The Roman Empire in the Light of Prophecy The Rise, Progress, and End of the Fourth World-empire [Illustrated & enhanced formatting]by W. E. Vine
The following pages are the outcome of several conversations with inquirers shortly after the outbreak of the great war, in 1914, and of requests for notes of the views expressed. The subject of these conversations had occupied the earnest if intermittent attention of the writer for over twenty years. The notes were expanded into a series of articles which appeared in… See more details below
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The following pages are the outcome of several conversations with inquirers shortly after the outbreak of the great war, in 1914, and of requests for notes of the views expressed. The subject of these conversations had occupied the earnest if intermittent attention of the writer for over twenty years. The notes were expanded into a series of articles which appeared in The Witness during 1915. These have been revised and somewhat extended for the present volume, especially the last chapter, much of which was previously precluded by limitations of space.
In regard to past history, the outlines of events connected with the Roman and Turkish Empires are given with the hope that the records will prove helpful to those who read the history of Nations in the light of Scripture.
In regard to the future, while there are many events which the Word of God has foretold with absolute clearness, and upon these we may speak unreservedly, yet there are many circumstances concerning which definite prediction has been designedly withheld, and upon which prophecy is therefore obscure. In such matters an effort has been made to avoid dogmatism. Prophecy was not given in order for us to prophesy.
On the other hand, the prophetic Scriptures are not to be neglected. Difficulty in understanding them is no reason for disregarding them. They are part of that Word, the whole of which is declared to be "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3. 16). They therefore demand prayerful and patient meditation.
For a speaker to refer to the study of the prophecies in a way which tends to minimise their importance in the minds of his hearers is to dishonour both the sacred Word and Him who inspired it. It is significant that the book of the Revelation opens with a promise of blessing to him who reads (the reference is especially to public reading) and to those who "hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein" (chap. 1. 3), and at the close repeats the blessing for him who keeps its words (chap. 22. 7).
The quotations in the present volume are from the Revised Version, the comparatively greater accuracy of its translations being important for a correct understanding of many of the passages considered.
While the book is published at the request of several friends, the author fulfils such request with the earnest desire that in matters of doctrine that only may be accepted which can be confirmed from the Word of God itself, and that the Lord may graciously own what is in accordance with His mind for the glory of His Name and the profit of the reader.
W. E. VINE.
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