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brought together from these different sources, and is in no sense an organic whole, something can and must be done in this direction. Greater difficulties on the field of ancient history have been surmounted in epigraphy and in the recovery of lost languages.

It seems to result from this explanation of the origin of a national religion, that Dr. Kuenen's conception of it, while practically extremely useful in differentiating it from & universal religion, is not philosophically correct. national religion did not exist in the same form and extent from the beginning, but was itself the result of the fusion of many smaller religions—in which fusion, it ought to be observed, many earlier discordant elements perished altogether—then who shall set a limit to its power of absorbing new elements, even from perfectly foreign nations? We know that the Roman religion, especially under the Empire, did admit Syrian, Egyptian, and other foreign deities with their cultus; and it might be difficult to frame a rule by which these would be treated as es. traneous accretions, while the earlier receipts from the Etruscans, or even the Sabines, would be admitted as essential factors; yet, if the latter are cast out, what is left to represent the Roman national religion? The solution of the difficulty seems to be found in objecting to the term National Religion as a description of any class of religions, or at least of those of highly civilised nations. It is to be objected to because it ignores the essential principle of Growth. A religion which has ceased to grow, to alter itself, to develop new forms, and to cast away dead and useless ideas and rites, is no longer a religion at all, but s superstition in the strict sense of the term-superstes from the time of its true life. The Nation itself does not exist through all centuries with the same dimensions ; it grows on one side, falls off on another, according to natural affinities; and its religion is even less capable of being held

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permanently within the same bounds. Indeed, the same impropriety attaches to a National Religion as to a National Church. The Church, as the institution embodying the religious ideas, appeals to the support of all souls united by a common faith, and experiences a loss of spiritual power as soon as she is tied down to one nation and made the instrument of one political constitution, no matter how enlightened or how generously disposed towards her.

The history of the formation of national religions, however, does not form the subject of Dr. Kuenen's lectures. He takes the term as de facto true of many religions which have never overleapt, or have never been calculated to overleap, the bounds of the nation in which they had their birth. And the only national religion whose history he actually presents to us in its full extent is that which is the most incontestably national of all—the Religion of Israel, from which was born in the fulness of time the most universal of all-Christianity. This is a connected history

of the noblest types of religious thought and feeling known to the world, first national and then universal ; it occupies the three middle lectures, and is preceded by an account of Islám, and followed by one of Buddhism—the two other religions which most plausibly contest with Christianity the title of Universal. The final summing up reminds us of the estimate previously made of the three great religions, and concludes with the comforting assurance that Christianity is the only one which is truly universal in principle and in spirit, and whose part in the religious influences in the world is not only not played out, but is destined to have a still greater future.

I shall not say much of Dr. Kuenen's treatment of Islám. He shows how much Mohammed owed to Judaism, and how he claimed to be restoring the ancient religion of Abraham. At the same time Mohammed cannot have had


any accurate knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, for while he uses the names of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, he betrays ignorance of their relation to one another, calling Isaac and Jacob sons of Abraham, and classing Ishmael as a prophet with Elisha and Jonah; besides which he speaks of the book-rolls of Abraham and Moses, as if he supposed Abraham to have been a writer and legislator like Moses. The results of recent criticism on the Qorán enable Dr. Kuenen to distinguish between its earlier and its later chapters, and thus to discover changes of view during the lifetime of its author, which are often historically important. The Qorán, Dr. Kuenen asserts, is the work of Mohammed alone, and his alleged teachers have no real existence. Further, Islám itself cannot be regarded “as the result of a national, though not universal, longing for something higher and better in the matter of religion. If such a need was felt at all, it was only in a very small circle, and in a very small degree. In one word, remove Mohammed, and neither Islám nor anything like it comes into existence." Indeed, “Islám is in a high degree, and far more than most other religions, the product not of the time or of the people, but of the personality of its founder.” The explanation of the success of Mohammed, though he seems not to have been a specially creative genius, appears in the fact that his nature was truly religious, and that he was fired by the indignation aroused by his countrymen's polytheism, superstition, scepticism and irreverence, to speak with irresistible force like an old Hebrew prophet in the name of Allah, claiming for his Qorán a place among the sacred books. Thus he regarded his mission as directed not to the Arabs alone or pre-eminently, but to all without distinction, and expected the adhesion of the Byzantine emperor and the king of Persia, so that in its conception in the mind of its author Islám is truly universal. But, in fact, it turned out very different. Mohammed was an Arab of the Arabs

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his eye saw nothing beyond his own country and the adjacent states and religions of the Eastern Christians, Jews and Persians; and his utterances are directed solely to the elevation of the ideas of those around him, and the correction of the abuses he knew of; and, worse still, he is tempted to allow, in his would-be universal system, mere ceremonial matters which were firmly established among his own people and could not be easily uprooted, but which give to Islám a narrow and local character which is certain to prevent its ever attaining to universality: so for example he makes the Ka'ba or black stone at Mecca the central sanctuary, to which it is the duty of every Moslem to undertake a pilgrimage. And by attempting to confine his entire system within the bounds of his book, he quite prevented any further development of religious thought. When, therefore, his religion was adopted by or forced upon nations who had already distinct ideas of their own, no real blending or assimilation was possible ; and Islám becomes in Java“ the official cloak that is stretched over native society,” and in Persia co-exists with the ideas of the old Zoroastrian faith. More than this,

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Though Allah is called by preference “ar-rahmáno 'r-rahimo," the Compassionate and Merciful, yet he is “a god afar off.” The people knows no other than Him, and, therefore, observes the religious duties imposed by Him, and appears at the stated time in His house of prayer; but this does not satisfy the wants of the heart, and the people therefore makes itself a new religion. At the graves of its saints it seeks compensation for the dryness of the official doctrine and worship.

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The same judgment must be pronounced, Dr. Kuenen says, on Sufism, or mysticism, as upon the worship of saints. It was necessary to satisfy the religious aspirations of some souls, but it is rather a divergence from, than a legitimate growth out of, the principles of Islám. Similarly the Freethinkers called Mo'tazilites, who maintained that the Qorán was created, and who endeavoured to establish Islám as an ethical religion, in opposition to the orthodox view of the uncreated Qorán and the God who was subject to no other rule than his own caprice, failed to move the already stereotyped religion in a direction which might have led to universality. And, lastly, the modern movement called Wabhábism is an attempt to weed out all later accretions, and revert with the greatest strictness to the precepts of the Qorán alone ; of which Dr. Kuenen says:

The Wahhábites have been called the Puritans of Islám. The comparison is not unjust. But whereas no serious historian

. would ever dream of simply identifying Puritanism and Christianity, Wahhábism really is Islám itself-Islám, the whole of Islám, and nothing but Islám. And this is the very reason why it bears such strong evidence against the universalism of Islám. A religion which can be restored in such a shape, with a wellfounded appeal to its genuine sources, may meet the wants of the inhabitants of the desert which witnessed its birth—but there are other and higher demands which it cannot satisfy ; indeed, it wants the power so to transform itself as to meet the requirements of a higher type of life which in its present form it cannot satisfy. At a given period it becomes a hindrance to that development of the spirit which it must actually choke if it (the spiritual development] be not strong enough to cast it (the religion] off.

It may appear, on considering this line of argument, as if Dr. Kuenen bore rather hard on Islám. Why should the worship of saints, Sufic mysticism, and Free-thought be treated here as illegitimate accretions, whereas under Christianity the identically same phenomena, together with monachism, the Papal system of having a permanent head of the Church, and other developments of which the Founder and the New Testament know absolutely nothing, are allowed as modes of expansion natural or necessary to a religion whose aim is to be universal ? If those accretions to Islám are to be pronounced illegitimate because Islám is not universal in spirit, whereas similar additions to early

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