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product of philosophical inquiry, proceeding in accordance with direct observation of personal experience, and by means of simple analysis of our intelligent activity as that is concerned with the government of personal life, especially in view of the relations subsisting in society. This last as a philosophic conclusion, not attained by physiological research, not properly any part of physical science, but reached only by distinguishing properly certain contents of our every-day thought, may be liable to rejection from those who rely only on the methods peculiar to physical science. But such treatment of the propositions has no bearing on their truth; as denial of them will not deliver any man from the obligations of benevolence, or exempt him from the demands of his fellowmen, requiring that in seeking his own satisfaction he shall not be selfish, and certainly not harsh, as if the strongest might have all they desire, and the weakest must be content to wait on their pleasure. Denial of the recognition of a law of benevolence will not exempt him from the experience consequent on the expectations of his fellowmen as they seek help for the suffering, or sympathy for the sorrowfill, or rescue for the perishing. Though what has been said as to the law of benevolence implies that it is universally authoritative, there is no express philosophic theory here introduced as to the mode by which this knowledge is attained, or the grounds on which its universality is asserted. The bare fact that each man expects his fellowman to be benevolent is enough for the present purpose. The simple declaration that the man who seeks only his own gratification, setting at defiance all the rights of his fellowmen, is unworthy the name of man and acts a brute's part, is all that any one needs who would make good the argument that human nature is distinct from that of the brutes. No man can escape the obligation to benevolent disposition; no man except the man of gross character attempts to live as if he regarded the violation of it as capable of vindication. These two things being so, the testimony is as strong as that establishing the elementary truths of science, which demonstrates that man owns a universal moral law, and so distinguishes himself from the animals. The conditions of human life are too clearly recognized, and too constantly insisted upon in ordinary society, to allow cover for ambiguities, and denials which would favor the position of those who accept only what is ascertained by the methods of physiological investigation. Hence it happens that popular favor runs deeply and strongly for the kind and good; and science itself must yield when the testimony of the race is uniform.
Before closing this inquiry, it is desirable to pass over from the outstanding conceptions of science and philosophy, to distinctive and prominent conceptions belonging to religious thought, with the view of considering whether these can be held in harmony with the teaching of science. Of these, reference may be made specially to two which encounter opposition on professedly scientific grounds:—Miracle as an evidence'of the Messiahship of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the efficacy of Prayer in the economy of spiritual life. These two conceptions have encountered strong opposition on the allegation of inconsistency with the unchangeableness of the laws of nature. It becomes, therefore, an important part of the present investigation, to ascertain how far these two articles of Christian faith, miraculous testimony to the divinity of our Saviour, and habitual answer to the prayer offered to God by those who approach Him in the merit of the Redeemer, are consistent with the teaching of science. These two conceptions are naturally included in the one question as to the compatibility with the laws of nature of the interposition of supernatural agency for attainment of moral and spiritual ends in the history of the world.
First in order stands the question of MirAcle as involved in the evidence of divine power and authority given by our Lord, during His sojourn in this world to accomplish the great work of redemption.* The testimony of miracle as presented in the historical narrative of Christ's life is frequent and abundant in variety; and its connection with His work for the redemption of sinful men is everywhere proclaimed. It is impossible to contemplate the scriptural testimony to the glory of Christ's nature without including miracle as a conspicuous part of it; and it is equally impossible to detach this testimony
* The limits of the present discussion make it impossible to include a wider range; but this really embraces the whole question of the miraoles of Scripture.
from relation to the mediatorial work of the Redeemer as concerned with the pardon of sin, and restoration of man to holiness of character. It thus becomes an essential test of the validity of Christian evidence to settle the compatibility of miracle with the knowledge now possessed of the laws of nature.
It is not necessary here to discuss the credibility of miracles, as affected by the question whether there can be sufficiency of testimony to support the occurrence of a miracle,—a question which has engaged an amount of attention disproportionate to its intellectual worth. The suggestion of the question was nothing better than an example of misleading ingenuity, allowed to stand on the page on which it was indited in manifest violation of the laws of evidence and the essential conditions of human knowledge. The value of testimony does not depend on the nature of the thing to which it applies, but on the character of the witness, and the opportunity for observing and testing the facts described. There are,'for example, a series of surgical operations being performed in Edinburgh for removal of tumors (Ovariotomy), and being repeated at intervals of two or three weeks,