The Divine Immanency -- By: James Douglas

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 045:180 (Oct 1888)
Article: The Divine Immanency
Author: James Douglas

The Divine Immanency

Rev. James Douglas

The Relations Of The Doctrine Of The Divine Immanency To The Miracles Of Christ

The subject of miracles is somewhat complicated. It naturally divides itself into two general parts: one is the historic fact of miracles, with proofs of the fact of their real occurrence as miracles; the other is, the mode in which these miracles were performed, by what agency or means, in what manner, or by what process. The explanation of the mode of their occurrence has some relation to the proofs of the historic fact of miracles, for if no satisfactory explanation can be given, and miracles are impossible, then no amount of historic evidence will convince the investigator or sceptic of the historic fact.

Another question arises in regard to the miracles of Christ, in relation to his divinity, whether they are absolutely essential as proofs of his divinity. Some treatises of polemical

theology may doubtless be open to the criticism, that an undue importance is given to miracles, as proofs of the possession, by Christ, of a divine nature, as well as of divine power. The fact that all persons claiming a divine mission, especially among heathen nations, assert the power of miracle, as proof of such mission, has greatly tended to disparage the miracles of Christ. It is the common argument of superstition.

The best proof of Christ’s divinity to many minds by no means lies in his miracles. Far better and more convincing proof, appealing directly to the moral consciousness, is found, for many cultivated and thoughtful minds, in the teachings, character, and life of Christ. The distinguished scholar and theologian, Tayler Lewis, pointedly expresses the sentiment of thousands of believers in that pregnant phrase, “I believe in Christ because my soul has need of him.” Even in the earthly lifetime of Christ, none were more profoundly impressed with the fact of his divinity, than those who returned from their interview with him, saying, “Never man spake like this man.” It was the moral grandeur of that Godlike heroism in death, more than the earthquake’s shock, or the darkened sun, that led the Roman centurion to separate Christ in contemplation from those dying with him, and to exclaim, “Verily this was the Son of God.” And it was a similar view and conviction in long after years that wrung from Rousseau the confession, when comparing the most renowned of the sages and martyrs of history with the Nazarene, “Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ like a God.”

The miracles of Christ have little to do with those deep moral convictions of the divine nature of Christ which are the most essential to a true belief. It...

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