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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Section III. ON THE CRITERION OF A MIRACLE, CONSIDERED AS A DIVINE INTERPOSITION. T T has sometimes been asked, whether Miracles are J- a sufficient evidence of the interposition of the Deity ? under the idea that other causes, besides divine agency, might be assigned for their production. This is obviously the reverse objection to that I have as yet considered, which was founded on the assumption that they could be referred to no known cause whatever. After showing, then, that the Scripture Miracles may be ascribed to the Supreme Being, I proceed to show that they cannot reasonably be ascribed to those other causes which have been sometimes assigned for them, for instance, to unknown laws of nature, or to the secret agency of Spirits. I. Now it is evidently unphilosophical to attribute them to the power of invisible Beings, short of God ; because, independently of Scripture (the truth of which, of course, must not be assumed in this question), we have no evidence of the existence of suchbeings. Nature attests, indeed, the being of a God, but not of a race of intelligent creatures between Him and Man. In assigning a Miracle, therefore, to the influence of Spirits, an hypothetical cause is introduced merely to remove a difficulty. And even did analogy lead us to admit their possible existence, yet it would tend rather to disprove than to prove their power over the visible creation. They may be confined to their own province, and though superior to Man, still may be unable to do many things which he can effect; just as Man in turn is superior to birds and fishes, without having, in consequence, the power of flying or of inhabiting the water, s Still it may be necessary to show that on our own principles we are not open to any charge of inconsistency. That is, it has been...
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