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I have now, therefore, only to note and answer those observations and arguments of Less, which his learned follower did not produce.
In page 143, Dr. Less objects to the Evidence of Theophilus of Antioch in favour of the Apocalypse, because the work of this Father against Hermogenes, in which he is said to have quoted from this Book of Scripture, is no longer extant.
Answer.—But what scholar will hesitate a moment to admit, that Theophilus received the Apocalypse as of Divine authority, when he reads in Eusebius *, that in his time that work of Theophilus was extant, in which he had used proofs, or testimonies of Scripture, taken from the Apocalypse ? Dr. Less himself has very properly supported the authenticity of the other Scriptures by the evidences of writings, now lost, but reported by Eusebius : (ch. i. sect. 3:) and Michaelis says, that the Apocalypse was undoubtedly received by Theophilus, as the work of Saint Johnt.
In pages 186, 202, .objection is made to the Apocalypse, because the relator represents himself as in a trance during the exhibition of it.
Answer.-The expression, sysvojemu fy mreuoti, cannot properly be translated, “I was in a trance.” Was Jesus in a trance, when
ηγετο εν τω πνευματι, "he was led in the Spirit into the wilderness" or David when, ev TW TVEupati, “ he called Christ Lord *?"
* Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 24.
In page 197, the Author says ; How the Apocalypse was understood, after Christianity had ascended the imperial throne in the person of Constantine, is unknown.”
Answer.-Were not the commentaries on the Apocalypse by Andreas Cæsariensis, by Arethas, by Victorinus, by Primasius, written during the period which the author here describes, after the exaltation of Christianity, and before that of the papal tyranny? From the Fathers also of the fourth and fifth centuries, many quotations may be produced, shewing in what sense they understood passages of this prophecy.
page 201, he asserts “ tbis book to be entirely different from all the other writings, “ not only of the New Testament, but of the “ Old.”
Answer. Thus he contradicts what he had asserted in page 187, “ That many forcible ex“ hortations in this book are composed almost “ entirely from passages of the Old Tessament " and the Gospels.” But neither of these assertions will be found strictly true.
In page 205, he objects to “ the mysterious “ numbers, a time, times, and half, and the
frightful beasts and monsters," as being unscriptural.
Mark yiii. 19. Luke i. 80; ii. 27, 40.
Matt. xxii. 43. See also John iv. 23.
Answer.-Do we not read of the self-same numbers, and nearly the same beasts, in the Book of Daniel ?
In page 206, he represents the joy and triumph of the saints, upon the horrid punishment of their enemies, as irreconcileable with the charitable spirit of the Gospel.
Answer. It is the triumph of pure Religion over idolatrous superstition and tyranny, represented allegorically ; at which every true Christian must rejoice. In
page 207, he objects to the passages where the writer of the Apocalypse describes himself as prostrating himself before the Angel.A species of idolatry, of which, he says, no Jew, no Christian, much less Saint John, would have been guilty
Answer.-The objector seems here to contradict his former assertion, that the whole of the Apocalyptic vision was exbibited in a trance : but, setting aside this consideration, it will be seen, in the ensuing notes, that the conduct, wbich the writer of the vision attributes to himself on this occasion, was natural, and agreeing with his situation, and that this description, with its attendant caution and reproof, so far from encouraging angel-worship, has operated, as probably it was intended to do, most powerfully against it.
In page 208, he asserts that we are destitute of credible manuscripts of the Apocalypse, and of versions of high antiquity, and consequently possess but a very uncertain text.
Answer. It is true that the Apocalypse, on account of its mysterious nature, having been less studied than other books of Scripture, has also been less copied. Yet the manuscripts of it al, ready collected, appear to be no less than fortyfive. Of these, four are of high antiquity. The Codex Alexandrinus is one of these ; seven more seem by their description to be of distinguished value. In the carly fathers, are many and long quotations from this book. Michaelis, though he judged that the text of the Apocalypse was not so well ascertained as that of other Scriptural books, is far from repeating these extravagant assertions of Dr. Less. See Michaelis and Marsb, Introduction to New Testament, ch. viji. In
page 236, Dr. L. ably defends the authenticity of the Scriptures in general, by the proof of their being quoted by the early fathers; and cspecially by Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen.—But all these fathers have quoted the Apocalypse.
In pages 343, 344, he derives the safe transmission of the Gospel truths from St. John the Apostle, through Polycarp, Irenæus, and Origen, by a cotemporary succession.-- But have we not the very same safe transmission of the Apocalypse?
Page 214–227, Dr. Less's chief confidence in opposing the pretensions of the Apocalypse is derived from the authority of Dionysius of Alexandria.
Answer,--The arguments of this excellent father must be allowed all the weight to which they can possibly be entitled; and have already, I trust, been candidly considered. But the authority of Dionysius, on a subject of historical antiquity, cannot be placed in competition with that of his master Origen; much less with that of Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp, or of Justin Martyr, who was probably cotemporary with St. John. And Dr. Less himself was clearly of that opinion. For, in enumerating the fathers whose authority is essential to the testimony of Scriptural authenticity, he descends no lower than to Origen; the boasted Dionysius is excluded. Besides, if the authority of Dionysius were allowed, his τινες προ ημων cannot be understood to comprehend testimony of high antiquity.
On the whole, it is to be lamented, that these two able and learned Germans have so rashly incorporated into their valuable works of universal circulation, their prejudices against the authority of this well-authenticated book of the Sacred Canon. And it is to be wished, that the translators from the German language vould favour us with the most distinguished answers of the German writers to these objections ; with those of