Sale, George

, a learned Englishman, who died at London in 1736, was a man who did much service to the republic of letters, but of his private history we have no account. He had a hand in the “Universal History,” and executed the cosmogony and a part of the history following. He was also engaged in other publications; but his capital work is “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 Discourse,1734, 4to. The preliminary discourse consists of 186 pages, and is divided into eight sections, which treat of the following particulars: Sect. 1. “Of the Arabs before Mohammed, or, as they express it, in the * time of ignorance' their history, religion, learning, and customs.” Sect. 2. “Of the state of Christianity, particularly of the Eastern Churches, and of Judaism, at the time of Mohamrrved’s appearance; and of the methods taken by him for establishing his religion, and the circumstances which concurred thereto.” Sect. 3. “Of the | Koran itself, the peculiarities of that book, the manner of its being written and published, and the general design of it.” &ect. 4. “Of the doctrines and positive precepts of the Koran, which relate to faith and religious duties.” Sect. 5, “Or certain negative precepts in the Koran.” Sect. 6. “Of the institutions of the Koran in civil affairs.” Sect. 7. “Of the months commanded by the Koran to be kept sacred, and of the setting apart of Friday for the especial service of God.” Sect. 8. “Of the principal sects among the Mohammedans; and of those who have pretended to prophesy among the Arabs in or since the time of Mohammed.” This preliminary discourse, as should seem, might deserve to be published separately from the Koran. Mr. Sale was also one of the members of the society for the encouragement of learning, begun in 1736, but as he died in that year, could not have enjoyed the promised advantages of it. He was one of the authors of the “General Dictionary,” to which we so often refer, which includes a translation of Bayle, 10 vols. folio. Mr. Sale left a son, who was fellow of New college, Oxford, where he took his degree of M. A. in 1756. He was afterwards a fellow of Winchester college, in 1765, and died a short time after. 1