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lishing it, in their manner, with many additional fables.*
"When the time shall
come, then shall the power, the punishment, and the judgment take place, which the
This writer, in his aërial peregrinations, professes to have entered Paradise and seen the tree of life;" its leaf, its flowers, and its bark never withered, and its fruit was beautiful. Its fruit resembled the cluster of the palm......when all shall be punished and consumed for ever, this shall be bestowed on the righteous and humble. The fruit of this tree shall be given to the elect. For towards the north, life shall be planted in the holy place, towards the habitation of the everlasting King. The sweet odour shall enter into their bones, and they shall live a long life on the earth, as thy forefathers have lived, neither in their days shall sorrow, distress, trouble, and punishment afflict them.' He saw also the tree of knowledge, "it was like a species of tamarind tree, bearing fruit which resembled grapes, extremely fine, and its fragrance extended to a considerable distance."
He speaks of a future resurrection not to be prevented by any catastrophe or mutation to which the body may have been subjected. "And it shall be that those who have been destroyed in the desert, and who have been devoured by the fish of the sea, and by wild beasts, shall return and trust in the day of the Elect One; for none shall perish in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, nor shall any be capable of perishing" (cap. 60).
But in the meantime the souls of the dead are located in a sort of Hades, awaiting the great judgment; the souls of the righteous in a delightful place, the souls of the wicked in a place of chastisement; a great chasm of water with light above it separating the good from the evil. "I saw a great lofty mountain, a strong rock, and four delightful places; internally it was deep, capacious, and very smooth, as smooth as if it had been rolled over." Raphael tells him that "these were the delightful places where the spirits, the souls of the dead, will be collected; for them were they formed; and here will be collected all the souls of the sons of men." Here he saw the soul of Abel sending up accusations to heaven against Cain and his seed, in which occupation he would be employed until the seed of Cain "should be destroyed from the face of the earth" (cap. 22.)
The Hades of the Pseudo-Enoch much resembles the Cimmerian shades of Homer's Odyssey.
The description of Heaven may close these extracts.
"Afterwards my spirit was concealed, ascending into the heavens. I beheld the sons of the holy Angels treading on flaming fire, whose garments and robes were white, and whose countenances were transparent as crystal. I saw two rivers of fire glittering like the hyacinth. Then I fell on my face before the Lord of Spirits. Then Michael, one of the Archangels, took me by my right hand, raised me up, and brought me out to where was every secret of mercy and of righteousness. He shewed me all the hidden things of the extremities of Heaven, all the receptacles of the stars, and the splendors of all, from whence they went forth before the face of the holy. And he concealed the spirit of Enoch in the heaven of heavens. Then I beheld in the midst of that light, a building raised with stones of ice; and in the midst of these stones vibrations of living fire, which encompassed it. Then the Seraphim, the Cherubim, the Ophanim surrounded it; these are they who never sleep, but watch the throne of glory. And I beheld Angels innumerable, thousands of thousands, and myriads of myriads who surrounded that habitation. Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Phanuel, and the holy Angels who were in the heavens above, went in and out of it. With them was the Ancient of Days, whose head was white
* See also 2 Esdras vi. 49, where, strangely enough, Behemoth is called Enoch.
as wool, and pure, and his robe was indescribable. Then I fell on my face, while all my flesh was dissolved, and my spirit became changed. I cried out with a powerful voice, blessing, glorifying, and exalting; and those blessings, which proceeded from my mouth, became acceptable in the presence of the Ancient of Days. The Ancient of Days came with the four Archangels, with thousands of thousands, and myriads of myriads, which could not be numbered; then the Angel came to me, and saluted me, saying," &c.
In another passage, he says the throne of God was like frost under arches of fire. Of the Book of Enoch in general we may state that its design seems to have been, 1st, To account for the Deluge through the wickedness of the fallen angels and their progeny the giants; 2d, To secure punishment for the fallen angels in the great day of judgment; 3d, To teach all the mysteries of the angelic orders according to the Persian school; 4th, To enlarge on all the prophecies of the Son of Man and his reign of glory, according to the expectations then prevailing amongst the learned Jews; 5th, To inculcate the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, and the day of judgment; 6th, To explain the arcana of nature through the medium of revelation; 7th, And to vindicate the apparent debility of Providence, by the splendid prospect of the ultimate victory of righteousness and happiness over evil, sin, and sorrow; and, indeed, the whole book may be considered as a prospective history of the contest between the good and the evil principles-between light and darkness, ending in the triumph of the good, to the glory of the God of goodness.
The 85th chapter begins a long, dull vision, detailing, in the form of a prophetical allegory, the Scripture history from the Fall to the Deluge, from the Deluge to the exploits of the Asmonæan princes, in whose days the Book of Enoch was composed. The principal characters of the Jewish history are disguised as cows, sheep, and other animals; but the whole vision is heavy, cumbersome, and uncouth, resembling not a little the visions of Hermas, who seems to have been acquainted with the Book of Enoch.
The concluding chapters are chiefly remarkable for assurances of the omniscience of God, and the manifestation of his justice in the great day of judgment, which the author insists on, both to confirm the righteous and to alarm the ungodly.
THE MILLENNARIAN VIEWS OF THE EARLY FATHERS.
THE opinions entertained by Irenæus on the millennium have already been given in the third chapter of this history. Papias, who had conversed with the associates of the Apostles, had either derived or embellished his millennarian notions from the Book of Enoch. In order of time he stands first amongst the orthodox advocates of the millennium recorded in post-apostolic ecclesiastical history; but Barnabas and Clemens Romanus,* in some sense or other, expected "the coming of the Lord;" and Hermas, in his Similitudes, expresses a similar expectation.
Amongst the earliest heretics, Cerinthus, of the first century, a convert from Judaism to Christianity, held that "Christ will one day return upon earth, and, renewing his former union with the man Jesus, reign with his people in the land of Palestine during a thousand years." The Marcionites and Montanists were also millennarians.
The opinions of Justin Martyr on this subject we have purposely reserved for the present chapter. In the dialogue with Trypho the Jew, we find the following passage:"I observed before," said Trypho, "that you always took care to support whatever you advanced by quotations from Scripture. But now, tell me truly, whether you do really believe that Jerusalem is to be built again, and expect that your people shall be gathered together to live in joy and pleasure with Christ, and the Patriarchs, and the Prophets, and with those that originally were of our nation, and those also that were made proselytes to us before your Christ came? or whether you have made this concession in order to seem superior to us in this debate ?"
"I am not such a wretch, Trypho," said I, "as to speak contrary to what I think; therefore, I have already owned, that I, and several others of the same way of thinking with myself, are fully persuaded, as you very well know, that this will so come to pass. And again I told you that there are many Christians of pure and pious
* Clemens distinctly speaks of Hag. ii. 6, 7 as being yet unfulfilled.
† ώμολόγησα ουν σοι και προτερον, οτι εγω μεν και αλλοι πολλοι ταυτα φρονουμεν,
sentiments that do not believe it. For as for those that are indeed called Christians, but in reality are atheists and wicked heretics, I have before proved that they teach nothing but what is blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish.........but I and all those Christians that are really orthodox in every respect, do know that there will be a resurrection of the body, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, when it is built again, and adorned and enlarged, as Ezekiel and Esaias, and the rest of the Prophets, declare. For thus hath Esaias spoken concerning this thousand years, 'there will be a new heaven and a new earth,'" &c. (Isaiah lxv. from verse 17 to the end of the chapter). "In these words (said I) for according to the days of the tree of life shall the days of my people be: the works of their hands shall be multiplied:' we believe a thousand years to be figuratively expressed. For as it was said to Adam, ' in the day that he should eat of the tree he should surely die,' so we know that he did not live a thousand years. We believe also this expression, 'the day of the Lord is a thousand years,' relates to this. Add to this also, that John, one of Christ's Apostles, in that revelation which was delivered to him, hath foretold that those who believe in our Christ should live a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that afterwards there would be a general, and, in one word, an universal resurrection of every individual person, when all should arise together to an everlasting state and a future judgment, which our Lord also told us when he said, 'that they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, and shall be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (page 307. ed. Paris).
The following passage also further elucidates the views of Justin. After quoting the 4th chapter of Micah to prove that the conversion of the Gentiles is predicted in Scripture, he says, "When I had finished this, I thus proceeded and said: I am not ignorant, gentlemen, that your doctors do own that all the good words of this passage do relate to Christ; and I also know that they affirm he is not yet come; or if they own that he is come, they say that it is not yet known where he is; but when he shall appear in glory and splendour, then it will be known who is he. And then they say those things will be accomplished which are mentioned in this passage; as if there was nothing to be collected from this prophecy as yet. Senseless people are they, not understanding what has been proved from all the Scriptures, that a two-fold advent of Christ was foretold; in the first of which it is said that he was to be a mean, despicable, inglorious, and suffering mortal, and to be crucified; but that in the second he should come from heaven encircled with glory, when the man of apostasy, having spoken upon earth great things, even against the Most High, shall dare to commit many unjust things against us Christians, who, since we have learnt from the law and the word that came forth from Jerusalem by the Apostle Jesus the right way of worshipping God, fly to the God of Jacob, and to the
ως και παντως επιστασθε, τουτο γενησομενον· πολλους δ ̓ αὖ και των της καθαρας και ευσεβους οντων χριστιανων γνωμης τούτο μη γνωρίζειν εσημανα σοι.
In "The Christian Fathers of the First and Second Centuries," in the series of Christian Library," edited by the Rev. E. Bickersteth, the above passage is thus translated, "and again I told you that there are [not] many good and pious Christians that do not believe it ;" to which the following note is appended to the word [not]: "This negative has been omitted. See Mede's remarks on this, page 593 of his works; see also Brooks's Elements of Prophecy, page 63-67; see also some sensible remarks in Eruvin, page 187-194.EDITOR."
Whatever Mr. Bickersteth or Mede may say on this passage, it is taking an intolerable license with the text thus to insert a negative, which, as any one who peruses the original will perceive, it cannot bear. There is no authority of any manuscript pleaded for this emendation; and indeed, if it be allowable to pounce down with negatives on the solemnlyrecorded sentiments of the ancients, what is the use of books, and in what record can we place any confidence? It is not requisite to defend the millennarian views with contrivances of this sort: the Scriptures, and not the Fathers, are the authority for this question. In the "Practical Guide to the Prophecies," Mr. Bickersteth says, page 314, The testimony of Justin Martyr is above all exception on this point, that as many Christians as were in every respect orthodox, were assured that they who believe in Christ should rise in the flesh, and for the space of a thousand years inhabit Jerusalem rebuilt," &c. But here again the whole truth is not told, for by not presenting this other passage where it is said that many Christians of pure and pious sentiments' do not believe these things, the impression is left by the " Practical Guide" that Justin Martyr declared the Christians to be millennarians in his day, much more widely than the statement itself warrants. If Justin's evidence be adduced, his exceptions ought to accompany the general statement.
God of Israel; and we who were involved in war, and murder, and all manner of wickedness, do each of us from every quarter of the world turn our instruments of war, our swords into ploughshares, our spears into pruning-hooks, &c."
Here, then, we find that Justin considers those very passages then fulfilled which are usually applied by persons of his sentiments to the second coming of the Lord. But his interpretation of prophecy is altogether perplexing; for in another passage of the dialogue with Trypho he says, "I will prove by holy David's words that Christ is by the prophetic Spirit called Lord, and that the Lord and Father of all things took him up from the earth, and 'set him at his right hand, until he made his enemies his footstool;' which was done from that very time, when our Lord Jesus Christ, after his resurrection from the dead, was taken up into heaven, the* times being fulfilled, and he being already at the door who was to speak blasphemous and rush words against the most High, whom the Prophet Daniel foretold was to continue for a time and times, and the dividing of time. But you, not knowing how long he was to continue, interpret it otherwise; for you say that a time signifies an hundred years. If this be the true meaning of the word, and we take times to signify only two times, the man of sin must reign three hundred and fifty years at least to fulfil this prophecy of holy Daniel" (p. 250)..
Bishop Pearson's interpretation of this passage, that Justin Martyr supposed the event here spoken of as close at hand, can scarcely be avoided.
Tertullian, like all the Montanists, was a Chiliast, but we greatly suspect that he derived his Millennarian views in part from the Book of Enoch. This is the chief passage in his works on the subject:
"But concerning the restitution of Judæa (which the Jews themselves hope will be as it is described, led into that opinion by the names of places and regions), in what manner an allegorical interpretation agrees spiritually with Christ, and the Church and the appearance and the results of the Church, it would be a long task in this place to examine, and indeed it is already done in another work to which we have given this title:-Concerning the Hopes of the Faithful: but at present it would be superfluous, because the question is not about an earthly but a heavenly promise. For we do confess, that the kingdom is promised to us again upon the earth, but before the kingdom of heaven, and in a state altogether different; that is to say, after the resurrection, for a thousand years, in Jerusalem, a city of divine work, let down from heaven, which the apostle calls our mother above (Gal. iv. 26) and our Tεvμa (Phil. iii. 20); that is, our municipal tenure which, he says, is in heaven, and so assigns to some celestial city. This city Ezekiel knew, and John the Apostle saw, and this is that to which the word of the new prophecy testifies in our faith (i. e. Montanism), so as to preach that the figure of the city will be visible for a sign before its (final) representation. Finally, during the eastern expedition, this sign was made visible near at hand. For it is established even by heathen testimony, that in the land of Judæa, for forty days together, a city, with all the apparatus of walls, appeared suspended in the heavens in the early part of morning, but vanished as the day advanced. This city, we affirm, has been prepared by God for receiving the saints from the resurrection, and for refreshing them with abundance of all good things, especially those of a spiritual nature, and to compensate for those things which we have either despised or lost in this life. Seeing that it is just and worthy of God that his servants should exult and rejoice in that place (i. e. on the earth) where they have been afflicted for His name's sake. This is the nature of the reign upon earth, after a thousand years of which (within which period is included the resurrection of the saints, who are raised up sooner or later according to their merits) there will be effected the destruction of the world and the conflagration of the judgment; and then we, having in a moment been changed into the angelical substance by that putting on of incorruption, shall be translated into the heavenly kingdom” † (Adv. Marcion. iii. 24).
των χρόνων συμπληρούμενων και του βλασφημα και τολμηρα εις τον υψιστον μελλοντος λαλειν ηδη επι θυρας οντος.
The testimony of Tertullian for the Millennium is thus managed by Mr. Bickersteth. After quoting Justin Martyr, he says, "Tertullian had the same hope, and he connects this hope with the restoration of the Jews, saying," &c.-Guide to the Prophecies, 314.
But who could guess from such a statement, that Tertullian held those strange opinions, which we see he did? They that will call in the aid of the Fathers must prepare themselves for these difficulties.
The next of the fathers after Tertullian, who are to be ranked amongst the advocates of the Millennium, and whose writings are preserved to us, is Lactantius; but as he is later by a whole century [he wrote his chief work A.D. 320], we reserve his opinions on this subject, as well as the interesting records of Jerome, for another
Origen, who flourished A.D. 220-250, opposed the Chiliasts, as did the Alexandrine school generally. His scholar Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, followed in this line, and successfully opposed the numerous Chiliasts in Egypt, who referred to a book written by Nepos, an Egyptian bishop, as their guide in these opinions. Eusebius gives the following account of the controversy:- "Besides these, there are two works of Dionysius "On the Promises;" the occasion of which was Nepos, a bishop in Egypt. He taught that the promises given to holy men in the Scriptures should be understood more as the Jews understand them, and supposed that there would be a certain Millennium of sensual luxury on the earth. Thinking, therefore, that he could establish his own opinion by the revelation of John, he composed a book on this subject, with the title, Refutation of the Allegorists EXEYXOC AXXEYOPLOTwv. This, therefore, was warmly opposed by Dionysius in his work on the promises. In the former, indeed, he gives his own opinion on the subject; in the other, he enters into a discussion on the revelation of John, where, in the introduction, he makes mention of Nepos as follows:- But they produce a certain work of Nepos, upon which they lay great stress, as if he advanced things that are irrefragable, when he asserts that there will be an earthly reign of Christ. In many other respects I accord with, and greatly love Nepos, both on account of his faith and industry and his great study in the Scriptures, as also for his great attention to psalmody, by which many are still delighted. I greatly reverence the man also for the manner in which he departed this life.* But the truth is to be loved and honoured before all. It is just, indeed, that we should applaud and approve whatever is right, but it is also a duty to examine and correct whatever may not appear to be written with sufficient soundness. If, indeed, he were present, and were advancing his sentiments orally, it would be sufficient to discuss the subject without writing, and to commence and confirm the opponents by question and answer. But as the work is published, and, as it appears to some, is calculated to convince, and there are some teachers who say that the law and the prophets are of no value, and who depreciate the epistles of the Apostles, and who at the same time announced the doctrine of this work as a great and hidden mystery, and who also do not allow that our brethren have any sublime and great conception, either of the glorious and truly divine appearance of our Lord, nor of our own resurrection, and our being gathered and assimilated to him; but persuade them to expect what is little and perishable, and such a state of things as now exists in the kingdom of God;-it becomes, therefore, necessary for us also to reason with our Brother Nepos as if he were present.' To these he adds, after other remarks, When I was at Arsinoe, where, as you know long since, this doctrine was afloat, so that schisms and apostasies of whole churches followed, after I had called the presbyters and teachers of the brethren in the villages where those brethren had come who wished to be present, I exhorted them to examine the doctrine publicly. When they had produced this book as a kind of armour and impregnable fortress, I sat with them for three days, from morning till evening, attempting to refute what it contained. Then also I was greatly pleased to observe the constancy, the sincerity, the docility, and intelligence of the brethren, as we proceeded to advance in order, and the moderation of our questions and doubts and mutual concessions, for we carefully and studiously avoided, in every possible way, insisting upon those opinions which were once adopted by us, though they might appear correct. Nor did we attempt to evade objections, but endeavoured as far as possible to keep our subject, and to confirm these nor ashamed if reason prevailed, to change opinions, and to acknowledge the truth; but rather received with a good conscience and sincerity, and with single hearts before God, whatever was established by the proofs and doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. At length Coracio, who was the founder and leader of this doctrine, in the hearing of all the brethren present, confessed and avowed to us,
* Nepos died about A.D. 245. How do these statements of Dionysius accord with the heavy charge of Eusebius relative to a "certain Millennium of sensual luxury in the earth?"