Previous Index Next
Page 56
(previous) (Page 000056) (next)

miracles demonstrate Divine power, than an argument
which has been stigmatized by Mr. Mozley as “ a rope of
sand ”——the argument from experience.

The learned Bampton Lecturer would be in this posi-
tion even if he had seen with his own eyes every miracle
recorded in the New Testament. But he has not seen these
miracles; and his intellectual plight is, therefore, worse.
He accepts these miracles on testimony. Why does he be-
lieve that testimony? How does he know that it is not
delusion; how is he sure that it is not even falsehood?
He will answer that the writing bears the marks of sobriety
and truth; and that, in many cases, the bearers of this mes-
sage to mankind sealed it with their blood. Granted with
all my heart; but whence the value of all this ? Is it not
solely derived from the fact that men, as we know them, do
not sacrifice their lives in the attestation of that which they
know to be untrue ? Does not the entire value of the tes-
timony of the apostles depend ultimately upon our expe-
rience of human nature? . It appears, therefore, that those
who alleged to have seen the miracles based their inferences
from what they saw on the argument from experience; and
that Mr. Mozley bases his belief in their testimony on the
same argument. The weakness of his conclusion is aug-
mented by this double insertion of a principle of belief to
which he flatly denies rationality. His reasoning, in fact,
cuts two ways—if it destroys our trust in the order of N a-
ture, it far more effectually abolishes the basis on which
Mr. Mozley seeks to found the Christian religion.

Over this argument from experience, which, at bottom,
is his argument, Mr. Mozley‘ rides rough-shod. There is a
dash of scorn in the energy with which he tramples on it.
Probably some previous writer had made too much of it,
and thus invited his powerful assault. Finding the diffi-
culty of belief in miracles to arise from their being in con-
tradiction to the order of Nature, he set himself to examine

Previous Index Next