was no hope of further success at Mecca; the expectation of Mahomet was directed northwards.

Sura XVII.

His very dreams lay there. He was carried by night to the Temple at Jerusalem; and thence (so runs the tradition) upwards to the very presence of the Almighty, from whom he received the ordinance for prayer five times a day.

Sura XXX.

He likewise adventured an augury that victory would be achieved by Heraclius speedily over his Persian foes.

Again the time of pilgrimage arrived, and Mahomet found himself surrounded by an enthusiastic band of above seventy disciples from Medina, who, in a secret

A.D. 622.

defile at Minâ, pledged themselves to receive and defend him at the risk of life and property. Forthwith he resolved to quit the ungrateful and rebellious city, and gave command to his followers to "depart unto Medina; for the Lord verily hath given you brethren in that city, and a home in which ye may find refuge." And so, abandoning house and home, they set out secretly in little parties for Medina, where the numbers soon reached perhaps one hundred and fifty, counting women and children. At last Mahomet, with Abu Bekr and Ali, and their families, were left almost alone behind. The Coreish, disconcerted by this unexpected turn, now held a council. It is thus described in the Corân: "And call to mind when the Unbelievers plotted against thee, that they

Sura VIII. 29.

might detain thee, or slay thee, or expel thee. Yea, they plotted: but God plotted likewise. And God is the best of plotters." But Mahomet, warned of their


designs, made his escape to a cave in Mount Thaur, near Mecca; and three days after, eluding the vigilance of his enemies, was on his way to Medina.

Sura IX. 42.

The day of his flight marks the era of the Hégira (or emigration) A.D. 622.

The portions of the Corân belonging to the last few years at Mecca, reiterate the arguments already described against idolatry and the objections urged by the unbelievers; proofs of the Divine attributes; Scriptural and legendary tales; with vivid, and sometimes dramatic, representations of heaven and hell. Towards the close of this period will also be found allusions to the impending emigration. The Suras grow much longer (extending often over many pages), and the diction becomes still tamer and more artificial, but every here and there with bursts of bold imagery and impassioned poetry.

A new feature appears in Christianity now coming under notice. In the earlier Suras our Faith is mentioned seldom and but allusively. Throughout the Corân, indeed, passages relating to the Gospel are comparatively few;

Suras XIX. 1; 
III. 33; V. 118.

but two or three are given in great detail, and recite the narratives of the births of John the Baptist and of Jesus: the first of these was produced shortly after Mahomet's return from Tâif. There are also some passages regarding our Lord's miracles, a few references to the Apostles, and the

and XVIII.

tale (rendered with much fantastic colouring) of the Seven Sleepers. The Gospel narrative corresponds generally with the opening of St. Luke,