though their unbelief and hardness of heart are so sternly condemned thereby.

We have already seen that the Promised Messiah's Nature and dignity are clearly set forth even in the Old Testament; for instance in Ps. ii. 7; xlv. 6; lxxii; cx. 1; Isa. vi. 1-10 (compare John xii. 40, 41); Isa. ix. 6, 7; xxv. 7-9; xl. 10, 11; Jer. xxxiii. 16; Micah v. 2; Mal. iii. 1; iv. 2, and many other passages. From the fact that His "goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Micah v. 2), we can understand how true was His statement, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John viii. 58), in which He used of Himself the special and peculiar name of God (Exod. iii. 14). Hence we learn that it was He who called Abraham out of Babylonia, who gave Israel the Torah, and who sent the Prophets. The New Testament therefore gives Him no higher titles than does the Old. Both agree in what they testify regarding His Nature (ذات) and dignity. (Compare Matt. iii. 16, 17; xvi. 15, 16, 17; xvii. 1-8; xxvi. 63, 64; xxviii. 18; Luke i. 32, 35; John i. 1-3, 9-18; v. 17-29; viii. 23-29, 42, 56-58; ix. 35-37; x. 27-38; xiv. 9-11; xvi. 12-15, 28; xvii. 5, 21; Col. i. 12-23; Phil. ii. 5-11; Heb. i; Rev. i. 5-18; xxi. 6-8; xxii. 13, 16.) When Muslims reject the invitation to accept Christ as their Saviour (John v. 40), one reason why they do so is because they refuse to believe what He said of Himself and what the earlier Prophets said of Him.

We must not forget that it would have been impossible for Christ to save the world from sin and from hatred towards God, were He a mere creature, even the highest of all creatures. Hence salvation depends upon perfect trust in Him, as being what He claimed to be and what the Holy Scriptures of both the Old Testament and the New testify that He was. Thus we see that belief in His Deity is no corruption of the Christian faith, but is of the very essence of all true religion. For, were He a creature, His goodness and His sufferings could be no proof of God's love to man.


These things would rather render it difficult to believe in the love and mercy of God Most High, if He caused the highest and best of His creatures to suffer such pain and sorrow. But when we accept the teaching of the Bible, and recognize that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself" (2 Cor. v. 19), and perceive that He is One with His Father (John x. 30), then we begin in some measure to understand that, if the doctrine of the Holy Trinity1 be true, God Most High is merciful, and does care for us. Then we find that the cream of the Gospel (الِبشارة) and the essence of the whole Bible is contained in John iii. 16, and that this appeals to our hearts and draws them in love and devotion to God, who has first loved us (I John iv. 9).

The fact that in the former of these two verses (John iii. 16) the title "Son of God" (إبن الله) is given to Christ has been a great stumbling-block to Muslims, because they think that this is absolutely contradicted by Surah cxii. But in reality this is largely due to a misunderstanding of the Christian doctrine. Let it be frankly stated that, in the sense in which the Qur'an uses the words of that Surah, they are undoubtedly true, and can be employed by all Christians.2 In that Surah the Qur'an is denouncing and teaching men to repudiate as blasphemous all such carnal ideas of generation as were entertained by the heathen in all lands. Even the Arabs in the Times of Ignorance attributed daughters3 to God Most High in this blasphemous sense. But Christians have never held any doctrine in the slightest degree similar to that. Hence it is that we do not use the expression Waladu'llah (وَلدُ اللهِ ), but call the Lord Jesus Christ Ibnu'llah (إبن الله). The difference between the two expressions is very

1 See Chapter V of this Second Part.
2 As can also those of Surah vi. 101: "The Originator of the heavens and of the earth, how should He have a child (ولد)? and He had not a female friend, and He hath created everything.
3 Surahs vi. 100: xvi. 59.