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lay upon His breast, himself published the gospel when he resided in Ephesus of Asia.” But the most remarkable testimony, and one which will come before us again and again during the course of this Introduce tion, is in a passage, where, having given certain reasons for the number of Antichrist's name being 666, he proceeds, “ Now this being so, and this number being found in all the good and ancient copies, and being testified to by those very men who have seen John face to face .....' Then after some remarks, and stating two names current as suiting the number, he concludes, “We indeed do not venture positively to demonstrate concerning the name of Antichrist. For if it had been fitting for his name to be openly revealed to this age, it would have been declared by him who saw the Apocalypse. For it was seen not long ago, but close upon our own generation, near the end of the reign of Domitian."

This is beyond question the most important evidence which has yet come before us. And we may observe that it is in no way affected by any opinion which we may have formed respecting Irenæus's merits as an expositor, nor by any of his peculiar opinions. He here merely asserts what, if he were a man of ordinary power of collecting and retaining facts, he must very well have known for certain.

8. Keeping at present to the direct witnesses for the authorship by St. John, we next come to Tertullian (died about 220). His testimonies are many and decisive.

“For also the Apostle John in the Apocalypse describes a sword proceeding out of the mouth of our Lord :” and again, “ This (celestial city) Ezekiel was acquainted with, and the Apostle John saw.” And similarly in six other places.

9. The fragment on the Canon called by the name of Muratori, and written about 200, says, “ And John in the Apocalypse, though he writes to seven churches, yet speaks to all ...., " where the context shews that the Apostle John must be intended.

10. Hippolytus, bishop of Ostia (Porto), about 240, in his writings very frequently quotes the Apocalypse, and almost always with the words,

John says.” Whom he meant by John is evident from one passage : “Tell me, blessed John, Apostle and Disciple of the Lord, what thou sawest and heardest concerning Babylon.” And then he proceeds to quote ch. xvii. 1—18. Multitudes of other citations also occur. And one of his principal works, as specified in the catalogue found inscribed on his statue, was a defence of the Gospel and Apocalypse of John: men. tioned also by Jerome.

11. Clement of Alexandria (about 200) says of the faithful presbyter, “ Their presbyter .... shall sit on the twenty-and-four thrones, as John says in the Apocalypse.” And elsewhere he fixes this name as meaning the Apostle, by saying, “Hear a story,--not a story but a true history,

." and

delivered down respecting the Apostle John .... for when at the death of the tyrant he moved from the island Patmos to Ephesus .. then he proceeds to tell the well-known story of St. John and the young robber.

12. Origen, the scholar of Clement (died about 233), who so diligently enquired into and reported any doubts or disputes about the canonicity and genuineness of the books of the New Test., appears not to have known of any which regarded the Apocalypse. He says, “Why should we speak of him who lay on the breast of Jesus, namely John, who has left us one Gospel, and confesses that he might have made so many, that the world could not hold them ? He wrote also the Apocalypse, and was ordered to be silent and not to write the voices of the seven thunders.”

We have also this remarkable testimony of his : “ And the sons of Zebedee were baptized with the baptism : for Herod killed James the brother of John with the sword: and the king of the Romans, as tradition teaches us, condemned John, a martyr for the word of the truth, to the island of Patmos, and John tells us about his martyrdom, not saying who condemned him, declaring in his Apocalypse thus, 'I John,' &c. (Rev. i. 9), and what follows. He seems to have seen the Apocalypse in this island."

And Origen again repeatedly cites the Apocalypse without the least indication of doubt as to its author. His procedure in this case forms a striking contrast to that in the case of the Epistle to the Hebrews : see this Introduction, ch. xv. & i. 16–23.

13. Still keeping to those Fathers who give definite testimony as to the authorship, we come to Victorinus, bishop of Pettau in Pannonia, who suffered martyrdom under Diocletian in 303. His is the earliest extant commentary on the Apocalypse. On ch. x. 4, he says that “John, himself an Apostle, was forbidden, when he was going to write what the seven thunders had said."

And afterwards, on the words “thou must prophesy again," he says, • When John saw this, he was in the island Patmos, condemned to the mines by the Emperor Domitian. There he saw the Apocalypse: and when he in his old age expected to receive his entrance (to glory) by martyrdom, Domitian was slain and all his decrees were abrogated, and John being set free from the mines, thus afterwards delivered down the Apocalypse which he had received."

14. Ephrem Syrus (died about 378), the greatest Father in the Syrian church, repeatedly in his numerous writings cites the Apocalypse as canonical, and ascribes it to John. In the Greek translation of his works, we read in the second Homily on the Second Advent of the Lord, we hear the Apostle saying," and then he quotes Rev. xxi. 4, 5. Now these citations are the more remarkable, because the old Syriac



or Peschito version does not contain the Apocalypse: as neither indeed apparently did the later or Philoxenian version originally, nor its republication by Thomas of Charkel. It may fairly be asked then, How came Ephrem by his Syriac version of the Apocalypse (for he seems not to have been acquainted with Greek)? And, How came the Peschito to want the Apocalypse, if it was held to be written by the Apostle ?

15. It would exceed the limits of this Introduction to enter into the answers to these questions, which have been variously given : by Hug and Thiersch, that the Peschito originally contained the book, and that it only became excluded in the fourth century through the influence of the schools of Antioch and Nisibis : by Walton and Wichel. haus, that the Peschito was made in the first century, when as yet the Apocalypse had not won its way among the canonical books : by Hengstenberg, that the Peschito was not made till the end of the third century, after the objections against the apostolicity of the book had been raised by Dionysius of Alexandria ..

16. These answers are all discussed by Lücke, and severally rejected. His own solution is by no means satisfactory as to the former of the two questions,--how Ephrem came by his Syriac version. The latter he answers by postponing the date of the reception of the Apocalypse into the canon till after the publication of the Peschito, i. e. as now generally acknowledged, the end of the second century.

17. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus at the end of the fourth century, cites the Apocalypse as written by the Apostle. In combating the Alogi, who rejected the gospel of John and the Apocalypse, he speaks much and warmly of that book, and says among other things, "The holy Prophets and the holy Apostles, among whom the holy John, by his Gospel and his Epistles and his Apocalypse, imparted of the same holy gift of grace:" and having cited 1 Cor. xv. 52, he proceeds, “Since then the Apostle agrees with the holy Apostle John in the Apocalypse, what controversy is left ?”

18. Basil the Great (died 378) says, “That which was spoken to you by the Holy Spirit through the blessed John, “In the beginning was the Word, &c.,' and afterwards, the Evangelist himself shews us the meaning of this was in another work, saying 'He that is and was and the Almighty,' ?" Rev. i. 8.

19. Hilary of Poictiers (died 368) says, “ Thus we are taught by the Apocalypse of blessed John : ‘And to the angel of the church of Philadel. phia write.'” And similarly in two other places.

20. Athanasius (died 373) cites John i. 1, and then says, “And in the Apocalypse he says thus, 'He that is, and was, and is to come.'”

See below, par. 47.

21. Gregory of Nyssa, brother of Basil the Great (died 395), cites Rev. ii. 15, as said by the Evangelist John.

22. Didymus (died 394) says, “And in the Apocalypse John (the writer of the Epistle, from the context) is often called a prophet."

23. Ambrose (died 397) constantly cites the Apocalypse as the work of the Apostle John.

24. Augustine (died 430) uses every where the Apocalypse as a genuine production of the Apostle and Evangelist John.

25. Jerome (died 420) speaks of the Apostle John as also being a prophet, “ for he saw in the island Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian, on account of his testimony to the Lord, the Apocalypse, containing infinite mysteries of future things."

We shall have to adduce Jerome again in treating of the canonicity. And now that we have arrived at the beginning of the fifth century, the latter question becomes historically the more important of the two, and indeed the two are henceforth hardly capable of being treated apart.

26. Before we pass to the testimonies against the authorship by the Apostle and Evangelist St. John, let us briefly review the course of evidence which we have adduced in its favour. It will be very

instructive to compare its character with that of the evidence for the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, as collected in the Introduction to that Epistle.

27. There we found that, while there prevailed in the great majority of the more ancient Fathers a habit, when they are speaking loosely, or ad populum, of citing the Epistle as the work of St. Paul,-on the one hand, all attempts fail to discover any general ecclesiastical tradition to this effect: and on the other, the greatest and ablest of these writers themselves, when speaking guardedly, throw doubt on the Pauline authorship, while some of them set it aside altogether. In course of time, we there also found, the habit of citing the Epistle as St. Paul's became more general: then sprung up assertion, more and more strong, that it veritably was his : till at last it was made an article of faith to believe it to be so. So that the history of opinion in that case may be described as the gradual growing up of a belief which was entirely void of general reception in the ancient church,

28. We are not yet prepared to enter on the whole of the corresponding history of opinion in this case : but as far as we have gone, it may be described as the very converse of the other. The apostolic authorship rests on the firmest traditional ground. We have it assured to us by one who had companied with men that had known St. John himself: we have it held in continuous succession by Fathers in all parts of the church. Nowhere, in primitive times, does there appear any counter tradition on the subject. We have nothing corresponding


x 2

to the plain testimonies, of Tertullian in favour of Barnabas, or of Origen that there was an account come down that Clement of Rome or St. Luke had written the Epistle. In subsequent paragraphs we shall see how variation of opinion was first introduced, and why.

29. But before doing so, it will be well to complete this portion of our enquiry, by mentioning those early writings and Fathers which, though they do not expressly state who was the author of the book, yet cite it as canonical, or at all events shew that they were acquainted with and approved it.

30. Among these the very earliest have been matter of considerable question. The supposed allusions in Polycarp, for instance, though strongly maintained by Hengstenberg, are really so faint and distant, that none but an advocate would ever have perceived them .

31. The passages which Hengstenberg brings from the Epistle of the Church of Smyrna on the martyrdom of Polycarp, are even more uncertain and far-fetched. Such advocacy is much to be lamented: it tends to weaken instead of strengthening the real evidence.

32. But the next testimony produced is however of a very different kind. It is that of Papias, of whom Irenæus, in adducing the traditional words of our Lord respecting the millennial abundance of the earth, says, “These things Papias, having been a hearer of John, and companion of Polycarp, an ancient man, testifies in writing in the fourth of his books; for there are five compiled by him.” It is well known that Eusebius attempts to set aside this hearer of John by citing from Papias himself his assertion that he set down in his work what he had heard as the sayings of the Apostles, naming St. John among them. But there is nothing to prevent his having united both characters,—that of a hearer, and that of a collector of sayings: and Irenæus, the scholar of Polycarp, is hardly likely to have been mistaken on such a point. Now regarding Papias as a witness for the Apocalypse, we have a note of Andreas, of Cappadocia, at the end of the fifth century, at the beginning of the commentaries on the Apocalypse : “ Concerning the inspiration of the book we think it superfluous to enlarge, when the blessed men, Gregory the Theologian and Cyril, and besides, the more ancient men, Papias, Irenæus, Methodius, and Hippolytus, have given credible testimony to it; from whom we also, having taken many proofs, have arrived at the same conclusion, as we have set forth in certain places.” And accordingly, on Rev. xii. 7-9, he expressly cites Papias's work.

33. There seems to be ample proof here that Papias did maintain, as from what we otherwise know we should expect, the inspiration, i. e. the canonicity of the book. All that has been argued on the other side seems to me to fail to obviate the fact, or to weaken the great import

See them discussed in the corresponding place in my Greek Test.

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