Remarks On Some Philosophical Objections Against The Doctrine Of The Resurrection Of The Body -- By: Joseph Tracy

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 002:8 (Nov 1845)
Article: Remarks On Some Philosophical Objections Against The Doctrine Of The Resurrection Of The Body
Author: Joseph Tracy

Remarks On Some Philosophical Objections Against The Doctrine Of The Resurrection Of The Body

Rev. Joseph Tracy

That the bodies of the dead shall, at some future time, be raised to life, is the obvious doctrine of the Scriptures. This is conceded by all men, whether Christian or infidel. Some, however, maintain that the doctrine cannot possibly be true; and hence they infer that the Scriptures, which teach it, cannot be from God. Others, again, deny the truth of the doctrine; but instead of rejecting the Scriptures, maintain that on this subject, their obvious meaning must be rejected, and that another interpretation must be given them, consistent with the teachings of philosophy. With both these classes of men, our controversy has respect to facts, rather than principles. We readily admit that science may teach us some things with absolute certainty, and that, with respect to those things, it is neither our duty, nor is it possible for us, to believe the contrary. If a professed revelation, when taken in its obvious sense, teaches anything that science demonstrates to be false, we must either find, by fair means, another interpretation, not inconsistent with known truth, or reject the professed revelation, as not from God.

But are we under any such necessity, in respect to the resurrection ? Has philosophy proved, or can she prove, that the obvious doctrine of the Scriptures on this subject cannot be true?

Are we thus forced, either to find a less obvious interpretation, consistent with the teachings of philosophy, or reject the Scriptures?

To bring us to such a conclusion, philosophy needs to argue with amazing force. Nothing short of absolute demonstration will answer her purpose. She must produce arguments strong enough to balance and neutralize all the evidences of Christianity. The arguments from history, from miracles, from prophecy, from our own intuitive perception of the truth of the great doctrines of the gospel, from the demand of conscience that we receive it as true, and from our own experience of its power to heal the diseases of the soul, are not lightly to be set aside. Nothing short of an absolute demonstration, in which we know certainly that there is no mistake, can be allowed, on philosophical principles, to justify our apostasy in the face of such evidence. No mere theory, unsupported by facts; no collection of facts which may be imperfect, either because all the facts in the case have not been observed, or because some of them have been observed imperfectly, can be sufficient. The evidence in favor of Christianity is too strong to yield to any imperfect proof.

Nor may we reject the natural and obvious sense of Scripture for any less sufficient reason...

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