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to have taken place about six or eight days before, had not occurred, if, in fine, precisely the state of things and the series of events related in the Gospels, had not existed. So far from affecting in the slightest degree unfavourably the general truth of the history, this view of the Transfiguration springs from it like a plant from the root, and is an evidence that the root is there. Error, it may be affirmed generally, implies the truth, and exactly in the degree in which we are able to discover the shape and the character of the error, we have a means of estimating the size and form of the truth.



"Thou prophetic spirit that inspirest
The human soul of universal earth!"


THE object of this chapter is, to illustrate the prophetical character of Jesus, to show how satisfactorily he is proved in the histories of his life to have been possessed of an extraordinary knowledge of future


I wish first, however, to make some remarks upon the nature of his Prophetical Gift.

Whether he pierced the veil of Futurity by special, instantaneous inspiration of God, or by the natural intuition of his own wonderfully endowed being, I do not pretend to determine, I do not know. But one thing is very plain. I cannot shut my eyes to the analogy that presents itself between the prophetical power of Jesus and the very nature of all mind. /

All things are in an infinite variety of ways interwoven with one another-great and little, high and low, past, present and future. The knowledge of any one thing involves an acquaintance with numberless other things. How far into the depths of the Past hath the eye of Science penetrated, simply by surveying the present appearance and condition of the earth! What mighty and remote revolutions hath the human mind



predicted by observing the present positions of the heavenly bodies! Nay, is not our very nature as it exists in all men, in a feeble degree perhaps, but still in a certain sense, prophetical? What is this yearning that we have towards the Future, or, to say no more, the bare idea of the Future, what is it but the germ of prophecy in the human soul! It reveals at least the desire and capacity of foreknowledge-that faculty of our being, which, let us only advance as we may, and as we feel that we ought, will qualify us to receive whatever communications of foreknowledge may be made to us here or hereafter, and however they may be made. Beautifully, but not more beautifully than truly, has it been said,

"Know'st thou Yesterday, its aim and reason?
Work'st thou well To-day for worthy things?
Then fear not thou the morrow's hidden season,
But calmly wait what hap soe'er it brings."

But why fear not the Future? Why calmly wait? Because to the mind that wisely listens to the Past and faithfully uses the Present, there must come the assured conviction that the Future has in store for it no real evil. To know so much of Futurity as this, though we should never know more, is it not prophetic knowledge? To know and feel that the Everlasting Future can do us no harm, surely this is to see with a prophet's ken! But some minds have seen further and more clearly into the coming Time than others.

Their knowledge of futurity was the result of no process of reasoning-no weighing of probabilities. It was not the product of calculation. It was Sight. And they saw not the visible world with the outward eye more distinctly than they foresaw what they foretold. Such were the ancient prophets. "Abraham," said



Jesus, "saw my day and was glad." The eye of the body is but a dim type of the eye of the prophetic soul. But never in the flesh have we had such a manifestation of prophetic vision as in Jesus Christ. He has cast all other prophets into the shade. His prophetical ability came not by education nor by reasoning. It was a special gift of God. Still its whole manifestation in the life of Jesus is in perfect harmony with nature. It is new, unprecedented, but still analogous to all that we see and know of mind, of spirit. And thus it reveals upon itself the Divine Signature, and proves that it is the inspiration of the Father of Spirits.

Wonderfully endowed as Jesus was, he could not but be a prophet. I pray the reader to ponder the case well. I would disclose to him new grounds of faith.

While on earth, as the Gospel of John declares, the Son of Man was in Heaven, in that spiritual and eternal world where no veils of time circumscribe the view. Having the purest moral sense, he saw the moral aspects, circumstances, relations, destinies, of the scene in which he stood. And this was equivalent to having the fundamental laws, causes and elements of things laid bare to him. He knew himself and those around him. "I know," said he, "those whom I have chosen." Are we not able, therefore, to track, a little way at least, that mysterious power of intuition or inspiration-I know not its name, certain only that it is divine by which he foretold his own fate, the fate of his nation, even to many minute particulars, the treachery of one of his disciples, the cowardice of another, and the desertion of all! His foreknowledge was marvellously profound and accurate. How does it draw aside the veil which hides from us the wonderful powers of the spiritual world, revealing to us a spirit commanding disease and death, and penetrating into Fu



turity! But altogether unprecedented as was the prophetical knowledge of Jesus, it was still limited. The precise time when that national catastrophe would take place which he predicted, he declared he did not know. It was known only to God.

The view I take of the prophetical character of Christ seems to me the simplest, most natural, and unspeakably the most vital, and to take much less for granted than the popular theory of the case. This, like the popular idea of the miracles, appears to be founded upon the unconscious, but most extravagant assumption, that the whole order of things, material and immaterial, all the forces and limits of that mighty spirit, which is around and within us-are perfectly known; that God, instead of being ALL IN ALL, sits 'outside,' having delegated the care of all ordinary matters to another power, the order of Nature, and that when any thing occurs out of the little circle of the experience of man, child of yesterday! then only is His arm stretched forth. According to this popular impression, the prophetic utterances of Jesus are not recognised as the natural issues and expressions of a mighty spiritual Power working in or with his spirit. But as such, we ought, by all sound principles of thought, to regard them, so long as the spiritual world to which he belonged, and which is all around and within us, remains an unexplored deep. That deep must not be hidden from us by a theory of the Mode of the Divine Existence and Government, constructed out of false, human analogies, and confidently reposed in by multitudes, among whom are many wise and many great, as if it were the living temple of truth, not made with hands! Rather does it become us to lie prostrate with trembling awe and humility, at the gates of the un

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