Religious Items

The Rev. W. B. Riley of Minneapolis, in a sermon on "Supernaturalism and the Success of the Church," is thus reported in The standard:

"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him" (John, 2:11). The Christian world has fully consented to the authenticity of this miracle. But, strange to say, that same Christian world is divided against itself on the subject of the modern miracle. The creeds of most of the greater denominations are silent touching the issues of this controversy. Atheists, naturalists, rationalists, formalists, and kindred folk have so violently and assiduously assaulted the miracle itself and spoken with such rage against the thought of a modern miracle that they have made timid men afraid to talk on the subject, lest they should seem to fly in the face of philosophy or science, or both; and coerced from too many Christian men the humiliating concession concerning the Lazarus at the gate: 'Thy bruise is incurable; thy wound is grievous; there is none to plead thy cause that thou mayest be bound up.' Is such a concession to the power of the adversary necessary? What saith the Word?

"What men want to know is this: Whether what Jesus did at Cana of Galilee, at Jericho, at the bier of the Nain widow's son, at Lazarus' tomb, are works so wonderful that God's power alone accounts for them. The supernatural is in no sense the unnatural. It would be difficult to show that the miracles of the Master were not, every one, a replacement of some dethroned power to its natural position.

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December 4, 1902

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