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of such recovery (one very marked, and very important) I have myself known. We may be very sure that the careless and erroneous way in which Christendom has interpreted Prophetic Scripture, has greatly tended to increase the Infidelity that now prevails so widely.
In 2 Chron. xx. 20, we read of Jehoshaphat saying: "Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe on the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." These words of Jehoshaphat I implicitly receive. I believe that God IS: and I trust in Him. I believe that He would not deceive me. I believe He would not place me in a world like this, full of sorrow and danger, and evil, without sending to me light adequate to direct my steps. It is impossible to suppose that a good and gracious God should create responsible creatures, and give them no instruction as to their responsibilities.
Accordingly, I find that there has been sent into the world a Book that claims to come with the authority of God. Its claim is founded on evidence, partly external, partly internal. Amongst men, there are no accepted writings of their fellow-men that have for their genuineness and authenticity, external
evidence so strong as that on which the Scripture rests but the external evidence is as nothing compared with the internal. No one, however, who is not brought, either by the consideration of the external evidence of the Scripture, or by other means, to receive the Bible as the Word of God, and to search it in His fear, will ever apprehend the demonstrative character of the evidence which the Scripture itself supplies of its Divine origin. The woman of Samaria, when the Lord Jesus spoke to her conscience, and disclosed the facts of her personal history, instantly acknowledged His mission, and said to others, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" So likewise, the written Word of God proves itself to be "discernitive of the thoughts and intents of the heart," and those who become conscious of its power of doing this, ask for no further evidence of its being Divine. The like, too, may be said of the light that it sheds on human history, past, present, and to come. When any one has used Prophetic Scripture and realized the accuracy of its past fulfilments, and discerned the present signs indicative of the approach of those predicted events which yet remain to be accomplished, he will no more
doubt that the Scripture illumines, than that the sun shines. Moreover, God by His Spirit, Who dwells in the hearts of His people, ratifies and maintains the knowledge that He gives. The figments of the sceptic or the scoffer no more affect such an one than the drifting flakes of a snowstorm affect a castle's wall. They who consorted with the Lord Jesus, received hourly evidence of His being what He was: but it was evidence about which strangers in the distance knew nothing.
Yet the carelessness of the human heart and its innate antipathy to Truth, may be fearfully worked on by Sin and by Satan, and cause evidences, that God has mercifully afforded to momentous facts, to be thrust aside or buried. A remarkable example of this is afforded in the history of the rejection of the Lord Jesus. No fact was more notorious than that of His birth at Bethlehem. The chief Priests and Scribes when asked by Herod, instantly replied that Bethlehem was the appointed place of His nativity; and from the events that subsequently occurred in Bethlehem, thousands in Israel must have known the connexion that Joseph and Mary and the Lord Jesus had with that city. Little enquiry was needed to ascertain the lineage and
birth-place of the Lord Jesus. The National register of Israel declared that the Lord Jesus was of the family of David, and belonged to Bethlehem. Yet the Rulers of Israel silenced Nicodemus by saying, "Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet," assuming that because Jesus lived in Galilee, He belonged to Galilee. When carelessness desires not to know, it can soon find excuses for not knowing.
Can we say that we have not showed like carelessness? Infidels have declared that the Lord Jesus was a deceiver, for that He said that He would appear in glory "IMMEDIATELY" after the destruction of Jerusalem, but that He did not. What has been our reply? We have virtually said that immediately does not mean immediately; or else, that the unequalled season of tribulation (immediately after which He will come) is past; that the sun and moon have been darkened; the stars have fallen from heaven; that the angels have been sent forth and "gathered together the elect from one end of heaven to the other," and we have thus increased mistrust of Scripture in others, without satisfying our own consciences. Our error in stating the unequalled season of tribulation to be past, is the result of unpardonable carelessness; for the
words used by our Lord respecting it are virtually quoted from the first verse of the twelfth chapter of Daniel-a verse demonstrated by its context to be unfulfilled. It is no little sin thus to nullify the solemn prophecy of our Lord in the twentyfourth of Matthew, and to feed Infidelity by our folly. Yet this we have done, and this, not only in the case of the twenty-fourth of Matthew, but generally throughout all the Prophetic Scripture. A large mass of quotation from the Prophetic Writings will be found in the pages of this volume. The quotations refer to Jerusalem, Babylon, Nineveh, Egypt, Edom, Moab, and other countries. The predictions respecting their now near future are awfully solemn, and should ever be present to the remembrance of those who fear God. Such knowledge is an essential part of that Truth which "sanctifieth." Sanctify them by thy truth; thy
word is truth."
But we have not used this portion of God's Word. We have almost universally regarded it as a tale of the past: and have treated the unfulfilled portions of Daniel, and the Old Testament Prophets, as we have the twenty-fourth of Matthew. As a consequence we have thrown Scripture open to the assaults of the Infidel. In