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cannot well be deceived, if wel a view, directly or indirectly, to will only believe our own eyes and the kingdom of the Messiah. Is observation. We actually see the an empire, or kingdom, subverted completion of many of the pro- or overthrown, that empire, or phecies in the state of men and kingdom, is overthrown in subserthings around us: and we have viency to the glory of his kingdom the prophecies themselves record- and empire, which shall know ed in books, which books have neither bounds nor end, but whose been read in public assemblies limits shall be no other than the these 1700 or 2000 years, have limits of the universe, and whose been dispersed into several coun- end no other than the days of tries, have been translated into se eternity. Jesus Christ, then, is veral languages, and quoted and the only person that ever existed commented upon by different au- in whom all the prophecies meet thors of different ages and nations, as in a centre." In order, there so that there is no room to suspect fore, to oppose error and confront so much as a possibility of forge- the infidel, we must study the prory or illusion."
phecies not as independent of 4. Rules for understanding the each other, but as connected: for prophecies.
“ the argument from prophecy," In order to understand the pro- says bishop Hurd, “ is not to be phecies, and to form a right judg-formed from the consideration of ment of the argument for the single prophecies, but from all truth of Christianity, we must not the prophecies taken together, and consider them singly and apart, considered as making one system; but as a grand whole, or a chain in which, from the mutual de reaching through several thousand pendence and connexion of its years, delivered at different times, parts, preceding prophecies preyet manifestly subservient to one pare and illustrate those which and the same end. This end is no follow; and these, again, reflect other than the establishment of light on the foregoing: just as in the universal empire of truth and any philosophical system, that righteousness under the dominion which shows the solidity of it is of Jesus Christ. We are not, in- the harmony and correspondence deed, to suppose that each of the of the whole, not the application prophecies recorded in the Old of it in particular instances. Testament expressly points out and “ Hence, though the evidence clearly characterizes Jesus Christ; be but small from the completion yet, taken as a whole, this grand of any one prophecy taken sepasystem refers to him ; for the tes-rately, yet that evidence, being altimony of Jesus is the spirit of pro-ways something, the amount of phecy. “ All the revolutions of the whole evidence resulting from Divine Providence have him for a great number of prophecies, all their scope and end. Is an em- relative to the same design, may pire, or kingdom, erected, that em- be considerable ; like many scatpire, or kingdom, is erected with tered rays, which, though each be
weak in itself, yet, concentered|lpreter of Prophecy. See also the into one point, shall form a strong works of Mede, Smith, Gill, Hallilight, and strike the sense very fax, Apthorp, and Faber, on the powerfully. Still more ; this evi- subject. dence is not simply a growing evi PROPHESYINGS, religious dence, but is indeed multiplied up- exercises of the clergy in the reign on us, from the number of reflected of queen Elizabeth, instituted for lights which the several component the purpose of promoting knowparts of such a system reciprocally, ledge and piety. "The ministers of ihrow upon each ; till, at length, a particular division at a set time the conviction rise unto a high de- met together in some church of a gree of moral certainty." market or other large town, and
Farther; in order to understand there each in their order explainthe prophecies, we must endeavoured, according to their abilities, to find out the true subject of pro- some portion of scripture allotted phecy, that is, precisely what the to them before. This done, a prophets speak of, and the cha- moderator made his observations racters that are applied to that on what had been said, and desubject. The literal sense should termined the true sense of the be always kept in view, and a place, a certain space of time beknowledge of oriental customs at-ing fixed for despatching the whole. tained. The beginning and end These institutions, like all others, of the prophetic sermons must be however, it seems, were abused, carefully observed. The time, as by irregularity, disputations, and near as possible, of the prediction divisions. Archbishop Grindal should be ascertained. An ac- endeavoured to regulate the proquaintance with the method of sal-l|phesyings, and cover them from vation by Christ will greatly assist the objections that the court made us in this work. The mind must against them, by enjoining the mibe unprejudiced, and we should nisters to observe decency and orbe well acquainted with the scrip- der, by forbidding them to meddle tures at large. These rules, with with politics and church governdependance on the Divine teach-ment, and by prohibiting all noning, will assist us in understanding conformist ministers and laymen the prophecies. See Bishop New- from being speakers. The queen ton's Dissertations on the Prophe-| however, was r solved to suppress cies; Bishop Sherlock's Use and them; and having sent for the Intent of Prophecy; Bishop Hurd's archbishop, told him she was inSermons on the Prophecies ; Sirformed that the rites and cere-Isaac Newton's Observations on the monies of the church were not Prophecies of Daniel and the Apoc-duly observed in these prophealypse ; Gray's Key to the Old Tes- syings ; that persons not lawfully tament ; Simson's Key to the Pro-|| called to be ministers exercised in phecies ; Illustrations of Prophe-them; that the assemblies them cy; Kett's History the Inter-selves were illegal, not being al
lowed by public authority ; that missioned by God to declare his the laity neglected their secular will and purposes to that people. affairs bı repairing to these meet-See Prophecy. ings, which alled their heads with False Prophets. See IMPOSTORS; notions, and might occasion dis- and Josephus's Hist. of the Jews. putes and seditions in the state ; Sons of the Prophets, an appelthat it was good for the church ||lation given to young men who to have but few preachers, three were educated in the schools or or four in a county being suffi- colleges under a proper master, cient. She further declared her who was commonly, if not always, dislike to the number of these ex- an inspired prophet in the knowercises, and therefore commanded ledge of religion, and in sacred him peremptorily to put them music, and thus were qualified to down. The archbishop, however, be public preachers, 1st Sam. x. instead of obeying the commands 1st Sam. xi. 2d Sam. xix. 2d of his royal mistress, thought that Kings ii. she had made some infringement PROPITIATION, a sacrifice upon his office, and wrote the offered to God to assuage his queen a long and earnest letter, de-wrath, and render him propitious. claring that his conscience would Among the Jews, there were both not suffer him to comply with her ordinary and public sacrifices, as commands. The queen was so holocausts, &c., offered by way of inflamed with this letter, that the thanksgiving; and extraordinary archbishop was sequestered from ones, offered by persons guilty of his office, and he never afterwards any crime, by way of propitiation. recovered the queen's favour. The Romish church believe the Thus ended the prophesyings ; mass to be a sacrifice of propitia
useful in t tution,' says tion for the living and the dead. Neale," for promoting Christian The reformed churches allow of knowledge and piety, at a time no propitiation but that one offerwhen both were at a very low ebben by Jesus on the cross, wherein the nation. The queen put by Divine justice is appeased, and them down for no other reason our sips forgiven, Rom. ii, 25, 1st but because they enlightened the John ii, 2. people's minds in the scripture, As it respects the unbloody and encouraged their enquiries propitionary sacrifice of the mass after truth; her majesty being al- above-mentioned, little need be ways of opinion that knowledge said to consute such a doctrine. and learning in the laity would Indeed, it is owned in the church only endanger their peaceable sub- of Rome, that there is no other mission to her absolute will and foundation for the belief of it than pleasure."
an unwritten tradition. There is PROPHET, a person who fore- no hint in the scripture of Christ's tels future events. It is particu- offering his body and blood to his larly applied to such inspired per- Father at his institution of the eusons among the Jews as were com- charist. It is also a manifest con
tradiction to St. Paul's doctrine, | the places of prayer of the Jews, who teaches, that, without shed and was pretty near the same as ding of blood, there is no remis- their synagogues. But the synasion; therefore there can be no gogues were originally in the cities, remission of sins in the mass. The and were covered places; whereas, sacrifice of Christ, according to for the most part, the proseuches the same apostle, is not to be re were out of the cities, and on the peated. A second oblation would banks of rivers, having no coverbe superfluous; consequently the ing, except, perhaps, the shade of pretended true and proper sacri- some trees, or covered galleries, fice of the mass must be superflu- Acts xvi, 13. ous and useless.
PROTESTANT, a name first The propitiation made by Jesus given in Germany to those who adChrist is that which atones for and hered to the doctrine of Luther, covers our guilt, as the mercy-seat because, in 1529, they protested did the tables of the law; or it against a decree of the emperor may be defined thus : “ It is the Charles V, and the diet of Spires; averting the punishment due to declaring that they appealed to a any one, by undergoing the pe- general council. The same has alnalty in the room of the guilty.” so been given to those of the sentiThus Jesus Christ is called the ments of Calvin ; and is now bepropitiation or atonement, as his come a common denomination for complete righteousness appeases all those of the reformed churches. his father, and satisfies his law See art. REFORMATION; Fell's four and justice for all our transgres-Letters on genuine Protestantism ; sions. See ATONEMENT, and books Chillingworth's Religion of the under that article.
Protestants ; Robertson's Hist. of PROPORTION OF FAITH. Charles V, vol. ii, p. 249, 250. See ANALOGY OF FAITH.
PROVIDENCE, the superinPROSELYTE, a new convert tendance and care which God exerto some religion or religious sect. cises over creation. The arguments Among the Hebrews, proselytes for the providence of God are gewere distinguished into two sorts : nerally drawn from the light of the first called proselytes of the nature; the being of a God; the gate, because suffered to live creation of the world ; the wonamong them, and were those who || derfully disposing and controlling observed the moral law only, and the affairs and actions of meni the rules imposed on the children from the absolute necessity of it; of Noah; the second were called from the various blessings enjoyed proselytes of justice, who engaged by his creatures; the awful judgto receive circumcision, and the ments that have been inflicted; whole law of Moses, and enjoyed and from the astonishing preservaall the privileges of a native He- tion of the Bible and the church brew.
through every age, notwithstandPROSEUCHE, from a pecsumen, ing the attempts of earth and hell signifies prayer; but it is taken for against them. Providence has been
divided into immediate and me- that nothing is too great or undiate, ordinary and extraordinary, wieldy for his management, and common and special, universal and nothing so minute and inconsiderparticular. Immediate providence able as to be below his inspection is what is exercised by God him- and care. While he is guiding self, without the use of any in the sun and moon in their course strument or second cause; mediate through the heavens ; while in providence is what is exercised in this inferior world he is ruling the use of means ; ordinary pro-among empires, stilling the ravidence is what is exercised in the ging's of the waters and the tumults common course of means, and by of the people, he is at the same the chain of second causes ; extra-| time watching over the humble ordinary is what is out of the com-good man, who, in the obscurity mon way, as miraculous opera of his cottage, is serving and wortions; common providence is what shipping him.” belongs to the whole world ; spe "In what manner, indeed, Procial, what relates to the church ; vidence interposes in human afuniversal relates to the general up-fairs; by what means it infuences holding and preserving all things; the thoughts and councils of men, particular relates to individuals in and, notwithstanding the influence every action and circumstance. it exerts, leaves to them the freeThis last, however, is denied by|| dom of choice, are subjects of some. But, as a good writer ob- dark and mysterious nature, and serves, the opinion entertained which have given occasion to maby some that the providence of ny an intricate controversy. Let God extends no farther than to all us remember, that the mander in general superintendence of the laws which God influences the motion of nature, without interposing in of all the heavenly bodies, the nathe particular concerns of indivi- ture of that secret power by which duals, is contrary both to reason he is ever directing the sun and and to scripture. It renders the the moon, the planets, stars, and government of the Almighty alto- comets, in their course through gether loose and contingent, and the heavens, while they appear to would leave no ground for repos-move themselves in a free course, ing any trust under its protection ; are matters no less inexplicable to for the majority of human affairs us than the manner in which he would then be allowed to fuctu- influences the councils of men. ate in a fortuitous course, with. But though the mode of Divine out moving in any regular direc-operation remains unknown, the tion, and without tending to any fact of an over-ruling influence is one scope. The uniform doctrine equally certain in the moral as it of the sacred writings is, that is in the natural world. In cases throughout the universe nothing where the fact is clearly authentihappens without God; that his cated, we are not at liberty to hand is ever active, and his decree call its truth in question, merely or permission intervenes in all, because we understand not the