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Michaelis has passed over in silonce the evin dence to be found in that valuable remnant of ecclesiastical antiquity, THE 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 passage, Ακέλεθων τω Αρνιω On8 av ümayn. 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,
* 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, would 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. y. 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 dirawaniw, 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.
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 written, is sufficiently apparent, from its being addressed “ to the Churches of Asia and “ Phrygia*." And there appears to have been another Epistle from the Martyrs themselves of these Churches, with the same address, but upon another ecclesiastical subject, written at the same time. These were not letters from individuals to individuals, but from societies to other ecclesiastical communities. The Gallic Churches give account to the Asiatic Churches, as colonies to their mother country. We may collect also from names, casually mentioned in this Epistle, that the Gallic Churches had among them Asiatic Greeks, men of the first rank and character, then teaching in Gaul, Attalus of Pergamus, (one of the Seven Churches,) and Alexander, a P hrygian. Pothinus appears to a be Greek namet;
90 years of age, when he suffered martyrdom, and therefore born ten years before the Apocalypse was published. But it appears, from the evidences now produced, that the Gallic churches believed it to be a book of divine authority. We may add too, that they believed the Asiatic Churches to have received this book into their canon, otherwise they would not have quoted from it in a letter addressed to them. Ire
* Laodicea, one of the seven Churches addressed in the Apo, palypse, was situated in Phrygia.
# The accurate historian Mosheim relates it as a fact that Pothinus came from Asia; and produces his authorities. Eccl. Hist, Cent. įi. part i. ch. iq
næus likewise the auditor of Polycarp, was a Presbyter of the Church at. Lyons at this time, and succeeded Pothinus in the bishoprick; and we have already made ourselves acquainted with his creed, respecting this book.
Thus there is strong reason for concluding, that these Gallic Churches held the same canon of Scripture with the Asiatic; and consequently, that the Asiatic Churches, to whom the Apocalypse appears to have been addressed, received it as divine Scripture, and with Irenæus, as the work of John the Apostle. This will be confirmed by the article which follows.
Melito, after some doubt and hesitation, is at last admitted by Michaelis, as a witness in favour of the Apocalypse; he is stated to have flourished about the year 170 *, and probably might be living at the time the Gallic Epistle was received by the Asiatic Churches; of one of which (of Sardis) he was Bishop f. He was a Bishop of the highest reputation in the Christian world, according to the testimonies of Polycrates I, of Tertullian g, of Eusebius.ll. He wrote upon the Apocalypses, and was esteemed, says Tertullian,
* Cave, Hist. Lit.
+ See what is said by Mr. Marsh on the subject of an Epistle being received at a place to which it was addressed, vol. 1, p. 368.
# Euseb. v. 24.
a Prophet a Prophet by many Christians; probably, because he had interpreted and applied the divine prophecies of this book, with some apparent success. His works are unfortunately lost.
THEOPHILUS, who was Bisliop of Antioch about 90 years after the publication of the Apocalypse, appears to have written upon, and to have quoted from it, as of divine authority, in his treatise against Hermogenes *. This treatise is not extant; but Lardner has produced one passage, from another work of his, in which he calls the Devil, " Satan, the Serpent, and the Dragon;" which seems taken from Rev. xii. 9t. Michaelis admits Theophilus among those who undoubtedly received the Apocalypse ...
APOLLONIUS is not mentioned by our author. But Eusebius, who speaks of him as a learned man, represents him also as supporting the Apocalypse, by testimonies taken from it §. He suffered martyrdom about the year 186||, and is a valuable addition to our evidence.
CLEMENS of ALEXANDRIA is admitted by Michaelis as an undoubted evidence for the Apocalypse. He has frequently quoted from it, and referred to it, as the work of an Apostle. Ho was an inquisitive, and well-informed writer, and
* Euseb. II. E. lib. iv, 24.