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The Revelation is not in Gregory Nazianzen's catalogue, . 287. Nevertheless it seems to have been received by him, p. 287, 288. It is in the catalogue of Amphilochius. But he says, it was not received by all, p. 293. It is also omitted in Ebedjesu's catalogue of the books of scripture, received by the Syrians, p. 321 ; nor is it in the ancient Syriac version, p. 323. It was received by Jerom, p, 436,437, 446, 450. But he says, it was rejected by the Greek christians, p. 456. It was received by Rufin, p. 484, by the third council of Carthage in 397, p. 487, and by Augustine, p. 494, 514. But it was not received by all in his time, p. 511. It is never quoted by Chrysostom, and, probably, was not received by him, p. 549. It is in the catalogue of Dionysius, called the Areopagite, about 490, vol. v. p. 74. It is in the Alexandrian manuscript, p. 82, 84. It was received by Sulpicius Severus, about 401, vol iv. p. 575, and by J. Damascenus, vol. v. p. 147, and by CEcumenius, p. 156, 157, and by many other authors, whose history is written in the fifth volume. Andrew, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, at the end of the fifth century, p. 77, and Arethas, bishop of the same place in the sixth century, wrote commentaries upon it, p. 103. But it was not received by Severian, bishop of Gabala, vol. iv. p. 572, nor, as it seems, by *o, vol. v. p. 19, Upon the whole it appears, that this book has been generally received in all ages: though some have doubted of it, or rejected it, particularly the Syrians, and some other christians in the east. However, for more particulars, see St. John, and the Revelation, in the alphabetical table, which is in the last volume of this work. It may not be improper for me here to remind my readers of the sentiments of divers learned moderns concerning this book, which were put together in Vol. ii. ch. xliii, mum. xv. and xvi. after having largely represented the criticisms of Caius, and Dionysius of Alexandria, in the third century, upon the style of this book, and of the other writings ascribed to St. John. Where also is proposed this observation, ‘ It may be questioned whether their exceptions, ‘ founded in the difference of style, and such like things, “ or any other criticisms whatever, can be sufficient to * create a doubt concerning the author of this book: which ‘ was owned for a writing of John, the apostle and evan‘gelist, before the times of Dionysius and Caius, and so far ‘ as we know, before the most early of those who disputed ‘ its genuineness.’ VOL. VI, Y
II. Having thus represented the external evidence of the genuineness of the book of the Revelation, or of its being written by St. John, I should proceed to consider the internal evidence. But I need not enlarge here, because the objections taken from the style, and some other particulars, were stated and considered in the first volume, in the article of Dionysius, above named, bishop of Alexandria. I now intend therefore only to take notice of a few things, of principal note, which learned men insist upon, as arguments, that the Revelation has the same author with the gospel and epistles, that go under the name of the apostle and evangelist John. w 1. Ch. i. ver. I, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass. And he sent, and signified it by his angel, unto his servant John.” Hence it is argued, that " John styles himself the “servant of Christ,” in a sense not common to all believers, but peculiar to those who are especially employed by him. So Paul, and other apostles, call themselves “servants of God and of Christ.” Particularly Rom. i. 1, “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ.” James i. Ł “James a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. i. 1, “Simon Peter, a servant, and an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Jude v. 1, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ.” So Moses is called “ the servant of God.” Numb. xii. 7, and Heb. iii. 2. And in like manner divers of the prophets. And in this very book, ch. x. 7, is the expression : “ as he has declared unto his servants the prophets.” This observation may be of some weight for showing that the writer is an apostle. But it is not decisive. And in the same verse, whence this argument is taken, the phrase is used in its general sense. “Which God gave unto him to show unto his servants.” 2. Ver. 2, “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” Some suppose the writer herein to refer to the written gospel of St. John, and to say that he had already “ borne testimony concerning the word of God, and Jesus Christ.” But, as formerly observed, these words may be under
* Sed esse se ‘inter notabiles Christi Jesu ministros, quos ad ecclesiam suam docendam, regendam, et curandam adhibebat. Hoc sensu Moses, David, Jesajas, et prophetae omnes Sub Ceconomiá vetere, et Paulus, et alii apostoli sub Ceconomiá nová, vocantur servi Dei. Vitring. in Apoc. cap. i. 1. * See Vol. ii. ch. xliii. num. xv.
stood of this very book, the Revelation, and the things contained in it. The writer says here very properly, at the beginning, and by way of preface, that he had performed his office in this book, having therein faithfully recorded the word of God, which he had received from Jesus Christ. -For certain, if these words did clearly refer to a written gospel, they would be decisive. But ‘ they are allowed to be ambiguous, and other senses have been given of them. By some they have been understood to contain a declaration, that the writer had already borne witness to Jesus Christ before magistrates. Moreover, I think, that if St. John had intended to manifest himself in this introduction, he would have more plainly characterized himself in several parts of this book than he has done. This observation therefore appears to me to be of small moment for determining who the writer is. 3. Farther, it is argued, in favour of the genuineness of this book, ‘that there are in it many instances of conformity, ‘both of sentiment and expression, between the Revelation ‘ and the uncontested writings of St. John.’ Divers such coincidences, or instances of agreement, were taken notice of formerly, and remarks were made upon them, Vol. ii. p. 710–715. That which is at p. 713, appears to me as striking as any. I shall therefore enlarge upon it here. Our Saviour says to his disciples, John xvi. 33, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Christian firmness under trials is several times represented by “overcoming,” or “overcoming the world,” or “overcoming the wicked one,” in St. John's first epistle, ch. ii. 13, 14; iv. 4; v. 4, 5. And it is language peculiar to St. John, being in no other books of the New Testament. And our Lord says, Rev. iii. 21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Compare ch. ii. 7, 11, 17, 26; iii. 5, 12, 21; and xxi. 7.
* Ver. 2. ‘Qui testatus est sermonem Dei, et testimonium J. C. et quae vidit."] Duplici modo hac accipi possunt, vel Joannem confessionem veritatis solennem coram tribunali Praefecti Asiae Romani edidisse, ob quam ipse missus fuerit in exilium; vel ipsum, evangelio a se edito, solenne de Christo, ejusque dictis et gestis edidisse testimonium. Priore sensu vox paprupsw scriptoribus Græcis posterioris temporis receptissima est, et manifeste etiam sumitur a Paulo, 1 Tim. vi. 13. Veni igitur ultro in illam sententiam, quae haec Joannis verba refert ad evangelium non prædicatum tantum a Joanne solenniter, sed et scriptis confirmatum.—Quae sisane sit hujus loci interpretatio, certo simul testabitur de illius auctore, Joanne apostolo, ac proinde de libri hujus divinitate, et summâ * Vitring. in Apoc. cap. i. ver, 2.
III. Concerning the time of writing this book, I need not now say much, having before shown, in " the history of St. John, that it is the general testimony of ancient authors, that St. John was banished into ° Patmos, in the time of Domitian, in the latter part of his reign, and restored by his successor Nerva. Büt the book could mot be published till after St. John's release and return to Ephesus in Asia. As Domitian died in 96, and his persecution did not commence till near the end of his reign, the Revelation seems to be fitly dated in the year 95 or 96. Mill f placeth the Revelatiom in the year of Christ 96, and the last year of the emperor Domitian. At first he supposed that the Revelation was written in Patmos. But afterwards he 5 altered his mind, and thought it was not writtem until after his return to Ephesus from Patmos. He builds upon the words of Rev. i. 9. If so, I apprehend it might not be published before the year 97, or, at the soonest, near the end of the year 96. Basnage h placeth the Revelation in the year of Christ 96. Le Clerc i Tlikewise, who readily admits the genuineness of this book, speaks of it at the same year.
d See Vol. v. ch. ix. num. v.
• Eodem ordine septem istæ Asiæ civitates enumerantur, quo ex Patmo insulâ adiri debebant. Wetsten. in Apoc. i. 11. tom. II. p. 750.
f Paucis post conseriptas has epistolas annis, exorta est christianorum persecutio sub Domitiano.—In insulâ vero Patmo, in quam relegatus erat Joannes, Domitiani ultimo, seu anno æræ vulgaris xcvi.—facta est ipsi Revelatio, quam universam postea expresso Christi mandato scriptis consignavit. Scriptamque Domini ejusdem jussu misit ad septem ecclesias Asiæ. Unde manifestum est, visionem non modo Joanni factam fuisse, sed etiam ab eo literis traditam in insulâ Patmo.—Scriptam fuisse ex prædictis constat anno vulgaris æræ xcvi. seu Domitiani xvi. et quidem ad finem ejusdem imperii, inquit Irenæus, seu tempore æstivo æræ vulg. xcvi. Proleg. num. 157.
8 Subjiciemus hic verba Millii, quæ in emendandis posuerat : * Hic sententiam,' inquit, * mutavimus. Constat enim ex ipsis Joamnis verbis Apoc. i. 9, eum post reditum ad Ephesum hunc librum scripsisse.' Kuster. in notis. num 157. Proleg. p. 19.
* Vid. ann. 96. num. xii.
' At nemo de auctoritate ejus dubitârat ante Caium, Romanum presbyterum, qui circa finem ii. seculi vixit. Cum Cataphryges eo libro abuterentur —fetum hunc esse apostoli negare, atque a Cerintho, præscripto ejus nomine, editum dicere maluit. At Justinus, et Irenæus, eo antiquiores, et qui cum Joannis discipulis versati erant, apostolo hoc opus tribuerunt. Similiter, cum medio seculo iii. Nepos, in Ægypto episcopus, Chiliastarum deliria eodem libro tueretur, Dionysius Alexandrinus eâdem de causâ Joanni eum abjudicavit. Sed aliter senserant, quicumque Apocalypseos antea mentionem fecerant, excepto Caio, quos sequuti etiam posteri omnes ad unum. Multo fide dignior Irenæus, qui passim hunc librum, quasi Joannis apostoli, ad testimonium vocat, et diserte, lib. v. c. 30. * Neque enim ante multum tem* pus visa est, sed ferme nostrâ ætate, sub finem imperii Domitiani.' Quæ ejus verba Græca habet Eusebius, l. 5. c. 8. J. Cleric. H. E. An. 96. num. v.
Mr. Lowman * supposes St. John to have had his visions in the isle of Patmos in the year 95.
But Mr. Wetstein ' favours the opinion of those, who have argued, that the Revelation was written before the Jewish war. He moreover says, that " if the Revelation was written before that war, it is likely that the events of that time should be foretold in it. To which I answer, that " though some interpreters have applied some things in this book to those times, I cannot say whether they have done it rightly, or not, because I do mot understand the Revelation. But to me it seems, that though this book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, there was no necessity that it should be foretold here : because our blessed Lord had in his own preaching at divers times spokem very plainly, and intelligibly, concerning the calamities coming upon the Jewish people in general, and the city and temple of Jerusalem in particular. And his plain predictions, and symbolical prefigurations of those events, were recorded by no less than three historians and evangelists, before the war in Judea broke out.
Grotius, who, as ° formerly seem, placeth this book in the reign of Claudius, was of opiniom, that P the visions of this
* See the scheme and order of the prophecies in the book of the Revelation, which is prefixed to his paraphrase. ' Nos quidem, omnibus expensis, cum iis facimus, qui statuunt, Apocalypsin ante bellum judaicum fuisse scriptum. Wetst. N. T. tom. II. p. 746. m. “ Quæstio est non levis momenti, cum vera Apocalypseos interpretatio maximam partem imde pendeat. Si enim scripta est ante bellum judaicum, et bella civilia im Italiâ ; nullo modo probabile est, tantam rerum conversionem omnino præteriri atque negligi potuisse. Sin autem post illos motus compositos scripta est, probabilior erit eorum sententia, qui eventus in Apocalypsi prædictos in seculorum sequentium historiâ quærendos existimant. Id. ib. “ Lightfootus in genere censet, Apocalypsim hanc editam esse ante novissimum Hierosolymorum excidium. Et certe si Joannes hanc Revelationem vere a Christo Jesu accepisset sub Claudio, magnâ cum specie negari non posset doctissimis his viris, quædam * sigillorum visa' ad fata judaismi non adeo incommode applicari posse. Sed obstant graves rationes, quæ nos in hanc sententiam ire vetant. Vitring. in Apoc. cap. i. ver. 2. p. 7. Vid. et in cap. vi. ver. 1, 2. p. 101—105. ° See Vol. v. ch. ix. num. v. 2. F * Et mitte septem ecclesiis.' Nempe hujus visi descriptionem. Neque ad cætera hujus libri pertinet. Diversa visa diversis temporibus Joanni obtigere, ut et prophetis aliis. Grot. ad Apoc. cap. i. 11. Post absolutum Visum, monita salutaria continens ad septem episcopos et ecclesias—sequuntur Visa alia, quæ diversis temporibus apostolo obtigere, et postea in unum volumen redacta sunt ; quod et in prophetiis aliis evenit, sæpe etiam non annotato temporis discrimine, sed dato intelligi ex iis quæ loco quoque continentur. Pertinent autem hæc Visa ad res Judæorum usque ad finem capitis undecimi; deinde ad res Romanorum, usque ad finem capitis vicesimi ; deinde ad statum florentissimum ecclesiæ christianæ ad finem