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FATHERS, or FOUNDERS, of a new order of things was given a FOREVIEW OF THE FUTURE, a more or less full and clear revelation of the events of the era at the opening of which he stood. Most of these seven prophetic outlines embrace the entire interval from their own date to the full accomplishment of the work of human redemption. But as each starts from a later chronological point than its predecessor, it covers a shorter interval. The New Testament predictions of the events of this Christian dispensation, for instance, necessarily cover an interval sixteen hundred years shorter than that covered by the Mosaic foreview. But the later charts give fuller details than the earlier ones; and thus, though the interval they cover be shorter, the later revelations are the longest and most complex. In the following chapters we take up these seven foreviews of the future, examining in each case, first, what is predicted, and secondly, what has happened.
It is not to be expected that our readers can derive from the perusal of this work the same sense of the overwhelming and unanswerable nature of the argument here developed as the writers obtained in its preparation, because a sample only can be presented of the mass of evidence which has been passed under review. Some of the following chapters would have had to be swelled to volumes to do full justice to their themes. Our world is so wide that few, if any, are quainted with all its countries; and human history is so long and so complex that still fewer are familiar with all its facts. Memory may retain enough to attest the accuracy of general outlines, but when fresh research furnishes the mind with fresh material for comparison, the correspondence of a multitude of particulars is perceived in addition, and it is realized that, not only does the key open the lock, but that it fits it down to its most minute divisions—fits it as no key but one made to fit it could possibly do, fits it so as to reflect the highest credit on the skill of its designer and maker
Peculiarities in the key which might have been thought to be defects were it alone considered, prove to be delicate perfections as soon as it is inserted in the lock. So portions of a prophecy which when considered alone seem perplexing, prove when compared with the history to be absolutely and accurately exact as predictions of the peculiar and complicated relations of certain powers or persons. All is seen to be perfection, and we are constrained to exclaim, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
THE ADANIIC FOREVIEW OF HUMAN HISTORY.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception ; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wise, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field ; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
HE brief revelation given to Adam in Eden immediately
after the fall threw light upon the character and course of human history as a whole, and foretold its grand result as viewed from a moral stand point. Brief and few as the predictions are, they are all-embracing in their compass, and profound in their depths of meaning. They are multum in parvo--the entire history of mankind summed up in a few brief sentences. They differ widely from subsequent prophecy in character, as befits such primitive predictions. There is about them a combined simplicity and majesty, which stamp them as Divine. Their range is universal, so that all ages and all lands bear witness to their marvellous fulfilment.
They deal not with minor matters or temporary, passing experiences and changes, but with all the great permanent, essential facts and phenomena of human existence, including