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THE

COFFEE-HOUSE OF SURAT.

AT Surat was a Coffee-house, the general rendezvous of strangers after dinner. One afternoon stepped in a Persian Seydre, or Doctor of the Law, who had been writing all his life on Theological subjects, and who no longer believed in a GOD. “What is that you call GOD,” said he? “Whence " comes he? Who made him? Where is he? If he

were a body, he would be visible: were he a spirit, he would be intelligent and just; he would “ not permit so many buman beings to be miser"able, I myself, after having laboured so long “ in his service, ought to have been High-priest of

Ispahan, instead of being forced to flee from “ Persia, after all my exertions to enlighten man“ kind. There is no GOD.” Thus the Doctor, misled by ambition, by dint of reasoning on the first reason of all things, had at length lost his own, and imagined, not that it was his own intelligence which no longer existed, but the intelligence which governs the Universe. He had for a slave a cafre almost naked, whom he left at the door of the Coffee-house. For himself, he went and stretched his limbs on a sofa, and took a cup of coquenar or opium. As soon as the fumes of this beverage began to mount to his brain, he addressed himself to his slave, who was sitting on a stone lig

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in the Sun, driving away the flies which sucked his blood, in these terms: “ Miserable black! Be“ lievest thou there is a GOD?” “ Who can doubt “it?” replied the Cafre, and as he spake pulled out from a shred of pagne which girded his loins, a little marmouset of wood, and said: “Behold the “ GOD who has protected me ever since I came “into the world; he is made of a branch of the “ Feticha-tree of my country.” All the company in the coffee-room were no less surprized at the slave's answer than at his master's question.

On this a Bramin, shrugging up his shoulders, said to the Negro:

“Poor ideot? What, carry thy “GOD in thy girdle! Know that there is no other “ GOD but Brama, who created the World, and “ whose temples are on the banks of the Ganges. “ The Bramins are his only priests, and it is under his

special protection that they subsist for a hundred “and twenty thousand years past, in defiance of all “ the Revolutions which India has undergone." A Jew broker immediately took him up, saying: ~ How can the Bramins believe that GOD has tem

ples only in India, and that he exists for their “ caste only. There is no GOD but the GOD of Abraham, and He has no other People but that " of Israel. He preserves them, though dispersed over the whole Earth, till he shall gather them " together again at Jerusalem, to give them the

Empire of the Nations, when they shall have " there rebuilt his Temple, formerly the wonder of " the Universe.” As he pronounced these words, tears started to the Israelites eyes. He was going to resume his speech, when an Italian in a blue robe

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interrupted him in great heat: “ You make GOD unjust,” said he, “in pretending that he loves

only the people of Israel. He had rejected them “ for more than seventeen hundred years past, as “ is evident from their very dispersion. He is now

calling all men into the Roman.catholic Church,

beyond the pale of which there can be no sal“ vation.” A Protestant Minister of the Danish Mission at Trinquebar, growing pale as ashes, re*plied to the Popish Missionary: “ How dare you “ limit the salvation of mankind to your idolatrous

communion: Learn that none can be saved but " those who, conformably to the Gospel, worship “GOD in spirit and in truth, under the Law of JE“sus Christ.” Upon this a Turk, an Officer of the Customs at Surat, who was smoking his pipe, said with a grave air to the two Christians: " Fa

thers, how can you confine the knowledge of “GOD to your Churches? The Law of Jesus has “ been abolished ever since Mahomet appeared, the

paraclet predicted by Jesus Christ himself the « word of GOD. Your religion no longer sub“sists except in a few Kingdoms, and upon it's “ ruins ours has extended itself over the finest Provinces of Europe, of Africa, of Asia, and her “ Islands. It is at this day seated on the Throne of “the Great Mogul, and is penetrating into China, " that enlightened country. You yourselves dis“cern the rejection of the Jews, in their present “ state of humiliation; acknowledge then the mis“sion of the Prophet in his triumphs. The fol" lowers of Mahomet and of Omar alone can be "saved; for the disciples of Ali .are infidels.” li 3

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