Miracle, Law, Evolution -- By: Charles B. Warring

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 060:240 (Oct 1903)
Article: Miracle, Law, Evolution
Author: Charles B. Warring


Miracle, Law, Evolution1

Charles B. Warring

Miracles And Law

I do not propose to discuss the reality of the miracles recorded in the Bible. Those who deny their possibility, as well as many who believe in them, look upon miracles as generically different from those occurrences which are said to take place in obedience to the laws of nature. There certainly is a difference. What is it? Evidently it is not in the degree of power required; for raising the dead is a less thing than the birth and growth of an individual. It is less to set in motion a watch that has stopped than to make one. Causing the widow’s oil and meal to increase was a small matter in comparison with providing daily food for the millions that cover the earth.

Nor is it that miracles are intrinsically more wonderful than those things which we regard as the effect of law. Nothing is more common, or less excites our surprise, than the working of the law of gravitation; yet, what is more wonderful than a force which, according to Laplace, travels more than fifty million times faster than light, which itself moves with the inconceivable velocity of nearly two hundred thousand miles in a second?

Were, to-night, in some far distant constellation, another sun called into existence, ages would pass before its light could reach our earth, but only a few seconds would elapse before the earth would feel its presence.

Nor is the velocity of gravitation the only or the great-

est cause for wonder. Another property of this force far surpasses that. I mean its ability to adjust itself with omniscient accuracy to every change in mass, or position, of bodies however widely separated.

The adjustment of position and movement of every member of our solar system, and, I may add, of the universe, to the mass, distance, and position of that new sun would at once begin, and, in due time, complete itself with an exactness which no human measurements can hope to equal. And since every atom is attracted by every other atom in the universe, it is a sober fact that the fall of a sparrow is registered in every star fifty millions of times sooner than light can speed its way across the abyss that separates our earth from them. Can any miracle be more wonderful than that?

We may extend the comparison as far as we please, and we shall find in all cases that miracles differ from what we regard as the effect of law, neither in the amount of power required nor in their intrinsic wonderfulness. We must, therefore, seek for some other characteristic by which they may be distinguished. So far...

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