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ences to the Apocalypse to be distinctly seen in this Epistle: but other references being evident, as has been shown, it is but reasonable to ascribe this expression to the same source as the others, The expression seems to have become common to all the Churches from their having the Apocalypse in their hands.
§ 12. Of Evidence furnished by the Epistles of John
as to the priority of the Apocalypse.
John in his first and second Epistle employs the term Antichrist. He is allowed to have written his Epistle a considerable time after the other Apostles wrote theirs, and from his employing the Article—“THE Antichrist”-it is plain that this term had now become familiar among believers. Indeed he tells them that they had heard that “The Antichrist cometh” (1 John ii. 18); and as he also mentions that already there were many Antichrists, it is plain that the former word, employed in the singular, had relation to the grand Apostasy, foretold somewhere or other, but which had not yet manifested itself, though, even at the time of his writing, there were many teachers who were actuated by the same spirit. Now the question is, Where or how did John obtain his knowlege of that Apostasy, which
U. See. 12.) On the Date of the Apocalypse, *123 was yet to appear, and which he designates by the term," the Antichrist."
The term means, one who puts himself in the place of CHRIST-one opposed to Christ.-That a ruling power, opposed to the Kingdom of the Messiah,' would arise, was foretold plainly enough by Daniel ; but his origin was not so plainly intimated, by that prophet, as to be intelligible to the Church, without a farther revelation; for the words of Daniel were " sealed.” In short, till the Apocalypse was given to the churches, it was not known that this enemy was to arise or spring from the church itself ; nor could this fact possibly be known, till the seals were removed from the book of Daniel : but we see that John was acquainted with this fact when he wrote his first epistle :-he knew that the great enemy of CHRIST would spring from the church itself; for, speaking of his precursors, he gives this as the proof that they were truly Antichrists :“ They went away from us, but they were not struly] “of us ; for if they had been of us they would have “ continued with us :" and therefore it is plain, that he must have written his epistles subsequently to the Apocalypse ; for in this prophecy, and in this alone, were the origin and true character of the apostate, the son of Perdition, who was to set himself in the temple of God,—the Antichrist,--the lawless one, developed to the church.
In consequence of this developement the churches knew well what was meant by these terms, employed by Paul and John in their epistles, and which, no doubt, would often occur in their oral addresses in the congregations.
John having written liis Epistles later than Paul, and Paul, as has been shown, later than the Apocalypse, it was not necessary to my argument, that I should at all examine John's Epistles ; but John's reference to THE Antichrist, as rising out of, or rather, in the church itself,-a fact first made known by the opening of that book, conçerning which he wept much, fearing that no one might ever be able to explain it,-furnishes incontrovertible evidence that he wrote his Epistles later than the Apocalypse.
This argument, however, depends on a fact of which the proof has not yet been submitted to the reader-that the book of Daniel is the book sealed with seven seals, which was opened or explained by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, in the Apocalypse. The evidence of this fact shall, however, be laid before the reader, after I shall have offered such remarks as may be called for on the few remaining Epistles yet to be noticed, and which will be confined to the next section.
§ 13. Respecting the Epistles to Titus and Phile
mon, and the Epistle of Jude.
In these, the only remaining epistles, I do not find any thing that may, with certainty, be considered as derived directly from the Apocalypse.
In that to Titus the only expression that has the resemblance of an allusion to that prophecy is in ch. ii. 13. 14.-" Expecting the blessed hope,
yea the appearing of the glory of THE GREAT “God even our Saviour Jesus CHRIST.”_This
appearing of the glory” is coincident with the sounding of the seventh angel, when Christ will take to him his great power, and reign for ever This is the period when he will give reward unto his servants, Rev. xi. 15—18. Yea, God shall then wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain. They are therefore expecting this blessed hope of the appearing of this glory of our SAVIOUR.
Any allusion to the Apocalypse could not be expected in such an epistle as that to Philemon, which is merely a short letter commending One simus, now become a Christian, to the kind regards of his master, to whom he had, before, been an unprofitable servant.
The Epistle by Jude refers to words, spoken by Apostles before he wrote his epistle (ver. 17), by which he may be conceived to refer particularly to the Epistles of Peter, for he alludes to the same facts respecting mockers and apostates: but however this may be, it is generally believed that, excepting the epistles of John, none of the epistles were written so late as his.
It is sufficient to say, respecting these epistlės, that having been written after others which I have endeavoured to show contain allusions to the Apocalypse, they must, if my arguments have been well founded, be of a later date than that prophecy.
§ 14. Of the sealed Book which has been opened by
I had occasion in the 11th and 12th sections of this Dissertation to employ an argument drawn from the circumstance of both Paul and John, and I may also add Peter, having spoken very clearly of certain particulars detailed in the prophet Daniel. The sum of the argument may be stated in few words. These particulars were among the things that were closed up and sealed in the Book of Daniel-and they were to remain so sealed up till the time of the end. The ques