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impair its vigor. It recognises all the treasures of human knowledge as concentrated in the Koran, and condemns every thing which is not found there as spurious and vile; when the character of the Koran is actually such that he who should have learned every thing which it contains,—though he would have learned something that was true and valuable,-would yet have gathered fables and absurdities enough to neutralize it. But Christianity, on the contrary, powerfully impels to intellectual action. First of all, she enlightens man in respect to his destiny; and brings to his view a reward which is worthy of his intellectual nature. She presses him with his responsibility both to God and man for the cultivation of his powers; she leads him into a field of glorious discoveries, and brings him in contact with truths which the mind cannot steadily contemplate without having its faculties invigorated; and finally she opens a passage into the understanding through the affections by refining and elevating them, so as to render them a proper medium for the communication of intellectual light. And thus it appears not only that genuine Christianity has always been the friend, and Mohamedism always the foe, of mental improvement, but from the nature of the case it always must be so, while each retains its appropriate constitution.
2. Mohamedism has exerted a withering influence; Christianity, a fostering influence, on the moral virtues.
The spirit which characterized Mohamed he succeeded so admirably in incorporating into his system, that his followers in every age have been most strikingly imbued with his own prominent peculiarities. Particularly, the inveterate enmity which he manifested towards all who refused to acknowledge his authority, has been
propagated through all the generations of his disciples ; and at this day it is enough for a Mohamedan to know that the man whom he meets does not acknowledge the authority of the Prophet, to justify it to his conscience in refusing to him the common offices of humanity, or, as the case may be, in bathing his hands in his blood. Every nation which has embraced the Mohamedan faith regards all other nations with an implacable hatred; and if they are restrained from openly oppressive and violent acts, it is only from a consciousness of their inability to triumph in the conflict which such a course would involve. And with this unsocial and hostile spirit as it respects other nations, has been uniformly connected the almost unrestrained indulgence of the baser passions ;-vices in the practice of which man seems to forget his alliance to any other species than the brutes. Truth and justice, purity and charity,—though, as words, they may have a place in the vocabulary of the Mussulman, yet, as living qualities, constitute no part of his character.
I surely need not undertake to prove to you that whatsoever things are pure, lovely, honest and of good report, are among the legitimate fruits of Christianity. And wherever this religion has prevailed in any tolerable degree of purity, these fruits have been delightfully manifest. It has constituted, and every thing indicates that it is destined in a still higher degree to constitute, a sort of common bond of union among the nations by whom it is professed; and while it has inspired them with more liberal sentiments, bringing them to regard each other as belonging to one universal family, it has served greatly to increase their mutual intercourse, and thus render them instrumental of promoting the common prosperity. Let true Christianity become universal, and
if any thing is to be known by the past and the present, national jealousies and discords will be entirely banished, and the earth will bloom into one bright field of publick and private virtue.
Here again, you need only glance at the two systems to perceive the tendencies to virtue in the one, the tendencies to vice in the other. Some of the first principles of Mohamedism are utterly subversive of the social and moral virtues; and no man can practically adopt them, but that his heart must become as dark as midnight, and as cold as winter. But every thing belonging to Christianity is adapted to form the soul to the love and practice of virtue. She requires virtue in the highest perfection; she proffers to it the noblest reward; she furnishes all needed motives and helps to the attainment of it; and whoever yields to her influence, must, from the necessity of the case, possess a truly virtuous character.
3. Mohamedism has always been identified with a despotick government: Christianity has connected her. self indiscriminately with every form of government.
In its very nature Mohamedism is a system of tyranny. It proposes nothing less than to take a despotick cognizance of the whole man—body and spirit; and every nation that receives the Koran, thereby tamely surrenders its rights, and consents to be ruled with a rod of iron. Hence we find that, wherever this religion has prevailed, freedom, if it have before existed, has become extinct; and nations have worn with the most abject submission the chains that have been forged for them. No matter in what part of the world their lot may have been cast, or to what diversity of physical influences they may have been subjected; no matter what may have been their previous character, or their previous his
tory; from the hour they have embraced the Mohamedan faith, their condition in this respect has been the same,--that of entire subjection to an absolute despot; and if ages have since rolled over them, they have been ages of deep and ignoble servitude. The successors of Mohamed, though they do not claim his prophetical character, do claim his regal authority; and in the exercise of that authority, are as stern, and oppressive, and unrelenting, as was the original founder of the system.
But the Christian religion, instead of being the exclusive ally of despotism, much less being in its constitution essentially despotick, has linked itself with all the various forms of government which exist upon the earth. In the few instances in which it has been associated with a despotick government, it has served, at least to some extent, to limit its usurpations and mitigate its severity; and in proportion to the degree of purity in which it exists, just and liberal views of the science of government are found to prevail. It is the progress of publick opinion enlightened and guided by Christianity which is gradually working a change in the different governments on the continent of Europe; and one great reason why that change is not more rapid is, that Christianity in those countries works at great disadvantage, from being still burdened for the most part with a mass of corruptions. The more free and popular governments of Great Britain and of our own country are monuments of the liberalizing influence of our religion ;-pledges that the universal prevalence of Christianity will be the harbinger of the universal triumph of freedom.
After what has been said, I hardly need add,
4. That Mohamedism has maintained a steady war against human happiness: Christianity has scattered innumerable blessings over the path of life.
For how can it be imagined otherwise, when we take into view the opposite influences which the two systems exert upon the character and condition of man? Is not intelligence an ingredient in human happiness? Is not a deep and debasing ignorance to be deprecated as an evil? Christianity refines and exalts the intellect, and causes it to become fruitful in great and burning thoughts, and guides it through fields of truth and glory which it is a luxury to traverse; while Mobamedism keeps the soul always in chains, and represses its native longings for knowledge, and shuts it up to the view of objects which have a tendency to bring over it the rust of inaction. Are not the social virtues adapted to make man happy? And is not misery legitimately generated by selfishness and licentiousness, by all the baser and all the fiercer passions ? Christianity inculcates universal purity and good will; and so far as her influence is permitted to operate, she forms man to a benevolent temper, and makes him studious of promoting the happiness of his fellow man; while Mohamedism inspires him with malignant distrust and savage cruelty, and even arms him with weapons to shed his brother's blood. Is not Freedom the sister of Charity, the mother of social happiness ? Are not degradation and debasement the legitimate offspring of Servitude? But Christianity breaks the rod of the tyrant and lets the oppressed go free; while Mohamedism rules not only with an iron but a bloody sceptre, and spurns at the very name of Liberty as if it were a curse to the world. Now I ask again, does not the one system combine in a high degree the elements of human happiness; the other in an equal degree the elements of human wo? Can you conceive of a nation that is intelligent, virtuous and free, that is not happy? Can you conceive of a nation sunk in ig,