the former give full warrant, for believing that they are wrought by God. He calls special providence ?invisible miracles.? Bp. of Southampton, Place of Miracles, 12, 13 ? ?The art of Bezaleel in constructing the tabernacle, and the plans of generals like Moses and Joshua, Gideon, Barak, and David, are in the Old Testament ascribed to the direct inspiration of God. A less religious writer would have ascribed them to the instinct of military skill. No miracle is necessarily involved, when, in devising the system of ceremonial law it is said: ?Jehovah spake unto Moses? ( <040501>Numbers 5:1). God is everywhere present in the history of Israel, but miracles are strikingly rare.? We prefer to say that the line between the natural and the supernatural or between special providence and miracle is an arbitrary one. The same event may often be regarded either as special providence or as miracle, according as we look at it from the point of view of its relation to other events or from the point of view of its relation to God.
E. G. Robinson: ?If Vesuvius should send up ashes and lava, and a strong wind should scatter them, it could be said to rain fire and brimstone, as at Sodom and Gomorrah.? There is abundant evidence of volcanic action at the Dead Sea. See article on the Physical Preparation for Israel in Palestine, by G. Frederick Wright, in Bibliotheca Sacra, April, 1901:364. The three great miracles ? the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the parting of the waters of the Jordan and the falling down of the walls of Jericho ? are described as effect of volcanic eruption, elevation of the bed of the river by a landslide and earthquake shock overthrowing the walls. Salt slime thrown up may have enveloped Lot?s wife and turned her into ?a mound of salt? ( <011928>Genesis 19:28). In like manner, some of Jesus? works of healing, as for instance those wrought upon paralytics and epileptics, may be susceptible of natural explanation, while yet they show that Christ is absolute Lord of nature. For the naturalistic view, see Tyndall on Miracles and Special Providence, in Fragments of Science, 45,
418. Per contra, see Farrar, on Divine Providence and General Laws, in Science and Theology, 54-80; Row, Bampton Lect. on Christian Evidences, 109-115; Godet, Defense of Christian Faith, Chap. 2; Bowne, The Immanence of God, 56-65.
What has been said with regard to God?s connection with nature suggests the question, how God can answer prayer consistently with the fixity of natural law.
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