In ages past, God has had among the nations a people of His own. These are wise in the wisdom of God, and venerate His word above all things. Though not His counselors, He has graciously condescended to inform them what He intends to do before it comes to pass. Hence, it is testified by the prophet that "the Lord God will surely do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). This revelation is made that His peoples faith may be confirmed and enlarged, and that in every generation they may know the times and seasons to which they stand related. Knowing the signs, they are enabled to discern the times; and while consternation and dismay cause mens hearts to fail, they are courageous, and rejoice in perceiving the approach of the Kingdom of God.
This is the proper use of the prophetic word. It was thus that the ancients used it, and were enabled to live in advance of their contemporaries. This appears from the exhortation of the apostle, who says, "We have a sure word of prophecy whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of ones own disclosure. For prophecy came not at any time by the will of man; but the holy men of God spake being moved by the holy spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). Some were not unmindful of this exhortation, which is as applicable to us as to them; for the day has not yet dawned, nor has the day-star arisen. Were it not for the prophetic word, the "heirs of the kingdom" would be in utter darkness..."
John Thomas. "Elpis Israel 1848.
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