While the present subject of discussion tempts to many an excursion into particulars, its treatment is restricted to general outlines, with an aim simply to clarify current ideas of miracle and the supernatural, so as to find firm holding ground for tenable positions in the present "drift period" of theology. The chief exception made to this general treatment is the discussion given to a class of miracles regarded with as much incredulity as any, yet as capable as any of being accredited as probably historical events--the raisings of the "dead." The insistence of some writers on the virgin birth and corporeal resurrection of Jesus as essential to Christianity has required brief discussion of these also, mainly with reference to the reasonableness of that demand.
Ahijah of the visit that the queen was about to pay him in disguise is now recognized as one of many cases of the mysterious natural function that we label as "telepathy." The transformations of unruly, vicious, and mentally disordered characters by hypnotic influence that have been effected at the Salpêtrière in Paris, and elsewhere, by physicians expert in psychical therapeutics are closely analogous to the cures wrought by Jesus on some victims of "demoniac possession." The cases of apparition, also, which have been investigated and verified by the Society for Psychical Research have laid a solid basis of fact for the Biblical stories of angels, as at least, a class of phenomena to be regarded as by no means altogether legendary, but having their place among natural though mysterious occurrences.
But this progressive paring down of the miraculous element in the Bible has caused outcries of unfeigned alarm. Christian scholars who have taken part in it are reproached as deserter