Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

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 tyranny. 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 immortality 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. The reverend, learned, and acute Charles Leslie, in his Truth of Christianity demonstrated, having shown in what manner Mahometism sprung out of Arianism, and is connected with Socinianism, adds,“ So that in

1 Vide Abulfaragius, apud Pocock, page 30, in notis ad Spec. Hist. Arab. Et Aslscharestanrus, ap. eund. p. 52, 274—292.

"1

strictness, I should not have reckoned Mahometism as one of the four religions of the world, but as one of the heresies of Christianity; but because, of its great name, and its having spread so far in the world by the conquests of Mahomet and his followers, and that it is vulgarly understood to be a distinct religion of itself,--therefore I have considered it as such.”. 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;? and, on the other, the writings of some modern Socinians, who recommend their religion as removing all obstacles to the conversions of Mahometans.' Thus, in this distinguishing article of faith, the Unitarian Christians agree with the Mahometans. And in the remaining articles, which separate them from the pure Church, a yoke is imposed, nearly similar to that which binds the papal church. They are these; excessive and merely oral prayers, fastings, pilgrimages. Whatsoever in Mahometism is excessive and antichristian in respect to these articles, will be found to correspond very nearly with corruptions which prevail in the papal church. External purification, and hypocritical ostentation, supersede in both these religions, the religion of the heart. Ma

1 Leslie's Works, fol. vol. i. p. 168.

. Reflections on Mahometism, printed with Reland's Abridge. ment.

3 Dr. Priestley, &c.
4 See note, ch. vi. 5.

1

hometism, as well as Popery, has its purgatory, and its indulgences to be purchased by money.

On the whole, when we consider the origin of Mahometism, and its near affinity to corrupted Christianity; when we reflect also on the amazing extent of this superstitious domination, which occupies nearly as large a portion of the globe as that possessed by Christians; comprising vast regions in ancient Greece and Asia Minor, in Syria, in Persia, in the Indies, in Tartary, in Egypt, and Africa, which once were Christian; we shall readily admit that, if not a Christian heresy, it is at least a Christian apostasy, and well worthy, from its magnitude, to be accounted one horn, or division of empire, of the antichristian beast.

After these observations, it may be useful to ex-, hibit together, in one point of view, these two horns, and to show their mutual agreement with the prophecy.

POPERY

REV. CH, xiii.

MAHOMETISM

is a Christian apostasy, is a Christian apostasy :

formed upon the basis of which is ably set forth by beast out of the

11. Another wild

true revelation, and professJoseph Mede, in his tract on

ed by nations which were

land, that subject. Works, p. 623.

formerly in the pale of the

Christian Church. is one of the powers into

is one of the powers into whicb Antichrist is divided,

which Antichrist is divided, usurping the place and office

usurping the redeeming and of Christ, and pretending to has two horns like mediatorial power of Christ, a vicarial power from him, a lamb:

which is partly annihilated and producing out of its own

under this system, partly body mediators and inter

transferred to the usurping cessors in opposition to him..

false prophet. The doctrine of Popery, though it affect to be Chris

The doctrine of Mahomet, tian, is in many respects

though it assume an heaven. "carnal, worldly, devilish ;" speaks like a dra. J ly origin, is not beavenly, and its edicts have been en

gon:

but“ carnal, worldly, devil. forced by the sword of the

ish," and has been enforced civil power, under the di

by the sword. rection of the ecclesiastical.

1 Sale's Koran, Introduct. Ockley's Hist. of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 128. Ricaut's Ottoman Empire, 188. Nieburgh's Travels.

MAHOMETISM.

POPERY

REV. CH. xiii. The object of Popery has been to acquire secular 12 Exerciseth power, which the Popes have all the power of effected to a vast extent, and the first beast, transmitted to their succes- &c. sors.

Mahomet made use of ecclesiastical influence to obtain secular power, which he combined with it, and transmitted to bis successors.

Popery has been promot-) 13–14 Doeth ed hy pretended miracles, great wonders, Mahomet persuaded men so that the civil power, exer- making fire come that his Koran was a divine cised bythe Popes over kings down from hea. law, brought down from and their subjects, has been ven in the sight beaven miraculously, and believed to be authorized by of men to cause thus he gave a religious divine commission, and has them to worship (sanction to his civil power. been revered accordingly. the beast:

The Popes have erected a civil empire of vast extent in Christendom. It is the very image of the ancient Roman tyranny, which persecuted the infant Church ; but more formidable, because it is believed to have the sanction of divine appointment. The power in such hands is revered as sacred.

Mabomet and his succes

sors have erected a civil em15 Makes an pire of great extent like the image of

the

Roman, a cruel oppressive beast, to which he power, persecuting true religives life and gion, and by an apparent speech :

sanction from heaven. Their numerous subjects revere their government as sacred.

16-17 Causes

The intolerance and per. The intolerance and per- those who refuse

the secuting spirit of Popery is worship to

secuting spirit of the Maho

metans, by wbich they have notorious. The professors of beast to be slain, other religions have been

denied, to all but Mussul. and

probibits murdered by millions. And

them from buying leges, is well authenticated

maps, the common privi. the Christian world was for and selling, unless

the ages compelled to receive they have

in history, as are the grievthe mark and name.

mark or nanme of

ous sufferings of the Christians under their sway.

the beast,

&c.

Such is the agreement between Popery and Mahometism; and so exactly do they both fulfil the prophecy of the second apocalyptic beast. But still, there is a great and remarkable difference between these two apostasies. The Mahometan, though it acknowledge Christ as a prophet, divinely born and commissioned, and as such expects him to return again before the end of the world ; seems practically to forget him, and to be as it were lost to his

APPENDIX,

papal apostasy, though in works it deny Christ, and name; dead to the life which is in Christ. The that it can scarcely be known as such; yet in name

in many instances has so corrupted his holy religion, acknowledges him as supreme Lord, and calls itself exclusively the Christian, the Catholic, or universal Church. This difference seems to supply us with the reason, why these two branches of Antichrist, when they come to be treated separately and particularly in the visions of the Apocalypse, are exhibited in a manner so different. The Mahometan branch, having sprung up rapidly into power; having by open force, as well as art, possessed itself suddenly of empire, and continued in the possession of it many ages, apart from the professed Christian Church ; so its rise and extension, and all their effects, are represented at once under the sixth trumpet; and are not often noted afterwards, excepting in this its conjunction with the papal horn. But the papal branch required a more particular description. It grew up gradually and covertly; stole silently into power, and without much conflict. To the pure and reformed Church, (which is to win her way to victory ék to Inprov, out of the body of the beast in which she is enveloped,) this branch is to be exhibited specially in all its assumed grandeur and artifice; and comfort is to be afforded against its terrors. For this reason, the papal horn is again produced to view, under the symbol of the great harlot, the corrupt Babylon, (ch. xvii.) With this branch of Antichrist, the battles of the pure Church are principally to be fought. As in the Apocalypse, so in the prophecies of Daniel, the blow of the stone strikes this part of the beast; the toes and legs of the image; the Western, the European Roman empire ; that blow, which is to break the whole of Anti

« EdellinenJatka »