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evidence, what can be said of it? Is not this clear a d minute anticipation of events, which were to come to pass in ages subsequent to the predictions, and which have accordingly come to pass, a work far above the utmost efforts of human genius? And if it is, whence hat it come? but from that God, who being himself the great FIRST Cause and Creator of all things, has given to them their respective and peculiar qualities, properties, principles, energies, operations, and effects; and by his Almighty Spirit and Wisdom, pervades, animates, sustains, directs, and governs them, whether spiritual or temporal, from the archangel, down, through the infinite chain of beings, to the smallest insect of an hour; and who consequently must know all things past, present, and to come; and who has condescended to declare to us, that I AM God, and there is none LIKE ME; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are no YET DONE, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE!- Isa. lxvi. 9. 10.
ATHEIST AND INFIDEL;
AUTHENTICITY of the APOCALYPSE
LOGICALLY AND PHILOSOPHICALLY PROVED
TO BE FOUNDED
O fools, and slow of heart to believe all the Prophets have spoken. LUKE xxiv. 25.
Blessed is he that readeth, and those that hear the words of this Prophesy, and keep the things which are written : FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND. Rev. i. 3.
BEHOLD! I COME QUICKLY : Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the Prophecy of this Book. Rev. xxii. 7
HAT the Apocalypse, a book purporting to be an history of events to come, was written and published in the latter end of the first century; and that although its language was then obsolete, mysterious, and confessedly unintelligible, the ancient Fathers and Elders of the Church, the immediate successors of the Apostles, received it into their Churches, as canonical, and of divine authority, are truths which have been often proved, and never denied. And it cannot be doubted, without shame, that those pious and enlightened men, many of whom must have conversed with St. John himself, and other Apostles, were the most proper, and most capable judges of its origin : nor can it be conceived, without doing violence to reason, that they would have received it as canonical and the work of St. John, had they not had, either personal knowledge, or the most clear and decisive testimony of the fact; because its language being mysterious and unintelligible, they could not ascertain from the book itself, whether it contained errors, or even blasphemies, inconsistent with the truths they wished to support. In this state, the authenticity of the Apocalypse remained undisputed and unsuspected, until the beginning of the third century, by any orthodox Christian, and as solemnly received and established, as any other parts of
the Gospel, in all the different Churches of Christ. It had been indeed before objected to as a forgery by Cerinthus, and not the work of St John, by Marcion, and a small sect of heretics, called the Alogi; who objected to other parts of the Gospel, and would have made the whole do homage to their blasphemies and impieties; but this objection had, as it ought to have had, no more weight with the Churches of Christ at that time, than the objection to the whole Gospel of Christ, that he was an impostor, and that there is no God but reason, made by the atheistical crew of France.
In the third century, and not before, those impious heretics were however joined by a few unenlightened pretenders to Christianity; whose opinions were founded on the internal evidence of the book itself: when, in truth, it as yet had no such evidence. For no one of the great and prominent events foretold in it, not even the first, the triumph of the Church over the heathen world, had as yet come to pass. And they contended, as a late learned and ingenious author* has summoned up their objections, that it was “obscure, unintelligible, incon: istent, and improperly entitled to a Revelation:" objections, which carried in their faces their own refutation. For if the book was unintelligible, how could they find out its inconsistencies ? Or how know whether it was founded in Revelation or not? It was impossible: because the human mind can form no judgment whatever, nor acquire any evidence for or against any position, from that which is “obscure and unintelligible.” And in such case, if unbiassed, must at least, rest in doubt, until better evidence should appear. But, notwithstanding the gross absurdity of these objections
* See a Pamphlet, entitled, “ The Evidence of the Authenticity and Divine Inspiration of the Apocalypse stated,” &c.-J. Hatchard, Piccadilly. This very learned author has exhausted the subject of external evidence, and clearly proved the divine authority of the Apocalypse from that alone.