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34                         AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
clever historian of Islam makes the following comment:
"Bad, very bad;—perhaps he would not even be satisfied
with the seven riddles of the universe of the latest natural
To every petition and importunity of the Jesuits to turn
to Christianity Akbar maintained a firm opposition. A
second and third embassy which the order at Goa sent out
in the nineties of the sixteenth century, also labored in vain
for Akbar's conversion in spite of the many evidences of
favor shown by the Emperor. One of the last Jesuits to
come, Jerome Xavier of Navarre, is said to have been in-
duced by the Emperor to translate the four Gospels into Per-
sian which was the language of the Mohammedan court of
India. But Akbar never thought of allowing himself to
be baptized, nor could he consider it seriously from political
motives as well as from reasons of personal conviction.
A man who ordered himself to be officially declared the
highest authority in matters of faith—to be sure not so
much in order to found an imperial papacy in his country
as to guard his empire from an impending religious war—
at any rate a man who saw how the prosperity of his reign
proceeded from his own personal initiative in every respect,
such a man could countenance no will above his own nor
subject himself to any pangs of conscience. To recognize
the Pope as highest authority and simply to recognize as
objective truth a finally determined system in the realm in
which he had spent day and night in a hot pursuit after a
clearer vision, was for Akbar an absolute impossibility.
Then too Akbar could not but see through the Jesuits
although he appreciated and admired many points about
them. Their rigid dogmatism, their intolerance and in-
ordinate ambition could leave him no doubt that i£ they
once arose to power the activity of the Ulemas, once by
good fortune overthrown, would be again resumed by them
"A. Miiller, II, 420 n.