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In another part, it arrogates to itself the same high distinction, if possible in more set terms; uniting itself with the Old and New Testaments, under the authoritative titles of "THE LAW, and THE GOSPEL, and THE OTHER SCRIPTURES;" and representing these three volumes as together constituting the one true manual of the faithful, and the sum of all extant written revelation.
In a third place, we find the following words, declaratory of the common origin and object of the Mosaic and Mahometan written laws: "We formerly gave unto Moses and Aaron THE LAW, being a distinction between good and evil, and a light and admonition unto the pious; and THIS Book [the Koran], also, is a blessed admonition, which we have sent down from heaven."
Again: "We have given thee THE KORAN, as we gave THE PSALMS to David."*
In contemplating this important branch of the general analogy, we are, therefore, to consider, that the comparison between the Bible and the Koran was first instituted by Mahomet himself; and that, by publishing it as the completion of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, he has stamped this pretended revelation, through all its scriptural plagiarisms and imitations, as the book of antichrist.
*Sale's Koran, vol. i. p. 125.
It is equally deserving of consideration, that the followers of Mahomet have ever zealously maintained the pretensions of the Koran, to this designed and immediate connection with the Old and New Testaments: that they not only admit, but argue from, the existence of a parallel between the three volumes; strongly insisting on the conformity of the Koran with the Bible, as one of the chief proofs of its inspiration.
The spurious resemblance of the Koran to the sacred volume has often engaged the notice of Christian writers. But fully to establish the antichristian character of this resemblance, it is essential, that it should have been thus contrived by Mahomet, and maintained by his followers, with the set purpose of identifying the Koran with the Scriptures of both Testaments.
The case does not demand, nor will our limits admit, such an analysis of the text of the Koran, as might enable us fully to trace its manifold and multiform plagiarisms, to their original sources in the Law and Gospel. Our object, therefore, must be, rather, by select examples, to indicate the nature of the correspondence, than to specify its amount.
But, before we adduce specimens of this parallel, in its details, it would seem expedient briefly to consider, in a general way, the extent
to which the Scriptures of both Testaments are, in fact, copied after in the Koran; and, also, the method, and apparent design, observable in its plagiarisms and imitations.
The question, how far, when he compiled his pretended Scriptures, Mahomet was acquainted or unacquainted with the volume of holy writ, has been frequently agitated, in discussions on the Mahometan controversy; and, as it would seem, to very little purpose. On this, as well as on many other particulars, in the history of Mahometanism, the Christian world might have been spared much profitless speculation, if, instead of loosely theorizing on the probable, or possible, amount of Mahomet's knowledge of the Bible, former inquirers had examined attentively, and accurately ascertained, the extent in which he has actually employed the materials of the Old and New Testaments, in the construction of his Koran.
. On collating the text of the Koran with that of the Bible, with this view, from the general character of the correspondence there will be found to arise new proof and illustration of the just title of Mahometanism to the place assigned to it in these pages, as, at once, the offspring of the covenant with Ishmael, and the spurious counterpart of the religion of Isaac. From what
has been advanced by the generality of writers, respecting the construction of the Koran, we are led to suppose that Mahomet, in the execution of his task, proceeded wholly without order or design; and that, in all his imitations and plagiarisms, he copied at random from the Old and New Testaments. This, however, is very far from being the case. On the contrary, the facts are altogether irreconcileable with such a supposition. It may be stated, as the result of an impartial scrutiny of its text, that, amidst all that apparent disorder and incoherence of which the Koran stands most justly accused, its author certainly went with great regularity after a system of his own, in his use, or abuse, of the sacred Volume; and that he has carried on his plagiarisms, within very defined limits. Indeed, that this is so, must be clear to every one who will be at the trouble to observe, how, together with its numerous petty thefts from both Testaments, the pseudo-bible of Mahometanism contains a set series of scriptural relations, on which it specially builds its teaching; and to which it constantly recurs, for the proof and confirmation of its doctrines.
These favourite authorities of the Koran are, the stories of Adam*, of Noah, of Abraham, of
* For Mahomet's account of the fall of our first parents, see Koran, chap. ii. vii. xx.
Lot, of Jacob, Joseph, and the Patriarchs, of Moses and Aaron, and of David and Solomon, out of the Old Testament; and the accounts of Zacharias, of John the Baptist, of the Virgin Mary, and of Jesus Christ, from the New. Thus the story of Noah, first recited in the seventh, is repeated in the eleventh, the twenty-second, the twenty-sixth, the twenty-ninth, the fifty-fourth, and the seventy-first, chapters: that of Abraham, in the second, third, fourth, sixth, eleventh, fourteenth, fifteenth, twenty-first, twenty-ninth, thirty-seventh, fifty-first, and sixtieth: that of Lot, in the seventh, eleventh, fifteenth, and twenty-seventh: the history of Jacob and the twelve patriarchs, elsewhere repeatedly alluded to, is given at large in the twelfth chapter, entitled "Joseph :" the life and actions of Moses are recounted through the second, sixth, seventh, tenth, seventeenth, twentieth, twenty-seventh, and twenty-eighth chapters: Job is noticed in the twenty-first, and thirty-eighth: David and Solomon, in the second, the twenty-first, the twenty-seventh, the thirty-fourth, and the thirtyeighth. Besides the various incidental allusions, both to these, and to other Old Testament worthies.
On the other hand, we find the narratives of the New Testament similarly introduced; al