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year," as it were, will bring forth the fruit of righteousness and love. I think R- must be quickened by these loud admonitions, and instructed to “ redouble his diligence to make his calling and election sure.” Oh! that it might be a chastening to you all, such as the Lord giveth those he loveth and receiveth.
I should be much gratified with the particulars of N 's death; the state of her mind; and the assurance of her faith. If you can conveniently write and inform me, it will give me pleasure, and perhaps do me good. Be kind enough also to remember me, with a sister's love, to those of the Church that you may see, for with the Psalmist I can say,
My soul shall pray for Zion still,
We have excellent spiritual privileges here, such as must either work for our salvation or condemna. tion for ever. But I am a poor creature in faith and love, and God only can make me rich. To his grace we have free access through a Mediator, and nothing can be sweeter to the hungry soul than the rich displays of his mercy. That it may keep you and yours for ever, is the prayer of
Your affectionate friend and sister,
A Dissertation, in which the evidence for the Authentici
ty and Divine inspiration of the Apocalypse is stated, and vindicated from the Objections of the late Professor J. D. Michaelis ; by JOHN CHAPPEL WOODHOUSE, A. M.
THE EVIDENCE AGAINST THE APOCALYPSE DURING ITS FIRST CENTURY ; THE REJECTION OF IT BY MARCION AND BY THE ALOGI; THEIR OBJECTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO EXTERNAL EVIDENCE, EXAMINED.
( Continued from p. 607, vol. III.) IT ITAVING reviewed the external evidence in favour of the Apocalypse, during the first century after its publication, it will be useful to pause, before we produce subsequent witnesses, and to afford opportunity of examining any testimonies of the same period, by which its authenticity and divine inspiration have been denied. The examination of this evidence will soon be dispatched. For, wonderful as it may appear, there is not one writer of the pure Primitive Church, no Father, no Ecclesiastical Author, who, during this period, seems to have questioned its authenticity. Yet there was ground then for the same objections, which afterwards induced some persons to reject it in the third and fourth centuries. The Fathers, before the times of Caius and of Dionysius, could discover that the Apocalypse was obscure ; that it was to them no revelation ; that the Greek of it appeared different from that of Saint John's Gospel : but, not. withstanding these circumstances, which they were well qualified to appreciate, they received it with pious acquies. cence as divine Scripture, communicated by the beloved Apostle ; and they delivered it as such to the succeeding century.
Now, to what can we attribute this conduct, but to the powerful operation of that external evidence by which it was then supported ? The writers of the first part of this century had the opportunity of hearing from apostolical men, from “those who had seen the face of John,” as Irenæus expresses it, to what author they ascribed the apocalypse. In the latter part of the century, the tradition was still warm, den
VOL. IV.No. I.
pending upon the living testimony of those who had seen apostolical men; and an inquisitive author could satisfy himself, from the narration of others, upon what grounds of external evidence the book had been so universally received. It had been produced publicly into the world. It was to be found, not in the archives of one insignificant Church, but of the seven flourishing Churches of Asia ; « This thing was « not done in a corner." From the mode of its publication, it challenged observation, and defied detection. And we may suppose, that as none of the early Fathers objected to the cvidence, all were satisfied. They received and transmitted to others those prophecies, which they themselves could not understand. Under these circumstances, we may be more surprised that so many of the ancient Fathers have quoted from the Apocalypse, than that some, (and they are but few,) have passed it over in silence.
But although none of the orthodox writers of the Church seem to have questioned the authenticity of the Apocalypse, during the first century of its appearance, we have evidence, that certain heretics rejected it. Of this number was Mar cion*. But we know also that this daring Gnostic rejected or mutilated other books of sacred Scripture, which he could not otherwise render subservient to his wicked purposest.
The rejection of the Apocalypse by Marcion is favourable to its pretensions. It is a proof that the book was in existence, and received by the Church, in those early times in which he flourished I ; and that the doctrines contained in it, were such as opposed his impious tenets.
The Apocalypse was rejected also by a sect, who obtained the name of Alogi ; but they rejected also the Gospel of Saint John ; and for the same reasons; which, with these rash people, were not founded on any exceptions to the external evidence of these divine books, but principally on their dislike to the word Logos, which, as used in this Gospel and Revelation, they refused to consider as of divine au. thority $ ; but this objection, and also their ascription of the Apocalypse, together with the Gospel of St. John, to Cerinthus, how weak soever the grounds on which they stand, are not to be considered here ; because they rest, not on external, but internal evidence **. Among these their objections
* Tertullian. adv. Marcion. lib. iv. cap. 5.
+ Irenæus adv. Hær. Tertullian. adv. Marcion. Epiphanius Hær. 42. Origen cont. Celsum, lib.ii. c. 27.
# Marcion came to Rome in the year 127, only 30 years after the public, cation of the Apocalypse. Cave, Hist. Lit.
Epiphan. Hær. 51, 54. ** Michaelis has fully exposed and refuted this strange notion of the Alogi,
to the Apocalypse, there is one indeed which our author has remarked to be of an historical kind ; which must therefore be examined under the head of external evidence. It is this :
The fourth epistle in the Apocalypse is addressed to the Angel of the Church of Thyatira ; but the Alogi, with a view to convict the Apocalypse of falsehood, declared that there existed no Church at Thyatira. The words, as delive ered by Epiphanius, are observed to be ambiguous, and may denote, either that there was no Christian community at Thyatira in the time of St. John, or none at the time when these Alogi made their objections *. If we ascribe to them the latter sense, the argument, as Michaelis justly observes, is of no importance. For if there was no Church at Thyati. ra in the middle, or toward the close of the second century; still there might have been at the close of the first.
But let us meet the objection in its strongest force. Let us suppose it to be unequivocally declared, by the testimony of these Alogi, that there was no Church at Thyatira at the time of Saint John ; at the time when he is affirmed to have addressed this Epistle to that place. Now these Ilogi, who, when we come to examine their internal evidence against the Apocalypse, will be found to support their cause by the most weak and absurd arguments; who rejected the Gospel of St. John, and attributed it to the heretic Cerinthus, merely because they disliked the word Logos, as applied by St. John to Christ : are not very credible witnesses. Eyewitnesses they could not be, because they did not live in those times ; and we can entertain but an unfavourable opinion of their fair and candid appreciation of the evidence of others, when they rejected the powerful external evidence, by which St. John's Gospel was supported, so soon after its publication, only because some passages of that Gospel seemed to oppose their favourite tenets. But admit, for the sake of argument, the fact which they wished to establish. Admit, for a moment, that not St. John, but Cerinthus was the writer of the Apocalypse. But Cerinthus was contemporary with St. John ; and Cerinthus lived in Ephesus, and amidst the seven Churchest; and can we suppose it possible, that Cerinthus, so circumstanced, should address an epistle to a society of Christians in that very region where he lived, when in fact no such society existed ? Nothing can be more absurd than the supposition. To carry the argument a little farther, the Apocalypse (if it could be proved a forgery) must
have been written, says Michaelis, before the times of Justin Martyr, before the year 120*; that is, very near to the time when the ancients believed the Apocalypse, if genuine, to have been written. A fabricator so circumstanced cannot be supposed capable of so gross a mistake ; and if such a mistake had been made, we should have heard of it from other, and earlier, objectors than thesc Alogi ; and any fabricator of the Apocalypse must be supposed to have known, better than they, what Churches existed in Asia Proper, in the reign of Domitian. Persons who make use of such absurd arguments, and no other, deserve little attention. I may have bestowed upon them too much; but it seemed necessary to examine, in all its appearances, the only external evidence which seems to have been alleged against the Apocalypse, during the first century after its publication.
THE TESTIMONIES OF HIPPOLITUS AND OF ORIGEN : THE
OBJECTIONS OF CAIUS AND OF DIONYSIUS OF ALEXAN. DRIA, AND OF OTHERS PRECEDING HIM. ANIMADVER. SIONS ON THE CONCLUSIONS OF MICHAELIS, RESPECTING THIS EVIDENCE.
I NOW proceed to consider the external testimony which is obtained from Hippolitus and ORIGEN, two great names in the ancient Christian world, and both highly favourable to the divine authority of the Apocalypse. They have already had their place in the Biographical Chart, for reasons which have been already assigned. But I have kept apart the examination of their evidence, because I wished my readers to consider separately “the cloud of witnesses,” who supportcd the authenticity of the Apocalypse during its first century, in the times before any objection was made to it by any of those members of the Church, who observed the pure faith, and the pure canon of Scripture.
In the times of Hippolitus and of Origen, a notion seems to have been adopted by some persons in the true Church, that the Apocalypse was not, what it pretended to be, the production of an Apostle.