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. 11—18.] APOCALYPSE
man of sin, “ by the working of Satan with all “power, and signs, and lying wonders*, deceiving “ those who dwell on earth by the wonders which it " was granted him to do t," did he establish his religion? His Koran itself was a lying wonder, a pretended miracle ; for he describes himself ascending to heaven to receive a part of it; and the remainder to be brought to him by angels $; and he asserts his Koran to be a divine composition; a miracle in itself; and frequently appeals to the world for its vindication as such §. What are these but “ lying won“ ders?” pretended iniracles? “ fire from heaven,” to deceive the inhabitants of the earth?
The Mahometan apostacy may therefore fairly stand by the side of the papal, as forming one born of the second antichristian beast. And as this will be more readily admitted by those who have considered (as Dr. Benson by his concessions seems to have done) its right to the name and title of a Christian heresy or apostacy, I will liere subjoin some quotations tending to illustrate this fact, which is not commonly seen or acknowledged.
“ Mahomet did not pretend to deliver any new re"ligion, but to revive the old one. He allowed “ both the Old and New Testament, and that botlı “ Moses and Jesus were prophets sent from God ; " that Jesus, son of Mary, is the word and a Spirit 66 sent from God, a Redeemer of all that believe in " him **." Mahomet represents himself as the Parac'ete or Comforter sent by Jesus Christ; John
* 2 Thess. ii. 9. + Rev. xiii. 14. 1 oran, xcvii.
Koran, passim, Tin Jeaux, Life of Malromet, p. 18.
| Ib. p. 19. ** : Koran, p. 19. 80. 65. Ockley's Histury of Saracens; ii.
xvi. 7.* So in Mahomet's ascent to heaven, as invented in the Koran, while the Patriarchs and Prophets confess their inferiority to him, by entreating his prayers, in the seventh heaven he sees Jesus, whose superiority the false prophet acknowledges by commending himself to his prayers t. “Faith in the “ divine books is a necessary article of the Mahome“ tan Creed; and among these is the Gospel given “ to Issa or Jesus, which they assert to be corrupted “ by the Christians I.” “If any Jew is willing to “ become a Mahometan, he must first believe in “ Christ : and this question is asked him, Dost thou “ believe that Christ was born of a Virgin by the blast “ (i. e, inspiration) of God, and that he was the last " of the Jewish Prophets.” If he answers in the affirmative, he is made a Mahometan ş. “Mahomet arose “ to establish a new religion, which came pretty near " the Jewish, and was not entirely different from " that of several sects of Christians, which got him “ a great many followers ||.”——“Fassus impostor (scil. “ Muhammedes) Jesum de virgine Mariâ natum, Mes“siam, verbum Dei cælitùs missum, Dei Spiritum, mi- raculis evangelicis clarum, Prophetam Dei, qui Evan“ gelium tradiderit, ac docuit salutis viam, qui ven. “ turus ad judicium sit, et destructurus antichristum, " et conversurus Judæos, &c. Sic Apostolis Christi “ credendum docuit ut Evangelio Christi, ac legi Mosis " et Prophetis omnibus. Sic de Christianis æquius “ quàm de Judæis sensit, quos et benignè babuit; unde “illud Muhammedis apud Elmacinum, qui Chris“ tianum opprimit, adversarium eum habebit die “ judicii; qui Christiano nocet, mihi nocet; &c.” * Thus also the Mahometan writers, when speaking of him, say, “jussit quoque credere veritatem Prophe“tarum et Apostolorum ;-item Christum filium Ma“riæ Dei esse et Verbum ejus atque Apostolum t;" and even at this day they honour, what we call, the Christian Religion, next to their own I. “ Mahome“ tism began as a Christian heresy, acknowledging 6. Christ for a prophet, a greater than Moses, born of sia Virgin, the Word of God; Alcoran, v. 27.” S Sale asserts the Mahometan religion to be not only a Christian heresy, but an “improvement upon the “ very corrupt idolatrous system of the Jews and “ Christians of those times kl.” Joseph Mede affirms that the Mahometans are nearer to Christianity than many of the ancient heresies, the Cerinthians, Gnostics, Manichees 1. “Whatever good is to be found “ in the Mahometan Religion, (and some good doc"trines and precepts there undeniably are in it,) is in "s no small measure owing to Christianity : for, Ma
* Koran, p. 165.
| Leibnitz's Letter, 1706.
* The impostor Mahomet confessed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, that he was the Word of God sent from heaven, the Spirit of God declared by the miracles of the Gospel, the Prophet of God, whose oflice it was to deliver the Gospel, and teach the way of Truth, who is to come to judgment and to destroy Antichrist, and convert the Jews, &c. Thus also he taught, that the Gospel of Christ, and the law of Moses, and all the Prophets are to be believed. And thus he was better inclined to the Christians than to the Jews, and he treated them kindly. Whence that saying of Mahomet reported in Elmacinus, He who oppresses a Christian, shall find him an adversiıry to him in the day of Judgment; he who injures a Christian, injures me. Spanhemii Introd. ad Hist. Sæc. vii. p. 609. + Elmacini Hist. Saracen. p.3.
Ibid. $ Ricaut, Ottoman Empire, p. 188. || Prelim. p.51. 4 Works, p. 645.
“ hometism is a borrowed system, made up for the “ most part of Judaism and Christianity; and, if it “ be considered in the most favourable view, might “possibly be accounted a sort of Christian heresy. “If the Gospel had never been preached, it may “ be questioned whether Mahometism would have “ existed *."
“The Musselmans are already a sort of heterodox " Christians; they are Christians, if Locke reasons “justly, because they firmly believe the immaculate “conception, divine character, and miracles of the “ Messiah: but they are heterodox in denying vehe“mently his character of Son, and his equality, as “ God, with the Father, of whose unity and attri“butes they entertain and express the most awful “ ideas, while they consider our doctrine as perfect “ blasphemy, and insist that our copies of the Scrip“tures have been corrupted both by Jews and Chris“ tians t."
These are such testimonies as have occurred to me in a no very extensive course of reading. They are derived from authors, who for the most part enjoyed favourable opportunities of examining the Mahometan tenets ; and they exhibit that religion as rising upon the basis of true Religion, corrupted, even like the papal, to serve the purposes of a worldly and diabolical tyrandy. In the Mahometan religion' are these articles, all evidently derived from the Christian, and constituting in it a great superiority above any thing that paganism or mere philosophy have been able to produce: the belief of the existence of one all-wise, all-good, all-powerful God; of the immor
* Dr. Jortin's first Charge.
tality of the soul; of future rewards and punishments to be distributed by Jesus; of the acceptance of prayer, of self-humiliation, of almsgiving; of the obligation to morality in almost all its branches. Take from Mahometism one article, in which it differs from all religions, generally admitted to be Christian, the belief of Mahomet's divine mission; and little will then be found in it, which may not be discovered in the profession of many acknowledged Christians. Nay, perhaps it may appear, that the creeds of two bodies of Christians will supply every thing which is to be found in Mahometism, excepting belief in the pretended prophet of Mecca.
The first article of the Mahometan Creed is the Unity of God.-", The Christians," said Mahomet, “ have fallen into error, corrupting this dogma by " the doctrine of the Trinity; and God, who would “not leave the essential truths without testimony, sent “ his Prophet to re-establish them *.” But the peculiar profession of this unity, together with the persuasion that the doctrine of the Trinity is a corrupt doctrine, is also the corner-stone of the Socinian profession. The agreement in this, is so entire between the Mahometans and Socinians, as to make the passage from either of these religions to the other, far from impracticable or difficult. Witness, on the one hand, the history of conversions from Socinianism to the religion of Mahomet, of Adam Neuser, &c., in the sixteenth century t; and, on the other, the writings of some inodern Socinians, who recommend their religion as removing all obstacles to
* Vide Abulfaragius, apud Pocock, page 30. in notis ad Spec. Hist. Arab. Et Aslscharestanrus, ap. eund. p. 52. 274_292.' + Reflections on Mahometism, printed with Beland's Abridgement.