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In consequence of this developement the churches knew well what was meant by these terms, employed by Paul and John in their epistles, and which, no doubt, would often occur in their oral addresses in the congregations.
John having written bis Epistles later than Paul, and Paul, as has been shown, later than the Apocalypse, it was not necessary to my argument, that I should at all examine John's Epistles ; but John's reference to THE Antichrist, as rising out of, or rather, in the church itself,-a fact first made known by the opening of that book, concerning which he wept much, fearing that no one might ever be able to explain it,-furnishes incontrovertible evidence that he wrote his Epistles later than the Apocalypse.
This argument, however, depends on a fact of which the proof has not yet been submitted to the reader--that the book of Daniel is the book sealed with seven seals, which was opened or explained by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, in the Apocalypse. The evidence of this fact shall, however, be laid before the reader, after I shall have offered such remarks as may be called for on the few remaining Epistles yet to be noticed, and which will be confined to the next section.
$ 13. Respecting the Epistles to Titus and Phile
mon, and the Epistle of Jude.
In these, the only remaining epistles, I do not find any thing that may, with certainty, be considered as derived directly from the Apocalypse.
In that to Titus the only expression that has the resemblance of an allusion to that prophecy is in ch. ii. 13. 14.-" Expecting the blessed hope,
yea the appearing of the glory of THE GREAT “God even our Saviour Jesus. CHRIST." This " appearing of the glory” is coincident with the sounding of the seventh angel, when Christ will take to him his great power, and reign for everThis is the period when he will give reward unto his servants, Rev. xi. 15—18. Yea, GoD shall then wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain. They are therefore expecting this blessed hope of the appearing of this glory of our SAVIOUR.
Any allusion to the Apocalypse could not be expected in such an epistle as that to Philemon, which is merely a short letter commending Onesimus, now become a Christian, to the kind regards of his master, to whom he had, before, been an unprofitable servant.
The Epistle by Jude refers to words, spoken by Apostles before he wrote his epistle (ver. 17), by which he may be conceived to refer particu-larly to the Epistles of Peter, for he alludes to the same facts respecting mockers and apostates: but however this may be, it is generally believed that, excepting the epistles of John, none of the epistles were written so late as his.
It is sufficient to say, respecting these epistles, that having been written after others which I have endeavoured to show contain allusions to the Apocalypse, they must, if my arguments have been well founded, be of a later date than that prophecy.
$ 14. Of the sealed Book which has been opened by
I had occasion in the 11th and 12th sections of this Dissertation to employ an argument drawn from the circumstance of both Paul and John, and I may also add Peter, having spoken very clearly of certain particulars detailed in the prophet Daniel. The sum of the argument may be stated in few words. These particulars were among the things that were closed up and sealed in the Book of Daniel and they were to remain so sealed up till the time of the end. The ques
tion then is simply this: Whence did these writers derive their knowlege? Certainly not from Daniel himself; for if his book could be thus read and explained, it could not be called a sealed book ; and if this be the sealed book spoken of in the Revelations, how came John to weep on the supposition that no one would be found able to open, that is to explain, the book ? If, until this was effected by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, it remained a sealed book to John, how could it be open to Peter and Paul ? and not only to them but to the churches, having been explained by Paul to the believers in Thessalonia both orally and by letter; and by Peter to the believers scattered as strangers throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia ! What! an open book to such multitudes and yet a closed book to John! Yet this must be the fact, if John did not write the Apocalypse till the year 96 or 97, as some strenuously contend. Nay more strange still; John must have forgotten his former knowlege by the time he wrote his vision ; for it is allowed, even by the most strenuous contenders for so late a date, that John's first Epistle was written about the year 80!—But the cogency of this reasoning depends on another fact: Was the sealed book which John saw opened in his vision, the book of the Prophet Daniel ? If we attend carefully to
the description which John gives of this book, we shall easily ascertain this point from the character and marks which he has recorded respecting it.
1. The book was written inside and outside. Its being written on the outside, evidently imports, that a part of the writing was visible; that is, the book was already in the possession of the church, and partly intelligible; and if we attend to what passed when the Lamb who was slain, but now liveth, took the book into his hand to open it, we shall discover a part of the writing itself, for it became the subject of the song of those around the throne, “ Thou hast made us "unto our God Kings and Priests, and we shall
reign on the earth.” However dark the other parts of the book were, this was one thing which could be plainly read in it, that a time was coming in which the saints shall possess the kingdom; (Dan. vii. 25.) when the rule and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (v. 27). Thus it appears that the book from which they took their song was that of the Prophet DANIEL.
2. It was a " sealed book.” Here we have a very particular and explicit description by which the book is ascertained to be that of Daniel, be