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consideration of the times of Papias. 1. The Millenary doctrines appear then first to have taken that form, agreeably to the xxth chapter of the Apocalypse, which, literally interpreted, would supply those notions. 2. If the Apocalypse liad been written after the times of Papias, after the times when he had broached these doctrines, and had not been a work of divine origin, the ingenious author of it, (who will be supposed, from this passage, to have favoured the Millenarian tenets,) would not have contented himself with that short description of the terrestrial reign of Christ, which is contained in three verses of his xxth chapter. He would have enlarged on a topic so flattering to the Christians, in the manner used by Papias, or his followers, and not have left the de. scription restricted to that brevity and obscurity, which bespeak a work published before these notions had prevailed.
I may have detained the reader too long with what relates to the evidence of Papias: but it seemed to me to require a particular examination; because Michaelis, when he sums up the evidence for and against the Apocalypse, still takes it for granted, that Papias knew nothing of this book; and considers this circumstance as sufficient to balance against the express testimonies of the learned Origen, a determined Anti-millenarian, in its favour,
ATHENAGORAS, OF THE CHURCHES IN GAUL, OF MELITO, THEOPHILUS, APOLLONIUS, CLEMENS OF ALEXANDRIA, AND TERTULLIAN.
I shall now produce the testimony of a writer, who was contemporary with all those whom we have reviewed*. If any thing shall have appeared defective in any of their testimonies, such objection cannot be made here. The testimony which Justin Martyr affords is full, positive, and direct. He received the Apocalypse as the production of “ John, one of the “ Apostles of Christ.” He expressly names this John as the writer of itt. He appears also, from the testimony of Jeromet, to have interpreted some parts of this mystical book: although no work of this kind has come down to us.
* It is probable that Justin Martyr was born in the first century, and before the Apocalypse was written, and that be suffered Martyrdom about the middle of the second century. See Cave, Fabricius, Tillement, Lardner, Euseb. describes him as i wiele podu TW amoalowy, lib. ii, c. 13. Michaelis says he wrote in the year 133, ch. ii. sect. 6. p. 32. + Dial. cum Tryphon. lib. vi. ç. 20. Catal. Script. Eccles. c. 9.
Some writers have supposed, from the words of Jerome*, that Justin published a commentary on the Apocalypse; but there seems not sufficient foundation for this opinion, since such a work is mentioned by no early writer of the Church. But it has, on the contrary, been too hastily concluded, that Justin wrote no other interpretation of the Apocalypse, than that which is to be found in the single passage of his Dialogue with Trypho, already referred to. But Jerome would not be justified, in calling him an interpreter of the Apocalypse, from this passage only, which contains a reference to Rev. xx, but no interpretation. It is probable therefore that, in some other work, now lost, he had attempted an interpretation of some parts of it, in the manner of Irenæus f. If this be admitted as probable; the testimony of Justin, which is sufficiently clear and direct, becomes also more extensive.
ATHENAGORAS, who was contemporary with Polycarp and Justin Martyr, is admitted by Michaelis, from the allusion produced by Lardner.., to have been acquainted with the Apocalypse.
Scripsit (Johannes) Apocalypsin, quam interpretantur Justinus Martyr et Irenæus.
+ Some account of Justin's works, which are now lost, may be seen in Grabe's Spicileg. vol. ii. p. 160. Cred. Gosp, Hist. art. Athenagoras,
Michaelis has passed over in silence the evi. dence to be found in that valuable remnant of ecclesiastical antiquity, T’E EPISTLE FROM THE GALLIC CHURCHES, which relates the sufferings of their Martyrs about the year 177, eighty years after the publication of the Apocalypse*,
We are obliged to Eusebius for preserving a considerable part of this letter f, in which Lardner has remarked this
τω Αρνιω δπε αν υπαγη. They are the very words of the Apocalypse, ch. xiv. 4. and so peculiar in idea and expression, as evidently to be derived from no other source.
I shall state more at large another passage observed, but not admitted as
evidence by Lardner, because it may be useful to make some remarks upon it,
Sixx tanlov el
Rev. xxij. 11. «Ο αδικων αδικησαίω ειι ó
PUTKapos ρυπαραθην ελε και ο δικαιος δικαιο
συνην ποιησαιω είε:
Dąn. xii. 10.
* It must be remarked, that although this Epistle was written eighty years after the Apocalypse was published, the writer, who quotes from it, is an evidence of an earlier date. For the person chosen by the Church to write for them, wauld probably be no young man, but one of their venerable Fathers. Irenæus has þeen supposed to be the writer, but there is no proof of this. + Hist. Eccl. lib. v. c. 1.
From this view of comparison we may perceive, that although in the first clause the writer referred to the Book of Daniel, in the second he adverted to the Apocalypse.
The whole form and colouring of the passage are indeed taken from the latter, which sufficiently appear from the peculiar use of the word eti: and dixawonlw, though expunged by Greisbach, is a reading of considerable authority, and, from this quotation, appears to have stood in the ancient MSS. used by the Gallic Church.
I shall add to these quotations one which to my knowledge has not been observed before.
In Rev, i. 5. iii. 14.
In the Epistle, Our Lord Jesus Christ is called The Martyrs give place to Jesus
Christ, as Ο μαρίωρ, ο οισος, και αληθινος, ο Το σις και αληθινω μαρίυρε, και τεροspobloxos х ту хру, ,
Toloxg Twy rexpwr.
After the perusal of these quotations, we can entertain no doubt, but that the writer of these Epistles, and the Churches of Gaul who employed him to write in their name, received the Apocalypse as divine Scripture. And their testimony is of the more importance in this inquiry, because these Churches appear to have received their instructions in religion, and consequently their canon of sacred Scripture, from the Churches in Asia. Their connection with these Churches, at the time when this Epistle was wrịtten, is sufficiently apparent, from its