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even if he did exist, the notion that he wrote the Apocalypse is a fancy as void almost of probability as of historic basis. Surely the tone of authority and admonition which pervades the messages to the Asiatic churches is not well suited to the supposition that the author was an otherwise unknown presbyter. We are directed, rather, to an eminent leader, - a man of apostolic rank. There are, it is true, very noticeable differences between the Apocalypse and the Fourth Gospel. The former is more Hebraic in style and spirit, and less pure in its Greek. But these differences admit of a satisfactory explanation. An apocalyptic writing
. naturally rested, to a conspicuous degree, upon an OldTestament basis. A mind educated in Jewish lore could hardly fail, when essaying this peculiar species of composition, to draw largely from the imagery and phraseology of an Ezekiel, a Daniel, and a Zechariah. It is probable, also, that the Apocalypse was written considerably earlier than the Gospel. The testimony
to nothing but the words of Papias. These are as follows: “If at any time any one came who had been acquainted with the elders, I used to inquire about the discourses of the elders, – what Andrew or what Peter said (eimer), or what Thomas or James, or what John or Matthew, or any one of the disciples of the Lord; and what Aristion and John the Elder, the disciples of the Lord, say (Aéyovor). For I thought that the information derived from books would not be so profitable to me as that derived from a living and abiding utterance” (EUSEB., Hist. Eccl., iii. 39). On the sense of these words, F. W. Farrar gives these apt comments: “Now, certainly, if Papias had been a careful modern writer, we should have inferred from this passage that the John mentioned in the first clause was a different person from the John mentioned in the second. In the first, he says that it had been his habit to inquire from any who had known'the elders'- of whom he especially mentions seven apostles – what these elders' said; and also what Aristion and John the Elder, the disciples of the Lord, say. But, although this
of Irenæus is, indeed, against this assumption, since he states that John received his revelation near the end of Domitian's reign. So far as external evidence is concerned, there is nothing which fully offsets the declaration of Irenæus. Yet the external evidence is not wholly on his side. To say nothing of Epiphanius, who carries back the island exile of John to the reign of Claudius,2 a comparison of Tertullian and Jerome (the one of whom indicates that John was banished directly after being cast into boiling oil at Rome,3 and the other, according to a not improbable reading, that the latter event took place in the time of Nero *) gives color to the supposition that the early tradition did not wholly coincide with the view of Irenæus. We have a suggestion that the emperor, whom Clement of Alexandria and Origen, in their reference to the subject, call sim. ply the “tyrant,” was Nero rather than Domitian. If we turn to internal evidence, this suggestion becomes, according to the verdict of a large proportion of recent critics, well-nigh a certainty. Various items, such as the reference to the Jewish temple (xi. 1, 2), and the statements respecting the seven kings (xvii. 10), point to a time shortly prior to the year 70, when the Jewish capital was laid waste, and its sanctuary destroyed. It is concluded, therefore, that Irenæus, from some cause, misconceived the time of John's exile, and that the Apocalypse was written between the Neronian persecution and the fall of Jerusalem. Surely no era was more fitted to stir to an impassioned and prophetic outburst than this. Behind was the scene of Christian brethren cruelly tortured and slain ; before was the gathering cloud which threatened destruction to the holy city. In the former, heathen might wore an aspect of unmixed horror; in the latter, though it appeared as an instrument of deserved vengeance, it was not without a shuddering that its direful work upon the cherished shrine of the favored nation could be witnessed. It is no marvel, then, that a peculiar fervor burns through the Apocalypse ; it is no marvel, too, that it has somewhat more of a Jewish tinge than the Gospel. This feature is explained by the date and circumstances under which it was written, as well as by the models from which it took its coloring. If we suppose the Gospel to have been written near the close of John's life, after a long residence in a Greek city, in the calm spirit congenial to advanced years, we have at once an explanation of its purer Greek and its milder tone. Thus the main objections to a common authorship of the two works are cancelled, and we are justified in allowing full force to the real kinship between them. Both assign a superlative worth to the person of Christ, and make Him the Alpha and the Omega in the sphere of Christian thought; both render a profound tribute to the significance of His sacrifice, presenting Him as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Indeed, so marked is the relation between the two writings that sceptical criticism itself has been impelled to the concession that the Gospel, so to speak, renews the Apocalypse in a spiritualized and transfigured form. 1
would be the natural inference, it is by no means the certain inference. The antithesis may be between the past and present tense ('said' and say'), and not between two sources of original information. There is nothing to forbid the explanation, that, when Papias met any one who had known the immediate apostles and disciples of the Lord,-St. John among them,- he made notes of what (according to his informant) these elders said; but, in writing this clause, he remembers, that, at the time when he was making his notes, two of the immediate disciples of the Lord were not dead, but living; namely, Aristion, to whom, since he was not an apostle, he does not give the direct title of elder,' and John, whom he identifies with those whom he has mentioned in the first clause by calling him, as he called them, the elder."" (Early Days of Christianity, Excursus xiv.) i Cont. Hær., v. 30. 3.
2 Hær., li. 12. 3 De Præscrip., xxxvi.
4 Cont. Jovin., i. 26.
The obscurity which rests upon the other apostles is not to be taken as a measure of their labors or usefulness. Though their deeds are without any certain memorial in the volume of human history, we may well believe that they make a luminous record in a larger and more impartial volume. They probably declared the gospel message in Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and the adjacent countries. Tradition has its account of the labors and the fate of each; but in some cases it lacks consistency, and in general affords but little ground of assurance. We only know that light arose upon broad regions; the illuminating orbs and their movements are hidden from our view.
IV, -CHARISMS OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.
A new era in the kingdom of God is wont to be ushered in with new manifestations of divine agency. To the theophanies of the patriarchal age succeeded the miracles of the Mosaic age. At the bloom period of the Jewish monarchy, the spirit of wisdom expressed itself in psalm and proverb; at the decline of the monarchy, in the serious and sublime utterances of Messianic prophecy. Naturally, therefore, Christianity came with peculiar tokens of an extraordinary divine working.
1 Baur, Kirchengeschichte, vol. i., p. 147.
Paul's discourse upon the subject (1 Cor. xii., xiii.) indicates, that, from the apostolic stand-point, for every department of Christian activity there were corresponding charisms or gifts of the Spirit. Some of these pertained especially to worship, others to the office of teaching, others to that of administration. Some appear more as a simple strengthening and sanctifying of a natural capacity, others as an unmistakable and striking exhibition of divine power.
Doubtless the charism most unique and characteristic of the age was the gift of tongues. This may be defined with sufficient assurance as utterance in a condition of religious ecstasy. The recipient of the gift, moved by an extraordinary afflatus, rapt up into a state of partial unconsciousness as to outward surroun ings, in the transport of devotion and joy which filled him, found vent to his emotions in unusual forms of expression, — possibly in snatches of a language which he could not speak in an ordinary condition, but whose latent impression upon his mind could be raised to the sphere of actual mental operation under peculiar excitation ; possibly at times in sounds whose sense was indicated on somewhat the same principle as enables music to be an image of thought and feeling, the key being not so much in any distinct vocabulary as in tones and modulations. The principal use of the charism seems to have been that of an attestation in behalf of Christianity or of a Christian believer. Stopping with the account of Pentecost, we might indeed come to a