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days of its founder. They believe in one God, and in the divine mission of his prophet. They scrupulously follow, as the rule of their conduct, his precepts contained in the Koran, and his example; together with certain sayings not recorded in that book, but handed down by tradition. The leading maxims thus delivered and religiously observed, are, the maintenance of the faith, the performance of certain outward ceremonies, and hatred of other sects. Their belief is inculcated as so necessary to eternal salvation, and so sure of working this end without the aid of good works, that we need not be surprised to find scarcely one freethinker in the whole of the Turkish population. A few reasoning men may here and there be found, who hold that a life of sanctity, independent of faith, is sufficient; but the church condemns this as the worst of heresies, and those persons must keep their doctrines carefully to themselves. The inducements to hold the faith of their fathers are so strong among an indolent and sensual people, that any doubt or scruple is likely to be rejected as a present injury. "Whatever happens during this life is well; God ordains it. If we live, we shall smoke so much tobacco, enjoy so many Circassians, saunter away so many hours in our baths. If death comes tomorrow, we have kept the faith, and shall inevitably sup in paradise,—with better tobacco, fairer women, and more voluptuous baths. A notion of this sort, once rivetted in the mind, at an early period of society, will account for the horror with which every question relative to articles of belief must afterwards be received. It will account for the exclusive attention of those true believers to the concerns of the present moment, and their carelessness about futurity; for their implicit obedience to the easy injunctions of the Koran, and their steady rejection of all more unpleasant doctrines. Besides holding this faith, they have only to perform the
ceremonies of prayer, ablution, and fasting,--troublesome, indeed, in some respects, from their frequent recurrence, but far more easy than the restraint of a single wicked inclination, the sacrifice of an interested to a principled view, or the fulfilment of any active duty; and their lives are pure before Allah.
“ As the object of the founder of this religion was power, he carefully enjoined such an implicit obedience to himself or his successors as might ensure his divine authority in the state, and such a hatred of unbelievers as might both keep alive the faith among his followers, and prepare the way for the conquest of foreign nations. The most unresisting and passive obedience to the sacred person of him who is at the head both of the church and state is inculcated as a primary religious duty. He is the Zil-ullah, or shadow of God; the Padishah-islam, or emperor of Islamism ; the Imam-ul-musliminn,* or pontiff of Mussulmans; the Sultandinn, or protector of the faith. The title of Caliph was first acquired on the conquest of Egypt; but the prerogatives annexed to it, of sovereign pontiff and depositary of the divine will, as handed down from Mahomet, had all along been exercised by the Turkish emperor. He is further, in his temporal capacity, denominated Hunkiar, or the manslayer; it is the name commonly given him, and denotes the absolute power which he has over the life of each of his subjects, in virtue of his divine commission. Whoever submits without resistance to death inflicted by his order, is looked upon as sure of that eternal felicity of the highest order which belongs to martyrdom. His edicts, always received with religious veneration, are welcomed with peculiar awe, when accompanied by a note under his hand enjoining obedience; and whatever may be the tenor of such a command, the devout Mussulman kisses it as soon as it is presented to him, and piously wipes the dust from it with his cheek. The Pashas who rebel against his authority are careful to mention his name with holy reverence; and, during the course of their disobedience, scrupulously comply with his orders in every point, except when he requires a resignation of their independence, or some sacrifice injurious to it. When he sends his executioners to despatch a rebellious chieftain, it is not uncommon to see the mere production of the imperial mandate, unaided by any force, silence all opposition, and command obedience from the rebel and his followers. Frequently, indeed, the executioner is stopped in his attempts to gain admittance, and himself put to death. But if he once performs his office, and the insurgent leader falls, there is no instance of his troops revenging his death on the bearer of so sacred a commission, though he comes singly, and trusts himself among an armed multitude of men, the moment before in the act of rebellion. Rycaut affirms, though Mr Thornton calls it an exaggerated picture, that the emperor would be obeyed, were he • to command whole armies to precipitate themselves from a rock, or build a bridge with piles of their bodies for him to pass rivers, or to kill one another to afford him pastime and pleasure.' .
* 46 Muslim is the singular, Mussulman the dual, and Musliminn the plural : it signifies resigned to God.""
“ The disciple of Mahomet is educated in a haughty belief of the superiority of his own faith, and a suitable aversion towards all infidels. 'I withdraw my foot and turn away my face,' says the prophet, ‘from a society in which the faithful are mixed with the ungodly.'• The prayers of the infidel are not prayers, but wanderings.'- Pray not for those whose death is eternal; and defile not thy feet by passing over the graves of men the enemies of God and his prophet. The example of the prophet himself, who is recorded to have fre
quented the society of infidels, is of no avail in counteracting those insolent precepts; and the more other nations have distinguished themselves from the Turk by their progress in wisdom and civility, the more obdurate has been his determination to keep within the pale of his own faith, and to despise their advances. The spirit of proselytism has been shown, not in any attempts to convert by argument: the extension of dominion was the only object of the prophet in proclaiming rewards to such as propagated the faith. Whoever refused the proffered creed was either to be cut off, or reduced to the state of a vassal paying tribute ; and those who die in this holy war pass immediately into paradise. “Wash not their bodies,' says the prophet ; ' every wound which they bear will smell sweeter than musk in the day of judgment. While to Jews and Christians the alternative of conversion or tributary vassalage was held out, the idolater was doomed to death. “Kill and exterminate all worshippers of plurality,' says the Koran ; and this command has not infrequently been literally complied with. The Persians are, however, held in peculiar abhorrence; and it is deemed more praiseworthy in the sight of God to kill a single worshipper of fire than seventy infidels of any other religion.
“ The Turks abhor the worship of images, yet think it decent to reverence departed saints, and to visit their tombs. They chiefly invoke the names of Mahomet and his four immediate successors. They conceive idiots to be favoured by Heaven, from their apparent insensibility to the evils of life, and their indifference to its enjoyments. They prize relics, or substances which have been in contact with persons of extraordinary piety; and ascribe to them cures and other miracles, similar to those which the Roman Catholic superstitions inculcate. They dread the effect of sorcery, and provide against it by much the same contrivances as are used in the northern countries of Europe and Asia. They carefully observe dreams, and other accidental notions, as ominous of future events; and have a superstitious aversion to all pictures of the human body, believing that angels cannot enter the house where these are. The pilgrimage to Mecca is well known; they believe that it cures all former transgressions, and hold that a man should set about it as soon as his means are double the expense of the journey. Such, at least, is the injunction of the Koran ; and only necessary impediments, as blindness, poverty, lameness, &c. are deemed to justify a Mussulman in neglecting this act of devotion. The black stone at Mecca is an object of peculiar reverence; it is expected to be endowed with speech at the day of judgment, for the purpose of declaring the names of those who performed the pilgrimage. The sanjac-sherif, or standard of Mahomet, being the curtain of the chamberdoor of his favourite wife, is kept as the palladium of the empire, upon which no infidel can look with impunity. It is carried to battle with great formality before the sultan or vizier ; and its return is hailed by all the Mussulmans of the capital going out to meet it.”
When Egeria had read these passages, she returned the book into its place, and took down the twentysecond volume of the Quarterly Review.
“ The two greatest literary journals of the present time," said she," perhaps of any epoch, are undoubtedly the rival publications of Edinburgh and London. In point of literary merit I am sometimes at a loss which to prefer. The northern luminary is, I believe, regarded as the most ingenious of the two, and the southern as the most learned, especially in subjects of classical interest. Perhaps they may be considered as affording, in their respective merits,