It is the principle of "vieille coquette, nouvelle
devote"; it is Satan preaching against Sin.
Both writers certainly lack
the "giftie" to see themselves as others see them.
In noticing these extracts my object is not to defend myself: I
recognize no man's right to interfere between a human being and his
conscience. But what is there, I would ask, in the Moslem Pilgrimage so
offensive to Christians-what makes it a subject of "inward ridicule"?
Do they not also venerate Abraham, the Father of the Faithful? Did not
Locke, and even greater names, hold Mohammedans to be heterodox
Christians, in fact Arians who, till the end of the fourth century,
represented the mass of North-European Christianity? Did Mr. Lane
neverconform by praying at a Mosque in Cairo? did he ever fear to
confess it? has he been called an apostate for so doing? Did not Father
Michael Cohen prove himself an excellent Moslem at Wahhabi-land?
The fact is, there are honest men who hold that Al-Islam,
[p.xxiii]in its capital tenets, approaches much nearer to the faith of
Jesus than do the Pauline and Athanasian modifications which, in this
our day, have divided the Indo-European mind into Catholic and Roman,
Greek and Russian, Lutheran and Anglican. The disciples of Dr. Daniel
Schenkel's school ("A Sketch of the Character of Jesus," Longmans,
1869) will indeed find little difficulty in making this admission.
Practically, a visit after Arab Meccah to Angle-Indian Aden, with its
"priests after the order of Melchisedeck," suggested to me that the
Moslem may be more tolerant, more enlightened, more charitable, than
many societies of self-styled Christians.
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