|90||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
might cast upon him, as if he had sought to slight the royal house, the Prophet's family, or any of his race.
Al Kindy now comes to the various Moslem ceremonies he had been recommended to adopt. Of prayer five times a day and fasting in the month of Ramadh‚n, it sufficed to say that his Friend had confessed himself acquainted with those duties as performed in a far diviner way under the Christian dispensation. In respect of ceremonial washings, he quotes our Saviour's words as teaching the vanity of outward cleansing while there was a foul sepulchre within. "What sense is there in the washing of your hands and feet and your standing up to prayer while your hearts are set upon bloodshed, and rapine, and the enslaving of women taken in war? Hath not our Lord the Christ given us a better lesson,Cleanse first that which is within, that the outside may be clean also?' In respect of circumcision, he reminds his Friend that he himself, along with those of his persuasion, held that Mahomet was not circumcised. If the precedent of Jesus were urged, he answers that he was circumcised simply to fulfil the law;which law, in its sacrifices, sabbaths, passover, etc. ("statutes that were not good") having been fulfilled by Christ, had disappeared in place of ordinances far superior, because entirely spiritual. St. Paul teaches us that circumcision is nothing; and, if trusted in, worse than nothing. In short, both washing and
Matt. v. 17.
Ezek. xx. 25.
1Cor. vii. 19;
Gal. v. 2.
|PILGRIMAGE AND RITES OF MECCA.||91|
circumcision were things indifferent; if practised by Christians it was simply by way of habit and ancestral custom and not of obligation.1
The prohibition of swine's flesh is combated on the ground that God made all things "very good," and that nothing in nature was unholy in itself or forbidden; excepting only blood, and that which dieth of itself, and things offered to idols, for these were unlawful by command of the Lord. The reason assigned for the Mosaic prohibition is curious. The Egyptians worshipped kine, goats, etc., as their gods;2 while, on the contrary, they held swine, horses, camels, etc., to be unclean, and offered them in sacrifice to their gods. To disabuse the Israelites of such idolatrous notions, the sacred animals were sacrificed to the true God, and their flesh allowed to be eaten; while the other animals deemed unclean by the Egyptians were forbidden to be either sacrificed or eaten. As to pork, there was no more
|Gen. i. 31.|