1101 MOHAMMEDAN ASCENDENCY.-CAREER OF THE PROPHET.
very flourishing condition, existed side by
side in the land of his appearing. Judaism
and Christianity, the old and the new development of Mosaism, dwelt together in a sort of
subdued antagonism. The time had now come
when a third Semitic faith, more aggressive
than either and possessing the same original
ingredients as both, should appear to contest with its predecessors the battlefield of
The system of Mohammed may be defined,
first of all, as an effort to rescue the Arabs
from idolatry. But in a larger and more philosophic sense it was an effort on the part of
the Prophet to furnish a common ground and
basis of union between the Christians and the
Jews by which all the descendants of Abraham
might be gathered into a single religious household. The scheme was worthy of a great and
capacious genius. It showed that Mohammed
realized the condition of the religious world.
He saw in the chaos of the Semitic race around
him the materials for the aggrandizement of
his own nation and the glory of his own name.
He conceived it possible to readjust the Semitic fragments and to bind together both
Christian and Jew by an indissoluble tie; but
he misjudged the peoples with whom he had
to deal. So far as his own countrymen were
concerned they were soon brought within the
fold of Islam; but the sons of Israel and the
followers of Christ remained immovable in
their respective beliefs. After several tentative efforts on the Prophet's part, an open
rupture occurred between the three religious
parties in Arabia. Islam began its own independent career; Judaism fell away into obstinate conservatism, and Christianity parted
company with both. From this time forth
the three Semitic religions are seen like three
ships sailing apart on the expanse of ocean.
It may be of interest, before proceeding to
notice the political development of Mohammedanism, to review briefly the points of concord and dissonance between the three religious
systems here referred to. In many of their
fundamentals they were all at one. All had
a common historical basis. That there is one
God, Father Omnipotent and Maker of heaven
and earth, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all emphatically affirm. Secondly, that the
Divine authority in the world is to be upheld by a government-a kingdom-and that
this kingdom is to be perpetually ruled by
a Messiah, Judaism and Christianity affirm;
Islam denies. Thirdly, that Moses was an inspired lawgiver and prophet, Judaism, Islam,
and Christianity all affirm. Fourthly, that Christ was an inspired Teacher and Prophet,
Islam and Christianity affirm; Judaism denies.
Fifthly, that Christ is the Messiah and Savior
of the world, Christianity affirms; Judaism and
Islam strenuously deny. Sixthly, that Mohammed was an inspired Teacher and Prophet,
Islam vehemently affirms; Judaism does not
.affirm; Christianity denies. Seventhly, that
the Scriptures of the Old Testament contain
the inspired and authoritative doctrines of
God, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity affirm.
Eighthly, that the Scriptures of the New Testament are the words of Divine truth, Christianity affirms; Islam affirms in part, and Judaism denies. Ninthly, that the Book Al
Koran is the revealed truth of God, Islam
strongly affirms; Judaism denies in part, and
Christianity denies in whole. Tenthly, that
the world is ruled by eternal Fate, Islam affirms; Judaism does not affirm, and Christianity denies. Eleventhly, that man is a free or,
at any rate, responsible agent, Christianity
affirms; Judaism does not deny, and Islam
denies. Twelfthly, that man is rewarded for
those actions which are called virtuous and
punished for those which are called vicious,
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all affirm.
Thirteenthly, that there is a resurrection of
the body after death, Christianity and Islam
affirm; Judaism neither affirms nor denies.
Fourteenthly, that it is the highest duty of
man in this life to serve God in faith and
obedience, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
all affirm. Fifteenthly, that God is Triune,
Christianity affirms; Judaism and Islam deny.
Sixteenthly, that God made the universe out
of nothing, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
all affirm. Seventeenthly, that there is appointed a Day of Judgment in which God
will judge all men according to their works,
Christianity and Islam affirm; Judaism either
does not affirm or denies.