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Modern Miracles

Modern Miracles

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Published by glennpease

"There are diversities of operations y but it is the same God who worketh all in all."— I Cor. 12:6.

"There are diversities of operations y but it is the same God who worketh all in all."— I Cor. 12:6.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 06, 2013
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MODER MIRACLESBy C. J. BALDWI."There are diversities of operations y but it is the same God whoworkethall in all."— I Cor. 12:6.WHE the Moravian missionaries were introducingthe Gospel among the Indians of this country inthe last century, they encountered great opposition.The red men resented and resisted the religion, as well asthe politics, of the pale face. Couni Zinzendorf, one of the most devoted and successful of the pioneers, endeav-ored to establish a mission in the wilds of Pennsylvania,but the natives distrusted him and attempted his assassi-nation. Some of them having crept toward his tent atmidnight, peering in through the doorway, saw the vener-able man reclining on the floor and studying his Bibleby the light of the fire. So intent was he on his work that he did not notice, what the Indians saw, a venomousserpent which had made its way into the tent, and wascrawling over the Count's limbs. The savages gazed awe-struck at the fearful scene, and when they saw the reptileglide away harmlessly, they too departed — believing thatthe white man must be under the protection of the GreatSpirit. From that time the missionary had no difficultyin securing for the Gospel a respectful hearing from theIndians ; and the missionaries always regarded that mid-night incident (described to them afterwards by thewould-be assassins) as a Providential interposition in theirbehalf.2 Modern Miracles.Believers in the Bible will have no difficulty in assent-ing to such a view. It is but a modern application of an-
cient principles. We need only recall the story of Mosesand Israel in Egypt, of Esther and the Jews in Persia,of Daniel's deliverance from the lions and of Jonah'sescape from the sea, to feel assured of the reality of theDivine protection of human life in this world. And yetwe must guard against giving too wide a scope to thisdoctrine. Is it true that man's extremity is always usedby God as his opportunity ? Has he always interfered torescue his people from danger ? Paul was saved from theserpent's bite on the island, but not from the headsman'saxe at Rome. The Moravian missionary was protectedfrom assassination, but Judson was left to suffer in theprison pen. The Hebrews were delivered from the fieryfurnace, but Huss and Jerome perished at the stake.We may not therefore predicate a special interposi-tion of divine providence as a factor in every problem of human suffering. ot every tempest has been stilled aswas that which endangered the disciples on Gennesaret.Hagar has sometimes perished in the wilderness, andmany an Elijah has gone unfed by the ravens.What then shall we say to these things ? — is thereany rule inducible from the data of history concerning therelations of God's special providence to men ? A candidstudy of the records of the past on this subject, will con-vince us of the truth of two propositions :1. God employs^ as a rule^ the human rather than thesuperhuman — the natural rather than the supernaturalagency y in his deahngs with men,2. He always reserves space for his own direct divineoperations when special need for them arises.Modern Miracles. 3There are ** diversities of operations" in the sphere of 
providence and grace ; a great variety of means and meth-ods is employed, but it is the **same God who worketh allin all."First \ the Bible itself is witness that what we calldivine agency flows more frequently through the ordinarychannels of life^ than through the extraordinary. It is theexception and not the rule, when God employs meansthat may be called miraculous. Perhaps our first thoughtmay be the reverse of this; we are so accustomed' to re-gard the Scriptures as filled with the record of supernat-ural events. But consider a moment and you will see thatfor every miraculous dispensation recorded in the Gospel,there are a multitude of incidents of the natural order.From the time of Abraham to that of Christ, about fiftymiracles are reported : — on the average one in a genera-tion. But as matter of fact they were grouped mainlyabout three far separated points, the calling of the Patri-archs, the giving of the Law, and the mission of theProphets. Between these epochs long stretches of historyappeared, as bare of supernatural events as American his-tory has been.But special mention is made of the miracles, and allreaders notice them particularly. They stand forth likemountains so arresting the eye that we do not gaze be-yond them to the valleys and plains of ordinary life. Yetfor every sign and wonder performed by Jehovah for hispeople, there were ten thousand acts of grace and provi-dence by natural means. Few and far between were themiracles which Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, Davidsaw ; but each of those persons stands (or an uncountedmultitude of faithful souls who never witnessed any-4 Modern Miracles.thing more of the Divine operations than we haveseen, if as much. Yet the Holy Spirit was as near and

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