|THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.
we rise again, and stand in the presence of Christ our Lord, in the day when the whole world shall be gathered before Him. How different is all this from the life of thy Master and his Companions, who ceased not to go forth in battle and rapine, to smite with the sword, to seize the little ones, and ravish wives and maidens,plundering and laying waste, and carrying the people away into captivity! And this they continue unto the present day,inciting men to these evil deeds, even as Omar the Caliph said,If one hath a heathen neighbour, and is in need of his price, let him seize and sell him.1 And many such things do they say and teach. Look now at the lives of Simon and Paul, who went about healing the sick, and raising the dead, by the name of Christ our Lord; and mark the contrast."
If it be asked why the power of working miracles is no longer exercised by Holy men, our Apologist answers that their ministry differs from that of the Apostles who had to preach a new faith; a faith, therefore, that required, as such, extraordinary evidence. Miraculous cures, however, at the prayer of Holy men, are still performed in individual cases, to mark their acceptance with the Lord, and to show that the healing virtue is not dead. But if the practice were common of quickening the dead and healing the sick, then no one need die, and where then would be the promise of the Resurrection?
cases (162, 163).
Moreover, they are no longer required. Miracles were needed only in the first days of spreading the faith amongst nations sunk in idolatry and ignorance. Man is not to be forced by superfluous exhibitions of power, nor driven like brute beasts by the appeal to his senses. Sufficient evidence had been long ago provided, and mankind were now left as rational beings in the exercise of their faculties to apply the same.
|"And now," concludes Al Kindy, "I have related to thee, very briefly, the story of our Saviour the Christ, with a short notice of his Apostles from whom we have received our blessed Faith and hold it fast. Now, therefore, consider what thou wilt of that which I have set before thee, in connexion with what thou already knowest of the same, and judge between us righteously. Oh, if thou wouldest but listen to my advice, and, leaving that which is dark and evil, come to the light and brightness of the Gospel, then shouldest thou be of the number of our Saviour's chosen ones, inheriting the kingdom of heaven and eternal life, the blessedness of which knoweth no ending, and the joy of which passeth all description. Fear Him, my Friend, who hath power both over the body and the soul, Who is ready to have mercy on thee, and embrace thee, even as a tender father embraceth his wandering son. The Lord hath favoured thee with wisdom and understanding above thy fellows. Be not then deceived with the pomps and vanities of this transitory life; for verily the world