forgive sin only when such a satisfaction has been first made for sin as completely accords with what justice requires. Then He will pardon those sinners who accept the atonement which His mercy has provided as the one means of their salvation. In this one way they can become acceptable to Him; in no other way will acceptance with God ever be possible. This being so, it is vain to set one's hope of forgiveness and salvation merely and wholly upon God's boundless mercy, as has been fully stated and proved in the first section of the present chapter. It has also been clearly shown that, though true and heartfelt repentance and sorrow for sin is of great value in God's sight, yet of itself it cannot be such a satisfaction for sin and such an atonement as is requisite, and that thus remission of sin cannot be obtained merely through repentance, however sincere it be. Therefore, postponing for the present the full consideration of this subject, we content ourselves with stating that, without such a satisfaction and atonement as will be accepted by God Most Holy, sin is not forgiven. The repentant sinner, therefore, must, in order to gain remission of his sins, find such an atonement as will completely satisfy the requirements of God's perfect justice.

It is doubtless because the more earnest and thoughtful of the Muslims have understood that God will not forgive sins merely through His own mercy and because of the sinner's repentance, that



on this account they have introduced Muhammad's intercession and have asserted, in accordance with the Traditions, that God will forgive a man's sins when he accepts Islam and trusts to Muhammad's intercession, but not otherwise. Setting their hope on this statement, they deem these two things, namely, belief in Islam and trust in Muhammad the great means of forgiveness and salvation. Now, since the means are in addition to those which we have already seen to bear some resemblance to those taught in the religions of the polytheists, and may be said to be peculiar to the religion of Islam, it is certainly necessary that we should consider them carefully in order to see what their value really is.

It is clear that in Muhammadan belief it is considered that faith consists in believing and acknowledging the unity of God and the prophetic office of Muhammad and the day of judgement and the existence of paradise and hell. But, since amid these articles of belief no mention is made of any atonement for sin, on which a man may rely and by which he may become justified from sin in the presence of the just and holy God, therefore—even if there were no doubt whatever about the apostleship of Muhammad—still it would not be possible for a sinful man to obtain salvation by means of such a faith as this. For, just as a debtor does not obtain discharge from his creditor by merely recognizing his existence, and a malefactor does not secure escape and deliverance from punishment