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markable on another account. It was the theatre of the grand defection from Christianity, by the Mohammedan delusion, which was to extend to a third part of men.' This predicted apostacy was to be effected, not by return. ing to Paganism, but by a corruption of Christianity: that is, by admitting some part of the former revelation of God, and pretending to a new revelation. The delusion itself is happily compared, in the prophecy concerning it, to smoke issuing from the bottomless pit;' and its great extent is expressed by its “darkening the sun and the air ;'* and since this defection was to be produced by a corruption of revealed Truth, it was necessary that the Scriptures should be first corrupted; for where the genuine Scriptures are in the hands of men, there is little danger of general infidelity. Accordingly, this preparative for the great imposture, took place in the fifth and sixth centuries. During that period, corrupt and apocryphal gospels prevailed so generally in Arabia, and in the neighbouring regions, that it is even doubtful whether Mohammed himself ever saw a genuine copy of the New Testament. It has been argued by learned men, from the internal evidence of his composition, that he did not. But now even the apocryphal gospels have vanished from view, by the long prevalence of the Koran.

“ But the duration of this delusion was to have a limit. • The smoke was to darken the sun and the air, only for a definite period, namely 1260 years. This period is expressed in prophetic Scripture in a three-fold form of words, to evince its certainty.

666 1. The Holy City shall they tread under foot, forty and

• Rev. ix. 2.

two months. Rev. xi. 2. This marks the period of the Mohammedan power. The same expression is applied afterwards to the duration of the Papal power.

The depression of the true faith was, of course, to last the same time, as expressed in the two following sentences.

662. The Witnesses (for the true faith) shall prophecy a thousand, two hundred, and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.' Rev. xi. 3.

“63. The Woman (or Church of Christ) fled into the wilderness, and was nourished for a time, times, and half a time.'* Rev. xii. 14.

“ This last expression a time, times, and half a time,' is also used by the prophet Daniel, who foretells the same events, to mark the period when God shall have accomplished to scatter the powers of the holy people, and shall terminate his indignation against Israel. Dan. xii. 7.

“ It is very well known in the East, at what time Mohammed appeared. Let the Mohammedan then be informed that he is to count 1260 years from the Hegira, and then expect the fulfilment of a remarkable prophecy, made by Christ, whom the Koran acknowledges to be “a true prophet.' Let him be informed, explicitly, that the reign of Mohammedism will then have an end. And, if he be unwilling to believe this, ask him, if he does not already perceive the decline of Mohammedism? If he be ignorant of this fact, inform him of the history of events. Instruct him that the corruption of Christianity in the West, by the Pope, was coeval with the corruption of Christianity in the East, by Mohammed; that the decline

• A time, times, and half a timea year, 'two years, and half a year-forty two months-1260 days.

of both these powers is, at this time, equally advanced, and that the fall of both is to be contemporaneous. If he be ignorant of the decline of Papal Rome, the Roman Catholic in the East will declare it to him.

“ Is there any man, calling himself a Christian, who thinks that these prophecies are dubious ? If it be true that God hath, at any time, revealed himself to man, they are most certain. The Author would here observe, that the inattention of men in general, to the fulfilment of the divine predictions, does not proceed so commonly from principles of infidelity, as from ignorance of facts-pure ignorance of historical facts.

There are

men of liberal education in England, who are more ignorant of the history of the world, ancient and modern, in connexion with the revelation of God, than some Hindoos and Arabians whom we know in the East, who have not been Christians above a few years. Our Saviour reprehended this neglect of the word spoken from Heaven' in these words :-Ye can discern the face of the sky, and of the earth, but how is it that ye cannot discern THIS TIME?!”_ Luke, xii. 56.*

An elegant translation of the Scriptures into the Ara. bian language has long been a desideratum in the religious world, for the purpose of spreading the knowledge of Christianity in the East. This language is known almost over all that part of the world. As the Koran was originally written in it, this circumstance has given it, in the eyes of Mohammedans, a general consecration. The richness and beauty of the language render it susceptible of graces, which few others can reach. Though there is

• Christian Researches, p. p. 198, 199, 200, 201.

an Arabic version of the whole Bible, yet such are the changes, which time introduces into the orthography and dialect of all living languages, that in the course of four or five hundred years, translations become, in a great measure, obsolete. The Arabic version is supposed to be more than a thousand years old. It is highly necessary that the translation of the Scriptures, which is to confront the Koran, should be executed with all that elegance and beauty of diction, which a consummate knowledge of the language only can impart to it. To this labour, it cannot be supposed that the knowledge of any European is equal. Providence has, in a wonderful manner, supplied this want, by the conversion of Sabat, a noble Arabian, one of the most excellent scholars in that country, who has already finished the translation of the New Testament. The account of his conversion, though already in the possession of the public, we shall give from Dr. Buchanan's “ Star in the East."

“ Thus far we have spoken of the success of the Gospel in Asia, by means of European preachers. But we shall now exhibit to you evidence, from another source, from a new and unexpected quarter. We are now to declare what has been done, independently of our exertions, and in regions where we have no labourers, and no access. And this I do to show you, that whether we assist in the work or not, it is God's will that it should begin. You have hitherto been contemplating the light in India. We are now to announce to you that a light hath appeared in Arabia, and dawned as it were, on the Temple of Mecca itself.

“ Two Mohammedans of Arabia, persons of distinction in their own country, have been lately converted to the Christian faith. One of them has already suffered martyr

dom. The other is now engaged in translating the Scriptures, and in concerting plans for the conversion of his countrymen. The name of the martyr is Abdallah;* and the name of the other who is now translating the Scriptures, is Sabat ; or, as he is called since his Christian baptism, Nathanael Sabat. Sabat resided in my house some time before I left India, and I had from his own mouth the chief part of the account which I shall now give to you. Some particulars I had from others.

His conversion took place after the martyrdom of Abdallah, to whose death he was consenting,' and he related the circumstances to me,

with

many tears. “ Abdallah and Sabat were intimate friends, and being young men of family in Arabia, they agreed to travel together, and to visit foreign countries. They were both zealous Mohammedans. Sabat is son of Ibraham Sabat, a noble family of the line of Beni Sabat, who trace their pedigree to Mohammed. The two friends left Arabia, after paying their adorations at the tomb of their prophet, and travelled through Persia, and thence to Cabul. Abdallah was appointed to an office of state, under Zemaun Shah, King of Cabul ; and Sabat left him there, and proceeded on a tour to Tartary.

" While Abdallah remained at Cabul, he was converted to the Christian faith, by the perusal of a Bible (as is supposed) belonging to a Christian from Armenia, then residing at Cabul.t In the Mohammedan states, it is death for a man of rank to become a Christian. Abdallah endea.

• The word Abdallah is the same as Abdiel; and signifies the “ Servant of God."

+ The Armenian Christians in Persia have among them a few copies of the Arabic Bible,

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