|110||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
telleth us in the Gospel, When ye have done all that ye are commanded, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was commanded us, and where is our merit? The same Lord Jesus saith, 'How strait is the road which leadeth unto life, and how few they that walk therein! how wide the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat!' Different this, my Friend, from the facilities of thy wide and easy gate, and thine advice to me to enjoy the pleasures offered by thy faith in wives and damsels!" Then he prays that God would guide his friend from such deceits and errors into the right way, and from the darkness in which he was shrouded into the marvellous light of the Gospel. Such prayers (he adds) are constantly put up by the Christian Church for all sorts and conditions of men,that sinners might be converted, and the faithful built up. "May the Lord fulfil the same for thee and for all our brethren!"
He now proceeds to answer the double objection,that to acknowledge the Trinity, and to worship the Cross, are both of them "blasphemy and error." The first our Author (having disposed of it before) treats here but briefly. Moslems call the doctrine of the Trinity takhlît (confusion of essence), but so in truth they call everything which they do not comprehend, according to the proverb, Man is an enemy to whatever he doth not understand,"a principle from which the Lord defend us!" That which they call
takhlît was an ineffable mystery before the Creation; and thereafter, the angels and cherubim, prophets and holy men of God, desired to look into the little that was revealed of it by distant adumbration; until the Son Himself came and unfolded the same;as when He said,"Go and call all nations to the true and perfect knowledge, that which is in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The Apostles received this commission from His sacred lips, and handed it down to us, the whole company of believers, accompanied by signs and wonders; and we stand firmly upon the same, and will, by the grace of God, do so to the end of time.
The adoration of the Cross is dwelt upon at greater length, but may be disposed of briefly here. It was not the Cross they worshipped, but the power that dwelt in it as a symbol, the strength derived therefrom, and the redemption wrought out upon the same. "We reverence it, as we reverence symbols of royalty; even as the Israelites reverenced the arknot the wooden material, but the presence which it signified;1 and so we follow the example of prophets and holy men, when we do homage to the Cross." Here he takes the opportunity of bringing home to his friend the inconsistency between his practice and profession, for it seems that he had been in the habit, when in sudden peril, of invoking the Cross, or using the sign, as a