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try; with an equal degree of malignity and of impolicy, they incited foreign despots to the invasion and plunder of the French territories; with an ill-directed industry they scattered over all the European countries narratives of çvents, often fabricated, always unfaithful : whilst others, of a bolder cast, with the torch and the sword in their. hands, passed the limits of the French frontier, and perpetrating crimes at which humanity must recoil, labored, as far as depended on their efforts, to realize the threats of a manifesto, which tyranny had recently written in charac, ters of blood, as an authentic, undisguised memorial of its genuine feelings and its genuine desires. Change of fortune has operated little change on their dispositions. Mr. Chris. tie, speaking of the emigrant princes and their adherents in Germany,' says, “ Observe what kind of life they led there. Exposed to the greatest dangers, and to the chance of losing all that was dear to them in life, they were unable to forget the dissipation of the ancient court; they revived in exile all its follies and all its vices. Coblentz became a miniature of Versailles; and the men who had their character, their fortune, their life itself at stake, were occupied, just as they used to be at the old court, in intrigues, and quarrelling about mistresses".'
That persons of such a character should incur the most signal judgments of heaven needs not to excite any suprise. Upon their heads the vials of the divine wrath might be expected to be poured with an unsparing hand. But all the emigrants correspond not with this description; and some have been reserved for a milder destiny. Many preserved themselves untarnished by the conspiracy at Cobą lentz ; and, flying to a country at that time neutral, by the liberality of a 'generous nation have had their sufferings softened. But even of this class of emigrants, not a few have indulged the vainest expectations. That the new republican constitution, however strongly it may be ratified by the convention and by the people, will prove a fabric
11 Letters from France, vol. IV. p. 258.
airy and unsubstantial, they have been little disposed to doubt. Though in the moment of divesting their sentimeňts of disguise, some of them may have admitted, that it resembles the spreading arch, which sometimes decorates the sky, in beauty, in regularity, and in the amplitude of the scale on which it is constructed ; yet have they been of opinion, that the principal point of similitude is its transitory nature, and the short extent of time which it is destined to exist. When the political horizon of France was overcast with clouds, too many of them were ready to flatter themselves with the hope, that the storm, after desolating the extreme borders of the country, would take a general sweep; and, whilst it discharged itself with a fury which admitted îot of resistance, that the splendid illusion of a representative government, whatever brilliancy it might have acquired from the concentration of the scattered rays of legislative wisdom, and however generally it might have been viewed with an admiring eye, would at length vanish amid the thunder of war and the gloom of despotism.
But surely those of them, who have cherished expectations to this extent, and have been eager to purchase a return to their country by its sacrifice to the despotism of the old monarchy, have afforded no very favorable proof of the goodness either of their judgments or of their hearts.
HAPPY in an opportunity of endeavouring to serve the cause, and to confirm the evidences, of Revelation, and desirous of obviating some of those prejudices, which might otherwise be entertained against the validity of any conclusions grounded upon the Apocalypse ; in this and the succeeding chapter I shall introduce a number of extracts and observations relative to it; and particularly to its GÊNUINENESS,
and its OBSCURITY:
Its name bespeaks its importance. It is called the Apocalypse', says Vitringa, “because it not only describes, by the noblest symbols, the remarkable events of the world and of the church in succession, from the time of Trajan even to the consummation of all things; but it likewise serves as the seal and the key of all the prophecies of the Old Testament, which more obscurely treat concerning these same transactions.' Lofty also is the general title prefixed to it. THE REVELATION OF Jesus Christ, which GOD GAVE UNTO HIM.
With regard to its genuineness, authorities more respectable than those of Newton and of Mede cannot be cited. It is the declaration of the latter, that the Apocalypse hath MORE HUMAN (not to speak of divine) AUTHORITY than any other book of the New TESTAMENT besides, even from the time it was delivered”. This opinion Sir Isaac Newton supports at greater length. “I do not,' says he, • find any other book of the New Testament so stRONGLY ATTESTED, OR COMMENTED UPON SO EARLY AS THIS. Justin Martyr, who within thirty years after John's death became a Christian, writes expressly, that “ a certain man among the Christians, whose name was John, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, in the Revelation which was shewed him, prophesied,” &c. and what this primitive father afterwards says relative to the Millennium, does, says Sir I. Newton, åmount to this, that all true Christians in that early age received this prophecy.—Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, a man of the apostolic age, and one of John's own disciples, did not only teach the doctrine of the Thousand Years, but also asserted the Apocalypse as written by divine inspiration. Melito, who flourished next after Justin, wrote a commentary upon this prophecy; and he, þeing bishop of Sardis, one of the seven churches, could neither be ignorant of their tradition about it, nor impose upon them. Irenæus, who was contemporary with
1 From aroxaduriw, to open or uncover. 2 Vol. II. p. 747.
Melito, wrote much upon it, and said, that “ the number 666 was in all the Ancient and approved copies; and that he had it also confirmed to him by those who had seen John face to face3 ;” meaning, no doubt, his master Polycarp for
At the same time, Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, asserted it, and so did Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Origen soon after; and their contemporary Hippolytus the martyr, metropolitan of the Arabians, wrote a commentary upon it. All these were ancient men, flourishing within a hundred and twenty years after John's death, and of the greatest note in the churches of those times.' •Surely adds Sir I. Newton, this may suffice to shew, how the Apocalypse was received and studied in the first ages.'
Among other primitive commentators on this sacred book was Andrew, bishop of Cesarea, who is supposed to have lived about the close of the fifth century. I now quote from the preface of this ancient work, as translated by Dr. Lardner. He says, “ he needs not to enlarge in proving the inspiration of this book, since many ancients böre testimony to its authority.” Some of the principal of these the bishop of Cesarea enumeratess.
Dr. Lardner, speaking of the Apocalypse; says; ' Hermas has MANY things resembling it.' The resemblance indeed is so strong that he appears plainly to have imitated its. Now the antiquity of the book; called the Shepherd or Pastor of Hermas is,' says Dr. Lardner, ' manifest and unquestionable. We cannot; I think, place this piece later than the conclusion of the first century,' and accordingly
3 Dr. Cressener, speaking of this testimony of Irenæus, says, “there can hardly be given a more unquestionable, or more particular testimony concerning the true author of any book at any distance from the time it was wrote in, than this is. Here is a particular search after all the copies of it, soon after the writing of it, with the concurrent testimony of those who knew the author himself. Dem. the Pr. Appl. of the Apoc. Introd.
4 P. 247.
he assigns it to the year 100. With respect to the visions of the Revelation, these, says this valuable writer, and the publication of them in this book, must be assigned, as far as I can see, to the years of Christ 95 and 96, or 971.' Thus then does it appear, that there is happily preserved a testimony to the genuineness of the Apocalypse, written only four or five years after that sacred prophecy itself was published.
It is a remarkable circumstance,' says bishop Hallifax, and what perhaps distinguishes the Apocalypse from every other portion of the New Testament, that it was unanimously received as the work of John the Evangelist, by those who lived nearest the time of its publication, without a single person appearing to question its authoritys
• That St. John was banished into Patmos, in the time of Domitian, in the latter part of his reign, and restored by his successor Nerva, is,' says Dr. Lardner, the general testimony of ancient authors.-But this book could not be published till after St. John's release and return to Ephesus in Asia. Now Domitian died in 96, and his persecution did not commence till near the end of his reign.'
• Concerning his abode in Asia, we have,' says Dr. Lardner, divers testimonies of good credit.' Among others, he mentions Irenæus and Polycrates. Irenæus', in two places of his work against heresies, both cited by Eusebius, says, that John the apostle lived in Asia till the time of Trajan, who succeeded Nerva in the year of Christ 98. --Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, about 196, is an unexceptionable witness, that John was buried in that cityto.
• St. John the apostle,' I am now quoting from Leonard Twelis, ' was a Jew by birth, and though he had the gift
7 Lardner, vol. VI. p. 638. The Revelation is placed in the year 96 bý Mill and Basnage, by Whiston and Le Clere.
8 P. 197. 9 Iren. adv. Här. I. 2. c. 22 ; et l. 3. c. 3. Irenæus, according to the computation of Dodwell, was born as early as the year 97. Diss. Irene. 3. sect. 4.
10 Lardner's Works, vol. VI. p. 169, 633.