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"fuch, as they cannot folve them, there they will "have one of the contradicting places to be revoked. "And they reckon in the whole Alcoran above an "hundred and fifty Verfes which are thus revoked, "which is the beft fhift they can make to folve the "Contradictions and Inconfiftencies of it."
Now it may well be imagined, that when Figures and Allegories were introduced to serve a desperate Cause, many Zealots, rather than give up so much of the Revelations of their pretended Prophet, would ftrain their Inventions to find out Gloffes however abfurd, which were afterwards dropt, and are found mentioned only by Chriftians who wrote in confuta+ tion of them.
The Contradictions commonly obferved in the Ac counts of Travellers, are principally to be afcribed to this; That they who travel into the fame Countries, converfe with Men of different Customs and Places of Habitation; and that which feems a Contradiction is very well confiftent with Truth; but the mistake of cach Relator in delivering that for general, through the whole Country, which is peculiar to one or fome few Diftricts, is that which makes them contra dict each other. And it is the fame thing as to the History of Doctrines and Opinions: Tenets lefs known or obfervable might fall under the Cenfure and Confutation of particular Men, and may remain to Pofterity in their Writings, tho' not yet difcovered in any remains of Mahometan Authors. But it is probable; that great Discoveries may in time be made by Men learned in the Arabick Tongue, which may free the Greek Writers from the imputation of Igno rance or Infincerity. It must be confefs'd, that no Controverfy in any kind of long continuance, has been always managed with a like accuracy; but weak Arguments and falfe Allegories, may, through Ignorance or Inadvertency, fometimes have been ufed. Notwithstanding, what has generally been in
fifted upon by many Authors of Reputation, probably must have fome foundation of Truth. And it is much more credible, that barbarous Nations should forego Opinions, which they were not able to maintain, than that they fhould be charged with what none of them ever held, when the Tenets, which their Religion certainly advanced, afforded as great advan tage to their Adverfaries.
Fter this Account of Mahomet's Alcoran, there will be no need to fay much of his Perfon: the general Doctrines of the Alcoran fhew him to have been luftful, proud, fierce and cruel; but as if that were not enough, he has taken care to infert fuch Particulars concerning himself, as to fuffer no Manto be ignorant of the Spirit and Temper, by which he was guided in penning it. He blafphemously introduces God thus fpeaking to him. O Prophet, we permit thee to know the Women, to whom thou haft given Dowry, the Women-Slaves, which God hath given thee, the Daughters of thine Uncles, and of thine Aunts, that have abandoned with thee the company of the wicked, and the true believing Wife, that shall be given thee, if thou wilt marry her, and that she be not the Wife of a true Believer. It feems he gave himself the Liberty to take away the Wives of any that were not of his Religion. Thou shalt retain whom of thy Wives thou shalt defire to retain, and fhalt repudiate fuch as thou shalt defire to repudiate, and fhalt lie with them that fball pleafe thee: By this means his Family of Wives became pretty nume
Alcor. c. 33.
rous; fome fay they were fifteen, others fay one and twenty, befide Concubines; and therefore it was fit he fhould take fome care to keep them true to him, and fo he bespeaks them after this manner: Oh! ye Wives of the Prophet! fuch of you as shall be unchaft, fhall be punished doubly more than other Women; this is a thing eafy to God: fuch among you as fhall obey God and his Prophet, and fhall do good Works, fball be rewarded more than other Women, an exceeding great reward is prepared for you. Oh, ye Wives of the Prophet! ye are not like other Women of the World; fear God, and believe not in the difcourfe of fuch as have a defign to feduce you; Speak with Civility, abide in your Houses, go not forth to make your Beauty appear, and to make a Shew, as did the ignorant of old. This explains what was mention'd before of a Revelation Mahomet pretended to have concerning fomething that one of his Wives was to fay to him; he had a mind to make them believe that he knew whatever they did or faid, that fo he might keep them in awe, that they might not dare to prove falfe to him.
His Pride is evident in this which follows, Te that believe, enter not into the Houfes of the Prophet without permiffion, except at the hour of Repaft, and that by chance, and without defign; if ye are invited, enter with freedom; when ye shall have taken your Repaft, depart out of the Houfe, and tarry not to difcourfe one with another, this molefteth the Prophet, he is afhamed to tell you the Truth. But this is not all, his Number of Wives made him incurably jealous, and therefore he adds, you ought not to importune the Prophet of God, nei ther to know his Wives, this would be a moft enormous Sin.
The Fierceness of Mahomet's Spirit may be feen by this one Saying, He that is angry that God giveth Succour and Protection to Mahomet in this World, let him
b Alcor. c. 33.
d Ib. c. 22.
tie a cord to the Beam of his Houfe, and hang himself, he fball fee if his Choler will be allay'd. It is notorious, that he fet up his New Doctrine firft in oppreffing his own Country-men, who would not fubmit to his Impofture, and afterwards in Rebellion against the Emperor Heraclius, then at war with the Perfians, and his Alcoran is fit only for a Saracen Camp, preaching Luft to his Followers, but Blood and Deftruction towards all others.
This may fatisfy any Man, that there is nothing in the Author of the Mahometan Religion, nor in the Religion it felf, which may incline him to believe it to be of Divine Revelation. But whoever would know more of this vile Impofture, may fee it fully dif play'd in the Life of Mahomet, lately publifh'd by the Learned Dr. Prideaux.
REASONABLENESS and CERTAINTY
That there is as great Certainty of the Truth of the Chriftian Religion, as there is of the Being of God.
ROM what has been difcours'd, the Truth of the Chriftian Religion is evident, by all the Arguments, by which any Religion can poffibly be prov'd to be Divine; and if there be any fuch thing as true Religion, the Chriftian Religion must be it: And if this be made appear, it is all that need be faid in defence of the Chriftian Religion, to any one but an Atheist.
The Scriptures are defective in nothing that is requifite in a Divine Revelation, but have all that can be required in the highest degree. Tonftance here only in Miracles, and in thofe only of our Saviour and his Apofties: Our Saviour wrought his Miracles