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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: August 2011
  • First published in: 1961

CHAPTER I - PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

Summary

1. WHEN God was pleased to make known to man His purpose of redeeming us through the death of His Son, He employed for this end the general laws, and worked according to the ordinary course of His Providential government, so far as they were available for the furtherance of His merciful design. A revelation from heaven, in its very notion, implies supernatural interposition; yet neither in the first promulgation, nor in the subsequent propagation of Christ's religion, can we mark any waste of miracles. So far as they were needed for the assurance of honest seekers after truth, they were freely resorted to: whensoever the principles that move mankind in the affairs of common life were adequate to the exigences of the case, more unusual and (as we might have thought) more powerful means of producing conviction were withheld, as at once superfluous and ineffectual. Those who heard not Moses and the prophets would scarcely be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

2. And as it was with respect to the evidences of our faith, so also with regard to the volume of Scripture. God willed that His Church should enjoy the benefit of His written word, at once as a rule of doctrine and as a guide unto holy living.