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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

B.B. Warfield on Natural Revelation to the Heathen and Special Revelation to God's Elect People




In the sporadic instances when God visited an alien with a supernatural communication—such as the dreams sent to Abimelech (Gen. 20) and to Pharaoh (Gen. 40, 41) and to Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1 ff.) and to the soldier in the camp of Midian (Jgs. 7:13)—it was in the interests, not of the heathen world, but of the chosen people that they were sent; and these instances derive their significance wholly from this fact. --B.B. Warfield


Behind even the ethnic development, there lay, of course, the supernatural intercourse of man with God which had obtained before the entrance of sin into the world, and the supernatural revelations at the gate of Eden (Gen. 3:8), and at the second origin of the human race, the Flood (Gen. 8:21, 22; 9:1–17). How long the tradition of this primitive revelation lingered in nooks and corners of the heathen world, conditioning and vitalizing the natural revelation of God always accessible, we have no means of estimating. Neither is it easy to measure the effect of God’s special revelation of Himself to His people upon men outside the bounds of, indeed, but coming into contact with, this chosen people, or sharing with them a common natural inheritance. Lot and Ishmael and Esau can scarcely have been wholly ignorant of the word of God which came to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; nor could the Egyptians from whose hands God wrested His people with a mighty arm fail to learn something of Jehovah, any more than the mixed multitudes who witnessed the ministry of Christ could fail to infer something from His gracious walk and mighty works. It is natural to infer that no nation which was intimately associated with Israel’s life could remain entirely unaffected by Israel’s revelation. But whatever impressions were thus conveyed reached apparently individuals only: the heathen which surrounded Israel, even those most closely affiliated with Israel, remained heathen; they had no revelation. In the sporadic instances when God visited an alien with a supernatural communication—such as the dreams sent to Abimelech (Gen. 20) and to Pharaoh (Gen. 40, 41) and to Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1 ff.) and to the soldier in the camp of Midian (Jgs. 7:13)—it was in the interests, not of the heathen world, but of the chosen people that they were sent; and these instances derive their significance wholly from this fact. There remain, no doubt, the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, perhaps also of Jethro, and the strange apparition of Balaam, who also, however, appear in the sacred narrative only in connection with the history of God’s dealings with His people and in their interest. Their unexplained appearance cannot in any event avail to modify the general fact that the life of the heathen peoples lay outside the supernatural revelation of God. The heathen were suffered to walk in their own ways (Acts 14:16).

Warfield, B. B. (2008). The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, Volume 1: Revelation and Inspiration (9–10). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

2 comments:

aztexan said...

Nice snippet, Charlie! Thanks.

Charlie J. Ray said...

You're welcome. I got this copy free from Logos as an enticement to buy the whole set of B.B. Warfield's works. Too expensive:) But it would be a nice resource since it is searchable. Seminary libraries ought to have these works available.

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