|118||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
For his Apostles the Lord chose simple and unlearned persons, poor fishermen and despised taxgatherers. Through these He overturned all the wisdom and philosophy, the nobility and kingly power, that opposed the faith on every hand. The instructions with which the Apostles and the Seventy disciples were sent forth are given in considerable detail, and are summed up with great force and eloquence, in implied contrast with the interested aims, and worldly agencies, of the first propagators of Islam.
The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are recounted in a very few lines. "Let Me add (says our Author) the testimony of the Coran,'When God said, O Jesus, verily I will cause thee to die, and will raise thee up unto myself, and will deliver thee from the unbelievers ; and will make thy followers to be over those that disbelieve even until the day of judgment. Then unto me shall ye return; and I will judge between you, as to that concerning which ye have been at variance. But they that disbelieve, I will visit them with a grievous punishment, both in this world and the next; they shall have none to help them. But they that believe and do good works, we shall fulfil to them their reward. And God loveth not the transgressors. These signs (or verses) and this sage admonition do we rehearse unto thee.' Now may the Lord open thine eyes and understanding, for these
Sura iii. 54-57.
|THE GOSPEL CONTRASTED WITH ISLAM.||119|
are the very words of thy Master and his confession and testimony in the Revelation which he claimed (and which thou thyself holdest) to be from the Lord. Turn not then away from the right, for if thou wilt be true to thyself the light shall spring upon thee."
Advancing now to the ministry of the Apostles,after a brief notice of the descent of the Holy Ghost, "the Paraclete," on the day of Pentecost, and the gift of tongues, he proceeds:"Upon that, the Apostles separated, each to the country to which he was called, and the language of which was made known unto him. And they wrote out the Holy Gospel, and the story and teaching of Christ, in every tongue at the dictation of the Holy Ghost. So the nations drew near unto them, and believed their testimony; and, giving up the world and their false beliefs, embraced the Christian faith, as soon as ever the dawn of truth, and the light of the Good tidings, broke in upon them. Distinguishing thus the True from the False, and error from the right direction, they embraced the Gospel and held it fast without doubt or wavering, when they saw the wonderful works and signs of the Apostles, and their lives and conversation set after the holy and beautiful example of our Saviour, the traces whereof remain even unto the present day. From them, the Faith hath been handed down; we have added nothing to it neither taken aught therefrom. In this Faith we shall live, in it we shall die, and in the same shall