History of Mahomet, the great imposter

History of Mahomet, the great imposter  (1840-1850) 


THE HISTORY

OF

MAHOMET,

THE GREAT IMPOSTER.

CONTAINING

His Birth and Parentage—His Wives—His journey into Heaven, and the extraordinary things which he saw—His Alcoran and War, and his Death and Burial at Medina.



GLASGOW:

PRINTED FOR THE BOOKSELLERS.

126.

THE HISTORY

OF

MAHOMET.



Mahomet, or, according to the true pronunciation of the word Muhammad, was born at Mecca, a city of Arabia, of the tribe of the Korashites, which was reckoned the noblest in all that country, and was descended in a direct line of primogeniture from Pher Koraish, the first founder of it, from whom they derive his pedigree.

By this, it appears Mahomet was not of such mean, parentage as some have attested; for, being a Korashite, he was of the noblest tribe of all Arabia: and the family he was of was the most considerable of that tribe, as being that which for several descents together, had borne the chief rule over it.

However, in the beginning of his life he was in a very poor and despicable condition; for his father dying before he was two years old, and while his grandfather, Abdol Motallah, was still living, all the power and wealth of his family descended to his uncles, especially to Abu Taleb, who, after the death of Abdol Motallah his father, bore the chief sway, in Mecca as long as he lived, which was to a very great age; and under his protection, chiefly, was it that Mahomet, when he first broached his imposture, was supported against all his opposers and grow up to that height thereby, as to be able after his death to carry it on, and also, to establish it through all Arabia by his own power.

After his father's death, he continued uuder the tuition of his mother till the eighth year of his age, when, she also dying, he was taken under the care of his grandfather, Abdol Motallah, who, at his death, which happened the next year after, committed him to the care of his uncle, Abu Taleb, to be educated by him out of charity ; who carrying on a trade of merchandise, took him into this employment, and bred him up in the same business. For Mecca being situated in a very barren soil, could not of itself subsist; and therefore the inhabitants were forced to betake themselves to merchandise for their support; and the best men among them had scarce any other estate but the flock wherewith they trafficked; and therefore they all betook themselves to this course of life, which they seem to have received down from the Ishmaelites, from whom they were descended, and in the same manner as they carried on a trade into Syria, Persia and Egypt, on camels' backs, furnishing those countries with such commodities as come to them from India, Ethiopia, and other southern parts, for which commerce they were very advantageously situated, as lying near the Red Sea, where they had the port Jodda, the most convenient for shipping in all those straits.

In this course of life Mahomet was brought up, under his uncle; and as soon as he was of fit age, he was sent with his camels into Syria. On his coming to Bostra, a city on the confines of that country, while he was attending his uncle's factors in the vending of his wares in the public marketplace, he was there seen, (say the Mahometans,) by Bahira, a learned monk of that place, who immediately knowing him to be the great Prophet that was to come, pressed with great earnestness through the crowd unto him, and taking him by the hand, there foretold of him all these great things which afterwards came to pass.

The mark whereby he knew him (say they) was the prophetic light which shone on his face. This prophetic light, they tell us, God first placed on Adam, to be a sign of the prophets that were to be born of him; that this light, descending down to Abraham, was from him divided into two; one on the face of Isaac, and the other on the faco of Ishmael: that Isaac's light was soon manifested in the many prophets which appeared of his posterity among the children of Israel: but that which was placed on Ishmael was suppressed, and lay hid till the coming of Mahomet, on whom it first appeared; and that Bahira seeing it on him, thereby knew him, (say they,) to be a great prophet sent of God, who was ere long to manifest himself. But others say, the mark by which he knew him was the seal of his prophetic mission, stamped with a wonderful impression between his shoulders. But the truth is, Mahomet did not become acquainted with this Bahira, till many years after, when he traded for Cadigha in those parts, as will hereafter appear.

Till the 25th year of his age, he continued in his employment under his uncle; but then, one of the chief men of the city dying, and his widow, Whose name was Cadigha, (to whom he left all his stock, which was of considerablo valuo) wanted a actor to manage it for her, she invited Mahomet into her service; and having offered him such advantageous conditions as he thought fit to accept of, he undertook this employment under her, and for three years traded for her at Damascus, and other places; and in the management of this charge, gave her that content, and so far insinuated himself into her favour and good opinion, that about the 28th year of his age sho gave herself to him in marriage, being their forty years old; and from being servant, thus advanced him to be the master both of her person and estate; which having rendered him equal in wealth to the best men of the city, his ambitious mind began to entertain thoughts of possessing himself of the sovereignty over it.

His ancestor's had, for several descents, been chiefs of the tribe; and his great-grandfather Hashem, had made himself very considerable, not only at home, but also amongst his neighbours abroad; and had his father lived, the power and wealth of his family, after the death of his grandfather, would have descended to him, as being the eldest son; and after his decease to himself; and it was only his misfortuno in being left an orphan during the life of his grandfather, that deprived him of this.

These considerations, meeting with an ambitious aspiring mind, soon put him upon designs of raising himself to the supreme government of his country. Being a very subtile, crafty man, after having maturely weighed all ways and means whereby to bring this to pass, concluded none so likely to effect it, as the framing of that imposture which he afterwards vented with so much mischief to the world.

The course of trade which he drove into Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, having made him well acquainted both with Jews and Christians, and observing with what eagerness they, and the several sects into which the Christians of the east were then miserably divided, did engage against each other; he from thence concluded, that nothing would be more likely to gain a party firm to him, for the compassing of his ambitious ends, than the making of a new religion: and, for such a change, he judged his fellow-citizens might be well disposed, because their traffic and frequent converse with Christians, having much taken off their affection and zeal for that gross idolatry which they had hitherto been addicted to, they were at that timo from Heathenism generally falling into Zendicism, an error among the Arabs near of kin to the Sadducism of the Jews, as denying Providence, the Resurrection, aud a Future State; which being in fact to be without any religion at all, they were tho better fitted, while thus void of all other impressions of God, and his worship, to receive any he should impose upon them.

Therefore, betaking himself to frame such a religion as he thought might best go down with them, he drew up a scheme of that Imposture he afterwards deluded them with; which being a medley made up of Judaism, the several heresies of the Christians then in the east, and the old Pagan rites of the Arabs, with an indulgence to all sensual delights, it did too well answer his design in drawing men of all sorts to the embracing of it.

But that he might not immediately, from that idolatry which he had hitherto practised with the rest of his citizens, commence a preacher against it, and from his present course of life, which was very licentious and wicked, take upon him a character so unsuitable to it, as that of a prophet, without some previous change; in the 38th year of his age he withdrew himself from his former conversation, and affecting an Eremetical life, used every morning to withdraw himself into a solitary cave near Mecca, called the cave of Hara, and continued there all day, exercising himself as he pretended, in prayers, fastings, and holy meditations: and there, it is supposed, he first had his consults with those accomplices by whose help he made his Alcoran.

On his return home at night, he used to tell his wife Cadigha of visions which he had scen, and strange voices which he heard in his retirement; for he aimed first of all to draw her into the imposture, knowing that thereby he should secure his own faculty to his design without which it would bo dangerous for him to venture on it, and also gain in her an able partizan for him among the women. But she rejecting these stories as vain fancies of his own disturbed imagination, or else delusions of the devil; at length he opened himself further unto her, and feigned a converse with tho angel Gabriel, which she was also as backward to believe, till after repeated stories to her of his revelations from the said angel, she consulted with a fugitive monk, then in her house, who being in the plot, helped to confirm her in the belief of what Mahomet had communicated unto her, whereby being totally persuaded that Mahomet was really called to that prophetic office which he pretended to, from thenceforth gave up her faith totally to him, and becamo his first proselyte in this imposture.

After he had carried this point, having now by two years constantly practicing a retired and austere life, gained, as he thought, a sufficient reputation of sanctity for his design; in the 40th year of his age he began to take upon him the stylo of tho Apostle of GOD, and under that character to propagate the imposture which he had been so long in projecting. But for four years, he did it only in private, among such as he had most confidence in, clancularly insinuating his delusions into them.

His first proselyte, as has been said, was Cadigha his wife; his second was Zayd Ebn Hareth, his servant; and the third his cousin Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, his uncle, who, from hence, was used to style himself the first of believers, not reckoning on the other two. He tempted his servant Zayd, by promising him his freedom; and accordingly, on his receiving his religion, he manumised him. And from hence it hath become a law among the Mahometans ever since, to make their slaves free, whenever they turn to their religion.

It is to be observed, that Mahomet began this imposture about the same time that the Bishop of Rome, by virtue of a grant from the wicked tyrant Phocas, first assumed the title of Universal Pastor, and thereon claimed to himself that supremacy which he hath been ever since endeavouring to usurp over the church of Christ. And, from this time, both having conspired to found themselves an empire in imposture, their followers have been ever since endeavouring by the same methods, that is, those of fire and sword, to propagate it among mankind; so that Antichrist seems at this time to have set both his feet upon Christendom together, the one in the East, and the other in the West; and how much each hath trampled upon the church of Christ, the ages ever since succeeding havo abundantly experienced.

Mahomet's fourth disciple was Abu Beker, who being one of the richest men of Mecca, and a person of great wisdom and experience, brought with him great help and reputation to his, canse; and his example was soon followed by five others Othman Ebu Affan, Zobair Ebmo'l Aa'ah, Epad Ebu Abu-Waccas, Abdorrahman Ebn Auf, and Abu Obeide Ebno'l. Jerah, who were afterwards the principal generals of his armies, and the chief instruments under him,, by whose help he established both his empire and his imposture together, in these parts of the world.

After he had gotten these nine disciples, some of which were the principal men of the city, he began openly to publish his imposture to the people of Mecca, in the 44th year of his age, and publicly to declare himself a Prophet sent by GOD, to reduce them from the error of Paganism, and to teach them the true religion.

The first doctrine that he propagated among them, was that there was but one God, and that he only is to be worshipped; and that all idols were to be taken away, and their worship utterly abolished; and that those who say God had sons and daughters, or that there are any other God associated with him, are impious, and ought to be abhorred.

By denying him sons and associates, he reflected on the Christians for holding the doctrine of the Trinity; and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the belief of both which he doth in many places in his Alcoran vehemently forbid. By denying him daughters, he condemned the idolatrous practice of the Arabians, who worshipped Allat Menahr sud Al-Uzzah, female deities, which they held, to be the daughters of God; whose idols, and temples he afterwards every-where destroyed.

He did not pretend to deliver to them any new religion, but to revive the old one, which God first gave unto Adam ; and when lost in the corruption of the old world, restored it again by revelation to Abraham, who taught it to his son Ishmael, their forefather; and that he, when he first planted himself in Arabia, instructed men in the same religion which he had received from Abraham; but their posterity afterwards corrupted it into idolatry, and that God had now sent him to destroy this idolatry, and again restore the religion of Ishmael, their forefather. And therefore, according to his own doctrine, it is not unfitly called Ishmaelism by the Jews, although they call it so only out of contempt, by transposition of the letters from Islamisme, the namo whereby the Mahometans themselves most love to call it, from the Arabic word Salama, which in the fourth conjugation is Aslama, to enter into the state of salvation; hence Eslam, the saving religion, and Muislmon, or, as we call it, Mussleman, he that believeth therein.

He allowed both the old and the New Testaments, and that Moses and Jesus Christ were prophets sent from God: but that the Jews and Christians had corrupted these holy writings, and that he was sent to purge them from theso corruptious and restore the law of God to that purity in which it was first delivered: and therefore most of those passages which he takes out of the Old and New Testament, are related otherwise by him in his Alcoran, than wo have them in those sacred books; and in this, certainly he acted much wiser than our Sociniaus, who, with him, denying the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of our Saviour, yet still allow the Holy Scriptures, as now in our hands, to be genuine and uncorrupted, with which their doctrine is in the most manifest manner totally inconsistent. If they had, with this their master, denied the Scriptures which wo now have, as well as the Trinity and the divinity of our Saviour, which are so evidently proved by them, and forged others in their stead, they might have made their impious hypothesis look much more plausable, than now it can possibly appear to be.

Mahomet pretended to have all his revelations from the angel Gabriel, and that he was sent from God on purpose to deliver them unto him. And whereas he was subjeet to the falling-sickness, whenever the fit was upon him, he pretended it was a trance, and that then the angel Gabriel came from GOD, with some new revelations unto him, tho splendour of whose appearance he not being able to bear, this caused him to fall into these trances, in which the angel conversed with him, and delivered to him those messages from GOD, which he was sent to reveal unto him.

His pretended revelations he put into several chapters, the collection of which make up his Alcoran, which is the Bible of the Mahometans. The original of this book he taught them, was laid up in the archives of heaven, and that the angel Gabriel brought him the copy of it chapter by chapter, according as occasion required they should be published to the people. Part of these ho published at Mecca, before his flight from thence, and the other part at Medina; which he did after this manner:—When he had forged a new chapter, which he intended to publish, he first dictated it to his Secretary, and then delivered the written paper to be read to his followers, till they had learned it by heart; which being done, he had the paper brought to him again, which he laid up in a chest, which he called the Chest of his Apostleship. This he did, I suppose, in imitation of the Ark, or Holy Chest, among the Jews, in which the authentic copy of their Law was reposited. This chest he left in the keeping of Hopsha, one of his wives; and out of it, after his death, was the Alcoran compiled, in the same manner as Homer's rhapsodies were out of the loose poems of that poet.

Abu Beker, who succeeded the Impostor, first made the collection. For when Mosailema, who in the last year of Mahomet set up for a prophet as well as he, had, in hopes of the same success, in like manner composed an Alcoran, and published it in a book to his followers, Abu Beker thought it necessary to publish Mahomet's also in the same manner, and that not only in opposition to the now Impostor, but also for the better supporting of that which he adhered to; and therefore, having recourse to Haspha's chest, partly out of the papers which he found there, and partly from the memory of those who had learned them by heart, when the Impostor first delivered them unto them, composed the book: for several of those papers being lost, and others so defaced as not to be read, he was forced to take in the assistance of those who pretended to remember what the Impostor had taught them, to make up the whole; and under this pretence, made use of their advice to frame the book, as he thought would best answer his purpose.—When the work was completed, he caused the original to be laid up in the same chest, out of which he had compiled it, which he still continued in tho keeping of Hapsha, and then delivered out copies of it among his followers.

But the book had not been long published, when so many various readings were got into the copies, and so many absurdities discovered in the book itself, that when Othman came to be Caliph, he found it necessary, to call it in again to be put into a better shape: and therefore having commanded all to bring in their copies under the pretence of correcting them by the original in the keeping of Haspha, he caused them all to be burned, and then published the Alcoran, new modelled by him now used; of which, having ordered four copies to be written out fair, he deposited the first of them at Mecca, and the second in Medina, the third he sent into Erack, or Chaldea, and the fourth into Syria. The three first were after a while all lost but the last of them, several ages after, was said to be preserved at Damascus, in a mosque there, which had been, formerly the church of St. John the Baptist. This was done in the 32nd year of the Hegira, in the year 652, twenty-one years after the death of the Impostor; after which time the book underwent no other correction.

On Mahomet's first appearing publicly as a prophet, the peoplo laughed at him, for the ridiculousness of his pretence, some called him a sorcerer, and a magician; others, a liar, an impostor, and a teller of old fables; of which he often complains in his Alcoran; so that for the first year he prevailed nothing among them, or got any thing else by his publishing those chapters of his Alcoran, which ho had then composed, or his preaching to them the doctrine of them, but scorn and contempt. But this did not discourage him from still proceeding in his design, which he managed with great art; for he was a man of a ready wit, and a very acceptable address. He bore all affronts without seeming to resent any; and applied himself to all sorts of people, without contemning the meanest; was very courteous both in giving and receiving visits: the great men he soothed with flattering praises, and the poor he relieved with gifts and alms: and towards all men managed himself with that art of insinuation, that at length he surmounted all difficulties, which so bold an imposture, in the first venting of it, must necessarily, be liable unto; and several other new proselytes joined themselves unto him, among whom was Omar Ebno'l Chattal, who was one of his successors, and then a considerable man in the city. His example was soon followed by several others; so that in the fifth year of his pretended mission, he had increased his party to the number of thirty-nine, and himself made the fortieth.

On his having made this progress, several began to be alarmed at it. Those that were addicted to the idolatry of their forefathers, stood up to oppose him as an enemy of the Gods, and a dangerous innovator in their religion. But others, who saw further into his designs, thought it time to put a stop thereto, for the sake of the public safety of the government, which it manifestly tended to undermine, for the establishing of tyranny over them; and, therefore, they combining together, against him, intended to have cut him off with the sword. But Abu Taleb his uncle, getting notice thereof, defeated the design: and by his power, being chief of the tribe, preserved him from all other like attempts as were afterwards framed against him. For although he himself persisted in the Paganism of his ancestors, yet he had that affection for the Impostor, being his kinsman, and one that was bred up in his house, that he firmly stood by him against all his enemies, and would suffer no one to do him any hurt as long as he lived. And therefore being safe under so powerful a protection, he boldly went on to preach to the peoplo in all public places of the city where they used to assemble, and published unto them more chapters of his Alcoran, in the order as he pretended, they were brought him by the angel Gabriel. The chief subject of which, was to press upon them the observance of some moral duties, the belief of the unity of God, and the dignity of his own pretended apostleship ; in which, besides some Heathenish and Jewish rites which he retained, consisted the whole of his new religion.

The main arguments which he made use of to delude men into this imposture, were his promises and his threats, as being those which easiest work on the affections of the vulgar. His promises were chiefly of Paradise, which he so cunningly framed to the gust of the Arabians, and to make it totally consist in those pleasures which they were most delighted with; for they being within the torrid zone, were, through the nature of the clime, as well as the excessive corruption of their manners, exceedingly given to the love of women; and the scorching heat and dryness of the country making rivers of waters, cooling drinks, shaded gardens, and pleasant fruits, most refreshing and delightful to them, they were from thence apt to place their highest enjoyment in things of this nature. And therefore, to answer the height of their carnal desires, he made the joys of heaven, which he proposed for a reward to all thoso that should believe in him, to consist totally in these particulars. For he tells them in many places in his Alcoran, that they shall enter into pleasant gardens, where many rivers flow, and many curious fountains continually send forth most pleasing streams, nigh which they will repose themselves on most delicate beds, adorned with gold and precious stones, under the shadow of the trees of Paradise, which shall continually yield them all manner of delicious fruits; and that there they shall enjoy most beautiful women, pure and clean, having black eyes, and countenances always fresh and white as polished pearls, who shall not cast an eye on any other but themselves, with whom they shall enjoy the continual pleasures of love, and solace themselves in their company with amorous delights to all eternity, drinking with them most delicious liquors, and most savoury and pleasant wines, without being ever intoxicated or overcharged by them, which shall be administered to them by beautiful boys, who shall be continually running round their beds to serve them up unto them in cups of gold, and glasses fixed on diamonds.

And as thus he framed his promises of reward in the life hereafter, as might best suit with the sensual appetites and desires of those to whom he proposed them; so, on the contrary, he described the punishment of hell, which he threatened all that would not believe in him, to consist of such torments as would appear to them tho most afflicting and grievous to nature: As that they should drink nothing but boiling and stinking water; nor breathe any thing else but exceeding hot winds; things most terrible in Arabia; that they should dwell for ever in continual fire excessively burning, and be surrounded with a black, hot, and salt smoke, as with a coverlid; that they should eat nothing but briers and thorns, and the fruit of the tree zacon, which should be in their bellies like burning pitch.

In the proposing of these promises and threats to the people, he was very frequent and sedulous, making them to ring in their ears on all occasions, whereby he failed not of his end in alluring some, and affrighting others into the snare he laid for them. And that he might omit nothing whereby to work on their fear, which is usually the most prevalent passion of the ignorant, he terrified them with thie threats of grievous punishment in this life, as well as in that which is to come, if they would not hearken unto him. And to this end he did set forth unto them on all occasions, what terrible destructions had fallen on the heads of such as would not be instructed by the prophets, that were sent before him. How the old world was destroyed by water for not being reformed at the preaching of Noah; and Sodom by fire from heaven for not hearkening to Lot when sent unto them. How the Egyptians were plagued for despising Moses; and how Ad and Thamed, two ancient tribes of the Arabs, were totally extirpated for the same reason. His stories of his two last were fables of his own invention, which he related unto them after this manner:—that Ad the grandson of Aram, the son of Sem, planted himself after tho confusion of languages in the southern parts of Arabia, there his posterity falling into idolatry, the prophet Hud (whom the Commentators of the Alcoran will have to be Heber) was sent to reclaim them into the true worship; but they not hearkening unto him, God sent a violent hot wind, which in seven days destroyed them all excepting only the prophet, and some few that were reformed by him. As to his story of Thamed, he said that they were an ancient tribe of the Arabs, dwelling on the confines of Syria: and that on their revolt to idolatry God sent unto them the prophet Saleh; that on their demand of a miracle to testify his mission, he caused a rock to bring forth a camel in sight of them all!!!—That they, notwithstanding, in contempt wounded the camel; and that thereupon God sent terrible thunders, which in three days time destroyed them all, excepting Saleh, and some few who believed on him. And the like fable he also told them of Chaib, another prophet of the ancient Arabs, sent to the tribe of Madian; and how that tribe was in like manner destroyed by thunder, for not hearkening unto him.

Those who believed not on him called him a teller of fables, and demanded to see a miracle from him. For, said they, Moses and Jesus, and the rest of the prophets, according to thy own doctrine, worked miracles to prove their mission from God; and, therefore, if thou bo a prophet, and greater than any that were sent before thee as thou boastest thyself to be, do thou work the like miracles, to manifest it.—To this objection he answered, that ho was only sent to preach to them the rewards of Paradise, and the punishments of hell.

In the beginning of his imposture, he seemed mote inclined to the Jews than to the Christians: and in tho first forming of his new-invented religion, followed the pattern of theirs moro than any other. But after his coming to Medina, he took that disgust against them, that he became their bitter and most irreconcilable enemy ever after, and used them with greater cruelty in his wars than any other. But to Christians he over carried himself with as much favour as could be expected from such a barbarian: and wherever they fell under his power, they had always good terms from him.

His general rule and which he laid as a strict obligation upon all his followers, was to fight for the propagation of his religion. And there were only two conditions on which he granted peace to any he had to do with; and these were either to come into his religion, or submit to be tributaries unto him. They that did the former, were admitted into the same privileges and freedom with the rest of his followers; but the latter had only the benefit of his proteetion, as to their goods and persons, and the free exereise of their religion, without any other privilege or advantage whatsoever, for which every man paid an annual tribute. But those who would not come in, and make peace with him on one of these two eonditions, were, by his law to be put to tho sword. And this law, in every one of its particulars, is still observed in all Mahometan countries.

However, this is certain, that Christians had better terms from him than any other of his tributaries, and they still enjoy them, thero being no Mahometan country where their religion is not esteemed the best next their own, and the professors of it aecordingly respeeted by them before the Jews, Heathens, or any other sort of men that differ from them.

As the Impostor allowed the Old and New Testamonts, so would he fain prove his mission from both. The texts which are made use of for this purpose, by those who defend his cause, are these following.

Deuteronomy xxxii. 2, it is said, "The Lord eame from Sinai and rose from Seir unto them: he shineth forth from mount Pharan, and he came with ten thousand of saints: from his right hand went a fiery Law for them"—By which words they will have meant the eoming down of the Law to Moses on mount Sinai; of the Gospel to Jesus at Jerusalem; and of the Alcoran to Mahomet at Mecca. For, say they, Seir are the mountains of Jerusalem, where Jesus appeared; and Pharan the mountains of Mecca, where Mahomet appeared. But they are here much out in their geography, for Pharan is a city of Arabia Petræa, near the Red Sea, towards the bottom of that gulph not far from the confines of Egypt and Palestine, above five hundred miles distant from Mecca.

Psalm i. 2. We havo it, "Out of Sion the perfection of beauty God hath shined," which the Syriac version reads thus, "Out of Sion God hath showed a glorious crown." From whence some Arabic translations have expressed the two words by Eclilian Mahmudan, that is, "an honourable crown." By Mahmudan, they understand the name of Mahomet, and so read the verse thus, “Out of Sion hath God shewed the crown of Mahomet."

Isaiah xxi. 7. We read, "And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels." But the Old Latin version hath it, "Et vidit currum duorum equitum, ascensorem asini, et ascensorem cameli," that is, "And he saw a chariot of two horsemen, a Rider upon an ass, and a Rider upon a camel." Where, by the Rider upon an ass, they understand Jesus Christ, because he did so ride to Jerusalem, and by the rider on the camel, Mahomet, because he was of the Arabians, who used to ride upon camels.

John xvi. 7. Our Saviour tells his disciples, "If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." By tho Comforter, the Mahometans will have their prophet Mahomet to be here meant; and therefore among other titles which they gave him in their language, one is Paraclet, which is the Greek word here used in this text for the Comforter, made Arabic. They also say, that the very name of Mahomet, both here and in other places of the Gospel was expressly mentioned, but that the Christians, out of malice, have blotted it out, and corrupted these holy writings; and that at Paris there is a copy of these Gospels without these corruptions, in which the coming of Mahomet is foretold in several places, where his name is expressly mentioned in them. And some such thing they had heed to say to justify the imprudent lie of this Imposter, who in the sixty-first chapter of his Alcovan entitled, Tho Chapter of Battle, hath these words, Remember that Jesus, the Son of Mary, said to the children of Israel, I am the Messenger of God, he hath sent me to confirm the Old Testament, and to declaro unto you, that there shall come a prophet after me, whose name shall be Mahomet.

There needs no answer to confute these glosses. The absurdity of them is sufficiently exposed my barely relating them. And since they could find nothing else in all the books of the Old and New Testaments to wrest to their purpose, but these texts before mentioned, which are to every man's apprehending so exceedingly void of it; these show at how vast a difference the true word of God is from this impious imposture, and how much it is in all its parts contrary thereto.

And thus far I have laid together as exactly and particularly as I could, out of the best authors that treat of this Impostor, all that is credibly related of him, and those methods which ho took for the framing and propagating that impious forgery, which he hath imposed upon so large a part of mankind.

The Angels' intercession for Man's redemption.

Mankind having for the long and tedious space of more than five thousand years continued in a miserable state of exile, not one of them being able to shake off the clog of original guilt, and soar to his native country, Heaven; the blessed choir of angelic spirits, (moved to compassion, and concerned at the dreadful havock sin had made among them, as well as solicitous to see the numbers of their own heavenly legions again completed) as soon as the fulness of time was come, resolved to renew the instances they had often before made to the Almighty. For this end, presenting themselves before the awful throne of God, with redoubled earnestness and devotion, they jointly prostrated themselves at his feet, and made the following prayer:—"All-merciful Lord! Remember how you graciously vouchsafed, from the inexhaustible fund of your goodness, to create man out of nothing, and to raise him above all the works of your sublunary creation, by enriching him with the eminent gift of a rational soul, capable of knowing you, and this on purpose that he might become a partaker of our felicity, and repair the loss we sustained by the fall of our reprobate brethren. Yet behold, O gracious Sovereign, the whole species lies still involved in such woeful ruin, that out of so great a number, not one has been able to escape and arrive hither in the long space of many thousand years. Our enemies thence gather new matter of triumph: when instead of seeing the vacant places of the fallen angels filled, they behold hell continually crowded with innumerable victims: to what end, then, are they created, O Lord? Why are the souls that confess to you, delivered up a prey to beasts? Ps. lxxiii. We are not ignorant, that this severity perfectly agrees with your divine justice; yet be pleased, O Lord, to remember, that the time for shewing your mercy is come. If the first progenitors of the human race did unhappily transgress your law; let your mercy now repair the injury in their wretched posterity. Be mindful that you created them to your own likeness. Extend then in pity, O God, your hand to them, and replenish them with your bounty. To this end, "Our eyes fixed on you, as the eyes of servants on the hands of their masters, (Ps. cxxii.) till you deign to have compassion on mankind, and save them by a plentiful redemption."


FINIS


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.