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Miracles

nature, laws, moral, world, natural, divine and god

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MIRACLES. The view to he taken of these extraordinary events is very largely it question of what definition of them is presupposed. A miracle was for a time held to he "a viola tion or suspension of, or an interforenee with. the laws of nature." „\ later typical definition makes it "an extraordinary operation cognizable by the senses, which has its course not in the order of nature, as known to us, but in God." Another, Tint antagonktie to this, but perhaps more in aecorda 111.1' with the most recent scien tific and religions thought, nwlerstands a mira revelation of a higher life, the prophecy of a new stage in the development of The old definition upon which flume trained bis intellectual trtillery has disappeared \vial the eighteenth century Deism which gave it birth. Ihnne's argument and the replies ??f the chri-tian of his day are tin longer factors in discussion of the miraeulous. The theory of special creations has been supplanted by that of organic The diVine 1.0int; is recognized as immanent as well as transeend mit. Ile is neither banished from the world nor buried in it. As a result, Cud and man are closer together. The line of demarcation be tween the natural and the supernatural is finer. writers even insist that the common dis tinction between the two is unreal and mislead ing. We are told that there are not and cannot be any divine interpositions in nature, for God cannot interfere with Himself. His creative activity is everywhere present.

-Man, though made in the image of God, is not the measure of God. if lie were, nothing would be more supernatural to hint than the visible and known course of things is now. To men thinking along these lines miracles are no longer interferences with or violations of the fixed laws of nature. 'they are but the manifestations of a Iligher Lift--the expression among the lower sequences of life of that which a larger vision may one day make our own. Mtn himself, by the exercise of his personality, works wonders among the laws or forces of the natural world which are brought under his control. Alen of seient i tie t raining effect changes in physical things which are miracles to other men. “rown

up people perform miracles in the sight of chil dren. A distinction, moreover, has been made between 'known' and 'unknown' laws. The out laws formerly designated as 'the laws of nature' arc not violated or suspended. All natural proc esses go on, but they are counteracted or inter acted by a new kind of nature working by a new law with a new power. The 'fixity if law' in the physical world is no longer an indispensable factor in biological phraseology. It is contended that modern science, in enlarging its horizon. bas disowered and labeled some of the principles by which au immanent t;od effects His beneficent purposes, but that beyond and above these are other, and to man. as yet, 'unknown' and higher laws.

Further: the great First Cause who, Christian ity assumes, is behind all the evolutionary proc esses of nature has another kingdom. Ile is the author and controller of the moral as well as the natural order of the universe. Embodied in the doctrine of the divine jinni:Motley is the unity of a divine purpose throughout the moral and the physical world. The natural and the moral are not two opposing spheres of which the one dominates the other. hut the one conjoint reve lation of the moral nature of (Ind, the lower of which prepares for and leads on to the higher. Or, in other words, the moral and the material world are obviously and ineontestahly part and pareel of one and the same system. Hence, our definition may lie enlarged to make a mir acle not only the prophecy of a new slate in the development of creation, hilt "an event in physical nature which makes unmistakably plain the presence and direct action of nod working for a moral end." This view eliminates the Kantian dualism. and makes the Mile miracles not detaehod and meaningless porients, but part of a preparatory dispensation in the divine evolntbm. Displays of miraculous power are hut the manifestations to man in his imper fection of that for ithich lie hungers. aml Ow:1111 perfection of the moral of the universe.

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