side like the gift of miracles, yet may be finally explicable only as the result of an extraordinary working of that Spirit of Christ who to some degree manifests himself in the reason and conscience of every man; cf.
<600111> 1 Peter 1:11 ? ?searching what time or what manner of the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them.? See Myers, Human Personality, 2:262-292.
A.B. Davidson, in his article on Prophecy and Prophets, in Hastings? Bible Dictionary, 4:120, 121, gives little weight to this view that prophecy is based on a natural power of the human mind: ?The arguments by which Giesebrecht, Berufsgabung, 13 ff., supports the theory of a ?faculty of presentiment? have little cogency. This faculty is supposed to reveal itself particularly on the approach of death (Gen. 28 and 49). The contemporaries of most great religious personages have attributed to them a prophetic gift. The answer of John Knox to those who credited him with such a gift is worth reading: ?My assurances are not marvels of Merlin, nor yet the dark sentences of profane prophecy. But first, the plain truth of God?s word; second, the invincible justice of the everlasting God; and third, the ordinary course of his punishments and plagues from the beginning, are my assurances and grounds.?? While Davidson grants the fulfillment of certain specific predictions of Scripture, to be hereafter mentioned, he holds that ?such presentiments as we can observe to be authentic are chiefly products of the conscience or moral reason. True prophecy is based on moral rounds. Everywhere the menacing future is connected with the evil past by ?therefore? ( <330312>Micah 3:12; <230513>Isaiah 5:13; <300102>Amos 1:2).? We hold with Davidson to the moral element in prophecy, but we also recognize a power in normal humanity, which he would minimize or deny. We claim that the human mind even in its ordinary and secular working gives occasional signs of transcending the limitations of the present. Believing in the continual activity of the divine Reason in the reason of man, we have no need to doubt the possibility of an extraordinary insight into the future, and such insight is needed at the great epochs of religious history. Expositor?s Gk. Test., 2:34 ? ?Savonarola foretold as early as 1496 the capture of Rome, which happened in 1527, and he did this not only in general terms but in detail; his words were realized to the letter when the sacred churches of St. Peter and St. Paul became, as the prophet foretold, stables for the conquerors? horses.? On the general subject, see Payne-Smith, Prophecy a Preparation for Christ; Alexander, Christ and Christianity; Farrar, Science and Theology, 106; Newton on Prophecy; Fairbairn on Prophecy.
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