The facts of history have assuredly fulfilled the prophetic outline, and yet what a concatenation [series of connected events] of improbabilities it presented!
Consider! That a Redeemer should arise from a ruined race, capable, though the woman's seed, of grappling with the mighty foe of God and man….that an aged and childless couple should become the parents of many nations, and especially of one great and important people; that a fate terrible as that predicted by Moses for Israel should overtake that special nation, through whom the world was to be blessed; that a Jewish king who lived 3, 000 years ago should have a Son who should sit on the throne of God in heaven as well as on an earthly throne in Zion, and should be adored by angels and by all nations, though “a reproach of men and despised of the people”; that this great Heir of the throne of Judah should exercise an everlasting and universal sway, though a suffering and dying man; that Messiah the Prince, whose kingdom was to last forever, should come at a certain predicted time, and, instead of ruling and reigning, be cut off; and, lastly, that our Lord should be rejected by the Jews, and executed by the Romans, and yet conquer the world, without sword or spear, by the force of truth alone; that He should depart, yet remain with His people to the end of the age; that Christendom should become so corrupt as to oppose Christ, and persecute His people to the death; that Rome pagan, becoming Rome Christian, should prove Rome anti-Christian, and be a far worse foe to Christianity than ever paganism had been.
All these things seemed, when announced, paradoxical, so unlikely were they ever to occur. Any one of them was a great improbability, and the entire succession was simply a stupendous improbability! In no single instance could experience of an analogous character have suggested these predictions. Human sagacity could not have foreseen the facts that fulfilled them, nor could imagination have pictured them. Yet none can question that the course of history broadly regarded has run precisely on these lines. Historians, ancient and modern, the inscriptions and monuments of antiquity, the very constitution and customs of the society amid which we live, all attest that facts have fallen out in harmony with the prophetic program.
—Guinness, Henry Grattan (1835-1910, British evangelist, author, and missionary trainer).