The Matter Of Miracles -- By: George Lindley

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 086:344 (Oct 1929)
Article: The Matter Of Miracles
Author: George Lindley

The Matter Of Miracles

George Lindley

The matter of miracles has been before the church and the world for a long time. It is, moreover, a matter that has made considerable of a stir. It stirred men in Bible times, those coincident with the performance of the miraculous words recorded. In all ages since then it has stirred believers profoundly. So, too, it has stirred the opposition, if not the ire, of disbelievers of all kinds. Nevertheless, the matter is one that is still before us. For there the records stand. And, despite everything, they have never yet been actually disproved.

As to the New Testament position regarding miracles, we may here quote two passages, one concerning Christ and the other concerning his apostles. “And Jesus went about in Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. And the report of him went forth into all Syria; and they brought unto him all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed with demons, and epileptic, and palsied; and he healed them” (Mat. 4:23, 24).

“God also bearing witness with them, both by sign and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will” (Heb. 2:4).

But some, it seems, have not taken kindly to miracles. They are, apparently, too wonderful, too supernatural, too divine, for some minds to grasp in all their wondrous divine reality. There has, therefore, been the frequent expression of doubt; and not of doubt only, but also of emphatic unbelief and rabid opposition.

Years ago, e. g., Pusey, in the Preface to his great work on Daniel the Prophet, stated concerning some of “the unbelieving critical school” that “they laid down, to their own satisfaction, that the miracles, related in any historical book of Holy Scripture, were magnified representations of the real truth” (p. v.).

In 1860 Dr. Frederick Temple said: “How strikingly altered is our view from that of a few centuries ago is shown by the fact that the miracles recorded in the Bible, which once were looked on as the bulwarks of the faith, are now felt by very many to be difficulties in their way” (Recent Inquiries in Theology, p. 489).

In a volume of lectures published in 1889 and entitled Evolution, we read: “If evolution is true, theology must be reconstructed in accordance with the supremacy of law and the impossibility of its violation b...

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