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SWORD,' says Mahomet, is the key of heaven and of hell: a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting and prayer: whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven: at the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk; and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubims."* .
Without the sword” Mahomet could effect nothing: Before he claimed the divine right of using it, or inculcated fighting for the faith, as the first of virtues, he fled from Mecca, a helpless fugitive, and hid himself in a cave. From thal flight his religion takes its date (A. D. 622)—and from that time the sword was the weapon of his warfare, by which his imposture was to stand or fall. “His doctrine then was that God had sent Moses and Jesus with miracles, and yet men would not be obedient to their word, and therefore he had now sent him, in the last place, without miracles, to force them by the power of the sword to do his will: and accordingly he forbade his disciples to enter into any farther disputes about his religion, but instead of that he commanded them to fight for it, and destroy all those who should contradict his law.”t.
“None of the former prophets carrying with them a power to force men to believe, miracles were necessary in their missions to force them thereunto. But Mahomet was a prophet sent principally to show forth the fortitude of God by the power of the sword; which being of itself alone sufficient to compel all men into the faith, without any other power accompanying it, for this reason (say they) Mahomet wrought no miracles, because he had no need of them, the power of THE SWORD, with which he was sent, of itself alone sufficiently enabling him to accomplish his mission, for forcing men to believe therein. And from thence it became the üni. versal doctrine of the Mahometans, that their religion is to be propagated by THE SWORD, and that all men were bound to fight for it : and for this reason it has been a custom among them, for their preachers, while they deliver their sermons, to have a drawn sword placed by them, to denote thereby, that the doctrine which
* Ibid. pp. 295–297. De Ryer's Life of Mahomet; prefixed to the Alcoran, p. 13,
they teach them was with the sword to be defended and propagateci by them."*
The third chapter of the Koran, being the first that was written at Medina, show how opposite, ir charity as well as in purity, is the spirit of the faith of Mahomet from that of Jesus, who reprobated the thought of calling down fire from heaven upon his enemies.
“ God sent the Old Testament and the Gospel, that were heretofore guides to the people; he hath .sent the Alcoran, that distinguishes good from evil, they that believe not the law of God shall be severely chastised,” &c.t “If you be slain for his law, or die in his favour, it shall be more advantageous to you than all the treasures of the world ; and if you die or be slain fighting for the faith, you shall appear before his divine majesty to be rewarded.”I “He will abundantly reward them that fight for the law.”
Injunctions abound throughout the Koran, to fight against unbelievers, to fight with all might for the law of God. And the overthrow of unbelievers is vaunted of as a true sign of the mission of the prophet. I
It is not by the sword that the mind can be subdued ; nor is it a true faith that needs such an auxiliary. A great sword was given to Mahomet, but though peace was thus to be taken from the earth, Islamism is destined to fall without hand. The world has seen, with wonder, the Sultan become a reformer; and religious toleration has been proclaimed throughout Turkey. Another use is now found for the great sword than the propagation of the faith. Christ went forth conquering and to conquer; and the cause of truth was promoted, às their own faith was tried, by the death of its mar. tyrs. But not even the slaughter of enemies, though they may be numbered by many millions, can finally uphold the faith that is false; nor, however long.it
* Ibid. pp. 13, 14: Koran, p. 94. § Ibid. chap. viii. ix. xlviii. lxi. &c.
1 Ibid. p. 106.
may, by such means, have prospered and prevailed, shall the bloody Koran of Mahomet stand up for ever against the pure gospel of Jesus. It was by reason of transgression that an host was given to the fierce and warlike impostor, and that it was permitted him to cast down the truth to the ground. Mahometanism was the scourge of transgression, and other prophecies amply detail how it was to take peace from the earth. And, in illustration of these, more ample details remain to be given. But another word here marks another feature of its own fate,--they shall kill ONE ANOTHER. The Saracens and Turks, with whose history a more minute acquaintance has yet to be formed from the book of Revelation, have been its great propagators and support. Of the former, when the Caliphate fell from its high estate, history records, that “. the African and Turkish guards drew their SWORDS AGAINST EACH OTHER,"--and that “ the Sultans of Persia silenced the factions of Bagdad by their irresistible ARMS.
A similar fate, though protracted, seems to hang over Turkey; or rather, restrained from being a woe to Christendom, they can find but a similar exercise for their swords. Killing one another seems at least to have begun to be also their history. Many Pashas have recently revolted ; and they have only been reduced to submission by the slaughter of Turks by Turks. The page of history cannot here be appealed to. But in the Journal of Corfu, it has been stated, (as quoted by the Courier, 10th June 1831,) that, in a single battle, near Perlipe, the Visier defeated the Pasha of Scutari, with the loss of 5000 men. The Turkish empire is a scene of revolt, and of mutual slaughter. · Bagdad has lately been taken by storm, by the sultan's troops. They kill one another.
* Gibbon's Hist, vol. x. pp. 84, 86. chap. 52.
The face of the second living creature, who, on the opening of the second seal, said unto John, come and see, was like the face of a he-calf, or bull. As characteristic of the Mahometan faith, sensuality, in contrast to purity, may seem to be implied. The mind of Mahomet was so gross, that he measured the power and dignity of angels by their bulk. In his own conduct he was so debased, that he needed a revelation, from such a heaven as he fancied, to sanction his impurities; there are boastings concerning him, of which delicacy forbids the mention, but which best mark the brute: and his religion is of so sensual a character, that even his paradise is but a pasture for beasts. How corrupt, alas ! is the heart of a man, when an imposture so monstrous, degrading, and bestial, has prospered and 'prevailed so widely and so long against the truth as it is in Jesus, holy, harmless, and undefiled, who laid down his life for the sins of men.
But the evil propensity of pleasure in unrighteousness was yet to be manifested in another form. And the world has scarcely suffered more from the vain belief of a lie than from the wicked perversion of the truth, even till its nature was transformed from white into black.
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, come and see. And I beheld, and lo, a black horse, and he that sat on him had a pair of balances (a yoke) in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.—Ver. 5, 6.
The repetition of the same symbol manifestly requires a corresponding similarity in the nature of the object represented. From any incongruity or discordance in this respect, whatever might be the interpretation, conviction of its truth would cease to be reasonable. If the first symbol, that of the white horse, denotes the Christian religion, of which Christ is the head, and if the second, which was red, denoted, as expressed, another religion, or the Mahometan, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the third, or the black horse, must also, and as expressively, denote some form of religion, or have a direct reference to the prevalence of some system of faith, or of religious opinions. With this indisputable similarity, there is, in other respects than in the colour it assumes, a marked difference between the second and third symbolical representations. The latter is not, as the former is, said to be another. Nor is the third seen to come into the field of view, subsequently to the second, in the same munner, as the second appears after the first, as arising without any antecedent existence. Of the second it is said, and there went out ANOTHER horse that was red. But of the third it is stated, in manifest variance from the former, (but in the same