« הקודםהמשך »
Epistle, part of which is reported by Eusebius*, there seem to be some allusions to the Apocalypse, which have escaped observation. And if the Apocalypse was received by the Church of Smyrna at the time of Polycarp's death, there can be no doubt but it was received by him, their Bishop and Instructor.
In Rev. i. 15.
The feet of the Son of Man are
In the Epistle,
και αγγίρος εν καμινα Θυρομενοι
Ομοιοι χαλκολιβανω ως εν καμινω σε
That the writer did not use the word χαλκολιβανος, , may be accounted for, by his having in view, at the same time, another passage of Scripture, 1 Peter, i. 7. where the Apostle compares the suffering Christians to “ Gold tried by the fire ;" but why did he, after having used the word gold, omit the dla wupos Soria Souve of St. Peter, to substitute xv za pecivo wupwpevol ? why? but because he was led to it by this passage of the Apocalypse ? besides in Rev. iii. 18. we read also χρυσίον σεπυρωμενον εκ συρος. .
The pious and sublime prayer of Polycarp, at the awful moment when the fire was about to be lighted under him,' begins with these words, Κυρις, ο Θεος, δ σαντοκράτωρ. They are the identical words in the prayer of the Elders, Rev. xi. 17. Kuple, ó 0:05, ó way?oupa7wp. • H. E. lib. iv. c. 15.
From these instances perhaps some confire mation is derived, that Polycarp, and his disciples of the Church of Smyrna, received the Apocalypse.
Papias belongs likewise to the apostolical age, , and is said to have been an Auditor of St. Johj*. This Father is asserted by Andreas, Bishop of Cæsarea, who wrote in the fifth century, to have given his testimony to the Apocalypse t; and is classed by this writer in the list of those who are well known to have testified in its favour; with Irenæus, Methodius, and Hippolitus. What writings of Papias had descended to the time of Andreas, we do not know; but to us there have come down only a few very short fragments preserved by Eusebius. In these we have no mention of the Apocalypse. They treat of other subjects; of the Gospels chiefly. And tơ two only, of the four Gospels, has Papias given evidence. Yet no one has doubted, for this reason, whether Papias received the other two. Yet, as Papias was then treating on the Gospels, it is stronger evidence against St. John's Gospel, that he did not mention that Gospel, than that he omitted to mention his Apocalypse. The same is the case with the quotations of Papias, from the Epistles of the New Testament. It is said by Eusebius, that Papias quoted from
* Irenæus, lib. v. 33. Euseb. H. E. lib. iii. c. 39.
the First Epistle of Peter and the First of Johii, and no other of the epistles are mentioned as quoted by him. Yet no notion has thence been entertained, that he rejected the other Epistles of the Sacred Canon. « He confirms these “ which he has mentioned,” says Lardner*, “ without prejudicing the rest.”
Upon the same fuoting stands his silence concerning the Apocalypse. And this silence, in these short fragments of his works, would be no evidence against it, even if we had no assurance that he received it as "holy writ. But such assurance we have, from Andreas of Cæsareat.
Michaelis .collects, from some espressions of Eusebius, that Papias had no wliere cleared up * Cred. Gosp. Hist. art. Papias.
+ Michaelis is willing to suppose (p. 466) that Andreas had no proof of what he asserts, and that he concluded Papias to be an evidence in favour of the Apocalypse, merely because Papias was a Millenarian. This is, at most, a conjectute, for the support of which he refers us to what is afterwards said by him of Andreas, when he comes to 'speak of Gregory of Nazianzum. When we turn to that passage (page 490) which is designed to invalidate the testimony of Andreas by this argument, “ that he "who had falsely represented Gregory, as an evidence for the
Apocalypse, may be supposed to have done the same concern
ing Papias ;” we find that, even by the admission of Michaelis, Gregory has quoted the Apocalypse in two passages of his writings. Which quotations will be found (when we come to examine Gregory's evidence) more than sufficient to counterbalance the circumstance of the Apocalypse not being mentioned in his Metrical Catalogue. Michaelis, at last, leaves the question undecided. And
And so the testimony of Andreas remains unim-
the important question, “ whether John the Pres. " byter, who also lived at Ephesus, was the writer " of the Apocalypse.” But how can we expect such determination from Papias, when it appears that the question was never agitated in his time? Eusebius himself, in the fourth century, first started it. Dionysius of Alexandria, in the cen. tury preceding, had mentioned some other John as, perhaps, the author of the book; but even he does not mention John the Presbyter. Nor is there any evidence that it was ascribed to any other than to John the Apostle, by any orthodox writer of the Church, during the first century of its appearance in the world. The Alogi, a sect of heretics, ascribed it to Cerinthus; but no one of the orthodox, before the third century, (as far as we know) assigned to it any other than John the Evangelist. That Papias, therefore, never entered into the merits of this question, is of no disservice to the Apocalypse. On the contrary, that little is said by him, and by the ancient Fathers, concerning the writer of the Apocalypse, shews, that no doubts arose, in the early times, coucerning the person who wrote it. All, who have spoken upon
question, have asserted John the Evangelist to be its author; and they were not contradicted.
But that the Apocalypse was unknown to Papias, our author attempts also to prove from another passage of Eusebius*; who, having
* Lib. iii. c. 39.
mentioned that Papias-had reported some doctrines and parables of our Saviour, not contained in the Gospels, but learnt by oral tradition, and
among these some things that are fabulous, classes among the latter his Millenarian doctrine, u
That, after the resurrection of the dead, “ Christ will reign in person a thousand years on earth."
I suppose,” adds Eusebius, “ that he acquired this notion from his inquiring " into the saying of the Apostles, and his not -“ understanding what they had delivered figu
ratively." From this passage it is inferred, that Papias was ignorant of the Apocalypse; * for why,” it is said, “ should he have recourse
to oral tradition for the support of these principles, when the 20th chapter of Revelation *** would, literally interpreted, have much better " suited his purpose ?" But this mode of proving is somewhat like that which we have lately examined, which was found to rest only on a conjecture of Eusebius. For this rests only on a supposition of the same writer, equally unfound. ed. " I suppose,” says Eusebius, “ that he ac
quired his millenary notions from oral tradi“ tion:" but there is no other ground for this supposition, than that Papias had appeared to acquire some other information, and some other fabulous notions, by this method. But, if the 20th chapter of the Apocalypse, verses 4, 5, 6, literally interpreted, would, according to the confession of Michaelis, “ have much better