Believe, therefore, in God and his apostles, and say not there are three (Gods); forbear this; it will be better for you. Verily God is one God. Far be it from him that he should have a son. To him belongeth whatever is, in heaven and earth; and he is a sufficient advocate.

And once more, Surah v. 77:—

They are very unbelievers who say, God is the third of three; for there is no God but the one God. And if they refrain not from what they say, a dreadful torment shall surely be inflicted on such of them as disbelieve.

From these verses it is evident, as Jelal ood Deen and Yahya say, that the Prophet must have heard from some of the heretical Christian sects, that they held the Almighty to be three, namely, God, and Mary and Jesus; and to oppose this evil teaching, it is over and again repeated in the Qur'an that God is one. Whoever may read the Torah and the Gospel must know that Unity of the Almighty is at the foundation of the Christian faith;— as we read in Deut. vi. 4: — "Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord"; a text quoted and enforced by Jesus himself, Mark xii. 29. The godhead of Mary is held by no real Christian. It is, alas, true that several Churches do worship her, — which is nothing short of idolatry, and altogether opposed to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures; yet it is in accordance with what many of the heretical works contained regarding Mary; and from them no doubt Muhammad learned the strange story he has put in the Qur'an.

In Surah iv. 156 we find it written that the Jews said: We have slain Jesus son of Mary, the Apostle of God. Yet they slew him not, neither crucified him, but a likeness was given unto them They did not really

kill him; but God took him up unto himself; and God is mighty and wise. It need hardly be said that this doctrine of the Qur'an is entirely opposed to the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, but it is in agreement with the teaching of some of the early heretics. Thus the ancient writer Irenaeus tells us that Basilides, one of their chief men, held this view, for he wrote of Jesus as follows:—

He suffered not; but Simon a Cyrenian was compelled to carry the cross for him; and he through error and ignorance was crucified, being transfigured by him, that it might be thought he was Jesus himself.

It is evident then that Muhammad learned this story as propagated by the disciples of Basilides; — a story every one must know to be opposed to the writings of the Prophets, who said that the Messiah would come as a sacrifice for the redemption of mankind; and to the testimony of the Apostles, who with their own eyes saw our blessed Redeemer on the cross. Muhammad, however, failed to see that the object of this heretic was to hold up the vain imagination that Jesus was not clothed with manhood proper, but had only the semblance and not the reality of it. If so, it was not possible that he could have been born of the Virgin, and suffered on the cross; but that men were deceived into thinking that these things happened to him. Now all this heretical teaching is entirely opposed not only to the Gospel, but to the Qur'an itself. Accordingly, it did not become Muhammad to accept part of the wild imaginations of Basilides, and reject a part; for if the basis of a heretic's teaching is false, how can the notions and doctrines derived therefrom be true? And