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of the Reformers had been matured into safe opinions, by the progress of time and of truth *. But the Church of England had no hesitation to place the book of Apocalypse in her sacred canon; and, I doubt not, her sons will continue to supply her with irrefragable reasons for retain
And here I close what I have been able to col. lect of the external evidence for the Apocalypse.
We have seen its rise, as of a pure fountain, from the sacred rock of the apostolical Church. We have traced it through tle first century of its passage, flowing from one fair field to another, identified through them all, and everywhere the
As it proceeded lower, we have seen attempts to obscure its sacred origin, to arrest or divert its course, to lose it in the sands of antiquity, or bury it in the rubbish of the dark ages. We have seen these attempts repeated in our own times, and by a dextrous adversary t. But it has at length arrived to us, such as it flowed forth at the beginning.
• This is a remarkable instance of good coming out of evil. The advantage arose from the subjugated state in which this Church was holden, at the beginning of the Reforınation, by the tyrannical hand of Henry the Eighth. This retarded the settlementof our ecclesiastical opinions, till they were more maturely considered, during thirty years of inquisitive research into every subject of this nature.
+ Και ρ' εθελι ρηξαι σιχας ανδρων, σειρητιζων,
Iliad, 0, 615,
In short, so far as the question concerning the Apocalypse is to be determined by external evidence, we may indubitably pronounce that the book is to be received as Divine Scripture, communicated to the Church by John the Apostle and Evan, gelist.
THE INTERNAL EVIDENCE RESPECTING THE
APOCALYPSE; FROM THE COMPLETION OF ITS PROPHECIES; FROM ITS CORRESPONDENCE IN POINT OF DOCTRINE AND OF IMAGERY
THENCE DERIVED; COMPARISON OF THE A POCALYPSE WITH OTHER WRITINGS OF THE
SAME AGE: HERMAS AND SECOND BOOK OF
ARISING FROM THE
OBSCURITY OF THE BOOK ANSWERED.
We now proceed to the internal evidence: In the examination of which, we no longer rely on external witnesses : we search the work itself; we try its interior marks and character; and determine, by the judgment thence arising, whether it be of divine authority. The inquiry will be two-fold. 1st, Whether,
1st, Whether, from the internal form and character of the Apocalypse, it appears to be a book of divine inspiration. 2dly, Whether it appears to have been written by the Apostle John. H 2
I. If all, or indeed most Christians, were agreed upon the same interpretation of the Apocalyptic Prophecies, this question might be determined by a short and summary proceeding. It would only be necessary to ask-Have these prophecies been fulfilled ? for, if it be answered in the affirmative, the consequence immediately follows; the Prophet was inspired, and his book is divine.
This criterion may, in some future time, when the Apocalyptical Prophecies have been more successfully studied, produce sufficient evidence to the point in question. But it cannot be applied at present, so as to produce general conviction. We must argue from points in which there is a more general agreement. Omitting there. fore for the present, the important question (which it would take a very large compass to discuss) whether the prophecies have been generally fulfilled or not, we may consider the book independently of this evidence. We may compare the doctrines which it exhibits, and the pictures and images which it presents, with those contained in other writings universally acknowledged to be of divine authority.
To do justice to this topic, would require a regula: examination of the whole book, a particular induction of passages, by a comparison of which with other texts of Scripture, their agreement or dissimilarity would appear, and arguments be derived, to determine whether it came from the same source. This proçeçding would be too ex
tensive and voluminous for the sketch I now
Michaelis has allowed that the internal struc
It is attempted in some measure in the Annotations which