The Method of the Divine Government
Physical and Moral
By James McCosh
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2009
Online Publication Date:August 2010
Original Publication Year:1850
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511693892.015
Subjects: History of Ideas and Intellectual History
SECT. I.—SYMPTOMS OF INTENDED RESTORATION.
Our argument under this particular section is far from being very consecutive or conclusive. It is safer, to say the least of it, to establish a posteriori that God has afforded a means of restoration, than to waste ingenuity in proving a priori that such an interposition of heaven is probable. In the conducting of this latter argument, we find invariably, that not a little is assumed which could have been discovered or rendered certain only by the revelation itself.
The few scattered observations which we have to offer are of an a posteriori and inductive character. We are to point to some facts which seem to indicate that God did intend to institute a method of restoring the race. In order to attain even such a presumption or probability, we must take into account two apparently opposite classes of facts.
First, we must carry along with us a deep sense of human guilt, and of God's enmity to sin. Without doing so, we cannot advance a step in the argument. Proceed on the idea that man is very much what God would have him to be, and it is impossible to find a ground on which to build an expectation of the interposition of heaven. It is at this point that the argument of those who would demonstrate a priori, the necessity for a Divine revelation, is felt to be the weakest.