iminense progress during the past century; we see how, perhaps with a presentiment of a conflict near at hand, it seeks to become acquainted with the benefits of modern culture; we see how in Africa mighty regions become tributary to it. It is possible that if, in the coming century, some gifted man succeeds in inspiring these tremendous masses of Mohammedans with one aim, we shall have a hard battle to fight. Let us hope that Western civilization and European politics will succeed in leading the powers active in Islam into peaceful paths, and fit them to take part in the one great aim of humanity-the spread of true civilization.




IN order to bring out clearly the point of view from which I shall approach this subject, I must begin by a few preliminary observations. We know that Christianity, the highest and purest faith in the world, has always been essentially a militant and missionary religion, pressing onward unceasingly to extend its doctrines and to make fresh proselytes. We know, also, that in the seventh century of our era another faith arose, even more intensely militant, more fiercely intent upon propagation than Christianity—the faith of Mohammed or Islam. By this rival faith Christianity was fiercely attacked, and was eventually driven out of Asia and northern Africa, leaving only a few obscure sects, like the Armenians and Nestorians, surviving in countries which had once been almost wholly Christian. All the western region of Asia was easily overrun and converted by the Mohammedans; but eastward of Persia the spread of their religion ceased to coincide with the spread of their dominion; they could conquer India, yet they could only convert it very partially. In peace and war, they are always

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