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shown to be of this type. Several passages are quoted full of such gross misstatements as could not fail to damage our authority, and bring discredit on the Christian apologist. A description follows of Native biographies abounding in the East, whose authors, in entire neglect of early tradition, build their story on the fanciful fictions of later days. An illustration is given at length of a remarkable biography, The Ennobled Nativity, which tells us how the LIGHT of Mohammed, created a thousand years before the world, passed from father to son, down to the Prophet's birth. The whole forms a kind of celestial romance, the playful fantasy of an uncontrolled imagination.

THIRD ESSAY, 1868 A.D. Sprenger on the Sources and Growth of Moslem Tradition. —This is Dr. Sprenger's monograph on Mohammedan tradition, being a preface of 180 pages to his great work, Das Leben and die Lehre des Mohammad, and by far, as I think, its most valuable part. It has never been given to the public in English, and the present resume may therefore with the greater confidence be commended to the notice of those interested in the life of Mohammed; for it is only by a thorough acquaintance with the rise and growth of tradition that we can, with any approach to certainty, distinguish between fact and fiction. For this end, the special value of each of the great sources of tradition—the Sunna, Genealogies, Biographies, and Commentaries, in addition to the Coran itself—has to be carefully weighed; and this the researches of Sprenger have enabled us to do.

The almost incredible mass of matter which has survived must be traced chiefly to the SUNNA, or "practice" of the Prophet ; for his life and example, as law to his followers, has been sought out and recorded in every possible shape and detail. Another cause of the prodigious growth of tradition is, that the most distant connection with the Prophet—a word or a glance—conferred honour on him who could claim it; and so a vast body of all kinds of tales was ready to the eager collector's hand. Hence the necessity, in forming an estimate of Mohammed's life and the early rise of Islam, of such a study as will enable us to test the evidence on which such traditions stand; and here Sprenger is our guide.


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