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KNOWLEDGE

KNOWLEDGE you have gained.-10. Maintain a constant wateh, is an equal difference between the nations among at all times, against a dogmatical spirit.—11. Be whom the principles of piety prevail, and the nahumble and courageous enough to retract any tions that are overrun with idolatry, superstition, mistake, and confess an error.-12. Beware of a and error. Knowledge, also, is of great imporfanciful temper of mind, and a humorous conduct. tance to our personal and private felicity: it fur-13. Have a care of trifling with things impor- nishes a pleasure that cannot be met with in the tant and momentous, or of sporting with things possession of inferior enjoyinents; a fine enterawful and sacred.–14. Ever maintain a virtuous tainment which adds a relish to prosperity, and and pious fraine of spirit.--15. Watch against alleviates the hour of distress. · It throws a lustre the pride of your own reason, and a vain conceit upon greatness, and reflects an honour upon of your own intellectual powers, with the neglect poverty. Knowledge will also instruct us how of divine aid and blessing.--16. Offer up, there to apply our several talents for the benefit of manfore, your daily requests to God, the Father of kind. It will make us capable of advising and Lights, that he would bless all your attempts and regulating others. Hence we may become the labours in reading, study, and conversation.- lights of the world, and diffuse those beneficent Watts on the Mind, chap. i.; Dr. John Ed- beams around us, which shall shine on benighted wards's Uncertainty, Deficiency, and Corrup travellers, and discover the path of rectitude and tion of Human Knowledge; Reid's Intellectual bliss. . This knowledge, also, tends to destroy Powers of Man; Stennet's Sermon on Acts xxvi. bigotry and enthusiasm. To this we are indebted 24, 25.

for the important change which hath been made KNOWLEDGE OF GOD is often taken since the beginning of the Reformation. To this for the fear of God and the whole of religion. we are indebted for the general cultivation and There is, indeed, a speculative knowledge, which refinement of the understandings of men. It is consists only in the belief of his existence, and owing to this that even arbitrary governments the acknowledgment of his perfections, but has seem to have lost something of their original fero no influence on the heart and conduct. A spi- city, and that there is a source of improvement in ritual saring knowledge consists in veneration Europe which will, we hope, in future times for the Divine Being, Ps. lxxxix. 7; love to bim shed the most delightful influences on society, as an object of beauty and goodness, Zech. ix. and unite its members in harmony, peace, and 17; humble confidence in bis mercy and promise, love. But the advantages of knowledge are still Ps.ix. 10; and sincere, uniform, and persevering greater, for it points out to us an eternal felicity. obedience to his word, 1 John ii. 3. It may fur. The several branches of human science are inther be considered as a knowledge of God the tended only to bless and adorn our present exist Father; of his love, faithfulness, power, &c. Of ence; but religious knowledge bids uz provide the Son, as it relates to the dignity of his nature, for an imunortal being, sets the path of salvation ? John v. 20; the suitability of his offices, Heb. before us, and is our inseparable companion in ix.; the perfection of his work, Ps. Ixviii. 18; the the road to glory. As it instructs in the way to brightness of his example, Acts x. 38; and the endless bliss, so it will survive that mighty day prevalence of his intercession, Heb. vii. 25. Of when all worldly literature and accomplishments the Holy Ghost, as equal with the Father and shall for ever cease. At that solemn period, in Uie Son; of his agency as enlightener and com- which the records and registers of inen shall be forter; as also in his work of witnessing, sancti- destroyed, the systems of human policy be dis fying, and directing his people, John xv. xvi. ; 2 solved, and the grandest works of genius die, the Cor. iii

. 17, 18; John ii. 5, 6; Rom. viii. 16. wisdom which is spiritual and heavenly shall not This knowledge may be considered as experi- only subsist, but be increased to an extent that mental, 2 Tim. i. 12; fiducial, Job xiii. 15, 16; human nature cannot in this life admit. Our electionate, 1 John iii. 19; intluential

, Psal. ix. views of things, at present, are obscure, imperfect, 20; Matt. v. 16; humiliating, Isa. vi.; Job xlii. partial

, and liable to error; but when we arrive 50; satisfying, Psal. xxxvi. 7; Prov. iii. 17; to the realms of everlasting light, the clouds that and superior to all other knowledge, Phil. iii. 8. shadowed our understanding will be removed; The advantages of religious knowledge are every we shall behold with amazing clearness the attriway great. It forms the basis of true honour butes, ways, and works of God; shall perceive and felicity. “Not all the lustre of a noble birth, more distinctly the design of his dispensations ; not all the influence of wealth, not all the pomp shall trace with rapture the wonders of nature af litles not all the splendour of power

, can give and grace, and become acquainted with a thoudignity to the soul that is destitute of inwaru im- sand glorious objects, of which the imagination provement. By this we are allied to angels, and can as yet have no conception." tre capable of rising for ever in the scale of being. In oriler to increase in the knowledge of God, Such is its inherent worth, that it hath always there must be dependence on Him from

whom een represented under the nvost pleasing images. all light proceeds, James i. 6; attention to his In particular, it hath been compared to light, the revealed will, John v. 39 ; a watchful spirit munt valuable and reviving part of nature's works, against corrupt aliections, Luke xxi. 34 ; a hun reautiful and transporting object our eyes behold. tion, Ps. civ

. 34 ; a persevering design for conmic value of religious knowledge, let us look around nocks Works, vol. i.

p. 361; Saurin's

Sermons, ald we shall be convinced how desirable it is vol. i. ser. 1;'Gili's Body of Dio. vol. iii. p. 12 eternal things. Observe the difference between vol. i. ser. 45; Hall's Sermon on the Adrantaga to be acquainted with God, with spiritual, with oct.; Tillotson's Serm.ser. 113; Wat's works

, a cultivated and a barren country. While the of Knowledge to the Lucer Classes. former is a lovely, cheerful, and delightful sighly KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. See OMNIS the other adıni

KORAN

KORAN KORAN, or ALCORAN, the Scripture or Christians, for the same purpose, make use of Bible of the Mahometans, containing the revela- similar forms. But Mahomet probably took this tions and doctrines of their pretended prophet. form from the Persian Magi, who began their

1 Koran, dirisions of the.- The Koran is di- books in these words, Benam Yezdam takshaiskvided into one hundred and fourteen larger por- gher dadar ; that is, In the name of the me tions of very unequal length, which we call chap- merciful just God. There are twenty-nine ters, but the Arabians Sowar, in the singular chapters of the Koran, which have this pecuSura; a word rarely used on any other occasion, liarity, that they begin with certain letters of the and properly signifying a row, or a regular series ; alphabet, some with single ones, others with more. as a course of bricks in building, or a rank of These letters the Mahometans believe to be the soldiers in an army, and is the same in use and peculiar marks of the Koran, and to conceal seve import with the Sura, or Tora, of the Jews; who ral profound mysteries; the certain understand also call the fifty-three sections of the Pentateuch ing of which, the more intelligent confess, has de Sedarim, a word of the same signification. These been communicated to any mortal, their prophet chapters are not, in the manuscript copies, distin- only excepted; notwithstanding which, sonte guished by their numerical order, but by particu- take the liberty of guessing at their meaning be far titles, which are taken sometimes from a pe- that species of cabala called by the Jews No culiar subject treated of, or person mentioned tarikon. therein; usually from the first word of note, ex 2. Koran, general design of the.-The gene actly in the same manner as the Jews have ral design of the Koran was to unite the pries named their Sedariın: though the word from sors of the three different religions, then followed which some chapters are denominated be very in the populous country of Arabia, (who for the distant towards the middle, or perhaps the end, most part, wandered without guides, the far of the chapter; which seems ridiculous. But the greater number being idolaters, the rest Jews and occasion of this appears to have been, that the Christians, mostly of erroneous opinion,) in the verse or passage wherein such word occurs, was, knowledge and worship of one God, under the in point of time, revealed and committed to writ- sanction of certain laws and ceremonies party ing before the other verses of the same chapter of ancient and partly of novel institution, enforced which precede it in order; and the title being given by the consideration of rewards and punishments to the chapter before it was completed, or the pas- both temporal and eternal; and to bring them all sages reduced to their present order, the verse to the obedience of Mahomet, as the prophet sand from whence such title was taken did not always ambassador of God; who, after the repeated happen wo begin the chapter. Some chapters monitions, promises, and threats of former ages have two or more titles, occasioned by the differ- was sent at last to establish and propagate God's ence of the copies. Some of them being pre-religion on earth; and to be acknowledged chief tended to have been revealed at Mecca, and pontiff in spiritual matters, as well as supreme others at Medina, the noting this difference makes prince in temporal. The great doctrine, then, a part of the title. Every chapter is divided into of the Koran is the unity of God; to restore smaller portions, of very unequal length also, which, Mahomet pretended, was the chief end which we customarily call rerses ; but the Ara- of his mission; it being laid down by him as a bic word is Ayat, the same with the Hebrew fundamental truth, That there never was, or Ototh, and signifies signs or wonders ; such as ever can be, more than one true orthodor religion: the secrets of God, his attributes, works, judg- that, though the particular laws or cerenwnies ments, and ordinances delivered in those verses; are only temporary, and subject to alteration many of which have their particular titles, also, cording to the divine direction; yet the substance imposed in the same manner as those of the chap of it, being eternal truth, is not liable to change, ters. Besides these unequal divisions, the Ma- but continues inmutably the same; and that, hometans have also divided their Koran into whenever this religion became neglected or care sixty equal portions, which they call Anzab, in rupted in essentials, God had the goodness to re the singular Hizb, each subdivided into four equal | inform and re-admonish mankind thereof by parts; which is likewise an imitation of the Jews, several prophets, of whom Moses and Jesus wer who have an ancient division of their Mishna the most distinguished, till the appearance of into sixty portions, called Vassictoth. But the Mahomet, who is their seal, and no other to be Koran is more usually divided into thirty sections expected after him. The more effectually to en only, named Ajaza, from the singula. Joz, each gaye people to hearken to him, great part of the of twice the length of the former, and in like Koran is employed in relating examples of dread manner subdivided into four parts.' These divi- ful punishments formerly inflicted by God on sions are for the use of the readers of the Koran those who rejected and abused his messengers; in the royal temples, or in the adjoining chapels several of which stories, or some circumstances of where the emperors and great men arc interred; them, are taken from the Old and New Testaof whom there are thirty belonging to every ments, but many more from the aportypal chapel, and each reads his section every day; so books and traditions of the Jews and Christians that the whole Koran is read over once a day of those ages, set up in the Koran as truths, in Next after the title, at the name of every chapter opposition to the Scriptures, which the Jews and except only the ninth, is prefixed the following Christians are charged with having altered; and solemn form, by the Mahometans called the Bis- indeed, few or none of the relations of circum mailah-"In the name of the most merciful stances in the Koran were invented by Mabonete God;" which form they constantly place at the as is generally supposed; it being easy to trace beginning of all their books and writings in gene- the greatest part of them much higher, as the rest ral, as a peculiar mark and distinguishing charac-, might be, were more of these books estant, and teristic of their religion, it being counted a sort were it worth while to make the inquiry. The

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KORAN

KORAN necessary laws and directions, frequent admoni-/ which, in truth, are so great, that all tneir doctions to moral and livine virtues, the worship and tors have never been able to adjust them; fur reverence of the Supreme Being, and resignation Mahomet, or rather his copyist, having put all to his will

. One of their most learned commen- the loose verses promiscuously in a book together, tators listinguishes the contents of the Alcoran it was impossible ever to retrieve the order where into allegorical and literal; under the former are in they were delivered. These 23 years wbich comprehended all the obscure, parabolical, and the angel employed in conveying the Alcoran to enigmatical passages, with such laws as are re- Mahomet, are of wonderful service to his folpealed or abrogated; the latter, such as are clear, lowers; inasmuch as they furnish them with an and in full force. The most excellent moral in answer to such as tax them with those glaring the whole Alcoran, interpreters say, is that in the contradictions of which the book is full, and chapter Al alraf, viz.“Show mercy, do good to all, which they piously father upon God himself; and dispute not with the ignorant;" or, as Mr. alleging that, in the course of so long a time, he Sale renders it, Use indulgence, command that repealed and altered several doctrines and prewhich is just

, and withdraw far from the igno- cepts which the prophet had before received of rint. Mahomet, according to the authors of the him. M. D'Herbelot thinks it probable, that Keschaf, having begged of the angel Gabriel a when the heresies of the Nestorians, Eutychians, more ample explication of this passage, received &c. had been condemned by ecumenical counit in the following terms: "Seek him who turns cils, many bishops, priests, monks, &c. being thee out, give to him who takes from thee, par-driven into the deserts of Arabia and Egypt, turdon him who injures thee; for God will have nished the impostor with passages, and crude, yon plant in your souls the roots of his chief per- ill-conceived doctrines, out of the Scriptures; and fertions." It is easy to see that this commentary that it was hence that the Alcoran became so full is horrowed from the Gospel

. In reality, the of the wild and erroneous opinions of those here. necessity of forgiving enemies, though frequently ties. The Jews also, who were very numerous inculeated in the Alcoran, is of a later date among in Arabia, furnished materials for the Alcoran; the Mahometans than among the Christians; nor is it without some reason that they boast among those later than among the heathens; and twelve of their chief doctors to have been the to be traced originally among the Jews. (See authors of this work. The Alcoran, while MaExod. xxxiii. 4, 5.) But it matters not so much homet lived, was only kept in loose sheets: his who had it first as who observes it best. The successor, Abubeker, first collected them into a

caliph Hassan, son of Hali, being at table, a slave volume, and committed the keeping of it to í let fall a dish of meat recking hot, which 'scalded Haphsa, the widow of Mahomet, in order to be

him severely. The slave fell on his knees reconsulted as an original; and there being a good hearsing these words of the Alcoran, “Paradise deal of diversity between the several copies alis for those who restrain their anger.". “I am ready dispersed throughout the provinces, Ottonot angry with thee," answered the caliph. “And man, successor of Abubeker, procureil a great for those who forgive offences against them,” number of copies to be taken from that of Hapb continues the slave. “I forgive thee thine," re-sa, at the same time suppressing all the others plies the caliph. “But, above all, for those who not conformable to the original. The chief difreturn good for evil,” adds the slave. "I set ferences in the present copies of this book consist thee at liberty," rejoined the caliph; "and I give in the points, which were not in use in the time thee ten dinars.” There are also a great number of Mahomet and his immediate successors; but of occasional passages in the Alcoran relating only were added since, to ascertain the reading, after to, particular emergencies. For this alvantage the example of the Massoretes, who added tho Mahomet had, by his piecemeal method of re- like points to the Hebrew texts of Seripture. civing and delivering his revelations, that, when. There are seven principal editions of the Alcoran, ever he happened to be perplexed with any thing, two at Medina, one at Mecca, one at Cufa, one he had a certain resource in some new morsel of at Bassora, one in Syria, and the common, or revelation. It was an admirable contrivance to vulgar edition. The first contains 6000 verses, bring down the whole Alcoran only to the lowest the others surpassing this number by 200 or 236 heaven, not to earth: since, had the whole been verses; but the number of words and letters is published at once, innumerable objections would the same in all; viz. 77,639 words, and 323,015 have been made, which it would have been im letters. The number of commentaries on the possible for him to have solved; but as he re- Alcoran is so large, that the bare titles would ceived it by parcels, as God saw fit they should make a huge volume. Ben Oschair has written be published for the conversion and instruction the history of them, entitled Tarikh Pen (nof the people, he had a sure way to answer all chair. The principal among them are, Reidemergencies, and to extricate himself with honour haori

, Thaalebi

, Zamalehschari, and Bacai. The from any difficulty which might occur. Mahometans have a positive theology built on

3. Koran, history of the. It is the common the Alcoran and tradition, as well as a scholastipinion, thai Mahomet, assisted luy one Sergius, cal one built on reason. They have likewise a monk, composed this book : bli the Mussul- their casuista, and a kind of canon law, wherein mans believe it as an article of their faith, that the they distinguish between what is of divine anal prophet, who, they say, was an illiterate man, had what of positive right. They have their beneno concern in inditing it; but that it was given hieiaries, too, chaplains, almoners, and canons, him by God, who, to that end, made use of the mi- who read a chapter every day out of the Alcoran Distry of the angel Gabriel; that, however, it was in their mosques, and have prebends annexed to communicated io him by little and little, a verse at their office. The halib of the mosque is what a time, and in different places, during the course we call the garson of the parishı; and the scheiks of 23 years." And hence," say they, "procee! are the preachers, who take their lexts out of the that disorder and confusion visible in the work ;" | Alcoran.

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