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and what special aspects of that conviction brought back unto your Lord.'. If thou couldst were most proper also, in bis opinion, to be
see when the wicked shall bow down their heads flashed, as from a light-house, across the before the Lord, saying, “O Lord, we have seen face of Arabia :
and have heard ; suffer us, therefore, to return
into the world, and we will work that which is “We (God) created not the heavens and the right, since we are now certain of the truth of earth and that which is between them by way of what hath been preached to us’—thou wouldst see sport. If We had pleased to take diversion, verily an amazing sight.--Ibid., chap. 32. We had taken it in that which beseemeth Us." — “When the sun shall be folded up ; and when Koran, (Sale's Translation,) chap. 21.
the stars shall fall; and when the mountains shall “ Thou shalt be engaged in no business, neither be made to pass away ; and when the camels ten shalt thou be employed in meditating on any pas
months gone with young shall be neglected; and sage, nor shall ye do any action, but we will be when the wild beasts shall be gathered together ; witnesses over you when ye are emplɔyed there and when the seas shall boil ; and when the souls in. Nor is so much as the weight of an ant hid- shall be joined again to their bodies; and when den from Thy Lord in earth or heaven ; neither is the girl who had been buried alive shall be asked there anything lesser than that or greater but it is for what crime she was put to death ; and when written in the perspicuous book.”— Ibid., chap. 10. the books shall be laid open ; and when the heaven
“ Dost thou not perceive that God knoweth shall be removed ; and when hell shall burn whatever is in heaven or earth? There is no fiercely; and when paradise shall be brought near : private discourse among three persons but He is then every soul shall know what it hath wrought." the fourth of them ; nor among five, but He is the - Ibid., chap. 81. sixth of them; neither among a smaller number
“ Whoso chooseth the tillage of the life to than this nor a larger, but He is with them where- come, unto him will We give increase in his tilsoever they be: and He will declare unto them lage ; and whoso chooseth the tillage of this that which they have done on the day of resur
world, We will give him the fruit thereof; but he rection. for God knoweth all tbings."— Ibid., shall have no part in the life to come."'— Ibid., chap 58.
chap. 42. “ The present life is no other than a toy and a
* If it were not that mankind would have then plaything; but the future mansion of paradise is become one sect of infidels, verily We would have life indeed. If men knew this they would not given unto those who believe not in the Merciful prefer the former to the latter."--Ibid., chap. 29.
roofs of silver to their houses, and stairs of silver “O men, verily the violence which ye commit by which they might ascend thereto, and doors of against your own souls is for the enjoviment of silver to their houses, and couches of silver for the present life only; afterward unto Us shall ye
them to lean on, and ornaments of gold, for all return, and We will declare unto you that which this is the provision of the present life; but the ye have done. Verily the likeness of this present
next life with thy Lord shall be for those who life is no other than as water which We send
fear Him."— lbid., chap. 43. down from heaven, and wherewith the productions of the earth are mixed, of which men eat and cat
These were the fixed ideas in the mind of tle also, until the earth receive its vesture, and be Mahomet. That there is a God, almighty adorned with various plants: the inhabitants and just ; that all creation and history is but thereof imagine that they have power over the a superficial show or play of matter, resting same; but Our command cometh upon it by night on an infinite sea of spirit, wherein one day or by day, and We render it as though it had been it will be again engulfed ; that the present mown, as though it bad not yesterday abounded life is but as a litile water let down from in fruits. Thus do We explain Our signs unto heaven to be mixed for a while with the the people who consider. God inviteth unto the dwelling of peace, and directeth whoin le earth; that to regard the tillage of the prepleaseth unto the right way. They who do right sent life only, is, therefore, nothing but madshall receive a most excellent reward and a super- ness and infatuation ; that God sees and abundant addition ; neither blackness nor shame registers all that is transacted among men; shall cover their faces. These shall be the i' - and that, on that day when the world and its habitants of paradise; they shall continue therein inhabitants shall be summoned back to the forever. But they who commit evil shall receive the reward of evil equal thereunto, and they shall great presence whence they issued, justice be covered with shame, (for they shall have no
will be done, and a broad and eternal separaprotector against God,) as though their faces tion will be struck between believers and inwere covered with the profound darkness of the fidels—such, in their most abstract and gennight. These shall be the inhabitants of hell-fire; eral form, were the conclusions in which the they shall remain therein forever."— lbid., thoughtful Koreishite, the apostate, in his chap. 10. "They say, 'when we lie down in the earth, and the antagonist, by the very necessities of
mature age, from the faith of his forefathers, shall we be raised thence a new creature ?osea: his constitution, of the wretched Sadduceethey deny the meeting of their Lord at the resurrection. Reply, the angel of death who is set ism that alone seemed to compete with that over you, shall cause you to die ; then shall ye be faith, at last arrived at, and built up around
him as a wall of strength and peace. If we tian theology as came in his way, at a point were to select that phrase of the Koran in of view so clear and elevated-were a sight which, as we think, the whole substance of that must delight all to whom such spiritual Mahomet's faith is most exactly expressed, histories appear of any importance. And it would be the phrase, “God and the Last farther, to have seen the same man speak out Day." This phrase he iterates and reiterates; to his countrymen the conclusions he had upon this phrase and the notion involved in himself arrived at; to have seen him holding it, he i alls back at every moment; the whole new theological conversations in Mecca, or world consists, in his view, of but two classes walking, staff in hand, over Arabia, preachof men—those who believe in “God and the ing everywhere, even with fury and thunder, Last Day,” and those who do not. It is a the high though meagre theism he had exmistake, we think, to say, that the central cogitated or come to perceive, would also notion in the religion of Mahomet, as con
have been a heroic spectacle. Mahomet, in ceived by himself, was the unity of God. this case, would have taken his place in The central notion of Mahomet’s religion was men's thoughts along with Socrates, Plato, rather the existence of God, His veritable and and other celebrated teachers that have real existence, as distinguished from that risen, in different situations, to high and sekind of ideal and fictitious existence assigned rene conceptions of the world and its laws; to him by the necessities of human, and, and it would have been an interesting exerabove all, by the necessities of Shemitic cise, under such circumstances, to compare rhetoric-His veritable and real existence, the rude and fierce sage of sun-scorched and the terrible relationship of men and this Mecca with the cultured and polite thinkers world to Him and His laws. In other words, of blue-skied Athens. But the facts of the it was not primarily and expressly against actual story have barred this easy and ordithe polytheism and idolatry of the Arabians nary mode of treatment. Precisely at that that Mahomet, in his mature character as a point of Mahomet's life where the eye would spiritual reformer, dashed himself and made have welcomed him as a sage emerging painwar: that polytheism and idolatry he did, fully, by his own toil, from Arabic darkness, indeed, incessantly denounce; but it was in he is seen to rush forward with a shout and Sadduceeism, in unbelief itself, in want of a shriek, proclaiming that he has received a all faith in any supernatural whatever, whe- direct charge from the Almighty to assume ther polytheistic, monotheistic, or any other the absolute guidance of men, and raising in -it was in this that, in his mature state of the air the fiery standard of a prophet. And mind, he saw the root of the whole evil. here it is, accordingly, that the mind begins That men should believe an infinite and a fu- to stagger in its conception of Mahomet, and ture, was his first demand; “ God and the Last to find that the rule of such cases as those of Day” was the standard he desired, in the Socrates and Plato will not do so easily for first instance, to raise. The great movement the man of Mecca. once made, indeed, the other collaterals were We do not suppose that there is any perto come in; God's unity was to be asserted son of culture now living that would be inequally against the polytheists and against clined to revive, with regard to Mahomet, the those Christian sects in whose doctrines re- old hypothesis . of deceit and imposture. garding the nature of Christ he thought this That hypothesis, against which Mr. Carlyle principle was denied; and thus, as well as so valiantly did battle, has now no longer by the mere ethical and imaginative filling out any professed existence amongst us, however of his system to adapt it to the wants of his it may linger in some corners of our literarace, it was to receive its final precision. But ture. “ Notwithstanding the vain reputa“God and the Last Day" was the primary tion of high political ability which people and fundamental conception.
have so strangely tried to build up for disNow, up to the moment when Mahomet simulation, and even for hypocrisy, it is hapfound himself at rest in this conviction from pily incontestable, both from universal exhis personal doubts and agitations, he is a perience, and from the profound study of spectacle that no one would or could regard human nature, that a really superior man has otherwise than with interest and admiration. never been able to exercise any powerful inTo see this man of Mecca extricate himself Auence over his fellows without being first so decisively from the false and profane intimately convinced himself,”—such, us exmummeries in which he had been bred, and pressed by a French writer, is a principle arrive, by the force of his own contempla- now so universally received and witnessed to tions, aided by such partial lessons in Chris- by all classes a d ranks of men, that it may
be allowed to rank as a commonplace. We from the fact that Mahomet's own contemwill not insult our readers, therefore, by ar- poraries, peculiarly tolerant as their Shemitic guing in its favor, nor by showing that Ma- way of thinking would necessarily have renhomet is entitled to the benefit of it. With dered them of any mere metaphorical asserourselves we believe they will be persuaded tion of apostleship, were accustomed to acthat the view which every Christian would cuse him of imposture in precisely the same be most eager to take of Mahomet and his terms as modern and European critics have system, and which, as a Christian, he will used. It was in the fortieth year of Mahomgain most by taking, is the view that accords et's age, say the ancient and authentic acto Mahomet the largest possible amount of counts, that, spending as usual the month of credit for every excellent human quality that Ramadhan in his solitary cave on mount a man may possess out of the pale of Chris- Hara, he one night received the divine call tian discipleship. Mahometanism, represent which he had long expected. As he lay on ed as the best possible product of one of the the ground, wrapped in his mantle, after best possible specimens of the natural Arabic long prayer and fasting, he heard a voice call mind working after human, and, if abnormal, him, and saw a great light. On this he still natural methods; and not Mahometan- swooned away, and when he came to hiniism represented as a wretched piece of im- self, he saw an angel, in human form, standposture, cobbled by a clever wretch for his ing before him. The angel held a roll of own bad ends—such, surely, is the Mahom- silk, whereon were inscribed certain characetanism with which the Christian would be ters, and said to Mahomet, “Read." "I proud and anxious to place his own faith in cannot read,” replied Mahomet. Read,” contrast.
repeated the angel, “in the name of thy By this abnegation, however, of the old Lord, who hath created all things; who hypothesis of imposture, the problem of Ma- hath created man of clotted blood. Read, homet's character is made much more com- by thy most beneficent Lord, who taught plex and difficult; nor do we think that the use of the pen, who teacheth man that those, in this country at least, who have pas- which he knoweth not.” On hearing these sed the subject through their hands, have words, (which were afterward inserted in the fairly faced the difficulty, or duly elaborated Koran, and are to be found there at the openthe solution. To say that Mahomet was an ing of chap. 96,) Mahomet looked on the earnest and sincere man, preaching a kind of scroll
, and was able to read what was inTheism, or natural religion, to his country- scribed on it. Then the angel departing, men, and thus to pass him on, as it were, said, “ O Mahomet, thou art the apostle of with his ticket to a place in the hall of he-God, and I am Gabriel.” Amazed and beroes, is too hasty a mode of procedure. The wildered, proceeds the story, Mahomet told rule of Socrates and Plato, we repeat, does his wife Kadijah what had happened ; and not fit the case of Mahomet. He distinctly she, eager and excited by the news, informed avowed himself as a prophet, qualified by a her cousin Waraka. I'he opinion of this divine mission; and it is as he shall be found sage, expressed after he had duly deliberto have made this declaration honestly or ated, was, that the appearance was no deludishonestly that he must stand or fall. If sion, but a real call by the Deity to the proMahomet said that he had a divine mission, phetic office. And from that day Mahomet and yet did not himself thoroughly believe was subject to prophetic dreams, and angelhis own statement, then, let his honesty in ic visitations; and the revelations that from every other point have been never so exact, time to time were made to him through this and let the value of his teachings, in them- means, were written down from his dictation selves, have been never so great, he was an by Waraka, or by the slave Zaid, and careimpostor, a rogue, and a hypocrite. Nor fully treasured as the words of God. will it do to equivocate about the sense in Such, in its simplest form, is the story of which he meant to be understood, when he Mahomet's call ; and, though in the Koran called himself a prophet. That it was not in there is not the slightest warrant for any of that sense in which, by a figure of speech, the extravagant circumstances with which or even in the glow of an intensely excited the story has been embellished, nor any evi, consciousness, a teacher of important truths dence that Mahomet himself propagated will sometimes, even in our parts of the such astounding details of his subsequent earth, announce himself as inspired, is clear, intercourse with the angelic world, as those as well from the plain and literal language which the fərtile imaginations of his devout in which the prophetic claim is advanced, as followers have supplied, (the only allusion,
for example, to the famous nigat-journey for granted in the Koran is the theory of from Mecca to Jerusalem, being a few pass- periodical revelation. Thus in chap. 13th, ing words in chap. 17th, which do not neces- Every age hath its book of revelation; sarily imply anything so grotesquely miracu. God shall abolish and shall confirm what He lous as the legend describes,) yet it is clear pleaseth ;” and again, in chap. 44th, “Verily, that, to the extent, at least, of sanctioning we have even used to send apostles with and asserting this fact of a supernatural vo- revelations at proper intervals, as a mercy cation vouchsafed to Mahomet by visible from the Lord.” In short, it was from the signs and angelic agencies, the Koran itself first a settled notion in the mind of Mahomet, stands literally and expressly committed. that God's method of keeping up the true (In proof of this see passages in chapters religion among mankind was by maintaining 29th and 53d). One of two things, there on the earth a succession of expressly comfore : either Mahomet saw no such signs and missioned men; it was a notion of his also, visions, but only said he saw them, in order derived, doubtless, from the evident examto impress people, and stun them into cer- ple of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, tain beliefs he had excogitated, or resolved that God's mode of qualifying these missionfor some reason to advocate; in which case, aries for their work was by dictating sacred we repeat, he was, let his aims have been words to them, that is, furnishing them with never so elevated, a base and unmitigated a book which men might read. Full of this scoundrel ; - or he did
actually think belief, Mahomet appears from the first to he saw visions and signs; in which case, have meditated, with special interest and enwhatever fallacy there
was, is to
be thusiasm, on the lives of those men of the charged, not to himself morally, but to Shemitic race, whether Biblical heroes or some aboriginal singularity, or superinduced mere personages of Arabian legend, in whom, idiosyncrasy, in his mental constitution. as he fancied, the true conditions of the mesAdopting, as we do, the second hypothesis, senger of God were most conspicuously we would willingly take the present oppor- realized. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, tunity to sketch, generally, our idea, dim as Hud the Addite, Saleh the Thamudite, Job, , it is, of that higher kind of psychological Moses, Ezra, and many more, were included calculus, under which, we think, rather than in this list; in which, also, he did not hesiunder the calculus in use for ordinary and tate to place our Lord himself, as the last normal cases, such characters as those of and greatest, as he seems to have believed, Mahomet, Swedenbory, and other men of the of all the Divine prophets. Whatever books, same stamp, ought to be treated. Failing or fragments of books, could be traced to space for this, however, we must content these prophets, were, he believed, infallible ourselves wth an observation or two, special revelations of the truth, transcripts from the to the case of Mahomet.
eternal table kept before the throne of God. And first, it might be demonstrated, we Nations, too, beyond the Shemitic circle, had think, that pari pussu with that spiritual had prophets sent to them, the names of process of change which we have described whom no man knew. as going on in the mind of Mahomet, in the Holding, to use a modern phrase, this interval between his twenty-eighth and his theory of Revelation, it was almost a matter fortieth year, there was going on also, an of course that Mahomet, when he had been elaboration, according to his peculiar Arabic roused to a sense of the degraded condition way of thinking, of a preconceived theory of of his countrymen under the Polytheism and revelation. Like Cromwell, whom in many Sadduceeism that divided and embruted respects he reseinbles, Mahomet is distin- them, and of the necessity of a universal guished, in the midst of all his emotional in- national reform, should begin to ask whether continences, and intermittent blasts of tumul- the series of commissioned teachers was tuous fury, by a very large constant amount closed, whether there might not yet perof a quality which we will venture to name chance be one specific revelation in store for propositionalness. Out of the Koran, inco- poor benighted Arabia. An Arabic book herent mass of rubbish as it at first appears, sent down from heaven, through some ap(especially to such readers as attack only pointed prophet - this, according to his the beginning of it, which is by far the poor- theory, must be the way and plan of the est part,) it would be possible to cull not a great reform, if it were to be vouchsafed at few lumps of the most nous and ear all! And then, as this theoretical train of propositional matter. Now one of the pro- contemplation mingled with his own vehement positions most frequently repeated or taken l impulses to proclaim the strong Theistic con.
VOL. XXI. NO. I.
victions with whieh his soul had begun to indeed that would seek the root of the entire overflow, might there not come the query, matter in such facts as these, yet neither faint and timid at first, but afterward louder ought these facts, we think, to be hastily set and more distinct, whether, if Arabia were to aside. There is, doubtless, a perfect prehave a Prophet, he, Mahomet Ibn Abdallah, established harmony, if we had but intellect might not be the appointed man? But the enough to discover it, between the whole necessary Arabic book !
Alas ! he was mind of a man and every part or peculiarity illiterate'; he could neither read nor write! of the corporeal organism through which it All this he could revolve and ponder, till the acts. Recently, too, science has more than very pores and channels of his brain became begun to surmise the existence of certain clogged, as it were, with the details of the recondite but appreciable connections between notion. Waraka, too, with his sharp and abnormal mental experiences and unusual subtle wit, may have sometimes helped him states of body. It is weak, therefore, to out in his speculations. And, at all events, eschew, on any supposed æsthetic ground, his theory would have this negative effect this field of explanations. But, indeed, there upon him, that it would prevent him from is no choice. If we are to adhere to the entering with any confidence on the mere hypothesis, that Mahomet was himself concareer of a sage or uncommissioned human vinced of his divine mission, then, by the teacher, appealing in behalf of his views only necessity of the case, we must make a large to the ordinary authority of the Arabic draft in his favor upon the region of yet un
No, if Arabia were to receive en determined physiological possibilities. Two lightenment, it must be by the established alternatives only appear to offer themselves : instrumentality of a revealed book, dictated –Either, first, Mahomet, like Julius Cæsar, to some chosen man : let then that be waited possessed an extraordinary mind in conjuncfor!
tion with a congenital peculiarity or malady And here a particular fact regarding of body ; till his mature age, the two series Mahomet puts itself forward to our aid. of manifestutions, the bodily and the mental, Even before his assumed call to the Prophet- proceeded, to a certain extent, as if distinct ship, there seems to be no doubt, that, like and parallel, the mind taking its own splenSwedenborg, Le was subject to certain extra- did course, unimpeded by the bodily parordinary physical excitements, trances, or oxysms, and all but regardless of them; but, derangements. Medical investigators have at length, in his fortieth year, a sudden even tried explicitly to identify certain facts alliance was struck up between the two parrelated of him with the symptoms of ties; the soul having arrived, in its indeepilepsy; the malady, it may be remem- pendent investigations, precisely at that bered, of another great man, Julius Cæsar. point (the theory of revelation by periodical “Mahomet,” says Mr. Irving, quoting from Prophets, and the earnest longing to be one a note in the Mohammed der Prophet, sein of them) where the co-operation of the body, Leben und seine Lehre of Dr. Gustav Weil, in the shape of certain ovel, and as might “ would sometimes be seized with a violent then have been thought, preternatural sensatrembling, followed by a kind of swoon, or tions, was necessary to relieve it; and the rather convulsion, during which perspiratio: body, on the other hand, heretofore weakwould stream from his forehead in the coldest ened and litigued, doubiless, by long fasting weather; he would lie with his eyes closed, and solitary ihouglit, being but too ready to foaming at the mouth, and bellowing like a yield the necessary obedience. Or, secondly,
He had such attacks in Mahomet had no congenital malady of body, Mecca, before the Koran was revealed to but was a man moved by such a tremendous him.” To one of his followers, who asked power of mind, as caused him, about his him what were the peculiar sensations that fortieth year, 10 tumble suddenly, body and accompanied his reception of a revelation, he soul together, over the brink of the ordinary replied that, though usually an angel ap- phenomenal platform whereon most men peared to him in human form, yet sometimes stand, into the outlying region of phanhe saw no form or shape at all, but only tasms, ringing sounds, and frenzies. In this heard "a sound like the tinkling of a bell,” last supposition (and the analogy of such on the cessation of which he found himself cases as those of Socrates and Swedenborg in possession of what had been revealed. seems to favor it) there is postulated, it will But, say medical men, a ringing in the ears be observed a new law,—the law, namely, is one of the signs of epilepsy.
of the power of a mental effort or strain, if Now, although it would be a gross mind I continued up to a certain point, to carry on