The Prophet Jonah -- By: C. E. Stowe
BSac 10:40 (Oct 1853) p. 739
The Prophet Jonah
I. The Prophets Generally
The prophets were men to whom God communicated a knowledge of future events, long before the causes of them had begun to develop themselves, so as to make them discernible by human sagacity. This is usually regarded as the highest kind of inspiration; and the existence of such knowledge among men is often appealed to in the Bible as proof unanswerable, that those who possessed it must have been in direct communication with the Divine mind.
I am the Lord, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold the former things are come to pass [t e. the former predictions are fulfilled], and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them [i.e. before they begin to germinate, so that human sagacity can offer a conjecture, God makes them known].” Isaiah 42:8–9.
Cicero has a fine passage in the commencement of his treatise De Divinatione, affirming the actual existence of such a power in the human race, at some periods of its history, and distinctly referring the first and most effective exercise of it to that region in which the men of the Bible had their origin, namely, the great plain of the upper Tigris and Euphrates, the country of the Assyrians and the Chaldeans, and the father-land of the Hebrew race which, at length, became the only medium through which God communicated his will to men. It was to this region that the king of Moab, when the Hebrews were marching to Palestine under Moses, sent for a prophet of high character and great reputation, to counteract the Divine power which made Moab afraid. Num. xxii.
Though Balaam was a bad man, he was yet really a prophet, and, in his prophetic ecstasies, said just what God directed him to say. Num. 23:7, 8, 12, 26. 24:13 etc
“It is an ancient opinion,” says Cicero, “derived from the heroic ages, and confirmed by the consent of the Roman people and of all nations, that there exists among men a power of divination which the Greeks call μαντικήν, that is, a presentiment and knowledge of
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future events. A magnificent and salutary thing, if indeed it exists, and one by which our mortal nature makes the nearest approach to the Divine power.”
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