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THIS epistle was written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under the miseries of a jail, and with the near prospect of an ignominious death, which e suffered under the cruel and relentless Nero; and it is peculiarly valuable o the Christian church as exhibiting the best possible evidence of the truth und reality of our holy religion, and affording a striking contrast between the ersecuted, but confident and happy Christian, and the ferocious, abandoned, d proligate Roman. The detestable Nero having set fire to Rome, on the 0th of July, A. D. 64, endeavoured to remove the odium of that nefarious action, which was generally and justly imputed to him, by charging it upon the Christians, who had become the objects of popular hatred on account of their religion; and in order to give a more plausible colour to this calumny, he caused them to be sought out, as if they had been the incendiaries, and put great numbers to death in the most barbarous and cruel manner. Some," says Tacitus, "were covered over with the skins of wild beasts, that they raight be torn to pieces by dogs; some were crucified; while others, having been daubed over with combustible materials, were set up as lights in the night time, and thus burnt to death. For these spectacles, Nero gave his own gardeas, and, at the same time, exhibited there the diversions of the circus; sometimes standing in the crowd as a spectator, in the habit of a charioteer, and at other times driving a chariot himself" (See also Suetonius, in Vit. Nero e. 16.) To these dreadful scenes Juvenal thus alludes: "Describe a great villam, such as Tigellinus, (a corrupt minister under Nero,) and you shall Fuffer the same punishment with those who stand burning in their own flame and smoke, their head being held up by a stake fixed to a chain, till they make a long stream (of blood and sulphur) on the ground." So also Martial in an epieram concerning the famous C. Mucius Scævola, who lost the use of his right hand by burning it in the presence of Porsenna, king of Etruria, whom be had attempted to assassinate : You have, perhaps, lately seen acted on

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the theatre, Mucius, who thrust his hand into the fire: if you think such a person patient, valiant, and stout, you are a senseless dotard. For it is a much greater thing, when threatened with the troublesome coat, to say, I do not sacrifice, than to obey the command, Burn the hand." This troublesome coat, or shirt, was made like a sack, of paper or coarse linen cloth, either besmeared with pitch, wax, or sulphur, and similar combustible materials, or dipped in them; which was then put on the Christians, who, in order to be kept upright, the better to resemble a flaming torch, had their chins severally fastened to stakes fixed in the ground. At the same period, many of the most illustrious senators of Rome were executed for the conspiracy of Lucan, Seneca, and Piso; many of whom met death with courage and serenity, though unblest with any certain hope of futurity. With the Christian alone was united purity of manners amidst public licentiousness, and purity of heart amidst universal relaxation of principle; and with him only were found love and good will to all mankind, and a patience, and cheerfulness, and triumph in the hour of death, as infinitely superior to the stoical calmness of a Pagan, as the Christian martyr himself to the hero and the soldier. After such scenes as these was this Epistle written, probably, the last which St. Paul ever wrote; and, standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternal weight of glory, the venerable Apostle expressed the sublimest language of hope and exultation:-"I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." (Chapter iv. 6-8.) Surely every rational being will be ready to exclaim, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter end be like his!"



Of Titus, to whom this Epistle is addressed, and of whom St. Paul speaks in terms of the highest approbation and most cordial affection in his Epistles, we know nothing more with certainty, than that he was a Greek by birth, and one of the Apostle's early converts, who frequently attended him in his joury's We have also no certain information when, or by whom, the Gospel was first preached in Crete; though it is probable that it was made known there at an early period, as there were Cretans present on the day of Penteest, who, on their return home, might be the means of introducing it among their countrymen Nor have we any account concerning St. Paul's labours in that island, except the bare fact which may be inferred from this Epistle; though St. Luke mentions that he touched at the Fair Havens and Lasea in his voyage to Rome. It is therefore inferred, that this event took place, and

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| consequently this Epistle was written, subsequent to his first imprisonment at Rome, and previously to his second, about A. D. 64; which is considerably strengthened by the verbal harmony subsisting between this Epistle and the first Epistle to Timothy. The Apostle seems to have had very great success in his ministry in that island; but, by some means, to have been hurried thence, before he could order the state of the churches in a regular manner. He therefore left Titus there to settle the churches in the several cities of the island. according to the apostolical plan. Titus lived there till he was 94 years of age, and died, and was buried in that island. It was upon the occasion of Titus being thus left at Crete, that St. Paul wrote this Epistle, to direct him in the proper discharge of his various and important duties."



THE striking affinity which subsists between the Epistle to Titus and the first E, istle to Timothy has been pointed out by several able writers. Both Epistles are addressed to persons left to preside in, and regulate their respective churches during the Apostle's absence. Both are principally occupied in de sen ang the qualifications of those who should be appointed to ecclesiastical offices; and the requisites in this description are nearly the same in both Epistles Timothy and Titus are both cautioned against the same prevalent curruptions; the phrases and expressions in both letters are nearly the same; and the writer accosts, his two disciples with the same salutations; and passes on to the business of the Epistle with the same transition. The most natural node of accounting for these resemblances and verbal coincidences, is by supposing, as we have already had reason to conclude, that the two Epistles were written about the same time, and while the same ideas and phrases still dwelt in the writer's mind. "Nevertheless," as Macknight justly observes," the repetition of these precepts and charges is not without its use to the church still, as it makes us more deeply sensible of their great importance; not to mention, that in the Epistle to Titus, there are things peculiar to itself, which enhances its value. In short, the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, taken together, containing a full account of the qualifications and duties of the ministers of the gospel, may be considered as a complete body of divinely inspired ecclesiastical canons, to be observed by the Christian clergy, of all communions, to the end of the world." The island of Crete, now Candia, where Titus was a resident, was renowned in ancient times for the salubrity of its climate; for the richness and fertility of its soil; for its hundred cities; for the excellence of its laws, given by its king Minos; for Mount Ida, where Jupiter was said to have been preserved from the jealousy of his father Saturn; for the sepulchre of Jupiter; and in fact, for being the cradle of the gods, most of the absurdities


that have been embodied into the heathen mythology having there had their origin. The Cretans, though at an early period celebrated for their great advances in civilization, and for an admirable system of laws, were notorious for covetousness, piracy, luxury, and especially for lying; insomuch that kretizein, to act like a Cretan, became a proverb for deceiving and telling lies; and a Cretan lie signified one that was remarkable for its magnitude and impudence. They were one of the nations against which the Grecian proverb, beware of the three K's," (in English C,) was directed; i. e. Kappadocia, Kilicia, and Krete; and Polybius (1. iv. c. 8. 53, &c.) represents them as disgraced by piracy, robbery, and almost every crime; and the only people in the world who found nothing sordid in money, however acquired." With this agrees their character given by Epimenides, one of their own poets, as quoted by St. Paul, (ch. i. 12, 13,) from a work of his no longer extant, entitled Concerning Oracles, and which the Apostle declares constituted their true character:

The Cretans are always liars, destructive wild beasts, sluggish gluttons. Over this mass of idolatry and corruption, however, the gospel triumphed, producing by its benign and heavenly influences, purity, honesty, truth, and every moral and Christian virtue; nor has the successive subjugation of the people by the Saracens and Turks been ever able wholly to extinguish, though it has obscured, the light of Christianity which once shone upon them with such splendour. The island is divided into twelve bishops' sees, under the patriarch of Constantinople; but the execrable Turks, though they profess to allow the Christians the free exercise of their religion, will not permit them to repair their churches, many of which they have converted into mosques; and it is only by the influence of large sums of gold, paid to the pashas, that they can keep their religious houses from total dilapidation



PHILEMON appears to have been a person of some consideration at Colosse, | about A. D. 62. Having, by some means, attended the preaching of the Apostle, and in the church at that place, who had been converted by the ministry of St. Paal, probably during his abode at Ephesus; Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, hasing, as it is generally thought, been guilty of some dishonesty, fled from his master, and came to Rome; where the Apostle was at that time under con fincment the first time, as appears by his expectation of being shortly released,

"in his own hired house," it pleased God to bless it to his conversion. After he had given satisfactory evidence of a real change, and manifested an excellent and amiable disposition, which greatly endeared him to St. Paul, he was sent back to his master by the Apostle, who wrote this Epistle to reconcile Philemon to his once unfaithful servant.


Peley expresses his admiration of the tenderness and delicacy of this epistle. | sent friend, for a beloved convert in a state of slavery, in a manner full of There is certainly something very melting and persuasive in every part. It is kindly affection, according with the sensibility of his mind. a warm, affectionate, authoritative teacher, ardently interceding with an ab



THE HEBREWs were the Jews in Judea, who spoke a dialect of the He-1 for the latter language was then universally understood, and much esteemed by brew, and were so called to distinguish them from those who resided among the inhabitants of Palestine, and the apostolical Epistles being intended for the the Greeks, and spoke their language, and were called Hellenists, or Greeks, use of the whole Christian world, as well as for the persons to whom they were sent, (Arte vi 1; ix. 29 xi. 20.) To such of the Hebrews as professed Christianity it was more proper that they should be written in Greek, than in any provincial ths Epistle was addressed, according to the opinion of the ancient Christian dialect. In fact, the circumstance of there being no authentic report or tradition whters, and the best modern critics; and this decision is corroborated by the respecting any one copy of the Hebrew Epistle; the style of the epistle throughternal evidence of the Epistle itself, which contains many things peculiarly out, which has all the air of an original; the occurrence of microns paronomitable to the believers in Judea. Though Hebrew was commonly spoken by masias on Greek words; the interpretation of Hebrew nanes, such as Melchithe persons to whom this Epistle was sent, there is no necessity to suppose, sedec by King of Righteousness, and Salem by peace, in a manner by ne with Origen. Jeroine, and others, that it was originally written in that lan- means like the additions of a translator; and the quotations from the Old Tes guare, and afterwards translated into Greck by Luke, Barnabas, or Clement; tament being generally taken from the Septuagint, even where that version


in some degree varies from the Hebrew; all these facts furnish positive and conclusive evidence that it was originally written in the Greek language, in which it is now extant. Though St. Paul's name is not affixed to this Epistle, (which he probably omitted because he was obnoxious to the enemies of Christianity in Judea,) yet the general testimony of antiquity, the current traditim of the church, the superscription, "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews," being found in all our manuscripts, except one, and the agreement of the style, or phrases, allusions, and exhortations, with those in the acknowledged Epistles of St. Paul, determine it to be the genuine production of that eminent Apostle; to which conclusion Carpzov, Whitby, Lardner, Mucknight, Hales, Rosenmuller, Bengel, Bishop Tomline, Horne, Townsend, and almost every other modern commentator and critic, after weighing the mass of evidence, both external and internal, are constrained to arrive.

If then St. Paul was the author of this Epistle, the time when, and the place where, it was written, may be easily ascertained; for the salutation from the saints in Italy, (ch. xiii. 24,) and his promise of seeing the Hebrews shortly, (ver. 23,) plainly intimate that his first imprisonment at Rome was then terminated, or on the point of being so. Consequently it was written from Italy perhaps from Rome, soon after the Epistles to the Colossians, Philippians and Philemon, either at the end of A. D. 62, or more probably in the beginning of the year 63. The grand design of the Apostle, in writing this Epistle, was, to guard the Jews in Palestine, who were then in a state of poverty, affliction, and persecution, against apostacy from the faith; by proving the truth o. the grand doctrines of Christianity, and by showing that it was the completion and perfection of the Mosaic dispensation, the rites and ceremonies of which were but types of the New Testament dispensation.


THE Epistle to the Hebrews, observes Dr. Hales, is a masterly supplement to the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians, and also a luminons commentary on them; showing that all the legal dispensation was originally designed to be superseded by the new and better covenant of the Christian dispensation, in a connected chain of argument, evincing the profoundest know ledge of both. The internal excellence of this epistle, as connecting the Old Testament and the New in the most convincing and instructive manner, and elucidating both more fully than any other Epistle, or perhaps than all of theni, places its divine inspiration beyond all doubt. We here find the great doctrines which are set forth in other parts of the New Testament, stated, proved, and applied to practical purposes in the most impressive manner. Hence this Epistle, as Dr. A. Clarke remarks, is by far the most important and useful of all the apostolic writings: all the doctrines of the Gospel are, in it, embodied, illustrated, and enforced in a manner the most lucid, by refer ences and examples the most striking and illustrious, and by arguments the most cogent and convincing. It is an epitome of the dispensations of God to man, from the foundation of the world to the advent of Christ. It is not only the sum of the Gospel, but the sum and completion of the Lave, of which it is also a most beautiful and luminous comment. Without this, the law of Moses had never been fully understood, nor God's design in giving it clearly apprehended. With this, all is clear and plain; and the ways of God with man ren dered consistent and harmonious. The Apostle appears to have taken a portion of one of his own Epistles for his text,-" Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe" and has most amply and impressively demonstrated his proposition. All the rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices of the Mosaic institution, are shown to have had Christ for heir object und end; and to have had neither intention nor meaning but in reference to Him; yea, as a system to be without substance, as a law to be without reason, and its enactments to be both impossible and absurd, if taken out of this reference and connexion. Never were premises more clearly stated; never was an argument handled in a more masterly manner; and never was a conclusion more legitimately and satisfactorily brought forth. The matter is every where the most interesting; the manner is throughout the most engaging; and the Janguage is most beautifully adapted to the whole,-every where appropriate, always nervous and energetic, dignified as is the subject, pure and elegant us that of the most accomplished Grecian orators, and harmonious and diversified as the music of the spheres. So many are the beauties, so great the excellency, so instructive the matter, so pleasing the manner, and so exceedingly interesting the whole, that it may be read a hundred times over without perceiving any thing of sameness, and with new and increased information at each reading. This latter is an excellency which belongs to the whole reveJation of God; but to no part of it in such a peculiar and supereminent manner, as to the Epistle to the Hebrews. That it was written to Jews, naturally such, the whole structure of the Epistle proves. Had it been written to the

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Gentiles, not one in ten thousand of them would have comprehended the ar gument, because unacquamted with the Jewish system, the knowledge of which the writer every where supposes. He who well acquainted with the Mosaic law, sits down to the study of this Epistle with double advantage; and he who knows the traditions of the Elders, and the Talmudic illustrations of the written and pretended oral law of the Jews, is still more likely to enter into, and comprehend, the Apostle's meaning. No man has adopted a more likely way of explaining its phraseology than Schoetgen, who has traced its peculiar diction to Jewish sources; and, according to him, the proposition of the whole Epistle is this: JESUS OF NAZARETH IS THE TRUE GOD. And, in order to convince the Jews of the truth of this proposition, the Apostle urges but three arguments :-1. Christ is superior to the angels. 2. He is supe rior to Moses. 3. He is superior to Aaron. These arguments would appear more distinctly, were it not for the improper division of the chapters; in consequence of which, that one excellency of the Apostle's is not noticed-his application of every argument, and the strong exhortation founded upon it. Schoetgen has very properly remarked, that commentators have greatly mis understood the Apostle's meaning through their unacquaintance with the Jewish writings, and their peculiar phraseology, to which the Apostle is continu ally referring, and of which he makes incessant use. He also supposes, allowing for the immediate and direct inspiration of the Apostle, that he had in view this remarkable saying of the Rabbins on Isaiah l. 13,-" Behold my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." Rabbi Tanchum, quoting Yalkut Simeoni, (p. ii. fol. 53,) says, This is the king Messiah, who shall be greatly extolled and elevated: He shall be elevated above Abraham; shall be more eminent than Moses; and be more exalted than the ministering angels." Or, as it is expressed in Yalkut Kadosh, (fol. 144,) "The Messiah is greater than the patriarchs, than Moses, and than the ministering angels." These sayings the Apostle shows to have been fulfilled in our Messiah; and as he dwells on the superiority of our Lord to all these illustrious persons, because they were at the very top of all comparisons among the Jews; He, according to their opinion, who was greater than all these, must be greater than all created beings. This is the point which Le Apostle undertakes to prove, in order to show the Godhead of Christ; and therefore, if we find him proving that Jesus was greater than the patriarchs, greater than Aaron, greater than Moses, and greater than the angels, he must be understood to mean, according to the Jewish phraseology, that Jesus is an uncreated being, infinitely greater than all others whether earthly or heavenly. For, as they allowed the greatest eminence next to God, to angelic beings, the Apostle concludes, "That He who is greater than the angels is truly God: but Christ is greater than the angels: therefore Christ is truly God." Nothing can be clearer than that this is the Apostle's grand argument; and the proofs and illustrations of it meet the reader in almost every verse.



JAMES, the son of Alpheus, the brother of Jacob, and the near relation of death; and it is probable that the sharp rebukes and awful warnings given in our Lord, called also James the Less, probably because he was of lower it to his countrymen excited that persecuting rage which terminated his life. stature, or younger, than the other James, the son of Zebedee, is generally al-It is styled Catholic, or General, because it was not addressed to any particulowed to be the writer of this Epistle; and the few that have doubted this have assigned very slight reasons for their dissent, and advanced very weak arguments on the other side. It is recorded in ecclesiastical history, and the book of the Acts of the Apostles confirms the fact, that he generally resided at Jerusalem, superintending the churches in that city, and in the neighbouring places, to the end of his life, which was terminated by martyrdom about A. D. 62. This Epistle appears to have been written but a short time before his

lar church, but to the Jewish nation throughout their dispersions. Though its genuineness was doubted for a considerable time, yet its insertion in the ancient Syriac version, which was executed at the close of the first, or the begin ning of the second century, and the citation of, or allusion to it, by Clement of Rome. Hermas, and Ignatius, and its being quoted by Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, and most of the subsequent ecclesiastical writers, as well as its internal evidence, are amply sufficient to prove the point.



THAT SIMON PETER, or Cephas, the son of Jonas, and the Apostle of our Lord, was the author of this Epistle, has never been disputed; and its genuineness and canonical authority are amply confirmed by its being quoted or referred to by Polycarp, Clement of Rome, the martyrs of Lyons, Theophilus bishop of Antioch, Papias, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian. We have already seen the bistory of this Apostle as detailed in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles; in addition to which, we learn from ecclesiastical history that he went to Rome, in the reign of Nero, where he suffered martyrdom, being crucified with his head downwards, at or near the same time when St.


As the design of this Epistle is excellent, remarks Macknight, so its execu tion, in the judgment of the best critics, does not fall short of its design. Os tervald says of the first Epistle of Peter, "it is one of the finest books of the New Testament ;" and of the second, "that it is a most excellent Epistle, and is written with great strength and majesty." Erasmus pronounces the first Epistle to be worthy the prince of the Apostles, and full of apostolical dig nity and authority" and adds, "it is sparing in words, but full of sense," "St. Peter's style," as Dr. Blackwall justly observes, "expresses the noble vehemence and fervour of his spirit, the full knowledge he had of Christianity, and the strong assurance he had of the truth and certainty of his doctrine, and he writes with the authority of the first man in the college of the Apostles. He writes with that quickness and rapidity of style, with that noble neglect of some of the formal consequences and niceties of grainmar, still preserving its true reason, and natural analogy, (which are always marks of a sublime genins) that you can scarcely perceive the panses of his discourse, and distinetion of his periods. The great Joseph Scaliger calls Peter's first Epistle majeatre; and I hope he was more judicious than to exclude the second, though he did not name it. A noble majesty and becoming freedom are what disfetish Peter; a devout and judicious person cannot read him without soToon attention and awful concern. The conflagration of this world, and fufox gelment of angels and men, in the third chipter of the second Epistle, is described in such strong and terrible terms, such awful circumstances, that in the description we see the planetary heavens and this our earth wrapped up with devouring flames; hear the groans of an expiring world, and the crashes

Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded. St. Jerome adds, that he was buried at Rome, in the Vatican, near the triumphal way; and is in veneration over all the world." He wrote this Epistle, as is generally allowed, some little time before his death, probably about A. D. 64, to the Christians, doubtless both Jewish and Gentile converts, in the different provinces of Asia Minor: and most probably from Rome, mystically called Babylon, (ch. v. 13,) as Ecumenius, Bede, and other fathers, Grotius, Whuby, Macknight, Lardner, Hales, Horne, Townsend, and all the learned of the Romish church, suppose; and which is strongly corroborated by the general testimony of antiquity. REMARKS.

of nature tumbling into universal ruin. And what a solemn and moving Epiphonema, or practical inference, is that! Since, therefore, all these things must be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness-in all parts of holy and Christian life-in all instances of justice and charity? The meanest soul, and lowest imagination,' says an ingenious man, cannot think of that time, and the awiul descriptions we meet with of it in this place, and several others of Holy Wait, without the greatest emotion and deepest impressions.'"* "As the true Church of Christ," says Dr. Clarke, has generally been in a state of suffering, the Epistles of St Peter have ever been most highly prized by all believers. That which we have just finished is an admirable letter, containing some of the most important maxims and consolations for the church in the wilderness. No Christian can read it without deriving from it both light and life. Ministers, especially. should study it well, that they may know how to comfort their flocks when in persecution or adversity. He never speaks to good in any spiritual case who is not furnished out of the Divine treasury. God's words invite, solicit and command assent: on them a man may confidently rely. The words of man may be true, but they are not infallible. This is the character of God's word alone."

To these valuable remarks on the varied excellences and uses of this inimitable Epistle, it may be only necessary to add, that it is not only important in these respects, but is a rich treasury of Christian doctrines and duties, from which the mind may be enriched, and the heart improved, with the most en nobling sentiments.




THE writer of this Epistle calls himself" Simon Peter," (ch. i. 1. Ac. xv. 14. Gr.) an apostle of Jesus Christ;" alludes to circumstances and facts which agree with none but Peter, (ch. i. 14-16. John xxi. 19;) calls it his se cond Epistle, (ch iii. 1;) and speaks of his beloved brother Paul," (ch. iii. 15.) It must therefore, either be the work of the Apostle Peter, or of one who personated him; but this latter supposition, that of forging the name of an apostle, and personating him, is wholly inconsistent with the remarkable energy with which the writer inculcates holiness, and the solemn yet affectionate manner, in which he testifies against the delusions of those by whom it was

neglected. Some doubts, however, of its genuineness and divine authority were entertained in the primitive church, which Jerome ascribes to the sup posed dissimilarity of style between it and the first Epistle. But, being written only a short time before the Apostle's martyrdom, (ch. i. 14,) though apparently but a short time after the first, (ch. i. 13, 15,) and not having been so publicly avowed by him, and clearly known to be his, during his lifetime, the scrupulous caution of the church hesitated about admitting it into the sacred canon, till internal evidence fully convinced the most competent judges that it was entitled to that high distinction.


Da Macknight justly observes, that "the matters contained in this Epistle from the rest of St. Peter's writings, and where the style is as different from are highly worthy of an inspired Apostle; for, besides a variety of important that of the other two chapters, as it is from the language of the first Epistle. discoveries, all tending to display the perfections of God and the glory of Christ, But the fact is, that the style of both Epistles is essentially the same. "I canwe find in it exhortations to virtue, and condemnations of vice, delivered with not," says Dr. Blackwall, with some critics, find any great difference be an carnestness of feeling, which shows the author to have been incapable of twixt the style of the first and second Epistles; it is to me no more than wo imposing a forged writing upon the world; and that his sole design in this find in the style of the same persons at different times. There is much the same Epistle was to promote the interests of truth and virtue." With regard to the energy and clear brevity, the same rapid run of language, and the same com objection against the genuineness of this Epistle drawn from the difference of manding majesty in them both. Take them together, and they are admirable style between this and the former Epistle, it has been correctly said, that an for significant epithets and strong compound words; for beautiful and sprightly author's style is regulated, in a great measure, by the nature of his subject, diffigures, adorable and sublime doctrines, pure and heavenly morals, expressed ferent subjects naturally suggesting different styles; and that this diversity is in a chaste, lively, and graceful style.' confined to the second chapter of this Epistle, where the subject is different



THOUGH the name of St. John is not affixed to this Epistle, yet it has been received without hesitation as the genuine production of that Apostle from the earlicat period of the Christian church; and the similarity of sentiment and expression between it and his Gospel, is a full confirmation of the truth of this With respect to the date of this Epistle, there is a considerable diversity of opinion; some placing it, with Benson and Hales, in A. D. 68; others, with Bishop Tomtine, in A. D. 69; others, with Dr. Lardner, in A. D. 90, or even later; others, with Mill and Le Clerc, in A. D. 91 or 92; and others, with


Basnage and Baronius, in A. D. 99 or 99. The most probable of these opinions, however, seems to be that which assigns it an early date: for it would appear from certain expressions, that it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, (ch. ii. 18,) and while the generation which had seen our Lord in the flesh had not yet passed away, (ch. ii. 13, 14.) It appears, as Lardner, Macknight, and others suppose, to have been addressed to no particular church, but to have been intended as a general address for the use of Christians of every denomination and country, in strict accordance with its title of Catholic or General.



This short Epistle, and that which follows, being written, neither to any church by name, nor to the churches at large, but to private persons, had probably been kept for a considerable time in the possession of the families to whom they were originally sent, and were not discovered till long after the Apostle's decease, and after the death of the persons to whom they had been addressed When first discovered, all the immediate vouchers for their genuineness were necessarily gone; and the church of Christ, ever on its guard

against imposture, particularly in relation to writings professing to be the work of Apostles, hesitated to receive them into the number of canonical Scriptures, until it was fully ascertained that they were divinely inspired. Hence they were not generally known and acknowledged as the inspired production of St. John, in the earliest ages, in the decided manner that the preceding Epistle was; but their coincidence with it in sentiment, manner, and language, satis[fied all at an early period, that they were written by the same person.



tions, when what was true in them might be adduced to good purpose, with-
out at all sanctioning the fables which they contained, or inducing a suspicion
that he was not an inspired writer? (Acts xvii. 28. 1 Co. xv. 33. 2 Tim. ii. 8.
Tit. 1. 12.) These are the principal objections; and they amount to nothing
against the internal evidence, and the general current of antiquity. Lardner
shows, that it is found in all the ancient catalogues of the sacred writings of
the New Testament; is considered genuine by Clement of Alexandria; and is
quoted, as St. Jude's production, by Tertullian, by Origen, and by the greater
part of the ancients mentioned by Eusebius. Its genuineness is fully esta-
blished by the matter contained in it, which is every way worthy of an inspired
Apostle of Jesus Christ; and, as Macknight truly observes, there is no error
taught, no evil practice enjoined, for the sake of which any impostor could be

JUDE, or JUDAS, the writer of this Epistle, is generally and justly consi-
dered to have been Jude the Apostle, called also Lebheus, whose sumame
wa: Thaddeus, brother of James the Less, (ver. 1,) and the brother, or near
relative, of our Lord. Some hesitation, however, as to the genuineness of
this Epistle, seems to have prevailed in the church, which was at length fully
removed; though some learned modern writers, apparently on very slight
grands, have endeavoured to revive it. It is objected, that he calls himself,
Dot an Apostle, but a servant of Jesus Christ;" but so also does Paul, in
has insenption to the Philippians; and the word apostle is omitted in the
Estle to Philemon, and in that to the Thessalonians; neither does John, in
he Epistles, use the word apostle, nor mention his own name. Jude is also
Bupoged to quote apocryphal books-for there is no evidence that this was
really the case; but does not St. Paul quote heathen poets, and Jewish tradi-induced to impose a forgery of this kind on the world.


ST. JUDE, says Origen, has written an Epistle in a few lines indeed, but | full of vigorous expressions of heavenly grace. He briefly and forcibly represents the detestable doctrines and practices of certain false teachers, generally supposed to be the impure Gnostics, Nicoluitans, and followers of Simon Magus; od reproves these proflizate perverters of sound principles, and patrons of lewd, with a holy indignation and just severity; while at the same time be exerts all sound Christians, with genuine apostolic charity, to have tender compassion on these deluded wretches, and to endeavour vigorously to reclaim them from the ways of hell, and pluck them as brands out of the fire.

The great similarity between this Epistle and the second chapter of the second Epistle of Peter, has already been remarked. Both writers are nearly alike in subject, style, vehemence, and holy indignation against impudence and lewdness, and against those who invidiously undermine chastity, purity, and sound principles. The expressions are remarkably strong, the language animated, and the figures and comparisons bold, apt, and striking. There are no nobler amplifications in any author, than in these writers, when they expose the delinquencies of these false teachers, which they severely brand, emphatically expose, and yet happily express in all the purity and chastity of language.



on some parts of this mysterious book; and a commentary on the whole is mentioned among the works of Melito, Bishop of Sardis, A. D. 177. Irenaus, who flourished about the same time, and was, in early life, acquainted with Polycarp, often quoted this book as the Revelation of John the Evangelist, and the disciple of the Lord. "His testimony for this book (says Lardner) is so strong and full, that, considering the age of Irenæus, he seems to put it beyond all question, that it is the work of John the Apostle and Evangelist.” Later authorities need not be mentioned.

17 is a remarkable circumstance, (says Horne,) that the authenticity of this | and 108. Jerome states, that Justin Martyr (about A. D. 120) commented book was very generally, if not universally, acknowledged during the two first astares; and yet, in the third century, it began to be questioned. This seems to have been occasioned by some absurd notions concerning the Millennium, that a few well meaning, but fanciful expositors, grounded on this book; which tions their opponents injudiciously and presumptuously endeavoured to dedit by denying the authority of the book itself. So little, however, has this portion of Holy Writ suffered from the ordeal of criticism, to which it has in conuence been subjected, that (as Sir Isaac Newton has long since remarked) "there is no other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon so early, as the Apocalypse."

The external evidence for the authenticity and divine authority of this book, tests, as does also that of the other books of the New Testament, in a great mesure upon the testimony of the early Christian fathers. And here Woodhouse produces passages from Ignatius and Polycarp as early as A. D. 107

The next question relates to the date of this book. The most probable and generally received opinion is, that it was written during John's banishment to the isle of Patmos, by Domitian, in the latter part of his reign; that is, in the year A. D. 96, in the latter part of which he died, or immediately after, when the apostle was set at liberty. This has been clearly shown by Lardner. Lampe, Woodhouse, and others. The former says, that "all antiquity is


abundantly agreed, that Domitian was the author of John's banishment."
This also has the express sanction of Irenaus, Origen, and other early
fathers; and is supported by strong internal evidence: for this book describes
the seven Asiatic churches as not only existing, but as having flourished, and,
some of them, subsequently decayed, which could not have been the case at a
much earlier date.
Another question, and one we think least attended to, relates to the scenic
representations here described. The exhibitions in the first and fourth chap-
ters, strongly remind us of the scenes exhibited in the prophecies of Isaiah,
Daniel, and Ezekiel: but in chapters v. and vi. we have a volume, or roll of
parchment, sealed with seven seals: each of which, as it opens, displays (as
suggested by Harmer) a pictorial delineation of certain figures, emblematical
of future events, which exhibitions become more and more vivid, till they ac-
quire all the interest of real life: sounds are added to pictorial representation,
and the great Ezekiel of the New Testament, wrapt in prophetic ruptures, bears
thunders unutterable, and describes scenes inconceivable.
We have alluded to Ezekiel, and, indeed, there is a singular resemblance be-
tween his visions and those of the beloved disciple. Both saw the sapphire
throne, and the rainbow round about it: with the glorious vision of the cheru-
bic animals. Both prefigure the terrible judgments of God upon the earth,
and particularly upon Gog and Magog; and both describe the New Jerusa-
lem, with an angel measuring the temple.

There is something, however, peculiar in St. John's plan, or method: first, seven seals are unloosed, and produce six grand pictorial views. Under the seventh seal we have a solemn pause, and seven angels with trumpets are introduced the sounding of the first six trumpets produce six grand prophetic scenes; and the seventh trumpet ushers in the Millennium.

The following brief analysis is from the pen of the late learned and judicious Hurd:"The reader may form a distinct idea of the method in which the whole book of the Apocalypse is disposed, by observing, that it is resolvable into three great parts. The first part is that of the Epistles to the seven churches, contained in the first three chapters, and is not at all considered by Mede. "The second part (with which Mede begins his commentary) is that of the Sealed Book, from chap. iv. to chap. x. ; and contains the fates of the empire, or its civil revolutions, yet with a reference still to the fate and fortune of the Christian church. "The third part is that of the Open Book, with what follows, to the end; and exhibits in a more minute and extended view, the fates of the Christian church, especially during its apostacy, and after its recovery from it. This third division may farther be considered as consisting of two parts. The first contains, in chap. xi., a summary view of what should befall the Christian church, contemporary with the events deduced in the second part concerning the empire; and is given in this place in order to connect the second and third parts, and to show their correspondence and contemporarity. The second part of the last division, from chap. xii. to the end, gives a detailed account of what should befall the Christian church, in distinct and, several of them, synchronical visions." It would be in vain to attempt to harmonize, or even to enumerate, the various expositors of this mysterious book; yet so much curiosity has been excited within the last few years, by the exercise of uncommon genius and learning, that we feel disposed to give a faint outline of the hypothesis of a few of the most popular, which we shall do with impartiality; and, according to the best of our recollection, nearly in the order of their publication.

The French Revolution, and the events which followed, renewed, in a singular way, the study of this sacred book. Most remarkable, certainly, were the interpretations or conjectures (as the reader may please to call them) of the judgments foretold in chap. xi., relative to the fall of the French government, and certain events which followed, as they were explained by the Rev. P. Jurtieu, Rob. Fleming, and others, in the latter end of the 17th century. One of the first writers who particularly noticed this event as the fulfilment of that prophecy, was the Rev. James Bicheno, M. A., a Baptist Minister of Newbury, and a most zealous friend to civil and religious liberty. This benevolent gentleman (for the writer knew such to be his character) was so delighted with the fall of popery and slavery in France, that he flattered himself that this was, at least, an introduction to the Millennium. Some of his peculiarities were that the great dragon, mentioned in Rev. xx. 1-3, signified the German empire; and the two witnesses, in chap. xi., the advocates for civil and religious liberty. He wrote in 1794, &c. and predicted the final destruction of popery and despotism in 1819! 2. Illustrations of Prophecy-In which are elucidated many predictions in Isaiah, Daniel, the Revelation, &c. supposed to refer to the Revolution in France, the overthrow of ecclesiastical tyranny, civil despotism, &c., with a large collection of extracts, &c., 2 vols. 8vo. 1796. This work, though anony

mous, was well known to be the production of a son of the late Dr. Torvers
of political memory; and though professedly religious, was so deeply imbued
with politics, that, soon after its publication, it was thought prudent to sup-
press the sale, to prevent prosecution, which rendered it for several years very
scarce. It contains, however, curious and interesting extracts from more than
thirty writers of the two last centuries, and is thought to excel in a judicious
exposition of the prophetic symbols, which abound in this book.
3. On the other hand, the Rev. G. S. Faber, B. D., a very leamed and re-
spectable clergyman, differs from most preceding interpreters in explaining
Antichrist, and the Man of Sin-neither of the pope nor popery, but of the
Intidel King" or atheistical government of France; a system which he has
certainly defended with great ability and ingenuity. He is also a strong and
able advocate for the complete restoration of the Jews.

Since these gentlemen, who were the first, we believe, to propound and support these systems, we have had a long succession of writers of varied talent; among whom we recollect the names of three learned lay gentlemen, Messrs. Cuninghame, Frere, and Gallaway; and, still more recently, the Rev. Mr. Irving-of all whom we wish to speak with respect, though, from the little knowledge we have obtained of their respective systems, we consider them as rather curious than correct.

The first, and certainly one of the most judicious, of these works, is the "Paraphrase and Notes of the Rev. Moses Lowman, forty years a dissenting minister at Clapham." Ours is the fourth edition. When the first edition of this work was published, we cannot say; but the author died in 1752 Of this work, it is sufficient praise that Doddridge has said of it-" From which I have received more satisfaction, with respect to many of its difficulties, (i. e. the dif ficulties of the Apocalypse.) than ever I found elsewhere, or expected to have found at all."-Doddridge's Works. 2. Bishop Newton's Dissertations on the Prophecies we need only name, as their merit is universally acknowledged. The 24th Dissertation only has reference to this book. 3. The Apocalypse, or Revelation of St. John, translated, with notes, eritical and explanatory. To which is prefixed, a dissertation on the divine origin of the book, &c. by J. C. Woodhouse, D. D. Archdeacon of Salop. It is abundant praise to this author, that no less a man than Bishop Hurd wrote in a blank leaf of this book, in the Hartlebury Library-"This is the best book of the kind I have seen. It owes its superiority to two things: 1. The author's understanding, for the most part, the Apocalyptical symbols in a spiritual. not in a literal sense; and, 2dly, To the care he has taken to fix the precise import of those symbols, from the use made of them by the old prophetical, and other writers of the Old and New Testament."

4. An Essay towards a connected elucidation of the prophetical part of the Apocalypse, by Steph. Morell, (1806.) The author, who is since deceased, bore the character of intelligent, modest, and temperate in judgment; and has had the merit of condensing into the compass of an octavo pamphlet, the substance of Loroman, Neroton, and several other writers.

5. Expository Discourses on the Apocalypse, interspersed with practical reflections, by Andr. Fuller, 1814. This was the last work of Fuller, and bears the characteristic stamp of his maturest judgment. The author died just before its publication.

6. A concise Exposition of the Apocalypse, so far as the prophecics are fulfilled, by J. R. Park, M. D. This answers to its description, and contains, as appears to us, an abstract of the great work of Woodhouse, above mentioned, so far as relates to prophecies supposed to be fulfilled. The five first chapters are omitted, as not prophetical. The author professes to have consulted the archdeacon at every step, but to have differed from him freely, wherever he saw occasion. 7. The most recent, and ingenious work we have met with, is "The Apocalypse of St. John.... a new interpretation, by the Rev. Geo. Croiy, A.M. H. R. S. L."-Without professing ourselves converts to his, or to any new system, as a whole, we certainly regard Mr. C. as an elegant and an able writer. 8. There is another work which we have not classed, nor can we cluss, with the above, because it is unique, and, in general, opposed to all the preceding. It is entitled, " A general History of the Christian Church.... chiefly deduced from the Apocalypse of St. John," on which it is, in fact, a commentary. It appears under the name of Sig. Pastorini, but is well known and acknowledged to be written by the late Dr. Walmesley, of Bath, a Roman Catholic divine, and "Vicar Apostolic of the West of England." This profound mathematician, and such he confessedly was, has endeavoured to demonstrate that Protestantism (and not popery) is the grand apostacy." which was to have been exterminated in 1825!--but has happily survived the author's rash prediction. This work was first printed in 1771; but ours, which is marked the fifth edition, is dated "Dublin, 1812."


CONCERNING the Revelation, Dr. Priestley (no mean judge of Biblical subjects, where his own peculiar creed was not concerned) has declared, "I think it impossible for any intelligent and candid person to peruse this Book without being struck, in the most forcible manner, with the peculiar dignity and sublimity of its composition, superior to that of any other writing whatever; so as to be convinced, that, considering the age in which it appeared, none but a person divinely inspired could have written it. These prophecies are also written in such a manner as to satisfy us that the events announced to us were really foreseen; being described in such a manner as no person, writing without that knowledge, could have done. This requires such a mixture of clearness and obscurity, as has never yet been imitated by any forgers of prophecy whatever. Forgeries, written of course after the events, have always been too plain. It is only in the Scriptures, and especially in the Book of Daniel, and this of the Revelation, that we find this happy mixture of clearness and obscurity in the accounts of future events." The obscurity of this prophecy, which has been urged against its genuineness, necessarily results from the highly figurative and symbolical language in which it is delivered, and is, in fact, a strong internal proof of its authenticity and divine original: "For it is a part of this prophecy," as Sir Isaac Newton justly remarks, "that it should not be understood before the last age of the world; and therefore it makes for the credit of the prophecy that it is not yet understood. The folly of interpreters has been, to foretell times and things by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets. By this rashness, they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this, and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that, after that they were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the interpret ers, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things, predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence. For as the few and obscure prophecies concerning Christ's first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations have since corrupted: so the many and clear prophecies concerning the things to be done at Christ's second coming, are not only for predicting, but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness The event will prove the Apocalypse; and this prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old prophets; and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it. There is already so much of the prophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in this study, may see sufficient instances of God's promise; but then the signal revolutions predicted by all the holy prophets, will at once both turn men's eves upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them. Till then we 40

must content ourselves with interpreting what hath been already fulfilled."
And, as Weston observes, "if we were in possession of a complete and parti-
cular history of Asia, not only of great events, without person or place, names
or dates, but of the exactest biography, geography, topography, and chronolo-
gy, we might, perhaps, still be able to explain and appropriate more circom-
stances recorded in the Revelation, under the emperors of the East and the
West, and in Arabia, Persia, Tartary, and Asia, the seat of the most impor-
tant revolutions with which the history of Christianity has ever been inter-
woven and closely connected." History is the great interpreter of prophecy.
Prophecy is, as I may say," observes Newton, "history anticipated and
contracted; history is prophecy accomplished and dilated; and the prophecies
of Scripture contain the fate of the most considerable nations, and the sub-
stance of the most memorable transactions in the world, from the earliest to
the latest times. Daniel and St. John, with regard to those latter times, are
more copious and particular than the other prophets. They exhibit a series
and succession of the most important events, from the first of the four great
empires to the consummation of all things. Their prophecies may really he
said to be a summary of the history of the world; and the history of the world
is the best comment upon their prophecies.... and the more you know of
ancient and modern times, and the farther you search into the truth of history,
the more you will be satisfied of the truth of prophecy." The Revelation was
designed to supply the place of that continued succession of prophets, which
demonstrated the continued providence of God to the patriarchal and Jewish
churches. "The majority of commentators on the Apocalypse," says Toten-
send, generally acted on these principles of interpretation. They discover
in this Book certain predictions of events which were fulfilled soon after they
were announced; they trace in the history of later years various coincidences,
which so fully agree with various parts of the Apocalypse, that they are justly
entitled to consider them as the fulfilment of its prophecies; and, by thus
tracing the one God of Revelation through the clouds of the dark ages, through
the storms of revolutions and wars, through the mighty convulsions which, at
various periods, have agitated the world, their interpretations, even when
they are most contradictory, when they venture to speculate concerning the
future, are founded on so much undoubted truth, that they have materially
confirmed the wavering faith of thousands. Clouds and darkness must cover
the brightness of the throne of God, till it shall please him to enable us to
bear the brighter beams of his glory. In the mean time, we trace his footsteps
in the sea of the Gentile world, his path in the mighty waters of the ambitious
and clashing passions of man. We rejoice to anticipate the day when the
bondage of Rome, which would perpetuate the intellectual and spiritual sla
very of man, shall be overthrown, and the day-spring of united knowledge
and holiness bless the world."


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A. M. 1.


B. C. 4004.

a Pr.8.23
Ju. 11,2
He. 1.10.

b Job 38.4.
PB. 33.6.

Is. 40.26.
Ze. 12. 1.
Ac. 14. 15.
Ro. 1.20.

Co. 1.16.

c Job 26.7.
Je. 4.23.

d Job 25 13
Ps. 10.30.

e Pa. 33.9.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and thef 2 Cor.4.6.
darkness he called Night. And the evening
and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, 1 and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above m the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruittree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were

the third day.

Ep.5.14. g between the light, and be

tween the


Is. 45.7.

i and the

was and
the morn
ing was.

j Job 37.18
k expan-


m Pr.8.28.

n Job 38.8.

o Mat.6.30.




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Lu. 6. 44.

r Ps. 136.7.

s between
the day
and be
tween the

Ps. 101.19.
for the

rule of
the day.
v Je.31.35.

w creeping.

x soul

Ec. 2.21.


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2 face of
the firma-
ment of
ver. 7,14.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament a Ec.7.29 of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

15 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

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And God said, Let the earth bring fortn the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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1 The first sabbath. 8 The garden of Eden. 16 The tree of knowledge. 19, 20 The naming of the creatures. 21 The making of woman, and institution of marriage.

THUS the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it b created to to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.


c or, a mist

went up

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth
abundantly the moving creature that hath d dust
* life, and fowl that may fly above the earth
in the open firmament of heaven.

of the


e c.3.19.

Ps. 103, 14.
Is. 64.8.
1 Co. 15.


21 And God created great whales, and every
living creature that moveth, which the waters
brought forth abundantly after their kind, and | f Job 23.4.
every winged fowl after his kind: and God
saw that it was good.

g Is. 2.22.

b 1 Cor. 15.

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22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, i Ez 31.8,9. and good for food; the tree of life also in the and let fowl multiply in the earth.

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