George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource (1734)

The Preliminary Discourse.

body, and was to be raised again with it at the last day 1: these Origen is said to have convinced 2. Among the Arabs it was that the heresies of Ebion, Beryllus, and the Nazaræans 3, and also that of the Collyridians were broached, or at least propagated; the latter introduced the Virgin Mary for God, or worshipped her as such, offering her a sort of twisted cake called collyris, whence the sect had its name 4.

This notion of the divinity of the Virgin Mary was also believed by some at the council of Nice, who said there were two gods besides the Father, viz. Christ and the Virgin Mary, and were thence named Mariamites 5. Others imagined her to be exempt from humanity, and deified; which goes but little beyond the Popish superstition in calling her the complement of the Trinity, as if it were imperfect without her. This foolish imagination is justly condemned in the Korân 6 as idolatrous, and gave a handle to Mohammed to attack the Trinity itself.

Other sects there were of many denominations within the borders of Arabia, which took refuge there from the proscriptions of the imperial edicts; several of whose notions Mohammed incorporated with his religion, as may be observed hereafter.

The Jews powerful in Arabia.
Tho’ the Jews were an inconsiderable and despised people in other parts of the world, yet in Arabia, whither many of them fled from the destruction of Jerusalem, they grew very powerful, several tribes and princes embracing their religion; which made Mohammed at first shew great regard to them, adopting many of their opinions, doctrines, and customs; thereby to draw them, if possible, into his interest. But that people, agreeably to their wonted obstinacy, were so far from being his profelytes, that they were some of the bitterest enemies he had, waging continual war with him, so that their reduction cost him infinite trouble and danger, and at last his life. This aversion of theirs created at length as great a one in him to them, so that he used them for the latter part of his life, much worse than he did the Christians, and frequently exclaims against them in his Korân; his followers to this day observe the same difference between them and the Christians, treating the former as the most abject and contemptible people on earth.

The weak condition of the Roman and Persian empires.
It has been observed by a great politician 7, that it is impossible a person should make himself a prince, and found a state without opportunities. If the distracted state of religion favoured the designs of Mohammed on that side, the weakness of the Roman and Persian

1 Euseb. Hist. Ecclef. l. 6. c. 33.

2 Idem, ibid. c. 37.

3 Epiphan. de Hærefi. l. 1. Hær. 40.

4 Idem, ibid. l. 3. Hæref. 75, 79.

5 Elmacin. Eutych.

6 Cap. 5.

7 Machiavelli, Princ. c. 6. p. 19.

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George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource, C. Ackers in St. John’s-Street, for J. Wilcon at Virgil’s Head overagainst the New Church in the Strand., Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 09 Feb. 2023: http://quran-archive.org/explorer/george-sale/1734?page=54