« EelmineJätka »
Page 67, for “ Phocus” read “ Phocas.”
75, for “ TRAXINAI” read “ TRACHINIAI.”
There are also a few typographical errors of punctuation, which the intelligence of the reader is requested to rectify.
Charles Whittingham, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane,
The following pages contain an attempt to explain so much of the prophetic part of the apocalypse as I believe to have been fulfilled by the occurrence of the events therein predicted.
Of the many similar attempts that have been already given to the world, I have seen some, and have gleaned from them whatever appeared suitable to my purpose.
But the writers of whose knowledge I have thus availed myself I have generally abstained from mentioning; not in any hope, equally fraudulent and vain, that I might appropriate their labours or usurp their honours,' but that in the study of a subject requiring, as well by its awful interest as by the difficulty in which it is apparently involved, all the most steadfast and uninterrupted consideration that can be applied to it, the names of individuals may not divert the attention of my reader from the matter that is submitted
to his candid judgment, and that the fairest exercise of that judgment may not be repressed by the imposing influence of justly respected authorities. For the same reasons I have also refrained from encumbering my pages with controversial argumentation concerning the numerous and important particulars wherein I have presumed to dissent from every commentary that has fallen into my hands.
But, among those of my predecessors to whose talents, learning, and piety, I am the most deeply indebted for precious instruction, one luminous expositor, for a work that must ever constitute an era in the history of prophetical elucidation, is entitled to a portion of my gratitude too great to be merged in an indiscriminate acknowledgment of general obligation; and my reader will accordingly be pleased to find that I have enriched my treatise with several of the opinions, and some of them in the words (no others could do them justice) of • A new Interpretation of the Apocalypse by the Reverend GEORGE CROLY.'
That portion of the sacred Scriptures, entitled the Apocalypse, or Revelation of Saint John, is a narrative of the latest authenticated communication made by the miraculous agency of divine power to any of the race of man. Of its authenticity, demonstrable by the most irresistible evidence, external and internal, no reasonable doubt can be entertained. In the latter end of the fourth century Jerome made a catalogue, still extant, of the authentic books of Scripture, which he concludes with the remark that “the Revelation of Saint John has as many mysteries as words.” Of him Dr. Lardner says: “ It is well known that Jerome was the most learned of the Latin fathers : and he was peculiarly qualified, not only by his profound erudition, but by his extensive researches, his various travels, and his long residence in Palestine, to investigate the authenticity of the several books which compose the New Testament.”
In the beginning of the same century, Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, informs us, in his celebrated
ecclesiastical history, that Melito, bishop of Sardis in Lydia, one of the cities mentioned in the Revelation, wrote in the second century a commentary on it. Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, and his contemporaries Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, expressly refer to it as a well known writing of Saint John.
Irenæus, who was born between eighty and ninety years after the death of Christ, and was the pupil of Polycarp, the disciple of Saint John, has bequeathed to the church an interpretation of one of the Apocalyptic symbols. To demonstrate, beyond any rational objection, the marvellous accuracy of that interpretation, though suggested by himself with diffidence, faintly adopted by some commentators, and by others entirely rejected, is part of the task which it is attempted, in the following pages, to perform.
In truth, to adduce all the unimpeachable testimony afforded by the first ages of Christianity, to the authenticity of the Apocalypse, would be to cite almost every name celebrated in the ecclesiastical history of that period. And accordingly, Sir Isaac Newton, who had applied to that matter all the powers of his great intellect, declares: “I do not find any other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon so early, as this.”
We have then conclusive evidence that the Apocalypse was recognised from the apostolical age as the unquestioned writing of the evangelist whose name it bears. It contains an awful denunciation against every one that should corrupt the text by