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CHAPTER I.

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SUMMARY OF THE LIFE OF MOHAMMED; COMPRISING

THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE GREAT EASTERN APOSTASY, WITH THE CAUSES THAT CONTRIBUTED TO ITS SUCCESS; THE STATE OF ISLAMISM ON THE DEATH OF ITS AUTHOR, AND UNDER HIS SUCCESSORS THE

CALIPHS.

The Eastern world is fraught with recollections interesting to the scholar, the antiquarian, and the statesman, as being the earliest seat of empire, the cradle of the arts and sciences, which are conducive to the embellishment and comfort of society; the seat from whence colonies emigrated to people and form new states : its magnitude and population, natural advantages both of climate and soil, and political importance invite and repay the most diligent research into its

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history; but the religious aspect, which it wears, particularly fixes the attention, and awakens the sympathy of the Christian, whilst contrasting its present degeneracy with its former splendid condition : it was in this quarter where the grant scene of Revelation was gradually unfolded, where Patriarchs and Prophets lived, and in the fulness of time Jesus promulgated that religion, the sum and substance of former revelations, whose benign influence has meliorated the condition of mankind, and to whose sublime discoveries we are indebted for the clearest and most consolatory views of eternity.

The spectacle now exhibited by the Eastern world, is that of an affecting apostasy from the true faith, which has existed for more than twelve centuries, with a very injurious effect, and a marked and striking contrast to the beneficial operation of the Christian dispensation. The revolutions of empire read

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