(c) R.T. Smith, Man?s Knowledge of Man and of God, 238 ? ?Mendicants do not ply their calling for years in a desert where there are no givers. Enough of supply has been received to keep the sense of want alive.?
(d) In the natural arrangements for the healing of bruises in plants and for the mending of broken bones in the animal creation, in the provision of remedial agents for the cure of human diseases, and especially in the delay to inflict punishment upon the transgressor and the space given him for repentance, we have some indications, which, if uncontradicted by other evidence, might lead us to regard the God of nature as a God of forbearance and mercy. Plutarch?s treatise ?De Sera Numinis Vindicta ?is proof that this thought had occurred to the heathen. It may be doubted, indeed, whether a heathen religion could even continue to exist, without embracing in it some element of hope. Yet this very delay in the execution of the divine judgments gave its own occasion for doubting the existence of a God who was both good and just. ?Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,? is a scandal to the divine government, which only the sacrifice of Christ can fully remove.
The problem presents itself also in the Old Testament. In Job 21, and in Psalm 1; 37, 49, 73, there are partial answers; see <182107>Job 21:7 ? ?Wherefore do the wicked live, Become old, yea, wax mighty in power?? 24:1 ? ?Why are not judgment times determined by the Almighty? And they that know him, why see they not his days?? The New ?Testament intimates the existence of a witness to God?s goodness among the heathen, while at the same the it declares that the full knowledge of forgiveness and salvation is brought only by Christ. Compare <441417>Acts 14:17 ? ?And yet he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness? 17:25-27 ? ?he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and he made, of one every nation of men...that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him?; <450204>Romans 2:4 ? ?the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?; 3 : 25 ? ?the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God?; <490309>Ephesians 3:9 ? ?to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God?; <550110>2 Timothy 1:10 ? ?our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel.? See Hackett?s edition of the treatise of Plutarch, as also Bowen, Metaph. and Ethics, 462-487; Diman, Theistic Argument, 371.
We conclude this section upon the reasons a priori for expecting a revelation from God with the acknowledgment that the facts warrant that
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