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and of the Apocalypse. A period of about thirty years had intervened. Such a circumstance is well known to make a considerable difference in the style of the same writer. Michaelis allows and has forcibly expressed it. (p. 352, 536.) But he alleges, and with good reason, (if we take it is a general observation,) that when there is this change in the style of an author, we naturally look for the bold, sublime, and per. haps, incorrect style, in his youth, and the gentler and more finished manner in his later years. And hence he collects that the Apocalypse, displaying bold imagery, with much fire of composition, an oriental form of speech, and an incorrect mapner, might indeed be written by St. John some years before he wrote his Gospel; but that he could not be the author of it late in life, many years after he had resided among the Greeks at Ephesus. The argument is specious ; but, I trust, the edge of it has been already taken off, by a consideration of the causes which will account for the sublime imagery and animated manner of writing in the Apocalypse, where it differs from the calmer style of St. John. But I will suggest another cause, which, as it appears to me, would not fail to produce a more warm and turbid style in the Apocalypse than in the Gospel, supposing them to be written by the same pen.
The Gospel appears to have been written by St. John, after an interval of about thirty years K %
from the events which he relates. At such a distance of time, the mind is enabled to look back with composure, and to represent with serenity, transactions which could not be narrated soon after they had happened, without warm and passionate expressions. It seems to be owing partly to this cause, that the Evangelist is seen to relate in so cool a tenour of style, in the Gospel, those sufferings of his beloved Lord which he had witnessed, and which, if related by him immediately after the events had taken place, could not have been told otherwise than with commotion and indignation. But the Apocalypse was written by.its author immediately after he had seen the vision; the impressions on his mind had no time to cool; his expressions kept pace with his feelings, and his style became vivid and glowing
Many other causes, unknown to us, might operate to produce a variety in the style of St. John. He might use an amanuensis, or corrector of his language, at one time, and not at another. For, a tradition prevailed in the ancient Church, that the Apostles in their writings had used amanuenses, and Jerome accounted for the apparent difference of style between the first and second Epistles of Saint Peter, by his having employed different persons in this office*. The Apostle John may have used an amanuensis, or a corrector of his Greek, in one of his works, and not in another. In the opinion of Lardner, * Tom. iv. p:183.
founded upon sound reasons, to which Michaelis allows great weight, (though he is disposed to contend for a later date,) St. John's Gospel was written about the year 68. But at this period, Saint John being but newly arrived from Palestine, cannot be supposed (as Michaelis has observed*) to have written that fuent Greek in which his Gospel is composed. He might therefore at that time have employed an amanuensis or corrector. But after thirty years residence at Ephesus, where the Greek was principally spoken, he might not feel the want of such as: sistance, and he might have written the Apocalypse in his own Greek; a Greek tinged with the Hebrew idiom. This is only conjecture; which I do not propose as any sure method of accounting for this difficulty; but as a probable means of shewing that this, or perhaps other circumstances unknown to us, may have occasioned a dissimilarity in this Apostle's language at so great a distance of time.
But no difference of style, will justify us in denying St. John to be the author of the Apocalypse. The Fathers of the Church, who first received this work, might probably know the causes of this apparent dissimilarity. They were satisfied : and on such a point it is vain for us to dissent from them. And, in truth, this difference of style between the Gospel of St. John and the Apocalypse, nearly considered, is far
Introduction to the N. T. ch. vii. sect. 10.
from being so much in its disfavour, as, at first view, we are apt to imagine, For it is such a style as St. John may have written, circumstances considered; but it is not such a style as an impostor, an imitator of St. John would have writ, ten, Such an one would have gone to the Gospel and Epistles for his model of imitation.
V. This observation may serve to introduce the fifth objection, which is stated by Lardner from Dionysius, and repeated by Michaelis *, ” That the Gospel of St. John is elegant Greek; but " that the Apocalypse abounds with barbarisms and “ solecisms.” For the same general answer may still be given, even if we admit the fact alleged, Various causes may have operated to produce this difference, many of them unknown to 'us, but known, perhaps, to the ancients of the se. cond century, who seem not to have objected to this dissimilarity. . More than a hundred years had elapsed, from the first reception of the book by the Church, before any such objec, tions appear to have been advanced against it.
But the attention of modern critics hąs tended greatly to lessen the force of this objection. For such irregularities, in point of Grammar, as are objected against the Apocalypse, are gbseryed also in the Septuagintt, and in other writings of the New Testament; and the Gospels and Epistles of Saint John are now so far from being accounted that perfect Greek, which * P. 529, 530.
+ See page 530.
Dionysius Dionysius represents them to he; that Blackwall (who in his Sacred Classics has attempted ta vindicate the Scriptures from the charge of being written in an impure and barbarous style) has found himself obliged to defend the Gospel and Epistles of this Apostle in more than forty passages, in some of which only he has suc: ceeded.
But such vindication of the Holy Scriptures is unnecessary; they must be allowed to speak a language of their own, “ not with the enticing
words of man's wisdom*.” They use, for the most part, an Asiatic Greek, plentifully mixed with Hebraisms. A pure Attic language would by no means give them greater credibility ; for in these days we should not admit the appeal of Mahomet, and conclude them divine, because elegantly composed.
Many of the expressions, which, upon this ground, have been objected to in the Apocalypse, have been shewn to convey the sublime meaning of the sacred inditer more forcibly and effectually, than a more exact and grammatical Greek p. Of this character is 700 wv, xal o nv, xal ó spojuevos ... which cannot be so corrected into
:* I Cor. . 4.
+ This is observed by Michaelis, (Introd. vol. i. part 1. chap. iv. sect. 3.) who says, " The very faults of grammar in the Aposi calypse are so happily placed as to produce an agreeable " effect.” Chap. j. 4.