(d) A miracle is not an irrational or capricious act of God; but an act of wisdom, performed in accordance with the immutable laws of his being, so that in the same circumstances the same course would be again pursued.
(e) A miracle is not contrary to experience since it is not contrary to experience for a new cause to be followed by a new effect.
(f) A miracle is not a matter of internal experience, like regeneration or illumination; but is an event palpable to the senses, which may serve as an objective proof to all that the worker of it is divinely commissioned as a religious teacher.
For various definitions of miracles, see Alexander, Christ and Christianity, 302. On the whole subject; see Mozley, Miracles; Christlieb, Mod. Doubt and Christ. Belief, 285-339; Fisher, in Princeton Rev., Nov. 1880, and Jan. 1881; A.H. Strong, Philosophy and Religion, 129-147, and in Baptist Review, April, 1879. The definition given above is intended simply as a definition of the miracles of the Bible, or, in other words, of the events which profess to attest a divine revelation in the Scriptures. The New Testament designates these events in a two-fold way, viewing them either subjectively, as producing effects upon men, or objectively, as revealing the power and wisdom of God. In the former aspect they are called te>rata , ?wonders,? and shmei~a ?signs,? ( <430448>John 4:48; <440222>Acts 2:22). In the latter aspect they are called duna>meiv , ?powers,? and e]rga , ?works,? ( <400722>Matthew 7:22; <431411>John 14:11). See H.B. Smith, Lect. on Apologetics, 90-116, esp. 94 ? shmei~on , sign , marking the purpose or object, the moral end, placing the event in connection with revelation.? The Bible Union Version uniformly and properly renders te>rav by ?wonder,? duna>miv by ?miracle,? e]rgon by ?work,? and shmei~on by ?sign.? Goethe, Faust: ?Alles Vergangliche ist nur ein Gleichniss: Das Unzulangliche wird hier Ereigniss? ? ?Everything transitory is but a parable; The unattainable appears as solid fact.? So the miracles of the New Testament are acted parables, ? Christ opens the eyes of the blind to show that he is the Light of the world, multiplies the loaves to show that he is the Bread of Life, and raises the dead to show that he lifts men up from the death of trespasses and sins. See Broadus on Matthew, 175.
A modification of this definition of the miracle, however, is demanded by a large class of Christian physicists, in the supposed interest of natural law. Babbage proposes such a modification. in the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, chap. viii. Babbage illustrates the miracle by the action of his calculating machine, which would present to the observer in regular succession the series of units from one to ten million, but which would
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