History of the “Christian” Crusades

Origin of the word Assassins.

Origin of the word Assassins. [Click to enlarge]

Not withstanding the historic problems we have had in the United States of America with Muslim “extremists” attacking, raping, killing, and enslaving our citizens. There is a long history of the same in Europe, Asia, Africa, Russia, the Baltics, etc. going back to the time of Mohammed, who himself was the 1st Muslim Islamic terrorist, murderer, killer and pedophile.  I offer here a short timeline of events that led up to the so-called Christian Crusades, that began when Muslims would not stop their continuous aggression towards Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims. The spread and growth of Islam has always been accompanied by the sword, killing, raping, beheading, torture, abuse, etc. Muslims have always been extremists since their inception.

History of the “Christian” Crusades

635 A.D. Three years after Mohammed’s death, Muslim forces captured Damascus where St. Paul was going when he had his dramatic vision and conversion.[Book of Acts 16:9] 460 years before 1st Crusade.

636 A.D. Muslim forces take al-Basra, southern Iraq, largely Christian at the time. Killing, raping, beheading, enslaving and forcing conversions to Islam. 459 years before the 1st ‪#‎Crusades‬

637 A.D. Muslim forces take Antioch near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey where the disciples of Jesus were first called “Christians”. 458 years before the 1st Crusades.

638 A.D. Muslim forces take Jerusalem, the Holy City of both Christianity and Judaism. Killing, raping, beheading, crucifying, & enslaving Jews and Christians. 457 years before the 1st Crusades.

639 A.D. Muslim forces invade Egypt, at the time a largely Christian country, again committing the same atrocities and abuses Muslim “extremists” do in the present day. 456 years before the 1st Crusades.

642 A.D. Muslim forces take Alexandria 2nd largest city in Egypt destroying its famous Great Library in process. 450 yrs before Crusades

650 A.D. Muslim forces take Cappadocia (in modern day Turkey). Killing enslaving Christians & forcing conversions 445 years before Crusades

652 A.D. Muslim forces launch attacks against Sicily, they eventually conquer it in 827 A.D. 443 years before Crusades

668 A.D. Muslim forces launch the first siege of Christian Constantinople (Byzantium), many more were to follow 427 yrs before Crusades

711 A.D. Muslim forces begin the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain) 384 years before the Crusades

715 A.D. Spain completely conquered by Muslim forces (an occupation that would last for more than 700 years) 380 yrs before Crusades

715 A.D. Muslim forces begin to invade Christian France 380 years before the Crusades

732 A.D. Muslim forces finally stopped at Tours, Northern France, by Charles The Hammer Martel, 363 yrs before Crusades

792 A.D. Muslim forces launch a jihad led by Hisham Spain’s Muslim ruler against France Christians killed, raped & enslaved 303 yrs before Crusades.

838-972 A.D. Muslim forces take Frejus near Cannes, use it as a base to raid France & Northern Italy. 257 yrs before Crusades

838-972 A.D. Christian pilgrims to Rome are frequently robbed, murdered and kidnapped by Muslim slave traders operating in the Alps, 257 yrs before Crusades

846 A.D. After nearly two centuries of increasing raids on south Italy Muslim forces sack Rome desecrating the tombs of St. Peter & St. Paul, destroy many churches and carrying off hundreds of slaves. 249 years before the 1st Crusades.

848 A.D. 3rd Muslim army crosses the Pyrenees, invades France, once again destroying towns, cities, killing & enslaving 247 years before Crusades.

848 A.D. 3rd Muslim army crosses the Pyrenees, invades France, once again destroying towns, cities, killing & enslaving 247 yrs before Crusades

870 A.D. Muslim forces capture the island of Malta, Killing, enslaving & torturing Christians. 225 years before 1st Crusades

873 A.D. Muslim forces launch massive slave raids in Calabria Italy, leaving it devastated & depopulated; 222 yrs before 1st Crusades

878 A.D. Muslim forces destroy city of Syracuse, Sicily’s historic city killing most inhabitants & enslaving survivors 217 yrs before Crusades

935 A.D Muslim forces capture the city of Genoa, Northern Italy, Killing, enslaving & torturing the inhabitants 160 years before Crusades

976 A.D Fatimid Caliph of Egypt sends repeated military expeditions to Southern Italy for slaves and booty 119 years before 1st Crusades

1004-14 A.D. 6th Fatimid Caliph destroys 30,000 Christian churches seizing their lands & possessions 90 years before 1st Crusades

1003-09 A.D. Muslim raiders increase attacks on the Italian coast including Pisa & Rome from their base Sardinia 90 years before Crusades

1009 A.D. Muslim Caliph Mad Hakim destroys Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem orders Christians to wear heavy wooden crosses, forces Jews to wear heavy wooden calves around their necks. 86 years before Crusades

1010 A.D. Mad Muslim Caliph Hakim orders Christians and Jews to accept Islam (convert) or leave his dominions. Muslim forces capture the city of Cosenza, in Southern Italy Killing, beheading, raping & enslaving inhabitants. 85 years before 1st Crusades

1056 A.D. Three hundred Christians are expelled from Jerusalem and European Christian pilgrims are denied access to the (rebuilt) Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 39 years before the 1st Crusades.

1071 A.D. Muslim forces crush the Byzantines at the battle of Manzikert, taking the Byzantine Emperor, Romanus IV Diogenes, prisoner. 24 years before the 1st Crusades.

1076 A.D Muslim forces (Seljuk Turks) conquer Syria a Christian country at that time Killing, crucifying, raping & enslaving. 19 years before Crusades

1077 A.D Muslim Seljuk Turks take Jerusalem, slaughtering over 3000 Christians & Jews. 18 years before 1st Crusades

1077 A.D. Muslim Seljuks attack Christian pilgrims killing enslaving 1000’s & denying Holy Land access to European Christians 18 yrs before Crusades.

1st Crusade 1095 A.D. Christian Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus sends a letter to Pope Urban II asking for help to stop Muslim attacks. the Council of Clermont is formed, Pope Urban II calls for European Christians to defend Constantinople and reopen access to the Holy land, especially Jerusalem.

Lest you think the followers of Mohammed have changed since the inception of the Islamic “religion” here’s a  little note from the past.

1611 revolt Dionysius the PhilosopherDionysius the Philosopher led an eventually unsuccessful revolt against the Ottomans, seeking to establish a power base at Ioannina. Dionysius was flayed alive, and his skin, stuffed with straw, was sent as a present to the sultan at Constantinople. The other principal conspirators were said to be punished in various ways, some were burnt alive, others impaled, and yet others sawn asunder.

Ancient Historian John Foxe in his “A History of the most distinguished martyrs: in various ages and countries” gives us the following accounts; It is amazing when reading Foxe’s accounts, after 13 1/2 centuries the Muslims have done little to change their tactics, both “moderate” and extremists.

PERSECUTIONS IN TURKEY. ACCOUNT OF MAHOMET.

Mahomet [i.e. Mohammed] was born at Mecca, in Arabia, A. D. 571. His parents were poor, and his education mean; but by the force of his genius, and an uncommon subtlety, he raised himself to be the founder of a widely spread religion, and the sovereign of kingdoms. His Alcoran [i.e. Quran / Koran or writings of Mohammed] is a jumble of paganism, judaism, and Christianity. In composing it, he is said to have been assisted by a Jew and a Roman Catholic priest. It is adapted entirely to the sensual appetites and passions; and the chief promises held out by it to its believers of the joys of paradise are women and wine. Mahomet established his doctrine by the power of the sword. “The sword,” says he, ” is the key of heaven and of hell. Whoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven him: his wounds shall be resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk: the loss of his limbs shall be supplied with the wings of angels.” He allowed that Christ was a great prophet and a holy man; that he was born of a virgin, received up into glory, and shall come again to destroy Antichrist.

He, therefore, in his early career, affected to respect the Christians. But no sooner was his power established, than he displayed himself in his true colours, as their determined and sanguinary enemy. This he proved by his persecutions of them in his life-time, and by commanding those persecutions to be continued by his deluded followers, in his Alcoran, particularly in that part entitled, ” The Chapter of the Sword.” From him the Turks received their religion, which they still maintain. Mahomet and his descendants, in the space of thirty years, subdued Arabia, Palestine, Phoenicia,Syria, Egypt, and Persia. They soon, however, broke into divisions and wars amongst themselves. But the princes of the Saracens, assuming the title of sultan, continued their rule over Syria, Egypt, and Africa, for the space of about 400 years, when the Saracen king of Persia, commencing war against the Saracen sultan of Babylon, the latter brought to his aid the Turks. These Turks, feeling their own strength, in time turned their arms against their masters, and by the valour of Othman, from whom the family who now fill the Turkish throne are descended, they soon subdued them, and established their empire.

Constantinople, after having been for many ages an imperial Christian city, was invested, in 1453, by the Turks, under Mahomet the Second, whose army consisted of 300,000 men, and, after a siege of six weeks, it fell into the hands of the infidels, and the Turks have, to this day, retained possession of it. They no sooner found themselves masters of it, than they began to exercise On the inhabitants the most unremitting barbarities, destroying them by every method of ingenious cruelty. Some they roasted alive on spits, others they starved, some they flayed alive, and left them in that horrid manner to perish; many were sawn asunder, and others torn to pieces by horses. Three days and nights was the city given to spoil, in which time the soldiers were licensed to commit every enormity. The body of the emperor being found among the slain, Mahomet commanded his head to be stuck on a- spear, and carried round the town for the mockery of the soldiers.

ATTACK ON RHODES.

About the year 1521, Solyman the First took Belgrade from the Christians. Two years after, he, with a fleet of 450 ships, and an army of 300,000 men, attacked Rhodes, then defended by the knights of Jerusalem. These heroes resisted the infidels till all their fortifications were levelled with the ground, their provisions exhausted, and their ammunition spent; when, finding no succours from the Christian princes, they surrendered, the siege having lasted about six months, in which the Turks suffered prodigiously, no less than 30,000 of them having died by the bloody flux. After this, Solyman retook Buda from the Christians, and treated those who were found there with great cruelty. Some had their eyes put out, others their hands, noses, and ears cut off. Pregnant women were ripped open, and their fruit cast into the flames, while many children were buried up to their necks in the earth, and left to perish.

PERSECUTIONS IN THE STATES OF BARBARA. [i.e. Barbary States]

In no part of the globe are Christians so hated, or treated with such severity, as at Algiers. The conduct of the Algerines towards them is marked with perfidy and cruelty. By paying a most exorbitant fine, some Christians are allowed the title of Free Christians; these are permitted to dress in the fashion of their respective countries, but the Christian slaves are obliged to wear a coarse grey suit, and a seaman’s cap.

The following are the various punishments exercised towards them: 1. If they join any of the natives in open rebellion, they are strangled with a bow-string, or hanged on an iron hook. 2. If they speak against Mahomet, they must become Mahometans, or be impaled alive. 3. If they profess Christianity again, after having changed to the Mahometan persuasion, they are roasted alive, or thrown from the city walls, and caught upon large sharp hooks, on which they hang till they expire. 4. If they kill a Turk they are burnt. 5. If they attempt to escape, and are retaken, they suffer death in the following manner: they are hung naked on a high gallows by two hooks, the one fastened quite through the palm of one hand, and the other through the sole of the opposite foot, where they are left till death relieves them. Other punishments for crimes committed by the Christians are left to the discretion of the judges, who usually decree the most barbarous tortures.

At Tunis, if a Christian is caught in attempting to escape, his limbs are all broken; and if he slay his master, he is fastened to the tail of a horse, and dragged about the streets till he expires.

Fez and Morocco conjointly form an empire, and are the most considerable of the Barbary states. The Christian slaves are treated with the greatest rigour: the rich have exorbitant*ransoms fixed upon them; the poor are hard worked and half starved, and sometimes, by the emperor, or their brutal masters, they are murdered.

MASSACRES BY THE SARACENS.

Forty-two persons of Armorian, in Upper Phrygia, were martyred in the year 845, by the Saracens, the circumstances of which are thus related:

In the reign of Theophilus, the Saracens ravaged many parts of the eastern empire, gained considerable advantages over the Christians, and at length laid siege to the city of Armorian. The garrison bravely defended the place for a considerable time, and would have obliged their enemies to raise the siege, but the place was betrayed by a renegado. Many were put to the sword; and two general officers, with some persons of distinction, were carried prisoners to Bagdat, where they were loaded with chains, and thrown into a dungeon. They continued in prison for some time without seeing any persons but their gaolers, having scarcely food enough for their subsistence. At length they were informed, that nothing could preserve their lives but renouncing their religion and embracing Mahometanism. To induce them to comply, the caliph pretended zeal for their welfare; and declared, that he looked uponi converts in a more glorious light than conquests. Agreeably to these maxims, he sent some of the most artful of the Mahometans, witTi money and clothes, and the promise of other advantages which they might secure to themselves by an abjuration of Christianity; which, according to the casuistry of Ihose infidels, might be made without quitting their faith; but the martyrs rejected the proposal with horror and contempt. After this they were attacked with that fallacious and delusive argument which the Mahometans still use in favour of themselves, and were desired to judge of the merits of the cause by the success of those that were engaged in it, and choose that religion which they saw flourished most, and was best rewarded with the good things of this life, which they called the blessings of heaven. Yet the noble prisoners were proof against all these temptations; and argued strenuously against the authority of the false prophet. This incensed the Mahometans, and drew greater hardships upon the Christians during their confinement, which lasted seven years. Boidizius, the renegado who had betrayed Armorian, then brought them the welcome news that their sufferings would conclude in martyrdom the next day: when taken from their dungeon, they were again solicited to embrace the tenets of Mahomet; but neither throats nor promises could induce them to espouse the doctrines of an impostor. Perceiving that their faith could not by any means be shaken, the caliph ordered them to be executed. Theodore, one of the number, had formerly received priest’s orders, and officiated as a clergyman; but afterwards quitting the church, he had followed a military life, and raised himself by the sword to some considerable posts, which he enjoyed at the time he was taken prisoner. The officer who attended the execution. being apprized of these circumstances, said to Theodore, e You might, indeed, pretend to be ranked amongst the Christians, while you served in their church as a priest; but the profession you have taken up, which engages you in bloodshed, is so contrary to your former employment, that you should not now think of passing upon us for one of that religion. When you quitted the altar for the camp, you renounced Jesus Christ. Why then will you dissemble any longer? Would you not act more conformably to your own principles, and make your conduct all of a piece, if you came to a resolution of saving your life by owning our great prophet?”

Theodore, covered with religious confusion at this reproach, but still unshaken in his faith, made the following answer: “It is true,” said he, “I did in some measure abandon my God when I engaged in the army, and scarce deserve the name of a Christian. But the Almighty has given me the grace to see myself in a true light, and made me sensible of my fault; and I hope he will be pleased to accept my life as the only sacrifice I can now offer to expiate my guilt.” This pious answer confounded the officer, who only replied, that he should presently have an opportunity of giving that proof of his fidelity to his master. Upon which. Theodore and the rest, forty-two in number, were beheaded.

MARTYRDOM OF TWO LADIES.

Two ladies of distinction, Mary and Flora, suffered martyrdom at the same time. Flora was the daughter of an eminent Mahometan, at Seville; from whence he removed to Corduba, where the Saracen king resided, and kept his court. Her father dying when she was young, Flora was left to the care of her mother, who, being a Christian, brought her up in the true faith, and inspired her with sentiments of virtue and religion. Her brother being a professed enemy to Christianity, and of a barbarous and savage temper, Flora was for some time obliged to use great caution in the practice of such virtues as must have exposed her to a persecution. She was too zealous to bear this restraint long; for which reason she left Corduba, in company with her sister. Her departure soon alarmed her brother, who guessed her motives, and, in revenge, informed against several Christians of Corduba; for as he did not know whither his sister was gone, he determined to wreak his vengeance on such Christians as were present. When Flora was informed of these proceedings, she considered herself as the cause of what the Christians had suffered at Corduba, and having an interior conviction that God called her to fight for her faith, she returned to-that city, and proceeded to the persecutors, among whom she found her brother. “If,” said she, “I am the object of your inquiry, if the servants of God are tormented on my account, I now freely offer myself to your disposal. I declare, that I believe in Jesus Christ, glory in his cross, and profess the doctrine which he taught.” None of the company seemed so much enraged at this declaration as her brother, who after some threats, struck her; but afterwards endeavoured to gain her by expressions of pretended kindness.

Finding her insensible to all he could say, he insinuated, that Flora had been educated in the religion of Mahomet, but had renounced it at the suggestion of some Christians, who inspired her with the utmost contempt for the great prophet. When she was called on to answer to the charge, she declared she had never owned Mahomet, but sucked the Christian religion in with her milk, and was entirely devoted to the Redeemer of mankind. The magistrate, finding her resolute, delivered her to her brother, and gave him orders to use his utmost endeavours to make her a Mahometan. She, however, soon found an opportunity of escaping over a wall in the night, and of secreting herself in the house of a Christian. She then withdrew to Tucci, a village of Andalusia, where she met with her sister, and they never separated again till her martyrdom.

Mary, who was martyred at the same time, was the daughter of a Christian tradesman at Estremadura, who afterwards removed to a town near Corduba. When the persecution began under Abderrama, king of the Saracens, in Spain, Mary’s brother was one who fell a victim to the rage of the infidels on that occasion. Mary, hearing of his martyrdom, and filled with confusion at being left behind by one so much younger than herself, went to Corduba, where, going into a church, she found Flora? who had left her retreat on the same motive. On conversing together, and finding they acted upon the same heroic principles, and proposed the same glorious end of their labours, they agreed to go together, and declare their faith before the judge. Accordingly they proceeded to the magistrate, when Flora boldly told him, she looked on Mahomet as no better than a false prophet, an adulterer, and magician. Mary also told the magistrate, that she professed the same faith, and entertained the same sentiments as Flora, and that she was sister to Walabonzus, who had already suffered for being a Christian. This behaviour so much enraged the magistrate, that he ordered them to be committed to prison for some time, and then to be beheaded: which sentence was executed on the 4th of November, A. D. 850.

Sources; Various writings on history.

Founder of Christianity vs Founder of Islam

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Gospels of Christ

John Quincy Adams regarding the promises of the Christian gospel [Click to enlarge]

1 John iv. 1-3: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

The spirits and their utterances are to be tried by their attitude to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed and sent of the Father, the Saviour of the whole world, in whom God is well pleased.

John Quincy Adams quotes in regards to reading the Holy Bible

John Quincy Adams in regards to reading the Holy Bible [Click to enlarge]

Christian Spectator Vol 1 excerpt; I Am not a Mohammedan i.e. Muslim, Because; Author unknown

I Am not a Mohammedan,—1. Because I cannot allow to the prophet of Arabia the character which he assumed, and which his followers ascribe to him :—in oilier words. I cannot admit that Mohammed was the most illustrious of all the messengers sent from heaven to our world. I should thus exalt him above all the prophets and apostles; above the Son of God himself. This I should also do, not only without reason, but in opposition to most weighty evidence.

The appearance of Mohammed, certainly his appearance in the character which he assumed, is no where foretold in the sacred scriptures, which even his followers acknowledge to be diviue. This is by no means true, with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ. Long before his incarnation, his appearance, his character, the circumstances of his life and of his death, had been minutely detailed by prophecy. If the pretensions of Mohammed were well founded, why is not the same true, at least in a degree, with respect to him ?—why do the sacred pages contain so many predictions concerning him, who was to be born at Bethlehem, while nothing is said of him, who was to be born at Mecca? This is altogether unaccountable on the supposition, that the latter of these, surpasses the former in the dignity and importance of his character. I will not assert that no allusion is had to Mohammed in the prophetic parts of scripture; but if he is mentioned at all, it evidently is under the appellation of the false prophet.

Mohammed performed no supernatural operations, foretold no future events. The world is entirely destitute of evidence, that he ever did the least thing beyond the natural powers of man. For a long season, he made no pretensions of this kind. At length, to silence the demands of his opposers, and allay the apprehensions of his friends, he professed to have effected certain marvelous absurdities by supernatural assistance. But these things, beside being strangely inconsistent and self contradictory, want the proofs essential to establish a miracle. They were not performed in the face of day, nor under the eye of spectators,—consequently were never, like the miracles recorded in scripture, exposed to examination by the senses. These wonderful works, gained no general credit, even among those who lived at the time when tbey were said to be wrought; the story of them, was believed only by a few among the ignorant multitude; little dependence was placed on them by the prophet or his followers. If Mobammed was the most distinguished of all the messengers seut from God to men, how happened he to be destitute of this most important test of his divine mission?

I remark again, that the personal character of Mohammed, affords convincing evidence, that his high pretensions were unfounded. The prophets and apostles, who have spoken to men in the name of God, have uniformly been men of holy lives. For the Most High, to employ persons of any other description in this manner, would be inconsistent with all our ideas of his character. How then can we suppose that a man given up to debauchery, a man contemptible for the profligacy of his life, should be selected by Jehovah, as his most distinguished ambassador to our world? Such a man was Mohammed. This fact is abundantly supported by history, and is alone sufficient to destroy all belief that he was a true prophet; it clearly stamps him as an impostor. Mohammed’s retiring from public view for a season, and pretending in his seclusion to commence a reformation, and to receive certain secret communications from the invisible world, instead of diminishing, greatly increases our distrust in his assumed character. Such a course was admirably suited to promote the corrupt designs of a wicked and artful impostor.

I am not a Mohammedan—2. Because I cannot allow to the Koran, that respect, which belongs to the word of God. The difference between these books is vastly too great to admit the supposition, that both came from the same author. Their different style shews at once, that they are derived from different sources. The contrast between the Bible of Christians, and that of Mohammedans in this respect, is eloquently given by Mr. Gibbon, a man certainly not void of taste, nor prejudiced in favor of the sacred oracles. Of the Koran he says—”The harmony and copiousness of style, will not, in a version, reach the European infidel; he will peruse, with impatience, the endless incoherent rhapsody of fable, precept and declamation, which seldom excites a sentiment or idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and is sometimes lost in the clouds. The divine attributes exalt the fancy of an Arabian missionary; but his loftiest strains must yield to the sublime simplicity of the book of Job, composed in a remote age, in the same country, and in the same language.”

With regard to the most important religious doctrines, the Koran is still more diverse from holy writ. In the sacred scriptures we are clearly taught the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are assured that it is only by his obedience unto death, that any of our race can be pardoned and received into favor with God. In the Koran, Christ is declared to be only a man like ourselves. So far, is he said to be, from dying on account of human guilt, that even the fact, that he died at all, is denied. According to this book, the sufferings of the Saviour were only in appearance, and men, instead of needing a vicarious atonement for their sins, may, by a trifling restraint from open vice, become interested in the divine favor, and entitled to the happiness of heaven. Nor is the heaven promised, less different from the heaven of the scriptures, than the means of obtaining h. While the Christian expects a heaven, where he will be free from sin, where he will be entirely divested of every sensual appetite, and be happy only in the enjoyment of God, the Mussulman is taught to look for a paradise, great part of whose happiness will consist in carnal indulgence. Thus diverse, thus directly opposite, are the doctrines of the word of God, and those of the Koran of Mohammed.

Nor do these volumes bear a nearer resemblance, when we contemplate the morality which they inculcate. The former enjoins upon men, the restraint and the correction of their disorderly passions and propensities; requires them to be holy as their Father who is in heaven is holy; lays the foundation of morality in the heart, and inculcates love and benevolence towards all mankind. Wherever the precepts of the gospel have been obeyed, friendship and peace have prevailed, and the human character has been refined and exalted. Precisely the reverse of this, is true of the Koran. It is, in every respect, such as might be expected from its author. It requires no mortification of corrupt affections, no subduing of wicked passions, no guarding of the heart from sin. On the other hand, it encourages the indulgence of envy, pride, ambition, and sensual desire. Instead of breathing peace on earth and good will to men, it speaks misery and extermination; it literally declares war upon the human race.— Hence, in a moral view, the Koran has ever carried with it pestilence and death. Wherever its principles have been reduced to practice, man has been rendered the foe of man, and has sought the mischief and the ruin’ of his fellow;—in a word, the doctrines of this book, are, in a high degree, adapted to debauch and to brutalize the human character. Other points of difference between the sacred scriptures and the Koran, might be mentioned; bat enough has been said to shew, that if one of these books is what it purports to be, the other must be a forgery. Hence, before I can be a Mohammedan, I must regard the word of God as a fable; but then my Mohammedan creed would be imperfect, since Mussulmans [Muslims] profess to acknowledge the divinity of the holy scriptures.

As a further objection to Mohammedanism, should be mentioned the manner, in which this religion was originally propagated in the world. At first, it was established by fraud and deception, afterwards by fire and sword. It was never, like the religion of Christ, addressed to the understanding and the conscience of men, and spread in opposition to the corruptions of the human heart, and the power of civil authority. Islamism, however, was never proposed for investigation; it lays its strong hold in the depravity of man; has ever been supported by the arm of the magistrate, and has erected its bloody trophies over the miseries and desolations of the world.

Thus, whether I consider the personal character of Mohammed, or the want of prophecy and of miracles in his support; when I reflect on the style, in which his instructions are delivered; on the doctrines which he taught; the morality which he inculcated, or the manner, in which his religion was spread,—when I contemplate these things together or apart, I find abundant reason, why I cannot lay my hand on the Koran and cry,— “Ala, there is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ

John Quincy Adams regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Click to enlarge]

Extract from A Missionary’s Letter to a Muslim friend

Attitude of the Quran to Christ.

Testing the Quran thus, it is found to be characterized by a certain veiled hostility and studied depreciation of him. While it admits his perfect sinlessness and prophetic character, it bitterly denies his divinity, and all implied in his being the Son of God. I will quote a passage at random, a sample of countless others.

Sura XLIIL, Surat al Zukhraf, Ornaments of Gold, v. 59: “Jesus is no other than a servant, whom we favored with the gift of prophecy; and we appointed him for an example unto the children of Israel.” V. 63: “And when Jesus came with evident miracles, he said, Now I am come unto you with wisdom, and to explain unto you part of those things concerning which ye disagree.”

It is not strange that, while Muslims say much of their love and honor for the Lord Jesus, he is to the Shiahs only one of one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, all considered sinless, Adam and Noah being among the number. The Sunnis recognize a hundred and forty-four thousand. Neither is it wonderful that so few of them take the trouble to familiarize themselves with the life and teachings of one who, as they suppose, was only a prophet for the Jews.

In the light of the great discrepancies and flat contradictions existing between the Bible and the Quran, I beg you to examine with the greatest care the foundations of Islam, remembering that your salvation depends upon arriving at the truth. Are you prepared to venture all on the word of one man, or even one angel, when that word plainly supersedes and abrogates the well-established revelations which preceded it? The former systems of religion are like a strong castle founded on a rock, and standing “four square to every wind that blows”; but Islam, resting on the authority of one witness, rather resembles a pyramid poised on its apex.

Jefferson quote concerning the advantages of serving Jesus

Thomas Jefferson concerning the advantages of Jesus [Click to enlarge]

Words of Jesus

Let us look at the words of Jesus, for to them he appealed to authenticate his divine character and mission. Leaving out those spoken by him, as we believe, through the prophets before his birth, and the apostles after his ascension, we will confine our attention to the utterances of his brief ministry of three and a half years.

The wisdom of the whole world has produced nothing like them; they unlock the mysteries of time and eternity, bring ” life and immortality to light,” and satisfy alike the loftiest demands of the intellect and the deepest cravings of the heart. How inimitable his parables! how perfect his precepts, wonderful in condensation and scope! What stores of comfort and instruction in every word, whether uttered in formal teaching or in the familiar intercourse of daily life!

Teachings of the Quran.

But when we turn to the Quran we are reminded of the saying, “What is true is not new, and what is new is not true.” The great doctrines of the unity and holiness of the Creator, his wisdom, justice, and mercy, sin and judgment, the resurrection of righteous and wicked men, heaven and hell, had long before been so fully set forth in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures that no additional revelation was needed. Had the knowledge of sacred books been diffused as it should have been, the Arabs could never have made the mistake of supposing these cardinal truths to be revealed for the first time. We must confess this to have been the fault of the Christian Church, which, having left the simplicity of the faith for image and relic worship, and received for doctrines the vain traditions of men, had forgotten to preach a pure Gospel, and neglected the last command of her Lord to teach all nations his words and works. She paid the penalty of disobedience in being powerless to prevent the rise of the new persecuting religion which was destined to prove her mortal enemy.

“What was true was not new.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, is added by the Prophet in the way of information or enforcement, while many of the old truths are belittled, misstated, and contradicted.

“What was new was not true”: the change of base from Isaac to Ishmael, from the Jew to the Arab, from Jerusalem to Mecca, from Jesus Christ to Muhammad, from salvation by grace to salvation by works, cannot be accepted. The new views of God, the new terms of salvation, the new regime of force, the mechanical character of the new obedience, are all inferior to the light, life, and liberty of Christianity. How, then, can we believe they emanate from the same source? He who has known the liberty of a son in the Father’s house cannot but hesitate when called to assume the station of a slave bowing beneath the inscrutable will of a far-off and unapproachable Master.

George Washington quote concerning the guidance of God.

George Washington quote concerning the guidance of God in his life [Click to enlarge]

Prophetic Gifts and Saving Grace.

We have already adverted to the gifts of prophecy and miracle abounding in the Lord Jesus, but in Muhammad conspicuous by their absence; but we must not lay undue stress on these as primary credentials of a true prophet.

The Old Testament, in the example of Balaam, and the New in that of Caiaphas, show us that, anomalous as it may appear to us, God can use wicked men to utter true prophecies. Of miracles, we see no reason to doubt that they were wrought by Judas as well as his fellow-apostles when Christ sent them out “with power and authority over the devils, and to cure disease.”

Matthew vii. 21-23, our Saviour says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Matthew xxiv. 24: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

2 Thessalonians ii. 9: “Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

Those whose trust is based only On the evidence of prophecy and miracles, or what appears to be such, may build on a sandy foundation, and in the decisive day of trial find themselves overwhelmed by fearful and remediless disaster. God, in his mercy, has provided us with a criterion by which to judge the pretensions of those who profess to be his representatives.

James Monroe quote concerning the blessings of God.

James Monroe concerning the blessings of God. [Click to enlarge]

Test of True Prophets.

Matthew vii. 15-18: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” The supreme test taught and met by Christ himself is personal holiness of character. He spoke of himself as coming, not to destroy, but to fulfil the law of God. If we accept his own word, he as divine was the author of the moral law, yet we never find him taking up a position of superiority to its requirements. On the contrary, we recognize in him the only human being who has ever completely kept the commandments in letter and spirit. Perfect in love to God and love to man, he ” brought in an everlasting righteousness ” sufficient to satisfy all demands of justice, and, as imputed to those who trust in him, able to save even ” unto the uttermost.”

James Madison quote regarding the Rights of Conscience

James Madison regarding the Rights of Conscience. [Click to enlarge]

Sinlessness of Christ.

He set a faultless example to his followers, offering to God a perfect obedience to his will, and to man a wondrous devotion, even laying down his life for the guilty race with which he identified himself. We have the testimony of his disciples to his sinless perfection, men associated with him for three and a half years on the familiar terms of close intimacy. Much of this time was spent in touring: on the road, or in the crowded conditions of Oriental village hospitality, so trying to ordinary friendship. They saw him weary, hungry, exposed to strong provocations. They saw him when the popular tide ran strong in his favor, and again when it ebbed, and most of his followers left him, in danger, betrayal, and death. Looking back on all, they deliberately tell us his life sustained his professed character, and he was indeed a sinless man. Not only their word, but the record of his words and actions as we have it, bears them out in their assertion. Tried by the most exacting standard of modern morality, he is without fault. His friends had every opportunity to judge him by the highest criterion, not the ability to utter beautiful poetry, which even depraved men often possess, but the power to lead a holy life.

We have seen his enemies dogging his steps with keen eyes of hate and prejudice, but unable to find any accusation against him. We have seen the infidelity of nineteen centuries scanning his life, eager to discover some flaw in his moral perfection, but compelled, like the Roman judge, to declare, ” I find no fault in him.” Those who reject him as a divine Saviour are lavish in praising him as the ideal man, the unique flower of humanity. The worst reproach brought to-day against Christians is that they are not like their Master, Jesus of Nazareth, the obscure Jewish carpenter, dying early as a criminal and an offender against Roman law. He who bore the punishment of a slave on the accursed cross furnishes to-day the standard by which all men are judged, while he himself is judged of no man.
John Adams quote regarding Christianity

John Adams regarding Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Morality of Muhammad.

What a contrast to Muhammad, who, setting up a far inferior code of morals, giving indulgence to the weaknesses of the flesh, and proclaiming liberty to its lusts, could not himself observe the law he promulgated as from God! On the ground of his prophetic office he claimed to be superior to its requirements and exempt from its penalties, and it is notorious that he freely acted on this principle.

Readers of the Quran are familiar with the Suras, which specially excuse him from observing the marriage and divorce laws of Islam, though they appear to most persons sufficiently elastic to satisfy any one. To cite but one instance. Sura XXXIIL, Surat ul Ahzab, the Confederates, v. 49-57: ” O Prophet, we have allowed thee thy wives unto whom thou hast given their dower, and also the slaves which thy right hand possesseth, of the booty which God hath granted thee; and the daughters of thy uncles, and the daughters of thy aunts, both on thy father’s side, and on thy mother’s side, who have fled with thee from Makkah, and any other believing woman if she give herself to the Prophet, in case the Prophet desireth to take her to wife. This is a peculiar privilege granted to thee above the rest of the true believers. We know what we have ordained them concerning their wives and the slaves which their right hands possess; lest it should be deemed a crime in thee to make use of the privilege granted thee; for God is gracious and merciful. Thou mayest postpone the turn of such of thy wives as thou shalt please; and thou mayest take unto thee her whom thou shalt please: and her whom thou shalt desire of those whom thou shalt have before rejected; and it shall be no crime in thee. This will be more easy, that they may be entirely content and may not be grieved, but may be well pleased with what thou shalt give every one of them. God knoweth whatever is in your hearts: and God is knowing and gracious. It shall not be lawful for thee to take other women to wife hereafter, nor to exchange any of thy wives for them, though their beauty please thee, except the slaves whom thy right hand shall possess; and God observeth all things. O true believers, enter not the houses of the Prophet, unless it be permitted you to eat meat with him, without waiting his convenient time; but when ye are invited, then enter. And when ye shall have eaten, disperse yourselves, and stay not to enter into familiar discourse; for this incommodeth the Prophet. He is ashamed to bid you depart, but God is not ashamed of the truth. And when ye ask of the Prophet’s wives what ye may have occasion for, ask it of them from behind a curtain. This will be more pure for your hearts and their hearts. Neither is it fit for you to give any uneasiness to the Apostle of God, or to marry his wives after him forever, for this would be a grievous thing in the sight of God. Whether ye divulge a thing, or conceal it, verily God knoweth all things. It shall be no crime in them, as to their fathers, or their sons, or their sister’s sons, or their women, or the slaves which their right hands possess, if they speak to them unveiled: and fear ye God, for God is witness of all things. Verily God and his angels bless the Prophet; O true believers, do ye also bless him and salute him with a respectful salutation. As to those who offend God and his Apostle, God shall curse them in this world and in the next, and he hath prepared for them a shameful punishment.”

V. 60-61: “Verily if the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is an infirmity and they who raise disturbances in Medina, do not desist, we will surely stir thee up against them to chastise them; henceforth they shall not be suffered to dwell near thee therein except for a little time and being accursed: wherever they are found, they shall be taken and killed with a general slaughter.”

It is not from unfriendly or neutral historians, but from his own apologists and eulogists, we learn how fully the Prophet availed himself of his exceptional matrimonial privileges. “It is said, in his youth he lived a virtuous life. At the age of twenty-five he married Khadijah, a widow forty years old: and for five and twenty years was a faithful husband to her alone. Shortly after her death he married again, but it was not till he had reached the mature age of fifty-four that he became a polygamist, taking Ayesha, a child of seven or eight years, daughter of Abu Bekr, as rival of Sawda. In his fifty-sixth year he married Hafra, daughter of Umar; and the following year, in two successive months, Zeinab bint Khozeima and Omm Salma; a few months after, Zeinab, wife of Zeid, his adopted son. In the same year he married a seventh wife and also a concubine. And at last, when he was full three score years of age, no fewer than three new wives, besides Mary the Coptic slave, were within the space of seven months added to his already well-filled harem.”* The injunction touching his obnoxious neighbors, the Jews of Medina, we learn from Muslim historians, was carried out by assassination and banishment of his opponents, whole tribes being expatriated or exterminated.

John Adams Quote regarding Christians

John Adams regarding Christians [Click to enlarge]

Force as a Means of Propagandism.

While Islam has not been a religion propagated solely by the sword, it is a well-established matter of history that a large part of its success has been by force of arms. As we have seen, the Quran permits and commands believers to put the enemies of Islam to death. It is written in the Hyat ul Kuloob of the birth of Muhammad: “On that night under the name of the Prophet, in every Torat, Inj eel, or Zabour in the world, a drop of blood appeared, signifying that he would be a prophet armed with the sword.”

We find it impossible to associate such ideas with the personality of the Lord Jesus. In him what meekness, obedience, reverence for the Father, purity, zeal, hatred of sin, combined with infinite love for the sinner and matchless self-sacrifice! In Muhammad what growing pride, ambition, love of power, self-glorification! His apologists are never weary of reminding us how far he rose above his contemporaries, the idolatrous Arabs who surrounded him. Do they not admit the weakness of their cause by thus measuring him from that which was confessedly a very low standard instead of by that perfect ideal of manhood which had been given to the world almost six hundred years before? If he were a true prophet, we have a right to expect higher moral and spiritual attainments than we find in his predecessors. If he were not a true prophet sent of God, what was he? We read the earlier Suras, and admire the lofty thoughts and exalted descriptions of God, imperfect though they seem when placed beside our inspired Scriptures. Turn then to the later Suras, and mark how the commanding personality and central figure has become that of the Prophet himself. He dominates everywhere; we are not suffered for a moment to forget him. The Almighty, relegated to the background, has become an infinitely great and powerful shadow of Muhammad, constantly ministering to the Prophet’s glory, and promptly complying with his desires. A tradition says that Ayesha once said to him: “How kind your God is to you! Verily he always does whatever you wish!” The archangel Gabriel speeds from heaven—for what? To reveal some wondrous depth of divine wisdom, some sweet secret of eternal love, some new incitement to holiness, benevolence, purity? No, verily, but to say to the Prophet, if his wives are not content with his treatment and provision for them, he is permitted to divorce them and God will give better ones in their places. Or he comes to adminish visitors not to indulge in loud conversation before Muhammad’s door, to enter unbidden, or prolong their stay. He comes to vindicate the reputation of one wife, to reinstate her in the affections of her suspicious husband, and to rebuke the jealousies and contentions of the rest of the harem. One cannot help thinking if a prophet, and the greatest of prophets, could not manage his polygamous household without such frequent intervention and aid from above, what can ordinary men do under like circumstances? One fact stands out clearly: Muhammad is evidently the principal figure in his own estimation, and everything, angelic visits included, is made to subserve his glorification.

Thomas Jefferson quote regarding his Bible

Thomas Jefferson regarding his Bible [Click to enlarge]

Superseding of Jesus as Saviour.

We understand from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments that God accepted and commissioned the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, the only Mediator between man and his Maker. In him he found a perfect righteousness, which by faith could be imputed and imparted to the sinner, a perfect example of the obedience man owes to God, a perfect sacrifice to take away the guilt of sin and bear its punishment. God gave to Jesus the promised sign of acceptance by raising him from the dead on the third day, and causing him to ascend to heaven in the sight of his disciples. He was afterward seen in vision sitting at the right hand of the Father, waiting, as had been predicted of him, till his enemies should be made his footstool. When and why did God reject this Holy One whom he himself had chosen, and with whom he was well pleased—with whom he had covenanted with an oath, sworn by himself, that all kingdoms and tribes should serve him, and of his kingdom there should be no end? If the Lord was faithful, as we know he was, even unto death, why should God remove him from his office and introduce another scheme of salvation for mankind? Was not the divine law of perfect love to God and love to man, which Jesus taught and practised, the highest and best rule of life of which we can conceive? Is it not sufficient to transform earth to heaven and sinners to saints? What need had man of Muhammad? What need of Islam?

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding the character of Jesus Christ

Thomas Jefferson regarding the character of Jesus Christ [Click to enlarge]

Muslim Intolerance.

As you know,  Islam is the paramount faith; the adherents of other religions only exist on sufferance, theoretically with no rights, in a semi-servile state, dependent on the mercy of the dominant race. No Muslim is allowed to change his belief, on pain of death, nor is he permitted to hear of or investigate the truth of any other religion.

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding Morality and Religion

Thomas Jefferson regarding Morality and Religion [Click to enlarge]

Christianity in Great Britain.

About the same time that the conquering sword introduced Islam into your country, the Gospel entered the British Isles with no weapon save the “sword of the Spirit,” the Word of God. It came with persuasive love and power to a people far below the grade of the civilization of your ancient land, a race little removed from the level of savages, wild and idolatrous. You have asked, Where are the modern miracles of Christianity? Surely the mental, moral, and spiritual change wrought by the Bible on the Anglo-Saxon race, and the manifest blessings they have enjoyed since they accepted Christ, may answer your question.

It is true that Christian countries contain much of crime and evil, because no nation, as such, has yet become thoroughly Christian. The kingdoms of this world are still ruled by Satan; they are not yet the kingdoms of God and of his Christ. No church even in its entirety is a perfect exemplification of the character and teachings of its Divine Founder. The tares flourish among the wheat, which itself is not yet fully matured and ready for the garner. No individual Christian even has attained to the perfection which is set before him. The sins of so-called Christendom are black enough, but they constitute no part of our religion; indeed, they are flagrant transgressions of it, and as such always strongly for, bidden. But polygamy, slavery, divorce, religious war, disregard of the rights of non-Muslims, are vital and essential points of Islam, practised by its founder and commander in its sacred book.

It is not fair to judge your religion by the conduct and character of all its adherents. I do not wish you to form an opinion of Christianity from the lives of many who profess and disgrace its name. Let us compare those who have most truly received and most deeply drunk of the spirit of their respective faiths, who most carefully regard the precepts and most closely imitate the founder of their religion. We fear no such comparison of the true Christian with the true Muslim.

Nor do we fear any examination of the two religions as to their power of renovating and purifying the heart, of sustaining in the trials and exigencies of life, and of conquering in the dread hour of death. You have tried Islam many years, but, after all, confess it has brought no real peace to your soul. You have said, did you not fear to rush unbidden into the presence of a justly offended God, you would gladly throw aside life as a burden too heavy to be borne. But the Christian’s inheritance is peace, left to us by the last words of our Saviour—John xvi. 33: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The Christian endures the ills of life without a murmur, sustained by a secret joy; in his cross is a hidden sweetness, since its heavier weight is sustained by an invisible companion and lightened by an enduring hope. He knows his trials are ordained by infinite wisdom and love, to secure his final perfection and harmonious relation to God; he anticipates endless holiness and happiness in the society and under the rule of his adored Redeemer. 1 Peter i. 8, 9: “Whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Volumes of evidence might be adduced to show the holy lives and triumphant deaths of Christians. My own eyes have repeatedly seen how

“Jesus can make a dying bed
Seem soft as downy pillows are.”

Nay, more, the departing believer often experiences such rapturous joy, such foretastes of eternal bliss, that death is no more death, but truly “swallowed up in victory.” The wondering eyewitnesses of such a scene can only exclaim, ” Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” And why should not he rejoice who can say, ” The eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms?” “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.” “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

In the New Testament the Christian is never spoken of as dying, for the brief sojourn of our Lord within the realm of death has robbed the enemy of his terrors. Christ is risen! his body rests in no earthly grave: “He is ascended on high, leading captivity captive.”

But the body of Muhammad has long lain at Medina, and the pilgrimages made to his tomb and to those of his successors tell us that your hopes rest on dead saviours, who could not rescue themselves from death and the grave.

Thomas Jefferson quotes regarding God's Divine Will

Thomas Jefferson regarding God’s Divine Will [Click to enlarge]

Islam in Death.

You know better than I what hope or comfort your religion offers in the last hour to the trembling spirit, bowed under a load of guilt and apprehension, and what are its consolations for the survivors. I have seen the deep gloom cast by the mention of death on your people, the unreasoning terror they manifest on its occurrence in their homes, and have heard the wild cries of anguish when the blow has fallen, and they seem to “mourn as those without hope.” That event must indeed be invested with dark forebodings to those who dare not say of the dead that their immediate salvation is assured. I have heard them comfort themselves with the assurance that whoever recites the Muslim Creed in death, the Kalima Shahidat, “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God,” will find his sins fall from him as the leaves of a tree in autumn. But, alas! if the analogy were true, when the tree buds again, its leaf and fruit will be unchanged. He who has no guarantee of a radical change of nature must needs fear that, as he has sinned here, he will continue to do so in another world. Where sin remains, must remain alienation from God, punishment and sorrow.

The traditions which we may take as representing the popular belief are far from reassuring. In the Hyat ul Kuloob is written that Salman, the freedman of the Prophet of God, before his death, went to a cemetery to interrogate the dead. “One in his grave began to speak, saying, ‘ Lo, I hear thy words, and will quickly answer. Ask what thou wilt.’ Salman rejoined, ‘ O thou that speakest after death and its sorrows, art thou of Paradise, or of hell?’ The dead replied, ‘I am of the number on whom God has bestowed favor and in his mercy introduced to Paradise.’ Salman said, ‘Thou servant of God, describe to me what thou hast experienced.’ He answered, ‘Verily, cutting the body to pieces many times with shears is easier than the agonies of death. Know thou the Most High had bestowed divine favors on me in this world, and I had well discharged my duties. I read the Quran, and was very dutiful to my father and mother. I avoided what was forbidden, and feared to be unjust and oppressive to servants. Night and day I took pains and strove to find out and do what was lawful, through fear of standing before God to be questioned. The angel of death now approached and gradually drew my soul from my body. Every pull he made was equal in agony to all the pains under heaven. This continued till he reached my heart, when he signed to me with a dart, which, if he had laid upon the mountains, would have melted them, and forcibly drew my soul from my nostrils.'” He then tells of his burial, of the dreadful ordeal of examination by the two angels Munkir and Nakeer, who question him of his faith and practice. Of the latter angel he says, “He then laid me down in the grave, and said, Lie like a bridegroom. At my head he opened a door to Paradise, and at my feet a door to hell, and said, See what you will enjoy and what you are saved from. He then closed the opening to hell and expanded the gate of Paradise, from which its delightful perfume was wafted to me. He then enlarged my grave as far as the eye could see, and left me.”

 
Benjamin Franklin quotes concerning the Holy Bible

Benjamin Harrison concerning the Holy Bible [Click to enlarge]

State of Muslim Women.

Of one feature of Islam I am, perhaps, better fitted to judge than you, with your limited circle of female acquaintance: that is, the effect it produces on the character and condition of woman. As a rule, where the provisions of the law are strictly carried out, only your wife, mother, sister, and daughter can speak with you freely and with unveiled faces. You are not permitted to see the countenances of even cousins and relatives by marriage; all conversation or association with them is watched and guarded with suspicious espionage. You have not concealed from me your very unfavorable estimate of your countrywomen, even while you acknowledged them capable of better things. But you have never lived in a Christian land, and you must pardon me for saying your ideal of womanhood cannot be so high as if you had seen it developed under the influence of light, liberty, and equal legal and moral rights. Remembering how often we are shocked beyond expression by the unintentional coarseness and unconscious vulgarity, the low standard of thought and morals betrayed by your best, most amiable, cultured, religious ladies in even a short, ceremonious call; remembering howling mobs of ragged village women, wild with curiosity, steeped in ignorance, shameless of speech and manner, and contrasting them with the same classes in Christian lands, we are forced to ask, Whence this difference? Forgive me if these criticisms seem harsh, though these women speak of themselves more severely than I should venture to do. “We are beasts, we are donkeys, what do we know? what can we do?” Their husbands seem generally to regard them as a necessary evil, something to be ashamed of, and kept in the background as much as possible. Seeing this, our sisters, many of them so beautiful, talented, attractive, gifted by nature with every requisite of a graceful and virtuous womanhood, we are filled with indignation at their imprisoned and degraded condition, treated as if unworthy of honor or confidence, perpetuating their own ignorance and superstition not only in their daughters, but in their sons. But such is the condition of woman, and even worse in non Christian lands. Jesus alone has brought her into a life of light, liberty, and usefulness. We have learned to love and pity many of these women, and have entered into the shadow where they dwell under a habitual consciousness of inferiority and contempt. We have seen their bitter tears and vain struggles on the entrance of a rival in their homes, we have heard their complaints of their prophet and their attempts to console themselves with the thought that the Christian woman, if happier here, is doomed to the flames of hell, while their sorrows will earn for them the joys of Paradise. We know the insecurity of their position, liable to divorce at the pleasure of their masters, thus taught to separate their interests from those of the husband, according to the proverb, “Bring a wife, bring an enemy.” How often jealousy, deceit, intrigue, and the worst passions of the human heart poison and destroy the happiness which God intended to spring from the family institution! It is not always thus: there are homes where the wife is loved and respected, the husband honored and obeyed, where there is no fear of rivalry or desertion, no strife between the children of different mothers. But such rare examples exist in spite of your religion, and only testify that home happiness is inseparable from permanence and sacredness in the marriage relation. A family fully governed by Christian principle must needs be pure and peaceful; one ruled by the precepts and permissions of the Quran must be like that of Muhammad himself, vexed with jealousy, dissension, suspicion, discontent, and scandal; without any convenient Gabriel to lend a hand in its management. No race can expect to seclude, suppress, and keep in ignorance half of its number without paying a fearful penalty. If a young Muslim is educated, enlightened, where can he find a home companion to understand, to sympathize with him, to prove herself a true helpmeet? Blindfolded, you stretch your hand into the darkness to grasp that of an unknown wife, with whom, as a rule, you have never exchanged a word, or even seen her face; of whose tastes, qualities, and temper you are perfectly ignorant, and who may cause you untold misery. The saddest part is that the harem, the curtain, the veil, the ignorance of women, are essential if society is not to become worse. No greater misfortune could befall Muslim women in their present state than to be put in possession of the privileges enjoyed by their Christian sisters. What causes this difference between the two? Why can one woman be trusted to make no improper use of her freedom, while, as the whole fabric of Muslim society seems to testify, the other cannot? I remember a Muslim gentleman, truly attached to his beautiful wife, an educated woman, by the standard of this land, and a true companion to him. He said once: “I would gladly see my wife free as the Christian ladies are. The veil and the harem curtain are no pleasure to me, I can trust her; but the state of society is such, it would, not be safe, I should be killed for her sake.”

 
William Penn founder of Pennsylvania quotes concerning Christianity

William Penn founder of Pennsylvania concerning Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Fundamental Teaching of Christianity.

But let us come to that which fundamentally distinguishes true Christianity from all other religions. We say, true Christianity, because much that goes by that name is counterfeit, a baptized heathenism, often possessing much in common with Islam and idolatry. The unique doctrine of the Bible is that of the new birth. By this we understand that a lost and ruined sinner, totally unable to help himself, may be made over, have another chance, begin again. Nay, more, that by God’s free grace, he may attain a higher condition than if Adam had not sinned, becoming “an heir of God,” ” a partaker of the divine nature,” dead to sin for evermore, alive to righteousness. Jesus brought us this blessed hope, and, by the gift of his indwelling Spirit, makes this new life a matter of personal consciousness to myriads of men, women and children, who know and can witness that they have received and enjoy it.

Under the influence of Christ, the drunkard becomes abstinent, the libertine chaste, the murderer loving, the thief honest, the liar truthful. As the Muslim says of the good he cannot attain, “Satan will not let me,” the Christian says of the evil from which he is withheld, “Jesus will not let me.”

Our Lord, constantly working these spiritual miracles, lives on the earth to-day as a personal force of infinite power, a real and present personality to his obedient subjects.

Does the Quran offer us any substitute for this doctrine, or does it even recognize its necessity? Search its contents from beginning to end, and you will see guilty man practically left to be his own savior.

Benjamin Franklin quotes regarding those who quarrel about Christianity

Benjamin Franklin regarding those who quarrel about Christianity [Click to enlarge]

Christianity Judaism Developed.

Till Christ appeared, this transcendent mercy of God to the sinner was conserved, lying dormant, as it were, concealed within the ceremonial law and the rigid observances of Judaism, as the germ within the seed, the bird in the egg. His magic touch evoked the light and beauty of Christianity, the flower and crown, the full development of what was first entrusted to the guardian care of Israel, then thrown open to all the world. The types and shadows then vanished; the ceremonial law was no longer needed. Men learned “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”—Rom. xiv. 17. They understood “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of man but of God. “Hebrews ix. 8-12:” the first tabernacle was as yet standing, which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience: which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them till the time of reformation. But Christ being come, a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!”

The ceremonial law, we must not forget, was given only to the Jews, and none were bound to regard or observe it, or could do so acceptably, except born Jews by birth and proselytes. We are taught it was given to meet a temporary want: to show man his need of a Saviour; and to prefigure an atoning sacrifice yet to be offered.

John Quincy Adams quotes regarding the Christian Faith

John Quincy Adams regarding the Christian Faith [Click to enlarge]

Salvation by Faith Taught from the Beginning.

Yet, from the beginning, God left not unrevealed to man the true way of salvation, nor allowed him to suppose it could be attained by his own efforts. These were aptly typified by the frail, withering fig leaves with which Adam and Eve labored to hide their nakedness after the fall. A pitying God clothed them with the warm and durable skins of innocent animals, whose blood flowed before the gift could be made. Have you never wondered that of all animals, man alone is compelled to use artificial coverings? Is there here no hint of a spiritual truth, that he has no merit of his own, and must receive his robe of righteousness, imputed and imparted from God as a free and undeserved gift, if he would not suffer eternal shame?

Salvation by faith: not the intellectual assent to dogma, but the loving and obedient trust of the soul, tried and found to control the life, linking the frail finite creature with the Holy and Infinite Most High by a living bond—this is the very warp and woof of Old and New Testaments. Four times their pages repeat, “The just shall live by faith.”

Four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the Mosaic law, it was said of Abraham, Gen. xv. 6: “And he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Christianity returns to Abraham, but Muhammad’s search for truth never brings him to the land of Canaan and the promised possession of Mount Zion. Like Ishmael, he wanders in the desert of Arabia, and coming to Mount Sinai, hearing only the law given to Moses, and that imperfectly, accepts it superficially, apprehended as the best God has for man. He hears the ready response of the people to Jehovah’s awful demand for perfection, and answers with them in their hasty ignorance, “All that the Lord hath said, we will do and be obedient.” He is ready to join them, or rather to make an independent promise of his own, taking the place in God’s house of a sinner saved by his own works and a vague confidence in what he calls the mercy of God. He fails to remark that after their rash promise, Moses sprinkled them with “the blood of the covenant,” a significant intimation of the only road to acceptable obedience.

The Christian is a son, twice born, once of the flesh, again of the Spirit. He has his place in the house, not as a hireling, but by birth. Long ago, for those who could see, this was enacted in parable when Ishmael and his mother were sent portionless away from the tents of Abraham, as told in the twenty-first chapter of Genesis, and explained Gal. iv. 22-26, 29-31: “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman by promise.”

“Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants: the one from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
John Quincy Adams quotes  regarding the Glory of the Revolution

John Quincy Adams regarding the Glory of the Revolution [Click to enlarge]

“What Shall I Do to be Saved?”

The one question our race is ever laboring to answer is, “How shall man be just with God?” Turning to Islam with this query, we are referred first to dead works of the flesh, already thoroughly tried and found inadequate to meet the case. As well return the radiant flower to the discarded husk which protected its germination, or compress the soaring, singing bird in the narrow confines of its outgrown shell! Failing the obedience required, man is to trust to a vague hope of the mercy of God, earned by repentance, not necessarily a forsaking of sin, but a sense of regret, evinced by tears and other outward demonstrations. But, alas! who knows when he has repented enough? If God is merciful, he is also just; the sentence has never been repealed, “The soul that sinneth, he shall die.” This means the eternal cutting off the sinner from the source of true life, and finds its ready illustration in the dry and lifeless branches we use for fuel.

Has Muhammad shown his worthiness to displace Jesus, and Islam to supersede Christianity? If it be God’s last word to man, it should as far surpass our religion and its Founder as he excelled Moses and his dispensation. Equality is not sufficient; the inference of superiority cannot be tolerated for a moment.
John Milton quotes regarding Jesus and Christianity

John Milton regarding Jesus and Christianity [Click to enlarge]

True and False Religions.

To my mind, all religions fall into two classes. In the first, God saves his ruined creatures by free grace, by the merits and death of his incarnate Son, “imputed to us and received by faith alone.” A heart renewed and transformed by so great love ascribes the glory to him alone. In the other, man is glorified as his own savior, his own righteousness, or that of other mere creatures, laying God under obligation to save and grant him eternal felicity. Salvation is not a gift, or only partly so; it becomes a debt owed by the Creator to the possessors of accumulated merit, which, they fondly believe, outweighs their actual transgressions. These views, held under a great variety of outward forms, are characterized by a low estimate of sin. They ignore the hereditary taint and corruption of our nature, wherein lie boundless possibilites of disobedience to God and disorder to his creation. They overlook the fact that not only does the law require us to refrain from its violation, it expects of us perfect obedience to its commands, and conformity to its spirit. To the helpless penitent, trusting the authenticated Saviour provided by divine love and wisdom, full forgiveness is granted; of him who prefers to be saved by his own righteousness, or that of unauthorized mediators, or by his own sufferings in purgatorial flames, the debt will be exacted to the very last farthing. We shall not be measured by the low standard of not having been as bad as we could, but by the higher one of the law’s demand for absolute moral perfection. He who failed of being what his Maker meant him to be will be rejected, and his good qualities and deeds may be likened to the two or three grains of silver found in a counterfeit coin, which do not persuade any one to accept it as genuine.

The only man who has ever fully met all the requirements of the divine law of perfection is the Lord Jesus Christ; only as identified with him can we hope for safety.

You have sometimes expressed the hope that both our religions may finally prove to be true— yours for you, mine for me; that all men, if only sincere and obedient to their respective faiths, may, by diverse roads, meet at the same goal. One or two doubtful passages in the Quran may seem to encourage this idea, in the case of Jews and Christians, but the Bible does not countenance it for a moment. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”—John xiv. 6. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”—Acts iv. 12. These are but two of many unequivocal utterances which have made Christianity the most fervently hated religion in the world. It must be all or nothing: it “brooks no rival on the throne.” As you know, Islam occupies exactly the same position, but carries it to the extent of declaring herself divinely commissioned to destroy those who reject her claims. Instead of the “foolishness of preaching,” or rather perhaps to reinforce it, she uses the logic of the sword. This is no empty threat, or unapplied theory. In large tracts of the fairest portions of Europe, Asia, and Africa it has been enforced in tears and blood and fire; the shrieks of the captive and clanking chain of the prisoner have echoed back its war cry, and emphasized its intolerance of all faith but its own. No, my friend, our religions are enemies to the death, and must so remain to the end: no uncertain one; for Christianity, though by her nature and laws debarred from contending with an arm of flesh, has her own peculiar weapons with which she must finally conquer. Your kindness of heart would fain hope a better fate for those whom you esteem and love, and who obstinately reject your religion. But that faith itself offers them nothing but eternal hell-fire.

I beg you to be assured this letter is written with none but the kindest feelings to your country and its people: a race possessing many fine qualities, and ability to be a blessing to the world, a country dear to me as my own, the home of my deliberate choice. Nor is there any thought of boasting, or fancied superiority. When the Anglo-Saxon recalls his savage and debased heathen ancestry, he has no cause for pride, only for deep humility and thankfulness. And should he not be among the foremost to communicate the blessings he has received to every nation, at any cost, even to the sacrifice of life itself?

How deeply should I regret to have learned so much of the unrest and hopelessness of your life, were there no remedy to offer! Knowing of such a remedy, having tried it myself, I cannot but urge it upon you. It may, it is true, cost you all your earthly possessions; you may, as others have done, literally lay down all, but Jesus is worth it!

The heart is the citadel of our life, the controller of the springs of thought and action. The head may assent to overpowering evidence, but the heart only yields to personal experience. You are not invited to a religion, an intellectual persuasion, a human society, but to a personal relation with a personal and ever-present Friend, found of all who seek him with the whole heart.

The whole world is well lost to him who has discovered the love of God in Christ, the priceless pearl, the hidden treasure, our joy, our life, our crown, and our eternal portion. May you seek and be found of him, and find in him the Good Shepherd of the wandering sheep!

End of excerpt from letter

Muslim Fanaticism

Mohammedans have earned for themselves throughout the world the title of ” fanatics,” as a consequence of their wild words and actions in connection with the Faith, once delivered to them by Mohammed. The feeling amongst Moslems has been and is, that they are the chosen of Allah, that they are the appointed instruments of God to bring all men, even by the power of the sword, to the knowledge of the only true faith. Consequently woe be to the individuals, communities, or nations, that will not listen to the call to accept Islamism with all its forms and ceremonies!

It is true that at the present time the power of Mohammedanism, is a conquering religion, or the desire to conquer still remains, and the old feeling of intolerance and fanaticism is probably everywhere almost as strong as ever it was.

In my researches into the history of Mohammedanism I have met with many instances of fanaticism, some of which I would now mention, as they will help us to understand what Islamism really is in the intensity of its wild faith and zeal. Fanaticism in war may well come first. Mohammed, though in the early days of his career a man of peace, and an advocate of mild measures in the propagation of truth, eventually developed into a man of war, and a stern and enthusiastic propagator of Allah’s religion by the sword.

The later books of the Koran teem with passages which counsel strong measures to be taken with infidels. It is written: “Fight against those who believe not in God until they pay tribute by right of subjection, and are reduced low.” And again: “When ye meet the infidels, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them.” And then it is added: “As for those who fight or fall in defence of God’s true religion, He will not suffer their deeds to die. Verily, God loveth those who fight for His religion.” “Paradise,” it was declared, “is under the shadow of swords.” “The sword,” it was asserted, “is a surer argument than books.”

Is it to be wondered at that a people thus taught should have grown to love war as the very breath of their nostrils, and to revel in it with a fanaticism that was cruel as the grave? Even before the Prophet died his terrible injunctions began to bear fruit, and after his death the fighting spirit raged throughout Arabia, and the Moslems went forth conquering and to conquer. From the Caliph to the meanest servant or slave in Islam the fanatical creed was accepted, that “the sword was the Key of Heaven and Hell, that a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, were of more avail than months of fasting and prayer.”

Fanaticism in war showed itself not merely in the determination to overcome an enemy, but in the ardent wish, if Allah willed it, to die on the field of battle, as thus to be “martyred “in the cause of God was believed to be the most certain way of obtaining the highest joys of eternal life in the world beyond the grave.

Listen, for example, to the words of an Arabian youth, whom a fond mother and sister vainly sought to persuade from adopting the profession of arms. His parting speech to those who loved him was: “Hold me not back, nor grieve that I leave you! It is not the delicacies of Syria or the fading delights of this world that have prompted me to devote my life in the cause of religion. But I seek the favour of God and His Apostle: and I have heard from one of the companions of the Prophet that the spirits of the martyrs will be lodged in the crops of green birds, who shall taste the fruits and drink of the rivers of Paradise. Farewell! We shall meet again among the groves and fountains which God has provided for His elect.”

I have read of another case of a warrior who on the field of battle fought with reckless fury, raving, as he slashed right and left with his sword, about the joys of Paradise promised to all true believers who fell in the wars of the Faith. “Methinks!” he cried aloud, so as to be heard above the din of arms, “Methinks I see the black-eyed girls looking upon me; one of whom, should she appear in this world, all mankind would die for love of. And I see in the hand of another a handkerchief of green silk, and a cap of precious stones, and she beckons me and calls out: ‘Come hither quickly, for I love thee !'” Scarcely had the fanatic thus spoken when a javelin pierced his heart and despatched him to his vaunted elysium. And these two instances are but types of countless thousands in Islam whose fanaticism has exceeded all bounds in the race for martyrdom in a jihad, or holy war.

Besides the joy of fighting for the Faith, and the incentive of the pleasures of Paradise for the valiant, the fanaticism of Mohammedans has been deepened and strengthened by the doctrine of predestination, as taught by the Prophet, or at any rate as believed by the Faithful. The ‘Koran says in one place: “The fate of every man have we bound about his neck;” and in another, “No soul. can die unless by the permission of God, according to what is written in the book containing the determination of things.”

Mohammed inserted these passages after the temporary defeat of his followers at Ohod, to inspire them with fresh courage. He represented to the Faithful that the time of every man’s death is decreed and determined by Allah, and that those who had fallen in the battle could not have avoided their fate had they stopped at home, so there was no reason to grieve unduly, or to be discouraged and disheartened.

Thus did the Prophet instil into the minds of his soldiers a belief in Fate, and under this persuasion did Moslems engage in battle without anxiety or fear, believing that what would be must be, that no one could die before his time, and that no human sagacity or foresight could evade the hand of death if the moment had been preordained. We can see how such a doctrine of predestination spurred the Faithful on to deeds of recklessness, and made the early soldiers of the Crescent men to be dreaded beyond the ordinary run of adversaries, for they were fanatics.

One of the most remarkable of these warrior-fanatics was Kaled, who was employed by Abu Bekr and Omar in the wars in Syria. He was a man who added superstition to his belief in fate, for he was wont to declare that a special providence watched over him, and that as long as he wore a certain cap which had been blessed by Mohammed he was invulnerable to all the darts of the enemies of Islam. And truly it seemed as if he bore a charmed life, for though in every battle he rushed into the thickest of the fight, and was ever surrounded by dangers, he always marvellously escaped, and in a good old age died in his bed.

The exploits of this fanatic in the siege of Damascus are almost beyond belief. He rushed madly at every antagonist, generally singling out the strongest and the bravest, and he was always conqueror. On one occasion, after a desperate struggle with a bold Christian General, which left him exhausted, a fresh adversary spurred his charger to attack him. A companion in arms, the gallant Derar, seeing the exhaustion of Kaled, called out to him: “O Kaled, repose yourself for a moment, and permit me to supply your place,” but the reply he got was: “Not so, good Derar; if I needs must rest, it will be in Paradise. He that labours to-day will rest to-morrow.” At the word he sprang upon his foe, and hurled him lifeless to the ground. Kaled by such deeds earned for himself the title of “The Sword of God.”

But the doctrine of predestination can influence in two ways: It can make fanatical cowards as well as fanatical braves. And in these latter days it seems in Moslem countries to be producing a weak and degenerate race. The belief in fate is as strong as ever, but it now takes the form of lazy, instead of active, fanaticism, and it is striking at the root of all enterprise and progress. As one writer has said: “Many Moslems positively refuse to exert themselves, while they excuse their natural indolence by declaring: ‘Everything is determined: what is to be will be: if God intends that we should become rich we shall become so without any personal exertion : if He intends that we shall be poor, poor we shall have to remain, despite our labour.'” Thus the doctrine of predestination as held by Mohammedans is baneful, whether in war or peace, for when exercised in the sphere of the former it produces a hard and cruel race of warriors, and when in the sphere of the latter, a race of weak and helpless citizens.

Fanaticism has shown itself very markedly in the department of teaching, and especially in the teaching of the truths of the Koran. The verbal inspiration of the Scriptures has ever been part of the orthodox creed of Islamism. Some of the Faithful at various times have questioned the doctrine, and have even striven to show that the Koran contains passages that contradict each other, and therefore cannot be infallible: but such liberal views are far from common.

In every age Moslems, as a whole, have been most dogmatic in their teaching, and perfectly fanatical in their enforcement upon others of what they have conceived to be truth. Take for example the time of the Abbasides of Bagdad. The author of “Islam under the Caliphs of Bagdad,” says, “Every one who either in act or word questioned a single syllable of the Koran was regarded as an infidel, and was in peril of being torn in pieces by the devout.”

Then to look at an earlier period. Omar, the second Commander of the Faithful, delighted in teaching the law, and would brook no interference from doubters or cavillers. There is a characteristic story told of him when he was on his famous journey from Medina to Jerusalem, when the latter city was subjected by the Moslem arms. The Caliph often stopped by the way as he passed through Arabia and Syria to administer justice and expound the Sacred Koran. Usually a crowd gathered round him to see and hear the grand old man. On one occasion he took for his text a few words from the Koran which assert that those whom God shall lead in the right way are secure from all harm, but that those whom He shall lead in the way of error are doomed to punishment. As Omar enforced these pregnant lessons a grey-headed man in the audience disturbed the flow of the preacher’s utterance by remarking aloud, “Tush! God leads no man into error!” The stern, fanatical Caliph deigned no direct reply, but turning to his body-guard, he said: “Strike off that old man’s head if he repeats his words!” The preacher met with no further opposition.

One of the most fanatical acts on record is associated with the name of Omar—I refer to the destruction of the Alexandrian Library. I know that the story has been gravely questioned of late years. Gibbon and others have made light of it, but still the tale was believed for centuries, and it has not yet been proved false, and it is certainly just such a deed as a fanatical Moslem prince like Omar might have committed.

“The Alexandrian Library was formed by Ptolemy Soter, and placed in a building called the Bruchion. It was augmented in successive reigns to 400,000 volumes, and an additional 300,000 volumes were placed in a temple called the Serapeon. The Bruchion, with the books it contained, was burned in the war of Caesar, but the Serapeon was preserved. Cleopatra, it is said, added to it the library of Pergamus, given to her by Marc Antony, consisting of 200,000 volumes. It sustained repeated injuries during various subsequent revolutions, but was always restored to its ancient splendour, and numerous additions made to it. Such was its state at the capture of Alexandria by the Moslems.” The famous library was, in fact, the finest in the world.

The story goes that Amr, the Conqueror of Egypt, and the leader of the Moslem armies, had his attention drawn to the Library by the learned Greek known as John the Grammarian, to whom Amr had granted many favours. John asked that the books might be given to himself, as the Moslems would probably have no use for them. The General was inclined to gratify the wish of the Grammarian, but his rigid integrity refused to alienate anything without the permission of the Commander of the Faithful, to whom he at once wrote. The answer which Omar is generally believed to have sent was inspired by the ignorance and zeal of a fanatic. It ran: “If these writings of the Greeks agree with the blessed Koran, the Book of Allah, they are useless, and therefore need not be preserved; if they disagree, then they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed.”

Washington Irving, commenting on this extraordinary message, says: “Amr, as a man of genius and intelligence, may have grieved at the order of the Caliph, while as a loyal subject and faithful soldier, he felt bound to obey it.” Consequently the command went forth to seize and to destroy, and the valuable manuscripts and books were distributed as fuel among the five thousand baths of the city of Alexandria, and, it is said, so numerous were they, that it took six months to consume them. Thus perished by a deed of Moslem fanaticism much of the learning, the arts, and the genius of antiquity.

Fanaticism in Moslem lands is not confined to men, but is as strong or stronger amongst women. Notwithstanding the disabilities and hardships under which women labour in Islam, they cleave with blind enthusiasm to the teaching of the Prophet of God, hugging to their breasts the Book which has made their degradation an article of faith and binding throughout the ages.

And little children too are veritable fanatics. Lane, in his “Modern Egyptians,” tells us that from their earliest days Moslem boys and girls are taught to hate “infidels” with a perfect hatred. It must be remembered that in the eyes of Mohammedans all are infidels who are not of the true Faith—that is, Islam. Let me quote a prayer that is now in use amongst the children of Moslems. Lane translates it thus: “O God, destroy the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the enemies of Islam! O God, make their offspring orphans, defile their abodes, cause their feet to slip, and give them and their families, and their children, and their possessions and their race, and their wealth, and their land, as booty to the Moslems.” What an awful prayer to put into the mouths of boys and girls! Little wonder that the rising generation, like all preceding generations in Islam, regards the world with eyes of anger and hate!

A little incident that happened in my own experience may not be unworthy of notice. I was travelling at the time in Palestine, and was drawing near the ancient city of Hebron, once so famous in Jewish history, but now in the possession of Moslems. The day was hot, and I had ridden far, and was suffering from thirst. Suddenly I espied by the wayside a maiden, perchance of seven years of age, tripping gaily along with a waterpot poised on her head in Eastern fashion. I hailed her and made signs for a drink of water. That she understood me perfectly was clear, but to my surprise she was not prepared to grant my request. Now, usually in the East, if the traveller can get nothing else, he can get a drink of water from the people he sees, for it is considered churlish indeed to refuse such a necessary of life.

However, the heart of the little maiden at Hebron was closed against all not of her own Faith. And so insulted and enraged was she that I should have even presumed to ask anything from her, that she put her hands up to her head, and in a tempest of indignation dashed the unoffending waterpot to the ground. Then pointing to the spilt water, she declared, with oaths and curses, so my Dragoman told me, that she hoped that thus would my blood ere many days be spilt and sink into the ground. For the time being the maiden was a little fury, and I was convinced that the fanaticism of the people of Islam was, even amongst the juvenile members of society, something to be carefully watched by travellers, or dangerous results might follow. The inhabitants of Hebron or, as it is now called, El-Khalid, are notorious for their fanaticism, and by their conduct they belie both the ancient and the modern name of their city, which names, being interpreted, mean, “the Friend.”

Sometimes the evil results of the fanaticism of Mohammedans have not been confined to strangers, but have made themselves felt within their own borders; as, for instance, in those sad cases of regicide which have been so common in Moslem countries. As we have seen in the course of these Studies, Omar, Othman, and Ali, three of the Commanders of the Faithful, fell victims to the mad zeal of some of their own followers, who conceived that they were doing God and Islam service by despatching the Caliphs with their daggers.

The truth is fanaticism is an uncertain instrument to use: it is a two-edged tool which it is dangerous to handle. The leaders of Mohammedanism in all generations have found that they have not always been able to control the fierce spirit they have called up, and they have been taught by a terrible experience the truth of that saying: “They that take the sword shall perish by the sword.”

I wonder sometimes whether Mohammedans will ever learn that their best interests lie in realizing the great truth of the Brotherhood of Humanity. There can be no peace, no prosperity, and no real happiness in Islam, until the feelings of cruel religious fanaticism nurtured by the Koran have been replaced by feelings of brotherly sympathy and love for all nations and peoples.

Sources: “Islam and Christianity or the Quran and the Bible: A letter to a Muslim friend,, by a Missionary” by G. Halliday published 1901
Studies in Mohammedanism, historical and doctrinal by John J. Pool; published 1892
Picture quotes taken from various writings of the Founding Fathers of the United States

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

SIGNS OF THE TIMES by Jedidiah Morse: Pastor of the Congregational Church

“SIGNS OF THE TIMES” A Sermon by Jedidiah Morse: Pastor of the Congregational Church in Charlestown.

DANIEL xii. 4, 10.

BUT THOU, OH DANIEL, SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE
BOOK, EVEN TO THE TIME OF THE END; MANY SHALL RUN
TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED.

MANY SHALL BE PURIFIED AND MADE WHITE, AND TRIED;
BUT THE WICKED SHALL DO WICKEDLY; AND NONE OF THE
WICKED SHALL UNDERSTAND; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.

Jedidiah Morse 1761-1826

Jedidiah Morse 1761-1826

OUR blessed Lord once addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees, in a way of keen reproof for their criminal inattention to events which were manifestly fulfilling most important prophecies, in the following language; “When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day; for the sky is red and lowering. Oh ye hypocrites, ye can – discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Daniel’s seventy weeks;[Dan.ix.24] were then nearly completed. The sceptre was departing from Judah; Elias had already come in the person of John Baptist, as the forerunner of the Messiah; the numerous prophecies relating to his character, doctrine, and miracles, were visibly fulfilling, and a general expectation of his coming prevailed over the world. Had these Pharisees and Sadducees taken due pains to acquaint themselves with these prophecies, and with the singular events, which were accomplishing them; had they been as attentive to these “signs of the times,” as to the signs of the weather, they might easily have perceived that these were the times of their expected Messiah, and that their nation was shortly to be given up to awful punishments for rejecting him.

“That, which hath been, is now; and that, which is to be, hath already been.”[Eccles. iii:15] “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”[Ch.i:10] Are there not many of the present generation of men, who resemble these ancient Pharisees and Sadducees? They can “discern the face of the sky;” they are wise to prognosticate the course of events with respect to political and commercial affairs; but they ”discern not the signs of the times;” they are criminally ignorant of the Scripture prophecies, which relate to the present period, and inattentive to events, which are remarkably fulfilling them. But this, however, should not surprise us; since the prophet has given us warning, that at this period “the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.”

The verses of the text may with propriety be read in connection. The intervening passage is a digression, and may be included in a parenthesis. The import of the verses thus connected, is this; that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased;” and that the effect of this increase of knowledge, in conjunction with other causes, will be, that “many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.”

The person, who addressed Daniel in this prophecy, and directed him to “shut up the words, and seal the book to the time of the end,” was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. In the tenth chapter of this prophecy, [v. 5-6] a more particular account of this personage is given. “Then I lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Any one, who will take the pains to compare this description with that, which St. John, in the Revelation i:13-20, gives of Jesus Christ, must be convinced, that the personage here described, who is the same, that addresses the prophet in the text, can be no other, than the Son of God. This might be farther confirmed by a comparison of Daniel xii. 5, 6, 7. with Rev. x. 2. 6. in both which places the personage, alluded to and described in the text, is ” represented, as setting his right foot on the sea, and his left upon the land, as Sovereign Lord of both elements.”

The prophecy under consideration, which was dictated by “him that is true,”[Rev. iii.7] describes events, which were to happen in the last times, or “in the time of the end,” and must of course remain obscure, till the events predicted shall be about to happen, or be actually passing in view of the then existing generation.

The prophecy in the text is then yet to be fulfilled; or, perhaps to speak more correctly, is fulfilling by the events of the present times. This appears from the prophecies connected with the text. The victories of Mahomet, or the rise and establishment of his dominion, and also the destruction of his power, seem plainly foretold and described in the five last verses of the chapter preceding the text.[Dan.xi.40-end “And at the time of the end,” i.e. of the prosperity of the Roman empire, “the king of the south,” meaning Mahomet, “shall push at him: and the king of the north,” the Turks from Scythia, “shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hands, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” It is remarkable, that while the Turks from the north overran Syria, Palestine, and the other neighboring countries, Edom, Moab, and Ammon escaped, and have never been conquered by any nation; and their inhabitants, the Arabs, to this day, receive an annual tribute from the Ottoman emperors, for the safe passage of their pilgrims and caravans to Mecca. “He,” meaning the Turkish emperors, continues the prophet, “shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” These prophecies have all been literally fulfilled. Egypt, with her immense treasures, Lybia and Ethiopia, embracing the northern parts of Africa, fell under the dominion of the Turks, and so remain to this day.

Events, which are yet future, are foretold in the two following verses; “But tidings out of the east, and out of the north, shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to take away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;[Temple Mount] yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Mr. Mede supposes, that these “tidings from the east, and the north, which shall trouble the Turkish emperor, may be the return of Judah and Israel from the countries east and north of the holy land, as in these countries the greater numbers were dispersed, and remain to this day.” The return of the Jews to their own land, is expressly predicted by the prophet Ezekiel; [Chap, xxxix. 5 last verses] and to this event, and to the assistance, which shall be given them by the Christian nations east and north of the holy land, this prophecy may refer. Tidings of such assistance from these nations would doubtless trouble the Turkish government, who are in possession of the country, which is to be restored to the Jews.

But other writers on prophecy give the passage a different interpretation. Persia lies to the east, and Russia to the north, of the Turkish dominions. For centuries past, it is well known, that the Turkish emperors have been apprehensive of a junction of these two formidable powers, and have exerted all their policy to prevent it. It is known also, that there is a tradition current among the common people in Turkey, that their empire will one day be overthrown by the Russians; also that a mutual affection and confidence subsist between the Christians of the Greek church, vast numbers of whom are inhabitants of the Turkish empire, and the same denomination in Russia, where this is the established religion; and that the former consider the latter, as those “whom ancient prophecies mention, as designed by God for their avengers and deliverers in after ages.” [See Sir Paul Rycaut’s Account of the Greek Church, c, iii. p. 83. Published 1678] So the Greek church interprets the prophecy under consideration.

On the whole, it appears most probable from the language of this prophecy, that the Persians on the east and the Russians on the north will, at a period not far distant, unite in one grand effort against the Turkish empire to overthrow it; that the Turks will establish their camp and collect all their strength “between the seas of the glorious holy mountain,” i.e. in the land of Canaan, between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, whence they will go forth with great fury against their combined foes, “to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” “Yet he,” i.e. the Turkish power, “shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” This will complete the ruin of the Mahometan power, or the eastern antichrist. The overthrow of the western antichrist, which is also predicted in this chapter, will happen about the same time.

“And at that time,” says the prophet in the chapter, which contains our text; that is, at the time when the great events of which we have spoken, shall be passing; when the antichrists of the east and the west shall be falling (for they are to fall, agreeably to the prophecy, nearly at the same time) by the means, which God hath ordained for that purpose; “at that time, shall Michael stand up, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time.” “And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book;” that is, Israel, God’s chosen heritage, who shall have been preserved till this time a distinct people in all the nations, among which they are dispersed, as entirely so, as if their names were registered in a book, shall now be delivered, collected and established in great peace and prosperity in the holy land. The prophets, and after them our Lord, and his apostle John in the Revelation, all represent the time of the conversion of the Jews, and their return to the holy land, as a time of great trouble.

After these and the contemporary events, which we are led from the prophecies to expect, shall have happened, then will follow, how soon after we know not, the general resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment, to which the following verses undoubtedly refer; “And many of them, that sleep in the dust of the earth (many being here put for all [Rom. v. 15]) shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, by his Spirit, having dictated to his holy and beloved prophet the whole series of grand events, which were to happen from the time these prophecies were penned, to the complete establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth, and even to the end of time, directs Daniel to close his sacred records, which would remain obscure, and but partially understood, “till the time of the end,” till the events predicted should be actually happening in view of the world. Then many will be running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge will be increased. And as these times will be full of trouble, such as the world at no former period ever witnessed; and also times of increased light and knowledge; both will conspire to purify the souls of good men, who shall have understanding in the times. “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, and the wise shall understand; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and shall not understand;” they shall be given up to blindness and obstinacy of heart, because they will persist in their wickedness, against all the light and evidence, which shall surround them, and they shall have nothing to support them, under the trials, which shall befall them in that awful period. .

Such I conceive to be the meaning of the text. In fixing it, I have consulted the best helps within my reach. I have been thus particular in bringing into view and explaining the prophecies, immediately connected with the text, for the purpose of ascertaining, as far as practicable, the time, when we are to expect the events, which it predicts. If our interpretation be correct, the events, which are to fulfill this prophecy, are near at hand, or they may be even now passing in view of the present generation. In the sequel of this discourse therefore I propose,

I. To exhibit evidence to shew, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its ultimate and highest accomplishment, but is probably fulfilling by the events of the present time.

II. To show what effects we are to expect will follow these events.

III. To apply the subject.

I. I am to exhibit evidence to show, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its ultimate and highest accomplishment, but is probably fulfilling by the events of the present time.

Some prophecies, says Lord Bacon, “are not fulfilled punctually, at once, but have a springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages, though the height, or fullness of them, may refer to someone age.”[Advancement of Learning. Book ii. in English] Precisely of this character, I conceive, is the prophecy now under consideration. To the period, when the Christian religion was first introduced and propagated in the world, the words of this prophecy may be literally applied, “Many ran to and fro through the earth, and knowledge was increased.” And “many were purified and made white, and tried,” by cruel persecutions. “The wicked” then “did wickedly, and none of the wicked understood” the signs of the times; “but the wise did understand.”

Wonderful was the revolution effected in the world by the introduction of the Christian religion. The preparations made for this event, by the providence of God, corresponded with its magnitude. The Roman Empire embraced almost the whole world, and its inhabitants universally spoke the Greek or Roman language. These were the languages of their courts, of their laws, of their priests and learned men, of their worship, and of their books generally. These circumstances, it is easy to conceive, were adapted wonderfully to facilitate the spread of the Gospel. The Jews, in consequence of their frequent captivities, were dispersed extensively among the surrounding nations; and, having carried with them a knowledge of the true God, prepared the way for the conversion of those nations. The Hebrew Scriptures had been translated into the Greek language, and were thus prepared to be dispersed and read in due time among that extensive portion of the heathen nations, to which this language was vernacular.* See Note A.

About this time also the proselytes of the gate, as they were called, were greatly multiplied. These were persons from various parts of the world, who had renounced heathenism, acknowledged and worshipped the true God, but had not fully embraced Judaism;[See Jennings’ Jewish Antiquities, vol. i. p. 131] and thus, freed from the prejudices of both, were prepared to receive the new religion, which Christ came to establish. The first Gentile converts to Christianity were chiefly of this class of people. We may add, as another remarkable event preparatory to the spread of the Gospel, that previously to the advent of our Savior, philosophy and the arts were cultivated to a great extent, and advanced to a high degree of perfection. Thus the minds of men were refined and prepared to examine the evidence on which Christianity claimed to be believed; and, through the power of the Holy Ghost, to embrace, defend, and propagate its sublime and heavenly doctrines. The heathen nations moreover had become tired of their religion, and of their idol gods; they had ceased to consult their oracles, and to respect their priests, and sighed for a change.[Millar’s Hist, of Christianity, vol. i. p. 255]

These preparations being made by the providence of God, the expected Messiah made his appearance, and set up his kingdom in the world. His disciples, at first few in number and of no reputation or influence among men, soon increased to a multitude. Within less than forty years after the death of Christ, his gospel was preached, and by great numbers embraced, in all the celebrated cities and countries, and even in the remote provinces and villages, of Asia, Europe, and Africa, comprising the whole of the then known world. The Sun of Righteousness darted his genial beams in every direction over the earth. The heralds of the Savior, sent forth, “their sound into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world.”[Rom.x.18] Before the generation, who were contemporary with our Lord, had “passed away,[Matt.xxiv.14,34] the Gospel was preached throughout the world, (i. e. through all the Roman empire, among gentiles as well as Jews,) for a witness unto all nations.”

Clement, a fellow laborer with the apostles, asserts, that “St. Paul taught the whole world righteousness, having preached both in the east and in the west, and traveled to the utmost bounds of the west.” It is believed by many, that he preached the gospel even in Britain. According to Justin Martyr, “there was no nation, no sort of men, whether Greeks or barbarians, no country, however rude or unpolished, where prayers and thanksgivings were not presented to the Father and Creator of all things, through the name of the crucified Jesus.” Lanctantius says, if “the Christian law is entertained from the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, where every sex, age, nation, and country, does with one heart and soul worship God.” Irenaeus and Tertullian bear full testimony to the same facts. The latter,* after enumerating the principal portions of the world, where the gospel had been preached, concludes thus, “In all these places the name of Christ reigns, because he has now come, before whom the gates of all cities are set open, and none shut; before whom doors of brass fly open, and bars of iron are snapt asunder; that is, those hearts, once possessed by the devil, by faith in Christ are set open.”

The opening of the Christian era, and the first spread of the Gospel over the world, we may therefore consider as commencing the fulfillment of the prophecy under consideration. At this period “many ran to and fro through the earth, and knowledge was increased. Many were purified, and made white, and tried.”

It has received a “germinant accomplishment,” to use the words of Lord Bacon, in succeeding ages of the church; particularly during the three first centuries, and when Constantine ordered all the heathen temples to be destroyed, and established Christianity, as the religion of his empire, about the year 331. Also, and especially at the period of the Reformation, and the consequent revival and spread of the true religion, as well as of learning, philosophy, and the useful arts.

But considerations brought into view in the beginning of this discourse, and others of great weight, lead us to conclude that the highest and complete fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future; or perhaps we have entered on the period, in which it is to receive its full and ultimate accomplishment. Judging * from the course of events for the last half century, particularly of the last twenty years, we are constrained to believe that God in his providence has been, and is preparing the world for some grand revolution, some wonderful display of his sovereign and almighty power. Such a revolution is plainly foretold by the prophets; and from the language, which they use in describing it, as well as from the preparations, which are making to introduce it, we are left to infer that, though in many points it will resemble, yet it will on the whole far surpass, in magnitude and effect, that which took place at the opening of the Christian era.

Whether the world is again to be reduced to two languages and one grand empire, so far, as shall be necessary to free intercourse and the diffusion of useful knowledge among the various nations of the globe, cannot be foreseen. What God in his providence has once done for the accomplishment of one grand Revolution, he can and may do again, if necessary, to effect another of a similar kind and of greater magnitude. By a more extensive commercial intercourse among the nations; by wars, conquests, and revolutions; by raising up a modem Alexander, to subjugate a large portion of the world; by an increase and diffusion of knowledge, derived from travellers, and enterprises for discovery; especially by means of Missionaries, who are already scattered in every part of the world, and every day are increasing in number, and exploring some new region; not only learning the languages of the nations, but communicating the knowledge of their own; by all these and other means, which Divine providence may ordain, may not the English and French languages become to the world, what the Latin and Greek languages were before the Christian era? And may not the vast domains of some modern Alexander, become united with the dominions of some other great power, corresponding to the Roman Republic in the days of Alexander, and so the mass of mankind, be once more combined in one grand and universal empire.

As, by their peculiar situation, the Jews were formerly made subservient to the conversion of the Gentiles; so this remarkable people are to be used, according to prophecy, for the same end, at some future period. The conversion of the Jews, and their to return the Holy Land, will accomplish so many prophecies, in so public and signal a manner, as to confute and silence infidelity in every form. The attention of the whole world will be excited to this wonderful display of the mighty power of God, in fulfilling his word; and the effectual influence of his Holy Spirit, converting the nations, and bringing in “the fullness of the Gentiles,”[Rom.xi.25] will render genuine Christianity universally triumphant, [Note B.]

But it is time to direct your attention to events of the present day, which remarkably correspond with the prophecy under consideration, and appear to be fulfilling it in its highest ultimate intention. All, who have taken pains to acquaint themselves to any considerable extent with what has been passing in the world, particularly since the commencement of the American Revolution, and who duly consider the existing state of things, and the prospects of still greater changes, than any which have yet taken place, must be constrained to acknowledge, that it is now true, in a degree more remarkable than at any former period of the world, that many are “running to and fro in the earth, and that knowledge is increasing.” We now enter an immense field, over which we have time only to cast a rapid glance.

Men of enterprise and intelligence, moving in all directions, by land and sea, prompted by motives of gain, of literary curiosity, of fame; or by the refined and exalted motive of benevolence to the souls of men; are running to and fro, exploring every inhabited spot on the globe; publishing and circulating, in various languages and forms, accounts of their discoveries, and thus adding immensely to the stock of useful knowledge in all its branches. The details, which would abundantly illustrate and confirm the truth of what we have now asserted, would fill volumes, and will not be expected in a single discourse. We can only point your attention to a few prominent facts out of the multitudes, that crowd upon the mind.

First, as to the American Continent, “many are running to and fro” through this portion of the globe, “and knowledge is increased.” The northwestern and northeastern coasts of this extensive Continent, the only parts of the seacoast, before unknown, have been minutely surveyed, by skilful navigators, and an acquaintance formed, and commercial intercourse opened with the native tribes bordering upon them. These things have prepared the way for planting a number of English, Russian, and Danish colonies in regions, which, till within a few years, were classed under the head of “Unknown Lands.” These colonies, formed by Christian and civilized nations, (for different purposes indeed,) are doubtless designed by Providence, as so many stands, whence, in due time, will be diffused over those dark regions the light of science and religion. In aid of this desirable event, the interior of North America has been lately explored by enterprising travelers in different directions, from the waters of the Atlantic to the coasts of the Pacific Ocean; so that few portions of it, of any great extent, now remain unknown. [Note C.]

In like manner, the interior of South America has been extensively traversed by men of science, and a knowledge of the inhabitants, and of the situation and resources of the several countries, acquired. These discoveries, together with the revolutions and changes in government and property, which have happened, and which are still taking place in rapid progression, have already prepared the way, and are opening it still further and wider, for the heralds of the Savior to go forth into every corner of the Continent, where inhabitants are to be found, to proclaim the glad tidings of his Gospel. Multitudes of these heralds, taking up their cross, and putting their lives in their hands, have already spread themselves, in different stations, either among the heathen tribes, or in the frontier and destitute Christian settlements, over a great part of the Continent, from Greenland on the north, to Patagonia on the south.[Note.D] And multitudes more, we may reasonably hope, will shortly be added to them, when it is considered, that Missionary and Bible Societies are increasing beyond all former example, which of course must increase the means of supporting Missionaries and diffusing religious knowledge; and that the Lord, in a wonderful manner, is inclining the hearts of suitable men to engage in this self-denying service, and providing means for educating them for this purpose.[Note.E]

From the Western we direct your attention to the Eastern Continent. There too, in a still more remarkable manner, “Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increased.” We behold scenes of amazing interest on that vast theater; scenes which are rapidly fulfilling this, as well as other prophecies of Scripture.

It is remarkable, that the doctrine of Mahomet was forged at Mecca, and the supremacy of the Pope established by a grant from Phocas, [Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. He usurped the throne from the Emperor Maurice, and was himself overthrown by Heraclius after losing a civil war] in the very same year, that is, Anno Dom. 606. Hence it is inferred, that, as the eastern and western antichrists began their reign together, their expected overthrow will happen about the same time; and that time, according to the best interpretation of prophecy, is probably near at hand, even at the door. The overthrow of these gigantic powers, which will shake all nations by their fall, is to be speedily followed, according to prophecy, by the return of the Jews to the Holy Land; and this signal event by the conversion of the Gentiles; and thus “the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.”[Rev. xi. 15.]

Preparatory to these tremendous and delightful events, and during their progress, as a part of the appropriate means of their accomplishment, “Many will be running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge will be increased.” Several of the prophecies, by different events, will be fulfilling at the same time. Accordingly we find that, while the Papal and Mahometan powers, assailed by wars, which are deluging in blood and desolating one country after another, are tottering to their final fall; and while the instruments, raised up and fitted by Divine providence to destroy these powers, are executing their bloody work, “Many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increased.” Voyages and enterprises for discovery by sea and land have been planned and executed to an uncommon extent, and with great success. The islands in every ocean have been visited; the coasts and harbors of every country on the globe have been surveyed. The vast interior regions of Africa, which a few years since were unknown to the civilized and Christian world, have been penetrated, in various directions, by adventurous and intelligent travellers, and are likely soon to be as well known, as other portions of the globe; and establishments are already formed, with prospects of extensive good effects, for diffusing among them a knowledge of the sciences, and of the arts of civilized life.[ Note F.]

In Asia, in ways still more remarkable, “many are running to and fro, and knowledge is increasing.” The Asiatic Society [Founded in 1784, by Sir William Jones, who was its brightest ornament] has effected wonders in the acquisition and diffusion of useful knowledge in that populous portion of the world. Travelers of great name and authority have visited some of the principal nations of Asia, and have added largely to the general stock of knowledge.

These discoveries, and the information, which in consequence of them has been acquired, relative to the character, languages, manners, customs, religion, government, and history, of the nations visited, have prepared the way for Missionaries of the cross. These self-denying friends of the Redeemer and of the souls of the heathen, filled with Christian zeal, are flocking in great numbers to this vast field of Missionary labor, which has long been whitening for harvest. From Great Britain, and her colonies, whose Missionary and Bible Societies, literary establishments, and other benevolent, richly endowed, and well directed Associations, have done more for the diffusion of Christian and other useful knowledge, than all the world beside; from Germany, Denmark, Holland, and we are happy now to add, from New England, have gone, and are going forth, a succession of Missionaries, who are spreading themselves in Europe and its islands, in North and South America, in the West Indies, in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, in Africa and its islands, in New Holland, in the thickly peopled islands in the Indian Ocean, in China, in Tartary, in Hindoostan, and in many other parts of Asia.* Many of these Missionaries, with almost incredible industry, perseverance, and success, are engaged in translating the Holy Scriptures, into the languages of the most numerous Pagan nations. Thousands, probably millions, of copies of the sacred volume, in these different languages, have already been printed and circulated among people, ignorant of the Gospel. Many have been the converts of these holy men of God, and among them not a few of the learned and influential men of these heathen nations, who, full of love to the Savior, and zeal for his cause, of thankfulness for the blessings they have received, and concern for the souls of their countrymen, have themselves become successful preachers and Missionaries of the cross, [See “The Star in the East,” a Discourse by Rev. Dr. Buchanan, reprinted in Philadelphia by Bradford; and in Boston by Monroe & Francis; a discourse, which should be read by every Christian.] And what is worthy of particular notice, a seed sown by one of the Apostles of our Lord in the heart of Asia, which has ever since been germinating, secluded from the eye of the Christian world, has been lately visited, and under the nurturing care of wise and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, is likely to prove an eminently fruitful branch of the Christian church, in a region desolate and barren in the fruits of righteousness. I allude to the Christians of St. Thomas, or as they are now called, the Syrian Christians, in Malayala, a sequestered region of Hindoostan. These Christians, More than 200,000 in number having 55 churches whose faith and worship resemble those of the Church of England, and who have among them ancient and authentic copies of the holy Scriptures, profess to have descended in regular succession from converts to the Christian faith, made by St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of our Lord, who it is said here preached the Gospel, and suffered martyrdom.[Note H.] These Malayalan churches are connected with 215 other Christian churches in Mesopotamia and Syria, which are oppressed with difficulties and struggling for existence, [Panoplist vol. iii. P. 527] Measures have probably been adopted effectually to relieve these churches, to strengthen the things which remain and are ready to die, and to render them, as from their local and relative situation they may be rendered, subservient to the extensive propagation of the Gospel in the regions around them.

* A full account of these Missionaries, of their labors, sufferings, and success, is given in the reports of the London, Baptist, Edinburgh, United Brethren’s, and other Missionary Societies in Great Britain; compendious extracts of which may be found in the Panoplist and Missionary Magazine, and other works of the kind in the United States.

But I must forbear. The subject is vast and inexhaustible. The events of the present day seem to be adapted and designed, by the Providence of God, to prepare the world to receive the Gospel; and at the same time the appropriate means are preparing and in operation to an extent altogether unparalleled for diffusing the knowledge of its blessed truths to every creature under heaven. Thus we see that at the present period, “Many are running to and fro through the earth, and knowledge is increased.”

I have time only to glance very briefly over the second branch of discourse, which was,

II. TO show, what effects we are to expect from the events, which have been briefly described. “Many, (says the Prophet,) shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Such are the events we are to look for, whenever the prophecy we have been considering shall be fulfilling. If we look back to the opening of the Christian era, to the time when the Apostles of our Lord first preached the Gospel in the world, we shall perceive with delight its astonishing effects upon the characters and conduct of men. In all, who enjoyed its benign influence, and embraced its divine truths, it produced amiable, holy, and heavenly dispositions. In the humble disciples of Jesus, every quality, which could adorn the human character, was to be found; and great, in the first ages of Christianity, was the multitude, of these children of God, scattered in different parts of the world. Still there were multitudes more, who persisted in doing wickedly, and did not understand the things, which belonged to their peace. .

Effects like these, but in magnitude and extent still greater, we are to look for, agreeably to prophecy, at the period of the other grand Revolution in the Christian church, of which we have spoken, and which is yet to come. If such effects begin to exist, at the present day, to a remarkable extent, they furnish evidence, that this prophecy is now fulfilling before our eyes.

The terms, “purified, made white, and tried,” when used by the Prophet to express these effects, plainly indicate that the period, when “many shall run to and fro through the earth, and knowledge shall be increased,” will be a period of great sufferings. And such a period we are forewarned by the Prophet to expect; “And there shall be a time,” (and this time is that, in which the prophecy under consideration will be accomplishing,) “and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.”[Dan. xii. 1.] How many years this period of trouble will continue we know not. Judging from the present state of the world, we have probably entered upon it. Its darkest part is doubtless yet to come. For we are taught in the prophecies to expect that the world, which now lieth in wickedness, is one day to be punished with most awful judgments of Heaven. “Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners out of it. For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine; and I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah xiii. 9, 10, 11.) Also, Isa. xxvi. two last verses. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For behold, the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”

While the Lord shall be thus executing his strange work, in punishing the nations for their wickedness, he will, at the same time, by new and uncommon means, be spreading his word, and the light of his Gospel, and increasing every species of useful knowledge; and will, by the instrumentality of this knowledge and these judgments, purify multitudes of people, who will hereafter be numbered among those, who will be arrayed in white, and will have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.[Rev. vii. 13, 14.]

Are not effects of the mixed nature, we have now described, every day produced, and coming to our knowledge from every part of the world? While the judgments of God are in the earth, are not some of the inhabitants in every part of the world learning righteousness?[Isaiah xxvi. 9.] Look at the tragedy, which is now acting on the theater of Europe, at which the world is gazing with astonishment; what are its effects? Are not multitudes purified by it, and made white, and tried? Is not God, in this manner, removing those obstacles to the progress of useful knowledge and the pure Gospel of Christ, which for ages have been accumulating in that region, where ignorance and superstition have prevailed to so great an extent among the people, and preparing the way for better times, and a better order of things? Amid these scenes we behold the Christian church remarkably preserved, awake to her true interests, and zealous to advance them; tried by various opposition, yet purified and made white by her sufferings; rising in glory, increasing daily in numbers, and extending her influence rapidly over the world. Thus the wrath of man is made to praise God, good is educed out of evil, order out of confusion. The church, during this dismal period, will resemble Israel in the land of Goshen, at the time when the darkness, which was felt, brooded over the Egyptians; her members will have light in all their dwellings, be shielded from the destroying angel under the wing of the Almighty. While the wicked, who will obstinately persist in doing wickedly, and who will not understand the prophecies, nor observe the signs of the times, nor regard the judgments of Heaven, will resemble the Egyptians, when under judicial darkness; the things, which belong to their peace, will be hidden from their eyes; they will be left to fill up the measure of their sins, and to ripen for some signal overthrow. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root, nor branch. But unto you, that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.[ Malachi iv. 1, 2.]

Such, as we have now exhibited, is the evidence, that the prophecy in the text has not yet received its highest and ultimate accomplishment, but is now receiving it in the events of the present time; and such are some of the effects, which we may expect to follow these events. The application of the subject remains.

The period of the world, in which we have our probationary existence, is an eventful period. The aspect of the times is portentous in an uncommon degree. Changes and revolutions, which affect not only the peace and prosperity, but the existence of nations, are continually announced to the public. Indeed we may now say, what was said more than twelve years ago, and with still more evidence to support its truth, than then existed, that, “Wonder has succeeded wonder for so long a period, and in such regular succession, that wonders have now become the ordinary course of events, “[*Dr. Dwight’s Sermon on 4th of July, 1798]

*On July 4th, 1798, Dwight delivered an address entitled, “The Duty of Americans, at the Present Crisis,” which analyzed the downside of the French Revolution and offered a lesson to America. Dwight declared:

“Where religion prevails…a nation cannot be made slaves, nor villains, nor atheists, nor beasts. To destroy us therefore, in this dreadful sense, our enemies must first destroy our Sabbath and seduce us from the house of God. Religion and liberty are the two great objects of defensive war. Conjoined, they united all the feelings and call forth all the energies of man….

Religion and liberty are the meat and the drink of the body politic. Withdraw one of them and it languishes, consumes, and dies. If indifference to either, at any time, becomes the prevailing character of a people, one half of their motives to vigorous defense is lost, and the hopes of their enemies are proportionally increased. Here, eminently, they are inseparable.

Without religion we may possibly retain the freedom of savages, bears, and wolves, but not the freedom of New England. If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it; and nothing would be left, which would be worth defending.”

My design in selecting the text, and my single object in the preceding discourse, has been to awaken the attention of my audience in general, and particularly that of the religious Society now assembled, to the “signs of the times.” If this object have been in any degree attained, by the facts and observations now presented before you, we shall the more readily perceive, what are our appropriate duties, and be more easily persuaded to discharge them.

If there be any reasonable foundation to believe, that the representation, we have given of the present state of the world is correct, it is surely high time for us to awake out of sleep, to fix our eyes on the great events, which are passing before us; to compare them attentively with the predictions of the inspired prophets, and then to act wisely for ourselves, for our families, for the church of God, for our country, and for our fellow men in general. The course, which wisdom dictates to us with reference to these several objects, is obvious. Our first care should be for ourselves, that our own peace be made with God; knowing that there is no safety in perilous, nor indeed in any times, but in his friendship and protection. Our next care should be for our families, which are a part of ourselves, that they be diligently and faithfully instructed and governed, and so far, as depends on us, prepared to meet and endure the trials, which await them. No pious parent, who loves his offspring, and discerns the aspect of the times, will be satisfied without doing all he can, to secure their salvation. After that we should be concerned for the church, the ark of God, in which all its true members will be safe, during this stormy period of the world. Her interests should be dear to us. For her prosperity we should continually pray. “For Zion’s sake, we should not hold our peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake, we should not rest, till the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth.” While we perceive a deluge of troubles about to overwhelm the world, we should lift up our warning voice, and do what we can to persuade all, over whom we have influence, to enter into the ark, that they may be safe. Love to that country also, which our offspring after us are, to inhabit, with such scenes of trouble in prospect, should excite in us deep solicitude, and prompt our fervent prayers for its reformation, its safety, and prosperity. We should feel a tender sympathy for a suffering world, and pray that the righteous God would in mercy cut short these days of his vengeance, and hasten the period of the Redeemer’s universal reign, when his will shall be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.

These duties wisdom prescribes to us all; and the peculiar aspect of the times, and the prospect before us, imperiously demand our attentive performance of them. The friends of the Redeemer, we have reason to expect, will discern these prophetic signs of the times, and be prompted by them to vigorous exertions in his cause; but the eyes of his enemies will be closed. “The wicked shall do wickedly, and shall not understand.” Infidels, and those, who harmonize with infidels in sentiment and practice, will not perceive what God is doing in the earth. While he is using them, as instruments in his hand, to accomplish his prophecies; intent on their own purposes, they will think they are prospered. “Whom God wills to destroy, he first permits to be infatuated.” The Apostle has given us warning that there will come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue, as they were from the beginning of the creation.”[2 Peter iii. 3,4] If such characters should appear, and such language be heard, in these times, which bear so many marks of the “last days,” we shall not be surprised.

To the Christian Society now assembled, to pay their annual and united homage to God in his sanctuary, I now turn my address.

Fathers and Brethren. “The Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America,” is the first Institution of the kind established in America, and yet it is but of recent origin. It has been in operation but twenty three years. During this period, we have the satisfaction to believe that its exertions have been extensively useful, not only to the few remains of Indian tribes, still among us, but more especially to the destitute inhabitants of the eastern division of this Commonwealth, to which its attention has been hitherto principally directed. [For a particular historical account of the origin, proceedings, and present state, of this Society, see Appendix]

The grand design of this Society is sufficiently expressed by its name. This design, its members’ have endeavored, according to their means, to accomplish, by supporting Missionaries, aiding the settlement of Ministers, patronizing Schools, and distributing the holy Scriptures, and useful books of various kinds, in places where such aid seemed peculiarly important.” The funds of the Society, aided by liberal grants from the Legislature, for a course of years, and other donations of large amount, which delicacy forbids me more particularly to specify, have enabled the Society to do much in these ways, for the religious improvement of a large and very useful body of our necessitous fellow citizens. For a few of the last years, the Society has directed its attention, and a portion of its funds, to the destitute in several of the neighboring states.[To Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and Canada] The field of usefulness is every day extending; and, were the funds of the Society much larger than they are, they could be employed to great advantage in meliorating the condition, and promoting the salvation, of the ignorant and suffering part of our fellow men.

Since the establishment of this Society, many others have been instituted for like purposes, in this, and in most of the other states; and yet there is ample scope for all their exertions, and for the employment of all their means. The increase of these Institutions, the liberality with which they are supported, and the zeal with which their pious and benevolent objects are pursued, and the success with which their labors are rewarded, augur well to our country, and to the cause of our Redeemer. Let the members of this parent Society, which has led the way in these benevolent and most useful establishments, be animated with increasing zeal in their labors of love to the souls of their fellow men, and still maintain the rank they sustain, and be an example in Christian zeal and fidelity, to other similar Institutions. Let love to God, and love to men, prompt and govern all our measures and exertions; so shall we manifest that we are among the “wise, who understand,” secure the liberal patronage of the friends of the Redeemer, and best accomplish the grand object of our Institution.

Particularly let the peculiar and serious aspect of the times, and the wonderful means, which are in operation in all parts of the world, to effect the same glorious object, which we have in view, inspire us with corresponding ardor to be co-workers with our fellow Christians, and with God, in alleviating the miseries, which have already come, and are fast thickening, upon our guilty world, and which are preparing the way for the millennial peace.

To our efforts let us join our prayers and say, “Arise, Oh Lord, let thy work appear before thy servants, and let the whole earth be filled with thy glory.” Let the united prayers of the multitudes of thy saints on earth come up before, thee, as incense, that the great voices may soon be heard in heaven, saying, “Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever, Amen.”

NOTES

Note A.

ABOUT two hundred and seventy years before the birth of Christ, the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into the Greek language, and deposited in the famous Alexandrian Library, by Ptolemy Philadelphus, one of the kings of Egypt.* Here they remained neglected, till the time of our Savior. At this period this version was rescued from obscurity, and brought into use among all who spoke the Greek language, heathens as well as Jews. Our Savior and his Apostles all quoted this version, as did the primitive fathers. All the Greek churches used it, and the bible of the Latin churches, was a translation of it. The converted nations had the Scriptures translated into their language ‘ from this version, as the Illyrian, the Gothic, the Arabic, the Ethiopic, the Armenian, and the Syriac.

It is remarkable, that at the time when the Septuagint translation of the Scriptures was made, God had brought under the dominion of the Greeks, by the instrumentality of Alexander the Great, all the eastern nations of the world; and that they continued members of the Grecian Empire, at the time of our Savior, and during the period of the first propagation of the Gospel. “In this manner did God remarkably prepare the way for the preaching of the Gospel, which was then approaching, and facilitate the union of so many nations of different languages and manners into one society, and the same worship and doctrines, by the instrumentality of the purest, most copious, and correct language in the world, and which became common to all the countries, which were conquered by Alexander.”[ Rollin’s Ancient History, vol. vi.p. 79. Etheridge’s edition]

* Various fabulous and contradictory accounts of this translation have been given by Aristeat, and other authors. Those who wish to see a full and satisfactory view of this whole subject, may consult Pridcaux’s Connections of the Old and New Testament, part ii. chap. i. p. 28—64.

Note B.

The late movements among the Jews, particularly the convocation of the Grand Sanhedrim at Paris by Bonaparte, This Assembly consisted of 111 members. (July 15th, 1806,) may be considered as distant indications that the period of their dispersion is drawing to a close, and that a way. preparing for their return to the holy land. In remarking on this extraordinary assembly and its designs, it has been said, “The Deputies from the Dutch Jews and those from Frankfort on the Main, have been admitted into the Sanhedrim of France and Italy, and have declared their determination to adhere to its decisions. It will doubtless be the policy of Bonaparte, to attach to his person and government, the whole body of this dispersed, and enterprising people, and to avail himself of their services in promoting his ambitious views. The ready entrance, which they obtain into every country of Europe, makes them peculiarly fit instruments for his purposes.”[Christian Observer, vol vi. p. 405.] What effects are to follow from this meeting of the Grand Sanhedrim, and in what ways it may tend to effect the return of this scattered people to the country of their ancestors, cannot be foreseen.

This extraordinary people, by a standing miracle, have been preserved for nearly 1800 years, distinct from all the nations among which they have been dispersed. By means of their holy scriptures they have maintained a general uniformity in their religious faith, and a knowledge of their original language, in which they can readily converse, and maintain intercourse with each other. The meeting and transactions of this Grand Assembly may therefore be intended by Divine Providence, (though the Emperor of France, who convoked it, doubtless had quite different objects in view,) to give rise to a more intimate and extensive connection and correspondence between the scattered remains of the tribes of Israel, wherever they are found, and to lay plans for combining their pecuniary means, and their influence in effecting, in due time, not merely the ambitious views of an earthly monarch, but the purposes of Heaven, and the object of the desire and expectation of this people, viz. a return to the holy land. The following extracts from the work alluded to, give countenance to these conjectures

The learned and eloquent President [Abraham Furtado, of Bourdeaux] of this Sanhedrim, in an address to the Commissioners of the Emperor, has the following sentence. “Methinks I see the muse holding her immortal burin, and tracing on her adamant table, amidst so many deeds, which make this reign so conspicuous, that which the hero of the age has done to destroy utterly the barrier raised between nations, and the scattered remains of the most ancient people.” This expression marks the extent of the views of this Assembly.

In a communication of the Emperor to the Sanhedrim arc the following passages, from which some of his views may be collected, that have a bearing on the subject in question.

“In return for his gracious protection, His Majesty requires a religious pledge for the strict adherence to the principles contained in your answers. This assembly, constituted as it is now, could not of itself give such a security. Its answers, converted into decisions by another assembly, of a nature still more dignified and more religious, must find a place near the Talmud, and thus acquire, in the eyes of the Jews of all countries and of all ages, the greatest possible authority. It is also the only means left to you to meet the grand and generous views of His Majesty, and to impart, to all of your persuasion, the blessings of this new era.

“The purity of your law has, no doubt, been altered by the crowd of commentators, and the diversity of their opinions must have thrown doubts in the minds of those who read them. It will be then a most important service, conferred on the whole Jewish-community, to fix their belief on those points which have been submitted to you. To find, in the history of Israel, an assembly capable of attaining the object now in view, we must go back to the Great Sanhedrim, and it is the Great Sanhedrim, which His Majesty this day intends to convene. This senate, destroyed together with the temple, will rise again to enlighten the people it formerly governed: although dispersed throughout the whole world, it will bring back the Jews to the true meaning of the law, by giving interpretations, which shall set aside the corrupted glosses of commentators; it will teach them to love and to defend the country they inhabit; it will convince them that the land, where, for the first time since their dispersion, they have been able to raise their voice, is entitled to all those sentiments, which rendered their ancient country so dear to them.

“Lastly, the Great Sanhedrim, according to ancient custom, will be composed of seventy members, exclusive of the President. The duties of the Great Sanhedrim shall be to convert into religious doctrines the answers already given by this assembly, and likewise, those which may result from the continuance of your sittings.

“For you will observe, Gentlemen, your mission is not fulfilled; it will last as long as that of the Great Sanhedrim, which will only ratify your answers and give them a greater weight; His Majesty is, besides, too well satisfied with your zeal and with the purity of your intentions, to dissolve this assembly before the accomplishment of the great work in which you are called to assist.

“In the first instance it is fit that you should name by ballot a committee of nine members to prepare, with us, the groundwork of our future discussions, and of the decisions of the Sanhedrim. You will observe that the Portuguese, German, and Italian Jews, are equally represented in this committee. We also invite you to acquaint the several Synagogues of Europe of the meeting of the Great Sanhedrim without delay, that they may send deputies able to give to government additional information, and worthy of communicating with you.”

The Sanhedrim, in reply to the Emperor’s communication, say, that “his Majesty the Emperor, in allowing the formation of a Great Sanhedrim, has anticipated the wishes and the wants of all those, who profess the religion of Moses, in Europe, &c.” They direct “That a proclamation shall be addressed by this Assembly to all the Synagogues of the French Empire, of Italy, and of Europe, to acquaint them, that” on the 20th of October next, (1806,) the Great Sanhedrim will open in Paris, under the protection, and by the special permission of his Majesty.”

In the address of the Israelites of Frankfort on the Main, to the Grand Sanhedrim, are the following expressions indicative of their views.

“May the glorious example of France extend beyond the limits of its Empire.’ May the humanity of its sovereign gain ground over the whole earth, and produce a noble sentiment of emulation, by which we shall be admitted to share the happiness of our brethren, instead of a barren sentiment of admiration! May the Rulers of mankind lend an attentive ear to the mournful voice of an insulted nation! O Divine Goodness! deign to cast a look of mercy on a people formerly the object of thy complacency? Inspire the masters of the world! Move their hearts in favor Israel!”

The President, in his reply, echoes these sentiments in the following language.

“The impulse given by France, the influence of its opinions on the European continent, indulge a hope that many states will be proud to follow its example.

“The time will come when people shall no longer give vent to those odious and ridiculous passions which were gratified by our humiliation.

“The career of esteem and of consideration is open for us let us enter it with a bold step; let us divest ourselves of the rust of prejudices. Thus shall we conquer the prejudices of others.”

In 1809, a society was formed in London for the express purpose of promoting the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. They commenced their active labors in March, of this year. From their report in November following, it appears that their benevolent efforts are likely to be extensively useful. A chapel has been opened for Rev. Mr. Frey, who preaches Sabbath evenings, to a crowded audience, many of them Jews. Their free school, not confined however to Jews, contains upwards of 300 children. One of the principal Jews in the kingdom, has lately been baptized, and made vice president of the society. A learned Rabbi lately from Palestine, has embraced the Christian faith, and is placed under able instruction, in hope that he may become a minister of the gospel, in due time among his brethren in his native country.[Christian Observer, vol. viii. p. 739.]

From the foregoing, the reader will perceive, that the first steps, in Divine Providence, toward a return of the Jews to the Holy Land, are probably already taken, in the events now brought into view. The Grand Sanhedrin, of Europe,* composed of representatives from every community in this quarter of the world, under the protection and direction of the Emperor of France, may, it is conceived, at no great distance of time, attach to itself, and bring under its influence and control, all the scattered remains of this people throughout the globe. Such a course of events, with the concurring efforts to convert them to the faith of the Gospel, it is easy to perceive, prepares the way, and very naturally leads on to their return agreeably to prophecy, to the land of their fathers.

* Europe contains probably one half the whole number of Jews on the globe; and these embrace almost the whole of the learning and talents of the nation. More than 13,000 Jews inhabit the single city of Prague.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name. After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them from out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them anymore there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”[ Ezekiel xxxix. 25, to the end.]

Note C.

The Russians were the first to survey the North West coast of America. After them, Cook, Meares, Dixon, Vancouver, La Perouse, and many other able navigators, American as well as European, have almost perfected our knowledge of this coast. Mr. Hearne, in 1769, to 1772, and Mr. Mackenzie, in 1789, proceeding from the English settlements on Hudson’s Bay in different courses to the N. W. visited the Frozen Ocean. In 1792, 1798, the latter gentleman had the honor of being the first European, who visited the Pacific Ocean, by an inland journey from the English settlements above named. Captains Clarke and Lewis, under the auspices of our own government, have since visited this Ocean in another direction. And I am informed, that a little colony is already on the way, partly by land across the continent, but principally by water, with a view to plant themselves on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of Columbia river. The Russians have a settlement on this coast further North, which, according to Hassel, consists of about 800 souls.[Hassel’s Tables, 1809] In Greenland, the Danish government have a colony of 6,100 souls. The British colonies are spreading their settlements around Hudson Bay, on the Labrador coast, (of which country Mr. Cartwright has published an interesting description,) and in Upper Canada. The enterprising inhabitants of the United States are already in companies passing the Mississippi, and planting themselves in the newly acquired territory of Louisiana. Journeys from the Atlantic states, to the Pacific Ocean, will probably soon become as common, and excite as little public attention, as a voyage round the world.

Note D.

In Greenland the United Brethren, or Moravians, and the Danes, support missionaries, at Lichtenau, Newherrnhut, and Lichtenfels; the former place is surrounded by heathen inhabitants, among whom the missionaries arc laboring with zeal and success. But the inhabitants around the other two settlements, consist chiefly of persons baptized by the Brethren, and educated in Christian principles. Those, who do not belong to the Brethren’s church, have all been baptized by the Danish missionaries, so that No Trace Of Paganism Is Now Left In That Neighborhood. [See the 38th No. of the periodical accounts of the Brethren. 1804.]

In Labrador the Moravians have missionaries stationed at Okkak, Nain, and Hopedale. In this cold and dreary region, among the poor Esquimaux,[Eskimo] these intrepid soldiers of Jesus Christ, are pursuing their labors with increasing “joy and thankfulness.” One of their reports[See No. 39.] States, that the poor Indians, “were remarkably diligent in their attendance upon Divine worship; and seemed to take great delight in every opportunity afforded them to hear the gospel.” These missionaries had established schools for the instruction of young men, which are represented as in a flourishing state.

This exemplary sect of Christians, the United Brethren, have missionaries established also at Fairfield, in Upper Canada; among the Chippeway Indians, on the Tonquakamick; at Petquotting, on the river of the Hurons; at Goshen, and among the Delaware Indians, on the Wabash;* in Surinam, South America, at Paramaribo, Bombey, and Hoop, on the Corentyn; also, in the Danish West India Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Jan. In these islands they have five settlements, in which the number of Negroes in their congregations amounted, in 1807, to 10,557. In 1805, 207 adult negroes were added to these churches by baptism.[See No. 46, of their Periodical Accounts.] To Demerara, Monte Video, Buenos Ayres, and other stations in South America, and in several of the West India Islands, missionaries have been sent from England; and a number also into Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the other British colonies north of the United States. Add to these, the various religious associations in the United States support missionaries among the Cherokee Indians in Tennessee; the Wyandots, at Sandusky, on Lake Erie; the Oneidas, and the remains of the Stockbridge tribe in New York; the Marshpee and Vineyard Indians in Massachusetts, and the Narragansetts, at Charlestown, Rhode Island. And beside these are supported a great number of temporary and stationary missionaries, along the extensive frontier of the United States, and in the destitute parts of their interior settlements.

* This tribe, within a few years, has been visited by a Delegation from the Stockbridge Indians, (who are under the care of Rev. Mr. Sergeant) at the head of which is Captain Hendrick, with a view to introduce among them the Christian religion, and the useful arts. This mission has been patronized, and, in part supported, by The Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians, &c. A school was to be established here, and a master of the Stockbridge tribe was engaged, and went on with the Delegation, to keep it. See Appendix.

Note E.

Without pretending to a precise knowledge on the subject, we reckon within the limits of the United States, at least thirty Missionary Societies of different descriptions and denominations of Christians; and fifteen Bible Societies; the latter, all instituted within the last three years, and three fourths of them within the last year.

Theological Institutions have been established at New York, (1805,) by the Associate Reformed Church; the stated number of students from about 10 to 15. Also at Andover, in Massachusetts, (1808,) the whole number of students since admitted, between sixty and seventy.* And at New Brunswick, New Jersey,(l 810,) by the Dutch Reformed Church, which is just commencing its operations. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church,

* Four of these, viz. Messrs. Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, and Samuel J. Mills, have already devoted themselves to missionary labors in foreign countries, and two others are destined to a mission in the interior of Georgia, and arc on their way thither; at their meeting’ in May last, resolved on founding a similar institution somewhere within their bounds, and are collecting the necessary funds for the purpose. Besides these, there are funds to a considerable amount attached to the Colleges at Cambridge and Princeton, and to the Academies at Exeter,(N.H.) and Andover, (Mass.) for the support of theological students.

Institutions of this kind, and particularly for the purpose of educating missionaries, are established at Gosport in England, where in 1807, there were thirteen students; also at Hoxton, England, and at Berlin, in Prussia, wherein 1805, were five students.

Note F.

Among other establishments alluded to, which have in view the benefit of the inhabitants of this benighted quarter of the world, I have pleasure in mentioning, particularly, “the African Institution,” to which the abolition of the slave trade gave rise, and which was formed in London in April, 1807. Its members in point of rank, talents, wealth, and good influence, are among the first characters in England.

The objects of this noble institution, and the means of effecting them, will be best learned, by the following extracts from their Rules and Regulations.

Resolved, 1. That this Meeting is deeply impressed with a sense of the enormous wrongs which the natives of Africa have suffered in their intercourse with Europe; and from a desire to repair those wrongs, as well as from general feelings of benevolence, is anxious to adopt such measures as are best calculated to promote their civilization and happiness.

2. “That the approaching cessation of the Slave Trade hitherto carried on by Great Britain, America, and Denmark, will, in a considerable degree, remove the barrier which has so long obstructed the natural course of social improvement in Africa; and that the way will be thereby opened for introducing the comforts and arts of a more civilized state of society.

3. “That the happiest effects may be reasonably anticipated from diffusing useful knowledge, and exciting industry among the inhabitants of Africa, and from obtaining and circulating throughout this country more ample and authentic information concerning the agricultural and commercial faculties of that vast continent.

4. “That the present period is eminently fitted for prosecuting these benevolent designs; since the suspension, during the. war, of that large share of the Slave Trade, which has commonly been carried on by France, Spain, and Holland, will, when combined with the effect of the Abolition Laws of Great Britain, America, and Denmark, produce nearly the entire cessation of that traffic along a line of coast extending between two and three thousand miles in length, and thereby afford a peculiarly favorable opportunity for giving a new direction to the industry and commerce of Africa.

“To prevent misconception concerning the views and measures of the African Institution, it may be proper in the first instance to declare, that it is the Society’s fixed determination not to undertake any religious mission, and not to engage in commercial speculations. The Society is aware that there already exist several most respectable Institutions formed for the diffusion of Christianity, and means not to encroach on their province. It may also be proper to premise, that it will naturally become the duty and care of the Society, to watch over the execution of the laws, recently enacted in this and other countries, for abolishing the African Slave Trade; to endeavor to prevent the infraction of those laws; and from time to time to suggest any means by which they may be rendered more effectual to their objects; and likewise to endeavor, by communicating information, and by other appropriate methods, to promote the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by Foreign powers.

“The means which it is proposed to employ for the purpose of promoting civilization and improvement in Africa are of the following kind.

1. “To collect and diffuse, throughout this country, accurate information respecting the natural productions of Africa, and, in general, respecting the agricultural and commercial capacities of the African Continent, and the intellectual, moral, and political condition of its inhabitants.

2. “To promote the instruction of the Africans in letters and in useful knowledge, and to cultivate a friendly connection with the natives of that Continent.

3. “To endeavor to enlighten the minds of the Africans with respect to their true interests; and to diffuse information amongst them respecting the means whereby they may improve the present opportunity of substituting a beneficial commerce in place of the Slave Trade.

4. “To introduce amongst them such of the improvements and useful arts of Europe as are suited to their condition.

5. “To promote the cultivation of the African soil, not only by exciting and directing the industry of the natives, but by furnishing, where it may appear advantageous to do so, useful seeds and plants, and implements of husbandry.

6. “To introduce amongst the inhabitants beneficial medical discoveries.

7. “To obtain a knowledge of the principal languages of Africa, and, as has already been found to be practicable, to reduce them to writing, with a view to facilitate the diffusion of information among the natives of that country.

8. “To employ suitable agents and to establish correspondences as shall appear advisable, and to encourage and reward individual enterprise and exertion in promoting any of the purposes of the institution.”

The subscriptions to this institution have been very liberal,”‘ and the prospect of success encouraging. The aid of the United States, through the Secretary of the Association has been solicited in a correspondence with the President of the Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery in the United States, and with other American gentlemen of respectability. In one of his letters he states the strong reasons, which exist, to induce the American government and the American public, actively to co-operate in accomplishing the plans of this Institution.

“The success,” he says, “of any endeavors for the civilization of Africa, must depend on the degree in which the continuance of the Slave Trade on that coast can be prevented. Much has been done by the legislative enactments of Great Britain and America. Your Congress however, do not seem to have been aware of the subtle evasions, which men, practiced in this trade of blood, would have recourse to, in the prosecution of their nefarious practices. Accordingly, it appears, that American ships, using the Swedish, Spanish, and Portuguese flags, and some even sailing under their own, have appeared in the African seas, for the purpose of procuring slaves, to carry to the colonies of Spain, Portugal, Sec. What is wanted in order to destroy this system is, in the first place, an act of Congress, rendering it highly penal in any American citizen, to be engaged in this trade, either as a capitalist, or as an agent, under any flag, or under any circumstances. But above all, a contract or agreement between Great Britain and America, that the cruisers of both nations shall be empowered indiscriminately, and mutually to enforce their Abolition laws. At present, the American laws prohibiting the foreign Slave Trade, are a dead letter, because they have no cruisers on the coast of Africa, or in the tropical latitudes, to carry them into effect. If once, however, it were understood, that these piratical violators of the laws of their own country, as well as of the dearest rights of humanity, were obnoxious to seizure by British cruisers, and to subsequent condemnation, much more would be done in a few months to remove the grand obstacle, to the improvement of Africa, than could otherwise be effected in a series of years. On this subject the gentlemen above mentioned have been strongly solicited to use their influence to produce a willingness, on the part of the government of the United States, to accede to such an agreement, to which I am persuaded there would be no objection on this side of the water; and from which many happy effects, not only to Africa, but to ourselves also, might be anticipated. The cooperation of the two countries, in one common purpose of benevolence would serve, it might be hoped, to draw more closely the bond of union between them, and would unquestionably strengthen in the minds of all benevolent men, the existing motives for desiring a perfect amity to be perpetuated between them.”

It is hoped that the American government and people are not wanting in a disposition to lend their legislative aid and private influence, to the accomplishment of an object, which, when understood in all its contemplated consequences, cannot fail to excite the warmest approbation, and even admiration, of every humane, upright, and liberal mind.