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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 Marcion *. 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 purposes f.
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,
* Tertullian. adv. Marcion. lib. iv. cap. 5. + Irenæus adv. Hær. Tertullian, adv. Marcion. Epiphanius Hær. 42. Origen cont. Celsum, lib. ii. c. 27.
I Marcion came to Rome in the year 127, only 30 years after the Publication of the Apocalypse. Cave, Hist. Lit.
as used in this Gospel and Revelation, they refused to consider as of divine authority *; 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 f. Among these their objections 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 delivered 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 Thyatira in the middle, or toward the close of the second century, still there might have been at the close of the first.
* Epiphan. Hær, 51, 54.
+ Michaelis has fully exposed and remated this strange notion of the Alogi, p. 464. * Και εκ ει εκει Εκκλησια Χριστιανών. Τ' Ο
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 Alogi, 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. Jolin, and attributed it to the herctic Cerinthus, merely because they disliked the word Logos, as applied by St. John to Christ ; are not very credible witnesses. Eyc-witnesses 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 Churches * and can ve 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 further, 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 circuinstanced 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 these 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.
* P, 466,
OF ILIPPOLITUS AND
ORIGEN; THE OBJECTIONS OF CAIUS AND ON DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, AND OF OTHERS PRECEDING HIM. ANIMADVERSIONS ON THE
OF MICHAELIS, RESPECTING
NOV 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 supported 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 Seripture.
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