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the bosom of Jesus."1
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 remain; 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.
A Biographical Chart of Writers in the early hristian Church, who appear to have afforded Evidence in favor of the Apocalypse.
The Dotted line marks the
year 97, when the Apocalypse was published. The lines under each Name show the years when the writers lived, to be measured upon the Scale below: When the birth or death of a Writer is uncertain that uncertainty is expressed by Dots, before or after the line .