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Sweet First Fruits- An Account of Christian Converts in Syria

Sweet First Fruits- An Account of Christian Converts in Syria

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Published by Gilbert Hanz

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Published by: Gilbert Hanz on Sep 03, 2011
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01/14/2013

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SWEETFIRSTFRUITS
An Account of ChristianConverts in Syria
W.M.
1
Forward.............................................2
2
The Letter..........................................2
3
Deep Waters......................................5
4
Second Conference............................7
5
Danger Threatens..............................9
6
Third Conference............................ 11
7
Intimidation and Alarm...................13
8
Summoned and Imprisoned.............16
9
Conspiracy.......................................24
After the Execution........................36
11
Exile and Return............................59
Quiz............................................... 69
All Rights Reserved - The Good Way Publishing - 2010 http://www.the-good-way.com 
 
1. Forward
Praise be to the Heavenly King, who hasrevealed the truth to us in the HolyScriptures -- a guide unto His people, anda light to show forth His glory!I have written this story with a view tounveil hidden truths and preciousmysteries by way of debate and dialogue.The tale makes no claim to literaryexcellence, but I trust that the methodchosen may, with divine blessing, approveitself to the thoughtful and impartialreader, of whom I beg that he will treatwith patience whatever is feeble orimperfect. I pray to God that the story maybenefit both him that reads and him thathears the same. The Lord is my strengthand Helper; to Him be praise now and forevermore!W. M., Edinburgh, 1893
2. The Letter
There lived at Aleppo a Christian,Yohanna Gheiyur by name. Between himand a certain citizen of Damascus, aSheikh called Abd ul-Hady, there grew upa close and lasting friendship. They usedoften to discuss questions bearing on theirrespective religions; and, as a result, theSheikh one day received from his friend anearnest and well-reasoned letter:
DivineTruth in the Book of the Living God, and the Christian Faith Set Forth Therein, theOnly True Religion
. While deep in study,Abd ul-Hady was visited by a pious andlearned Sheikh, Ali Omar, whom he askedto read it, and advise whether it should beanswered, and if so, how. Ali found thearguments so hard to answer that hedeclared himself unable, without theadvice of fit and learned friends, to saywhether any reply should be given. "Andafter all," he added, "two are better thanone; what do you think?" Abd ul-Hadyagreed, and so Ali at once invited a learnedcompany of friends to come for thatpurpose to his house. Some were Sheikhs,some
Sayyids
(Islamic chiefs or leaders),and two
Effendies
(Arabs or Turks of noble birth); in all, with himself and afriend, twelve in number. So when, aftersupper, they had assembled in his privatechamber, he explained his purpose,begging them to listen to the letter whichhis friend had received in support of theChristian religion, and thereafter to advisehow it should be dealt with. Whereupon, athis motion, Abd ul-Hady arose and read itin their hearing.The letter is of considerable length; it willsuffice briefly to summarise the contents.(The arguments are all brought out in thelater discussions, so that it would beunprofitable to give the letter here in full.)Its object is to establish the authority of the
SWEET FIRSTFRUITS 
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All Rights Reserved - The Good Way Publishing - 2010 http://www.the-good-way.com 
 
Bible (as borne testimony to by theQur’an), and of Christianity as basedthereon. Holding it reasonable that manshould look for a revelation of his Maker’swill, the writer proceeds to show how thatwill was gradually unfolded to a chosenrace, and embodied in the Books of Moses; and how, as a result of theirapostasies, prophets were sent from time totime to recall the Israelites to the worshipof the one true God. Such revelationsceased some four hundred years before themission of Jesus Christ; and about onehundred years later (that is, about threehundred years before the Christian era)were collected in the form in which wenow have them. Their genuineness isconfirmed by various arguments: thefulfilment of prophecy, predictions of theSaviour and of His rejections, and thefrequent story of the sin and backsliding of the chosen race -- subjects which, had theIsraelites been inclined to tamper withtheir Scriptures, would surely have beenremoved therefrom. Of the many religionsprevalent on the earth there can be but onetrue religion, as there is but one true God;and for that we must look to His revealedWord. The Hebrew books abound withreferences to the coming Saviour; and Hewas expected by the nation, as, forexample, in the story of the woman at thewell of Samaria. His mission wasestablished by miracles, and His death andresurrection by the testimony of Hisfollowers who were threatened withpersecution even unto death. TheIncarnation, though beyond our reason, isin no way opposed to it; for natureabounds in things we believe, yet cannotunderstand. As little children take theirfather’s word for things beyond theircomprehension, so should man hisHeavenly Father’s. We must accept withall humility what He in His word hasrevealed to us of His own nature.His friend sent him a couplet by a profanepoet, who asked, "How could God suffer,and where was the Father when the Sonwas crucified?" Such language showsincredible ignorance of what Christianityreally teaches. It was in His human naturethat Christ died, and His divine nature wasnot affected (just as the golden tissueremains when a scarf is burned). If theFather, out of infinite compassion, sent theSon to bear our nature, and as predicted inthe fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, to bear oursins, is it for the creature to raiseobjection? If Divine Justice is satisfied --as illustrated in Abraham’s offering hisson, and by the institution of Jewishsacrifices -- should not man be infinitelygrateful? Passing over the objections of agnostics, who believe in nothing, and of the great mass of mankind who believeonly in the religion they were born andraised in, the writer will address certainobjections levelled against the ChristianScriptures. Alleged discrepancies areshown not to touch the essence of therevelation.The series of books from the beginning toend of the Bible forms an integraldevelopment of the divine will. Sixcenturies after Christ, the Qur’an gaveclear testimony to both the Jewish and theChristian Scriptures. Copies of these in theoriginal, and translations into manylanguages, had by that time spread all overthe world, and were in the hands of manyconflicting sects, so that alteration sincethat date is an impossibility. In fact, theQur’an accuses Jews and Christians, not of tampering with their sacred books, but of neglecting their precepts, and it scoldsthem in such terms as these: "Oh people of 
SWEET FIRSTFRUITS 
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All Rights Reserved - The Good Way Publishing - 2010 http://www.the-good-way.com 

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