cradle is also asserted in the following passage from Surah V., Al Maidah, 109, 110, together with other matters which we shall now consider. For convenience' sake we quote both verses in full:—

"When God said, ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favour towards Thee and towards Thy mother, when I strengthened Thee with the Holy Spirit; Thou dost speak unto men in the cradle and as an adult: and when I taught Thee the Book and wisdom and the law and the Gospel; and when Thou dost create from clay as it were the figure of a bird by My permission, then Thou dost breathe into it, thereupon it becometh a bird by My permission; and Thou dost cleanse the blind and the leper by My permission; and when Thou dost bring forth the dead by My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from Thee, when Thou didst come to them with the evident signs: therefore those of them who disbelieved said, This is nothing except evident magic.’"

What is here related of our Lord's miracles of healing the blind, cleansing the leper and raising the dead, may be derived indirectly from the four canonical Gospels, though similar events are not excluded — as they could not well be — from the apocryphal Gospels. But the point of importance for our present purpose is what is said about His creating a bird out of clay and giving it life. This incident is derived from the apocryphal "Gospel


of Thomas the Israelite," in the second chapter of which we read:—

"This child, Jesus, having become five years old, was playing at the crossing of a brook, and He had collected together into pools the running waters and was making them clean forthwith, and with a single word did He command them. And having made some clay fine, He formed out of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. There were, however, many other children also playing with Him. But a certain Jew, having seen what Jesus was doing, that He was playing on the Sabbath day, went away immediately and told His father Joseph, ‘Lo! thy child is at the brook, and having taken clay He hath formed twelve little birds out of it, and He hath profaned the Sabbath.’ And Joseph, having come to the spot and having seen, cried out to Him, saying, ‘Why dost Thou on the Sabbath do these things which it is not lawful to do?’ But Jesus, having clapped His hands together, cried out to the sparrows and said to them, ‘Go!’ And the sparrows, having taken flight, departed twittering. But the Jews, having seen this, were astounded; and having gone away they related to their chief men what they saw that Jesus did."

It is worthy of note that the whole of this fable occurs twice over in the Arabic "Gospel of the Infancy," in chapter xxxvi, and again in another