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NOTES ON CURRENT TOPICS

301

natural seme of the original Arabic is the measure of the homage extorted by the manifest superiority of Christian ethics from the follow- ers of a system which they perhaps recognise as inferior, though the circumstances of birth and social training forbid public acknowledg- ment of the fact. Striking instances of this are found for example in

made to the faithful as to the

enjoyments in paradise, and to the precept of jehad or religious war. It

has been argued in these latter days, when the pure ethic of our Christianity permeates more and more the mass of the world’s general thought, in opposition, as it seems to us, to the plain sense of the Koran, that Mohammed advocated monogamy; it is also urged in equally plain contradiction of unmistakable words that the houris of Paradise are to be interpreted figuratively, and once again that there is no such thing as jekud or religious war inculcated in the Koran. As Christians, of course, we must welcome such modern interpretation as showing how necessary even Mohammedans feel it to be to use (though they do not acknowledge its source) the light which comes from the True Light,

from time to time facts which are

unfamiliar to a good many readers.”

but it seems advisable to restate

reference to marriage, to the promises

A Moslem Seeker in Dacca

Kurreem (the gracious) is an elderly man, of humble position, and keeps a tiny shop. He is one of those who are growing dissatisfied both with their prophet and their book. His business not being large

he finds leisure for reading and reflection. It was while so engaged that one of our evangelists first found him. Since then he has invari- ably shown himself glad to converse about the things of God. I well remember how during one of these visits he unwittingly taught me a lesson of more humble reliance upon God. We were occupied with some aspect of religion, when a customer intruded upon our talk. With singular politeness Kurreem besought the customer to excuse him that day as he was busy! I was about to remonstrate with my friend, when he raised his hand, and, on the departure of the customer, said:

“My good friend, we are engaged in business much more serious than a

sale.

man to me again.”

He

God knows my needs, and should He think well, He will send that

There you have an insight into his character.

is a seeker after God, and this seeking is with him a matter of deep concern. He has never resented our talk about Christ and not once has any bitterness entered into his speech as we have considered together the

claims of the Saviour.

bigoted opponent of the Gospel, like hosts of his co-religionists.

At his time of life Kurreem might have been a

Before I left India Kurreem assured me that he had not only read the Gospels with which we had supplied him, but has derived much

comfort from them.

This ismot to say that all his Moslem prejudices

have been removed, but we hear very much less of them than we do of praise and admiration for the beauty of Christ’s teaching, and for the noble example of Christ’s life; and he has begged us to pray to God

for him. A Moslem asks prayer of a,Christian!

The Christian.

Islam and Christianity

The Rev. H. G. Harding draws attention to the Moslem problem in

1917, and calls it The Battle-

He said: “The real difficulty is that the Church of

the Church Missionary Review, Aug.,

field of ike Ages.

302 THE MOSLEM WORLD

Christ does not realize the vital character of the conflict with Islam. She realizes the danger teday no more than she did in the year 632. We think of Islam as one among many old world religions hastening to inevitable extinction before the advance of knowledge and civilization. We think of it as a religion founded and extended solely by the sword, and with the dwindling of Mohammedan temporal power are content to believe that all danger to our Faith is past. We forget that to-day no error can be, if indeed it ever has been, successfully propagated by physi- cal force alone. The real danger is and always has been the vital enerm of Islam, and its determined aspiration after universal dominion. Islam is the “Germany” of world religions.

for the world-wide

religions

To sum

up.

Two great

contend

obedience of mankind, and neither can rest content with anything lcss. Islam has in the past been strong enough to defeat the Christian Church in her own strongholds; it is extending to-day at a rate which is the surest evidence of unimpaired vitality, and the Church is doing but little to check its progress. Yet the results of missionary effort in India and elsewhere show that before aggressive spiritual Christanity Islam can never stand. Upon the ancient battlefield, never utterly

abandoned by the Church, she may yet win a victory that shall wipe out the memory of past defeats. Here the political supremacy of Islam is slipping away, new possibilities are opening, and by a bold and vigorous effort in Palestine now, Christianity might produce spiritual results which would have a far-reaching effect on the future of the struggle.”

The Bible in

Kermanshah

Writing from his station at Kermanshah, well within the Persian hor- der, the Rev. F. M. Stead, of the American Presbyterian Mission, gives a vivid glimpse of the ups and downs of Bible distribution since the war began : “We have seen three military evacuations and occupations. Wc have Seen Kermanshah turned into a training camp for Kurdish cavalry and Persian infantry. We have Seen here the concentration of des- perate and angered tribes, driven from position after position till they fell back grudgingly to this district. We have seen Russians and Turks fighting at our doors. We have seen burning villages; homeless women and children; many sick, wounded, dying, dead-a little of the havoc and horror of war. But through it all we have been able to put the Word of God into the hands of war-worn men, and our hearts have been comforted. When the Russians were in Kermanshah a colporteur ventured on

He had several

being robbed among those merry-hearted but pre-

datory tribesmen ; his sales were small, but apparently he broke fresh ground among the descendents of an ancient race, whose speech became the language of the Zendavesta.

a trip to the Lurs in the hills of the Pusht-i-Kub.

narrow escapes of

Strangely enough, while the Turkish flag Boated over the city- from July I, 1916, to March 11, 1g17-the colporteurs were more successful by x,goo copies than they had ever been before in the same space of time; and when one of them, the grandson of a wealthy Jewish merchant, was cast into prison on false charges (a Persian device for extorting money), an appeal to the Turkish commander secured his release. In November the usual Bible journeys were for- bidden by the Persian officials on pretence that the men might aid communication with the Russians. Their efforts were confined to the