Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

orunte

KORAN

KORAN 4. Koran, Mahometan, faith concerning. It is | by any former or succeeding impostor. It rethe general belief among the Mahometans that the quires not the eye of a philosopher to discover in Koran is of divine original; nay, that it is eter- every soil and country a principle of national nal and uncreated ; remaining, as some express pride: and if we look back for many ages on the it, in the very essence of God; and the very first history of the Arabians, we shall easily perceive transcript has been from everlasting, by God's that pride among them invariably to have conss. throne, written on a table of vast biguess, called sed in the knowledge and improvement of their the preserred table, in which are also recorded native language. The Arabic, which has been the divine decrees, past and future; that a copy justly esteemed the most copious of the eastern from this table, in one volume upon paper, was, tongues, which had existed from the Inst by the ministry of the angel Gabriel, sent down mote antiquity, which had been embellished by to the lowest heaven, in the month of Ramadam, numberless poets, and refined by the constant elon the night of power, from whence Gabriel re- ercise of the natives, was the most successful isvealed it to Mahomet in parcels, some at Mecca, strument which Mahomet employed in planting and some at Medina, at different times, during his new religion among them. "Admirably auditthe space of twenty-three years, as the exigency ed by its unrivalled harmony, and by its enthus of attairs required; giving him, however, the con- variety, to add painting to expression, an u solation to show him the whole (which they tell pursue the imagination in its unbounded light, us was bound in silk, and adorned with gold and it became in the hands of Mahoinet an irresistiprecious stones of paradise) once a year; but ble charm to blind the judgment and to captivate in the last year of his life he had the favour to the fancy of his followers. Of that destition see it twice. They say, that only ten chapters of men who first composed the adherents of Va. were delivered entire, the rest being revealed homet, and to whom the Koran was addressed piecemeal, and written down from time to time few, probably, were able to pass a very by the prophet's amanuensis, in such a part of judgment on the propriety of the sentimenta, such and such a chapter, till they were completed, on the beauty of the diction: but all ovuld juice according to the direction of the angel." The of the military abilities of their leader; anul in ce first parcel that was revealed is generally agreed midst of their admiration, it is not difficult to to have been the first five verses of the ninety-conceive that they would ascribe to his com; wasio sixth chapter. In fine, the book of the Alcoran tions every imaginary beauty of inspired lanis held in the highest esteem and reverence among guage. The shepherd and the soldier, touch the Mussulmans. They dare not so much as awake to the charms of those wil but beautial touch the Alcoran without being first washed, or compositions in which were celebrated their falegally purified: to prevent which an inscription vourite occupations of love or war, were vet little is put on the cover or label, -Let none touch but able to criticise any other works than those skich they who are clean. It is read with great care were addressed to their imagination or their heart. and respect, being never held below the girdle. To abstract reasonings on the attributes an! They swear by it; take omens from it on all the dispensations of the Deity, to the conijer tire weighty occasions; carry it with them to war; excellencies of rival religions, to the consisteny write sentences of it on their banners; adorn it of any one religious system in all its parts, and with gold and precious stones; and knowingly the force of its various proofs, they were quita will not suffer it to be in the possession of any of a inattentive. In such a situation, the appearance different religion. Some say it is punishable even of a work which possessed something like a with death, in a Christian to touch it; others, dom and consistence; which prescribed the rules that the veneration of the Mussulmans leads them and illustrated the duties of life; and which can to condemn the translating it into any other lan- tained the principles of a new and comparatively guage, as a profanation ; but these seem to be sublime theology, independently of its real and per exaggerations. The Mahometans have taken manent merit, was likely to excite their astonishcare to have heir Scripture translated into the ment, and to become the standard of future me Persian, the Javan, the Malayan, and other lan- position. In the first periods of the literature of guages: though, out of respect to the original, these every country, something of this kind has har versions are generally, if not always, interlineated. pened. The father of Grecian poetry very olonia

5. Korun, success of the accounted for. The viously influenced the taste and inviation of his author of the “View of Christianity and Ma country. The modern nations of Europe al hometanism," observes, that, "by the advocates possess some original author, who, rising from of Mahometanism, the Koran has always been the darkness of former ages, has begun the ca held forth as the greatest of miracles, and equally reer of composition, and tinctured with the chat stupendous with the act of raising the dead. racter of his own imagination the stream which The miracles of Moses and Jesus, they say, were has flowed through his posterity. But the prom transient and temporary; but that of the Koran phet of Arabia hed in this respect advaatages is permanent and perpetual, and therefore far peculiar to himself

. His compositions were not surpasses all the miraculous events of preceiling | io his followers the works of man, but the genus ages. We will not detract from the real merits language of Heaven which had sent him. They of the Koran ; we allow it to be generally elegant were not confined, therefore, to that admiration and often sublime: but at the same time we e which is so liberally bestowed on the earliest pro ject with disdain its arrogant pretence to any ductions of genius, or to that fond attschnem thing supernatural, all the real excellence of the with which men every where regard the orginal work being easily referrible to natural and visible compositions of their country; but with the causes. In the language of Arabia, a language admiration they blended their pety. To kant extremely loved and diligently cultivated by the and to feel the beauties of the Koran, people to whom it was vernacular, Mahomet some respect to share in the temper of heaven; found advantages which were never enjoyed and he who was most affected with admiration in

KORAN

KORAN the perusal of its beauties, seemed fitly the object | when they would represent to us the happiness of of that merey which had given it to ignorant man. heaven, they describe it, not by any thing minute The Koran, therefore, becaine naturally and ne- and particular, but by something general and cessarily the standard of taste. With a language great; something that, without descending to any thus hallowed in their imaginations, they were determinate object, may at once, by its beauty and too well satisfiel either to dispute its elegance, or immensity, excite our wishes, and elevate our afimprove its structure. In succeeding ages, the fections. Though in the prophetical and evanad litional sanction of antiquity or prescription, gelical writings, the joys that shall attend us in a was given to these compositions which their fa- divine state, are often mentioned with ardent adthers had admirel; and while the belief of its miration, they are expressed rather by allusion divine original continues, that admiration, which than by similitude, rather by indefinite and figuhas thus become the test and the duty of the rative terms, than by any thing fixed and deterIsithfiu, can neither be altered nor diminished. minate. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neiWlien, therefore, we consider these peculiar ad-ther have entered into the heart of man the things vantages of the Koran, we have no reason to be which God hath prepared for them that love him.' surprised at the admiration in which it is held. 1 Cor. ii. 9. What a reverence and astonishment But if, descending to a more minute investigation does this passage excite in every hearer of taste of it, we consider its perpetual inconsistence and and piety! What energy, and at the same time, absurdity, we shall indeed have cause for astonish- what simplicity in the expression! How sublime, ment at that weakness of humanity, which could | and at the same time how obscure, is the imagery! eier have received such compositions as the work | Different was the conduct of Mahomet in his deof the Deity.”

scriptions of heaven and paradise. Unassisted 6. Koran, the style and merits of the, examin- by the necessary influence of virtuous intentions ed.-" The first praise of all the productions of and divine inspiration, he was neither desirous, genius (continues this author) is invention; that nor indeed able, to exalt the minds of men to quality of the mind, wluch, by the extent and sublime conceptions, or to rational expectations. quickness of its views, is capable of the largest By attempting to explain what is inconceivable, conceptions, and of forining new combinations of to describe what is ineffable, and to materialize ohjects ihe most distant and unusual. But the what in itself is spiritual, he absurdly and imKoran bears little impression of this transcendant piously aimed to sensualize the purity of the dicharacter. Its naterials are wholly borrowed vine essence. Thus he fabricated a system of from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, from incoherence, a religion of depravity, totally repug. the Talmudical legends and apocryphal gospels nant to the nature of that Being, who, as he then current in the East, and from the traditions pretended, was its object; but therefore more and fables which abounded in Arabia. The ma- likely to accord with ihe appetites and concep. terials collected from these several sources are lions of a corrupt and sensual age. That we here heaped together with perpetual and heedless may not appear to exalt our Scriptures thus far repetitions, without any settled principle or visible above the Koran by an unreasonable preference, connexion. When a great part of the life of Ma we shall produce a part of the second chapter of homet had been spent in preparatory merlitation the latter

, which is deservedly admired by the on the system he was about to establislı, its chap- | Mahometans, who wear it engraved on their orters were dealt out slowly and separately during naments, and recite it in their prayers. "God! the long period of twenty-three years. Yet, thus there is no God but he; the living, the self-subdefective in its structure, and no less objectionable sisting : neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him : to in its doctrines, was the work which Mahomet him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven, and on delivered to his followers as the oracles of God. earth. Who is he that can intercede with him The most prominent feature of the Koran, that but through his good pleasure ? He knoweth point oj excellence in which the partiality of its that which is past, and that which is to come. admirers has ever delighted to view it, is the His throne is extended over heaven and earth, sullime notion it generally impresses of the na- and the preservation of both is to him no burden. ture and attributes of God. If its author had He is the high, the mighty.' Sale's Koran, vol. ii. really derived these just conceptions from the in- p. 30. To ihis description who can refuse the spiration of that Being whom they attempt to de- praise of magnificence ? Part of that magnificence, scribe, they would not have been surrounded, as however, is to be referred to that verse of the they now are, on every side, with error and ab- psalmist whence it was borrowed: 'He that keepsurdity. But it mighe le easily proved, that what- eth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,' Psal. ever it justly defines of the divine attributes was cxxi. 1. But if we compare it with that other borrowed from our Holy Scripture; which, even passage of the inspired psalmist (Psal. cii. 24from its first promulgation, but especially from the 27.) all its boasted grandeur is at once obscured, completion of the New Testament, has extended and lost in the blaze of a greater light! 'O, my the views and enlightened the understandings of God, take me not away in the midst of my days; mankind; and thus furnished them with arms thy years are throughout all generations. Of old which have too often been effectually turned hast thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the ag unst itself by its ungenerous enemies. In this heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall distance, particularly, the copy is far below the perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them great original, both in the propriety of its images shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt and the force of its descriptions.".

thou change them, and they shall be changed. 7. Koran, the sublimity of the, contrasted.- But thou art the same, ard thy years shall have "Our Holy Scriptures are the only compositions no end.' The Koran, therefore upon a fair ex. that can enable the dim sight of mortality to pe-amination, far from supporting its arrogant claim Dettate into the invisible world, and to behol a to a supernatural work, sinks below the level of Elimpse of the divine perfections. Accordingly, | many compositions confessedly of human original;

KNIPPERDOLINGS

KNOWLEDGE God through Christ, Ephesians iii. 12.–4. Ac- tians held as constituting the very essence of their ceptance with God, Ephesians v. 27.-5. Holy system ; which our reformers considered as the confidence and security under all the difficulties most important point ; which our venerable mar: and troubles of the present state, 2 Timothy i. tyrs gloried in, and sealed with their blood; and 12.6. Finally, eternal salvation, Romans viï. which, as the church of England observes, is a 30 ; v. 18.

very wholesome doctrine, and full of comfort." Thus we have given as comprehensive a view See Dr. Oven on Justification ; Ravlins on of the doctrine of justification as the nature of Justification; Edwards's Sermons on ditto; this work will admit; a doctrine which is found. Lime Street Lect. p. 350; Hervey's Theron ang ed upon the sacred Scriptures; and which, so Aspasia, and Eleven Letters; Witherspoon's far from leading to licentiousness, as some sup- Conne.rion between Justification and Holiness; pose, is of all others the most replete with mo- Gill and Ridgley's Did.; but especially Booth's tives to love, dependence, and obedience, Rom. Reign of Grace, to which I am indebted for great vi. 1, 2. A doctrine which the primitive Chris- 1 part of the above article.

the

K. KEITHIANS, a party which separated from the 16th century; so called from Bertrand the Quakers in Pennsylvania in the year 1691. Knipperdoling, who taught that the righteous They were headed by the famous George Keith, before the day of judgment shall have a monarchy from whom they derived their name. These on earth, and the wicked be destroyed; that men who persisted in their separation, after their are not justified by their faith in Christ Jesus ; leader deserted them, practised baptism, and re- that there is no original sin ; that infants ought ceived the Lord's Supper. This party were also not be baptized, and that immersion is the only calle ! Quaker Baplists, because they retained mode of baptism: that every one has authority the language, dress, and manner of the Quakers. to preach and administer the sacraments; that

KEYS, POWER OF THE, a term made men are not obliged to pay respect to magistrates; use of in reference to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, that all things ought to be in common, and that denoting power of excommunicating and ab- it is lawful to marry many wives. solving. The Romanists say that the pope has KNOWLEDGE is defined by Mr. Lacke to the power of the keys, and can open and shut be the perception of the connexion and agrecment paradise as he pleases; grounding their opinion or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas. on that expression of Jesus Christ to Peter—"1 It also denotes learning, or the improvement of will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” our faculties by reading; experience, or the soMati. xvi. 19. But every one must see that this quiring new ideas or truths, by seeing a variety is an absolute perversion of Scripture : for the of objects, and making observations upon them keys of the kingdom of heaven most probably in our own minds. No man, says the admirable refer to the Gospel dispensation, and denote the Dr. Watts, is obliged to learn and know every power and authority of every faithful minister thing; this can neither be sought nor required to preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, for it is utterly impossible: yet all persons are and exercise government, that men may be ad- under some obligation to improve their own under mitted to or excluded froin the church, as is pro- standing, otherwise it will be a barren desert, er per. See ABSOLUTION.

a forest overgrown with weeds and brambles In St. Gregory we read that it was the custom Universal ignorance, or infinite error, will overfor the pope to send a golden key to princes, spread the mind which is utterly neglected, and wherein they inclosed a little of the filings of St. lies without any cultivation. The following Peter's chain, kept with such devotion at Rome; rules, therefore, should be attended to for the im and that these keys were worn in the bosom, as provement of knowledge.-1. Deeply possess being supposed to contain some wonderful vir- your mind with the vast importance of a good tues! Such has been the superstition of past judgment, and the rich and inestimable advar ages!

tages of right reasoning.–2. Consider the weak KIRK SESSIONS, the name of a petty eccle nesses, failings, and mistakes of human nature in siastical judicatory in Scotland. Each parish, general.-3. Be not satisfied with a slight view according to its extent, is divided into several parti- of things, but take a wide survey now and then cular districts, every one of which has its ownelder of the vast and unlimited regions of learning, the and deacons to oversee it. A consistory of the variety of questions and difficulties belonging to ministers, elders and deacon of a parish form a every science.-4. Presume not too much upon kirk session. These meet once a week, the mi- a bright genius, a ready wit, and good parts ; for nister being their moderator, but without a nega- this, without study, will never make a mano rive voice. It regulates matters relative to public knowledge.—5. Do not imagino that large and worship, elections, catechising, visitations, &c. laborious reading, and a strong memory, can de It julyes in matters of less scandal; but greater, nominate you truly wise, without meditation and as adultery, are left to the presbytery, and in all studious thought.-6. Be not so weak as to imcases an appeal lies from ii to the presbytery.- agine that a life of learning is a life of laziness.Kirk sessions have likewise the care of the poor, 17. Let the hope of new discoveries, as well as the and poor's funds. See PRESDYTERIANS. satisfaction and pleasure of known truths, and

KINDNESS, civil behaviour, favourable treat- mate your daily industry.–8. Do not hove ment, or a constant and habitual practice of always on the surface of things, nor take up friendly offices and benevolent actions. See suddenly with mere appearances.-9. Once a CHARITY; GENTLENESS.

day, especially in the early years of life and study,

KNOWLEDGE

KNOWLEDGE you have gained.-10. Maintain a constant watch, sis an equal difference between the nations among at all times, against a dogmatical spirit.—11. Be whom the principles of piety prevail, and the na? humble 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 tur-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 frarne 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 man. fore, 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 sball shine on benighted tards'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 Povers 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 sating knowledge consists in veneration Europe which will, we hope, in future times, for the Divine Being, Ps. lxxxix. 7; love to him 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, i John ii. 3. It may fur- | The several branches of human science are in ther 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 us provide the Son, as it relates to the dignity of his nature, for an immortal being, sets the path of salvation 1 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. vu. 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 the Son of his agency as enlightener and com- which the records and registers of men shall be forter; as also in his work of witnessing, sancti- destroyed, the systems of human policy be disfying, and directing his people, John xv. xvi.; 2 solved, and the grandest works of genius die, the Cor. iii. 17, 18; John iii. 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 xii, 15, 16; human nature cannot in this life admit. Our afectionate, 1 John iii. 19; influential, Psal. ix. views of things, at present, are obscure, imperfect, 10; Matt. v. 16; humiliating, Isa. vi. ; Job xlii. partial

, and liable to error; but when we arrive 5 6; satisfying, Psal. xxxvi. 7; Prov. iii. 17; to the realms of everlasting light, the clouds that msuperior to all other knowledge, Phil. iii. 8. shadowed our understanding will be reinoved; 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 ; tot all the influence of wealth, not all the pomp shall trace with rapture the wonders of nature of titles, not all the splendour of power

, can give and grace, and become acquainted with a thou dignity to the soul that is destitute of inward im- sand glorious objects, of which the imagination provement. By this we are allied to angels, and can as yet have no conception." are 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 leen represented under the most 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 most valuable and reviving part of nature's works, against corrupt affections, Luke xxi. 34 ; a humand to that glorious luminary which is the most ble frame of mind, Ps. xxv. 9; frequent meditabeautiful and transporting object our eyes behold. tion, Ps. civ. 34 ; a persevering design for con!! we entertain any doubts concerning the intrin- formity to the divine image, Hos. vi. 3.-Charse value of religious knowledge, let us look around nock's Works, vol. i. p. 381; Saurin's Sermons, us, and we shall be convinced how desirable it is vol. i. ser. 1; Gili's Body of Div. vol. iii. p. 12 to be acquainted with God, with spiritual, with oct. ; Tillotson's Serm. ser. 113; Watta's Vi'orks, eternal things. Observe the difference between vol. i. ser. 45; Hall's Sermon on the Adrantages a cultivated and a barren country. While the of Knowledge to the Lower Classes. former is a lovely, cheerful, and delightful sight, KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. See OMNIA

[merged small][ocr errors]

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 takshaish. vided into one hundred and fourteen larger por- gher dadar; that is, In the name of the more tions of very unequal length, which we call chap- merciful just God. There are twenty-nine ters, but the Arabians Sorar, 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 seveimport with the Sura, or Tora, of the Jews; who ral profound mysteries; the certain understandalso call the fifty-three sections of the Pentateuch ing of which, the more intelligent confess, has not 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, some guished by their numerical order, but by particu- take the liberty of guessing at their meaning by lar titles, which are taken sometimes from a pe- that species of cabala called by the Jews Na culiar subject treated of, or person mentioned tarikon. therein; usually from the first word of note, ex 2. Koran, general design of the.—The geneactly in the same manner as the Jews have ral design of the Koran was to unite the profess named their Sedariın: though the word from sors of the three different religions, then followed which some chapters are denoininated 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, partly 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 and from whence such title was taken did not always ambassador of God; who, after the repeated adhappen o 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, nor Ototh, and signifies signs or wonders; such as ever can be, more than one true orthodox religion: the secrets of God, his attributes, works, judg- that, though the particular laws or ceremonies ments, and ordinances delivered in those verses ; are only temporary, and subject to alteration, acmany of which have their particular titles, also, cording to the divine directivn; yet the substance imposed in the same manner as those of the chup- of it, being eternal truth, is not liable to change, ters. Besides these unequal divisions, the Ma. but continues immutably the same; and they hometans have also divided their Koran into whenever this religion became neglected or corsixty 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 were who have an ancient division of their Mishna the most distinguished, till the appearance of into sixty portions, called Massictoth. 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 enonly, 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 dreadmanner 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 myal temples, or in the adjoining chapels several of which stories, or some circumstances of where the emperors and great men are interred; them, are taken from the Old and New Testa. of whom there are thirty belonging to every ments, but many more from the apocryphal chapel, and each reads his section every day; so books and traditions of the Jews and Christians that the whole Korap 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 svleinn form, by the Mahometans called the Bis indeed, few or none of the relations of circummallah-"In the name of the most merciful stances in the Koran were invented by Mahomet 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 extant, and teristic of their religion, it being counted a sort were it worth while to make the inquiry. The of impiety to omit it.' The Jews, and .castern í rest of the Alcoran is taken up in prescriting

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »