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but, lately shaken off the yoke of Muhammad's followers, while the prayers he prescribed; and the creed he taught still resound on the very site of the Temple of Solomon. The language of the Ishmaelites, before which almost every other Semitic tongue has vanished, is in use throughout the vast area above mentioned in the ceremonial devotions of the people, and almost the whole of the voluminous literature of that and of the Persian, the Turkish, the Urdu, and the Afghan languages celebrates the praises of the "Seal of the Prophets,"1 the "Messenger of God."

It cannot be devoid of interest to us therefore to investigate the main tenets of this mighty religious system and seek to discover the secret of the influence it has wielded in the past and even now exercises over the minds of so many of our fellow men in many lands and many climes.

§ 2. The secret of the might of Islam lies in the proportion of truth which it inculcates. The mind of Man in all ages seeks to discover for itself or learn

Secret of
its Strength

from a higher source the solution of the great mysteries of our existence, and busies itself with inquiries into the meaning and object of life, while at the same time striving to pierce the dark veil which hangs over the grave, and to find some lingering ray of. heavenly light to gild the gloomy shadows of the tomb. Nature within and

1 Two of Muhammad's many titles—in Arabic   خَاتِمُ  اْلإَنْبِيَاءَ and رَسُولُ  اللهِ

around us testifies to the being and the power of God, while our intellect utterly fails by seeking to find out the Almighty unto perfection. Our consciences testify to our responsibility to Him for our actions, while the world around us seems to have for us no voice of comfort when in penitence we seek the way of. pardon. Yet at the same time Man is engrossed with the cares and pleasures of life, and has no inclination—for the most part—to concern himself with mysteries1 which seem to him impenetrable.

If then a religion be found which promises to answer, the most pressing questions in a clear and practical manner, which professes to come from God and to reveal God and the way of salvation, which promises an eternity of bliss to its adherents and offers to them as an earnest thereof the good things of this lower world, and which is (to the mind of ordinary men) devoid of any manifest absurdity, —such a faith will have much to recommend it to most men. And this attractiveness will be still further increased if the religion which thus

Not now
of past
of Islam.

demands their adherence is accompanied by the pomp of war, the glories of victory, and supported by the irresistible logic of the sword. Such is the case with the religion of Muhammad. We are not at present concerned with the method of the propagation of that faith, but there can be no doubt

1 Οϋτως άταλαίπωρος τοίς πολ λοίς ή ζήτησις τή ς άληθείας, καί έπί τά έτοίμα μάλλον τρέπονται — ( Thucydides, i. 20.)

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