GIBBON, in his history of the Roman Empire (vol. vi., p. 222), says that "the faith," which Mohammed preached to his family and nation, "is compounded of an eternal truth and a necessary fiction." "The necessary fiction" was Mohammed's claim to be the prophet of God. "The eternal truth " was Mohammed's belief in the unity of the Godhead. There can be no doubt as to the importance of this eternal truth in the Moslem creed. It is the foundation stone of all inspired scripture and of the true religion of God. It was the faith of Abraham and the patriarchs, of Moses and the prophets, of Jesus the Christ and His apostles. This eternal truth is the faith of the Jew and the Christian as well as of the Moslem.
The "necessary fiction" marks the dividing line between Jew and Moslem, as well as between Christian and Moslem. It was the refusal of the Jews to recognize the apostolic claims of the Arabian prophet that induced Mohammed to turn his face and the faces of his followers from Jerusalem, and to pray henceforth toward Mecca. Thereafter the Jews were reckoned to be unbelievers and the enemies of God. Strenuous efforts were made to win over the Christians. "Say: O ye who have received the scriptures; ye are not grounded on anything, until ye observe the Law and the Gospel, and that which hath been sent down unto you from your Lord. That which hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord will surely increase the transgression and infidelity of many." (Surat-ul-maida, 72).
The Arabian Christians cheerfully accepted the call to believe the "Law and the Gospel," but could not believe the message of Mohammed, "that which hath been sent down unto you from your Lord." Mohammed seems to have known something of the irreconcilable differences between his Koran and the Christian Scriptures. Hence he twice repeats the sentence, "That which hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord will surely increase the transgression and infidelity of many." The Koran was the stumbling block. To accept its teaching was to recognize Mohammed as an apostle of God, and to deny the Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of men. Here has been the infidelity of Jew and Christian throughout. They have rejected the necessary fiction of the Moslem creed. They will not repeat the Kalima.
Taking the verse just quoted as a basis of argument, the Moslem is placed in a serious dilemma, for in it there is a clear recognition of the Law and the Gospel as being the Word of God in which all must believe. "O ye who have received the Scriptures, ye are not grounded on anything, until ye observe, the Law and the Gospel." Accepting the Christian Scripture as the Word of God, the Moslem finds it impossible to reconcile the teachings of his prophet with them. The only way of escape is to discredit the Scriptures current among Jews and Christians. Here, then, is the basis of many unfounded claims, put forth by Moslems in order to defend and support their faith.
It is to some of the most important of these unfounded claims that I wish to invite your attention. I do so because it is most important that every Christian and every Christian evangelist should clearly see the fundamental points of cleavage between Christianity and Islam.
One of the most important claims of Islam, and one that is unfounded, is that the Christian Scriptures have, been corrupted. Not only are they corrupted, says the Moslem, but they are so corrupted that they may be said to be no longer extant. A letter addressed to a missionary in China expresses this Moslem assumption very clearly: "After the descent of the Koran, the rest of the books — such as the Gospel, the Psalms (this, of course, includes the Prophets), and the Pentateuch, were abrogated. The Koran comprehends what is in these books concerning the nature . . . and importance of religion. But the sorcerers, such as the Nazarenes, who are ignorant of the truth of the Gospel, and change the copy of the Gospel into folly and untruth, and say that Jesus Christ is more excellent than Mohammed, do not know what is in the Koran: ‘We have made some apostles more excellent than others.’ When the sun of Mohammedanism arose upon the world, man obtained light on the straight way, and returned from unbelief and error into true guidance . . . except the Nazarenes. As God Almighty has said in the verse (in the Koran), ‘Truth has come, and error has vanished.’"
Moslem commentators speak of Tahrif (corruption of the Scriptures) as being either Ma'nawi (corruption of the meaning) or Lafzi (corruption of the words). The more ancient writers maintained that the charge made against the Jews and Christians of corrupting their Scriptures, related to false interpretation and not to any tampering with the text. The late Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Moslem College at Aligarh, in the Seventh Discourse in his Mohammedan "Commentary on the Holy Bible," sums up his finding on this subject of Tahrif as follows: "It will be seen, then, that the adulteration of truth with falsehood does not mean that other words have been added to the text, but it implies simply an admixture of false interpretation with the true one." ("The Seventh Discourse of Sir Syed Ahmad," p. 31).
Modern Moslem controversialists, however, are not satisfied with this definition of the word Tahrif but hold that nothing but Tahrif-i-lafzi will meet the difficulty. They despair of aid from the Koran itself, except by an interpretation which assumes the very point to be proved. Their chief arguments are drawn from Christian writers who catalogue the various readings in the ancient manuscripts, and insist that these various readings prove that the Christian Scriptures have been corrupted. They fail to see that such various readings do not affect in any way the points at issue between Christianity and Mohammedanism: the Fatherhood of God, the Sonship of Christ, the Crucifixion, the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and the Atonement.
To overthrow this assumption, the Christian may urge the following considerations :—
1. The Koran itself declares the Bible to be the word of God. Accordingly, we read: "Say ye, we believe in God and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the Prophets from their Lord." (Surat-ul-Baqara (ii.) 130). These words may also be found in the Surat-Al-Imran (iii.) 78, 79, to which are added the following:
"We make no difference between them. And to Him are we resigned (Moslems)." The Koran teaches that the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians were extant in the days of Mohammed's mission, and he refers to them as confirming, and being confirmed by, his teaching:
"Verily We have sent down the Law (Taurat) wherein are guidance and light" (Surat-ul-maida (iv.) 48: "And in the footsteps of the prophets caused we Jesus, the Son of Mary, to follow, confirming the law, which was before Him, and we gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light and warning to those who fear God" (v. 50). "And to thee (Mohammed) we have sent down, the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures, and their safeguard" (v. 52). These passages clearly establish the claim that according to Mohammed's teaching in the Koran, the Jewish and Christian Scriptures are an integral part of the Word of God; and that the Koran attests them and is their custodian, thus "preserving the same from corruption."
2. The Koran does not charge the Jews and Christians with corrupting the text of their Holy Scriptures, but merely accuses them of misrepresenting the teaching by false interpretation. It challenges them to show the text, thus demonstrating belief in its genuineness and integrity.
3. It is easy to produce manuscripts, older than the date of Mohammed's mission; e.g., the Pshito, version written in Syriac, translated in the first century of the Christian era; the Vulgate, which was written in the fourth century in the Latin language; the Coptic and Armenian versions; the Septuagint version of the Old Testament Scriptures, made by order of Ptolemy, 250 B.C. and Greek manuscripts of the New Testament dating as far back as the third century. The Hexapla, dating four hundred years before Mohammed, gives various versions of the Old Testament Scriptures in parallel columns, and Christian literature of pre-islamic times contains numerous quotations from the Scriptures, which agree with the Scriptures we now have. This array of testimony leaves the Moslem assumption that the scriptures now current are not the same as those alluded to in the Koran without any support.
But the Moslem's misbelief dies hard, and he has a new claim ready to put forward. Even granting that the Christian Scriptures are genuine, they are no longer binding on the Moslem. They have been abrogated. The Moslem's second line of defence is the unfounded claim that the Bible has been abrogated.
Here the Christian apologist must call attention to the fact that every portion of the Word of God cannot be subject to the law of abrogation. For it was impossible to abrogate passages treating of the being and attributes of God, or of historical fact. Nor can predictions of prophecy, or statements as to the condition of fallen man and his way of salvation be abrogated. But the greater portion of the Bible consists of just such passages; wherefore the assumption of the Moslem that the Old Testament Scriptures have been abrogated by the revelation of the Koran is not only without reason but is altogether impossible. The absolute truth of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures being established, the Koran itself being witness, numerous other Moslem claims must be abandoned; e.g., the claim that Ishmael, not Isaac, was the son of promise the claim that Mohammed was foretold as the seal of prophecy; the claim that Mohammed was the Paraclete promised by Christ; the claim that Jesus did not die on the cross, did not rise from the dead, and did not make atonement for sin; and the claim that God is not our Heavenly Father, that Jesus is not the divine Son of God, and that God is not triune in the Christian sense.
There are, however, other unfounded claims made by Mohammedans that should be considered; e.g., the claim that Mohammed was sinless. This claim has no foundation in the Koran or the Traditions. The sinless character of Jesus, however, has been recognized both by the Koran and by the authorized Tradition, and Christians in their discussions have always emphasized this as at once establishing the superiority of Christ and his religion. The reply to this position was the claim that all the prophets were sinless, and that Mohammed being the last of the prophets and the seal of prophecy was, of course, Ma'ssum or sinless. The Koran, however, is explicit in declaring all the great prophets (Nabi-ul-Azim) to have been sinners, Jesus alone being excepted. Of Mohammed, some of the passages which might be quoted are as follows :—
"Ask pardon for thy sin, and for believers, both men and women" (Surat-ul-Muhammad, xlvii., 21).
"Ask pardon of God, for thy wrong intention, since God is indulgent and merciful." (Surat-ul-Nisa, iv., 105).
"Ask pardon for thy fault, and celebrate the praise of thy Lord in the Evening and the Morning." (Surat-ul-mumin, xl., 57).
"Verily we have granted thee a manifest Victory, that God may forgive thee thy preceding and the subsequent sin, and may complete his favour on thee and direct thee in the right way." (Surat-ul-Fatah, xlviii., 1 and 2).
Tradition is equally explicit. In the "Mishqat-ul-Masabih," Book X. chap. iii. Part 1., we read that Mohammed said, "Verily I ask pardon of God, and turn from sin towards Him, more than seventy times daily" ... "I ask pardon of God one hundred times a day." Many similar traditions might be quoted, but these will suffice; nor will I refer to certain historic incidents in the life of the Prophet, the testimony of the Koran and Tradition is sufficient. I need hardly say that these statements have not been made for the purpose of fastening a stigma upon Mohammed, but merely in order to expose the error of those who would elevate a sinful man to the level of the pure and holy Jesus.
Efforts have been made to explain away the references already quoted, by maintaining that the thing described as sin (Dhanb) is not moral evil but merely those passions and tendencies in human nature which are not in themselves evil but which may become the occasion to sin.
The words as quoted above are declared to be a prayer for deliverance from such possibility of sin! This is plausible; but, unfortunately for the commentators, the word Dhanb is constantly used in the Koran for every kind of evil, and, therefore, does not connote the harmless tendencies of weak human nature. The older commentators suggest that the sins from which Mohammed was commanded to repent were neglect of duty, disobedience to the divine command, breaking the oath made to his wives for the sake of Mary the Copt, etc., etc. Nothing is, therefore, clearer than the teaching of the Koran and the Moslem Tradition that the prophets were subject to sinful desires and were guilty of sinful acts, the Lord Jesus alone being excepted. Of Him there is neither word nor sentence suggesting that he, was in any sense guilty of sin. He is the only sinless prophet of Islam.
The claim that Mohammed wrought miracles is based upon three or four passages of the Koran and upon statements found in the Hadith or Tradition. The statements in the Koran, which are quoted to prove that Mohammed wrought miracles, are as follows:
(1) Surat-al-Qamr, liv., 1, 2. "The hour of Judgment approacheth and the moon hath been split in sunder; but if the unbelievers see a sign, they turn aside, saying, this is a powerful charm." Evidently there is no mention here of a miracle having been wrought by Mohammed. The allusion is to a sign in the heavens at the Judgment Day. This is the view of Baidhawi and other Moslem commentators.
Another passage quoted to show that Mohammed wrought miracles is found in Surat Al Imran, iii., 124, 125. "When thou saidst unto the faithful, is it not enough for you that your Lord - should assist you with three thousand angels sent down from heaven; verily if ye persevere and fear God and your enemies come upon you suddenly, your Lord will assist you with five thousand angels." Here again, while angelic aid is declared to have been given to the Moslems at the battle of Badr, there is no sign of miracle having been wrought by the prophet himself. A third passage is quoted from Surat-al-Bani Israil, chap. XVII i, "Praise be unto him who transported his servant by night from the sacred-temple of Mecca to the farther temple of Jerusalem, the circuit of which we have blessed that we might show some of our signs: for God is he who heareth and seeth." This passage refers to the celebrated night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and from there through the seven heavens, up to the throne of God. This whole story is regarded by Muir, Nöeldeke, Bosworth Smith, and others, including many Moslem writers, as a vision or dream, on which tradition has brooded and hatched the story as told by orthodox Moslems. The story at best only regards Mohammed as a subject of miraculous power and not as a miracle worker. Nowhere does Mohammed himself regard the incidents of this story as due to his own miraculous power, it must be set aside as something very different from the miraculous doings of the prophets. The truth of the story of this vision was based solely upon the assertion of Mohammed himself. There was no witness to it. His own followers would not believe it until Abu Bekr vouched for it, although he had no reason to believe it except his confidence in Mohammed. Even if a vision had occurred, or granting such an event, would it be a sign or witness to Mohammed's prophetic claims?
The only other miracle attributed to Mohammed is the miracle of the Koran itself. In the Surat-i-Auqubut, chap. xxix., 47, 48, we read as follows: "Thou couldest not read any book before this, neither couldest thou write it with thy right hand; then had the gainsayers justly doubted. But the same are evident signs in the breasts of those who have received understanding, for none reject our signs except the unjust." The argument is that Mohammed, being ignorant of letters and being even unable to write, could not have produce such a wonderful composition, wherefore the verses (Ayat - Signs) are miracles of Mohammed and, therefore, sufficient for true believers. This assumption of Mohammed did not satisfy either the Koreish or the Jews and Christians. The Prophet complains that "They who know not the Scriptures say, unless God speak to us or thou show us a sign, we will not believe." (Surat-i-Yunus, x. 21) And again, "They say, unless a sign be sent down unto him from his Lord, we will not believe" (Surat-al-Raad, xiii., 8). Still once more, "The infidels say, unless a sign be sent down unto him from his Lord, we will not believe. Thou art commissioned to be a preacher only, and not a worker of miracles" (Surat-al-Raad, xiii., 8).
In these passages the unbelief of the people, especially of the Jews and Christians, is especially based upon the fact that Mohammed wrought no miracles, that "no sign was sent down unto him from his Lord." The only apology which the prophet could make was that God had declined to give a sign to an unbelieving people who would only reject his signs. "Nothing hindered us from sending thee with miracles, except that the former nations have charged them with imposture" (Surat-al-Bani Israil, xvii., 61). In this same chapter, verses 92-95, this position is stated thus: "And they say, we will by no means believe on thee until thou causest a spring of water to gush forth for us out of the earth, or thou have a garden of palm trees and vines, and thou causest rivers to spring forth from the midst thereof in abundance, or thou causest the heavens to fall down upon us, as thou hast given out, in pieces, or thou bring down God and the angels to vouch for thee: or thou have a house of gold, or thou ascend by a ladder to heaven; neither will we believe thy ascending thither alone, until thou cause a book to descend unto us, bearing witness of thee, which we may read. Answer, my Lord be praised. Am I other than a man, sent as an apostle?"
The answer of Mohammed given to the unbelievers, who demanded some miraculous declaration or sign from heaven to attest his prophetic claim, was invariably the declaration that former prophets had wrought miracles arid signs but were denounced as jugglers or imposters, and that for this reason God had not sent him to be a miracle worker but a preacher and a warner. It is not, however, true that all apostles were regarded as imposters. We know that prophets, when so accused, were enabled to work such miracles as proved even their enemies that there were prophets in Israel. "Such evident demonstrations" were expected of Mohammed and repeatedly demanded, but were never given. The mu1titudes of miracles ascribed to Mohammed are the inventions of the traditionists.
Another unfounded claim which is continually made by Moslem apologists is the claim that in the wars between Moslems and unbelievers, Moslems always fought in self-defence.
This assumption of European ignorance in matters belonging to the history of Islam and the relation of Moslems to Christians is calculated to impair confidence in the integrity of Moslem writers. The fact is, that the most profound students of Islam and its history have been Europeans. Where are the Moslem writers who may be compared with Muir, Rodwell, Arnold, Palmer, Nöeldeke, Sprenger, Köelle, and many others who might be mentioned?
The special pleading of Moslem apologists cannot stand for a moment before the clear light of truth. The teaching of the Koran is quite clear as to the causes of the first wars of the Moslems against the the Meccan idolators. Mohammed, having made a covenant with his disciple in Medina, the great rival of Mecca, urged his Meccan fo1lowers to quietly retire to Medina, whither he also fled to escape the enmity of the Koreish, who had come to believe him to be a traitor to his native clan. The Hejira was to the Moslem as the crossing of the Rubicon. Soon after this event the following declaration was made: "War is enjoined you against the infidels, but this is hateful unto you: yet perchance ye hate a thing which is better for you."
Those who had fled from Mecca to Medina were poor and destitute. Strong parties in Medina looked with suspicion upon the Koreishite Muhajjirun and the Meccan prophet. The situation was becoming difficult. The prophet brought the following message: "Permission is granted unto those who take arms against the unbelievers, for that they have been unjustly persecuted by them . . . who have been turned out of their habitations injuriously, and for no other reason than because they say Out Lord is God." (Surat-al-Hajj, xxii 40, 41.) From this time Mohammed began to send out foraging expeditions, four of which he led himself. Hearing of a rich Meccan caravan of one thousand camels, laden with food and other merchandise, Mohammed laid his plans to capture it. Abu Sufian, who was in charge of the caravan, sent messengers to Mecca calling for warriors to defend the caravans; these were soon on their way towards the well of Badr. In the meantime Abu Sufian, having received definite information as to the plans of Mohammed, changed his course and sent his caravan to Mecca and recalled the auxiliary force. A portion of the force returned; but a considerable number, under Abu Jahl, went on, determined to punish the Moslems. The result was a brilliant triumph for the Moslems and the seizure of considerable booty.
Emboldened by this success, Mohammed's followers continued their depredations. On the other hand, the Meccans, filled with rage, were now determined to crush these enemies, who were a menace to their trade with Syria. Still another cause of offence was the plundering of a caravan by the Moslems during the sacred months, when, according to Arab custom, war was forbidden. Muhammed was obliged to put the booty in ward until he could receive a message from Heaven concerning the matter. Soon a "message" was announced declaring war to be justified even during the sacred months, provided it were waged against idolaters. Accordingly, the culprits were released and the booty was divided.
This incident aroused the whole nation against the Moslems. It was seen that they intended to war upon thp commerce of Mecca until the city would submit to the prophet's will. The ordinary route of trade being now closed, the Meccans decided to try another route by way of Iraq. The Moslems, having received news of this change, sent an expedition to capture the caravan. In this they were successful, and goods to the value of 10,000 dirhems were taken. This event obliged the Meccans to raise an army to avenge the slaughter of their countrymen, and to recover their prestige in the Syrian trade upon which they depended for sustenance. The result was the battle of Uhod, in which the Moslems were defeated, and the prophet was left for dead upon the field of battle.
The point we desire to make in this brief narrative is that in both of these battles Moslems were the aggressors. They had set out upon a course of plunder, such as characterizes the Bedouins of today, obliging their victims to wage war against them. The plea that the Moslems made war in self-defence rests upon no better foundation than the claim that the defenceless Christians in Armenia were aggressors against the Kurds, who so cruelly murdered them at Adana.
Those who endeavour to mitigate the warlike spirit of the prophet and his followers fail to understand the mission of Mohammed according to his own claims. In Mecca he had been a preacher, and his appeal was to the minds and hearts of men, but his appeals were accompanied by many statements as to the awful consequences of unbelief as illustrated by the dreadful fate of those who had rejected former prophets. Now that he had been driven out of Mecca, he was authorized to extirpate idolatry by war. We have already quoted one message preparing his followers for war. Perhaps the first plain command of Mohammed to establish Islam by the sword is a passage of the Koran received soon after the Hejira. It is as follows :—
"And fight for the religion of God against those who fight against you; but transgress not, for God loveth not the transgressors. And kill them wherever ye find them, and turn them out of whatever they have dispossed you: for temptation to idolatry is more grievous than slaughter . . . Fight, therefore, against them until there be no temptation to idolatry, and the religion be God's (Sura-i-Baqara, ii., 190, 191, 193). Many similar statements might be quoted.
In the light of the Koran and the interpretation which has been given it during the centuries, we are surely justified in disbelieving the claims of Moslems, that they have only fought in self-defence.
Lastly, we notice the claim of Moslems that the great Intercessor at the Judgment Day will be Mohammad and the prophets who were founders of dispensations. To understand this claim, we must keep in mind the Moslem concept of God as the Almighty all-wise King who knows every iota of good or evil which has been done by His creatures. This God is "the King of the Day of Judgment." Like an exalted monarch, He pardons whom He will and condemns whom He will. His prophets will be permitted to intercede for their followers. "No intercession shall avail on that day, save his whom the Merciful shall allow, and whose words He shall approve" (Surat Ta Ha, xx., 108.) Again we read, "Intercession is altogether in the disposa1 of God: His is the Kingdom of heaven and earth" (Surat-al-Zamr, xxxix., 45). This intercession is available only to the true believer. "They shall obtain no intercession, except he only who hath received a covenant from the merciful"; or, as otherwise translated, "None shall meet (in the Day of Judgment) with intercession save him who hath entered into covenant with the God of mercy" (Surat-al-Maryam, xix., 90).
With these and many other statements before us, one wonders what office an intercessor can perform that shall avail either for the Moslem or for the non-Moslem. The non-Moslem is past redemption by reason of having died in his infidelity. The Moslem is entitled to salvation by reason of his faith.
This is the claim of the Moslem based upon the assurance of the Koran. Where, then, the need of any intercession? Or if intercession be permitted, what end can it accomplish? If it be to bestow a higher degree of reward on certain Moslems, as some of my Moslem friends have urged, the reply still remains, that reward can be bestowed only in accord with right and justice; and, that being the case, God would bestow the reward in any case as a matter of justice. We may, therefore, truly say that Mohammed's intercession can be of no use to any one. Sinners need an intercessor now, ere death seal their fate as either infidels or believers. But Mohammed lies in his grave at Medina. The dead cannot hear the cry of the living, and his intercession, according to the Koran, is limited to the Day of Judgment. The Christian may, therefore confidently look to Jesus as the only intercessor between God and man. The Koran and Tradition admit that He was the only sinless Prophet; that He was of miraculous birth; that He was taken up to heaven; that He now lives; and that He will descend and destroy Dajjal or Antichrist, and that He will rule over the whole world. Surely this Person, of all the prophets of Islam, is alone qualified for the office of Intercessor, even on the showing of Islam itself.
To recapitulate, we have shown the unfounded character of some of the principal claims of Islam: those claims which rest upon "the necessary fiction" in Mohammed's claim to be the prophet of God. We have shown largely upon the authority of the Koran and Moslem Tradition—
(1) That the Christian Scriptures were not corrupted in Mohammed's day, but were declared by Mohammed himself to be necessary to the faith of Jews and Christians, so that he could say: "O ye, who have received the Scriptures; ye are not grounded on anything, until ye observe the law and the Gospel."
(2) We have seen also how false the claim is that these Scriptures were abrogated by the coming in of the Koran, because it is impossible that the truths lying at the base of all true religion — even of the religion of Islam — should be abrogated.
(3) We have also shown upon the testimony of the Moslem Scriptures how baseless is the claim that Mohammed was sinless. That claim may be truthfully made for only one of the prophets of Islam, — Jesus, the living and exalted Jesus. He is the only sinless Prophet of Islam.
(4) In like manner, we have seen how far from the truth is the claim that Mohammed wrought miracles. We have seen that none of these passages even assert in any way that Mohammed wrought miracles. On the other hand, we have found many passages in which Mohammed declared himself not to have been sent to work miracles; and with this he answered all appeals of Arab, Jew and Christian to show a miracle as a sign of his prophetic office.
(5) We have also shown that the claim of Moslems as to the wars of Mohammed, that they were forced to fight in self-defence, is absolutely without foundation, and that on the other hand, the raids were deliberately planned by Mohammed himself and justified by Koranic revelation.
(6) Lastly, we have seen how unfounded is the claim that Mohammed will intercede for the faithful on the great Judgment Day. Not only is there not one word in the Koran to justify the claim, but the spirit of Islam renders such a claim absurd. The man who dies an infidel is lost. The true believer enters Paradise. We have seen that the sinner's need of an intercessor is a present need. For this need Mohammed can do nothing. He lies buried in Medina and awaits the resurrection and the judgment, but Jesus, the sinless prophet, has been exalted to the place of power and the place of intercession. He alone is qualified to intercede with God.
The unfounded claims of Islam are the well-founded claims of Christianity. The Christ of God is the witness to the genuineness and credibility of the Christian Scriptures. He is the Holy One of God, who could challenge his traducers, saying, "Who convinceth me of sin?" He was "a man approved of God" among his countrymen "by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him," to which also the Koran and Moslem tradition bear witness. He, too, when he had arisen from the dead, having atoned for human guilt by his death on the cross, ascended on high and sat down upon the right hand of God the Father, where he taketh intercession for us. Thence hath He sent down the Holy Spirit upon His Church and through the Church upon the world, converting savage nations and tribes, filling the with the Spirit of His love, transforming them into His own likeness and shedding abroad through them the enlightening and beneficent influences of Christian civilization. This same Jesus shall descend again to judge the world, and to establish the kingdom of heaven upon the earth.
E. M. WHERRY.
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