon new counsels. He now pretends that a divine commission is given to him to attack the infidels, to destroy idolatry, and to set up the true faith by the sword. An early victory over a very superior force, achieved by conduct and bravery, established the Mod. Un. Hist. vol. I. p. 100. + Ib. p. 854

Ib. p. 85. Ibp.88.

EUVY L V érte, ac u nis persone che Iron sea de a va mark=Q by se 2005 T'at valurt auc ac ni u Majes Eure EIDOS BT ist et ttiuso irvin *DE CUIEPT In the is the use is muy pean vi le lit be wubies arst 2 perse 2 +L'; TELEtal EYEMEML and dero-1, rishiar halt heutetaLit, L.iy ulitary enterprizes.

from this time we have nothing left to account for, bu slat about sbouid collect an army, that bis arts shouit Cover.aud tuat his religioosbouid proceed togeiber with fuis conguets. The ou daary experience of buman atiairs. Waves us little to wonder ai, in any of these ettects; and tbey were likenize each resisted by pecoliar faciuties. From all sides, the roving Arabs crowded around the standard of religion and plunder, of freedom and victory, of arms and rapide. Beside the bigbly painted jors of a carnal paradise, Mabomet rewarded his followers in this world with a liberal division of the spoils and with the persons of their female captives. I The condition of Arabia, occupied by small independent tribes, exposed it to the impression, and yielded to the progress of a firm and resolute army. After the reduction of bis native peninsula, the weakness also of the Rora provinces on the North and on the West, as well as the distracted state of the Persian empire on the East, facilitated the successful invasion of neighbouring countries. That Mahomet's conquests should carry his religion along with them, will excite little surprise, when we know the conditions which he proposed to the vanquished. Death or conversion was the only choice offered to idolaters. * Strike off their heads; strike off all the ends of their fingers:8 kill the idolaters, wheresoever ye shall find them." To the Jews and Christians was left a somewhat milder alternative, of subjection and tribute, if they persisted in their own religion, or of an equal participation in the rights and liberty, the honours and privileges of the faithful, if they embraced the religion of their conquerors. “Ye Christian dogs, you know your option; the Koran, the tributo, or the sword."** The corrupt state of Christianity in the seventh century, and the contentions of its sects, unhappily so fell in with men's care for their safety, or their fortunes, as to induce many to forsake its profession. Add to all which that Mahomet's victories not only operated Tilfury of Bedr. ib. p. 106. + Un. Hist. vol. I. p. 255. Gibb. vol. IX. p. 255.

sle's Koran, G. vidio po 140. Ibo cit. p. 149. **Gibb. ib. p. 337.

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