community may be regarded by the Christian with shame and confusion. In a purely Mahometan country,1 however low may be the general level of moral feeling, the still lower depths of fallen humanity are comparatively unknown. The "social evil" and intemperance prevalent in Christian lands are the strongest weapons in the armoury of Islâm. We point, and justly, to the higher morality and civilization of those who do observe the precepts of the Gospel, to the stricter unity and virtue which cement the family, and to the elevation of the sex; but in vain, while the example of our great cities, and too often of our representatives abroad, belies the argument. And yet the argument is sound; for, in proportion as Christianity exercises her legitimate influence, vice and intemperance will wane and vanish, and the higher morality pervade the whole body; while in Islâm the deteriorating influences of polygamy, divorce, and concubinage, have been stereotyped for all time.

In fine, the vital and most potent difference between the two systems centres in the lives of their Founders. The one lived a life of self-sacrifice; the other of self-indulgence. The one imposing by force of arms the inevitable law of a Supreme ruler; the other drawing his people by the force of love to a reconciling Father. The one laying down his life, that we through his death might have life eternal;—but here the parallel must fail, and with it the

1 The remark applies only to a purely Moslem society. In Mussulman cities, with a mixed population of different creeds and nationalities, there is much immorality for which Islâm is not immediately responsible.


parallel also of the new creating energy inherent in the Christian faith.

Dr. Weil, the learned and impartial historian of the Prophet and his Successors, after describing various features favourable to Islâm, proceeds with his verdict thus:—

"We are far, indeed, from seeking by these considerations to place the Founder of Islâm side by side with the Founder of Christianity; but in our view the difference lies less in their respective dogmas than in their personal individuality. Had the Motazela school been in a position to develop itself as freely as the Protestant, perhaps there might have been framed out of the Corân a theology that would have satisfied the requirements of human reason as fully as the Rationalism based on the Gospel. It is in the life of Mahomet, first appearing in its true character at Medina, not in his heterodox teaching as to the Fall and Salvation, and his rejection of the Trinity (as the doctrine was taught in the seventeenth century), that we must trace the decline and eventual fall of Islâm. Christ was true to his teaching, and sealed it with his death. Mahomet shunned the dangers which beset him, and sought by every kind of artifice, and in the end by sheer force, to gain the mastery for himself and his religion. Furthermore, not satisfied with promulgating his religious and moral precepts in the name of God, at last even his secular laws and ordinances were treated as emanating from heaven, although he was frequently compelled by circumstances to change the same, and had not even the self-control to bring himself first of all under subjection to them. As Mahomet has not only no pretension to be a mediator between God and man, but cannot be taken in any respect even as a pattern of virtue, therefore his Revelation has become a dead letter, powerless to quicken the soul with true religion. That the Corân appears to us, in its relation to the Gospel, an anachronism is not in consequence of its opposing certain dogmas the inner significance of which was imperfectly known at the time, but because, like the books of Moses, it contains ordinances which are not useful, or even applicable, to all lands and