4i prophet on the strength of miracles, then the
<4 deference to it is very dependent; because a mira-
44 cle is not firmly established, and rests only upon
64 tradition or a demon's romances: as the house of
" tradition, from old age, falls in ruins, it deserves
4t no confidence. Besides, by the regulation of di-
44 vine providence, occult sciences are numerous;
44 and the properties of bodies without end or num-
44 ber. Why should it not happen that such a phe-
46 nomenon, which thou thinkest to be a miracle, be
44 nothing else but one of the properties of several
44 bodies, or a strange effect of the occult art? As
44 with thee, the dividing of the moon, of which
44 thou hast heard, is a miracle, why shouldst thou
4 4 not admit, as proved, the moon of Kashgar ? *
C4 And if thou namest Moses,4 the speaker of God,'
44 why shouldst thou not so much the more give this
" title to Sameri,2 who caused a calf to speak?
44 But if it be said that every intellect has not the
'4 power of comprehending the sublime precepts,
1 This reminds of Hakem, the moon-maker.—(See p. 3, note 1.)
2 The name of a magician said to have been contemporary with Moses.
He is mentioned in the Koran, chap. XX. v. 87. Sale observes (vol. II.
pp. 145.146. N. 9.) that he was not, as the Muhammedans believe, one of
the Samaritans, who were not then formed into a people, nor bore that
name till many ages after. Selden is of opinion, that this person was no
other than Aaron himself, called al Sameri, from the Hebrew word sha-
mar, " to keep;" because he was the keeper, or guardian, of the children
of Israel during the absence of his brother, Moses, on the mount.