Most Merciful, the Almighty Creator of all things. In the Torah God's gracious Purpose concerning men is so stated as to make it possible for them, through knowledge of the One True God, to have faith in Him, to serve Him acceptably, and thus to satisfy the yearnings of their spirits and to attain to eternal bliss. In the books of the Prophets and in the Zabur this teaching gradually reaches higher levels. In these books God shows us how from the first He was training the children of Israel, in spite of their many sins and shortcomings, to be the teachers of the world in religious matters. He thus gradually through the Prophets made it clear that the outward rites and ceremonies, in most cases originally taken from the heathen, but improved and sanctioned in the Torah for a time for the use of Israel, were not of any value in themselves or as an end, though they were useful as means to the attainment of an end. This end seems to have been twofold: (1) to separate the Israelites from all other nations until the Promised Deliverer should come, and (2) to teach them that the ceremonial ordinances of even a Divinely given law (شريعة) could not satisfy man's spirit nor please God, but that these were the shadows and symbols of true worship, since those who worship God acceptably must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Thus Samuel says: "Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (I Sam. xv. 22). In the Book of the Prophet Micah we are told that King Balak asked this question: "Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" The answer that the Prophet then


gave him showed how useless all sacrifices and all other rites were without the devotion of heart and life to the service of the living God. "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic. vi. 6-8). In full accordance with this teaching of the Old Testament prophets are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John iv. 23, 24).

When this lofty and spiritual teaching had thus been fully revealed, and when Atonement had been made for the sins of the whole world (I John ii. 2), then chosen and trained witnesses, the Apostles (الحواريّون) and other disciples of Christ, were sent forth to proclaim this good news everywhere, and to invite all men to accept the free gift of God, which is eternal life in Jesus Christ (Rom. vi. 23), enabling them thus to rise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, and to endeavour to fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isa. xi. 9).

The doctrine that in time to come the adoration enjoined in the Torah, and offered by means of animal sacrifices, incense, and other outward rites and ceremonies, would be replaced by the spiritual worship of which these things were the types, and without which they were useless, and might easily become harmful (as is the husk or shell when the seed or nut is growing into a plant) was not a new one. This had been clearly taught in several passages of the Old Testament, for instance in Jeremiah xxxi. 31-33:

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of