unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded? Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do.' And again He asks, 'What 1 should a man give in exchange for his life?' We see, therefore, that man has nothing and can do nothing by which he may be able by himself to obtain remission of his sins. Even if he were to give all his wealth and riches 2 and to do every good work of which he is capable, yet he could not by such means earn the pardon of a single one of his many sins. We have already seen that even heartfelt repentance, suitable and appropriate as it is, though pleasing to God, is not of itself sufficient to secure the salvation of the sinner, because it does not satisfy the requirements of God's perfect justice. Hence man can never be saved, unless in some wonderful manner God's wisdom devise a means whereby man may find a full and perfect atonement for his sins, and may thereby have his will brought into harmony with God's will, may be drawn near to God in love, and may have his whole character so changed and purified that he may become a new spiritual Man.

1 Mark viii. 37. 2 See 1 Cor. xiii. 3.



The Gospel (البشارة) is so called, because it conveys to man the good news that God, of His infinite love and mercy, has devised and discovered for His fallen and sinful creatures a perfect sin-offering, by means of which salvation may fall to the lot of every one who truly and humbly desires it. No one is fated to eternal ruin, nor does God will the death of a sinner, 1 but rather that be should accept the free gift 2 of eternal life which God offers him in the Person of the word of God (كلمة الله), the Lord Jesus Christ.

If our Muslim friends now inquire why salvation should be offered through Him rather than through Abraham, or Moses, or Elijah, or John the Baptist, or finally through Muhammad, we ask them in the first place to consider thoughtfully and reverently how different is what the Qur'an and the Traditions say of Him from what they say of the other Prophets, and how much higher are the titles which they give Him than those given to all others. 3 If they reflect on this attentively, they will be prepared to understand the testimony which the holy Scriptures bear to Him, and finally to comprehend how He alone could be an effectual mediator between God the All Holy and sinful men.

The Qur'an itself speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as 'an 4 Apostle of God, and His Word (كلمته)

1 See Ezek. xviii. 32. 2 Gal. iii. 10; cf. Deut. xxvii. 26.
3 Even to those of the Anbiya' Ulu'l-'azm who preceded him (Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses).
4 Sura iv. 169.