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173
IN ARABIA.

believe in his miraculous birth. But he said they had lost or altered the true Gospel, and accused them of having corrupted its doctrines by their dissensions and divisions.[1] He told them that he was come direct from God for the purpose of composing their dissensions, and to lead them in the right way, that he had existed before the existence of the world, which was made for him,[2] artfully applying to himself the prophecies of former ages.[3] With these professions, he invited the Christians to join his standard,[4] and declared his willingness to embrace

  1. Koran, Sur. v. p. 84. Sale.
  2. Chardin, tom. iv. pp. 34, 35.—"L'illustre apôtre des croyans est le prince du monde présent et du monde futur, il est le sceau des envoyés du Trés-Haut, le dernier dans l'ordre des temps, il est la gloire de tous les prophètes qui l'ont précédé. Pend-Nameh, translated in the Fundgruben des Orients, band ii. p. 15. "Comment a-t-il pu éprouver le besoin de quelqu'une des créatures, ce Prophète pour qui seul l'univers a été tiré de néant, Mohammed, le maître de l'un et de l'autre monde, des génies et des hommes, des Arabes et des Barbares!" Arab poet cited by the translator.
  3. Maracci, Prodrom. p. 15. The Muhammedans said that there was a passage in the Testament, where ειποντος τουτο του Χριστου τοις Ιουδαιοις, ὁτι ευαγγελιζομαι ὑμιν, ἱνα γινωσκητε, ὁτι μετ’ εμε μελλει ελθειν ὁ αποστολος και προφητης: το αυτο εστι γεγραμμενον και εν τῳ του Μωσεως παλαιῳ—but that the Christians had erased these passages from all the copies out of envy. Johan. Catacuzen, κατα του Μωαμεθ, απολογια τεταρτη, p. 55. ed. Basil. See d'Herbelot, Bibliothoque Orient, in Mohammed. p. 650.
  4. Koran, Sur. v. § 15. Sur. lxi.