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but this fact deserves the more notice, as it serves to render certain, what, to many, might appear only plausible, that, as stated by Sir Isaac Newton, Peter's second Epistle absolutely presents a commentary on a number of the statements in the Apocalypse.
To what Sir Isaac has said on the second Epistle, I mean to add but little, being persuaded that, when the reader shall have perused the following sections of this Dissertation, he will, probably, turn back to this, and examine carefully, the statements of that great man, comparing the passages which he has pointed out with the original texts.
Peter in this Epistle mentions that Paul had written to them of the same things; that is to the strangers (the believing Hebrews) scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, &c. by the Roman wars. Newton very naturally concluded, that, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, should be found something relating to the same topics (see the 1st section). But it appears to me that a farther use should be made of what Peter says ; for he adds (ch. iii. 16) that also in ALL HIS EPISTLES HE SPEAKS OF THESE THINGS. If, then, the thing's intended be those in the Apocalypse, we should be able to find at least some of them by examining his different writings. To this examination the following sections are devoted.
$ 3. Of Evidence furnished by Paul's Epistle to
Timothy, respecting the date of the Apocalypse.
The first Epistle to Timothy exhibits abundant evidence of its having been written later than the Apocalypse. When the Apocalyptic Epistle was addressed to the church at Ephesus, she had left her first love; but she is praised for her works, labor and patience; for not enduring those that were evil: she had tried those who pretended to be Apostles, not being so, and had proved them to be liars.
When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy it was, to request that he would still continue at Ephesus to charge some to teach no other doctrine, nor to give heed to fables, &c. The design of the charge was, to restore love from which some of them had swerved and turned aside to vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law.—That is, the Ephesians, at this time, were not only deficient in Christian love, as when the Revelation was written, but now suffered teachers of false doctrine to be among them-Judaising teachers ; whereas, when the Apocalyptic Epistle was addressed to them, they were praised for having hitherto effectually resisted these evil men. Two of the false teachers, whom Timothy was left at Ephesus to oppose, are mentioned by name (ch. i. 20)—“ Hymeneus and Alexander,” who, desiring to be teachers of the law, but being altogether ignorant of its spiritual requirements (i. 7), had made shipwreck of the faith (i. 19).
This fact settles the posteriority of the first Epistle to Timothy. But we have also in this Epistle (ch. vi. 14. 15), the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed and only putentate “ THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS;" borrowed from Rev. xix. 16.
In the second Epistle, Timothy is again admonished respecting false teachers :—to charge the Ephesians, before the LORD, not to strive about unprofitable words, tending only to subvert the hearers (ch. ii. 14); and to shun their profane vain babblings, which occasioned an increase of ungodliness (v. 16). Among those whose word was calculated to eat as a canker, he again mentions Hymeneus, also one named Philetus; who maintained that the resurrection was already past : that is, as may be plainly inferred, they had endeavoured to set aside the plain import of the doctrine taught respecting the resurrection; maintaining that the term was to be taken in a figurative sense, in reference to conversion, as being a resurrection from their former death in trespasses and sins; and that no other was to be expected.
Where the Apostle charges Timothy (ch. iv. 1),
before God and the LORD Jesus Christ, who “ will judge the living and the dead, at his appearing " and his kingdom,” I consider him as referring to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, when the sovereignty of the world becomes, erclusively, the property of the Messiah, who will then take to him his great power; for this is the period at which he will judge the world (Rev. xi. 15, 17, 18. and xx. 12). To this period I conceive him also to refer by the expression εις εκείνην την ημέραν,
against that day,” employed emphatically in ch. i. 12, in which he introduces not only the demonstrative pronoun éxelvry, but also the article, though he had not before been speaking of “ that day;" a circumstance which tends to prove that this expression had become colloquial in the churches, in reference to Christ's coming to judgment, as taught at great length in the Apocalypse. This period is again brought to the recollection of Timothy, by the same form of expression, in the 18th verse of this chapter, and likewise in ch. iv. 8.-See also the same words applied emphatically to the same period in 2 Thess. i. 10, and what is there set forth in the context, and it will hardly be possible, by any rules of sound criticism, to avoid the inference, that, in all such passages, there is an allusion to the particulars declared in the Revelation respecting the day when those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ shall be punished with everlasting destruction-even that day when he shall come to be glorified in his saints. But on this I need not particularly to insist, as the numerous false teachers who infested the church in Ephesus, when Paul wrote this Epistle, affords sufficient evidence of the prior date of the Apocalypse; since, at the time when it was published, this church was praised for having hitherto withstood all such evil men.
§ 4. Of allusions to the Apocalypse found in the
Epistle to the Ephesians.
In the preceding Dissertation I had occasion to allude to Paul's Epistle to the Church at Ephesus, one of the seven named in the Apocalypse; but, though the object in view was connected with the general question under discussion, I did not there examine how far
of the expressions to be found in this Epistle might be considered as direct allusions to the Revelation,--this being the proper place for such an inquiry
In addressing the believers at Ephesus the Apostle says, he had heard of their faith in the LORD JESUS, and love to all the saints; and that, from that moment, he ceased not to pray for them, that God might make them know the exceeding greatness of his power towards believers--the mighty