Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/84

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says, a relative and not a positive term. He makes a great deal of play out of what he seems to suppose will be a very painful and surprising consideration to myself, that to a Mohammedan I am an infidel. Of course I am; and I should never expect a Mohammedan, if he were called upon, as I was, to argue before an assembly of his own fellow-believers, to call me anything else. Prof. Huxley is good enough to imagine me in his company on a visit to the Hazar Mosque at Cairo, When he entered that mosque without due credentials, he suspects that, had he understood Arabic, "dog of an infidel" would have been by no means the most "unpleasant" of the epithets showered upon him, before he could explain and apologize for the mistake. If, he says, "I had had the pleasure of Dr. Wace's company on that occasion, the undiscriminative followers of the Prophet would, I am afraid, have made no difference between us; not even if they had known that he was the head of an orthodox Christian seminary." Probably not; and I will add that I should have felt very little confidence in any attempts which Prof, Huxley might have made, in the style of his present article, to protect me, by repudiating for himself the unpleasant epithets which he deprecates. It would, I suspect, have been of very little avail to attempt a subtle explanation, to one of the learned mollahs of whom he speaks, that he really did not mean to deny that there was one God, but only that he did not know anything on the subject, and that he desired to avoid expressing any opinion respecting the claims of Mohammed, It would be plain to the learned mollah that Prof, Huxley did not believe either of the articles of the Mohammedan creed—in other words that, for all his fine distinctions, he was at bottom a downright infidel, such as I confessed myself, and that there was an end of the matter. There is no fair way of avoiding the plain matter of fact in either case, A Mohammedan believes and asserts that there is no God but God, and that Mohammed is the prophet of God. I don't believe Mohammed. In the plain, blunt, sensible phrase people used to use on such subjects I believe he was a false prophet, and I am a downright infidel about him. The Christian creed might almost be summed up in the assertion that there is one, and but one God, and that Jesus Christ is his prophet; and whoever denies that creed says that he does not believe Jesus Christ, by whom it was undoubtedly asserted. It is better to look facts in the face, especially from a scientific point of view. Whether Prof, Huxley is justified in his denial of that creed is a further question, which demands separate consideration, but which was not, and is not now, at issue. All I say is that his position involves that disbelief or infidelity, and that this is a responsibility which must be faced by agnosticism.