The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  172


And though they say the LORD LIVETH, surely they swear falsely.


A Mahometan Sermon.

I ONCE had an opportunity of approaching unnoticed the window of one of the principal mosques. After the customary prayers, the priest pronounced the following discourse with a dignified elocution. It was received by his audi|ence with a reverence, better becoming christians than infidels. It undoubtedly suffers from translation and the fickleness of my memory; but the manner, in which it was delivered, and the energy of many of the expressions made so strong an im|pression, that I think I have not material|ly Page  173 varied from the sentiment. I present it to the candid reader, as a curious speci|men of their pulpit eloquence; and as, perhaps, conveying a more satisfactory idea of their creed, than I have already attempted, in the account I have given of their religion. The attributes of Deity were the subject of the priest's discourse; and, after some exordium, he elevated his voice and exclaimed:

GOD ALONE IS IMMORTAL. Ibra|ham and Soliman have slept with their fathers, Cadijah the first born of faith, Ayisha the beloved, Omar the meek, Omri the benevolent, the companions of the apostle and the Sent of God himself, all died. But God most high, most holy, liveth forever. Infinities are to him, as the numerals of arithmetic to the sons of Adam; the earth shall vanish be|fore the decrees of his eternal destiny; but he liveth and reigneth forever.

Page  174 GOD ALONE IS OMNISCIENT. Mi|chael, whose wings are full of eyes, is blind before him, the dark night is unto him as the rays of the morning; for he noticeth the creeping of the small pismire in the dark night, upon the black stone, and apprehendeth the motion of an atom in the open air.

GOD ALONE IS OMNIPRESENT. He toucheth the immensity of space, as a point. He moveth in the depths of o|cean, and mount Atlas is hidden by the sole of his foot. He breatheth fragrant odours to cheer the blessed in paradise, and enliveneth the pallid flame in the pro|foundest hell.

GOD ALONE IS OMNIPOTENT. He thought, and worlds were created; he frowneth, and they dissolve into thin smoke; he smileth, and the torments of the damned are suspended. The thun|derings Page  175 of Hermon are the whisperings of his voice; the rustling of his attire causeth lightning and an earthquake; and with the shadow of his garment he blot|teth out the sun.

GOD ALONE IS MERCIFUL. When he forged his immutable decrees on the anvil of eternal wisdom, he tempered the miseries of the race of Ismael in the foun|tains of pity. When he laid the founda|tions of the world he cast a look of be|nevolence into the abysses of futurity; and the adamantine pillars of eternal jus|tice were softened by the beamings of his eyes. He dropt a tear upon the embryo miseries of unborn man; and that tear, falling through the immeasurable lapses of time, shall quench the glowing flames of the bottomless pit. He sent his prophet into the world to enlighten the darkness of the tribes; and hath prepared the pa|vilions of the Houri for the repose of the true believers.

Page  176 GOD ALONE IS JUST. He chains the latent cause to the distant event; and binds them both immutably fast to the fitness of things. He decreed the unbe|liever to wander amidst the whirlwinds of errour; and suited his soul to future tor|ment. He promulgated the ineffable creed, and the germs of countless souls of believ|ers, which existed in the contemplation of Deity, expanded at the sound. His justice refresheth the faithful, while the damned spirits confess it in despair.

GOD ALONE IS ONE. Ibraham the faithful knew it. Moses declared it a|midst the thunderings of Sinai. Jesus pronounced; it and the messenger of God, the sword of his vengeance, filled the world with immutable truth.

Surely there is one God, IMMORTAL, OMNICIENT, OMNIPRESENT, OMNIPO|TENT, most MERCIFUL, and JUST; and Mahomet is his apostle.

Page  177 Lift your hands to the eternal, and pronounce the ineffable, adorable creed: THERE IS ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET IS HIS PROPHET.