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Chapter XLVI.

It is related of the priestess of Apollo, that she at times allowed herself to be influenced in her answers by bribes; but our prophets were admired for their plain truthfulness, not only by their contemporaries, but also by those who lived in later times.  For through the commands pronounced by the prophets cities were founded, men were cured, and plagues were stayed.  Indeed, the whole Jewish race went out as a colony from Egypt to Palestine, in accordance with the divine oracles.  They also, when they followed the commands of God, were prosperous; when they departed from them, they suffered reverses.  What need is there to quote all the princes and private persons in Scripture history who fared well or ill according as they obeyed or despised the words of the prophets?  If we refer to those who were unhappy because they were childless, but who, after offering prayers to the Creator of all, became fathers and mothers, let any one read the accounts of Abraham and Sarah, to whom at an advanced age was born Isaac, the father of the whole Jewish nation:  and there are other instances of the same thing.  Let him also read the account of Hezekiah, who not only recovered from his sickness, according to the prediction of Isaiah, but was also bold enough to say, “Afterwards I shall beget children, who shall declare Thy righteousness.”49384938    Isa. xxxviii. 19 (according to the LXX.).  And in the fourth book of Kings we read that the prophet Elisha made known to a woman who had received him hospitably, that by the grace of God she should have a son; and through the prayers of Elisha she became a mother.49394939    [2 Kings iv. 17.  4 Kings, Sept. and Vulg.  S.]  The maimed were cured by Jesus in great numbers.  And the books of the Maccabees relate what punishments were inflicted upon those who dared to profane the Jewish service in the temple at Jerusalem.


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