he was not free from sin, for he was human and was born just as other men are. It has already been shown, on the evidence of reason and the testimony of the holy Scriptures, that all men are in God's sight sinners, and guilty of sins of both omission and commission. As Muhammad was a man and never even claimed to be anything else, the conclusion is obvious, and it agrees with the statements of the Qur'an and the Traditions. This being, so, it is clear that Muhammad's intercession for other sinners cannot be acceptable and successful, for he himself needs an intercessor and a saviour. A debtor cannot become security for another debtor. It is thus written:—

They 1 that trust in their wealth,
And boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is costly,
And must be let alone for ever:)
That he should still live alway,
That he should not see corruption.

If, therefore, no man can give God a ransom to preserve another man from the death of the body, it is clearly impossible that one sinner should make atonement for another; or that one sinner's intercession should be effectual for the eternal salvation of another. In the same way the Lord Jesus Christ says: 'For 2 what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?

1 Ps. xlix. 6-9. 2 Matt. xvi. 26.



or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?' If a man cannot give God anything in exchange for his life, how much less is he able to atone for his own sins and save his own spirit from eternal ruin! And if a man cannot save himself, how can he possibly save another?

In short, if it be granted for the sake of argument that Muhammad was a true Prophet, and even the Seal of the Apostles, yet, because of his being merely human and in no sense divine, it is impossible for him, as it is impossible for any other mere man, to be the effectual mediator between God and a single sinner, or to be the means of the remission of even one man's sins. For no human being, and not even an angel or any other creature of God, is so high in station and so holy in nature as to venture or to be worthy to act as mediator between the just and holy God and sinful, guilty men. No created being can, therefore, procure the salvation of sinners.

As it has been proved that Muhammad cannot successfully intercede for sinners or be their mediator and saviour, in the same way it is evident that the Imams have not any such power or office. Hence it is in vain and useless to set one's hope upon them. We need not; therefore, write anything about them in connexion with this subject.

From what we have hitherto said in reference to the Islamic means of obtaining remission of sins and eternal salvation it is clear that they are all