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to mention the Jewish) has had a much larger propagation than ever Mahometanifm has had; and has at all times been taught in more Parts of the World, and even amongst Mahometans themfelves. And the Alcoran it felf afferting the Divine Authority and Miffion both of Mofes and Chrift, ferves in fome measure to propagate the Faith of the Old and New Testament; fo far, I mean, as to give an advantage and opportunity for Men to make enquiry into them, and become acquainted with them. Divers Books of Scripture are received by Mahometans, the * reading whereof has been the means of bringing over many Persons of great Note to the Chriftian Faith, efpecially among the Perfians, where Difputes in Matters of Religion are permitted; and † it has not been without the like effect in Turkey, where fuch Difputes are forbidden, on pain of Death.
The want both of Prophecies and Miracles in the Mahometan Religion.
Ahometanifm is grounded neither upon Prophecies nor Miracles. Mahomet indeed calls himself Prophet very folemnly, but we have but this one inftance of his Prophetick Spirit: When the Prophet. went to vifit one of his Wives, God revealed to him, what fhe defired to fay to him; he approved one part, and rejected the other: When he told his Wife what was in her will to speak to him, he demanded of him, who had re
* Sanfon êtat du Royaume de Perfe, p. 237. Ricaut's Hift. of the Ottom. Emp. lib. ii. c. II, 12. Alcoran, c. 66.
vealed it to him? He that knoweth all things hath revealed it to me, that ye may be converted: your hearts are inclined: to do what is forbidden; if ye act any thing against the Prophet, know that God is his Protector. Here is not one circumftance to make the Story credible. J.
Mahomet pretended to no Miracles: But when he has raised that Objection, (as he often doth) That the World would not believe in him, unlefs they faw fome Miracle; he anfwers, I am not fent but to preach the Word of God. Tho' afterwards he mentions that ridiculous Story of the Moon's being divided, in thefe words; The Day of Judgment ap proacheth, the Moon was divided into two parts; nevertheless, Infidels believe not Miracles when they see them; they fay that this is Magick; they lye, and follow but their Paffion, but all is written. Here is no proof, nor any pretence to it, but only a confident affertion of a thing ridiculous. And yet unless we will believe this Prophecy, and this Miracle, there is nothing in the whole Alcoran, either of Miracle or Prophecy, to give it any Authority, except that must be accounted one, which he fo often boafts of, viz. its wonderful Doctrine and Eloquence; for d he challenges all the World to produce any thing like it, protesting that he could neither write nor read, and therefore muft needs have it by Revelation. He f tells a fabulous, monftrous Story, of a Journey which he took one night into Heaven; and he introduceth God, fwearing to the Truth of the Alcoran, almost in every Chapter: And this is all he offers, in anfwer to the Sufpicions which he fo frequently fuggefts Men then had of his being an Impoftor.
b Alcor. c. 13.
c Ib. c. 54.
e Ib. c. 7.
a Ib. c. 10, 11, 16.
The Alcoran is falfe, abfurd, and immoral.
I. THE Alcoran is falfe; as when it makes a the Virgin Mary Sifter to Aaron; when it afferts, that Chrift was not crucified, but one like him, in contradiction to the teftimony of Jews, Chriftians, and Heathens; and that Chrift prophefied of Maho met by name, without the leaft proof or ground for it, but against all the evidence that can be to the contrary.
II. The Alcoran contains things abfurd and ridiculous gas in that Story of the Sleepers, The Infidels fay they were five, and that their Dog was the fixth, they Speak by opinion; but the true Believers affirm them to be Jeven, and their Dog to be the eighth. And in the Story of Solomon's Army, compofed of Men, Devils, and Birds; of the Queen of the Pifmires; and Solomon's Difcourfe with the Bird call'd the Whoop, who brought him tidings of the Queen of Sheba.
III. The Doctrines of the Alcoran are impious and immoral. Mahomet makes all the Angels worship Adam, in feveral parts of his Alcoran; and his fenfual Paradife is well known, and his allowance of many Wives ; but perhaps his Injuftice is not fo generally taken notice of, in permitting the Profeffors of his Religion to take away their Slaves Wives from themog obils ba
The Law of Mahomet proceeds from a favage and cruel Spirit, obliging thofe that embrace it, to deftroy all that are not of it; however, the Mahometans have not always acted according to the cruelty of their
Religion, human Nature not being always able to act fo much contrary to it felf. But this is Mahomet's Doctrine, & God loveth not the unjust, he forgiveth fins to thofe that believe, and extirpate Infidels. If they forfake it, (the Law of God, pretended to be fet down in the Alcoran) kill them where you find them. Be not negligent to purfue the Infidels. Of this the Faquirs, at their return from Mecha, are very mindful, with a furious zeal killing all they can that they meet, who are not Mahometans, 'till they are kill'd themselves, and then they are reputed Saints, and Prayers are made at their Graves.
*Such is the Alcoran as we now have it, and yet it is not now as it was at firft written by Mahomet; many Alterations have been made in it, by inferting fome things, and ftriking out others and taking fome of the Abfurdities away: Mahomet the Second, particularly, is faid to have made great Alterations and Additions. But the Perfians, the Followers of Hali, charge Abu-Beker, Omar, and Ozman, whom the Turks follow, with falfifying the Alcoran.
I cannot but here obferve, that fome learned Men have of late fufpected, that the Chriftians of former Ages have mifreprefented the Mahometans, with whom they liv'd, and against whom they wrote, and have charged them with Errors which they never maintained. But I refer it to the confideration of any impartial and judicious Man; whether it be not more probable that fome Sect of Mahometans did: maintain the Tenets alledg'd against them, tho' they may now have long been laid afide and forgotten, than that Chriftians have objected imaginary and feigned Abfurdities, when there are vifibly fo many
g Alcor. c. 3.
h Ib. c. 4.
i Tavern. Voyage d' Ind. lib. iii. c. 24.
Sandys's Travels, lib. i. p. 54.
Ricaut's Hift of the Ottom. Emp. lib. ii. c. 10.
real ones, even in the Alcoran it felf. Chriftians applied themselves to the confutation and conviction of thofe with whom they converfed, or against whom they difputed; and they might fometimes perhaps mistake that for a received and common Tenet, which was peculiar to fome one Sect or Party.
And thus the Gospel of Hieronymus Xaverius might probably pafs, among Mahometans, for the Gospel profefs'd by all Chriftians, and they might reply to it under that Notion. Xaverius indeed wrote and putlifh'd it, at the command of an Emperor of Perfia: but if his Book had been privately difperft, whoever had gone to confute it as the Gofpel of Chrift, would have been thought very ignorant, or very malicious. Tho' now, whatever Mahometan has alledged the Gofpel of Xaverius as containing the Doctrines of the Christian Religion; fhould not be thought to deal inficerely, but by mistake to apply that to Chriftians în general, which concerned only an erroneous and very corrupt part of them.
The learned Writer of the Life of Mahomet informs us that Al Gazali, a famous Philofopher of Tufa in Perfia, wrote many Books in defence of the Mahometan Religion; and one of more efpecial Note, intituled, The Deftruction of Philofophers, * against Alfarabius and Avicenna, and fome others of "the Arab Philofophers; who, to folve the monstrous Abfurdities of the Mahometan Religion, were for turning many things into Figure and Allegory', which were commonly understood in the literal "fenfe." And he before obferves, that "As the "Intereft and Defigns of the Impoftor varied, fo was she forced to make his pretended Revelations to vary also. Which is a thing (fays he) fo well "known to thofe of his Sect, that they acknowledge it; and therefore, where the Contradictions are
m Dr. Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 170. n Ib. p. 155.