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having flourished within the first century after the publication of the Apocalypse, is an important evidence in its favour.
TERTULLIAN wrote about the same time with Clement; but his long life extended farther into the next century. Michaelis allows his evidence for the Apocalypse as undoubted; and it is certainly valuable. He is the most ancient of the Latin Fathers, whose works have descended to our times. He quotes, or refers to, the Apocalypse, in above seventy passages of his writings; and he appeals to it expressly as the work of the Apostle John. He defends the authenticity of the book against the heretic Marcion and his followers, by asserting its external evidence. He appeals to the Asiatic Churches, and assures us, that “ though “ Marcion rejects it, yet the succession of Bishops, “ traced to its origin, will establish John to be its author *. In particular, it may be observed, that 'Tertullian has quoted Rev. i. 6,“ Quia sa“ cerdotes nos et Deo et patri fecit,” as a passage common in the mouths of the Laity of his time f. This frequent and popular appeal to the Apocalypse, shews it to be a book much read, and generally receivede in the African Churches of the second century. .
* Habemụs et Johannis alumnas ecclesias : nain etsi A pocalypsin ejus Marcion respuit, ordo tamen episcoporum, ad Originem recensus, in Johannem stabit auctorem. Adv. Marcion, lib. iv. c. 5. + Tertull. de Monog, cap. 12.
We are now returned again to the times of Irenæus, whose single testimony appeared to have such deserved influence in settling the question before us *. But the retrospect, which we have been able to take of the writers who preceded him, has added great weight to the evidence. For testimonies have been drawn abundantly from every generation of writers, through the first century after the Apocalypse was published. They have been produced from almost all parts of the Christian world: from Asia, where it made its first appearance; from Syria ; from Italy; from Gaul; and from the Churches of Africa, where it seems to have had an universal reception, and a more than ordinary circulation. : I now present the reader with a sketch, drawn after the manner of Priestley's Biographical Chart, and those of Playfair's Chronology; by which he may see, in one view, the writers whose testimonies we have hitherto collected. He will hereby be enabled to estimate the force of that numerous, unbroken, concurring chain of evi. dence, which we have laid before him. Besides those writers already reviewed, he will see also, in the chart, the names of Hippolitus and Origen,
* In a passage of Michaelis, ch. xxvi. sect. 8. on the Epistle of Saint James, we collect the names of the ancient authors, whose testimony he esteems most decisive to the books of the New Testament. These are frenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen ; by all of whom we shall find the Apocalypse fully received as the writing of St. Jolin.
who belong more strictly to the next century; because in that century they chiefly wrote and flourished. But they lived also in this century. They are important evidences in favour of the Apocalypse. They carry on the testimony by a strong and regular concatenation to the middle of the third century after Christ; after which time, we can expect little or no accession of external evidence, concerning any inspired book.
The testimonies of Hippolitus, and of Origen, will be exhibited in a succeeding chapter.
THE EVIDENCE AGAINST THE APOCALYPSE
DURING ITS FIRST CENTURY; THE REJECTION OF IT BY MARCION AND BY THE A LOGI; THEIR OBJECTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO EXTERNAL EVIDENCE, EXAMINED.
Having reviewed the external evidence in favour of the Apocalypse, during the first century after its publication, it will be useful to pause, before we produce subsequent witnesses, and to afford opportunity of examining any testimonies of the same period, by which its authenticity and divine inspiration have been denied. The examination of this evidence will soon be dispatched. For, wonderful as it may appear, there is not one writer of the pure Primitive Church, no Father, no Ecclesiastical Author, who, during this period, seems to have ques. tioned its authenticity. Yet there was ground then for the same objections, which afterwards induced some persons to reject it in the third and fourth centuries. The Fathers, before the times of Caius and of Dionysius, could discover that the Apocalypse was obscure ; that it was to them no revelation ; that the Greek of it appeared different
from that of Saint John's Gospel ; but, notwithstanding these circumstances, which they were well qualified to appreciate, they received it with pious acquiescence as divine Scripture, communicated by the beloved Apostle; and they delivered it as such to the succeeding century.
Now, to what can we attribute this conduct, but to the powerful operation of that external evidence by which it was then supported ? The writers of the first part of this century had the opportunity of hearing from apostolical men, from “ those who had seen the face of John,” as Irenæus expresses it, to what author they ascribed the Apocalypse. In the latter part of the century, the tradition was still warm, depending upon the living testimony of those who had seen apostolical men; and an inquisitive author could satisfy himself, from the narration of others, upon what grounds of external evidence the book had been so universally received. It had been produced publicly into the world. It was to be found, not in the archives of one insignificant Church, but of the seven flourishing Churches of Asia; “ This thing was not done in a corner.” From the mode of its publication, it challenged observation, and defied detection. And we may suppose, that as none of the early Fathers objected to the evidence, all were satisfied. They received and transmitted to others those prophecies, which they themselves could not understand. Under these circumstances, we may be more