What, then, is the hope of the world? We are driven to this deduction,—that if truth in itself is not all-conquering, the divine assistance, given at times to truth itself, as in the early Church, is the only reason why truth conquers. This divine grace, promised in the Bible, has wrought wonders whenever it has pleased the Almighty to bestow it, and only then. History teaches this as impressively as revelation. Christianity itself, unaided, would probably die out in this world. And hence the grand conclusion is, that it is the mysterious, or, as some call it, the super-natural, spirit of Almighty power which is, after all, the highest hope of this world. This is not discrepant with the oldest traditions and theogonies of the East,—the hidden wisdom of ancient Indian and Persian and Egyptian sages, concealed from the vulgar, but really embraced by the profoundest men, before corruptions perverted even their wisdom. This certainly is the earliest revelation of the Bible. This is the power which Moses recognized, and all the prophets who succeeded him. This is the power which even Mohammed, in the loftiness of his contemplations, more dimly saw, and imperfectly taught to the idolaters around him, and which gives to his system all that was really valuable. Ask not when and where this power shall be most truly felt. It is around us, and above us, and beneath us. It is the mystery and grandeur of the ages. “It is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,” saith the Lord; Man is nothing, his aspirations are nothing, the universe itself is nothing, without the living, permeating force which comes from this supernal Deity we adore, to interfere and save. Without His special agency, giving to His truths vitality, this world would soon become a hopeless and perpetual pandemonium. Take away the necessity of this divine assistance as the one great condition of all progress, as well as the highest boon which mortals seek,—then prayer itself, recognized even by Mohammedans as the loftiest aspiration and expression of a dependent soul, and regarded by prophets and apostles and martyrs as their noblest privilege, becomes a superstition, a puerility, a mockery, and a hopeless dream.
The Koran; Dean Prideaux’s Life of Mohammed; Vie de Mahomet, by the Comte de Boulainvilliers; Gagnier’s Life of Mohammed; Ockley’s History of the Saracens; Gibbon, fiftieth chapter; Hallam’s Middle Ages; Milman’s Latin Christianity; Dr. Weil’s Mohammed der Prophet, sein Leben und seine Lehre; Renan, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1851; Bustner’s Pilgrimage to El Medina and Mecca; Life of Mahomet, by Washington Irving; Essai sur l’Histoire des Arabes, par A. P. Caussin de Perceval; Carlyle’s Lectures on Heroes and Hero Worship; E. A. Freeman’s Lectures on the History of the Sararens; Forster’s Mahometanism Unveiled; Maurice on the Religions of the World; Life and Religion of Mohammed., translated from the Persian, by Rev. I. L. Merrick.