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Here, then, we have a long period of twelve centuries, during which Christianity has been in contact with her mortal foe; while upon three marked occasions that foe was the grand object of her hopes and fears. It would have been natural, therefore, to expect that Christian Europe would have entered the lists not merely with the sword and with the shield. We might have anticipated that, her learned divines and apologists would have advanced to the combat clad in the celestial armour of the Gospel; and that Rome, besides pouring forth the martial bands of Christendom, would have strenuously and unremittingly applied its hosts of learned monks and ecclesiastics to overcome the adversary with such spiritual weapons as would better have suited the sacred contest. The banners of Islam approached close to the papal See; and the Crescent, almost within sight of Imperial Rome, shone brightly upon Spain, Turkey, and Sicily. Might we not then have hoped that its inauspicious rays would have waned before the transcendent glory of the Sun of Righteousness? How fallacious were such expectations! We learn, indeed, that "in later times, when, in the vicissitudes of military adventure, the arms of the Mohammedan were found to preponderate, some faint attempts were made, or meditated, to convince those whom it proved impossible to subdue"; and again, that, "in 1285, Honorius iv. in order to convert the Saracens strove to establish at Paris schools for Arabic and other Oriental languages. The council of Vienna, in 1312, recommended the same method; and Oxford, Salamanca, Bologna, as well as Paris, were places selected for the establishment of the professorships. But the decree appears to have remained without effect until Francis I. called it into life."1 And where are the marks and effects of this feeble and tardy resolution? As far as practical controversy is concerned, they are buried in obscurity. Learned works upon the Arabic tongue, translations from its authors, or at best, dissertations and commentaries which too often fight with the air, and sometimes betray gross ignorance of the real views and tenets of Islam, are all that remain. The dominion of the false Prophet needed

1 Waddington's History of the Church.

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