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streets of Jerusalein the two witnesses were killed and their bodies exposed to public view; and this by the beast that besieged the city. Chap. 11:7, 19.
25. It was entirely destroyed, and Zion ploughed up like a field thirty years before the reign of Domitian; therefore the two witnesses could not be killed in his reign, but in that of Nero. Suetonius declares that Domitian was far more mild and virtuous than either his father or brother; and he could not bear the idea of even taking the life of an ox, much less that of a man.
26. Finally, all these events were to take place in the reign of the seventh emperor of Rome; that is, in Nero's, and not Domitian's reign, who was the twelfth emperor. Chap. 18: 10. Therefore, John was not banished into the Isle of Patmos by the latter, but by the former. Circumstantial evidence
may be collected from various sources; from testimony for and against. 1. The various commentaries written on il, show evidently that such a book existed, and was in repute. 2. The spurious works written by Cerenthus and others in imitation of it, proves that it was genuine, as well as popular. 3. The various disputes about when it was written, and where it was written, and by whom it was written, shows that it was a book worthy the attention of great scholars, as well as great divines. 4. In all ages, and by all denominations, it has been considered as an extraordinary book. Junius' Letters are genuine and very popular, though not authentic. The author's name is concealed, because the government was implicated. John appended his name to this book, but wisely concealed his predictions, because Jews and Gentiles were implicated in them. The Apocalypse (revelation) is supported therefore, from evidence indisputable, external, internal, circumstantial, and collateral. Collateral evidences may be deduced from coins, pillars, monuments, tombs, fe. The pyramids of Egypt, Pompey's Pillar, the ruins of Troy, Titus' Triumphal Arch, are all relics of antiquity, designed to perpetuate remarkable events.
The tombs of Joseph, Abraham, David, Solomon, Jehosaphat, and the Holy Sepulchre, are designed to perpetuate the memory of the dead or distinguished personages.
John, the poor fisherman of Galilee, had no tomb, no coins, no monument, no pillar, to transmit his worth to posterity; but he had Jesus with him. His gospel and Book of Revelation, however, have handed down his name from one generation to another, and though dead, yet he lives in the hearts of all genuine Christians. But Nero, unintentionally, erected a splendid monument to perpetuate the memory of the beloved John. His cave is to be seen by all travellers to this day in the Isle of Patmos, and no doubt, if search in future shall be made, his name will be found engraven on the walls in large Hebrew characters. John, however, was not forgotten by some of his beloved brethren at Rome;
for the following remarkable Greek Inscription was found on a statue of Ilippotitus, discovered at Rome in 1551.
Περι του κατα Ιωαννην ευαγγέλιου και αποκαλύψεως.
“The revelation made to St. John the Evangelist by God, in the Island of Patmos, into which he was banished by Nero Cæsar."
As this is the oldest and best version of the work in the world, this testimony is of vast importance in determining the time when the book was written, and the person by whom John was banished to Patmos.
The language in which it was written. This, no doubt, was Hebrew. The Kodesh Lashon, holy tongue, the inspired language of God, venerated among all nations, Jews and Gentiles. St. John had a copy of the law and the prophets with him; all the Apostles carried a copy of both with them wherever they went; the Greek version was scarce and very unpopular among the Jews, because not given by inspiration, as was the Hebrew Scrip
And, indeed, the Rabbins forbid the reading of it in the synagogues, as it was written in a barbarous tongue. John could speak in the Greek tongue, but it is doubtful whether he could write it as fluently and correctly as Hebrew. His Book of Revelation is so full of Hebraisms and Rabbinical expression, that it is evident to me that his work was originally written in the Holy tongue, especially as it would be considered more sacred; and this is my reason for adhering so closely to the Hebrew text, and not the Greek text of this work.
Hence, Alpha and Omega. One like the son of man. The two-edged sword. One of the elders answered, (inquired.) The seven stars are (represent.) The seven golden candlesticks are (represent.) Chap. 1: 20. I will give to eat, (cause to partake of.) John 6: 53. A new name written, (engraven.) le that hath an ear to hear (to understand and obey.) Shall be clothed in white raiment (be made holy, or constituted a priest.) I will not blot out (excommunicate.) Chap. 3 : 5. Sir, zit thou knowest. Chap. 7: 14. John 5:7. A door was opened (a prophecy explained.) Come up hither (look, examine this.) And there was set (prepared, fixed.) Four beasts, (great inen, chief men.) Chap. 4: 6. He loosed (opened, revealed.) Chap. 5: 2. The white horse and his rider (salvation and its author.) Chap. 6: 2. The four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds thereof. Chap 7:1. The Tree of Life. The fire proceeding out of his mouth. The key of David, and key of the bottomless pit. The angel Nying through the midst of heaven, having, &c. The number of the horsemen, two hundred thousand thousand, for an innumerable number. Seal up the roll-eat it up; shall be sweet in thy mouth, but bitter in thy bowels.
Chap. 10:9, 10. The great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns ; the old serpent, called the Devil and Satan. His tail (magistrates.) War in heaven (persecution in the church.) Michael and his angels (Christ and his ministers) fought (contended) by faith and prayer. Chap. 12:3; 4; 7. The sea of glass, harps of salvation, are all Rabbinical as well as symbolic language, which proves that the work was originally written in Hebrew, and afterwards translated into Greek or Syriac, and then Arabic. Some of our best scholars have been greatly perplexed with the Greek of the Apocalypse. See Middleton on “ Son of Man.” Also xei 78295 On. Pp. 660; 664.
The beast with the seven heads. This is variously understood. Some think the Pope to be the beast; others the Protestant, or Henry the Eighth; and some the Roman empire; and others Mahomed. And a late author has, as he thought, identified Napoleon Buonaparte as the beast. And the last author, and perhaps the least of all, makes out Daniel's beast to be a heathen emperor.
The various modes of interpretation adopted by different authors. Some have taken a literal view of it; others a spiritual, and some an allegorical view of it. Some have viewed it prophetically, and interpreted it as such, and all their spurious predictions of different remarkable events, which they asserted should take place at a certain time, have utterly failed, and the only service they have rendered the world is to make madmen or fools of the people. We hope in future the people will learn wisdom from the things which they have lately suffered by Millerism and Mormonism.
The reason why the Book is not understood. .1. Because, not acquainted with the language in which it was written, and the Rabbinical and symbolic style of it. The seven churches of Asia understood it well; and if we had the same faith, wisdom, and grace, we should understand it also. It was revealed in a dungeon, written with tears, and scaled with blood ; and a blessing is promised to them who read, understand, and live according to it. 2. Sectarian views have led Catholics and Protestants into the most gross errors in their application of John's Book of Revelation. 3. A delicate regard for the opinions of wise and learned men have caused many to defer giving an opinion on it at all in opposition to such great and talented men. 4. Some are altogether literal, and others altogether spiritual in their views of it. One author, to outdo the whole of his predecessors, went to heaven to see John himself, and came back with a revelation of a book already revealed. 5. Some, to gain notoriety, and others to make merchandise of it, have written volumes as large as the Bible upon it, without one original idea in their whole work; they are simply reprints of other men's works. 6. Some authors who have had learning but no piety, and others piety but no learning, have both failed in their attempts to discover its meaning. See Dan. 10: 12. 7. Others, who have had both combined, have failed to study the Scriptures for themselves in the original, and have, with a slight variety, followed the steps of their predecessors. 8. There is a literal, spiritual, metaphorical, allegorical, and prophetic meaning to be attached to different parts of this book, and to know when and where to apply them is a matter of great moment.
Misapplication or misconstruction of any part of this Book is adding to or taking from it, and of course we must come under the wo denounced in this Book.
We hope no person will be so uncharitable as to suppose the author has combined all the qualifications requisite to a proper understanding of this book. He certainly feels himself inadequate to the great task, but a sense of duty, and at the solicitation of many friends and eminent ministers, he has published his opinion on this mysterious Book ; and if it shall prove to be a help to a better understanding of it, he shall feel amply paid. If not, and it should prove a failure, like all the rest, then we must wait patiently till the Most High shall make a new revelation of it. It was written in the end of the Jewish dispensation ; it may now, in the providence of God, be interpreted in the end of the Gentile dispensation, and this for a wise purpose.
What still confirms the views I have taken of the Revelation is this : Matthew, Mark, and Luke have all given an accurate accouňt of our Lord's predictions respecting the utter destruction of Jerusalem; but St. John has entirely omitted this in his Gospel : his revelation serves, therefore, as a supplement to it, and as a commentary on all our Lord's predictions, as well as the Old Testament prophecies which refer to that event.
Finally, I have but one end in view in the publication of this work: the glory of God and the good of mankind; and my object is not to please, but to profit. I have not studied style, but simplicity : I have endeavored throughout the work, as far as practicable, to use scriptural language. I have added a second class of notes, which were written in my juvenile days, when about twenty-two years of age. They may be useful to the pious and devoted Christian, though probably not such to the critical reader, who looks more to style than to good sense and reason.
WILLIAM L. ROY. BROOKLYN, December 1, 1847.
THE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly
1 The Revelation. The exposition ple from their sins.” Matt. 1: 21. His or illustration of the old testament pro- name therefore means a Savior. In phecies which remained at that time order to accomplish our salvation, three to be fulfilled, and of the corruptions things were requisite :-1. That he and backslidings of the seven churches should be able to save. 2. That he of Asia; and also a revelation of re- should be willing to do it. 3. That markable events which were to take he should die to save us. As the scripplace from the year of our Lord sixty
where declare him to be five unto the end of the world. We see God, he is able to save to the
very therefore that this is a revealed and termost all them that come unto God not an unrevealed book, the meaning by him. Heb. 7: 25. There is no of which is not known either to the other name given among men wherechurch or the world. It was probably by we can be saved but the name of plain and simple to John and the Jesus. Acts, 4 : 12. He commanded churches to which he was then writ- repentance and remission of sins to be ing; the mystery is in ourselves, and preached in his name among all nanot in the book. “The spiritual man tions, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke, (the Apostle observes) judgeth (dis- 24:47. He is the Savior of all men, cerneth) all things ; yea, the deep especially of them that believe. 1 Tim. things of God.”
4:10. That is, he died, that all, Jesus. This is a special, peculiar ti- through him, might be saved, yet tle given to him at his birth. The an- he saves none but those who believe, gel said, his name shall be called viz. in his divinity, doctrines, miraJesus : because he shall save his peo- cles, death, sufferings, resurrection,