Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages
THE WELSH CALYINISTIC METHODIST RECORD. FEBRUARY, 1853. ON MIRACLES. BY THE REV. A. G. FULLER.* It is presumed to be no part of the design of the present paper to prove that the transactions commonly known by the appellation of miracles really took place, or to vindicate them from the mythic theories of German theology, or the mesmeric wisdom of Harriett Martineau and her alter ego. Our enquiries will rather refer to their character, design, and utility, as an acknowledged part of revealed religion. As in the case of some other terms in the translation in use among us> there is a want of that uniformity in the employment of the word miracle, which would tend to simplify enquiries into its meaning. Where this word is only the exponent of the terds or prodigy, it is a legitimate appli¬ cation of it; but where it is selected to represent semeion, which is more appropriately rendered sign or token, it tends only to introduce confusion of ideas: these semeia not being always miraculous in their character, but sometimes mere emblems. There is a popular use of the term miracle which it may be well to notice as a mere hyperbole: as when we say, " it was a miraculous escape," "it was a perfect miracle" &c, &c, where we mean merely a marvellous, but not a preternatural event. There are phenomena bearing that character that are no miracles in the proper sense of that term. Such is the change wrought upon the mind of " every one that is born of the Spirit." And such are those " spiritual gifts," which being purely moral in their aspects, are never¬ theless the direct result of Divine agency on the mind. Of such "spiritual gifts" as presented to the senses of the observer visible tokens of direct Divine intervention, it would perhaps not be inappro- * This paper was read at the ministers' conference connected with the meeting of the United Association, held at Carmarthen, January 11th and 12th, 1853.