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do the trail of a lion; how it crumpled up the Roman Empire on one side, and the Persian on the other, driving Christianity before it on the west and north, and Fire-Worship on the east and south; how it spread over two continents, and how it settled in a third, and how, the tide of invasion carrying it headlong onward through Spain into France, it at one time almost overwhelmed the whole, till Charles the Hammer turned it back upon itself in his fivedays' victory at Tours; how throughout these vast conquests, after a short time, to intolerance succeeded toleration, to ignorance knowledge, to barbarism civilisation; how the indivisible empire, the representative on earth of the Theocracy in heaven, became many empires, with rival Khalifs at Damascus and Bagdad, at Cairo, Cairoan, and Cordova; how horde after horde of barbarians of the great Turkish or Tartar stock were precipitated on the dominions of the faithful, only to be conquered by the faith of those whose arms they overthrew, and were compelled henceforward, by its inherent force, to destroy what they had worshipped, to worship what they had destroyed; how, when the news came that the very birth-place of the Christian faith had fallen into their hands, a nerve was touched,' as Gibbon says, ' of exquisite feeling, and the sensation vibrated to the heart of Europe;' how Christendom itself thus be



came for two hundred years half Mohammedanised, and tried to meet fanaticism by counter-fanaticism— the sword, the Bible, and the Cross, against the scymitar, the Koran, and the Crescent; how, lastly, when the tide of aggression had been checked, it once more burst its barriers, and seating itself on the throne of the Cæsars of the East, threatened more than once the very centre of Christendom, till at length,

'The Moslem faith, though flickering like a torch

In a night struggle on the shores of Spain,

Glared, a broad column of advancing flame,

Along the Danube and the Illyrian shore

Far into Italy, where eager monks

Who watch in dreams, and dream the while they watch,
Saw Christ grow paler in the baleful light,

Crying again the cry of the forsaken.'

-all this is matter of history, at which I can only glance.

And what is the position of Islam now?

It numbers at this day more than one hundred millions, probably one hundred and fifty millions, of believers as sincere, as devout, as true to their creed as are the believers in any creed whatever. It still has its grip on two continents, and a foothold, even if a precarious foothold, in a third. It extends from Morocco to the Malay peninsula, from Zanzibar to the Kirghis horde. It embraces within its ample circumference two extensive empires, one Sunni, the other Shiah, the first of which, though it has often

been pronounced sick unto death or even dead, is not dead yet, and is even showing some signs of reviving vitality. It still claims the allegiance of those widely scattered countries from which in the dimmest antiquity sprang the worship of Stars and of Fire, the worship of Baal and of Moloch, of Al Lat and of Al Uzza, of Ormuzd and of Ahriman, of Isis and of Osiris. It still grasps Mount Sinai, the cradle of the Jewish, and Bethlehem, the cradle of the Christian Faith. It is to be found beneath the shadow even of those giant mountains of Nepal which gave birth to Buddha. To the votaries, therefore, of Islam belong the spots which, from their antiquity or their associations, are most dear to the great religions of the world; and the countries which are the birthplace of them all. Theirs is the Cave of Machpelah, theirs the Church of the Nativity, theirs the Holy Sepulchre, theirs Mount Elburz. To Islam belong El Azhar at Cairo, the Taj at Agra, Saint Sophia at Constantinople, the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem, and the Kaaba at Mecca, Africa, which had yielded so early to Christianity, nay, which had given birth to Latin Christianity itself, the Africa of Cyprian and Tertullian, of Antony and of Augustine, yielded still more readily to Mohammed; and from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Isthmus of Suez may still be heard the cry which with them is no vain repetition of 'Allahu-Akbar,



Allahu-Akbar,'-' God is most great, there is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God.' 1

And if it be said, as it often is, that Mohammedanism has gained no territorial extension since the first flame of religious enthusiasm, fanned, as it then often was, by the lust of conquest, has died out, I answer that this is far from the truth.

In the extreme East, Mohammedanism has since then won and maintained for centuries a moral supremacy in the important Chinese province of Yunnan, and has thus actually succeeded in thrusting a wedge between the two great Buddhist empires of Burmah and of China. 2 Within our own memory,

In the Adhan, or morning call to Prayer, which at once by its musical cadences, and its associations, produces so deep an impression on all Eastern travellers, the words Allahu-Akbar are repeated four times at the beginning, and twice at the end. The translation of the call is as follows:-'God is most great. I testify there is no God but God. I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. Prayer is better than sleep. God is most great. There is no God but God.' See Curzon's 'Monasteries of the Levant,' p. 56, &c. Walpole's ‘Ansayrii,' p. 55-59. Lane's 'Modern Egyptians,' I. 91.

2 Marco Polo (II. 52 seq.) found Musalmans as well as Nestorian Christians in the province of Carajan, i.e. Yun-nan, in the thirteenth century; and Colonel Yule in a note ad loc. cites a statement of Bashiduddin, the Persian historian of the Mongols, that 'all the inhabitants of Yachi, its capital town, were in his time Mohammedans ;' an overstatement no doubt, but still substantially true. Ibn Batuta in the following century (Ibn Batuta's Travels,' translated by Rev. S. Lee), says (p. 208) that in every Chinese province there was a town for the Mohammedans, with cells, villages, and mosques, and that they were made much of by the Emperor of China;''in each town too there was a Sheikh el Islam who administered justice.'

indeed, after a fifteen years' war, and under the leadership of Ta Wên Siu, one of those half-military, half-religious geniuses, which Islam seems always capable of producing, it succeeded in wresting from the Celestial Empire a territorial supremacy in the western half of this province. A few years ago an embassy of intelligent and, it is worth adding, of progressive and of tolerant Musalmans from Yun-nan, headed by Prince Hassan, son of the chieftain who had now become the Sultan Soliman, appeared in our own country, and the future of the Panthays,' as they are called, began at length to attract attention, not so much, I fear, from the extraordinary interest attaching to their religious history-that interests few Englishmen—as from the possible opening to our Eastern trade, the only Gospel which most Englishmen care now to preach, and one which we did consistently for many years propagate by our commercial wars in China and Japan, at the expense of every principle of religion and humanity. Unfortunately the interests of our trade were not sufficiently bound up with the existence of the Panthays to call for any representations on the part of a nation which, in spite of its higher instincts and aspirations, is still above all commercial,

A name given to them by their Burmese neighbours, from whom the word has passed into the Western World. It is said to be a corruption of the Burmese 'Putthee,' i.e., Mohammedan.

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