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NOTE K.—P. 63.

THE REASONABLENESS OF REVELATION.

Ewald has said, much in the spirit of the passage quoted from Pfleiderer: “How, then, should not He answer the earnestly perseveringly questioning spirit of man—He of whose spirit man’s is 404but a luminous reflection and an enkindled spark, and to whom in his searching and questioning he ran draw near quite otherwise than to the visible things of creation.”—Revelation: its Nature and Record (Eng. trans. of first vol. of Die Lehre der Bibel von Gott), p. 18.

Dr. Walter Morison works out in a very ingenious way the argument for the probability and reasonableness of Revelation from the analogy of nature. Rebutting the objection that the modern conception of nature “is altogether against the idea of any interference by Revelation from Heaven with the closely linked order existing in nature,” and permits “only evolution from within of coiled—up energies,” he remarks: “In whatever way—whether by evolution or otherwise—the system of nature which we see around us, and of which we are a part, has come about, that system of nature supplies no presumption against there being a direct Revelation of religious truth; on the contrary, its actual testimony, rightly understood, is in favour of that supposition. What may be called direct revelation is found to he one of the common phenomena of nature or the system of things. As soon as we pass into that region in our world where there is need for communication between individuals possessed of intelligence in any degree, we find ‘revelation’ to be the law. There is direct utterance. Even the inferior animals are continually telling out by their many voices, ‘none of which is without signification,’ their various feelings. Wherever there is what may be called individuality, with power of feeling and volition, there utterance or communication exists; it being part of the order of nature that there be connecting bond of speech between such as possess any faculty for understanding and fellowship. And when we ascend in our observations to the region of human life as social, we perceive a corresponding development of the powers noticed in the inferior creatures. Everywhere over society we observe speech of some sort; communication in a direct way from one to another; a constant immediate revelation of inward thought and feeling going on. There is really nothing more familiar in the economy of human life than this phenomenon of direct communication from mind to mind, sometimes by look and sight, usually by words. . . . There is another world, then, besides this tongueless one of inorganic nature! There is in the universe this fact, that between individuals capable of it, direct revelation is constantly going on. Where there are beings that require a medium of intelligent communication between them, there we perceive some sort of speech to exist. And hence it is not a suggestion prima facie opposed to the analogy of nature, at all events, which is offered when it is asked whether there may not be some direct personal and articulate utterance made by God to man. Is there to he eternal silence between these intelligences, these kindred natures, with their mutual capacity for love and communion? Are all creatures in the universe that have any measure of intelligence, or are even sentient, capable of telling out directly what is in them; and have they the means and the appetency thereto? Can man commune with man through the high gift of language? And is the Infinite Mind and Heart not to express 405itself, or is it to do so but faintly or uncertainly through dumb material symbols, never by blessed speech? Is there no ‘Word of God’? To give a negative answer here would be at least to go against the analogy of nature. All beings that we know possessed of any intelligence,—such beings generally, we can at all events say,—and especially the members of the human family, speak to each other in some direct way, make an immediate revelation of what is within them; and one of the strongest presumptions, surely, is this, that a Personal God, in whose image man was made, would, in His dealings with man, if sufficient occasion called, express Himself in a similar direct manner; in other words, give a Revelation!”—Footprints of the Revealer, pp. 49–52.

405
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