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I may say at once that my primary object, in the present undertaking, is to place the "Apology of Al Kindy" in the hands of those who will use it in the interests of the Christian faith.

At the same time, apart altogether from a religious aspect, the Apology possesses a very peculiar interest of its own. My attention was first directed to it by the Turkish Mission Aid Society, which printed very carefully the text from two imperfect manuscripts. A cursory perusal convinced me of its high dialectic merit, and also of its presumable authenticity, as belonging to the age—the third century of the Hegira (about 830 A.D.)—in which it purports to have been written. I accordingly published a short sketch, with a few extracts, in the "Indian Female Evangelist."1

Further study deepened the conviction. The Apology is quoted by the well-known writer Al Bīrūni (about 390 A.H.; 999 A.D.), as the Epistle of "Abd al Masīh ibn Ishāc, Al Kindy." This quotation, while proving the currency of the work in the century following that in which it was written, has given rise

1  "Indian Female Evangelist." London: Nisbet & CO., April, 1881, Art. I.