and promises the guarantee of the Caliph that no harm should befall him for any freedom of speech in discussing the merits of their respective faiths. The reply of Al Kindy is introduced thus:

And the Christian answered him:
O Lord, make my task easy: let it not be hard: and
fulfil the same with thy blessing.

To N—, son of N—, from M—, son of M—, the least of the servants of the Messiah. Peace, Mercy, and Grace be upon thee, and upon all Mankind! Amen.

And thereupon he goes on at once to take up his friend's arguments, point by point.

The Moslem's letter occupies only 23 Of the 165 pages of the printed edition; Al Kindy's reply the remaining 142. While our Apologist speaks respectfully of the person of Mahomet, he vigorously denounces his claims as a prophet, and attacks the whole system of Islam with uncompromising severity. The latter part of the Apology is devoted to the proofs of Christianity, and to our Saviour's life and teaching. The reasoning is not, to our ideas, uniformly sound; nor are the statements (throughout deeply tinged with the Alyite and Abbasside tendencies of the day), especially those connected with the life of the Prophet and the early Caliphate, always accurate. But, upon the whole, the argument is conceived with great ability and force, and the language throughout is flowing, rich, and eloquent. Many passages, in particular the philippic on Jehād


(Religious Warfare) and Martyrdom, are singularly powerful and impassioned. It is clear that the Apology can have proceeded from the pen of no ordinary scholar.

There is no doubt that this book is substantially the same as that referred to by Al Bīrūni. At page 25 will be found the passage quoted by him as noticed at the beginning of this paper. Our Apologist there writes:—

We know from the Book of Genesis that Abraham lived with his people four-score years and ten, in the land of Harrān, worshipping none other than Al Ozza, an idol famous in that land and adored by the men of Harrān under the name of the Moon, which same custom prevails among them to the present day. They conceal no part of their ancestral practices, save only the sacrifice of human beings. They cannot now offer up human sacrifices openly; but they practise the same in secret.1

In the brief Preface given above (P. 14), it will have been observed that the correspondence is said to have taken place at the Court of AL MĀMŪN (198-218 A.H.). At the close of the Egyptian MS. is the following note:—

It is related that the subject of these two Epistles reached the ears of Al Māmūn; whereupon he sent for them, and had them both read to him without stopping,

1  I subjoin the original text of the last two sentences:—