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19.) but they are not his own ideas from which he writes; he relates simply, and with little or no comment of his own, the heavenly visions which he had seen. Even in those parts of the book, where we should most reasonably expect to meet with the sentiments of the writer, we perceive his mind teeming (as, indeed, was natural) with the newly-acquired images. He uses such at the very outset of his work, even in the Epistoláry Address, which is full of those images which had been exhibited to him in the visions. The same are again seen at the close of the book. And, indeed, it is difficult to find many passages
wherein the writer has recourse to his own sentiments, and previous store of imagery.
The whole of the second and of the third chapter, and a great part of the first, is delivered in our Lord's own words, and therefore contains his sentiments, his doctrines, not those of the writer, who is commanded to write down the very words of the great Visitor of the Church. We have, indeed, other words of our Lord, related by St. John in the Gospel, with which it may be thought that these words in the Apocalypse may be properly compared. Yet they do not seem to admit this comparison : because the character and office which our Lord is seen to assume in the Apocalypse, is different from that which he bore in the Gospel. He is now no longer the Son of Man, upon earth, the condescending companion and instructor of his
disciples; but the glorified King of Heaven, the Omniscient Visitor of the Churches, the Omnipotent Judge of mankind. And, in the remaining parts of the book, what does the writer present to us ? Not his own ideas and conceptions; but “ the things which shall be “ hereafter,” the symbols and figurative resemblances of future events shewn to him in heaven; and when he uses explanatory speech, it is in the words of his heavenly conductors. One of the few passages in which the author of the Apocalypse seems to have written from his own previous conceptions is, perhaps, ch. i. verse 7. The sentiments and images which he employs, before he arrives at this passage, may all be traced to the apocalyptical source: they are derived from the sublime visions which he had so lately seen.
With them his mind was filled ; with them even his salutation to the brethren abounds. But here he seems to speak from his former store of Christian imagery. And, so speaking, it is remarkable that he is led to quote from Zech, xii. 10. and in the very manner which has been observed, by Michaelis and other critics, to be peculiar to Saint John. Michaelis has noted the peculiar circumstances which attend this quotation, and he has allowed to them considerable weight* ; but he was not aware that this is one of very few passages which can
See his note, p. 535.
fairly and properly be compared with the former writings of Saint John, so as to deduce evidence whether that Apostle were the author. In almost every other part of the book, it will be apparent to an accurate observer, that the writer draws not his sentiments and imagery from his own stores, but from the new and surprising scenes which he had been permitted to behold in heaven.
But although, from the causes now assigned, we may think it improper to look for any nice resemblance in sentiments and ideas, between the Apocalypse and other writings of Saint John ; yet some similarity, in the mode and character of narration, may, perhaps, be reasonably expected. And this kind of similarity will be seen and acknowledged in the plain, unadorned simplicity, with which the Apocalypse, and all other productions of St. John, appear to be written. There is, at the same time, a difference, which seems to consist chiefly in that circumstance which Jortin has pointed out* ; that “ the Apo
calypse, like the Septuagint, follows the He“ brew phraseology, using copulatives continu
ally f, whereas the Gospel, instead of xal, uses “ds, or 8v, or is written aourdelws.” Such is, indeed, the principal difference of style to be observed in comparing the Gospel with the Apocalypse: but the attentive reader may perceive
* Disc. on Christian Rel. + Και είπεν ο Οφις και, &c.
some passages in the Gospel, where the copulative noe is used almost as profusely as in the Apocalypse. They are those passages wherein the mind of the writer appears charged with sublime or surprising ideas, following upon each other in a rapid succession. He then pours them forth, one after another, coupled only by the conjunction nau. The same may be observed of the other Evangelists, and more frequently than of St. John. When these sacred writers relate wonderful events, following in quick succession, they continually repeat the copulative res. But it will be sufficient to produce instances from St. Johu. In his fifth chapter, this Evangelist describes the situation of a poor cripple, who for thirty-eight years had been expecting a cure from the waters of Bethesda. The circumstances are related calmly, and without any extraordinary use of the copulative xax, till we come to verse ninth ; when, the cure having been propounced by our Lord, the surprizing events immediately follow in rapid succession; and the copulative is incessantly employed. Και ευθεως εγενέλο υγιης και ανθρωπος, και ηρε τον κραββάθον αυτ8, και περιπάει. Thus also at the raising of Lazarus, all proceeds calmly, and without the copulatives, until the great event; but this is narrated, (ver. 44,) with
* και, και, και This copulative style then ap
* Other instances may be seen in ch. i. 8-14-20. ii. 1316. xiii. 21. xix. 1, 2, 3, 18. xx. 11, 14.
pears to be used by the Evangelists, and even by St. John, to express events wonderful and surprizing, and rapidly following each other, But the Apocalypse contains a continual succession of such events; the copulative language therefore, continually used therein, may yet be the language of St. John.
But whatever weight may be allowed to these observations, still there are many reasons which should deter us from forming any hasty conclusion, by comparison of style and manner, that the Apocalypse was not written by the writer of the Gospel. The history of its first publication is unkrotvn to us; it may have been written originally in Hebrew, and then the Greek translation would naturally retain much colouring of the Hebrew style; or the language, in which our Lord and his angels addressed Saint John in the visions, might be Hebrew*; and then his Greek, being a direct translation, may be expected to preserve the Eastern idiom, for he would probably translate closely, to preserve (as he is ordered) the words delivered to him. In short, many circumstances may have happened to occasion a difference of style, of which we are now ignorant. But of this at least we are assured, that a considerable lapse of time had taken place, between the writing of the Gospel
* Our Lord, appearing to St. Paul, addressed him in the Hebrew tongue, (Acts xxvi. 14.) probably the Syro-Chaldaic Hebrew then in use with the Jews.