The Alcoran of Mahomet/A needful Caveat or Admonition to the Reader
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A needfull Caveat or Admonition
for them who desire to know what use
may be made of, or if there be danger in
reading the Alcoran, by Alexander Ross.
GOod Reader the great Arabian Impostor now at last after a thousand years, is by the way of France arrived in England, & his Alcoran, or gallimaufry of Errors, (a Brat as deformed as the Parent, and as full of heresies, as his scald head was of scurffe) hath learned to speak English. I suppose this piece is exposed by the Translator to the publick view, no otherwise then some Monster brought out of Africa. for people to gaze, not to dote upon; and as the sight of a Monster or mishapen creature should induce the beholder to praise God, who hath not made him such; so should the reading of this Alcoran excite us both to bless Gods goodness towards us in this Land, who enjoy the glorious light of the Gospel, and behold the truth in the beauty of holiness; as also to admire Gods Judgments, who suffers so many Countreys to be blinded and inslaved with this mishapen issue of Mahomets brain, being brought forth by the help of no other Midwifry then of a Jew and a Nestorian, making use of a tame Pigeon (which he had taught to pick cores out of his Ears) instead of the holy ghost, and causing silly people to believe, that in his falling sickness (to which he was much subject) he had conference with the Angel Gabriel.
I know the publishing of the Alcoran may be to some dangerous and scandalous, dangerous to the Reader, scandalous to the higher powers, who notwithstanding have cleared themselves by disliking the publishing, and questioning the publishers thereof; but for the danger, I will deliver in these ensuing Propositions my opinion, yet with submission to wiser judgments.
1. Though it may be dangerous to such as like reedes are shaken, and like empty clouds carried about with every winde of doctrin, yet to staid and solid Christians, the reading of Mahomets Heresies will be no more dangerous, then the reading of those errors which are recorded in Scripture, for in them are mentioned many damnable errors and abominations of the Egyptians, Cananites, Hittites, Sidonians, and other Gentiles, and of the Hebrews themselves, of the Sadduces who denied Spirits, Angels, and the Resurrection.
2. Is there more danger in reading the Alcoran, then in reading the Errors of ancient and modern Hereticks? surely Tertulian, Ireneus, Epiphanius, Austin, and other Fathers were not of this opinion, who have left upon record of posterity, the damnable heresies of Arians, Eutychians, Nestorians, Macedonians, and others: and in the Alcoran there are not such dangerous errors as among the Tetratheits, Angelites, and Theodosians, who held there were four Gods, or the Tritheites, who affirmed there were three, or the Gnosticks, Manicheans, Cerdonians, Marcionites, who maintained there were two contrary gods, the one good, the other bad, whereas the Alcoran sets down there is but one true God; and although it denieth with Arius, the Divinity of Christ, yet it holds him a great Prophet; nor doth it speak so blasphemoussly of Christ as the Simonians, who held Simon Magus, or the Ophites, and Manicheans, who said, the Serpent was Christ, or Menander, who affirmed himself to be Christ, and the Saviour of the world. Besides; are not the damnable Heresies of the modern Familists, who deny Christs Divinity, making as many Christs as there be illuminated Elders in their Congregations? are not also the Heresies of the Socinians, Antitrinitarians, Adamites, Serverntians, Anti-sabbatarians, and many others exposed to the view of all that will read them? why then may not the Alcoran? Besides, are men debarred from reading the Greek and Latine Poets? nay, are not many of them translated into our English tongue? as also the modern Histories of the East and West Indies, wherein are more damnable tenets then any in the Alcoran, and they who have read the Jewish Talmud, and Cabala, will finde them as ridiculous pieces as the Alcoran.
4. Though the Alcoran be received among many Nations, yet this reception proceeds not from any love they bear to it, or any loveliness they finde in it, but partly out of fear, being forced by the Sword, partly out of a preposterous desire of liberty and preferment, and partly out of ignorance, as not being suffered to read the Scriptures nor to hear Philosophy, by which the errors thereof may be detected, nor to enquire into the absurdities thereof, or to dispute and question any thing in it: for which cause also it is not suffered Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/440 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/441 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/442 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/443 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/444 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/445 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/446 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/447 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/448 Page:Alcoran of Mahomet 1649.djvu/449 ceived in gathering Hemlock for Parsly? It is no for every many to meddle with Apothecaries drugs, he may chance meet with poyson as soon as an antidote; if all men were likes Bees, to suck honey even out of Henbane, there might be no danger in reading the Alcoran, but most men are likes Spiders sucking poyson even out of the sweetest of Roses; therefore they only may surely and without danger read the Alcoran, who are intelligent, judicious, learned, and throughly grounded in piety; and principles of Christianity, but weak, ignorant, inconstant, and disaffected mindes to the truth, must not venture to meddle with this unhallowed piece lest they be polluted with the touch thereof, as they were who came neer to a leprous body; and if we will not venture to into an infected house without preservatives, much less should any dare to read the Alcoran, that is not sufficiently armed with grace, strength, and knowledg against all tentations. God grant we may walk in the light of the Gospel whilest we have it, that we may not be overwhelmed with the dismall night of Mahometane darkness, which God may justly inflict up-upon; us for our sins, rents and divisions are not lesser then those were of the Greek, and Asiatick Churches, and doubtless except we repent we shall all perish with them, who for despising Gods sacred Oracles, are not taught to reverence every piece of paper they finde, which they are made to believe shal be put under the soles of their feet when they walk over the burning to their fools Paradise, as Busbequius in his Epistle tells us, who lived long amongst them, and was well acquainted with their opinions; but what I have written here concerning the Alcoran, I submit to the judgment and wisdom of those who sit at the Stern, and can see more then the Passengers.