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HE substance of these Lectures was delivered,
according to the directions of Boyle's Will, in one of the London Churches, on the first Mondays of certain months in the years 1845 and 1846. Though it is not imperative on the preacher to print his Discourses, it has been the custom to do so. Indeed the intention of the Founder seems to be scarcely fulfilled by addressing a series of Sermons on subjects requiring some attention, at distant intervals, to the eight or ten persons who in the present times compose an ordinary weekday congregation. In preparing them for publication I have omitted the texts, which were little more than mottoes, and have altered the forms of language which belong especially to pulpit composition.
The object of the Lectures, will, I hope, be sufficiently intelligible to those who read them. But it is a duty to speak of some writers who have discussed the same subjects, and to whom I am indebted.
In the first Lecture I have not touched upon the question which is considered in Mr. Forster's
Mahometanism Unveiled. My business was with popular views upon the subject, not with learned and ingenious speculations. Of Mr. Forster's theory I do not feel competent to express an opinion; so far as it evinces a desire to deal fairly with facts which Christian apologists have often perverted, and a confidence, that the cause of Christianity must be the better for such fairness, it must, I am sure, have done good, even if the basis upon which it rests should be found untenable.
Mr. Carlyle's Lecture on Mahomet in his Hero Worship, is probably much better known to my readers than Mr. Forster's treatise. Some per
sons may have been led by that Lecture to identify Mahometanism with reverence for the person of Mahomet; they will strongly object to the sentiments which I have expressed in one passage of this book. But I do not anticipate any such objection from Mr. Carlyle himself. No writer has more distinctly recognized the Islamite principle of subjection to an absolute Will as the vital one in this faith; or has exhibited a more earnest, I had nearly said a more exclusive, veneration for that principle. A man seems to him to be strong or weak, admirable or contemptible, precisely as he is possessed by it or as he substitutes some