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The Millennial Harbinger abridged (Volume 1) online

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you not in your own experience, irrefragable evidence that the uncon-
trolled indulgence of even the instinctive appetites, as well as the
gratification of inordinate passions and affections, necessarily issue in
the destruction of the physical constitution of man. Is not the control
of reason, is not the exercise of discretion in the license of every animal
indulgence essential to the health and life of man? Then why crave
an exemption from the universal law of human existence, in favor of
that demoralizing course of indulgence which you fain call innocent
in morals, though in physics evidently destructive to animal organi-

When reconciled to God through the gospel, the peace of God which
passes understanding reigning in the heart, all is order and harmony
within. Then, under the control of enlightened and sanctified reason,
all the passions, appetites, and instincts of our nature, like the planets
round the sun, move in their respective orbits in the most perfect good
order, preserving a perfect balance in all the principles and powers
of human action. Pleasures without alloy are then felt and enjoyed
from a thousand sources, from which, in the tumult and disorder of
rebellion, every transgressor is debarred. It is then found that there
is not a supernumerary passion, affection, nor appetite in man^not
one that adds not something to his enjoyment — not one that may not
be made an instrument of righteousness, a means of doing good to
others, as well as of enjoying good yourselves. Why not, then, lay
down the weapons of your rebellion, and be at peace with God, with
your fellow creatures, and with yourselves?

"Admitting, then, that the gospel is true — that in my present state
and standing 1 am an alien from the kingdom of heaven, and that I
wished to become a citizen, where shall I find this kingdom of heaven.


and how shall I be constituted a citizen thereof?" Well, indeed, may
you admit the gospel to be true, both on account of what it is in itself,
and the evidence which sustains it. Only suppose it to be false —
extinguish all the light which it sheds on the human race — make void
all its promises — annul all its hopes — eradicate from the human breast
all the motives which it imparts; and what remains to explain the
universe, to develop the moral character of God, to dissipate the gloom
which envelops in eternal night the destiny of man, to solace and
cheer him during the incessant struggle of life, to soothe the bed of
affliction and death, and to countervail that inward dread and horror
of falling into nothing — of being forever lost in the promiscuous wreck
of nature — of sinking down into the grave, the food of worms, the
prey of an eternal death?

It is like annihilating the sun in the heavens. An eternal night
ensues. There is no beauty, form, nor comeliness in creation. The
universe is in ruins. The world without the Bible is a universe with-
out a sun. The Atheist is but an atom of matter in motion, belonging
to no system, amenable to none, without a destiny, without an object
to live or to die. He boasts there is none to punish him: but then
there is none to help him — none to reward him. He has no Father,
proprietor, or ruler — no filial affection, no sense of obligation, no
gratitude, no comfort in reflection, no joy in anticipation. If he can
not be blamed, he can not be praised — if he can not be praised, he
can not be honored — and man without honor is more wretched than
the beasts that perish. Unenviable mortal!

What an abortion is the system of nature, if man lives not again!
'Tis a creation for the sake of destruction. 'Tis an infinite series of
designs, ending in nothing. 'Tis a universe of blanks, vdthout a single
prize. It can not be. The Bible is necessary to the interpretation of
nature. It is the only comment on nature — on proAadence — on man.
Man without it, and without the hope of immortality, has nothing
to rouse him into action. He is a savage, a Hottentot, a cannibal, a
worm. You are compelled, then, to admit that the gospel is true,
of Nature.
unless you put out the eye of Reason, and refuse to hear the voice

But is it not a happy necessity which compels your belief in God,
and in his Son the renovator of the Universe? It opens to you all the
mysteries of creation, the arcana of the temple of nature, and inducts
you to the fountain of being and of bliss. It inspires you with motives
of high and lofty enterprise, stimulates you to manly action, and
points out a prize worthy of the best efforts of body, soul, and spirit.
Is it not, then, "a credible saying, and worthy of universal acceptance,
that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief"?


But you ask, "Where shall the kiugdom of heaven be found, and
how may you be constituted a citizen of it?" The Prophets and the
Apostles must be your guide in deciding these great questions. Mosea
in the law, all the Prophets, and all the Apostles point you to the
Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world — the Apostle of the
Father Almighty — the divinely constituted Chief of the kingdom of
heaven. He has submitted his claims to your examination — he has
invited you to test all his pretensions — and to the humble and docile
he has tendered all necessary assistance in deciding upon his person
and mission.

His character is so familiar, so condescending, so full of all grace
and goodness, that all may approach him. The halt, the maimed, tho
deaf, the dumb, the blind, find in him a friend and physician indeed.
None importunes his aid in vain. His ears are always open to the
tale of woe. His eye streams with sympathy on every object of dis-
tress. He invites all the wretched, and repulses none who implore
relief. He chides only the proud, and kindly receives and blesses thd
humble. He invites and beseeches the weary, the heavy laden, the
broken hearted, the oppressed, and all the sons of want and misfortune
to come to him, and tenders relief to all.

In his official dignity he presides over tlie universe. He is the
High Priest of God and the Prophet and Messenger of Peace. He has
the key of David; he opens and shuts the Paradise of God. He is thtj
only Potentate, and has the power of granting remission of all sins to
all who obey him.

To receive him in his personal glory and official dignity and
supremacy, as the Messiah of God, the only begotten of the Father —
to know him in his true and proper character, is the only prerequisite
to the obedience of faith. He that thus accredits him is not far from
the kingdom of heaven.

To assume him as your Prophet, your High Priest, and your King;
to submit to him in these relations, being immersed into his death, will
translate you into the kingdom of heaven. Why not, then, gladly and
immediately yield him the admiration of your understanding and the
homage of your heart? Why not now enter into the possession of all
the riches, and fullness, and excellence of the kingdom? He com-
mands all men to repent — he beseeches every sinner whom he addresses
in his word, to receive pardon and eternal life as a gracious gift.

Can you doubt his power to save, to instruct and to sanctify you
for heaven? Can you doubt his condescending mercy and compa.sslon?
Will not he that pitied the blind Bartimeus. that condole^l with the
widow of Nain, that wept with Mary and Martha at the grave of
Lazarus, that heard the plea of the Syrophenician woman, that


cleansed the supplicating leper, that compassionated the famishing mul-
titudes, and looked with pity (even in the agonies of the cross) upon
an importuning thief, have pity upon you and every returning prodigal
who sues for mercy at the gate of his kingdom?

Is there in the universe one whom you can believe with more assur-
ance than the Faithful and True Witness, who, in the presence of
Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession at the hazard of his life?
Is there any person in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, more
worthy of your confidence than the sinner's friend — than he who
always, and in all circumstances, bore testimony to the truth? When
did he ever violate his word, or suffer his promise to fail? Who ever
repented of his confidence in Jesus, or of relying implicitly upon his
word? Who ever was put to shame because of confidence in him?

Who can offer such inducements to obedience to his authority as
the Saviour of the world? Who has such power to bless? He has all
authority in heaven and on earth. He has power to forgive sins, to
raise the dead, to bestow immortality and eternal life, and to judge the
living and the dead. And has he not tendered all his official authority
to every one who submits to his government, and who by him is
reconciled to God? If he have wisdom and power divine, has he not
pledged these to the relief, guidance, and benefit of his people? Who
can injure them under his protection — condemn whom he justifies —
criminate whom he pardons — or snatch out of his hands those who
betake themselves to his mercy?

Was there ever love like his love — compassion like his compassion
— or condescension like his condescension? Who ever couid — who ever
did humble himself like the Son of God? On whose cheek ever flowed
tears of purer sympathy for human woe, than those he shed? Whose
bowels ever moved with such compassion as that which dissolved his
heart in tender mercies for the afflicted sons and daughters of men?
Who ever for his friends endured such contradiction of sinners against
himself; submitted to such indignities; sustained such accumulated
sorrows and griefs; suffered such agonies of mind and body, as those
which he endured in giving his life an offering for his enemies? For-
saken by his God, abandoned by all his friends, deserted of every stay,
surrounded by the fiercest enemies, the most implacable foes, whose
hearts were harder than adamant, insulting the very pangs which they
Inflicted, he expired upon the accursed tree! The heavens blushed at
the sight — the sun covered his face — the earth trembled — the rocks
split — the veil of the cemple was rent from top to bottom — and
graves opened. All nature stood horror-stricken when Roman soldiers,
instigated by blood-thirsty priests, nailed him to the cross — when the
chief priests, scribes, and elders in derision said, "He saved others; can


not he save himself?" The person wlio perceives not, who feels not
the eloquence of his love consummated in hLs death — the tenderness cf
bis entreaties and expostulations, is not to be reasoned with — is not to
be moved by human power. Will you not, then, honor your reason
by honoring the Son of God — by giving up your understanding, your
wills, your affections to the teachings of the Good Spirit — to the g\iid-
ance of his love? Then, and only then, can you, will you feel yourselves
safe, secure, and happy.

Need you to be reminded how much you are indebted to his long-
suffering patience already — to his benevolence in all the gifts and Iwun-
ties of his providence vouchsafed to you? How many days and nights
has he guarded, sustained and succored you? Has he not saved you
from ten thousand dangers — from the pestilence that walketh in dark-
ness secretly, and from destruction that wasteth at noon day? Who can
tell but he has lengthened out your unprofitable existence to tliis very
hour that you might now repent of all your sins, turn to God with
your whole heart, be baptized for the remission of your past transgres-
sions, be adopted into the family of God, and yet receive an inheritance
among all the sanctified? Arise, then, in the strength of Israel's God
— accept salvation at his hands — enter into his kingdom, and be for-
ever blessed. You will not, you can not repent of such a step, of such
a noble surrender of yourself while life endures, in the hour of death,
in the day of judgment, nor during the endless succession of ages in
eternity. To-day, then, hear his voice: to-morrow may be forever too

late! All things are ready Come! Saints on earth, and angels

in heaven — apostles, prophets, and martyrs will rejoice over you — and
you will rejoice with them forever and forever. Amen!

BOOK yi.




The Harbinger of 1835, page 154, et seq., contained:

Preparatory to our new series on the reasons of our faith and hope
in Cod, we present our readers a brief view of Mahometanism, Juda-
ism, and Christianity, as at present existing in the world.


Mahometanism, or Islamism, is the religion founded upon the
Koran of Mahomet. It may be considered a mixture of Judaism and
Christianity, with some fanciful embellishments. Mahometans are
divided into two sects, those of Omar and Ali. The former prevails
in Turkey and Arabia, the latter in Persia. There is a fixed hostility
between these two divisions of Mahometan faith. Absurd, false, and
sensual as is this religion, it yet exerts its influence over at least 100,-
000,000 of people, among whom are the inhabitants of Turkey, Arabia,
Persia, Tartary, and the northern and eastern parts of Africa. There
is reason to believe, however, that the Mahometan religion, at the
present time, i.s rapidly declining with the decline of power in those
nations who have hitherto sustained it.

This vast company of religious professors take their name from
Mahomet, who was born at Mecca, a city in Arabia Felix, in 571. The
circumstances of Mahomet's early life were such as presented no flat-
tering prospects of grandeur, and no probable views of ambition to
his future life. He was illiterate, obscure, and very poor, till he mar-
ried Cadigha, a widow of considerable property, for whom he had
acted, for a number of years, as a mercantile agent, so much to her
satisfaction, that she in return gave him the command of her property
and person. This alliance, which took place in the 25th year of his
age. raised him to an equality with the richest citizens in Mecca, and
laid the foundation of his future fortune; and from this i)eriod. It is
supposed, ho began to meditate those schemes which raised him to
eminence and power.

Character of Mahomet. — This is differently represented by different
writers. His followers of course consider him as the model of per-
fection, and as superior to all other men who ever lived upon the
earth ; a.s the chosen and favored instrument of God for the greatest
good to mankind. Some describe him as a man of the most consum-



mate policy, and possessing the most fertile genius foi* fixing on aux-
iliaries for the accomplishment of his ambitious designs. Others
represent him as a wild enthusiast, whose claims to celestial visions
were like those of many hair-brained pretenders whose schemes have
fallen into oblivion, for the want of those favorable conjunctures
which led on the Arabian Prophet to authority and fame. Mahomet
was undoubtedly a man of penetration and sagacity, and was thor-
oughly versed in all the arts of insinuation and intrigue. He made a
fine personal appearance, and was fond of being thought to look like
Abraham; was liberal to the poor, courteous to his equals, and conde-
scending to his inferiors. He is said to have been a person of few
words, of an equal, cheerful temper, and very pleasant and familiar to
his friends. As to learning, he had none, but this he turned to a useful
account, by insisting that the writings he produced as revelations from
God, could not possibly be a forgery of his own. And his followers,
also, instead of being ashamed of their master's ignorance of literature,
gloried in it as an evident proof of his divine mission, and scrupled
not to call him the illiterate Prophet.

His fondness for women, by his own confession, was beyond all
bounds of moderation, and his many salvos in his Koran for his con-
cupiscence and concubinage, are disgusting to every virtuous mind.
The multiplication of his wives, and his fond dalliance with female
disciples, settled down, in his later years, into a sensual grossness,
which, whatever may be said of the polygamy of the times, was alto-
gether incompatible with that sainted eminence and celestial unction
of which he made such perpetual and ridiculous boasts.

Mahomet limited his followers to the number of four wives — with
the liberty of keeping as many concubines as they could maintain;
while he himself married fifteen, or, as others say, twenty-one wives,
besides having concubines. Of these, five died before him, six he
repudiated, and ten were alive at his death. But his having this num-
ber of women was in consequence of a divine indulgence with which
a God of infinite purity and justice, according to his account, had
favored him.

Origin and Character of the Koran. — It was not till Mahomet wa?
forty years old, that he took upon him the title of the Apostle of God,
and began to publish the revelations which, according to his account,
were communicated to him from heaven by the angel Gabriel. These
celestial communications Gabriel continued to make to him for thft
space of twenty-three years, directly from the archives of heaven,
where the originals were deposited. They were placed in the chest of
his Apostleship; and from this mass of revelations the Koran was
compiled after Mahomet's death, by Abubeker, one of his earliest and
most illustrious disciples. This is the Mahometan account of the ori-


gin of the Koran; but others say. that instead of writing the chapters
of this famous book by the dictation of Gabriel, he was assisted in
their composition by a Persian Jew and a Christian Monk, by whose
aid he acquired such an extensive knowledge of the Jewish and Chris-
tian religions.

The Koran is a mixture of seriousness and levity; of moral pre-
cepts and ceremonial details; of sublime descriptions of the character
of God, and of the most grovelling and frivolous illustrations of the
duty of man: in one passage we read of the exalted attributes of
Jehovah, and of the terrors of the day of judgment; and in the next
We meet with some ridiculous and offensive directions for Mussulmans
to adjust collisions among their concubines and wives. Well might
Gibbon say of the Mahometan Oracles, that "they sometimes crawl in
the dust, and at other times are lost in the clouds."

The professed object of the Koran was to replant the true and
ancient religion professed by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and
ail the Prophets; to destroy the idolatry of the Pagan Arabs, and the
superstitions of Jews and Christians. A mixture of all these religions
are discoverable in this book. Much is said in it of the principal
characters and events contained in the Scriptures; but both Jews and
Christians are called idolators; the Patriarchs and Apostles, according
to the Koran, were Mahometans; the angels worshipped Adam; and
the fallen angels were driven from heaven for not doing so; Christ
was neither God nor the Son of God, and assured Mahomet of this
in a conference with the Almighty and himself; and it furthermore
asserts that Christ was not crucified on Mount Calvary, when he
appeared to suffer, but that another person was crucified in his stead,
while God took him to himself.

Doctrines of the Koran. — The two grand principles of the Mahom-
etan religion are the unity of God, and the divine mission of Mahomet.
There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his Prophet, are familiar
sayings among his people; idolatry and image worship of every kind
are offensive to them; they made awful havoc with the temples of the
heathen gods, and all the trumpery of paganism wherever they car-
ried their victorious arms. The Catholics have ever found them subtle
and difficult opponents on account of the show of image worship in
their religious rites. The doctrine of the Trinity the Mahometans
reject in terms of the greatest disdain, being forbidden in a number
of places in the Koran to believe it. The doctrine of predestination
they carry to a downright fatalism, and the merit of good works, oa
the other hand, they magnify in the highest strains.

According to the Koran, Paradise is adorned with everything
costly and magnificent — there the faithful shall enjoy the most beau-
tiful women who shall not cast an oyo on anv but themselves, with


whom they shall enjoy the continual pleasures of love to all eternity;
they shall drink the most delicious liquors, and the most pleasant
wines. There will not only be marriage, but servitude in the next
world, and the very meanest in Paradise will have eighty thousand
servants, and seventy-two wives of a celestial kind, besides the wives
he had in this world: he will have a tent erected for him of pearls,
hyacinths, and emeralds. And to crown the whole, if the faithful in
Paradise are desirous of issue, it shall be conceived, bom, and grow
up in the space of an hour. These are a few of the descriptions of the
joys of that Paradise to which the millions of Mahometans look for-
ward with the utmost confidence and delight.

Spread of the Mahometan Religion. — This at first was effected by
argument and persuasion; but after the Prophet arrived at power,
these gentle methods were exchanged for those of conquest and war.
And the terror of his arms, together with the fascinating allurements
of the fancied Paradise of the Koran, conspired to give the most unex-
ampled rapidity to the spread of the new religion; so that in less than
a century, Mahomet and his succeeding Generals had subdued a far
greater extent of territory than the Romans conquered in eight hun-
dred years.

In addition to the agreeableness of his doctrines to the corrupt pro-
pensities of human nature, this warlike Prophet taught his followers
that "a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, or a night spent in
arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting and prayer. Who-
soever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven at the day of judgment; his
wounds shall be as resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as
musk; and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by wings of angels
and cherubim."

The first disciples of Mahomet were called Saracens, and among
them were some of the most famous warriors in the world.

Mahometanism distributes itself into two general parts — faith and
practice: the former contains six branches, viz.: belief in God; in his
angels; in his Scriptures; in his Prophets; in the resurrection and
final judgment, and the divine decrees. In the second part are
included prayer with washing, alms, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, and
circumcision. Among the negative precepts of this religion, are the
prohibitions of wine, by which are meant all strong drinks, gaming,
usury, the eating of blood and swine's flesh, and whatever dies of
itself, etc., etc.

Friday is observed by the Mahometans as their Sabbath, because
they believe it was on that day that Mahomet fled from Mecca ta

They defer the circumcision of their children till they can distinctly
pronounce the two leading articles of their faith — "There is no God


but God. and Mahomet is his Prophet;" or till any convenient time
between the age of 6 and IG.

The Mahometans have an established priesthood and a numerous
body of clergymen; their spiritual head in Turkey, whose power is
not inferior to the Roman Pontiff, is regarded as the oracle of sanctity
and wisdom. Their houses of worship are denominated mosques, many
of which are very magnificent, and very richly endowed.

The Mahometan priests who perform the rites of their public wor-
ship are called Imams; and they have a set of ministers called Shekhs.
who preach every Friday, much in the manner of Christian, preachers.
The Mahometans, like the Christians, are divided and subdivided
into many sects and parties; but the two leading sects are the Sonnites
and Schiites, who, notwithstanding they both believe in the Prophet
and his religion, yet anathematize each other as abominable heretics,
and as farther from the truth than either Christians or Jews. The
Schiites are the followers of Ali, who reside chiefly in Persia; the
Sonnites are the disciples of Abubeker, among whom are the Turks,
Arabians, etc.

This religion obliges its disciples to pray five times a day. anl
imposes upon them a burdensome ritual, which all devout Mussulmans

Online LibraryAlexander CampbellThe Millennial Harbinger abridged (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 70)