which extended from Scotland to the Persian Gulf, from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of what is now Russia and the eastern shore of the Black Sea, thus including North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Turkey in Europe, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and other lands. Although the whole might of the Roman Empire long continued to strive to root out Christianity, yet the Christian Church, like an impregnable fortress, successfully withstood these attacks in the might of God Most High. Thus was fulfilled Christ's promise that the gates of Hades or Destruction should not prevail against His Church (Matt. xvi. 18). Nay more, the number of Christians steadily increased, in spite of persecution, until in many places the temples of the idols were almost deserted and the sacrifices at an end. Although they were so numerous, yet the persecuted Christians never rose in rebellion against their persecutors, but patiently endured all that the cruelty of their enemies could devise against them.

At last the Emperor Constantine received the Christian faith about the year 314 of the Christian era, though he was not baptized until at least several years later. The Christians were then delivered from persecution; but this led many people to enter the Church without true conversion and proper instruction. Many of them brought heathen ideas with them, and these led to the gradual corruption of religion. The Sacred Scriptures were not properly studied, saint-worship was introduced and spread. The love of many became cold, and religion began to grow formal and external, losing spirituality and purity. Hypocrisy and contentions prevailed, heresies multiplied. Instead of loving God and their fellow-men, too many of these baptized heathen began to hate one another, to quarrel about forms and ceremonies, and even to persecute one another. Hence many of them fell into deadly sin, and many introduced the worship of the Virgin Mary, of the saints, and of images. This was an abomination


in the sight of the Holy One. Therefore, just as the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Macedonians, and the Roman's were used by God Most High to punish the Israelites when they sinned against Him and fell into idolatry, so God used the Arabs as His Sword to punish the corrupt Churches of the East (Rev. ix. 20, 21). But in our own day many Oriental Christians are studying the Bible, and so the light of truth is shining into their hearts and lives. Thus many are becoming true and earnest Christians through the guidance of God's Holy Spirit. Some of them are being used by God to guide their Muslim fellow-countrymen to the light of the Gospel of Christ. All true Christians, whatever else they differ upon, accept the Gospel, and accordingly believe in the Kalimatu’llah, and put their trust in His Atonement for the sins of the whole world. May God grant to all the honoured readers of this Treatise that they too may share in the salvation which the living Christ offers freely to all who truly believe in Him!