fered but little with their labors, to cramp them and give them a particular tendency. They, on their part, concerned themselves but little about politics, nor cared much to influence immediately and decisively the society in which they lived."
Liberty of thought was allowed in Roman civilization, and yet, even there, was not permitted upon political subjects. The Roman method of conciliation was, first of all, the most ample toleration of the customs, religion, and municipal freedom of the conquered, and then their gradual admission to the privileges of the conquerors. Freedom of thought was allowed to a remarkable degree. Education was controlled neither by priest nor magistrate. Writing was free, and the circulation of popular works was extensive, though probably the rulers would have quickly restrained the circulation of what they considered injurious to the state. Public speech was free upon philosophy and morals, and upon theories of government, liberty, and tyrannicide.
While Mohammedanism has fixed unalterably its doctrines and forms, and has allowed no discussion of them, and so far has been inconsistent with freedom of thought, still it has permitted a measure of free thought. Its followers do not regard infidelity or heresy as criminal, and persecution for theological opinions has not been their rule. They have never had an Inquisition; or the burning of an unbeliever under authority of law. They have always allowed conquered Christians to retain their faith, and even to have public worship. No wars of compulsory conversion like those of Charlemagne, no expulsion of unbelievers, like that of the wars of Spain, stain the record of Mohammedanism. The succession of the Greek Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem has been regular for more than four centuries, and their relations with the Sultan have been far more amicable usually than those of the Pope with the kings of France and Germany.
The Koran says, "Those who are Moslems and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabeans who believe in God and the last day, and work righteousness, for them is their reward with the Lord, and there is no fear for them, and they shall not be put to sorrow." Many of the caliphs invited Christian scholars to their courts, and were glad to have Christian students in their schools. The Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid employed Nestorians as head teachers. In the tenth century ambitious young Frenchmen went to the Asiatic schools of Spain. For instance, there Gerson, afterward Pope Sylvester II, was educated.
We now come to the progress of liberty of thought in Christendom.
The Christian Church has been afraid of inquiry because, so far as it makes unsound and false statements of fact, contrary to those of the Bible, it tends to unsettle the minds of men in what is regarded