Page:Guideforperplexed.djvu/318

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


the deliverance of Joseph, the righteous, from prison, "He sent an angel and loosed him" (Ps. cv. 20); in reference to the victory of the Persians over the Chaldees, "I will send to Babylon scatterers, and they shall scatter it" (Jer. li. 2); in reference to the providing of food to Eliah, "I have commanded there a woman, a widow, to maintain thee" (1 Kings xvii. 9); and Joseph, the righteous, says: "Not ye have sent me hither," etc. (Gen. xlv. 8). The case that the will of an animal or its desire for some of its natural wants is the cause of some event, may be illustrated by the following instance: "And God spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah" (ii. 11). The act is ascribed to God, because He gave the fish the will, and not because He made it a prophet or endowed it with a prophetical spirit. Similarly it is said of the locusts that appeared in the days of Joel, son of Pethuel, "Mighty is he that accomplishes his word" (Joel ii. 11); or of the beasts that took possession of the land of Edom when destroyed in the days of Sennacherib, "He cast lot for them, and his hand divided it unto them by a line" (Isa. xxxiv. 27). Although here the verbs "to say," "to command," "to send," are not used, the meaning is evidently the same, and you must explain all passages that are analogous to it in a similar manner. Events evidently due to chance are ascribed to God: e.g., in reference to Rebecca, "Let her be a wife to the son of thy master, as the Lord spake" (Gen. xxiv. 51); in reference to David and Jonathan, "Go, for the Lord has sent thee." (1 Sam. xx. 22); in reference to Joseph, "God sent me before you" (Gen. xlv. 7). You see clearly that the providing of a cause, in whatever manner this may take place, by substance, accident, freewill, or win, is always expressed by one of the five terms, commanding, saying, speaking, sending, or calling. Note this, and apply it everywhere according to the context. Many difficulties will thereby be removed, and passages apparently containing things far from truth will prove to be true. This is the conclusion of the treatise on Prophecy, its allegories and language. It is all I intend to say on this subject in this treatise. We will now commence to treat of other subjects, with the help of the Most High.