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wickedness of these nations, and the greatness of their iniquity, hath he given you the victory over them.'1 Thus He treated even Jerusalem, the city of His choice, the abode of His prophets, the scene of great wonders and miracles, whence praise and worship ascended day and night, the spot where prayer was wont to be answered, the seat of blessing from above;—when her citizens rebelled against Him, set up other gods, denied His signs and forgat His mercies, thinking that they had gotten them by the might of their own hand,—then the Lord gave up Jerusalem into the power of that wickedest of mankind,—Nebuchadnezzar, the idolater, —who slew the inhabitants thereof, even that chosen race, and carried them away captive and their children, and destroyed the House called by His own name, and took away the holy vessels that were therein to the abominable Babylon for the service of idols. Now, wilt thou say that Nebuchadnezzar, in that he stormed the Holy city, and inflicted these calamities upon it, was a Prophet, because of all this? Even thus is the case of thy Master and his followers with this great kingdom of Persia. For the people were all Magians, wicked and abominable, the dregs of nations, and the vilest of mankind. They worshipped the Sun and Fire; they took to wife their own daughters, sisters, and mothers; they rebelled against the truth, and vainly exalted themselves beyond measure: in their heathenism they attributed divinity to those whom

1  Paraphrased from Deut. ix. 4. 5.


the Lord hath not made to be gods; they abused His gifts and corrupted the land, and thought that their prosperity was verily the work of their own wisdom and might. Wherefore the Lord gave them into the hands of those that ravaged their land, slew their men, destroyed their habitations, made their families captive, and robbed their goods, so that there remained not a woman amongst them but was seized as a concubine, nor one of their children but was led away into slavery. For thus doth the Lord judge an ungodly people."

in Coran
Returning to the excuse of Mahomet that he was not gifted with miracles, lest his people, as of old, should call them impostures, our Author repeats,—"By my life! a strange reason to offer to any man of sense. Allow that the Jews aforetime did give the lie to the miracles of their prophets, and rejected them, what then? As to the Arab tribes they could never on that behalf have given them the lie, seeing that no prophet had arisen amongst them before, nor any Apostle whatever in Arabia, whether with miracles or without them. Doubtless had thy Master shown them anything like a miracle, they would have attested the same, and not given it the lie; for do we not see that multitudes of these same Arabs did accept his ministry, although they saw no miracles, neither heard of any wonderful work? But thou well knowest (the Lord preserve thee!) that this argument will not stand inquiry."

"If now, leaving the testimony of the Coran, we

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