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who neglect his salvation, and yet, for all practical ends, as unmoved by these truths as if they were fables-as little engaged in the service of Christ as if they had never heard his name.

But we must conclude. I trust you will henceforth allow me to consider the miracles of the gospel as proved to be genuine. If so, we must consider the credentials of Christ and his apostles as acknowledged. They were therefore what they professed to be, divinely commissioned and inspired teachers. God was with them. What they published as a revelation from God, we are consequently bound to receive as a revelation from God. That publication is contained in the New Testament. We have already ascertained the authenticity and credibility of the New Testament. We now cease, therefore, with the conclusion that the religion published in the New Testament is a revelation from God.

May the greatest and best of all the works of the Lord Jesus be wrought in all of us, even the blessed work of his grace, awakening the sinner from spiritual death; changing, exalting, purifying all the affections of his depraved nature; opening the eyes of his understanding to behold the glory of God; leading him in repentance and faith to the cross, for pardon and peace; shedding abroad in his heart the spirit of divine love, and causing him to rejoice in the blessed assurance of a crown of glory that fadeth not

away.

LECTURE VII.

PROPHECY.

HAVING shown the genuineness of the miracles recorded in the New Testament in attestation of the divine mission of the Saviour and his apostles, we are now to take up the subject of PROPHECY. But while proceeding to this additional source of evidence, it is important to be observed that we do so, not because we consider the reasoning in proof of Christianity as a divine revelation, to which you have already listened, in any sense incomplete. Had our course of lectures been terminated with the last, the argument would have been brought to an incontrovertible issue. Having made out the great point, that genuine miracles were wrought by the Saviour and his apostles in attestation of the divine authority of what they did and taught, we have established, by necessary consequence, the great truth that Jesus Christ was a teacher come from God, and that the New Testament, as an authentic publication of the religion taught by him, is to be received as containing a divine revelation of truth and duty. One line of evidence therefore, one road leading to the Scriptures as the great central fountain of divine truth, we have travelled over, and it has set us down beside the water of life. Now, if this were the only road, it would be amply sufficient. The loftiest intellect need

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not be ashamed-the weakest need not fear to walk therein.* But God has not only furnished us with the plainest, but with the most various and abundant evidence. And since the object of these lectures is, not only to prove the divine authority of the gospel, but also to give you an idea of the diversified character of the many ways by which the proof may be established, we propose now to return from the position we have reached by the argument of our last lecture, and endeavor to arrive at it again by a route entirely different. We take up the prophecies recorded in the Scriptures, and shall endeavor to produce from them satisfactory and impressive evidence that in the Bible we have divine inspiration, and in Jesus Christ a teacher sent of God.

What is a prophecy, according to the sense of Scripture, and as we are now about to consider it? It is a declaration of future events, such as no human wisdom or forecast is sufficient to make-depending on a knowledge of the innumerable contingencies of human affairs, which belongs exclusively to the omniscience of God; so that from its very nature, prophecy must be divine revelation. "The prophecy

* A celebrated infidel once acknowledged that even Atheism would be refuted by the proof of a single miracle of the gospel. Spinoza declared that he would have broken his atheistic system to pieces, and embraced without repugnance the ordinary faith of Christians, could he have been persuaded of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. Was it not a foresight of the inferences that would necessarily result from the proof of this miracle, that prevented him from being persuaded of its truth?

came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

A prophecy, considered in itself, separately from its fulfilment, is no evidence of revelation. But as soon as fulfilled, it is complete. The hand of God is then attested. The evidence that the person by whom it was uttered was under the influence of divine omniscience, is finished. Then prophecy takes the place of miracle, and becomes at once one of the highest and most unquestionable proofs, not only that the individual who declared it was the agent of communicating, in that particular, a divine revelation, but also that a divine sanction is impressed upon that whole system of religion with which his prophecies may be connected.* "Future contingencies, such, for example, as those which relate to the rise and fall of nations and states not yet in existence, or to the minute concerns of individuals not yet born, are secrets which it is evident no man or angel can penetrate, their causes being indeterminate, their relations with other things fluctuating and unknown. It follows therefore, that the prediction of such contingent events cannot otherwise than proceed from God; and further, since God cannot without a violation of his perfect holiness and rectitude visibly aid delusion and wickedness, the inference is equally cogent and necessary, that the accomplishment of predictions deliv

"All prophecies," says Hume, "are real miracles, and as such only, can be admitted as proofs of any revelation." Philosophical Essays.

ered by those who profess divine authority amounts to a full proof that they really possess the authority they assume. Other arguments may be evaded— other evidence may not convince. Strange effects, though not miraculous ones, may be produced by other than divine power." But this can only be evaded by refusing to behold it, and only counterfeited by him who is ingenious enough to borrow omniscience in aid of imposture. "To declare a thing shall come to be, long before it is in being," says Justin Martyr, "and then to bring about the accomplishment of that very thing according to the same declaration, this, or nothing, is the work of God."

There are considerations connected with this particular source of evidence, which render it specially interesting and valuable.

Prophecy furnishes an argument, the force of which is continually growing. The argument began when first a single prophecy was fulfilled. It increased more and more, as predictions and fulfilments multiplied. In the age of the apostles, it was a powerful as well as favorite weapon in proof of the gospel. But during that period many new predictions were published, and many ancient ones remained to be accomplished. The argument consequently was not yet at its height. It has been growing ever since, as one century after another has exhibited an additional fulfilment, or completed and enlarged those already advanced. We, in the present age, enjoy an expanse and variety and completeness of prophetic * Gregory's Letters.

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