The Moral Law in Islamic Missions

Horatio Southgate writes:

The boast of Mohammedanism is the morality which it inculcates, and this boast is the weapon which can be most effectually used against it. A Mussulman not only listens with patience to the strongest delineations of moral duty, but they invariably increase his respect for the teacher. Many of the Mohammedan treatises on practical religion may be read with profit, even by a Christian. They inculcate the fear and love of God, humility, patience, resignation, purity, and kindness, very much in the spirit and manner of the Old Testament. The religious state of the Mohammedans corresponds remarkably with that of the Jews at the coming of Christ; and the introduction of Christianity furnishes us with the true model of a Christian mission among the Mohammedans. Each missionary should be a John the Baptist, preaching repentance to a guilty nation, or, like the Saviour, should go about teaching the spiritual character of the Law of God. The Mohammedans, like the Jews in our Saviour’s time, have departed very far even from the original spirit of their own religion. Their moral character has degenerated, and their religious practice has become a round of vain and frivolous superstitions. It stands only in meats and drinks, in divers washings and carnal ordinances. They need first of all a forerunner to prepare the way of the Lord. They need to feel their moral necessity of another Mediator and a better covenant.

From Narrative of a Tour Through Armenia, Kurdistan, Persia and Mesopotamia: With Observations Upon the Condition of Mohammedanism and Christianity in Those Countries, Volume 2.

2 thoughts on “The Moral Law in Islamic Missions”

  1. Southgate! An obscure figure. What is interesting to me about him is that he at first wanted to go an do direct evangelism of Muslims. Later on he changed his mind and became a rather divisive figure, moving to Constantinople where he supported the local Armenians against his fellow American Protestants! He eventually became a bishop without a single elder or deacon under his oversight–how odd.

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