Islam’s conception of God is well known, and represents a kind of via media between the Greek and the Jewish notions; “There is no God but God; and Mohammed is his prophet.” So, too, Christ Jesus was his prophet, and indeed many another, since the Qur’an proclaims, “there is no nation but has had its warner.” Nevertheless, the greatest of the prophets and apostles, such as Moses, Christ, and Mohammed, are mere mortals, and the same gates of spiritual advancement that were open to them are open to all mankind. They are “warners,” admonishers, voices calling men always to the contemplation of the sublime unity of the Godhead. In no sense are these prophets intermediaries betwen God and his creatures: there are no intermediaries. However proficient in sanctity these “warners” may be, at best they are but guides. They do not even reflect the light of divinity, for just as the sun in the heavens is the sole source of light to this planet, so God in his isolation is the sole source of light to the spiritual world . . . This is indeed a beautiful and arresting piece of imagery, but it must be confessed that the concept of deity which it sets forth is so dazzling that we are intellectually blinded by it. It is like looking at the sun with the naked eye: we are so dazed by its brilliance that we learn nothing about it.
The plain fact is that Islam, equally with paganism, though in a different way, failed to realize the true nature of God, failed to understand that he is the God of life and love, of that life which is supremely active, and of that love which is infinitely diffusive. He is not a god who dwells like a lone star apart, but the God whose pulsating life and illimitable love find expression in the gracious condescension of his self-revelation. It is to one’s intimate friends that one reveals the secrets of one’s inner life, and consequently it is in the New Testament, with the coming of the Eternal Son of God in the flesh for the love of man, that the veil is dranw aside from the majesty and mystery of the divine life, so that we may catch some glimpse of it as it is in itself, and not merely as it was known hitherto in its outward and visible manifestations.
From revelation it is obvious that the divine life in itself is not solitary either in the Aristotelian or the Mohammedan sense. We are given many inklings of this basic truth in the Old Testament, especially in those passages wherein Wisdom is personified and speaks in accents which are unmistakably divine, as, for instance, in the following: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived . . . " (Proverbs 8:22)