The Outlook For Islam -- By: D. L. Leonard

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 051:204 (Oct 1894)
Article: The Outlook For Islam
Author: D. L. Leonard

The Outlook For Islam

Rev. D. L. Leonard

If asked to name the three organized religious forces which constitute the chefs-dœuvre of the prince of evil upon earth, the mightiest antagonists of Christianity, with which the fight for mastery bids fair to be fiercest and longest, one need not hesitate to answer, Mohammedanism, Brahmanism, and Confucianism. And the system founded by the Arabian “prophet” is full as likely as either of the other two to endure for centuries, and maintain to the end a sturdy and desperate resistance to the gospel. Compared with the struggle certain to be required to conquer this triad of errors and iniquities, how insignificant the task of evangelizing all the world besides, including Japan, the Islands of the Sea, and even Africa with its measureless mass of degradation and savagery.

The relations existing between the Cross and the Crescent are peculiar and most intimate. These two forms of faith and practice had their origin in Southwestern Asia in regions adjacent and as closely connected as Palestine and Arabia, while their founders and early propagators were close kindred of the great Semitic race. At many points they have not a little in common, holding certain great names in highest honor and reverence, cherishing the same religious traditions, and even agreeing upon a few fundamental doctrines. Nor does it approach to slander to affirm that, in a general way, Islam is largely but a gross heretical perversion of the gospel. Still further, these two antagonistic systems have

dwelt side by side from the first, engaged in strife unceasing and irrepressible, with victory inclining sometimes to one and sometimes to the other. More than once, and for generations together, it has looked as though the Moslem would prove himself more than a match for the Christian, and would master the whole civilized world. It was six centuries after the ministry of Jesus ended before Mohammed began to teach, and three centuries after the Roman Empire by imperial proclamation had been made Christian, But immediately, through the cogent persuasion of the sword, his ideas and the acknowledgment of his claims began to spread like wildfire in every direction, until his dominion extended from the Caspian on the east to the Atlantic on the west.

Egypt was invaded by the fiery zealots of Islam as early as 641, nor was any force available able to withstand their impetuous onset. Before the end of the century the Arabs were in supreme power upon the entire southern coast of the Mediterranean. In 711 they crossed to Spain, and soon were masters in that peninsula. In 731 they pierced the Pyrenees, though only to meet with most humiliating and overwhelming defeat a...

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