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or other it was afterwards excluded. It seems hardly possible that Ephrem Syrus, quoting the Apocalypse often, as he does, and having so high a regard for the Peschito, should not have somewhere alluded to the fact that it was wanting in it. How it lost its place, on condition it was ever there, unless as Eichhorn and Hug and some others suppose, that in consequence of the doubts of the Greek churches, and because it was not read in the regular service, it was omitted, we can not say.
On the supposition that the Peschito never contained the Apocalypse, it may be supposed that, as that version was made for reading in the churches, the Apocalypse with the Epistles mentioned above, were omitted from some supposed want of adaptation to that purpose, or because they did not readily come into the plan of the translator. The person who made the translation may have been interrupted by death or some other cause before he had completed his work, or the copy which he used may have been defective. Besides, the translator himself may, as Dionysius did, from internal grounds, have doubted its genuineness, and so omitted it. We cannot, therefore, feel that its omission in the Peschito is a matter of much importance in the historical argument. Even“ Lücke bimself acknowledges that nothing of any consequence against the book can be made out from the circumstance of its omission there."
No other trace of opposition to the Apocalypse is found until the latter part of the fourth century, and none then of a decisive character. Some catalogues of the books of scripture are
See Stuart, $ 17 (5). Hengstenberg, Comm. II. 432, says: “If the doubts (in respect to the genuineness of the Apocalypse), wherever they are presented to us, appear destitute of an historical basis, if they always proceed from exegetical incapacity and controversial heat, if they lean exclusively on internal grounds, we must suppose the same to have been the case here, where we have simply to deal with the fact of doubt. This also is the result to which we are led by a comparison of the analogy of the other omitted books. They are all such as furnished in their matter an occasion for doubt, while no positive grounds of an external kind existed against their genuineness, although certainly the inferior external credibility in their case left criticism more at liberty to deal with internal considerations." Vol. XXI. No. 82.
found in poetry, in which it is omitted, while the authors of these catalogues expressly say elsewhere that it belongs to the sacred canon, and is the work of John. So Gregory of Nazianzen, in a poetical catalogue, omits the Apocalypse, and says: “ You have all. If there be any besides these, they belong not to the genuine.”1 And yet Gregory refers to and quotes the Apocalypse as a part of the divine scriptures, and as the work of John. Besides Andreas, a contemporary of Gregory and an inhabitant of the same province, and his successor Arethas, attest to Gregory's belief in the apostolic origin and inspiration of the Apocalypse.3 Philastrius of Brixia (at the end of the fourth century) gives a catalogue of books to be read in the churches, omitting the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse,4 and in the same work says expressly, that “ those who do not receive the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse are heretics." 5 Such instances as these show plainly that the ground of the disregard of the Apocalypse, and its omission in catalogues of books of scriptures, was the danger of its perversion to the support of Millenarianism; and that while the historic evidence did not allow the rejection of the Apocalypse and the denial of its inspi. ration, yet on account of its recondite and mystical character, it was thought unsafe to have it generally read. So Phi. lastrius speaks of the mystical writings (scripturae absconditae), which ought to be read by advanced Christians, but not by all. Gregory of Nyssa, too, says : “ I have heard John the evangelist enigmatically saying to such persons, in his mystical or concealed works: “I would thou wert either
'Πάσας έχεις. Εί τι δε τούτων εκτός, ουκ εν γνησίοις.
* See, e.g. Opp. I. 573, where Rev. i. 8 is cited verbatim ; Opp. I. 516, where Rev. i. 20 is referred to, with the words : às 'Iwdumns 818áokel mè già rîs 'ATOKT λύψεως. .
3 In the preface to his Commentary on the Apocalypse Andreas says : lepi μέντοι του θεοπνεύστου της βίβλου περιττόν μηκάνειν τον λόγον ηγούμεθα, των μακαρίων, Γρεγορίου φημι τον θεολόγου και Κυρίλλου, etc., and Arethas uses nearly the same words. * De Haeresibus, c. 88.
6 C. 60. * Quae etsi legi debent morum causa a perfectis, non ab omnibus legi debent.
cold or hot," etc. (Rev. iii. 15), while in another place he calls the Apocalypse the “last book of grace," ? i.e. the last of the New Testament books, plainly indicating its place in the canon. Dionysius the Areopagite designates the Apocalypse as “the hidden and mystical vision of the beloved and inspired one of the disciples." 3
After the fourth century there seems to have been little if any question of the genuineness of the Apocalypse in the ancient church. Some there doubtless were, as there have been in all modern times, who were inclined to give up the attempt to understand and explain it, but yet recognized it as genuine, and as the work of John.
The result of a careful examination of ancient authors seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of the apostolical origin of the Apocalypse. Nothing really worthy of account can be adduced from the Fathers adverse to it. Wheresoever it was questioned, the doubts were so manifestly from the internal character of the book, and so plainly the result of the perversion of it to substantiate views considered erroneous, that they are scarcely worthy of consideration when placed in contrast with the almost unbroken chain of testimony from the age in which it originated onward. Thus Hengstenberg, at the close of his examination of ancient authorities, well says: " It has been shown that the testimonies for the genuineness of the Apocalypse reach up to the age of its origin; that they are derived from all parts of the Christian world; that down even to the middle of the third century it was unanimously acknowledged, and had struck its roots very deeply into the Christian church; and also that the doubts and objections which were afterward entertained respecting it, only served to render more clearly manifest the recognition of its genuineness by the church.” 4
1 'Ήκουσα του Ευαγγελιστού Ιωάννης, εν αποκρύφους προς τους τοιούτους δι' αινίγuatos déyovtos, K. T. 1. Opp. II. 44. Quoted by Stuart, Comm., Vol. I. 330.
2 Η τελευταία της χάριτος βίβλος.
8 Την κρυψίαν και μυστικήν άποψίαν του των μαθητών αγαπητού και θεσπεσίου. Opp. I. 246, 247. 4 Comm., Vol. II. 436.
(To be continued.)
FINAL CAUSE OF VARIETIES.
ACCEPTING the common definition of varieties in the organic kingdom, we regard them as forms produced by the variation of species. The cause of this variation has never been explained. Probably the only answer that will ever be given is : Such is the nature of species. It is a law written on the plant and animal, that in their development there shall be variation from the original stock, but only in certain directions. On this point we quote the language of a distinguished scientific man who has lately written much upon this subject. It would be difficult to find in the writings of any other author, all that we really know on this subject, condensed into so few words :
“ The former [variation] has never yet been shown to have its cause in external influences, nor to occur at random. As we have elsewhere insisted, if not inexplicable, it has never been explained; all that we can yet say is, that plants and animals are prone to vary, and that some conditions favor variations.” 1
We thus confess our ignorance of the natural causes that produce variation. We propose to discuss its final cause. This implies that there is in it a purpose. If there is in the variation of objects in nature a purpose, that purpose must have relation to the objects themselves, or to some other beings connected with them or in some way related to them. In all arrangements merely for the good of the object itself, final cause may be denied. It may be said that the thing exists because it happens to have a constitution fitting it for the mode of existence in which we find it. We shall therefore confine ourselves, in this discussion, mainly to those contri
1 Prof. Asa Gray, in Silliman's Journal, May, 1863, p. 440.
vances that seem to have relation to something out of the object in which they are found. But our special object will be to show that all variation from original forms in the animal and vegetable kingdoms is not in general for the good of the object in which it occurs, but for the good of other objects in some way related to it. We think it will readily appear to any careful observer, that much of the variation in both of these kingdoms has special reference to man as an intellectual and moral being. But we shall confine our present examination mainly to plants. It would be most natural, perhaps, to commence with the mineral kingdom, had we time for a full discussion of the subject. And we might inquire: For what end is the beauty of the crystal ? Certainly it is not for the crystal itself. We have great beauty in the primary crystal. But the law of secondary forms adds new beauty, by the variety it gives in modifying, with mathematicalexactness, the faces and angles of the primary. We may be told that there is no final cause in all this arrangement of matter. It is so, is all that we can say. Because we admire the beauty of the crystal, and wonder at this law by which its beauty is increased, we are not to believe that the original beauty of the gem, or that the law of variation, was made for us, or with any
reference to us. Nor are we to believe, necessarily, that they were made at all. They are --they always have been; and they would be the same they now are, were there no intelligent being in the universe to behold them. We may believe that they have a purpose, or not.
If one doubts it, there is certainly little room for argument. When the facts are stated, different minds will be differently affected by them, and argument will have little effect on either class.
But when we study the kingdom of life, the facts that meet us are different in kind. There is here a succession of beings, descending one from another; there is a complicated machinery by which this succession is secured, and a different kind of machinery by which the individual is built up and preserved. It is certainly a legitimate inquiry: For what purpose is each part of these beings? For what purpose