145. M. Yes: and these Attributes exist in Him to the degree of Perfection.

C. What are the good Attributes?

146. M. Those implied by the ninety-nine most Excellent Names1 of God, such as Almighty Power, Goodness, Wisdom, Eternity, Mercy, &c.

C. Is not one of these Divine Titles "the Causer of Causes" (مسبِّب الأْسباب Musabbibu'l Asbab)?

147. M. Yes; we Muslims acknowledge God to be that.

C. Well then, let us consider the meaning of the term, for it has a very deep and true meaning. Philosophers have discovered that there is a law of causality, and that cause underlies all created things. The final cause of anything lies quite beyond our cognizance, though Reason demonstrates its existence. We know the Law of Gravity, the Law of the Conservation of Energy, and so on; but the only conceivable origin of these, the cause of them, must be sought in the Will of the Creator, which is the origin of all Force. But these laws act upon Matter which is cognizable to the senses, and thus produce certain results. The results may be known to us. Behind each result or effect lies some manifestation or Form, and behind that again lies the invisible cause. For example, we see the Form which we call Fire. Its effects are heat (burning, &c.). Behind the Form of Fire lies its invisible

1 As given, e.g. in Mishkatu'l Masabih, Book On the Names of God, §§ i and ii, quoted in my Religion of the Crescent, pp. 15, 16.

cause (Combustion). There is therefore a group of three things, Cause, Form, Effect. If, as you rightly say, God is the Causer of Causes, may we not in all reverence see some manifestation of His nature in this as in a metaphor? God the Father may be regarded as the Cause; God the Son as the Form; God the Holy Ghost as the Effect, proceeding from both. Fire cannot exist without Heat, or Heat without Combustion, and so we have an indivisible Trinity. This is only an illustration of the way in which God who is the Causer of Causes has grouped Causes, Forms and Effects together in groups of threes1. When we learn the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity from the Bible, we think that we can see illustrations of it in God's works2, as if the Invisible Causer of Causes had chosen thus as it were to mirror forth something of the secret mystery of His Divine Nature3.

Once more, among other titles of God is He not called "The Lover" (الوَدُودُ Al Wadud)4?

1 Again, the rays of the spectrum are of three kinds, the luminous, the heating, and the chemical, yet all three exist in and form one single ray of white light. (Rev. J. W. Lal.)
2 Rev. Dr. Wherry prefers the old illustration of the Sun with its light and heat: "The Sun reveals itself only by its light: so 'No man hath seen the Father' (John i. 18). Christ is the Light of God, revealing the Father; and the heat or energy of the Sun maybe likened to the Holy Spirit, by whom the power of God is manifested."
3 Suggested by the Rev. P. M. Zenker. Such philosophical considerations have a great value to the Oriental mind, especially with Sufis. Vide Dr. Pfander's Miftahu'l Asrar.
4 This is in substance Anselm's argument.