The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 246 of 249
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Truth in the Balance.
Prophecy and its Fulfillment.
pp. 35 - 38
Among the subjects that demand the "balance" for their interpretation and the
appreciation of their value, must be numbered Prophecy and its fulfillment.
The following paragraphs written by Horne, in his "Introduction" are worth
"The knowledge of future events is that object, which man, with the greatest desire,
has the least ability to attain. By tracing cause and effect in their usual operations, by
observing human characters, and by marking present tendencies, he may form some
plausible conjectures about the future; and an experienced politician, who is thoroughly
acquainted with the circumstances, interests, and tempers both of his own community and
of those who are his neighbours, will frequently anticipate events with a sagacity and
success which bear some resemblance to direst prescience, and excites the astonishment
of less penetrating minds. Still, however, he is limited to a kind of contact with present
circumstances. That which he foresees must have some connexion with what he actually
beholds, or some dependence on it; otherwise his inquiries are vain, and his conjectures
idle and delusive; and even within those narrow limits, how often is his penetration
baffled, and his wisdom deceived. The slightest intrusion of uncommon circumstances,
the smallest possible deviation from rules, which cannot by any means be rendered exact,
destroys the visionary chain which he has constructed, and exposes his ignorance to
himself and others. The prescience of the most experienced politician, in short, bears a
close resemblance to that of an experienced general or a skilful chess player."
Prophecy in the sense of an unfulfilled prediction, has little or no meaning or weight
apart from its fulfillment, and the demonstration that any prophecy has been fulfilled is
an evidence that God is at work, for:
"To foresee and foretell future events is a miracle of which the testimony remains in
itself. It is a miracle, because to foresee and foretell future events, to which no change of
circumstances leads, no train of probabilities points, is as much beyond the ability of
human agents, as to cure diseases with a word, or even to raise the dead, which may
properly be termed miracles of power.  That actions of the latter kind were ever
performed can be proved, at a distant period, only by witnesses, against whose testimony
cavils may be raised, or causes for doubt advanced: but the man, who reads a prophecy
and perceives the corresponding event, is himself the witness of the miracle; he sees that
thus it is, and that thus by human means it could not possibly have been. A prophecy yet
unfulfilled is a miracle at present incomplete; and these, if numerous, may be considered
as the seeds of future conviction, ready to grow up and bear their fruit, whenever the
corresponding facts shall be exhibited in the theatre of the world. So admirably has this
sort of evidence been contrived by the wisdom of God, that in proportion as the lapse of
ages might seem to weaken the argument derived from miracles long since performed,
that very lapse serves only to strengthen the argument derived from the completion of