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as used in this Gospel and Revelation, they refused to consider as of divine authority *; but this objection, and also their ascription of the Apocalypse, together with the Gospel of St. John, to Cerinthus, how weak soever the grounds on which they stand, are not to be considered here; because they rest, not on cxternal, but internal evidence t. Among these their objections to the Apocalypse, there is one indeed which our author has remarked to be of an historical kind; which must therefore be examined under the head of external evidence. It is this:
The fourth epistle in the Apocalypse is addressed to the Angel of the Church of Thyatira ; but the Alogi, with a view to convict the Apocalypse of falsehood, declared that there existed no Church at Thyatira. The words, as delivered by Epiphanius, are observed to be ambiguous, and may denote, either that there was no Christian community at Thyatira in the time of St. John, or none at the time when these Alogi made their objections. If we ascribe to them the latter sense, the argument, as Michaelis justly observes, is of no importance. For if there was no Church at Thyatira in the middle, or toward the close of the second century, still there might have been at the close of the first.
* Epiphan. Hær. 51, 54.
+ Michaelis has fully exposed and refuted this strange notion of the Alogi, p. 464. 1 Και εκ ει εκει Εκκλησια Χριστιανων. . F 2
But let us meet the objection in its strongest force. Let us suppose it to be unequivocally declared, by the testimony of these Alogi, that there was no Church at 'Thyatira at the time of Saint John; at the time when he is affirmed to have addressed this Epistle to that place. Now these Alogi, who, when we come to examine their internal evidence against the Apocalypse, will be found to support their cause by the most weak and absurd arguments; who rejected the Gospel of St. John, and attributed it to the heretic Cerinthus, merely because they disliked the word Logos, as applied by St. John to Christ ; are not very credible witnesses. Eye-witnesses they could not be, because they did not live in those times; and we can entertain but an unfavourable opinion of their fair and candid appreciation of the evidence of others, when they rejected the powerful external evidence, by which St. John's Gospel was supported, so soon after its publication, only because some passages of that Gospel seemed to oppose their favourite tenets. But admit, for the sake of argument, the fact which they wished to establish. Admit, for a moment, that not St. John, but Cerinthus was the writer of the Apocalypse. But Cerinthus was contemporary with St. John; and Cerinthus lived in Ephesus, and amidst the seven Churches *; and can we suppose it possible, that Cerinthus,
* Euseb. H. E. lib. iii. c. 28.
so circumstanced, should address an epistle to a
them too much; but it seemed ne-
may have be
THE TESTIMONIES OF ILIPPOLITUS AND OF
ORIGEN; THE OBJECTIONS OF CAIUS AND OF
I now proceed to consider the external testimony which is obtained from HIPPOLITUS and ORIGEN, two great names in the ancient Christian world, and both highly favourable to the divine authority of the Apocalypse. They have already had their place in the Biographical Chart, for reasons which have been already assigned, But I have kept apart the examination of their evidence, because I wished my readers to consider separately “ the cloud of witnesses,” who supported the authenticity of the Apocalypse during its first century, in the times before any objection was made to it by any of those members of the Church, who observed the pure faith, and the pure canon of Scripture.
In the times of Hippolitus and of Origen, ą notion seems to have been adopted by some persons in the true Church, that the Apocalypse
was not, what it pretended to be, the production of an Apostle.
Dionysius of Alexandria, who wrote about the middle of the third century, says, “ Some, before
our times *, have utterly rejected this book ;' and he has been thought to intend Caius, an ecclesiastical man at Rome t, who certainly ascribed some Apocalypse, and not improbably our Apocalypse (though this inatter has been much doubted) to the heretic Cerinthus ... But whatever may be determined concerning the opinions of Caius, it seems clear, that before Dionysius wrote, that is, in the former part of the third century, some persons in the Christian Church had begun to doubt concerning the authenticity of the Apocalypse; to question whether it were the production of St. John, or of any apostolical, or even pious man; and to ascribe it, as the Alogi had done before them, to Cerinthus §.
But it does not appear that they alleged any external evidence in support of these extraordinary opinions. They rested them on the basis of nternal evidence only. “ 'The Apocalypse,” said they,“ is obscure, unintelligible, and inconsistent, " and improperly entitled a revelation. It au* Tipes ago Bw. Euseb. lib. vii, c. 25. + So Eusebius calls him, H, E. lib. ii. c. 25.
Michaelis has chosen to place these objectors in the second century, but on no solid ground of evidence ; for the first objector, of whom we have any account, is Caius, and the earliest time assigned to him is A. D. 210. Cave, Hist. Lit. art. Caius. Euseb. H, E. lib. vii, c. 94.