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the evidences from it must be more full as the scroll of Divine Providence is unrolled, and is found to correspond with this map. It has even been said that this increasing evidence of prophecy was intended to act as a compensation for the decreasing evidence of miracles; but I admit of no such decrease in the evidence for miracles. We may be as certain that miracles were wrought as those were who saw them; just as we may be as certain that Jerusalem was besieged and taken as those were who saw it; but, in both cases, according to a common law in respect to distance in space and time, the impression upon our minds will be less lively than if it had been produced by the evidence of the senses, or from a near proximity in time or space. We might be as certain of the fact, if there had been an earthquake in China, as if one had swallowed


New Orleans or New York; but how much less lively would be our impressions in one case than in the other! It was a doctrine of Hume, that belief consists in liveliness of ideas, and this doctrine of a decreasing evidence for miracles seems to have resulted from confounding these two.

The evidence from prophecy, being thus conclusive, peculiar, grand, and growing, cannot be omitted ; though, if we look at Christianity as merely requiring a logical proof, it is not needed. But the minds of men are differently constituted. Some are more struck with one species of evidence, and some with another; and it seems to have been the intention of God that his revelation should not be without any kind of proof that could be reasonably demanded, nor without proof adapted to every mind. To my mind, the argument from the internal evidence is

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conclusive; so is that from testimony; and here is another, perhaps not less so even now, and which is destined to become overwhelming. These are independent of each other. They are like separate nets, which God has commanded those who would be “ fishers of men to stretch across the stream that stream which leads to the Dead Sea of infidelity

- so that if any evade the first, they may be taken by the second; or, if they can possibly pass the second, that they may not escape the third.

This evidence, so striking and peculiar, it has generally been supposed it was the object of prophecy to give. That this was one object I cannot doubt. It may even have been the sole object of some particular prophecies, as when Christ said to his disciples, respecting the treachery of Judas, “ Now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” But, important as this object is, it seems to me to be only incidental. Prophecy seems, like the sinlessness of Christ, to enter necessarily into the system — to be a part, not only of the evidence of the system, but of the system itself. I speak not now of this or that particular prophecy; but I say that the prophetic element causes the whole system to have a different relation to the human mind, and makes it quite another thing as a means of moral culture and discipline. It is one thing for the soldier to march without any knowledge of the places through which he is to pass, or of that to which he is going, or of the object of the campaign; and it is quite another for him to have, not a map, perhaps, but a sketch of the intended route, with the principal cities through which he is to pass dotted down, and to know what is

intended to be the termination and the final object of the campaign. It is evident that in the one case a vastly wider range of sympathies will be called into action than in the other. In the latter case, the soldiers can coöperate far more intelligently with their commanderin-chief; they will feel very differently as they arrive at designated points, and far higher will be their enthusiasm as they approach the end of their march, and the hour of the final conflict draws on. And this is the relation in which God has placed us, by the prophetic element in revelation, to his great plans and purposes. He has provided that there shall be put into the hands of every soldier a sketch of the route which the church militant is to pursue in following the Captain of her salvation ; and this sketch is continued all the way, till we see the bannered host passing through those triumphal arches where the everlasting doors have been lifted up for their entrance into the Jerusalem above. This is not merely to gratify curiosity; it is not merely to give an evidence which becomes completed only when it is no longer needed; but it is to furnish objects to faith and affection, and motives to effort, and to put the mind of man in that relation to the great plan of God which properly belongs to those whom he calls his children and his friends.

Objection has been made to the obscurity of the prophecies. This objection cannot lie against them as indicating the general course of events, and thus accomplishing the great end for which I suppose they were given. Nor can it lie against some of the particular prophecies, for nothing can be more direct and explicit. Others, however, are obscure. The revela


tions were made by symbols which are subject to their own laws of interpretation, and the meaning of which the prophets themselves did not always understand. But it is through this very obscurity, in the exact degree in which it exists, that many of these prophecies furnish the highest possible evidence of their genuine

If the object had been to furnish the very best evidence that certain prophecies were inspired, it could have been done only by investing them with such a degree of obscurity that the events could not have been certainly recognized before their fulfilment, and yet by making them so clear that they could not be mistaken afterwards. And this is precisely the principle on which many of the prophecies are constructed. Looked at in this point of view, they show a divine skill. If a prophecy had the plainness of a narration, it might be plausibly said that it was the cause of its own fulfilment. Individuals wishing it to be fulfilled might accommodate themselves to the prophecy, or, as has been done in one famous instance,* they might endeavor to prevent the fulfilment. How eagerly this objection would have been seized on may be seen from the fact that Bolingbroke says, even now, that Christ did bring on his own death wilfully, that his disciples might boast that the prophecies were fulfilled in him. But when prophecy, while it spans, as with a luminous arch, the whole canopy of time, and reveals some events with perfect distinctness, yet so far shrouds others as to show only their general form, while it so far reveals them that they cannot be mistaken when they stand in the light of actual fulfilment, then we see the cer

* That of Julian.

tain signature of a divine hand; we have the very best evidence that the prophecy is from God.

Perhaps I ought to say a word on another point. Much has been said of the connection between the Old and the New Testament. To some it has seemed that the Old Testament was only a dead weight, and that Christianity would move on triumphantly if it were once fairly cut loose from this. Its morality has seemed to them barbarous, and its narrations improbable. They would not, perhaps, say positively that those events never did take place, but they greatly doubt whether they did, and they talk of those old myths.But I have no fears that the Old Testament will drag down the New. I have no wish to cut Christianity loose from any connection with it, but would rather draw that connection closer. To me the morality of the Old Testament is the morality of the ten commandments. I find nothing sanctioned there which these would not allow, and I wish for nothing better. To me its narratives are facts; and I remember that the Saviour said of these books that they were they which testified of Him.

With these views, while I allow that there are difficulties connected with the proper interpretation of some of the prophecies, and in a few cases with the manner in which they are referred to by the New Testament writers, I yet feel that there is overwhelming evidence, 1. Of the fulfilment of those prophecies which related to events that occurred before the time of Christ. 2. That Christ and his apostles did claim that many of the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in him. 3. That those prophecies were thus fulfilled. And,

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