|THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.
Kindy replies, was a chastisement from Heaven, and the commission to inflict the same was ratified by miracles, which he recounts and which he reminds his Friend that both Jews and Christians, though mutually hostile in other respects, agree in attesting. "Show me," he proceeds, "any the slightest proof or sign of a wonderful work done by thy Master to certify his mission, and to prove that what he did in slaughter and rapine was, like the other, by, Divine command. I know thou canst not. And so it behoveth thee not (the Lord direct thee!) to blame or injure those who deny that thy Master was sent as an Apostle with a divine commission to impose his religion by the sword, and who hold him to have been an Adventurer seeking his own ends and aided therein by his kinsfolk, clan, and fellowcitizen. If any reject the claim of such a one, they are not justly to be blamed. but rather, if judged impartially, to be praised and commended for searching out the truth. To bolster up fallacies and falsehoods consisteth neither with reason nor justice. These are the weapons of the Jews and heathen, who deal in lies like their father the Devil, even as Jesus Christ our Saviour hath shown in the holy Gospel.
"And now, as to thine invitation to embrace Islam, suppose that I should accept it without reason and without evidence for the same, wouldst thou regard that as the course of rectitude? I trow not. And judge, my Friend, how should I do this, and my Lord the Messiah hath said in the
|Al Kindy invites
his friend to
holy Gospel, All the prophets have prophesied until the time of my coming; that is, at the era of my appearance, the prophetic office ceaseth; and whosoever cometh after me claiming to be a prophet, the same is a wolf and a robber: receive him not.1 Tell me, my good Friend, if turning aside from the dying command of my Lord, the Saviour of the world, I should be tempted by the pomps, vanities, and carnal inducements of this life, to accept thy call without proof,I think not that one like thee, endowed with righteousness and wisdom, would approve a sin so heinous, neither is it possible that one like myself could turn aside thereto. Nay, my Friend, rather would I appeal to thy reason, and beseech of thee, casting aside considerations of birth and family, to listen unto me, thy true counsellor and affectionate adviser. Call to mind what in the holy Gospel, our Lord, the Messiah, saith to His disciples 'Truly many prophets and kings desired to see what ye see and did not see it, and to hear what ye hear and did not hear it.' How canst thou, reading such words, turn therefrom, loving this present life, which swiftly passeth away and disappeareth." The section on miracles closes here with an eloquent recapitulation of the argument for the truth of Christianity, based on the way in which it spread, not by force, or through any ambitious, sordid, or carnal motives, but simply from choice and conviction, grounded on the incontestable miracles of Christ and His disciples.