|108||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
not to fear him who hath power over the body only, but to fear the Creator of both soul and body. Nevertheless Al Kindy had gained additional freedom and assurance from the just and impartial rule of the Commander of the Faithful, who always protected the weak like the Apologist himself, and under the shadow of whose benign and powerful sceptre the Christian community reposed in comfort and security. And he besought the Lord, who answered the prayers of his faithful servants, to grant every worldly blessing both to the august person of the Caliph himself and to his family.
Referring, once more, to his Friend's invitation to share with him the honours and dignities of the realm and the rank proper to his distinguished Kindite birth, our Apologist says that the Lord truly had bestowed upon the kindred of his Friend the Caliphate, with all its honours and distinctions; and long might it remain safe and intact in the Abbasside line of the Prophet's house. But, as for the glory that remaineth, there was none but that which arose from a holy life. The Prophet himself, addressing his people, said, "O ye seed of Abd Men‚f, birth and dignity shall profit nought either for me or for you: verily, with the Lord, the best of you is the holiest." And truly, holy men of God have mostly had little to boast of in race, or blood, or worldly greatness; their piety was their nobility; the world to come, their inheritance. Our Apologist had no
will not be
desire to parade his ancestry, descended though he was from the Kings of the Beni Kinda, whose authority was once acknowledged over all Arabia; for as the apostle Paul had said, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. Beyond that glory he had no ambition. His boast was in the faith of Christ, whom to know was life eternal.
The H‚shimite had spoken of the need of the Prophet's advocacy in the Day of Judgment, when he would cry aloud, "These are my kin; these are my people!" and his intercession would prevail.1 "My dearest Friend," answers Al Kindy, "are thine eyes asleep, or dreaming, that thou utterest such senilities? There is no shadow of doubt but that our Lord Jesus Christ,the same as is borne testimony to in thine own Book,in that day will be sole Judge, rendering by the strictest rule of right, to every man according to his deeds, be they good or evil. Righteousness alone will then avail." Let not his Friend be beguiled by the lying vanities of the world. The march was swift; death was near; the day at hand, when we must all stand before the Judgment-seat, and then repentance, excuse, and supplication would be all too late. And so he ends an earnest personal appeal, of which I have contented myself with giving the mere outline.
"Thou invitest me," he continues, "to the Easy way of faith and practice. Alas, alas! and our Saviour