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are told that the angels, before the infant's birth, thus addressed Mary:— And he shall speak to men in the cradle ....And he shall say, Verily I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, for 1 shall make unto you of clay the figure as it were of a bird; then I will blow thereon and it shall become a bird, by permission of God.1  And again in another Surah:—

When God said, O Jesus son of Mary! remember my favour towards thee, and towards thy Mother; when I strengthened thee by the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak unto men in the cradle, and when grown up; and when I taught thee the Book and wisdom, and the Torah, and the Gospel; and when thou createdst of clay as it were the figure of a bird by my permission, and didst breathe thereon, and by my permission it became a bird. And when thou didst heal one born blind, and the leper, by my permission; and didst raise up the dead by my permission; and when I held back the children of Israel from thee at the time thou camest unto them with evident miracles; and when such of them as believed not said, This is nothing but manifest sorcery. 2

It need not be repeated that tales of our Saviour's childhood such as these have nothing to do with the Gospel, but like those before of the cradle, palm-tree, etc., have been taken from imaginary and fabulous Christian writings, such as the following from a Greek story-book called The Gospel of Thomas the Israelite: —

The child Jesus, when five years of age, was playing on the road by a dirty stream of running water; and having brought it all together into ditches, immediately made it pure and clean; and all this by a single word. Then having moistened some earth, he made of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath day when he did these things. There were many other children playing with him. Now a Jew, seeing what Jesus did, that he

1 Surah iii. 41 and 43   2 Surah v. 119.

was playing on the Sabbath day, forthwith went his way to his father Joseph; Behold, he said, thy son is at the stream of dirty water, and having taken up some mud, hath made of it twelve sparrows, and hath thus desecrated the Sabbath. On this Joseph went to the spot, and cried out:— Why dost thou do these things on the Sabbath day which it is not lawful to do? Whereupon Jesus, clapping his hands at the sparrows, cried aloud to them, — Go off! So they, clucking, flew away. The Jews seeing it, were astonished, and went and told their Rulers what they had seen Jesus do.

In the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, the whole story is found twice over, in Chapter 36, and again in a different form in Chapter 46, because the latter part of the book is taken from The Gospel of Thomas the Israelite.

In reference to the supposed fact that Jesus spoke when an infant in the cradle, we find it said in the Qur'an (Surah xix. 29-31) that when the Virgin Mary's people reproached her, she pointed to Jesus, implying that they should ask him about the matter. And when they asked her, How can we speak to a child in the cradle? then Jesus answered them and said, Verily I am the servant of God, who hath given the Book, and made me a Prophet.

So also in the Gospel of the Infancy, Chapter 1, it is thus written: —

In the Book of Josephus, High Priest, who lived in the time of the Messiah (and men say he was Caiaphas), we find it said that Jesus spake when he was in the cradle, and called out to his mother Mary:— "Verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word, whom thou hast given birth to according to the good tidings given thee by the Angel Gabriel, and my Father hath sent me for the Salvation of the World."

Now if we compare the above, taken from this


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