ancient Arabic work on the Infancy of our Saviour, with the Qur'an, it will be at once apparent that Muhammad has adopted the story, with its very words, changed only so far as to bring them into accord with his own belief and teaching; and doubtless it was all taken from this ancient apocryphal treatise. Should anyone ask, How could this have been? - the answer is that this book of the Childhood was translated into Arabic from the Coptic original, and must have been known to the Prophet's Coptic hand-maiden, Mary. From her he must have heard the tale, and believing it to have come from the Gospel, adopted it with some little change, and so entered it in the Qur'an. Now it is clear that such stories of infantile miracles are altogether opposed to what is written in the Gospel of St. John (ii.) regarding the turning of water into wine, where it is recorded that "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested forth his glory." Jesus was then over thirty years of age; and it is clear that before this no miracle had been done by him. But all the miracles noted in the Qur'an, beyond what have been mentioned above, and that of the Table to be spoken of below, were undoubtedly true and beyond question, as they correspond with what we read of in the four Gospels.

Now as to the Table, the following is the account given in the Qur'an (Surah v. 112-115):—

When the Apostles said, O Jesus Son of Mary! is thy Lord able to cause a Table to descend unto us from heaven? He said, Fear God if ye be true believers. They answered, We desire to eat therefrom, and that our hearts may rest at ease, and may know that thou hast told us the truth, and that we may


be witnesses thereof. Jesus Son of Mary said, O God our Lord! Cause a Table to descend unto us from heaven, that it may become an Eed (day of festival) to the first of us and unto the last; and a sign from thee; and do thou provide food for us, for thou art the best Provider. God said, I will send it down unto you.

This miracle is not mentioned in any Christian book. So strange an imagination never could have had reality. but its origin is no doubt to be found in the Supper which Jesus partook of with his disciples the night before his death. This Lord's Supper, which has ever since been observed by Christians as a sacred ordinance according to Christ's command, is described in each of the four Gospels.1 It is also mentioned in Luke (xxii. 30), where Jesus promises his disciples "that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."2

We pass on to other notices in the Qur'an regarding Jesus and his Mother, that we may observe the Sources from which they were derived. Thus, in Surah v. 116: When God shall say unto Jesus at the last day, O Jesus Son of Mary! hast thou said unto men, Take me and my Mother for two gods, besides God? And again, in Surah iv. 169:—

0 ye people of the Book! Exceed not the Just bounds in your religion; neither say of God other then the truth. Verily the Messiah Jesus Son of Mary is the apostle of God, and his Word which he placed in Mary, and a Spirit, from him.

1 Matthew xxvi. 20 29; Mark xiv. 17-25; Luke xxvi. 14-17; John xiii. 1-30.
2 It is also possible that the dream of Peter in which food was sent down to him in a sheet may have originated the idea of the Table descending from heaven. It was, however, but a dream. Acts x. 9-16.