Self-extenuating excuses never seem more out of keeping than when offered by Christian apologists, in an attempted justification of those educated opinions which are at variance with the plain statements of the Master and which are fully accounted for by the abiding disposition of mortal thought to adjust its philosophy to its acquired habits. There are those who have been taught to think of a miracle as involving the violation or annulment of cosmic law (an event which they rightly deem impossible), and consequently who do not accept the gospel narratives of physical healing, the raising of the dead, etc., as portraying actual experiences. These people are entirely consistent in maintaining that the dethronement of divine law would end in universal chaos, and until their understanding of the meaning of the word miracle is corrected, one can thoroughly respect their position. When, however, those who accept the New Testament miracles as veritable events in fulfilment of divine law, undertake to make it appear that there is no possibility of their recurrence, they make a striking exhibition of their inconsistency.

A notable example of this last has recently appeared in a prominent monthly magazine. The writer is an avowed Christian and unreservedly asserts his belief in the verity of the Master's healing works and those of his disciples. Nevertheless, he as unreservedly denies the possibility of the doing of these works today, and for a reason which awakens doubt as to whether he really wishes to be taken seriously. After arguing for the genuineness of the New Testament miracles, he avers that miracles cannot occur "now," since "God would not be the just judge of all the earth if He permitted one in our times"!

In support of this contention he argues that, since scientific demonstration is convincing and so compels belief, the veritable healing of an "incurable," or the raising of one from the dead, would render it impossible for any one not to believe, and thus interfere with the exercise of one's divinely given "freedom of the will." Men, he declares, "could not be praised or blamed for admitting what they could not help admitting, and God never compels a human being to be good"! In other words, the use of the means which it is conceded Jesus and his disciples employed to convince, heal, and save men is no longer advisable, since it would make us so sure about the truth that we would not be entirely free to go to the bad if we wanted to!

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February 4, 1911

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