|114||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
aright, and direct thy feet into 'the strait path,' by His power and grace!"
The remainder of the Apology is devoted by Al Kindy to the evidences of Christianity and a brief account of the life and teaching of our Saviour. His Friend had begged for this;1 and Al Kindy compliments him as specially qualified, both by natural gifts and by knowledge of the subject, to grasp the argument. He first offers up a prayer that the Holy Spirit's light and guidance might be shed upon his Friend, and all his readers; and then proceeds with his subject.
Eight pages are devoted to the prophecies of the Old Testament, from all parts of which quotations are freely taken. It is unnecessary to say more than that neither in the passages selected, nor in the manner of applying them, does the Apology materially differ from similar treatises in the present day. The section closes with a powerful defence of the Jewish Scriptures against the charge of interpolation and corruption. First we have their common use from the earliest times by Christians as well as Jews, notwithstanding that these are irreconcilably opposed to each other on every point besides this only one. Then the Scriptures are attested by the Coran itself, for in it we read as follows:"If thou art in doubt as to what We have revealed
Sura x. 93.
|unto thee, then ask those who read the Book (revealed) from before thee,that verily the truth hath come unto thee from thy Lord, and be not thou among them that doubt." And still more explicitly:"They to whom we have given the Book read it according to its true reading. These are they that believe therein; and whosoever believeth not therein, they shall be lost." "Our 'reading' is here asserted to be the right one, and thy Master directeth that we (that is we Christians) are to be asked concerning the same, and that what we declare in respect of it must be accepted. How then canst thou accuse us of corruption, or of 'changing the text from its place?' That would be to contradict thyself, and go back from the rule of fair interpretation which we agreed upon for the conduct of this argument." He points out further the utter impossibility of collusion. How could nations of different religion, and various sects scattered over every land, agree to falsify their Scriptures? It were an unheard-of thing. Finally, he contrasts the Christian Scriptures with the Moslem, dwelling briefly on his former arguments as to the heterogeneous character of the materials and composition of the Coran, and the compulsory enforcement of its acceptance, without miracle or proof, at the point of the sword. "Judge fairly, my Friend; for verily the Lord hath appointed reason and the balance of justice to be the test in this matter; and thou, if thou inquirest sincerely, wilt surely, by the. blessing of God, attain unto the Truth."|