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at least in so far as the Moslem world is concerned; for there are not wanting intimations in the Coran that, at least in the earlier stages of his teaching, Mahomet enjoined the continued observance of the Tourāt and the Gospel by both Jews and Christians. 

But besides simple contradictions, there are various inconsistencies in the Coran which the believer understands as only apparent, the deeper and real sense being in harmony. Indeed, an under-current of spiritual truth, in proportion as hid from ordinary perception, is held to be one of the chief glories of the Revelation. "In such cases," says Sprenger, "the student marvelled neither at the acuteness, nor yet at the audacity, of his Master; he marvelled rather at the wisdom of God which could draw forth such mysterious interpretations. Theology, in fact, had now made such happy progress, that men looked on common sense as a mere human attribute,—the reverse being that which they expected from the Deity!" 

The Arabs were themselves unread, excepting in the rude literature of the desert. But the victories of Islam soon brought within its pale a multitude of Jewish and Christian tribes more or less versed in Scripture and traditional lore. Of this, the Christian portion was dropped almost untouched. Between Christianity and Islam there was little in common. The Coran itself contains no doctrine peculiar to Christianity, if perhaps we except the Resurrection from the dead, and the Life to come; and even these are travestied and cast into the mould of rabbinical legend. Mahomet's notion of the Messiah was largely conceived under the influence of Jewish prejudice; and the very rare and obscure references to such subjects as the descending "Table" or Supper of the Lord, and the Seven sleepers of Antioch, are after the same legendary type. Thus the points of contact are apparent rather than real. The convert from Christianity must needs cast away his old associations and all that was peculiar to the Christian religion; his traditions and his literature disappeared with his conversion. It was not till, in the obscurity of the Middle Ages, Christianity became dialectic, that it showed any affinity to Arab literature; and then only 


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