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rence which he held with these his correspondents, as if he had written his name John. He was, indeed, at the time he wrote these Epistles, the Elder of the Christian Church, not only far advanced in years, but the sole survivor of all his apostolic brethren. Such an appellation, in a private letter to an individual, amounts to the same as the writer's name.
But what shall we say to the omission of his name in the First Epistle? Michaelis shall assist us to clear up this difficulty. He pronounces this writing of St. John to be “ a trea“ tise rather than an Epistle,” and, therefore, says he, it has neither the name of the writer in the beginning, nor the usual salutations at the end*. Therefore, in all these writings of our Apostle, the insertion of his name appears to have been unnecessary ; in the Gospel, because such had not been the practice of the other Evangelists ; in the treatise, because in that likewise it would have been informal ; in the two familiar Epistles, because another well-known appellation supplied its place. But in the Apocalypse, which is written in the epistolary form, not to any individual, but to seven Christian communities, and is commanded, by Him who gave the Revelation, to be written and addressed to themt, the Apostle could not do otherwise than prefix
* See his arguinents at large, vol. iv. ch. xxx. sect. ii. p. 400, 401. + Ch. i. v. 11.
his name. And when he had prefixed it, we cannot deem it surprising, that he should repeat it, in passages where he relates to them the wonderful sights which he had seen. For such a repetition conveys this assurance; “ Be not incredu“ lous, I John, whom you can trust, whom you
can safely believe, I John saw these things.” This same Apostle had before given them warning not to believe every pretence to inspiration, but“ to try the spirits whether they are of God*.” It was necessary, therefore, when he sent them this Revelation, to assure them that in receiving it they would not be deceived. He assures them, therefore, that he himself, the only surviving Apostle, the president of the Churches, whom they well knew by the name of John, had seen these visions. There was, therefore, no vain egotism in this repetition, as hath been vainly imagined; it was necessary, and to us of these later times it is a proof, that some persoll, of considerable weight and influence with the Churches, was the author of the Apocalypse ; but his name was John; and who could this be, but John the Apostle and Evangelist? who, we are assured was banished to Patmos, where the visions of it were seen t.
II. The second objection is, that “ though the
* 1 John iv. 1.
† Hegesippus, apud Euseb. lib. iii. c. 20. 23. Tertullian. Apol. C. 5. Hierom. tom. x. p. 100. Lardner's Supp. ch. ix. s. 5.
« writer of the Revelation calls himself Jones, he “ has not shewn us, that he is the Apostle of that
name.” Michaelis expects that he should at least have made himself known by some such circumlocution as he had used in the Gospel, “ the disciple whom Jesus loved."
In answer to this, it will be sufficient to shew, that such addition to the name of John was totally needless. He wrote to the Seven Churches, and from Patmos, in which island he expresses that “ he is suffering tribulation for the “ word of God, and the testimony of Jesus " Christ.” All the Churches knew that he was then suffering banishment in that island, and they knew the cause of it, “ for the word of God.” An Epistle, containing the history of a heavenly vision, seen by John in the island of Patmos, required no other addition. What John would write John alone, without other addition or explanation, excepting the great John, John the Apostle and president of all the Churches ? A private person would have described himself by the addition of his father's name, according to the custom of the ancients. A Bishop or Presbyter would have added the name of his church; but John, the Apostle, needed no such distinguishing mark or appellation. A fabricator of an Epistle, containing a revelation in St. John's name, would perhaps have added his titles of
Apostle of Jesus Christ,” &c. or would have introduced some circumlocution in imitation of
those in his Gospel; but, from the expression, as it now stands, we derive a much stronger evidence that it is the genuine work of St. John*.
III. The third objection is, “ That the Reve“ lation does not mention the catholic Epistle, nor “ the catholic Epistle the Revelation.”
This objection Lardner has pronounced to be 66 of little moment." Michaelis seems to have been of the same opinion, for he has not noted it; if the reader think it deserving of an answer, he is referred to Lardnert.
IV. Fourthly, it is objected, 66 That there is a “ great agreement in sentiment, expression, and
manner between Saint John's Gospel and Epistle; “ but the Revelation is quite different in all these respects, without any resemblance
resemblance or fimili6 tude."
Michaelis repeats this objection, and then
* St. Paul, in the opening of his Epistles, has used generally, not always, the term “ Apostle ;" but with himn it was more necessary than with St. John, who was confessedly such, having been numbered with the Twelve. St. Paul's right to the apostleship, having been established more privately, had been doubted by some, which leads him to say, “ Ara not I an Apostle ?” &c. (1 Cor. ix. 1.) and, therefore, he generally asserts himself, in his Epistles, to be an Apostle. Saint John had no need to use the terın; his authority as an Apostle was undoubted : he, therefore, calls himself by an humbler title, “ A brother and compa“ nion in tribulation :” so St. James, although an Apostle, mentions himself only as, “ A servant of God, and of the Lord « Jesus Christ.” Jam. i. 1.
+ Vol. iv. p. 707. # P. 533, 554.
asks the question, whether it is possible that the author of the one and of the other could be the same person?
Two methods have been taken to avoid the force of this objection, which has been derived from comparing the imagery, sentiments, and style in these separate works, all attributed to Saint John.
1st. It has been asserted that a prophetical work of St. John, cannot be expected to have resemblance to his Gospels and Epistles.
2dly. The fact has been denied ; it has been asserted that this dissimilarity does not exist; that there is in the Apocalypse a strong resemblance of sentiment and character, to the other written productions of St. John.
I do not find that either of these points have been so clearly proved as to afford satisfaction to the learned. I will suggest another method of
In perusing the Apocalypse, I remark that the sentiments, the notions, the images presented in the book, are, in very few passages, those of the writer, (such I mean as had been digested in, and arose out of his own mind,) but of that Holy Spirit, or of those heavenly inhabitants, who expressed them to him by symbols, or declared them by speech. The pen 'of John merely narrates, and frequently in the very words of a heavenly minister. 66 That which he sees and “ hears," he writes, as be is commanded ; (ch. i.