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the (9) teftimony of Irenæus, who was the difciple of Polycarp, who had been the difciple of St. John. This authority is great, and is made ftill greater, as it is confirmed by (1) Eufebius in his Chronicle and in his Ecclefiaftical Hiftory. But Eufebius a little afterwards in the (2) fame hiftory recites a memorable ftory out of Clemens Alexandrinus; that St. John, after he returned from Patmos, committed a hopeful young man to the care of a certain bishop; that the bishop received him into Kis houfe, educated, inftructed, and at length baptized him; that the bifhop afterwards 'remitting "of his care and ftrictness, the young man was corrupted by idle and diffolute companions, reveled with them, robbed with them, and forming them into a gang of high-way men was made their captain, and became the terror of all the country; that after fome time St. Joħn coming upon other occafions to revifit the fame bifhop, inquired after the young man, and was informed that he was not to be found in the church, but in fuch a mountain with his fellow robbers; that St. John called for a horfe, and rode immediately to the place; that when the
young man faw him, he fled away from him that St. John forgetting his age pursued eagerly after him, recalled him, and restored him to the church. Now all these tranfactions muft neceffarily take up fome years; and may feem credible if St. John was banished by Nero, but are altogether impoffible if he was banished by Domitian; for he furvived Domitian but a very few and he was then near 100 years old, and so very weak and infirm, that he (3) was with great difficulty carried to church, and could hardly speak a few words to the people, and much less ride brifkly after a young robber. Epiphanius (4) afferts, that he was banished into Patmos, and wrote the Apocalyps there, in the reign of Claudius: but poffibly he might mistake Claudius for his fucceffor Nero. The : churches of Syria have thus (5) infcribed their verfion, The Revelation made to John the
Evangelift by God in the iland Patmos, into ⚫ which he was banifhed by Nero the Cæfar,' The ancient commentators (6) Andreas and Arethas affirm, that it was understood to be written
(3) Hieron. in Epift, ad Galat. Cap. 6. Tom. 4. Part. Prior. Col. 314. Edit. Benedict.
(4) Epiphan. adverf. Hæres. Lib. 1. Tom. 2. Sect. 12.
p. 434. Sec. 33. p. 456. Edit.
(5) Revelatio quæ facta eft
written before the deftruction of Jerufalem. So many fpurious Apocalypfes, written by Cerinthus and others in early times, demonftrate evidently that the Apocalyps of St. John, in imitation whereof they were written, was still earlier, and was held in high eftimation among Chriftians. But what is to me an unanswerable argument, the ftile itself, fo full of Hebraifms, and as I may fay fo full of barbarisms and even folecifms, as fome (7) even of the ancients have observed, manifeftly evinces, that the author was but lately come out of Judea, was little accustomed to write in Greek, and had not yet attained to that greater purity of ftile, which appears in his Gofpel and Epiftles. Sir Ifaac Newton hath farther (8) fhown, that in the Epiftles of St. Peter, and in St. Paul's Epiftle to the Hebrews, there are feveral allufions to this book of the Apocalyps; and St. Peter and St. Paul, all the ancients agree, fuffered martyrdom in the end of Nero's reign. It It may indeed be retorted, that St. John might borrow from St. Peter and St. Paul, as well as St. Peter and
(6) Andreas in Apoc. VI. 16. Arethas in Apoc. XVIII. 19.
St: Græcam animadverto, fed barbarifmis atque interdum folœcifmis inquinatam. Dionyfius Alex. apud. Eufeb. Hift. Ec clef. Lib. 7. Cap. 25.
(7) διαλεκτον μεντοι και γλωσσαν un ang bus (8σav auT8 BTW, αλλ' ιδίωμασι μεν βαρβαρικοις χρωμε νον και π8 και σολοικίζοντα. Verum dictionem ejus non admodum VOL. III.
(8) Sir If.Newton's Obf. upon the Apoc. Chap. 1. p. 239--246. (9) In
St. Paul from St. John: but if you will. confider and compare the paffages together, you will find fufficient reafon to be convinced, that St. Peter's and St. Paul's are the copies, and St. John's the original. Moreover it is to be obferved, that this Revelation was given on the Lord's day, when the apostle's heart and affections, as we may reafonably fuppofe, were fublimed by the meditations and devotions of the day, and rendered more recipient of divine infpiration. The heavenly vifions were vouchfafed to St. John, as they were before to Da niel, (Dan. IX. X.) after fupplication and prayer and there being (9) two kinds of prophetic revelation in a vifion and a dream, the Jews accounted a vifion fuperior to a dream, as reprefenting things more perfectly and to the life.
In the firft vifion Jefus Chrift, or his angel, fpeaking in his name, and acting in his person, appears. amid the feven golden candlesticks, meaning the Seven churches. His clothing is fomewhat like the high-prieft's, and he is described much in the fame manner as the divine appearances in Daniel's vifions. (Dan. VII. 9.
(9) In iftis duabus partibus, fomnio et vifione, continentur om
nes prophetiæ gradus. Mai-
X. 5, &c.) St. John at the fight of fo glorious a perfon fell down fenfeless before him, as Daniel did upon the fame occafion: and like Daniel too, he is gracioufly raised and encouraged, and commanded to write the things which he had feen, contained in this chapter, and the things which are, the prefent ftate of the feven churches represented in the two next chapters, and the things which shall be hereafter, the future events which begin to be exhibited in the fourth chapter, as it is there faid (ver. 1.) Come up hither, 'and I will show thee the things which muft be hereafter.
CHA P. II.
UNTO the angel of the church of Ephefus, write, These things faith he that holdeth the feven ftars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks ;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and thou haft tried them which fay they
Cap. 36. Smith's Difcourfe of Prophecy, Chap. 2. p. 174, 175.