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sitions, Mr. Gladstone invites me to enter on the discussion whether the barbarities of the revolted Irish were equalled or surpassed by those inflicted on them by the Yeomanry and Militia. I refuse to consider such a question. I am not fitted for the nice discrimination of atrocities, or for the accurate weighing of murders and massacres. I am incapable of determining on which side the balance of crime kicks the beam. But were I able to do so, I should decline to enter upon such an examination with a man who palliates, if he does not justify, the fires of Scullabogue and the horrors of Wexford Bridge. Nor do I envy the condition of mind of one who, like a modern Old Mortality, prowls among the tombs of the victims, not for the purpose of restoring to our love the memories of our martyrs, but to renew and re-chisel the letters of blood which the kindly hand of time had more than half obliterated.


The tone and language of Mr. Gladstone's review certainly did not entitle him to very courteous treatment at my hands. But I have endeavoured to reply with due moderation. His controversial acerbities (to use no stronger word) affect me but little. It is the spirit of his recent public speech and action which is the adequate and just object of indignation. Yet even the strange doings' which were long since predicted by a sagacious observer, I view in sorrow rather than in anger. When I see him—an aged Lear, discrowned by his own rash and headstrong act-contradicting his whole past, in the effort to recover what he has thrown away, my predominant sentiment is one of commiseration-a pale reflex of the respect I once felt for him, but, in common with many others, now feel no




IN the month of June last, I received a pressing and often repeated invitation from the Bishop of Lichfield, and the organising secretaries of the Church Congress, to read a paper, during the October session of that body, on the subject of Mohammedanism in Africa. There was much that was attractive to me in the proposal. It was a question which I had studied long and deeply. I was alive to its profound interest and importance. More than this, I had published, thirteen years previously, in my lectures on Mohammed and Mohammedanism,' certain views upon the subject, which had only dawned upon me gradually in the course of my inquiries, and were many of them, at that time, new, or almost new, to the Christian world. They were truths-if truths indeed they turn out to be-many of which had not then risen above the horizon. And though the book which contained them was, to my surprise as well as pleasure, welcomed by Orientalists everywhere, and received the honour of elaborate and appreciative notices from such high authorities as Dr. G. P. Badger, Professor Palmer, Professor Noldeke, Mr. Albert Réville and Mr. Blyden, yet, as I fully expected, it was received with a chorus of condemnation by, I think, the whole of the religious newspapers and periodicals in the country, with the solitary exception of the Guardian. The views I had put forward on Mohammedanism in Africa came in for a special portion of this vituperation, and I well remember that the leading missionary periodical of the day devoted some twenty pages to their annihilation.' Under these circumstances, the invitation addressed to me by men who must have had a full knowledge of my views, and a deep sense of responsibility in the selection of their speakers, seemed to me such a sign of the times, and so striking a proof, among very many others, of the extent to which, during the last few years, the Church of England, without breaking for a moment with her immemorial past, or throwing over even a fragment of her time-honoured and sacred title-deeds, had been able to move with the age, and to expand in moral and religious sympathy, no less than in practical benevolence and multifarious energy, that I was strongly tempted to spring at the proposal.

After much consideration I declined it. I did so entirely on the

ground that, during the twenty minutes allowed by the inexorable laws of the Congress, it would be impossible to give even the barest outline of the facts of Mohammedan progress in Africa, much less to draw the inferences which I should wish to draw from them, and to hedge them in with all the qualifications and reserves which so complex and so sacred a subject must needs suggest to any serious mind. By flinging the bare conclusions, at which I had ultimately arrived, at the heads of my hearers, without indicating the processes by which I had arrived at them, I should give needless offence. I should be misunderstood and misrepresented, and, what was much more important, the cause which I had most at heart, the sympathetic appreciation of a great and, after all, a kindred religion, would be retarded rather than advanced.

I gave up the project with much reluctance, and I am bound to say that that regret was intensified when, a few days ago, I came across the report, given in the newspapers, of the epigrammatic and telling paper by Canon Isaac Taylor of York, to whom, as I presume, the invitation had, on my declining it, been transferred by the authorities of the Congress. I could see, at a glance, that without, so far as appeared, any adequate preparation or study of the subject at first hand, he had rushed with headlong heedlessness upon all the dangers which had deterred or daunted me; and, what more nearly concerned me, that, while the views which he thrust on a sensitive and excited audience were as nearly as possible identical with those which, thirteen years ago, I had promulgated in my book Mohammed and Mohammedanism, they were couched in an exaggerated form, and without any of the modifications or explanations which I should have thought essential.

Whatever Canon Isaac Taylor's intentions, the net result of his paper has been well expressed by one of his critics who has long lived in Algeria thus:- Canon Taylor has constructed, at the expense of Christianity, a rose-coloured picture of Islam, by a process of comparison in which Christianity is arraigned for failures in practice, of which Christendom is deeply and penitently conscious, no account being taken of Christian precept; while Islam is judged by its better precepts only, no account being taken of the frightful shortcomings in Mohammedan practice, even from the standard of the Koran.' One good result, though it is difficult, under the circumstances, for me to feel any gratitude to Canon Taylor for it, may, no doubt, indirectly follow from the crudities which he promulgated before so influential a gathering. More attention has been and will be called to the subject, and out of the heated discussion which is now going on, we may hope that the truth will ultimately emerge. But even this advantage has, in the meantime, its serious drawbacks, for thoughtless and vehement eulogy naturally provokes an equally vehement and unreasoning detraction.

And now, with the kind permission of the editor of this Review, I will endeavour to do here what I could not have done in the twenty minutes allowed me by the Church Congress, and set forth, in outline at least, what I conceive to be the main facts connected with the progress of Islam in Africa; what, as appears to me, it has done, is doing, and can do what also it cannot do-for the Negro race; what Christendom or Christianity-for the two are not, as Canon Taylor appears often to imagine, synonymous and convertible terms-have done, or not done, or may yet do for them; what attitude, in view of these facts and inferences, should be taken by Christians in reference to the great opposing, and yet kindred, creed, and how, in particular, Christian missions will be affected thereby. If I often appear to agree with Canon Taylor in his statements and conclusions, it is little wonder, for, in so doing, I am only agreeing with myself, and seem to be hearing my own book of years past read aloud to me. If I differ from him, as I sometimes shall, it is, partly, for the reasons which I have already indicated; partly also, because, in the thirteen years which have passed since the first edition of my book appeared, I have, as far as possible, amid other permanent occupations and special studies, not shut my eyes or ears to what was going on in Africa. As the result of what I then wrote on the subject, it has been my happiness to receive many private communications, and to form many intimate friendships with Negro missionaries, Negro philanthropists, and Negro princes. In particular, I have been in frequent communication, both by letter and in person, with Mr. Edward Blyden, whom I regard as one of the most remarkable men, and whose book, entitled Christianity, Mohammedanism, and the Negro Race, which has recently appeared, I regard, taking into consideration all the circumstances, as one of the most remarkable books I have ever met.

Many scattered lights have, no doubt, been thrown upon the complex questions connected with the condition of Africa and its religious future by the long line of enterprising travellers, of selfsacrificing missionaries, of earnest philanthropists who have visited the country, from the times of Ibn Batuta or Leo Africanus down to those of Mungo Park or Barth, Moffat or Livingstone. These men have gone to Africa, have travelled or lived among the natives, have studied their manners, have endeavoured to sympathise with and understand them, and have come back to their homes, laden with the guesses, the hopes, or the fears, the difficulties, the dangers, or the disappointments, which any attempt to grapple with so vast a problem must needs involve. But, hitherto, no light has shone, no voice has come, audible at all events to the outer world, from Africa itself. It is in the pages of Mr. Blyden's book that the great dumb, dark continent has, at last, begun to speak, and in tones which, if I mistake not, even those who most differ from his conclusions will VOL. XXII.-No. 130. 3 H


be glad to listen to and wise to ponder. The essay have been written at very different times and cover v portions of the African field, but they are all inspired purpose, and converge towards the same conclusion. pathos and their passion, their patriotic enthusiasm a sophic calm, their range of sympathy and their genu power, they will, I think, quite irrespective of the imp questions which they handle, arrest the attention of casual reader. If ever any one spoke upon his special right to be heard upon it, it is Mr. Blyden, and, for this that his whole life has been a preparation for it. With pl and literary ability, and general intellectual power, v been a European, would have enabled him to fill and to any public post, a great traveller and an accomplis equally familiar with Hebrew and Arabic, with Gree with five European and with several African langu deliberately chosen to consecrate all his gifts to what m again in his career, have seemed to him an almost t hopeless task, the elevation and regeneration of his rac of the Negroes, and keenly alive to their sufferings, comings and their vices, he has, nevertheless, an unwav in their future; and that future, who can say how mu efforts may, with the help of those whom his book m hereafter, influence, go far to secure? He has studie wherever he is to be found-in the West Indies, where he born; in the United States, both before and since eman the English settlement of Sierra Leone, and in the republi where a thin varnish of European civilisation often se mask or to destroy his individuality; and, in the Muslin communities of the interior, where a white face has been seen. His book may make its way slowly at first; but I think it will form a new starting-point in the history of will seriously and permanently modify the views which have hitherto held of them and of their future. I wish I quote largely from his pages, but must content myse referring those who are interested in the subject to the and, meanwhile, not content to say with Pontius Pilate I have written, I have written,' and, availing myself of the to which I have referred, I would endeavour to hand subject of Islam in Africa, modifying, or strengthening, any statements which, in the light of longer study and a ledge, may appear to me to require it.

First, then, what are the leading facts as regards the g extent of Islam in Africa? They are very imperfectly re now, by many of those who speak and write upon the sub since the conqueror Akbar swept in one sweep of unbrok

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