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PART II.

RELATIONS OF THE RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD WITH CHRISTIANITY.

LECTURE I.

Why Judaism has not occupied a separate place in these Lectures. Mahometanism related to Christianity on its Judaical side. Nature of the relation indicated. Wherein Mahometanism differs from Judaism. Dangers to Christianity from the forgetfulness or predominance of its Mahometan side. How the Christian Faith and Church satisfy the cravings of Maho

metans.

SPOKE in my last Lecture of Mahometanism,

Hindooism, and Buddhism, as the three great existing religions of the world; of the Persian, the Egyptian, the Greek, the Roman, and the Gothic, as the most conspicuous of those which belong to the past. may strike some of you, that in one of these lists, though you may scarcely be able to say in which, there was a capital omission. Might not even the letter of Boyle's Will have reminded me, that the Christian missionary is likely to be encountered by Jews in all parts of the world? Is there any faith which has had a more memorable past than theirs?

It is indeed true, that a person must take a most imperfect view of society during the last eighteen hundred years, who forgets that the Jew

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has had a place in it. Upon whatever age, upon whatever portion of the world he fixes his eye, this strange figure encounters him. He sees men without a place which they can call their own upon the earth, still feeling themselves to be the nation which has been chosen out of all others to be the head of the earth; men willingly submitting to the most grovelling occupations, and with a character seemingly conformed to these occupations, yet never deserted by a vision of past and future glory; men trampled upon by all people, and yet exercising a mighty influence, one which has increased with the increase of riches and civilization, over the counsels of statesmen and princes; men, who if the time should come when no GoD but Mammon is worshipped in the world, will carry a fearful recollection into the temples of Mammon of one who may be his destroyer. It is true also that the Jew has never been without powerful arguments for that which he holds, and against that which he denies. He can always appeal to his own consistency in support of the first-to the persecutions and crimes of Pagans, Mahometans, and Christians, as evidence in opposition to them. Though he cannot make converts, though he does not wish it for his business is to keep the family of Abraham distinct from all othershe can do much to shake the faith of those among whom he dwells. In all times, of late years more especially, he has been able to adapt himself to prevailing habits of thought and feeling, to become conspicuous in art and science, to enter into philo

sophical speculations, and strangely to mingle the lessons which he has received in the schools of the Prophets with the wisdom of those who most despise them.

The Jew then may on these grounds be well said to belong to the present, his religion to be one of the existing religions of the earth. He is a witness for something which survives. But he is also, by his own sad confession, a witness for something which is departed. Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome exhibit the signs of a bygone world to travellers who go in search of them. The Israelite carries the signs of the change which has befallen Palestine with him into the meanest street of every city of Europe, Asia, America. The rich merchant, the beggarly hawker testify to the glory of David and Solomon.

But there is this reason for not placing the Jew in either of those divisions to which I referred the other beliefs of mankind. We cannot go back in his case, as we did in the Mahometan, to the first promulgation of the faith, or, in the case of the Hindoo, to the earliest Vedas, without finding ourselves engaged in the assertion or defence of that which is as dear to us as it is to him; we cannot interpret his present position, except by comparing it with our own. In following the course which I marked out for myself originally, we shall, I believe, be enabled to consider this subject from its right point of view. I proposed to enquire how the religions which have passed under our review stand severally related to Chris

THE DIVINE VOICE SPEAKING TO MEN. 133

tianity.

The first of these was the Mahometan. Now it is in the Jewish side of Christianity that we must seek for this relation. From the Old✔ Testament we shall learn what are the great points of agreement between us and the Mahometan. In studying those points of agreement, we shall, perhaps, see more clearly the grounds of our difference both with the Mahometan and the modern Jew.

I. I endeavoured to shew you in my first Lecture that the mere dry, formal assertion of the unity of God, as an article of doctrine, was not that which had given Islamism its power. The proclamation, "There is one God," was no school formula; it was the announcement of a Living Being, acting, speaking, ruling. Now this is the leading characteristic of the Old Testament. Schoolmen giving you an account of it will say, that it is distinguished from all Pagan books by its assertion of the unity of the object of worship. But we have seen reason to think that this quality, taken alone, might not separate it from the early sacred writings of the Hindoos. Turn to the Book of Genesis or Exodus, and you at once feel the essential difference. There are no speculations about God, no questionings how man is to contemplate Him, or to be absorbed into His essence. He is creating the world according to a certain order; He is making man in His own image; He is placing man in a garden, fixing a certain prohibition for him, giving him a helpmeet, discovering his sin when he has broken the command, pronouncing a sentence upon him, promising him a

blessing. He is punishing the murderer, visiting the earth with a flood, calling out a man to be a preserver of the race, sending forth his sons to people the earth, with the rainbow as a pledge of His mercy; scattering them abroad when they wish to build a tower, and to make themselves a name; calling a man out of his father's house, and bidding him go into a land which should be shewn him; promising him that in him and in his seed all the families of the earth should be blest; giving him a covenant, giving him a son; trying the faith of the father; revealing Himself to Isaac and Jacob; guiding the Hebrew youth into Egypt; causing him to bring his whole family thither; hearing their cry when a king arose who knew not Joseph, and made them slaves; revealing Himself to Moses as the I Am; sending signs and judgments upon Pharaoh, bringing the people out of Egypt, appointing them a feast in memorial of their deliverance from generation to generation; feeding them with manna, and causing the rock to be struck when they were thirsty; proclaiming the Law to them amidst thunders and lightnings; prescribing the form of the tabernacle, and the order of the priesthood; laying down the ordinary rules which were suitable to them as an eastern people; going before them in the ark of the covenant.

Nothing, you see, is set forth in the Hindoo manner, as a dream, or thought, or reflection about God; all is set forth as coming from Him; He is, and He is doing. This is the Old Testa

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