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his unrighteous purposes, rejected, or mutilated other books of sacred Scripture.
It was rejected also by a sect who obtained the name of Alogi, because they rejected also the Gospel of St. John ; but not from any supposed failure of its external evidence, but on account of the Logos, or Eternal Word, revealed to us in both of these sacred books.?
The arguments used by these heretics to invalidate the claims of the Apocalypse, were current in the times of Hippolitus and Origen, the two remaining witnesses now to be produced, and who will complete an invincible phalanx of external evidence. We shall see what influence they had on the minds of these able divines.3
Hippolitus flourished early in the third century, and probably lived and taught during a considerable part of the second ; for he was an instructor of Origen, who was set over the catechetical school in Alexandria in the year 202. He had been the disciple of Irenæus, and probably was a Greek by birth, for he wrote in Greek, and in the eastern parts of the Greek colonies his writings were long held in the highest esteem. He is in all respects as perfect a witness, as the times in which he lived could
produce. He received the Apocalypse as the work of St. John, the apostle and disciple of the Lord. Michaelis admits his evidence, and attributes to his in
1 Tertullian adv. Marcion. Irenæus adv. Hær. Epiphanius, Hær. 42. Origen. cont. Celsum, ii. 27.
2 An objection to the Apocalypse by these Alogi is attempted to be maintained by Michaelis; the reader, who may wish to see it, is referred to the Dissertation, with the answer to it, which is believed to be satisfactory.
3 These arguments rest on internal evidence, and will be examined in particular under that head.
4 See the testimonies collected by Lardner, who says, that the testimony of Hippolitus is so clear in this respect, that no question can be made about it. Cred. G. H. art. Hippolitus.
fuence and writings much support of the Apocalypse. He defended this sacred book from the injurious notions which had been started against it in his days. He endeavoured to explain some parts of it, and to take away a popular objection, by rendering it less obscure. Michaelis is inclined to believe that he left two works on this subject. He says nothing which can tend to invalidate the evidence of Hippolitus, but much to confirm it.
ORIGEN was born in the year 184 or 185, and lived to his 70th year. Of all the ancient Fathers, he is generally allowed to be the most acute, diligent, and learned ; and he applied these superior qualifications to the study of the Holy Scriptures. He studied them critically, with all that investigation of their evidences, of the authenticity of the books and of the text, which now form a voluminous part of theological inquiry. He was in a great degree the father of biblical learning. He could not be ignorant of the objections urged by Caius and others against the Apocalypse ; and he might be inclined to allow some weight to the popular objection, that it encouraged the Millenarians; for Origen was a decided Anti-millenarian. He appears likewise to have felt the full force of another of their objections : he acknowledged, and was distressed by, the dark veil which appeared to “
peared to “envelope the unspeakable mysteries of the Apocalypse.” 3 But these objections did not induce him to reject the book, or to speak doubtfully of it. He quotes it frequently as “the work of the apostle John, of the author of the Gospel of John, of him who leaned on
1 P. 478, 479.
? What remains of Hippolitus of this kind is to be seen chiefly in the Commentary of Andreas Cæsariensis on the Apocalypse, who professes to have followed him.
3 See a fragment of Origen, preserved in his works, and quoted by Lardner. Art. Origen.
the bosom of Jesus.”? But to what shall we ascribe this decisive conclusion of Origen, so hostile to his own prepossessions ? To what, but the irresistible weight of external evidence which existed in his time? No one, who has taken into consideration this evidence, (even as it now appears to us,) and the superior advantages and qualifications of this learned and inquisitive father to judge of it, can ascribe his perfect testimony to any other cause. And every candid person must be surprised and sorry at the cavilling questions of Michaelis, by which he endeavours to represent the well-considered and respectable evidence of Origen, as depending solely on the authority of his master Hippolitus; or (which is still more extraordinary) to be the result of that duplicity, which he attributes (unjustly, as we shall endeavour to prove in its proper place) to Dionysius, the disciple of Origen.
But from other passages in Michaelis's work, it appears, that he felt the force of Origen's testimony respecting the Apocalypse; for he acknowledges it to be “ greatly in its favour.”? And so it will re
3 main; for the counterpoise to it, suggested by him, as arising from the silence- of Papias, has been shown to have very little weight.
The reader is now requested to peruse the annexed sketch, drawn after the manner of Priestley's biographical chart, and those in Playfair's Chronology; by which he will see, in one view, the writers whose testimonies we have collected. He will hereby be enabled better to estimate the force of that numerous, unbroken, concurring chain of evidence, whose links we have laid before him. The
1 Euseb. H. E. lib. vi. c. 25. Origen. Hom. in lib. Jer. Com. in Joh. p. 14. Com. in Matt. p. 417. Cont. Cels. lib. vi.
2 P. 480. 3 P. 486.
Evidence in favor of the e Apocalypse.
The Dotted line marks the year 97, when the..
. published. The lines undei sach Pame show the years when the writers lived, to be measured upon the scale below: When the birth or denth of a Writer is uncertain that uncertuinty is arpropsed byDots
, before or after the line.