Chapter II:30: Arguments against Enthusiastical Additions to the Revelation of Scripture, Part 2

Nevertheless, by way of Exception our AUTHOR subjoins: although we are unwilling to altogether deny all Extraordinary Revelation concerning private events for private uses.  For extraordinary Revelation concerning matters of faith, which is to be received in the place of Sacred Scripture, or for a supplement of the deficient written Word, and serves as a norm for the entire Church, differs greatly from Revelation concerning private events for private uses.  Concerning Revelations of the former sort we now principally argue:  concerning those others it will be helpful to hear now the judgment of HERMAN WITSIUS, that most prudent and pious Theologian, who, in his Miscellaneorum sacrorum, tome 1, book I, chapter XXIV, § 38, thus pronounces:  “Nevertheless, I do not therefore wish to deny that it frequently happens that men pious, and devoted to divine service in a singular manner, and admitted unto closer and more intimate relationship with the Divine, by Him are taught of things future and mysterious; the knowledge of which is very useful for the excitement of piety, for the consolation of the soul, for strengthening in faith and hope, and for the exercise of prudence.  The history of every age is full of examples of these.  I do not see any reason why belief should be withheld from men honest, pious, and altogether worthy of confidence, relating such things concerning themselves from time to time, for the glory of God.  In such a way that not all things that are related are to be received blindly.  For, it can easily happen in such things, that either men trifle with phantasms, or the heavy and strange affections proceed from an affection of the brain and humors, or finally fictions are offered in the place of facts….  If, nevertheless, any revelations befall some, those are more for their private information, than that they might be for a norm of faith or action for others, much less for the Church.”  Consult the history of those things, which happened surrounding the inquiry of JOHANN HEINRICH HOTTINGER concerning extraordinary Revelations, and his abdication from office of Professor at the Academy of Marburg,[1] in Bibliotheca Bremensis, Classis I, fascicule II, pages 152-159; and what things the illustrious HOFSTEDE[2] has in Byzonderheden der Heilige Schrift on 2 Corinthians 12:2, § 21-23, volume 2, pages 291-324; and also de Nederlandse Bibliotheek, volume 2, n. 7, Mengelst, pages 202-205.  But these things in passing.

[1] Johann Heinrich Hottinger III (1681-1750) was a Swiss Theologian and Orientalist.  He served as Professor of Antiquities (1704-1710) and of Theology (1710-1717) at Marburg, and later as Professor of Theology at Heidelberg (1723-1750).  Hottinger was forced to resign his professorship at Marburg because of his belief in the possibility of some ongoing special revelation in matters treated darkly by Scripture.

[2] Petrus Hofstede (1716-1803) was a Dutch Reformed Theologian and Pastor, serving in Rotterdam.

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