Geological And Theological Analogies -- By: Benjamin P. Hosford
BSac 15:58 (April 1858) p. 300
Geological And Theological Analogies
The precise force and value of analogical reasonings from the physical world to the truths of Revelation, are not yet clearly defined. It is even doubted by some whether they deserve any higher name than mere illustrations. But illustrations are sometimes arguments in their effect upon the understanding. They present solid truth in a clearer light, and no argument can do more. Some benefits at least result from a familiarity with such analogies; and it would be as unwise in us not to avail ourselves of their proper uses, as it would be to try to press them beyond those uses.
To a mind troubled about certain truths of the Scriptures, it is a substantial relief to find that the same sort and quality of difficulty runs through the kingdom of Nature also. This indeed does not solve the first difficulty; in one sense it enlarges it; but in showing that it is wide-spread, it shows that it is not peculiar to the Scriptures, but is a something which runs through the various departments of the creation, and therefore must have been comprehended in the original perfect plan of the creation. Convinced of this, we then fall back upon our confidence in the fundamental wisdom and benevolence of the Creator. As our confidence in the gen-
BSac 15:58 (April 1858) p. 301
eral wisdom of His Providence is radical, we cast this particular burden upon it. We conclude that this element of difficulty is no mere exception, not a mistake in one unfortunate department, but is something connected with the fundamental principles of His administration. That we cannot make our intelligence shine quite through it, only indicates that it is a part of the Incomprehensible Self. Thus, practically, the particular difficulty vanishes in proportion as we become convinced of its universality.
It is both refreshing and invigorating to Christian faith thus to draw from the different departments of natural science — God’s old works— new illustrations and confirmations of the old, well-established doctrines of His Holy Word, albeit neither the one nor the other is fully understood. In this way, new analogies from nature clothe old Bible truths afresh, as each succeeding spring renews the old, warm earth.
Such analogies are also a convenient weapon with which to foil a captious doubter. Cavillers at Scripture are usually mere naturalists in belief. They admit a God, and nature as the exponent of Him. When, then, they are forced to admit that their store-house of illustrations, Nature, is full of precisely the same sort of element which they rail at in the Divine Revelation, their mouths are stopped. Moreover, the Bible theology can apply the...
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