“Dreams are rudiments of the great state to come. We
dream what is about to happen.”−−BAILEY,
The Bible, as well as other great books of historical and
revealed religion, shows traces of a general and
substantial belief in dreams. Plato, Goethe, Shakespeare
and Napoleon assigned to certain dreams prophetic
value. Joseph saw eleven stars of the Zodiac bow to
himself, the twelfth star. The famine of Egypt was
revealed by a vision of fat and lean cattle. The parents of
Christ were warned of the cruel edict of Herod, and fled
with the Divine Child into Egypt.
Pilate’s wife, through the influence of a dream, advised
her husband to have nothing to do with the conviction of
Christ. But the gross materialism of the day laughed at
dreams, as it echoed the voice and verdict of the
multitude, “Crucify the Spirit, but let the flesh live.”
Barabbas, the robber, was set at liberty.
The ultimatum of all human decrees and wisdom is to
gratify the passions of the flesh at the expense of the
spirit. The prophets and those who have stood nearest
the fountain of universal knowledge used dreams with
more frequency than any other mode of divination.
Profane, as well as sacred, history is threaded with
incidents of dream prophecy. Ancient history relates that
Gennadius was convinced of the immortality of his soul
by conversing with an apparition in his dream.
Through the dream of Cecilia Metella, the wife of a
Consul, the Roman Senate was induced to order the
temple of Juno Sospita rebuilt.
The Emperor Marcian dreamed he saw the bow of the
Hunnish conqueror break on the same night that Attila
Plutarch relates how Augustus, while ill, through the
dream of a friend, was persuaded to leave his tent, which
a few hours after was captured by the enemy, and the
bed whereon he had lain was pierced with the enemies’
If Julius Caesar had been less incredulous about dreams
he would have listened to the warning which Calpurnia,
his wife, received in a dream.
Croesus saw his son killed in a dream.
Petrarch saw his beloved Laura, in a dream, on the day
she died, after which he wrote his beautiful poem, “The
Triumph of Death.”
Cicero relates the story of two traveling Arcadians who
went to different lodgings−−one to an inn, and the other
to a private house. During the night the latter dreamed
that his friend was begging for help. The dreamer awoke;
but, thinking the matter unworthy of notice, went to sleep