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MIR A C L E S OF O U R L O R. D.
RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, M.A.,
PaoFEsson of DIVINITY, KING's college, LoNDON; AUTHOR or “Notes
ON THE NAMES OF THE MIRACLES.
Every discussion about a thing will best proceed from an investigation of the name or names which it bears; for the name ever seizes and presents the most distinctive features of the thing, embodying them for us in a word. In the name we have the true declaration of the innermost nature of the thing; we have a witness to that which the universal sense of men, finding its utterance in language, has ever felt thus to lie at its heart; and if we would learn to know the thing, we must start with seeking accurately to know the name which it bears. In the discussion upon which now we are entering, the names are manifold; for it is a consequence of this, that, where we have to do with any thing which in many ways is significant, that will have inevitably many names, since no one will exhaust its meaning. Each of these will embody a portion of its essential qualities, will present it upon a single side; and not from the exclusive contemplation of any one, but only of these altogether, will any adequate apprehension of that which we desire to know be obtained. Thus what we commonly call miracles, are in the Sacred Scriptures termed sometimes “wonders,” sometimes “signs,” sometimes “powers,” sometimes, simply, “works.” These titles they have in addition to some others of rarer occurrence, and • which easily range themselves under one or other of these;—on each of which I would fain say a few words, before attempting to make any
further advance in the subject.