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INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
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to have been publicly read in the church at Thessalonica, when no such let. i rally give him, to inculcate upon them the precepts of the gospel, and per ter had been read or heard of in that church, would be to produce an impos suade them to act agretably to their sacred character. This was the grand uire destructive of itself. ... Either the Episte was publicly read in the point be always kept in View, and to whichever thing else was made suter church of Thessalonica, during St. Paul's lifetime, or it was not. If it was, no vient. Nothing appears, in any part of his writings, like a design to establisi publication could be more authentic, Do Deries of notonets more ungurstion his own reputation, or to make itse of his ascendancy over bis Christian foorus alle, no method of preserving the integrity of the copy more secure... It it was to answer any secular purposes of his own. On the contrary, in this and was not, the cinuse would remuin a standing condemnation of the forgery, and one other epistles, he discovers a most generous. disinterested regard for their het would suppose, an invincible impediment to its sucre." Its genuineness,' fare, expressly disclaiming any authority over their consciences and appealing however, has never been disputed; and it has been universally received in the to them, that he had chosen to maintain himself by the labotar of bis on Christian church, as the inspired production of St. Paul, from the earliest pe: hands, rather than prove burdensome to the churches, or give the least colour nod to the present day. The circumstance of this injunction being given, in of suspicion, that, under zeal for the gospel, and concern for their improre. the first epistle which the Apostle wrote, also implies a strong apil a vowed ment, he was carrying on any private sinister view. The discovery of so I claim to the character of an inspired writer ; as in fact it placed hu writings 'cellent a temper must be allowed to carry with it a strong presumptive arguon the same ground with those of Moses and the ancient prophets. It was ment in favour of the doctrines he taught .... And, indeed, w ever reada evidently the chief design of the apostle, in writing to the Thessalonians, to St. Paul's epistles with attention, and enters into the spint with which they confirm them in the faith, to animate them to a courageous profession of the were written, will discer such intrinsic characters of their genuineness, and gospel, and to the practice of all the duties of Chnstianity; but to suppose, the divine authority of the doctrines they contain, as will, perhaps, produce with Macknight, thut he intended to prove the divine authority of Christian. in him a stronger conviction, than all the external evidence with which they ity by a chain of regular arguinente, in wbich he answered the several objec are attended." These remarks are exceedingly well grounded and highly Lions which the heathen philosophers are supposed to have advanced, seems important; and to no other Epistle ran they apply with greater force than quite forein to the nature of the epistle, and to be crounded on a mistaken the present most excellent production of the inspired Apostle. The last two notion, that the philosophers deigned at so farly a period to enter on a regular chapters, in particular, as Dr. A. Clarke justly observes, are certamly among disputation with the Christians, when in fact they dended them as enthusi. the most important, and the most subline in the New Testament. The general asts, and branded their doctrines as "fooliness." In pursuance of his grand judgment, the resurrection of the body, and the states of the quick and the dead, object," it is remarkable," says Doddridge," with how much address heim- the unrighteous and the just, are described, concisely indeed, but they are tiproves all the influence, which his zeal and fidelity in their service must natu- hibited in the most striking and affecting points of view."
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS.
The second Epistle to the Thegen lonians appears, from Silvanus and Timo- | for that important and awful event. This erroneous expectation they grounded thy bring still with st. l'aul, (ch. i. 1.) to have been written woon after the partly on a misconstruction of some expressions in his former Epistles, and of first, A D. 52, and from the same place, Corinth, and not from Athens, ac what he had spoken when with them ; but it was supported also by some per curding to the spurious subscription. It seems that the person why conveyed on, or persons, making a claim to inspiration, and claiming to have a revelation the first Epistle us the Thessalonians Breedily returned to Corinth, and gave upon the subject, and, as some suppose, also by a forged E stle. AS son as the A lle a particular account of the state of the Church; and, among this state of the Thessalonians was made known to St. Paul, he wrote this seotklas, informed him that many were in expectation of the near ar-cond Epistle to correct such a misapprehension, and rescue them trom an error, proach of the advent of Christ, and of the day of judgment, which induced which, if apparing to rest on the authority of an Apostle. must have a very tiem to neglect their secular affairs, as inconsistent with a due preparation I injurious tendency, and be ultimately ruinous to the cause of Christianity.
BESIDES those marks of genuineness and authority which this Epistle" making even the word of God of none effect by his traditions ;" forbidding
enses in common with the others, it bears the highest Frience of its die what God has commanded, as marriage, the use of the Scriptures, &c.; and vine in ration, in the representation which it contains of the papaljower, commanding, or allowing what God has forbidden, as idolatry, persecution, under the characters of the "Man of sin," and the "Mystery of iniquity &c. " so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himsell that The Inie Christian worship is the worship of the one only God, thronch the he is God." His "sitting in the temple of God," implies plainly his having a 011 otily Mediator, the man Christ Jes; and from this worship the church seat in the Christian church: and he sitteth there was God, epchilly at lins ot Rome has most notoriously departed, by substituting other mediators, invoinanguration, when he sits upon the Ingh altar in St. Peter's church, and cating and adoring raints and an els, worsbijving images, adoring the host, makes the table of the Lord his footstool, and in that position receives ado& 11 follows, therefore, that the man of sin" is the Pope ; not only on ac. I ration. At all times he exercises divine authority in the church: "showing count of the diseaceful lives of many of them, but by means of their scanda I bimself that he is (od: affecting divine titles, and asserting that his decree Jous doctrines nad principles ; dispensing with the most necessary duties, sell. I are of the same, or greater authority, than the word of God 'The foundation Juk pandons and indulgences for the most abominable crimes, and perverting of popery was laid in the Apostles' days; but several ages passed before the the worship of God to the grossest superstition and idolatry. He also, like building was completed, and "the man of sin revealed," in full perretion; the false pretle Judas, is the son of perdition;" whether actively, as being when that " whicb bindered," the Roman empire, was dissolved. "His the cause of destruction to others, or passively, as being devoted to destruction coming is after the energy of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lyius von limseli "He opposeth :" he is the great adversary of God and man; parse ders, &c.; and does it require any particular proof that the pretensions of the cuting and destroying, by crusades, inquisitions, and massacres, those Chris Pope, and the corruptions of the church of Roine, are all supported and anthoritrans who prefer the word of God to the authority of men. "He exalteth himzed by feigner visions and miracles, by pious frauds, and impositions of every 61 above all that is called God, or is worshipped :" not only above inferior kind? But, how much soever "the man of sin may be exalted and how long inngistrates, but also ve bishopy and primater, kings and emperora; nay, Isoever he may reign, yet, at last, "the Lord shall consume him with the Spirit of not only above kings and emperors, but also above Christ, and God bimselt; 1 his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming."
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TIMOTHY.
TIMOTHY, to whom this Epistle is addressed, was a native of Lystra, a city | gospel, he accompanied him and Silas in their various journeys, assisting him of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor His father was a Gentile, but his mother Eu in preaching the Lupe, and in conveying instructions to the churches (Acts Mic, anil bis grandmother Lois, were Jewesses, by whom he was brought up xvi, 10, 11, &c.; XVII. 13. 14 ; xvill. 5; XIX. 22; XX. 4.) An erclesiastiral tradition in the fear of God, and carly instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Scripsintes that he suffered martyrdom at Ephesus, being slain with stones and tures (ACIN xvii. 2 Tim. in. 15.) It is probable that he was converted to clubs, A. D. 97, while preaching against idolatry in the vicinity of the temple the Christinn faith during the first visit made by Paul and Barnabas to Lystra, of Diana ; and his supposed relics were transported to Constantinople with (Acts viv. :) and when the Apostle came from Antioch in Syria to Lystrit the great pomp. A. D. 356, in the reign of Constantius. second time, he found him a member of the church, and so highly respected It is evident that this Epistle was written by the Apostle when on a jour. and warmly recommended by the church in that place, that he chose him toney from Ephesus to Macedonia, having left Timothy at Ephesus, in care of be the companion of his travels, having previously circumcised him. (Acts xvi. the church, (ch. i. 3.) This is supposed by many, both ancients and moderne, 1-3,) and solemnly ordained him by imposition of hands, (1 Ti. iv. 14. 2 Ti. to have ben when St. Paul quitted Ephesus on account of the disturbance i 6 ) though at that time he was probably not more than twenty years of age, raised by Demetrius, and went into Macedonia, (Acts xx. 1,) about A. D. 56, (1 Ti. iv. 12.) Being thus prepared to be the Apostle's fellow labourer in the 1 57, or 58.
This Epistle bears the impress of its genuinences and authenticity, which the general subject to that in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, though are corroborated by the most decisive external evidence: and its divine insprit differs in the particular circumstances; and exactly corresponds with that ration is attented by the exact accomplishment of the prediction which it con of the prophet Daniel on the same subject: Da. xi. 38. tains respecting the apostacy in the latter days. This prophecy is similar in!
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TIMOTHY.
froin universally admit xxviii., 19 Hamme, and not done, bishop,
THAT this Epistle was written by St. Paul when a prisoner is sufficiently forsaken him, baving loved this present world, and gone to Thessalonica. St. evident from chap. i. 8, 12, 16; 11. 9, and that it was while he was imprisoned Mark was also then with him ; but in the present Epistle Timothy is ordered at Rome, is universally admitted. That it was not written during his first to bring him with him. In the former Epistles, the Apostle confidently looked confinement, recorded in Acts xxviii., as Hammond, Lighifood, and Lardner forward to his liberation, and speedy departure from Rome, (Philin. ii. 24. Nupose, but during a second imprisoninent there, and not long before he suf Philem. 22;) but in the Epistle before us he holds extremely different lanfereil martyrilom, as Benson, Macknight, Paley, and Clarke, Bishop Tom guage. "I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at line, Michaelis, Rosenmuller, and lorne, contend, is amply proved by the hand: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the following considerations in his first imprisonment" he dwelt two whole years in faith: benceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousnes, which the his own hired house, and received all that came to him, preaching the king. Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day." From these observadom of God, and tenching those things which concern the Lord Jesus, with all tions, to which others might, and have been added, we may conclude, that confidence, no mag forbidding him:" but at the time he wrote this Epistle, he this Epistle was writton while St. Paul was in imprisonment the second time We closely imprisoned as one guilty of a canital crime, so that Onesiphorus, at Rome, and but a short time before his martyrdom; and, as it is generally on his arrival at Rome, bad considerable difficulty in finding him out, and his agreed that this took place on the 29th of June, A D. 66, and as the Apostle wituation at this time was extremely dangerous. At his first confinement at requests Timothy to come to him before winter, it is probable that it was Rome, Timothy WHS rrith St. Paul, and is joined with him in writing to the written in the sunmer of A. D. 65. It is generally supposed, that Timothy Colousinns, Philippians, and Philemon ; but the present Epistle implies that reviderint Ephesis when St. Paul wrote this Epistle to him; wluch appears he was absent. At the fonner period, Demas was with him ; but now he had I very probablo, though not certain.
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. This epistle was written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under the mi. | the theatre, Mucius, who thrust his hand into the fire : if you think such a res of a jail and with the near prospect of an ignominious death, which person patient, valiant, and stout, you are a senseless dotard. For it is a e s'utere under the cruel and relentless Nero; and it is peculiarly valuable much greater thing, when threatened with the troublesome coat, to say, I do o the Christian church as exhibiting the best possible evidence of the truth not sacrifice, than to obey the command, Burn the hand.” This troublesome od reality of our holy religion, and affording a stnking contrast between the coat, or shirt, was made like a sack, of paper or coarse linen cioth, either beersecuerd, but contident and happy Christian, and the ferocious, abandoned, smeared with pitch, wax, or sulphur, and similar combustible materials, or b urtgale Roman. The detestable Nero having set fire to Rome, on the dipped in them; which was then put on tho Christians, who, in order to be
0 of July, A. D. 61, endeavoured to remove the odium of that nefarious kept upright, the better to resemble a flaming torch, had their chins severally action, whicb w generally and justly imputed to him, by charging it upon fastened to stakes fixed in the ground. At the same period, many of the most the t'hristians, who had become the objects of popular hatred on account of illustrious senators of Rome were executed for the conspiracy of Lucan, Se. ther religion; and in order to give a more plausible colour to this calumny, he neca, and Piso, many of whom met death with courage and serenity, though caused them to be sought out, as if they had been the incendiaries, and put unblest with any certain hope of futurity. With the Christian alone was great numbers to death in the most barbarous and cruel manner. "Some," united purity of manners amidst public licentiousness, and purity of heart sa * Tartus, * were covered over with the skins of wild beasts, that they | amidst universal relaxation of principle; and with him only were found love n. De torn to pacey by dogs come were crucified; while others, having and good will to all mankmd, and a patience, and cheerfulness, and triumph been cautmi over with cornbustible materials, were set up as lights in the night in the hour of death, as infinitely superior to the stoical calmness of a Pagan, time, and thus burnt to death. For these spectacles, Nero gave his own gar. | as the Christian martyr himself to the hero and the soldier. After such scenes des, and, at the saine tunne, exhibitel there the diversions of the circus; | as these was this Epistle written, probably, the last which St. Paul ever umetidas standing in the crowd as a spectator, in the habit of a charioteer, wrote ; and, standing on the verge of etemity, full of God, and strongly antiand at other times driving a chariot hinsell." (See also Suetonius, in Vit. cipating an eternal weight of glory, the venerable Apostle expressed the subNero e. 16.) To the dreadful scenes Juvenal thus alludes :"Describe a limest language of hope and exultation :-"I am now ready to be offered, and great villain, such as Tigellinus, (a corrupt minister under Nero,) and you shall the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good tight, I have finishBuikte me punishmnt with those who stand burning in their own duine ed my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a and spoke, their head being held up by a stake fixed to a chain, till they make crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at a lo strean (of blood and sulphur) on the ground.” So also Martial in an that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." er au concerning the famous C Mucius Scorola, who lost the use of his (Chapter iv. 6-8) Surely every rational being will be ready to exclaim, risht hand hs buring it in the presence of Porsenna, king of Etruria, whom | Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter end be like be had attempted to assassinate: "You have, perhaps, lately seen acted on his!"
Toplory, thetemiis, ni last which ler such Papun,
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TITUS.
Op Titus, to whom this Epistle is addressell, and of whom St. Paul speaks consequently this Epistle was written, subsequent to his first imprisonment at in terms of the highest approbation and most cordial attection in his Epistles, Rome, and previously to his second, about A. D. 64; which is considerably we know thathing more with certainty than that he was a Greek by birth, strengthened by the verbal harmony subsisting between this Epistle and the and one of the A ntle's early converts, who fnpiently attended him in his I first Epistle to Timothy. The Apostle seems to have had very great success
y We have also no certain information when, or by whom, the Gos. in his ministry in that island; but, by some tocans, to have been hurried thence,
was first preard in Crete; though it is probable that it was made known before he could order tire state of the churches in a regular manner. He therethere at an early period, as there were Cretans present on the day of Pente fore left 'Titus there to settle the churches in the severul cities of the island, Ost, who on their return home, might be the means of introducing it among according to the apostolical plan. Titus lived there ill he was 94 years of their countrynin Nor have me any account concerning St. Paul's labours age, and died, and was buried in that island. It was upon the occasion of Tiin that inland, except the bare fact which may be inferred from this Epistle; tus being thus left at Crete, that St. Paul wrote this Epistle, to direct him in thosh St Luke roentions that he touched at the Fair Havens and Lasea in the proper discharge of his various and important duties. les voyage to Ruinc. It is therefore interred, that this event took place, and I
thought an admiecially
of the Epistidisciples with the
anle of een
locand verballion. Tom and
The striking suffinity which subsista between the Epistle to 'Titus and the that have been cmbodied into the heathen mythology having there had their firs: E, le to Timothy has been pointed out by several able writers. Both orizin. The Cretans, though at an early period celebruled for their great ud. Epistles are addressed to person, left to provide in, and regulate their respective vances in civilization, and for an admirable system of laws, were notorious chumbs durior the Apostle's absence. Both are principally occupied in de | for covetousness, piracy, luxury, and especially for lying ; insomuch that kresrning the qualifications of those who should be appointed to ecclesiastical | lizcin, to act like a Cretan, became a proverb for deceiving and relling lice; of anil the requisites in this description are nearly the same in both and a Cretan lie signified one that was remarkable for its mit Laitude and imE:stles Timuths and Titus are both cautioned against the same prevalent pudence. They were one of the nations against which the Grecian proverbs, curruption : the phrases and expressions in both letters are nearly the same; "beware of the three K's," (in English C,) was directed ; i. e. Kappadocia, autta unter accosts his two disciples with the same walutations, and passes Kilicia, and Krete; and Polybius (l. iv. c. 8. 53, &c.) represents them as dis. 00 to the business of the Epistle with the same transition. The most natural graced by piracy, robbery, and almost every crime; and the only people in the
de of accanting for these resemblances and verbal coincidences, is by sup world who found nothing sordid in money, however acquired. With this Dong, as we have already had reason to conclude, that the two Epistles were agrees their character given by Epimenides, one of their own poets, as quoted written about the same time, and while the same ideas and phrases still I welt by St. Paul, (ch. i. 12, 13.) from a work of his no longer extant, entitled Concernin the water's Diind "Nevertheless," as Macknight justly observes," the Jing Oracles, and which the Apostle declares constituted their true character: e tting of these lirecepts and charges is not without its use to the church still, ut make us more deeply sensible of their great importance; not to mention,
The Cretans are always liars, destructive wild beasts, sluggish gluttons. that in the Episte to Titus, there are things peculiar to itself, which enhances Over this mass of idolatry and corruption, however, the gospel triumphed, proits valie. In short, the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, taken together, con: ducing by its benign and heavenly influences, purity, honesty, truth, and every taiunta fall account of the qualifications and duties of the ministers of the moral and Christian virtue ; nor has the successive subjugation of the people
I may be considered as a complete body of divinely inspired ecclesias. by the Saracens and Turks been ever able wholly to extinguish, though it has obtical canonis, to be observed by the Christian clergy, of all communions, to the scured, the light of Christianity which once shone upon them with such splendour. end of the world." The island of Crete, now Candia, where Tilus was a The island is divided into twelve bishops' sees, under the patriarch of Con. resident was repowned in ancient times for the salubrity of its climate; for stantinople; but the execrable Turks, though they profess to allow the Christhe richess and fertility of its soil; for its hundred cities; for the excellence tians the free exercise of their religion, will not perinit them to repair their of its law, given by its king Minos ; for Mount Ida, where Jupiter was said to churches, many of which they have converted into mosques; and it is only by bave been preserved from the jealousy of bis father Saturn; for the sepulchre the influence of large sums of gold, paid to the pashas, that they can keep of Jupiter and in fact, for being the cradle of the gods, most of the absurdities I their religious houses from total dilapidation
unden time, and a
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO PHILEMON.
PHILEMON appears to have been a person of some consideration at Colosse, | about A. D. 62. Having, by some means, attended the preaching of the Apostle, and in the church at that pluce, who had been converted by the ministry of St. | in his own hired house,"it pleased God to bless it to his conversion. After Parl, probally during his aborde at Ephesus; Onesimne, a slave of Philemon, he had given satisfactory evidence of a real change, and manifested an excel. hasing, as it is generally thought, been guilty of some dishonesty, fled from his lent and amiable disposition, which greatly endeared him to St. Paul, he was cart, and came to Rome : where the Apostle was at that time under con sent back to his master by the Apostle, who wrote this Epistle to reconcile facement the first time, as appears by his expectation of being shortly released, Philemon to his once unfaithful servant.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. Pele espresso his admiration of the tendernees and delicacy of this epistle. Bent friend, for a beloved conrert in a state of slavery, in a manner full of The crtajnly something very melting and persuasive in every part. It is kindly affection, according with the sensibility of his mind. & warm, affectionate, authoritative teacher, ardently interceding with an ab !
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS.
THE HEBRE Org were the Jews in Judea, who spoke a dialect of the He-, for the latter language was then universally understood, and much esteemed by rew, and were so called to distinguish them from those who resided among the inhabitants of Palestine, and the apostolical Epistles being intended for the the G eks, and poke their language, and were called Hellenists, or Grieks, use ofthe whole Christian world.as well as for the persons to whom they were sent,
Artil; ix, 29; xi. 20.) To such of the Hebrews as professed Christianity it was more proper that they should be written in Greek, than in my provincial ta Epistle 18 addressed, according to the opinion of the ancient Christian dialert. In fact, the circumstance of there being no Authentic report or tradition
Ta, and the best mon critics and this d cision is corroborted by the respecting any one ropy of the Hebrew Epistle; the leotih uile throuh
alevlenre of the Epistle itself which contains many thin p linary lont, which has all the air of an original: the occurrence of mineru parint. tale to the believer in Jea. Though Hebrew was commonly spoken by masias on Greek word; the interpretation of Hcbrownaines, such as Melchite Tons to whom this Epistle was sent, there is no necessity to suppose, sedec by King of Righteousness, and Salem by peace, in a inanner by ne with Olsen. Jerone, and others, that it was originally written in that lan: I means like the additions of a translator ; and the quotations from the Old Tes. rage, asd afterwards translated into Greck by Luke, Barnabas, or Clement : tament being generally taken from the Septuagint, even where that version
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
m some degree varies from the Hebrew; all these facts furnish positive and If then St. Paul was the author of this Epistle, the time when, and the place conclusive evidence that it was onginally written in the Greek language, in where, it was written, may be easily ascertained; for the salutation from the which it is now extant. Though St. Paul's name is not affixed to this Epistle, saints in Italy, (ch. Xlll. 21,) and his promise of seeing the Hebrews shortly, (which he probably omitted because he was obnoxious to the enemies of (ver. 23,) plainly intiinate that his first imprisonment at Rome was then lerChristianity in Judea,) yet the general testimony of antiquity, the current tra-minated, or on the point of being so. Consequently it was written from Italy diti . of the church, the superscription, “ The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to perhaps from Rome, soon after the Epistles to the Colossians, Philipranis the Hebrews,'' being found in all our manuscripts, except one, and the agree. and Philemon, either at the end of A D. 62, or more probably in the beginning ment of the style, or phrases, allusions, and exhortations, with those in the of the year 63. The grand design of the Apostle, in writing this Epistle', was, acknowledged Epistles of St. Paul, determine it to be the genuine production to guard the Jews in Palestine, who were then in a state of poverty, affliction, of that enament Apostle; to which conclusion Carpzov, Whitby, Lardner, and persecution, against apostacy from the faith; by proving the truth o. Mecknigni, Hales, Rosenmuller, Benge, Bishop Tomline, Horne, T010- the grand doctrines of Christianity, and by showing that it was the completion send, aud almost every other nolem commentator and critic, after weighing and perfection of the Mosaic dispensation, the riles and ceremonies of which the inass of evidence, both external and interual, are constrained to arrive. 'were but types of the New Testament dispensation.
determine stocations, with the an
e mternathe most co other Erstwo
CONCLUDING REMARKS. THE Epistle to the Hebrews, observes Dr. Hales, is a masterly supple. | Gentiles, not one in ten thousand of them would have comprehended the ar ment to Use Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and also a luminons com gument, because unachanted with the Jewish system, the knowledge of mentary on them; showing that all the legal dispensation was originally de which the writer every where supposes. He who is well ucrainted with the signed to be superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian dis Mosaic law, sits down to the study of this Epistle with double advantage; pensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the profoundest know and he who knows the traditions of tiie Elders, and the Talmudic illustrations ledge of both. The internal excellence of this epistle, ag connecting the old of the written and pretended a law of the Jews, is still more likely to enter Testament and the New in the most convincing and mstructive manner, and into, and comprebend, the Apostle's meaning. No man has adopted a more elucidating both more fully than any other Epistle, or perhaps than all of likely way of explaining its phraseolory than Schoetgen, who hay traced its theni, places its divine inspiration beyond all doubt. We here find the great peculiar diction to Jewish sources; and, according to hin, the proposiuon of doctrines which are set forth in other parts of the New Testament, stated, the wbole Epistle is this : JESUS OF NAZARETH IS THE TRUE GOD. And. proved, and applied to practical purposes in the most impressive manner. in order to convince the Jews of the truth of this proposition, the Apostlc Hence this Epistle, as Dr. A. Clarke reinarks, is hy far the most important urges but three arruments:-1, Christ is superior to the angels. 2. He is su and useful of all the apostolic writings, all the doctrines of the Gospel are, in rior to Moses. 3. He is superior to Aaron. These arguments would appear it, embodied, illustrated, and enforced in a manner the most luck, by refer more distinctly, were it not for the improper division of the chapters ; in conences and examples the most striking and illustrious, and by arguments the sequence of which, that one excellency of the Apostle's is not noticed-his most cogent and convincing. It is an epitome of the dispensations of God to I application of every argument, and the strong exhortation founded upon it. man), from the foundation of the world to the advent of Christ. It is not oply | Schoetsen has very proxirly remarked, tal commentators have greatly mis the sum of the Gospel, but the sum and completion of the Lain, of which it is understood the Apostles meaning through their unacquaintance with the Jewalso u most bautitui and luminous comment. Without this, the law of Mo ish writings, and their peculiar phracolugy, to which the Apostle is continu: Bea had never been fully understood, nor God's design in giving it clearly appre. ally referung, and of which he makes incessant use. He also supposes, alhended. With this all is clear and plain ; and the ways of God witli man ren lowing for the immediate and direct inspiration of the Apostle, that he had dere consistent and bannonious. The Apostle appears to have taken a por: in visw this remarkable suying of the Rablins on Isaab lii. 13,-" Behold my tion of one of his own Epistles for his text, "Christ is the end of the law for servant shall deal pruently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very righteousness to them that believe;" and las most amply and impressively high." Rabbi Tanchum, quoting Yulkut Simeoni, (1. ii. fol. 53.) saya. dewoustrued his proposition. All the riteg. ceremonies and sacrifices of the "'This is the king Messiah, who shall be greatly extolled and elevated : He Mosaic institution, are shown to have had Christ for Jeir object iind end; I shall be clevat above Abraham ; shall be more eminent than Meses; and and to have had neither intention nor meaning but m retirince to Him; yea, be more exalted than the mistenog angels." Or, as it is expressed in Yalas a system to be without substance, as a law to be without reason, and its kut Kadushi, (fol. 144.) "The Messiah is greater than the patriarchs, than enactmcots to be both impossible and absurd, if taken out of this reference Moses, and then the ministering angels." These snyings the Apostle shows and connexion. Never were premises more clearly stated; never was un ar to bave been fi11611. din our Messiali, and as he dwells on the superiority of gument bundled in a inore mesterly inunter, and never was a conclusion our Lon to all these illustrious persons, because they were at the very top more legnunately and sittistactorily brought forth. The matter is every where of all conpartions among the Jews; He, according to their opinion, who the most interesting ; the manner is throughout the most naging; and 11: was nieater than all these, musi be greater than all created beings. This is Jaungua y most beautifully adapted to the whole,-every where apropiate, the point which lue Apostle undertakes to prove, in order to show the Godalways nervous and enerpetic, dignified as is the subject, pure und elevant as bead of Christ, and therefore, if we find him proving that Jezus was greater that of the inunt accomplished Grecian orators, and harmonious and diversified than the patriarchs, greater than Aaron, greater than Moses, and greater than as the music of the spheres. So many are the beauties, 50 great the excel the angels, he must be understood to mean, according to the Jewish phraseIency, so instructive the matter, so pleasing the manner, and so exceedingly olugy, that Jesus is an upcreated being, infinitely greater than all others wheinteresting the whole, that it may be read in hundred times over without per ther earthly or beavenly. For, as they allowed the greatest eminence next to ceiving any thing of sanreness, and with dew and increased information at God, to angelic beings, the Apostle concludes, "That He who is greater than Cich reading. This latter is an excellency which belongs to the whole reve the angels is truly God: but Christ is greater than the angels : therefore Christ lation of God; bulto Do part of it in sich a peculiar and supereminent man is truly Gorl." Nothing can be clearer than that this is the Apostle's trand her, as to the Epistle to the Hebrews. That it was written to Jewy, naturally argument, and the proofs and illustrations of it meet the reader in almost such, the whole structure of the Epistle proves. Had it been written to the I every verse.
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES.
er of this ther James, the abs because he was hation of death and
JAMES, the son of Alpheus, the brother of Jacob, and the near relation of death; and it is probable that the sharp rebukes and awful wamings given in our Lord, called also) James the Less, probably because he was of lower it to his countrymen excited that persecuting rage which terminated his life. stature, or younger, than the other James, the son of Zebedoe, is generally al It is styled Catholic, or (ioneral, becalise it was not addressed to any particulowed to be the wnter of this Epistle; and the few that have doubled this have lar church, but to the Jewish nation throughout their dispersions. Though its assigned very slight reasons for their dissent, and advanced very weak argu genuineness was doubted for a considerable time, yet its insertion in the anments on the other side. It is recorded in ecclesiastical history, and the book cient Syriac version, which was executed at the close of the first, or the begin. of the Acts of the Apostles confirms the fact, that he generally resided at Jening of the second century, and the citation of, or allusion to it, by Clement rusuler, superintending the churches in that city, and in the neighbouring of Rome. Hermes, and Ignatius, and its being quotce by Origen, Jerome, places to the end of his life, which was terminated by martyrdoin about A. D. Athanasius, und most of the subsequent eccicsiastical writers, as well as its 62. This Epistlo appears to have been written but a short time before bis i internal evidence, are amply sufticient to prove the point.
TIE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER.
THAT SIMON PETER, ur Cephas, the son of Jonas, and the Apostle of our Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded. St. Jerome adie, that "he was Lord, was the author of this Epistle, has never been disputed ; and its genuine buried at Rome, in the Vatican, near the triumphal way, and is in veneration Dess and canonical authority are amply confirmed by its being quoted or referred over all the world." He wrote this Epistle, as in generally a loweri, some little to by Polycarp, Clement of Rome, the martyrs of Lyons, Theophius bishop of time before his death, probably about A. D. 64, to the Christians, doubtless Antioch, Papas, Irenutus, Clement of Alexandria. anil Tertullian. We have both Jewish and Gentile converts, in the different provinces of Asia Minor: already seen the bistory of this Apostle as desailed in the Gospels and the and most probably from Rome, mystically called Babylon, (ch. v. 13,) as Acts of the Apostles ; in addition to which, we leam from ecclesiastical history Ecumenius, Bede, and other fathers, Grotius, Whitby, Macknight, Lardner, that he wnt to Rome, in the reign of Nero, where he smilered inartyrdom, ! Hales, I ne. Townsend, and all the learned of the Romish church, suppose ; being crucified with his head downwards, at or near the same time when SL and which is strongly corroborated by the general testimony of antiquity.
As the design of this Epistle is excellent, reinarks Machnight, so its execu: 1 of nature tumbling into universal ruin. And what a solemn and moving Epition, in the indrinent of the best critics, does not fall short of its design. Os. phonema, or practical inference is that! 'Since, therefore, all these things torralt says of the first Epistle of Peter. "It is one of the finest books of the must be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in holy conversaNew Testament ;' and of the second, "that it is a most excellent Entle, and tion and goulness-in all parts of holy and Christian life.--in all instances of is written with great strength and majesty," Erasmus pronounce the first justic and charity? The meanest soul, and lowest imagination,' says an Eistle to be "worthy the prince of the Arostles, and full of apostolical dig. in nous man, 'cannot think of it time, and the awlnl descriptions we nity and authority;"' and adds, "it is sparing in words, but full of sense." " St. ineet with of it in this place, and several others of Holy Wnt, without the Pfer's style," as Dr. Blackwall justly obseryes, "expresses the noble vehe. greatest cmotion and deepest impressions.'" "As the true Church of Christ," mence and frirvoir of his spirit, the full knowledge he had of Cliristianity, and says Dr. Clarke. " has generally been in a state of suffering, the Fpisiles of the strong assurance he had of the truth and certainty of his doctane, and he St Peter have ever been most highly prized by all believers. "That which we writes with the authority of the first man in the college of the Apostles. He have just finished is an adinimble letter, containing some of the most imporwrites with that quickness and rapidity of style, with that noble neglect of tant maxims and consolations for the church in the wildemess. No Christian su'ne of the formal consequences an! niccties of grauamar, still preserving its can roul it without driving from it both light and life. Ministers, especially. true reason, and natural analogy, (which are always marks of a suhu ge should study it well, that they may know how to comfort their flocks when nire,) that you can carcely perceive the rises of his discourse, and distinc in permition or adrerity. He never speaks to good in any spiritual case tion of his periods. The grrot Joupph Scaliger calls Peter's tirat Epistlina who is not furnished out of the Divine treasury. God's won's invitc, solicit inatti and I hop he was more judicious them to exclude the second, thonch and command asment: on them a man may confidently rely. The words of
Thirt not Anne it. A noble m eaty and becoming fremslem art what this min may be true, but they are not infallible. This is the character of God's t ish Prer; a devout and judicione peraon cannot read him without <0 word alone." I
n ion and as fil concem. Tlie conflicting of this world, and fu To these valuable remarks on the varied excellences and rises of this inimit u mn of uncle anm.) in the third chipter of the second Epit, is table Epistle, it may be only necessary to add, that it is not only important in m i tin such strong and terrible terms, such awful circumstances that in these r ects, but is a rich treasury of Christian doctrines and duties, from thalexiphon we see the planetary heavens and this ur parth wrapped up which the mind may be enriched, and the heart improved, with the most err with devouring flames; bear the groans of an expiring world, and the crushe's nobling sentiments.
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER.
The writer of this Epistle calls himself" Simon Peter," (ch. i. 1. Ac. xv. I neglected. Some doubts, however, of its 'genuineness and divine authority 14 Ge) an apostle of Jesus Christ;" alludes to circumstances and facts were entertained in the primitive church, which Jerome ascribes to the supwhich aztee with none but Peter, (cl. i. 14-16. John xxi. 19:) calls it his se- ! posed dissimilarity of style between it and the first Epistle. But, being written cood Eastle, ich n. 1;) and speaks of his "beloved brother Paul," (ch. iii. only a short time before the Apostle's martyrdom, (ch. i. 14,) though appa15) It mrt, therefore, either be the work of the Apostle Peter, or of one who rently but a short time after the first, (ch. i. 13, 15,) and not having been so *opated him ; but this latter supposition, that of forging the name of an publicly avowed by him, and clearly known to be his, during his lifetime, the
le, and personating him, is wholly inconsistent with the remarkable ener: scrupulous caution of the church hesitated about admitting it into the sacred BY Witb which the writer inculcates holiness, and the golemn yet affectionate canon, till internal evidence fully convinced the most competent judges that Danger, in wheb he testifies against the delusions of those by whom it was it was entitled to that high distinction.
him ; but this har be the work of the loved brother Pauls,
en other two chapters, as it is from the language of the mo 'I can.
DR. Yecknight justly observes, that "the matters contained in this Epistle from the rest of St. Peter's writings, and where the style is as different from are highly worthy of an inspired Apostle ; for, besides a vanety of important that of the other two chapters, as it is from the language of the first Epistle. curueris. all tending to display the perfections of God and the glory of Christ, But the fact is, that the style of both Epistles is essentially the same. "I canwe find in it exhortations to virtue, and condemnations of vice, delivered with not," says Dr. Blackroall," with some critics, find any great difference be. an itness of feeling, which shows the author to have been incapabie of twixt the style of the first and second Epistles; it is to me no more than wo En asing a forzed writing upon the world, and that his sole design in this find in the style of the same persons at different times. There is much the same Estle was to promote the interests of truth and virtue." With regard to the energy and clear brevity, the same rapid run of language, and the same com.
c a suinst the gentuneness of this Epistle druwn from the difference of inanding inajenty in them both. Take them together, and they are admirable style between this and the former Epistle, it has been correctly suid, that an for significant epithets and strong compound words ; for beautiful and sprightly enthor's style is regulated, in a great measure, by the nature of his subject, dit ti ures, adorable and sublime doctrines, pure and heavenly morals, expressed frent subjects naturally suggesting different styles; and that this diversity is in a chuste, lively, and graceful style.' cafged to the second chapter of this Epistle, where the subject is diferent
de and there a wricht
Pirun or lanes. There is more than we
THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN.
Thorgh the name of St. John is not affixed to this Epistle, yet it has been | Basnage and Baronius, in A. D. 99 or 99. The most probable of these opiPred without hestation as the genuine production of that Apostle from the nions, however, seems to be that which assigns it an early date: for it would eorur perd of the Christian church; and the similarity of sentiment and ex apear from certain expressions, that it was written before the destruction of posudu between it and his Gospel, is a full contirmation of the truth of this Jerusalem, (ch. ii. 18,) and while the generation which had scen our Lord in
the flesh had not yet passed away, (ch. ii. 13, 14.) It appears, as Lardner, With respect to the date of this Epistle, there is a considerable diversity Machnight, and others suppose, to have been addressed to no particular ef DD; me placing it, with Benson and Hales, in A. D. 69 ; others, church, but to have been intended as a general address for the use of Chris
ih tip Taline, in A. D. 69 ; others, with Dr. Lardner, in A. D. 90, ortians of every denomination and country, in strict accordance with its title of esea latar, othere, with Vil and Le Clerc, in A. D. 91 or 92; and others, with Catholic or General.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN.
This short Epistle, and that which follows, being written, neither to any against importure, particularly in relation to writings professing to be the work ebeh try namie, nor to the churches at large, but to private persone, had pro | of Apostles, hesitated to receive them into the number of canonical Scriptures, baby been kept for a considerable time in the possession of the families to until it was fully ascertaitred that they were divinely inspired. Hence they *b they were originally fent, and were not discovered till long after the were not renerally known and acknowledged as the inspired production of st.
k adecease, and after the death of the persons to whom they had been John, in the earliest apes, in the decided manner that the preceding Epistlo residWhen firat discovered, all the immediate vouchers for their gewus; but their coincidence with it in sentiment, manner, and language, satiseceas were necessarily gone; and the church of Christ, ever on its guard I fied all at an early period, that they were written by the same person.
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JUDE.
JEDE, or JUDAS, the writer of this Epistle, is generally and justly consi- tions, when what was true in them might be adduced to good purpose, withderd to have been Jude the Apostle, called also Lebbeus, whose sumame out at all sanctioning the fables which they contained, or inducing a suspicion was Thadis, brother of James the Lers, (ver. 1.) and the brother, or near that he was not an inspired writer? (Acts xvii. 28. 1 Co. xv. 33. 2 Tim. üi. 8. re'atife, of our Lord. Some hesitation, however, as to the genuineness of Tit. 1. 12.) These are the principal objections; and they amount to nothing the Estevens to have prevailed in the church, which was at length fully against the internal evidence, and the general current of antiquity. Lardrer ten ); though some leamed modem writers, apparently on very slight shows, that it is found in all the ancient catalogues of the sacred writings of mounts, have endeavoured to revive it. It is objecteil, that he calls bimself, the New Testament; is considered genuine by Clement of Alexandria ; and is
* an Apotle, but "a serrant of Jesus Christ;" but so also does Paul, in quoted, as St. Jude's production, by Tertullian, by Origen, and by the greater Le 21<
C on to the Philippians; and the word apostle is omitted in the part of the anciente nientioned by Eusebius. Its genuineness is fully esta
e to Philemon, and in that to the Thessalonians ; neither doos John, in blished hy the matter contained in it, which is every way worthy of an inspired b. E le, use the word apostle, nor mention his own name. Jude is also Apostle of Jesus Christ; and, as Macknighi truly observes, there is no error Bu d toote a cryphal book for there is no evidence that this was taught, no evil practice enjoined, for the sake of which any impostor could be feally the case; but does not St. Paul quote heathen poets, and Jewish tradi- I induced to impose u forgery of this kind on the world.
ST. JEDE, cys Origen, has written an Epistle in a few lines indeed, but | The great similarity between this Epistle and the second chapter of the second fot of vigorous expressions of heavenly grace. He briefly and forcibly repre- Epistle of Peter, has wlicady been remarked. Both writers are nearly alike in ents the testable doctrines and practices of certain false teachers, generally subject, style, velemcuce, and holy indignation against impudence and lewd
lot the impuse Gnostics, Nicolutans, and followers of Simon Magus; ness, and against those who invidiously undermine chastity, purity, and sound 351 Papune then profligate perverters of sound principles, and patrons of principles. The exprcasions are remarkably strong, the language animated, led
hably indignation and just severity; while at the same time and the figures and comparisons bold, apt, and striking. There are no nobler heb t all sound Christians, with genuine apostolic charity, to have ten amplifications in any author, than in these writers, when they expose the deder
n on these deluded wretches, and to endeavour vigorously to relinquencies of these false teachers, which they severely brand, emphatically ex. claja ubon from the ways of hell, and pluck them as brands out of the fire. I pose, and yet happily express in all the purity and chastity of language.
ness, and against thence, and holy indicali Both writer
and Christination and just several minciples, and patronus
han in all, and tone, the
THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.
INTRODUCTION. IT 3 a remarkable circumstance, (says Horne.) that the authenticity of this and 108. Jerome states, that Justin Martyr (about A. D. 120) commented bu very generally, if not universally, acknowledged during the two first on some parts of this mysterious book; and a commentary on the whole is
and yet in the third century. it began to be questioned. This secms mentioned among the works of Melito, Bishop of Sardis, A. D. 177. Irenau, tis velenccasioned by some absurd notions concerning the Millennium, who flourished about the same time, and was, in early life, acquainted with that a few well meaning, but fanciful expositors, grounded on this book; which Polycarp, often quoted this book as the Revelation of John the Evangelist,
to their opponents in judiciously and presumptuously endeavoured to and the disciple of the Lord. "His testimony for this book (says Lardner) is e dit by densing the authority of the book itselt. So little, however, has so strong and full, that, considering the age of Ireneus, he seems to put it be. t2:s por of Holy Writ suffer from the ordeal of criticism, to which it has yond all question, that it is the work of John the Apostle and Evangelist."
Ni n ce been hjected, that (as Sir Jaaac Neroton has long since re. Later authorities need not be mentioned..
h " there is no olher book of the New Testament so strongly attested, The next question relates to the date of this book. The most probable and O tenorntud upon ) early, as the Apocalypse."
generally receiveri opinion is, that it was written during John's banishment to The imal evidence for the authenticity and divine authority of this book, the Isle of Patmos, by Domitian, in the latter part of his reign ; that is, in the texts, as does also that of the other books of the New Testament, in a great of the other hooks of the New Testame here Wood Tihe apostle was set and others. The former says, that 39
year A. D. 96, in the latter part of which he died, or immediately after, when easure upon the testimony of the early Christian fathers. And here Wood. the apostle was cet at liberty. This has been clearly shown by Lardner, Putuse produces passages from Ignatius and Polycarpus early as A. D. 107 | Lampe. Woodhouse, and others. The former says, that all antiquity 18
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS.
abundantly agreed, that Domitian was the author of John's banishment." | mous, was well known to be the production of a son of the late Dr. Torters, This also has the express sanction of Irenaus, Origen, and other carly of political memory; and though professpoly religious, was so deeply inabused fathers; and is supported by strong internal evidence: for this book describes wiih politics, thut, soon after its publication, it was thought prudent to supthe seven Asiatic churches as not only existing, but as having flourished, and. press the sale, to prevent prosecution, which rendered it for several yeurs very some of them, subsequently decayed, which could not have been the case at a scarce. It contains, however, curious and interesting extracts irom more than much earlier date.
thirty writers of the two last centuries, and is thought to excel in a judicious Another question, and one we think least attended to, relates to the scenic
exposition of the prophetic symbols, which alound in this book. representations here described. The exhibitions in the first and fourth chap 3. On the oilier hand, the Rev. G. S. Faber, B. D., a very leamed and retens, strongly remind us of the scenes exhibited in the prophecies of Isaiah, spectable clergyman, differs from most preceding interpreters in explaining Daniel, and Ezekiel: but in chapters v. and vi, we have a volume, or roll of Antichrist, and the Man of Sin-neither of the pope nor popery, but ottae parchment, sealed with seven seals: each of which, an it opens, displays (as Intidel King, or atheistical government of France; a system which he has suggested by Harmer) a pictorial delineation of certain figures, emblematical certainly defended with great ability and ingenuity. He is also a strong and of future events, which exhibitions become more and more vivid, ull they ac able advocate for the complete restoration of the Jews. quire all the interest of real life : sounds are added to pictorial representation, Since these gentlemen, who were the first, we believe, to proponnd and supand the great Ezekiel of the New Testament, wrapt in prophetic raptures, bears port these systems, we have had a long succession of writers of varied alent; thunders unutterable, and describes scenes inconceivable
among whom we recollect the names of three learned lay gentlemen, Messrs. We have alluded to Ezekiel, and, indeed, there is a singular resemblance be. Cuningham, Frere, and Gallarcay; and, still more recently, the Rev. Mr. twren his visions and those of the beloved disciple. Both saw the sapphire | Irving-of all whom we wish to speak with respect, though, from the little throne, and the rainbow round about it; with the glorious vision of the cheru knowledge we have obtained of their respective systems, we consider them as bic aninale. Both prefigure the terrible judgments of God upon the earth, rather curious than correct. and particularly upon Gog and Magog; and both describe the New Jerusa! The first, and certainly one of the most judicious, of these works, is the lem, with an angel measuring the temple.
“Paraphrase and Notes of the Rev. Moses Louman, forty years a dissenting There is something, however, peculiar in St. John's plan, or method : first, minister at Clapham." Ours is the fourth edition. When the first edition of seven seals are unloosed, and produce six grand pictorial views. Under the this work was published, we cannot say; but the author died in 1752. Of this seventh seal we have a solemn pause, and seren angels with trumpets are 1 work, it is sufficient praise that Doddridge has said of it-"From which I have introduced the sounding of the first six trumpets produce six grand prophetic I received more satisfaction, with respect to many of its difficulties, (ie the dif scenes ; and the scventh trumpet ushers in the Millennium.
ficulties of the Apocalypse.) than ever I found elsewhere, or expected to have The following brief analysis is from the pen of the late learned and judicious found at all."-Doddridge's Works. Hurd :
2. Bishop Veroton's Dissertations on the Prophecies we need only name. * The reader may form a distinct idea of the method in which the whole as their merit is universally acknowledged. The 24th Dissertation only has rebook of the Apocalypse is disposed, by observing, that it is resolvable into ference to this book. three great parts. The first part is that of the Epistles to the seven churches, 3. The Apocalypse, or Revelation of St. John, translated, with notes, criticontained in the first three chapters, and is not at all considered by Mede. cal and explanatory. To which is prefixed, a dissertation on the divine origin
"The second part (with which Mode begins his commentary) is that of the of the book, &c. by J. C. Woodhouse, D. D. Archdeacon of Salop. It is Sealed Book, from chap. iv. to chup. X.; and contains the fates of the empire, abundant praise to this author, that no less a man than Bishop Hurd wrote in or its civil revolutions, yet with a reference still to the fate and fortune of the a blank lcat of this book, in the Hartlebury Library--" This is the best book Christian church.
of the kind I have seen. It owes its superiority to two things: 1. The author's "The third part is that of the Open Book, with what follows, to the end ; understanding, for the most part, the Apocalyptical symbols in it spiritual. and exhibits in a more minute and extended view, the fates of the Christian not in a literal sense; and, 2dly, To the care he has taken to tix the premise church, especially during its apostacy, and after its recovery from it. This third import of those symbols, froin the use made of them by the old prophetical, division may farther be considered as consisting of two parts. The first contains, and other writers of the Old and New Testament." in chap. xi., a suinmary view of what should be fall the Christian church, con 4. An Essay towards a connected elucidation of the prophetical part of the temporary with the events deduced in the second part concerning the empire ; | Apocalypse, by Steph. Vorell, (1806.) The author, who is since deceased, and is given in this place in order to connect the second and third parts, and to bure the character of intelligent, modest, and temperate in judgment; and has show their correspondence and contemporarity. The second part of the last di. had the merit of condensing into the compass of an octavo pamphlet, the sur vision, from chap. xii. to the end, gives a detailed account of what should befall stance of Loloman, Neoton, and several other writers. the Christian church, in distinct and, several of them, synchronical visions." 5. Expository Discourses on the Apocalypse, interspersed with practical
It would be in vain to attempt to harmonize, or even to enumerate, the va reflections, by Andr. Fuller, 1814. This was the last work of Fuller, and rious expositors of this mysterious book; yet so much curiosity has been ex. bears the characteristic stamp of his maturest judgment. The author died cited within the last few years, by the exercise of uncommon genius and I just before its publication learning, that we feel disposed to give a faint outline of the hypothesis of a 6. A concise Er position of the Apocalypse, so far as the prophecics are few of the most popular, which we shall do with impartiality; and, according fulfilled, by J. R. Park, M. D. This answers to its description, and contains, tu the best of our recollection, nearly in the order of their publication.
as appears to us, an abstract of the great work of Woodhouse, above men. The French Revolution, and the events which followed, renewed, in a sin tioned, so far as relates to prophecing supposed to be fulfilled. The five first gular way, the study of this sacred book. Most remarkable, certainly, were 1 chapters are omitted, as not prophetical. The author professes to have conthe interpretations or conjectures (as the reader may please to call them) of sulted the archdeacon at every step, but to have differed from him freely, the judgments foretold in chap. xi., relative to the fall of the French govern ment, and certain events which followed, as they were explained by the Rev. 7. The most recent, and ingenious work we have met with, is “ Tho ApoP. Jurtieu, Rob. Fleming, and others, in the latter end of the 17th century. calypse of St. John ....a new interpretation, by the Rev. Geo. Croly, A.M.
One of the first writers who particularly noticed this event as the fulfilment HR SL."--Without professing ourselves couverts to his, or to any na sysof that prophecy, was the Rev. James Bicheno, M A., a Baptist Minister of tem, as a chole, we certainly regard Mr. C. as an elegant and an able writer. Newbury, and a most zealous friend to civil and religious biberty. This lene. 1 8. There is another work which we have not classed, nor can we clums, volent gentleman (for the writer knew such to be his character) was so de. with the above, because it is unique, and, in general, opposed to all the prelighted with the fall of popery and slavery in France, that he flattered himself cering. It is entitled, “A general llistory of the Christian Church .... that this was, at least, an introduction to the Millennium. Some of his pecu | chiefly deduced from the Apocalypse of St. John," on which it is, in fact, a liarities were that the great dragon, mentioned in Rev. xx. 1--3, signified the commentary. It appears under the name of Sig. Pestorini, but is well known German empire; and the two witnesses, in chap. xi, the advocates for civil and acknowledged to be written by the late Dr. Walmesley. of Bath, a Ropa and religious liberty. He wrote in 1794, &c. and predicted the final destruction Catholic divine, and " Vicar Apostolic of the West of England." This pro of popery and despotism in 1819!
found mathematician, and such he confequedly was, has endeavoured to de2. Mustrations of Prophecy-In which are elucidated many predictions in monstrate that Protestantism (and not popery) is "the grand apostary," Isaiah, Daniel, the Revelation, &c. supposed to refer to the Revolution in which was to have been exterminated in 1935!--but has happily survived the France, the overthrow of ecclesiastical tyranny, civil despotism, &c., with a | author'rash prediction. This work was first printed in 1771 ; but ours, which large collection of extracts, &c., 2 vols. Svo. 1796. This work, though anony. I is marked the titth edition, is dated “Dublin, 1812."
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CONCERNING the Rovelation, Dr. Priestley (no mean judge of Biblical must content ourselves with interpreting what hath been already fulfilled." subjects, where his own peculiar creed was not concerned) has declared, "I And, as feston ohserves, "if we were in possession of a complete and partithink it impossible for any intelligent and candid person to peruse this Bookcular history of Asia, not only of great events, without person or place, names without being struck, in the most forcible manner, with the peculiar dignity or dates, but of the exactest birktaphy, geography, topography, and chronoloand sublimity of its composition, superior to that of any other writing what y, we might, perhaps, still be able to explain and appropriate more circumever : so as to be convinced, that, considering the age in which it appeared, wtances recorded in the Revelation, under the emperors of the East and tho none but a person divincly inspired could have written it. These prophecies | West, and in Arabia, Persia, Tartary, and Asia, the seat of the most imporare also written in such a manner as to satisfy us that the events announced tant revolutions with which the history of Christianity has ever been interto us were really foreseen; being described in such a manner as no person, woven and closely connected." History is the great interpreter of prophecy.. writing without that knowledge, could have done. This requires such a mix | "Prophecy is, as I may say," observes Nnoton, “history anticipated and ture of clearness and obscurity, as has never yet been imitated by any forsets I contracted: history is prophecy accomplished and dilated, and the prophecies of prophecy whatever. Forgories, written of course after the events, have of Scripture contain the fate of the most considerable nations, and the subalways been too plain. It is only in the Scriptures, and especially in the stance of the most memorable transactions in the world, from the earliest to Book of Daniel, and this of the Revelation, that we find this happy mixture the latest times. Daniel and St. John, with regard to those lattor times, are of clearness and obscurity in the accounts of future events." The obscurity more copious and particular than the other prophets. They exhibit a series of this prophecy, which has been urged against its genuineness, neces. and succession of the most important t*vents, from the first of the four great garily results from the highly figurative and symbolical language in which empires to the consummation of all things. Their prophecie: may really be it is delivered, and is, in fact, a strong internal proof of its authenticity suid to be a siminary of the history of the world ; and the history of the world and divine original : "For it is a part of this prophecy," as Sir Isaac Newton is the best comment upon their prophecics. ... and the more you know of justly remarks, "that it should not be understood before the last age of the ancient and modern tiines, and the farther you search into the truth of history. world, and therefore it makes for the credit of the prophecy that it is not the more you will be satisfiod of the truth of prophecy." The Revelation was yet understood. The folly of interpreters has been, to foretell times and | designed to supply the place of that continued succession of prophets, which things by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets. By this demonstrate the continued providence of God to the patriarchal and Jewish rashness, they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the prophecy churches. "The majority of commentators on the Apocalypse," says Tounalgo into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this, send, "generally acted on these principles of interpretation. They discover and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to grutify men's curiosities by in this Book certain predictions of events which were fulfilled soon after they enabling them to foreknow things, but that, after that they were fulfilled, they were announced; they trace in the history of later years various coincidences, might be interpreted by the event, and his own Providence, not the interpret. which so fully agree with various parts of the Apocalypse, that they are justly ers, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of thingy, pre entitled to consider them as the fulfilment of its prophecies; and, by thus dicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world tracing the one God of Revelntion throurh the clouds of the lark apce, through is governed by Providence. For as the few and obscure prophecies concerning the storms of revolutions and wars, through the mighty convulsions which, at Christ's first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations various periods, have agitated the world, their interpretations, even when have since corrupted: so the many and clear prophecies concerning the they are most contradictory, when they venture to speculate concering the things to be done at Christ's second coming, are not only for predicting, but future, are founded on so much undonbted truth, that they have miuterially also for effecting a recovery and re-establishinent of the long lost truth, and set. confirmed the wavering faith of thousands. Clouds and darkness must cover ting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness. The event will prove the Apo the brightness of the throne of God, till it shall plea:c him to enable us to calypse ; and this prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old pro bear the brighter beams of his glory. In the mean time, we trace his footsteps phets; and all together will inake known the true religion, and establish it. in the sea of the Gentile world, his path in the mighty waters of the ambitious There is already so much of the prophecy fullilled, that as many as will take and clashing passions of man. We rejoice to anticipate the day when the pains in this rudy, may see sufficient instances of God's promise, but then the bondage of Rome, wbich would perpetuate the intellectual and spiritual sla. signal revolutions prcdicted by ul the holy prophets, will at once both turn men's very of man, shall be overthrowu, and the day-spring of united knowledge eyce upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them. Till then we and holiness bless the world."
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