An Attested Or A Self-Developed Saviour — Which -- By: George Nye Boardman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 067:267 (Jul 1910)
Article: An Attested Or A Self-Developed Saviour — Which
Author: George Nye Boardman

An Attested Or A Self-Developed Saviour — Which

Rev. George Nye Board Man

It has been the doctrine of the Christian church that the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ were evidence of his divine mission. Outside the church the doctrine has been largely rejected, the fact of miracles often denied with contempt. Some philosophers have said that the occurrence of miracles, if actual, could not be proved; no amount of evidence, it was held, could overbalance the improbabilities in the case. The difficulties that beset the subject have been felt within the church. Distinguished theologians have maintained that a naked miracle cannot be proved, that there must be an antecedent probability of a supernatural interposition before, it can be made credible. Some who have desired to relieve the Scripture narratives of the difficulties under which they labor, have suggested that the so-called miracles were merely the product of natural but occult forces. Some speculators of high standing have taught that miracles are now impedimenta that encumber the church while they have admitted that signs and portents were necessary at the introduction of its teachings. There are those who seem to think that Christianity is a structure so erect, stately, and complete that it may be estimated by itself, accepted for what it is seen to be. Whether or not it was surrounded by miracles at its foundation need

not concern us now, it is said, we may overlook or forget that question.

The aim of the present essay is to ask whether they may be overlooked. Is or is not the system an essentially modified one because of its miracles? Is there or is there not a noticeable contrast between the Jesus of the Gospels stripped of all references to the supernatural and the Jesus of the Gospels bringing with him supernatural attestations of his mission?

In the first place all will admit that, the Gospel narratives being accepted, the beginning of Christianity was encompassed by an atmosphere of miracle. Signs, wonders, mighty works, were the warranty of its genuineness, the indication of its origin, the assurance of its beneficent mission. It needed no commendation, no explanation. No Gamaliel stood sponsor for it. John the Baptist was simply a herald announcing that a greater than he was coming. The Founder of the Christian system brought the evidence of his power and authority with him. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to him and said: “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do those miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Miracles in multitudes accompanied the teachings of Jesus; they were expected wherever he went. He healed diseases, cast out devils, corrected deformities of natur...

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