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the consistent course. They dismiss all difficul- | merely to an appearance long after, the nature of ties and silence all objections at once, by prohi- which he does not even mention, but he neverthebiting the use of reason on the subject. The less considers this attestation fully equal to that of disciple is invited to take refuge from all per- the other Apostles: while it is contended all real plexities in an uninquiring acquiescence in ora- conviction must be from within. Hume, indeer, cular decrees; and is consoled with the assur- expressly puts forward his argument against ance that he will ultimately feel complete satis- miracles on the plea that “it may serve to confaction in the patient assiduons practise of du- found those dangerous friends or disguised enetiful submission to the authority of the Church. mies to the Christian religion, who have underThus he is infallibly secureil from harassing taken to defend it by the principles of human doubts and unprofitable speculations, by dis

Our most holy religion is founded on carding all positive views of evidence and FAITII, not on reason : and it is a sure method trutlı.'- Tradition Unveiled, p. 38-45.

of exposing it to such a trial as it is by no means

fitted to endure."* If understood in accordance Let this clear protest against the views with the distinction between physical interof others be compared with the point that ruption and spiritual influence, this declaraMr. Powell has himself reached in twenty tion would be eminently satisfactory: but it years.

appears froin the context of the passage, that

the author makes this very “faith " to which • From what has preceded it appears that he refers, in itself something as supernatural, while the difficulties of miracles are fully seen, and contrary to reason as any of the miracles if not explicitly avowed by some theologians, which he rejects. The declaration can thus the acceptance of them is regarded purely as a only be regarded as designed in an insidious matter of religious faith and spiritual apprehen- sense. Yet if understood in the meaning just sion, not as a point of reason or a deduction of indicated, the appeal to faith entirely harmothe intellect, -to which they adınit it is even pises with the views of some of the most earnest opposed. And thus this confession on the side advocates of revelation who have expressly of religion entirely concurs and harmonises with maintained that "conversions, not miracles, are the verdict of philosophy, which, if it fail to the real and abiding evidences of Christianity." recognise physical interruption, freely acknow- And more reasoning inquirers have admitted ledges spiritnal influence and the power of faith; that if the miracles of the Evangelists be reand where its own dominion ends, cordially re- garded as adapted to the conceptions of the age cognises the landmarks of the neighbour territo- to wbich they belong, still the internal evidence ry, and allows that wbat is not a subject for a of Christianity,—its moral and spiritual appeals problem may bold its place in a creed.

to the hearts and consciences of men, equally * In a past age, as we have already noticed, address themselves to more enlightened appregreat stress was laid on certain precise “evi: lensions in all ages.'--Order of Nature, p. dential” arguments, especially turning on in- 429-432. ferences from miracles. The exclusive, or even principal, importance of this class of proofs has

Of this change of opinion and feeling in later times been greatly called in question, there is not the slightest hint in the volume even by orthodox theologians, who have evinc- before us. No apology tendered to the , ed a disposition to recede much from formal former objects of his attack; no retractaarguments addressed to the intellect, and to tion; no apparent consciousness of change. prefer an appeal to spiritual conviction and reli- It has been conjectured, indeed, that his gious sense. It is now admitted that the strict object has been to supply the Theory of *evidential” tests once exacted are little appli- the Transformation of Species with (what cable to a great part of the Gospel varratives, especially in the earlier portion. Bishop But it sadly lacked) an actual instance of the ler* long ago drew the distinction : “ There are

sort of transmutations which it supposes. also invisible miracles, the incarnation of Christ, Certainly, a fish changing into an ape for instance,” which are therefore wholly mat- would bardly be a more astonishing metaters of faith: and Anglican theologians insist

morphosis. upon the traditional source of all our know

If we look now for new and potent ledge of the origin or authority of the Gospels as derived from the Fathers; -and maintain arguments which have suddenly shaken that evidence and reasoning are little congenial the foundations of Professor Powell's histo the spirit of faith, which harmonises better torical faith, we shall be much at a loss to with spiritual doctrine and submission to divine teaching: again, on quite an opposite sidet it is the Epistles are all written to persons already conobserved that St. Paul, when he does enter on verted, they cannot be reasonably expected to evidential discussion, dismisses it very slightly; contain evidential discussions. The place for his own witnesst to the resurrection being expecting evidences is in addresses to unbelievers ;

and there we find them. Acts ii. 32; iii, 15, 16; * ‘Analogy,' Pt. II., ch. ii. p. 227, ed, 1807. iv. 10; x. 37-42. As for the conversion of Paul † Phases of Faith,' p. 181, 1st ed.

himself, the circumstances of it were thought, by # 1 Cor. xv. 8.' (It is scarcely necessary to at least as good a reasoner as Professor Powell, remark that, in the passage here referred to, the sufficient in themselves to prove the truth of Apostle is merely recalling, very briefly, to the Christianity. See Lord Lyttleton's Observations minds of his converts the proofs which he had al- on the Conversion of St. Paul.'] ready largely explained to them. Considering that * • Essays,' vol. ii. p. 136, ed. 1800.

find them. Over and above some very old sketch of the naturalistic history of Paulus* and often-repeated, and often-retuted, ob- -of the mythic theory of Strauss--of the jections to religion, both natural and subjective theory of Fenerbach--of the revealed, we discover no topic more pro-psychological theory of Ewald--of the minently urged, and more frequently reite-doctrinal theory of Neander. We humbly rated-as apparently quite decisive-than trust that these theories are not correct the solemn declaration that a belief in exponents of the spirit of the present age. iniracles is inconsistent with the spirit of If they be, then certainly Incredulity is the age. Now, since—so far as we can not the besetting sin of this generation. remember the facts of history-sound phi- The faith that can receive them is a faith losophy and true religion never made their that can remove mountains. Cicero long way by conforming to the spirit of the ago declared that there was nothing so age, but rather by making the spirit of absurd as not to have been taught by the age conform to them, this announce- some philosophers. Had he lived till our ment, even if true, does not at all reduce days and seen this goodly array of specius to despair. We have seen too many mens, he would doubtless have extended things take place that were pronounced his remark to divines. But non usque by very sage people impossible in the adeo desperandum est de sensibus humanis nineteenth century, that we begin to lose nt talia persuaderi posse putentur.' Most faith in the Ephemerides that are calcu- of them have long since died and been lated upon such principles. We should buried in the land of their nativity; and, desire to calculate our religion and philo- though curious persons have brought their sophy not for the age' but for all time.' mummies across the water, we may safely The spirit of the Apostle's age was that leave them in the cabinets of those who

of the Princes of this world.* The spirit admire such rarities. The principal use of of the age some time ago required an im- them is to show that the facts of Christimoveable earth and circulating heavens. anity resist the application of all possible The spirit of one age worshipped Aristotle: engines of critical torture.

The two great the spirit of another despised and tram- parties, like the offspring of the dragon's pled on the idol of the former. We should teeth, destroy each other. The Naturaldesire to try the spirit of every age by the ists prove invincibly the genuineness and standard, not of fashion, but of sound rea- authenticity of the New Testament, and son: and we are convinced that ages of show its early origin to be inconsistent enlightenment and advanced civilization with a mythic character. The Mythics have their own peculiar prejudices as well prove equally well that the naturalistic as ages of comparative obscurity. Of late explanation of the miracles is utterly years so much has been done to correct absurd and incredible. Thus the rock of some mistakes in physics, on which hasty offence' lies still in the way of infidelity, reasoners had founded arguments for natii- and whoever falls upon it is broken. ral religion; and so much also to explain Professor Powell is not quite satisfied the manner in which mythologies have with any of these ingenious theories; but arisen, and the fables of ancient history it is amusing to remark his kindly symhave been formed; that men's minds have pathy with the framers of them. Thus, -as is nsual-become heated by the for example, he points out that Paulus' work; and attention has been concen- theory originated in a sincere wish to vintrated rather on the resemblances (and dicate the Sacred narrative from the atthey are necessarily many) between Truth and Falsehood in religious systems natural the Scripture narratives of miracles into accounts

* The Naturalistic theory is that which resolves and revealed,† than upon the essential dif: of natural events that were mistaken for super: ferences between the genuine metal and natural. Thus, e.g., the star which led the Magi its counterfeit. The verdict of the spirit was a flambeau; the angel that liberated Peter, &

The Mythic theory reof the age' seems to Professor Powell Alash of lightning, &c.

solves them into legends, expressing only what ihe pretty nearly decisive of the whole ques- Messiah might properly be conceived and imagined tion; and, in confirmation of his plea, he to have done. Of this last theory there is a mashas put in a mass of very curious evidence terly refutation by Bishop Fitzgerald in the 29th to show how the friends of religion have nuirber of the Cautious for the Times. As for latterly felt themselves coerced to frame the subjective and psychological theories, we do

not undertake to explain what we must

, confess theories that shall get rid of miraculous ourselves unable distinctly to understand. Even interferences. For this purpose he gives a Mr. Powell himself does not pretend to see his way

very clearly to the meaning of Feuerbach and 1 Cor. ii. 8, των αρχόντων του αιώνος τούτου.

Ewald. + See the Archbishop of Dublin's ' Essays on the • Ipse diem noctemque negat discernere cælo, Peculiarities of Christianity.'

Nec meminisse viæ media Palinurus in unda.' VOL. GVI.

16

tacks made by Lessing in the Wolfenbüt- people, therefore they were not logical tel Fragments. Now, considering that proofs, and did not really convince any the grand object of Lessing was to ex-body! If this be human reason, consisplode Christianity as a miraculous Revela- tent with the spirit of the age,' we shall tion, and that Paulus surrendered all its begin to think better than we did of spiclaims to that character, we do not clearly ritual apprehension. It must be bad insee bow he vindicated the Sacred narrative. deed, it it be not better than such reasonIf the divine authority of Scripture being as this. given up, it is a mere antiquarian question, In his zeal to get rid of the evidence whether the writers of it were deceivers from miracles, Professor Powell avers that or deceived. Imagine a man vindicating the appeal to them was not exclusively, Cromwell by conceding, indeed, that he or even principally relied on by Christ or was a traitor and a murderer, but stoully his apostles' (p. 436). The reference in denying that he was a brewer's boy, or support of this assertion is curious. It is had a copper nose. Not content, how- John X. 38. We take leave to go back a ever, with these respectable authorities, verse, and quote a little more of the conProfessor Powell makes larger claims to text than Professor Powell may judge countenance from less doubtful friends of convenient. "IF I DO NOT THE WORKS OF Christianity,* at least in so far as the dis- MY FATHER, BELIEVE ME NOT; but if I do, owning of the evidential character of though you believe not me, believe the miracles. Even at the first preaching of' works. Upon what is the principal stress the Gospel, he tells us, “though accepted laid in this passage? Upon his own word, by properly disposed minds, they are which He is content to waive, or upon the rejected by others. It was not the mere miracles which He treats as irrefragable ? external apparent event, but the moral Suppose a chemist, after describing to his and spiritual qualifications of the parties auditors some wonderful transformation which formed the ground of real convic- to be effected by art, were to add, ‘I will tion' (p. 435). This is something like not require you to take this on my word, arguing that the circulation of the blood, nor ask you to believe it possible, unless and the Copernican system, were not re- I show it to you actually performed 'ceived on rational evidence, because even would he be understood as urging them in Harvey's and Galileo's time, though to rely principally upon the word of their accepted by properly disposed minds, they instructor? It," says our Lord, 'I had were rejected by others. The proofs did not done among them the works which not convince prejudiced or unthinking none other man did, they had not had sin'

(John xv. 24). Again, when John the * We must, however, warn our readers once for all, against putting any trust whatever in the fair. Baptist sent two of his disciples to Jesus ness of Professor Powell's quotations and represen

to inquire, ' Art thou he that should come, tations of other men's opinions. We could fill or do we look for another?' he neither many pages with evidence of the extraordinary appealed to the spiritual apprehension: obliquity of his dealings with the authors be of John, nor did he base his pretensions quotes. But all the rest are cast into the shade by the monstrous and unparalleled audacity of the upon his own word. But in that same Note, pp. 223, 224, in which he represents Arch-hour, the Evangelist informs us, “He deacon Pratt as holding in his Scripture and cured many of their infirmities and plagues Science not at Variance,' that a common origin of and of evil spirits, and unto many that the human race is not taught in Scripture, but is 'a false conclusion deduced by its votaries;' whereas

were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus what the Archdeacon says is, that the denial of a

answering said unto them, Go your way common origin is a 'false conclusion of Science and tell John what things ye have seen drawn by some of its votaries.' See the work, and heard; how that the blind see, the third edition; London, 1859, p. 52. + Yet it was thus that Professor Powell wrote, deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor

lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the when commenting upon the traditional system'in 1810. It is a system which divests truth of all the gospel is preached' (Luke vii. 21, 22). the ati ributes and signs of truth; which lowers the He gave no direct reply to the question evidence of Christian belief to the level of the most addressed to him. He worked the mirafabulous le gends or the most unsubstantial fanaticles and left John to draw the inference. cism. Aud when we consider the extended iuflu. ence it obtains, we can little doubt the secret of

It required no less boldness to maintain that influence. Men are not averse to some sort of that the Apostles did vot principally apreception and profession of religion; but they do peal to miracles. Had Professor Powell not like to regard Christianity as true to view it forgotten such a declaration as that in in a rational light as connected with history and

Johu interpreted by facts; the traditional «cheme of

xx. 30? * And many other signs legendary faith precisely accommodates it to their truly did Jesus in the presence of his disdesires.'--Supplement to Tradition Unveiled, p. 11. ciples which are not written in this book,

It was

but these are written that ye might believe explaining that birth according to the flesh that Jesus is the Christ the son of God.' was not the qualification of His subjects, Had he forgotten the language of Peter but new birth of water and the Holy on the day of Pentecost ? • Jesus of Na-Ghost. This is what Professor Powell zareth, a man approved of God among calls dismissing the logic ot' Nicodemus.' you by miracles and wonders and signs, It Jesus, instead of proceeding to instruct which God did by him in the midst of him, had said to Nicodemus, what He did you' (Acts ii. 22). Had he forgotten say afterwards to the incredulous Jews, that the priests and the Sadducees arrest. The works that I do in my Father's ed Peter and John, “being grieved that name, those works bear witness of Me'they taught the people, and preached this would have indicated a doubt of the through Jesus the resurrection of the perfect sincerity of Nicodemus' convicdead?' (Acts iv. 2)—that is, appealed in tions.

That Nicodemus was for some support of this doctrine to the miraculous time afraid to avow his convictions, may resurrection of Jesus himself,

indeed be true. He may have been, like upon miracles, therefore, that the Apostles Joseph, a disciple secretly for fear of the rested the pretensions of our Lord, and it Jews,' and in that moral sense may be was equally upon miracles that they rested called a half convert; but what that has their own pretensions to be the exponents to do with the present argument we are of his will. The very signs of an apostle,' quite at a loss to discover. Galileo, we we learn from St. Paul, were signs, and apprehend, was fully convinced, and reawonders, and mighty deeds' (2 Cor. xii. sonably convinced, of the motion of the 12). Accordingly, when he speaks of earth, although, under terror of the rack, having made the Gentiles obedient by he put his hand to a distinct denial of it. word and deed,' he says he did it “through Perhaps even Professor Powell's spiritual mighty signs and wonders, by the power faith' might fail him under a similar trial. of the Spirit of God” (Rom. xv. 18, 19). As Professor Powell denies that our And as with him, so it was with the rest Lord and his Apostles principally appealed of the Apostles. "They went forth and to miracles, so he denies ibat converts preached everywhere, the Lord working were often made by them. In few inwith them, and confirming the word with stances did the miracles produce any real signs following' (Mark xvi. 20). Truly conviction' (p. 434). Little question Professor Powell appears to have been so of facts or evidence was entertained ; conabsorbed by the study of the 'order of viction depended on quite other consideranature' and the 'grand inductive princi- tions' (p. 436). Here again the spiri. ple, that he seems not only to have left off tual faith' of Professor Powell is in glaring studying his Bible, but to have forgotten opposition to the Gospel narrative. This what is written there.

beginning of miracles did Jesus in There still remains a single case which Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his is quoted by Professor Powell as an illus- glory; and his disciples believed on him' tration of his position that our Lord did (John ii. 11). Now when he was in not mainly appeal to miracles. It is the Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast case of Nicodemus. “Even he,' it seems, day, many believed on his name when they ‘was but a half convert !' (p. 434), and saw the miracles which he did? (John ii. "Jesus dismisses in silence the logic of | 23). "Then was brought unto him one Nicodemus, to turn instantly to the essen- possessed of a devil, blind and dumb, and tial requirement of spiritual regeneration' he healed him, insomuch that the blind (p. 436). Surely it must be by "Spiritual and dumb both spake and saw, and all the faith,' which is so much akin to tiction, people were amazed, and said, Is not this that Professor Powell receives these won the son of David ?' (Matt. xii. 22, 23). derful Revelations! Nicodemus declares · And many of the people believed on him, himself convinced by the miracles that and said, When Christ cometh, will he do Jesus is sent from God as a teacher; and more miracles than these which this man comes apparently to discover whether this doth ?" (John vii. 31). When, on the triDivine Teacher claimed further to be the umphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem, Messiah; feeling, no doubt, that if He the multitude exclaimed, “Hosanna, blessed were the King of Israel, the children ot be the king of Israel that cometh in the Israel must be his proper subjects. A name of the Lord,' what was the ground disciple, admitting already the authority of their bomaye? The people therefore of his Teacher, requires not proof of that that was with himn when he called Lazarus authority, but instruction in doctrine, and out of his grave, and raised him from the that, therefore, our Lord proceeds to give; dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they had parties ascribed the work either to God or heard that he had done this miracle. The to Beelzebub, according to their predisPharisees therefore said among themselves, posing impressions or foregone conclusions' Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing ? (p. 435). The inference intended to be Behold the world is gone after him? (John drawn is, that as prejudices of one kind xii. 17–19). So, too, when He restored to led the Pharisees to contest the divine life the son of the widow at Nain in the character of our Lord, so prejudices of presence of much people, there came a another kind must have led his followers fear on all, and they glorified God, saying, to affirm it. As miracles did not prevent That a great prophet is risen up among the disbeliet of one party, so neither did us, and that God hath visited his people they produce the belief of the other. (Luke vii. 16). The conviction in every Foregone conclusions--quite other conone of these cases is ascribed to the mira- siderations' prevailed in both instances, cles, and the persons convinced are not irrespective of the wonders and signs.' merely a few, as Professor Powell affirms, This fallacy we have already exposed. If but entire crowds. On the day of Pente- this kind of logic is valid-if the fact related cost, when, at the preaching of Peter, by the sacred writers that some of the Jews three thousand souls were converted to ascribed some of the miracles to the in. gether, had the gift of tongues, at which fluence of evil spirits, disproves the cir'the multitude were all amazed and mar- cumstance related by the same writers, velled, no influence in producing the re- that the miracles themselves, and not quite sult ? Or when five thousand men be- other considerations, convinced many

that lieved the word in consequence of the they were wrought by the power of God Apostles 'preaching through Jesus the then nobody arrives at any conclusion resurrection from the dead' (Acts iv. 4), upon rational grounds. There is no subhad their testimony to the fact of his ject upon which some men will not resist resurrection nothing to do with the recep- the clearest evidence when it leads to contion of their doctrines ? These cases tes- clusions to which they are averse; theretify as plainly for themselves as when it is fore, those who accept the conclusions did said in express words that the people not adopt them because of the evidence, with one accord gave heed unto those but because of predisposing impressions.' things which Philip spake, hearing and | Thus the law of gravitation, which is still seeing the miracles which he didi (Acts occasionally impugned by ignorant persons, viii. 6). To what purpose did the Apostles is not accepted by philosophers in conassert that they were witnesses of the re- sequence of the demonstrations of Newsurrection of Christ ? to what purpose did ton, but from a predisposing impression' they work ‘many wonders and signs ?' wbich is independent of all demonstration (Acts ii. 43)—to what purpose did they whatever. This is the wonderful argument appeal to our Lord's miracles (Acts ii. 22), by which Professor Powell would induce us and our Lord to His own, in proof of the to set aside the statements of the inspired reality of His pretensions, if conviction depended on quite other considerations?, terwards felt by many of the Pharisees to be unProfessor Powell, who is as prodigal in cred narrative when he speaks as if they agreed

tenable, for Professor Powell misrepresents the saassertions as he is sparing in proots

, has in ascribing all miracles of Christ to Beelzebub. not condescended to instance one solitary When our Lord restored the sight of the man who example in which any persons believed was born blind, we are told that there was a diviwithout reference to the evidence from them said, This man is not of God, others said,

sion among the Pharisees, and that while some of miracles or prophecy, and he leaves the How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ?

quite other considerations' to be disco- (John ix. 16.) And again 'Others said, These are vered by that 'spiritual faith' which is to not the works of him that hath a devil

. Can a overrule the plainest language of the Bible. devil open the eyes of the blind?' (John x. 21).

There is, indeed, a statement of Professor aseribed the resurrection of Lazarus or of Jesus Powell which he seems to design for an argu- himself to evil spirits ? A sceptical Jew might perment that miracles were not in the Gospel suade himself that the Prince of Devils had power age a ground of belief. The Pharisees,' over the inferior devils, and might yet shrink from says he, did not at all deny the miracles maintaining that a devil had power over universal

nature, and could give life to the dead. It was of Christ, but set them down to the in- doubtless this distinction which made many of the fluence of evil spirits.* The different Pharisees themselves repudiate the notion that a

man not of God' could do such a miracle as that * This at least is a testimony to the reality of the of restoring sight to the blind, and may serve to miracles, when the bitterest adversaries had no show Professor Powell that there were many kinds other resource than to set them down to the in- of miracles which overcame even 'foregone confluence of evil spirits.' Even this evasion was af- clusions and predisposing impressiona.'

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