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The War & The Prophets: Notes on Certain Popular Predictions Current in This Latter Age

Thurston SJ, Herbest; Hermenegild TOSF, Brother

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ISBN 10: 1517386772 / ISBN 13: 9781517386771
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Título: The War & The Prophets: Notes on Certain ...

Editorial: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Encuadernación: PAPERBACK

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St. Paul writes, as we all know: "Despise not prophecies, but prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. v. 20-2 I). That there have been, and are, many persons to whom a knowledge of the future is imparted in ways that transcend our comprehension, I fully believe. But that this knowledge ever extends to the foreseeing of political events of general interest is very difficult to establish by evidence. It does not seem to be part of the divine dispensation that assurance regarding the decrees of Providence should be given to any considerable body of mankind. Certainly a careful scrutiny of such pretended oracles as are discussed in the present volume must lead to an attitude of extreme suspicion in regard to all literature of this type. Of the many hundred predictions recorded in the various collections which I have examined almost all have been long ago refuted by the actual course of events. I have, in fact, come across but one, and that a prophecy to which attention has not hitherto been directed, which seems to me to retain the least semblance of intrinsic probability. Moreover,even here the extrinsic evidence is quite unsatisfactory, and should the terrible catastrophe foreshadowed unhappily come anywhere near realization, one could feel no confidence that we were in the presence of anything more than a rather exceptional coincidence. Although the longest chapter in this volume, that concerned with the pretended "prophecy of St. Malachy," may seem at first sight to have little to do with the present war, the observant reader will soon discover that these papal mottoes are closely interwoven with the fabric of nearly all the recent religious predictions concerning present calamities and the end of the world. It therefore seemed desirable to discuss the question of the fraudulent origin of the list in some detail, the more so that much that is written on the subject is curiously ill-informed. The substance of the chapter dealing with St. Malachy is taken from two articles which I contributed to The Month as far back as June and July, 1899, where the intimate dependence of the mottoes on Panvinio was, I think, made clear for the first time. The fact that even in such a work as The Catholic Encyclopedia the "prophecy" should be treated as a document of serious value seemed to render it needful to deal with the subject somewhat more fully and exhaustively than the matter in itself deserved.

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