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THE VITAL PRINCIPLE OF MAHOMETANISM.

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examine whether the main principle of Mahometan life, that which had given strength to its hosts when they were most strong, be or be not embodied in Christianity, and whether there or here it has most vitality, and is most in harmony with other principles equally important. If we could not find that the great Mahometan truth was asserted more distinctly, mightily, livingly in Christianity than in Mahometanism, we did not feel that Christianity could ever be a substitute for Mahometanism. If that for which the Mahometans were content to give up their lives, were merely a formal proposition in our faith, we were sure we could not sustain ourselves against them. If anything wherein we differed from them weakened this principle, that was so much of evidence against us. Nothing seemed sufficient to us but the discovery that the belief in an Absolute Living God actually ruling in the world seeking men not first sought by them, which is the root of all their convictions, is the root of ours; that Christianity perishes even more completely than Mahometanism when this truth is forgotten; that this principle has lost its power over the Mahometan mind, or been changed into one of the most opposite character, just because it wants the support of other kindred truths, which belong to the essence of Christianity.

Precisely in the same manner I would deal with the present subject. In my second Lecture I considered what were the permanent characteristics of Hindooism, those which had survived in

all its changes, and made its different changes intelligible, those which had resisted all opposition, even from truths which seemed mightier than they and from men who were braver and stronger than those who upheld them. I would now enquire whether these characteristics have their counterparts in Christianity; whether they enter into the substance of it, as they do into the substance of Hindooism; whether the difficulties and contradictions which we found had grown naturally out of these convictions, and yet had weakened and impaired them, belong also to our belief; whether in that belief these Hindoo truths are or are not reconciled with those to which they seemed utterly hostile. I have said again and again, that I do not think we prove our confidence in the divinity of that which we confess by subjecting it to light tests, by arguing that this or that is not justly required of it. Whatever has been found necessary in the course of six thousand years' experience, we have a right to ask of that which offers itself as the faith for mankind. And I do not believe that it ever has shrunk, or ever will shrink, from any demands of this kind that we make upon it.

The position of the Brahmin in reference to the rest of Hindoo society was that which seemed to us at once the most obvious outward mark of the system, and its essential characteristic. Here was the radical distinction between Hindooism and Mahometanism; here was the key to its connexion with Buddhism, and to the divergence of

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the latter from it. The Greeks under Alexander had seen that the Hindoo people were cast in the Brahminical mould-they retain this mould under the English government in the nineteenth century after Christ. Whatever principle then be the ground of the belief in the superiority of the Brahmin to other men, can be no mere accident of Hindoo opinion, no mere notion in the sacred books; it must belong to the innermost heart of the race. This principle we found expressed in that distinction between the twice-born man and other men, which is the characteristical one of the Menu code. All mere distinctions of occupation, even the distinctions of the four original classes, seemed to resolve themselves into this. This, therefore, had endured, though two of those classes had disappeared, and though the whole caste system had undergone great outward modifications. This had continued universal amidst all its local varieties. Nor was there much difficulty in ascertaining the ground on which the distinction rested. First of all, it stood on the conviction that there is in man that which is meant to converse with an Unseen Spiritual Being, that this is the vocation of the highest wisest man, of him who is properly the man, who is alone able to guide and rule his fellows. Next, upon the consideration that this is not the natural, ordinary state of men, that this is an ignominious, degraded, animal state, out of which whoever is raised, must be raised by different acts of purification, acts which are to bring him into a relation

more or less intimate with Brahm. Thirdly, we saw that the idea of hereditary succession became involved with this, that the twice-born men became a distinct family, to be preserved pure from generation to generation.

I repeat these observations in this place the more carefully, because I am anxious that you should not suppose I am attaching any force to a mere phrase like that of the twice-born man. This phrase instantly suggests to every Christian an idea with which all his life he has been familiar. Hence, it might lead us to one of those hasty analogies against which I have already warned you. A person thoughtfully and earnestly considering such a subject as this for a great practical purpose, will be suspicious of himself when he finds that he is noticing a verbal correspondence; he will be aware of the temptation to build an argument upon it, and will understand how very easily he may be deceived by a translation from another language, made by men who were formed in an English school of thought, and were, perhaps, glad to catch at a rendering which would bring a lively and well-known image before the minds of their readers. I am quite willing, therefore, to forget this expression altogether, or to adopt any other that an Oriental scholar shall give me as a substitute for it, which has no resemblance to our own sacred dialect. It is the thing, and not the word, I wish you to notice; the deep conviction which has wrought itself into the mind of the Hindoo, and which has gone

THE JEWISH SEPARATION.

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along with him through every stage of his history. Still more earnestly would I remind you that it is not the words New Birth, or Second Birth, which characterize Christianity, but the meaning indicated by them. To realize that conviction, let us, as on the last occasion, look at the context of the Scriptures, not confining ourselves to the New Testament, but beginning with the opening of Jewish history.

I. You will remember how we traced the idea of a Divine call through the whole of that history. I referred to it then for the purpose of shewing how everything in our faith, as in the Mahometan, rests upon the recognition of an act done on the part of God. But in that call was involved the idea of distinction, of separation. Abraham is called out of his father's house, he is set apart to be the head of a peculiar family, and the whole of that family have a sign of the separation appointed for them. When the nation is called out of its Egyptian bondage, not only is this sign carefully preserved; not only is every institution expressly contrived to keep this people distinct from other people; but within the nation itself distinctions begin to be established. The priest is called out to the special work of presenting sacrifices, a whole tribe is set apart to the service of the tabernacle. They are carefully designated; the anointing oil is poured upon their heads; garments of honour and beauty are given them; Holiness to the Lord is inscribed on the forehead of the high priest. The last fact shews

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