A New Translation|
Preface and Introduction
Chapter 2 Ephesus
Chapter 2 Smyrna
Chapter 2 Pergamos
Chapter 2 Thyatira
Chapter 3 Sardis
Chapter 3 Philadelphia
Chapter 3 Laodicea
The Lectures here presented to the reader were taken in shorthand, and printed in 1858-9 in a periodical form, with additions or retrenchments throughout. In 1861 a new and corrected edition appeared, preceded in 1860 by a critical edition of the Greek text with a close English translation and a full statement of the authorities (MSS., versions, and early citations) and various readings in the notes. In 1868 a new edition in the periodical form was issued, and the following year again in the collected form.
I trust that, in spite of many hindrances to such a revision as one might desire, the present edition will be found not only enlarged, but more accurate, though few are likely to be so sensible of its defects as myself. May the gracious Lord, who deigned to use it for the good of souls, even when certainly encumbered with greater drawbacks, bless its fresh circulation to the refreshment of His own and the warning of the careless or even the scornful among such as know Him not!
That the day in which we live is serious and fraught with change of the gravest character is doubted by no thoughtful mind. A sage of this world has issued his Latter-day Pamphlets. For near a century the air has been full of revolution. Men take pleasure, especially in experimental science, which has yielded not a few brilliant results, and some of them eminently practical in facilitating the intercourse of men and minds. Hence a tendency to glorify success, especially in material things, and to look more than ever for progress in the future. The past is either slighted utterly or condoned patronisingly and with pity. All things are made matters of question. The age prepares to put the most venerable authority on its trial speculatively as it will in fact ere long. But it essays a more audacious flight; it already counts itself wiser than God's word, and will soon accept a man as God Himself in His temple.
Has the Holy Spirit wrought after no special sort in presence of Satan's activity and new wiles? As it is according to God to work invariably for His own glory but in ways admirably adapted to the dangers and wants of His own, so has He proved in our day. He has recalled His children far and wide to Christ's person and work, to the Spirit and His presence, to their own forgotten privileges as Christians and the church now, as well as to the hope of His coming shortly.
Hence if on one side the world's restless love of change has imperilled the solid hold of what is good and of God, on the other side grace has disabused many of prejudices, detected faulty or imperfect views, and opened hearts to truths stored in scripture but in vain till the Holy Ghost made them living. To this the powerful conviction that the Lord is at hand contributed largely, as it raised in hearts and consciences the solemn question of the church's state and of our own as individuals.
Thus for good as for evil it does not satisfy to cite the ways and thoughts of men in the last few centuries. Some doubtless drench themselves with the dregs of the dark ages; others go back to the impressions of the first four centuries after Christ, and think they have done much when they find themselves coinciding with the Greek or Latin ecclesiastics of those days. But not a few there are, I thank the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who have been taught of Him to confide only in the scriptures by the Spirit — not in testimony since the apostles, but in their divinely-inspired writings.
If the spirit of revolution or of superstition slight the work which God effected by the labours of the reformers, faith values indeed and gives God thanks for what He did then, but goes straight up to the fresh fountains of revealed truth, and owns these to be the needed, sweet, and sure resource of divine grace for an hour when evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
It appears to me then that, while it is wanton to reject the work of the Lord's servants either at the Reformation or in days before or since, it is not the wisdom which befits the believer at any time, least of all in face of our increasing snares and perils, to stop short of the sources which are as accessible to us as to those who originally received them, which only unbelief prompted men to forsake, to the grief of the Spirit and their own irreparable loss. It is good to respect Luther, Calvin, Bucer, Cranmer, Jewell; it is better — yea, a bounden duty to test what these said and others, respectable indeed but inferior to them, to test their thoughts by the living and abiding word of God. Why swear to the words of an earthly master, or of a school which sprung later from his words, when God has vouchsafed His own, and given us the Spirit who abides in us for ever?
Rationalism can find not a little material and an apparent sanction for its own bolder impiety from the unguarded words of the greatest of reformers. Pious Protestants cherish the memory of their works, and hang on their words as articles of faith and hope. But there is no need for the Christian to be a Protestant, no excuse for becoming a rationalist. Why not take the whole written word and trust the Holy Spirit to give us all the truth suited to the exigencies of today, as He was pleased to strengthen others yesterday? The word of God as such claims our homage as the sole rule, and this too as a whole, not that measure only which was blessed to and in others who have passed before us. The Reformation is not Christianity, nor are Luther and his fellows the apostle Paul and the other apostles.
I am thoroughly convinced that the admirable men of the Reformation, though greatly beyond those who followed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were no more spiritually fit to traverse safely the field of prophecy than their descendants at the present time. It is a thing as unknown among Protestants as among Romanists to meet with souls consciously dead to sin and law, standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ makes free. Still less do they apprehend aright the union of saints with Christ by the Spirit, and the character of the assembly of God as the body of Christ or even as the house of God. Unacquainted with these truths, as little emancipated individually from every hindrance and bond as their systems are from the Popish leaven of a consecrated caste with its efficacious rites, they habitually gravitate toward Judaism, and this in a prophetic scheme quite as much as in doctrine and walk.
The grounds of this judgment the reader may find too abundantly, if otherwise he himself knows it not, in these lectures. It is useless, save for party purposes, to meet the charge by peremptory denial and haughty contempt. I am sure I love the reformers with a hearty affection in the Lord, as I do those who adopt their views as a standard in our day; but I believe that it is no disparagement to either if we, profiting it may be by their footsteps, seek to go on to know the word of the Lord more fully.
The reader will see that there is frequent reference in these pages to Mr. E. B. Elliott's Horae Apocalypticae. I meant this as an act of sincere respect to him and his elaborate commentary, the best representative of the Protestant school. It is with regret that one observes a ruffled tone in his notice of my criticisms.* His answers I shall here review in the hope that he may be convinced of oversight at least in some important details, if not in grave first principles.
*Thus his note 3 to p. 643 is a great exaggeration of anything I expected, which was, not that he would abandon his general scheme (no such exorbitant thought being ever anticipated), but that he might see how incorrect were some of his positions, not only in detailed points, but even in the structural division of Rev. 21.
And first I must say that it is not fairly put (i.p. 18) to assert that I, whom he is pleased to classify "on the Futurist side," have distinctly renounced many of the chief dogmas of the original "Futurist school." I might have let this pass, though in my opinion likely to produce the erroneous impression that I had put forth futurism once and since "renounced" many of its chief dogmas; but taken alone, with his still stronger language in the same direction (iv. p. 644), it seemed due both to Mr. Elliott and to his readers to correct the error. "In fine (says he), we may, I think, safely conclude to receive Mr. W. Kelly's judgment, so far as it goes, in favour of the Protestant Historical view of the Apocalyptic prophecy, as that forced upon a person originally altogether prejudiced against it." Mr. E. has not the least warrant for these last words. I am sorry to occupy space about a personal matter. It is more important to state that, years before the first edition of the Horae Apocalypticae appeared in 1844, there were Christians who waited for Christ and looked for the personal Antichrist, with the many momentous consequences of both views, yet held the general application of the Apocalypse to the saints and the world since the time of St. John, as stated in my lectures. Nor ought Mr. Elliott to have forgotten this (as I doubt not he did); for I have so told him orally and given him a work by a friend of mine to that effect, which was published in 1839. He should not therefore have spoken of "renouncing" futurist dogmas once entertained, any more than of "a person originally altogether opposed to the Protestant view."
On another point too I am surprised that such a man should so gravely misunderstand. He contrasts with Mr. Barker's vague and indefinite views my writing "distinctly and expressly, and moreover in a certain way authoritatively, as if speaking as the organ of a not unimportant party in the Christian Church" — this because of my using the word "we" sufficiently often to leave this impression. (e.g. Introd. p. ix.) Let me say in few words that I am simply comparing the thoughts of such as like myself admit a partial application of the Revelation to the past, but believe that the errand and close fulfilment of its central prophetic visions — Rev. 6 to Rev. 16 — will be after the translation of those set forth by the elders or glorified saints, and in order to their appearing with Christ in glory. I am not alone in these convictions, which are shared by many intelligent persons, both Anglican and Nonconformist, besides those who like myself refuse to take a sectarian place in the present chaos of Christendom. Whatever of "authoritativeness" was in my words is due solely to my firm conviction of the divine word, not in the least to being the organ of a party important or not, a thing as far from the fact as foreign to my own feeling and judgment of what is due to the Lord and the church.
The first and main difference which severs Mr. E. and myself as interpreting the book is his denial of that which to me is certain, that the epistles to the seven Asiatic churches were intended to give more than the actual state in St. John's day, and to figure successively the most characteristic phases of the church from apostolic times to the consummation. Mr. E. in a periodical long since defunct had urged some objections to the late Mr. Trotter's statement of similar convictions in his well-known Plain Papers. It seemed to Mr. E. inconsistent with the analogy of scripture prophecy and with plain fact.*
*I cite the substance of the remarks that follow from the Introduction of the same edition, pp. iv.-vi.
My answer was that it is in vain to appeal to Dan. 2, 7, 11, or other such prophecies, which have no analogy with the addresses of the Lord Jesus to these Christian assemblies. These are manifestly sui generis and have no connection with the fortunes of the world, or the successive rising and setting of its powers. Supposing such quasi-prophetic sketches to have been intended of God, the intermingling of the chief changes of civil government among men would be to my mind an incongruous mixture, instead of being a necessary element of consistency.
Next it is said to be contrary to plain fact; because in more than one of the epistles the prominent characteristics of the church addressed disagree utterly from the state of the Christian church at the assigned era. So, for example, very specially in that to Thyatira, where nothing less than an unintentional* mutilation is charged on the effort to make out a case at all plausible for applying it to the dominion of Popery in the dark ages, the eye being fixed on the exception Jezebel, not on the church in Thyatira. Whereas, instead of prevalent irreligion and the almost complete extinction of testimony for Christ, the epistle depicts a high state of piety in the general professing body there: and with the power in their hands, which it was their grand fault not duly to exercise, of interdicting and stopping the teaching of the woman Jezebel.
*In the H.A., iv. 642, note, Mr. E. says "Not 'intentional' mutilation; as Mr. W. K. very unwarrantably represents me as saying. I had, and have, too much regard for Mr. T. to entertain such an idea." This somewhat startled me, as I had certainly written as Mr. E. said unintentional; and so it was in all the copies of my book that I could see. Accordingly I wrote to Mr. E. asking whether it was the fact that his copy of my book made me represent him as saying "intentional" where I had really written the precise reverse, as he said himself. It was possible of course that in his particular copy the printer might, by some singular accident if not intention, have thrown out the important prefix "un" which had led him to so strong and rash a charge against me, who certainly would not on any account misrepresent any man. Mr. E. wrote immediately a private acknowledgement that it was his mistake, not my misrepresentation. I understood from him that he had been troubled before he wrote his critique with an attack of a complaint which often leads men to see things in a wrong light. Any one is liable to a mistake, particularly if he writes a rejoinder, when it is not a case of the "double sight" he imputes metaphorically to me in the same page, but under the influence of such a malady (not morally, but physically) not quite passed away. But I humbly think that he owed it to the Lord, his readers, and himself, to have publicly corrected so gross and groundless an insinuation, instead of leaving it to me now nine years after it was disseminated to all the world.
Such is a full statement of this objection; but it has no real force. For it must be borne in mind that our [i.e. Mr. T.'s and my] hypothesis assumes a twofold application, and therefore necessarily shuts out a rigid facsimile, which supposes a single set of circumstances wherein it can be verified. The churches are addressed as such, that is, as standing on the footing on which Christ had set the church, though the evils that were come or coming in are notified to those churches as thus responsible. The address is not to Balaam or Jezebel, but to assemblies where the germs of those symbolic forms of iniquity were found, and therein to those who had the consciousness of the Christian profession. Plainly therefore it is the character, not necessarily the extent, of the evil (or of the state, whatever it might be), which is or could be noticed here. If it was general deadness, such is the state indicated, and that in a particular order; if the seductions of false teachers were aimed at, this is also found; but in no case is there an attempt to define the extent of the sphere which might be thus leavened.
Hence I do not see in Thyatira a broken centre in the array of evidence, but rather an unmistakably strong and conspicuous front. The solemn principle that appears in it is that even there the church was then the birthplace of children born to Jezebel in adultery. The point is not the number of her children; but that, up to the Lord's warning, the saints accepted this condition of things. There might be ever so abundant works and service, faith and love. Still the evil of Jezebel was allowed. The good was no doubt far more prominent in the primitive Christian assembly, the evil no longer an exception winked at, but infinitely more developed and systematized in mediaeval Christendom; though I am far from thinking that, in these dark ages, there may not have been an amount of loving though unintelligent devotedness, of which it becomes not men of the present hour to speak too lightly. In short the epistle applied literally to Thyatira in St. John's days, while for him who has ears to hear there is much to intimate a further reference to a time when Jezebel and her children might have the upper hand, a faithful remnant be defined most strikingly, and faith called to look onward to the Lord's coming as the only solace.
It is quite the mistake of Mr. E. that this view implies that Protestants are "the synagogue of Satan." For I agree with many, living as well as dead, that Protestantism is set forth by Sardis. The other most sweeping sentence of the Holy Ghost prefigured those who insist on a traditional religion of sacramentalism and succession, the modern Judaizers, who have put forth such painfully successful efforts to revive a system of doctrine and rites, which, nipped in the bud by apostolic vigilance, especially by St. Paul, afterwards expanded into gigantic proportions in the catholic days of early Christendom, even before the empire had renounced Paganism, and of course long before the full-blown Popery of Rome. (Compare Rev. 2:9 with Rev. 3:9) Can anything more exactly describe them, though good men, like a Barnabas of old, may be ensnared in it for a while?
The argument drawn from the agreement or from the discord of commentators, Mr. E. probably knows I do not consider entitled to much attention. But, from the days of Abbot Joachim at least till our own, it is impossible to deny that some of the most godly and thoughtful students of the book have embraced the view of a prophetic as well as historical sense of these epistles. Brightman, Forbes, Mede, More, Gill, Sir I. Newton, Vitringa, and Cunninghame, are among the names of departed writers, who might well claim respectful attention, especially from their companions of the Protestant school. Shades of difference there are between these and others; but all agree in the common principle of a continuous and periodistic force appertaining to the seven epistles. And so far is this from being a peculiarity of those who look for a future personal Antichrist, that, on the contrary mere futurism is opposed to it as decidedly as praeterism.
In short I do not affirm that the seven epistles to the Asiatic churches are strictly prophetic, like "the things which must be after these," which are the prophecies of the book. But I do hold that, just as Daniel 3 - 6 gives us historical facts divinely selected, "is ever the case with inspiration, and in strict keeping as prophetic types with the formal visions of the prophet, so is it with the mystery of the seven golden candlesticks. They had, like the incidents recorded of the kings in Babylon, a bearing deeper than the history, and like them also they pave the way for the predictions which follow. As with all types or parables, it is only a cavil to insist on a technical minuteness of application in order to throw overboard the profound lessons of truth they convey to the circumcised ear. The objection of Mr. E. is the less reasonable in the instance of Thyatira, because in types every one familiar with them knows that the woman typically represents a given state, good or evil, the man rather activity in good or evil. On the other hand, it was important to guard against the notion that God sanctioned so frightful a state of Popery, which was but an enormous falling away from the truth, the real witnesses in His eyes being now "the rest" or "remnant," who were then first defined in this typico-historic sketch of Christendom. For myself, though I may fail to convince those who are strongly committed to a denial of the protracted view of "the things that are," I cannot see how, if the Spirit had designed such a view, the elements for it could have been otherwise so admirably disposed to that end without destroying its past use. What Mr. E. taunts as "a most curious double view" is really characteristic of scripture in general; and of all the inspired writers, he who is at once the deepest and the most sober is the one who most frequently initiates us into this use of Old Testament facts and persons. That it should be employed in a more orderly method and a more complete measure in the Revelation than in preceding books of prophecy is exactly in harmony with what is true in all other respects of that book as compared with the prophets who went before St. John. Why should deep-reaching perfectness be incredible in his eyes? Ample reasons have been given for so interpreting these epistles, besides answering his objections in a way satisfactory to many unbiassed men.
Nor does Mr. E. attempt fairly to grapple with the vision of the twenty-four crowned elders in Rev. 4, 5, corroborated by their position throughout the book, as proving the translation of the saints after the seven churches are closed and before the proper prophetic action begins. "A double view truly marvellous!" (p. 648) is a feeble reply to a plain fact which I urge afresh on Mr. E., and which neither he nor any other historicalist has ever fairly faced. There is scarce more difficulty in the mode of the twofold application here than in the ordinary difference of the type and its antitype (p. 644). Such a difference is credible to Mr. E. in the high priest literally and typically; nor is there a whit more of particularity in the Apocalypse than in Leviticus. The order and accuracy in detail are divinely perfect throughout Scripture, though Dr. Fairbairn in his Typology is as slow to believe in the figures of the law as Mr. E. in those of the Apocalypse. I am sure that "my more intelligent readers" will agree with me that this is little to the credit of two men who have undertaken a task to which they prove themselves somewhat unequal, and that such reasoning and pleasantry, or whatever it may be best designated, will be acceptable to such only as feebly know the scriptures and the power of God.
Thus was the case put in my former Introduction: "In passing it may here be asked, What satisfactory reason can historicalists offer for the occurrence of such scenes [as Rev. 4, 5] at this point? It is easy to make remarks on the heavenly company and the Apocalyptic scenery; that is, particular points in the vision; but why and how have we such a vision here at all? There is no serious attempt that I know of to account for the disappearance of churches on earth thenceforward, nor for the fact that the full company of the royal priesthood, or at least the representative heads of all the courses, are then seen in heaven. What event was there in Mr. E.'s view, immediately before the reign of Nerva, which could call out the special joy and worship of heaven, or the new action with which God and the Lamb begin to occupy themselves? If that wondrous change, the removal to heaven of the saints now glorified, be supposed to have taken place, all is explained. A turning point is reached in the application of the ways of God, who, having gathered to Himself His heavenly redeemed from the beginning to that epoch, then proceeds to reveal the process of His providence for accomplishing His earthly purposes to His own glory and that of Christ; that is, His future dealings not as now with the one body wherein is neither Jew nor Gentile, but expressly with Israel and the nations, remnants of whom will be raised up to bear a testimony to the plans which God will have in hand. Not that He will not have His saints and witnesses among them both; but they are so foreshown in the character of their experiences Godward and manward, and the attitude of God Himself toward them and men generally is so described, as to evince a condition essentially different from that which subsists now; and all most confirmatory of the idea that the rapture of the saints will then be an accomplished fact. Nothing simpler, if the church state, 'the things which are,' continue no longer, the risen saints be gone to meet the Lord in the air, and the eve of the great crisis of the earth come. Not a hint is dropped that the crowned and enthroned elders are disembodied spirits, but the contrary is implied in all that is said of them. When souls are meant, they are so specified, as in Rev. 6 and Rev. 20. Moreover the elders are a complete symbol. Whatever the special portion in glory assigned to subsequent sufferers, the elders remain a definite company from Rev. 4 to 19, and receive no addition to their number. Their complement is made up from the first presentation above, and that figure only vanishes when the marriage of the Lamb is come, and a new symbol is needed to convey the new circumstances of the saints already transfigured and taken to heaven.
"On the protracted Protestant scheme, which I believe to have a certain measure of truth, the vision may be regarded vaguely as a sort of pictured pledge, or perhaps anticipation, of the church's heavenly glory, while the providential actings of God toward the world are afterwards unfolded. But when we raise the question of exact and full interpretation, I see no reason to doubt that these chapters reveal the position of the glorified saints above, after churches are no longer spoken of on earth, and before the Lord and His armies emerge from heaven for the war with the beast and the reign over the earth. It is properly a scene in heaven after the actual ecclesiastical state is closed, and before the millennium commences — a scene which inaugurates the very momentous interval between the two, when it becomes a question of judicial inflictions from God, and new classes of saints, invested with a testimony most appreciably distinct from the church, are called to glorify Him in the midst of the fires."
If Mr. E. thinks he has truth, and cares for many who believe him utterly wrong as to this which I am convinced is the key to the just and full understanding of the Apocalypse, he would do well to put forth all he can in meeting the brief statement now repeated with the detailed proofs which are continually referred to as evidence presents itself through my lectures on the Revelation. If I am right, the closer his examination the less he will have to regret it; if he can show me wrong, I trust I shall be truly grateful for his serving the Lord in correcting me and those swayed by my statements
In his tabular scheme given of the Apocalyptic plan according to my thoughts (p. 645), I have only to remark that it is the coming Roman prince who breaks covenant with the Jews, very likely in concert with the Antichrist or wilful king in the holy land; that is, the beast from the sea in all probability along with the second beast (from the earth or land), if we speak in the symbolic language of Rev. 13. As they are thus of one mind and policy, the confusion of these two practically is of little moment. Not so if (as I understand Mr. E.'s vi.) he makes me teach that the Assyrian is the last head of the reunited Roman empire. The Assyrian may be identified, as I judge, with the king of the north (Dan. 11), but he is certainly not the Apocalyptic beast from the abyss, any more than he is the king in the holy land with whom he wages war at the time of the end. I wonder that an intelligent man like the author of H. A. could so misconstrue some of the main points of my book, whereon I have strongly objected to the muddle of ancients and moderns. Here Mr. E. seems to make me just like the rest where I stand firmly opposed. So again I do not understand his representing my thought thus at the close of all -
"Great white Throne.
Can any reader divine? It crossed me that he perhaps meant 1000 years; but he knows well that I consider his putting the great white throne before, instead of after, the thousand years and the short space that follows, a blunder of the greatest magnitude, though he is not quite alone: two writers at least had preceded him in so flagrant a perversion of the chapter. But 1000 days or years are alike wrongly imputed to me; for I judge that eternity (the new heaven and earth in the most absolute sense) is the one and only thing that follows the resurrection and judgment of the wicked dead, who have their portion in the lake of fire.
In his "Addendum" (pp. 644-653) Mr. E. complains of sundry strong animadversions of mine on certain points of his Apocalyptic Exposition "by no means altogether in that spirit of fairness and candour which might have been anticipated from the courteous notice of myself and my Commentary in his Introduction." He has certainly overrated the careful study I had given to the H. A., though it is true that I bore in review the book as a whole in revising the reports of my lectures for the press. These he arranges under two heads as follows: — 1st, Mr. E.'s asserted errors in the adoption of certain wrong readings of the Apocalyptic Greek Text, as readings of quite insufficient authority; 2ndly asserted errors in certain of his renderings of the Greek, and of his historical applications of the prophecy. "1. Asserted erroneous readings of the Greek text preferred in the Horae." Of these Mr. E. selects four, which he seems to think most important.
"1. In Apoc. xi. 8, Mr. E. repeatedly but incorrectly, of course through oversight, represents the reading in the critical editions [he says now] επι της πλατειας της πολεως της μεγαλης (contradistinctively, I presume, to πλ. πολ. της μεγ., without the της). So Mr. K., p. 198." The reader will be surprised, and I doubt not Mr. E. himself, to hear that I do nothing of the kind; and that Mr. E. not only misunderstood but, misquotes me is the whole point of the matter. What I really say is, "Were the reading such as Mr. E. repeatedly represents it (of course through oversight), πλατειᾳ της π. της μ. (H. A., [4th ed.] vol. ii. p. 396, note 4, and yet more incorrectly in vol. iv. p. 543, note 2), there had been no room for this rendering ['the great street of the city'], which some very competent judges prefer."
Really it is beyond measure careless to add a fresh series of blunders now. The fact is, though it was always in my eyes a point of no moment, Mr. E. misquoted the Greek text from the New Testament in his fourth edition, and misquotes me in his fifth, and has evidently not seen that all this is exclusively and inexcusably his own mistake, which strongly illustrates my accusation of the great want of critical knowledge and tact, not only a conspicuous feature in a man of his general ability and acquirements, but most injurious to a commentator on a book which from its wretched state in the received text demands these qualities more than any other in the New Testament.
Here then I reiterate to the letter my statement, which Mr. E. must see., if instead of trying to defend himself from a charge of nothing more than oversight, he will kindly compare the two references to his fourth edition according to my note. I did not object to the τῆς, for it is my own reading, as it is that of every critical editor of the Revelation, save Griesbach and Scholz. But in that fourth edition he misquoted πλατειᾳ for πλατείας, the unquestionable reading of all MSS.; but on the second occasion referred to he says εν τῃ πλατειᾳ της πολεως της μεγαλης, which differs in the first three words from every known copy and edition. Had Mr E. taken the trouble to read his own quotations with my remarks, comparing both with any Greek Testament whatever (not to speak of a critical edition), he would have seen that I was simply correcting two misquotations of his, the last much the worst, which last is repeated once more with its three first words quite wrong in the 5th edition, iv. 579, note 1 — not p. 580, which contains no such reference. What Mr. E. deduces at the end of the paragraph of course therefore falls to the ground. The whole case is no bad example of the extreme looseness of citation in the H. A. Had he looked into my Greek text, he would have seen that I read as all save the two already named, who seem to have neglected entirely their own evidence, as well as much since better known. Bishop Middleton is quite right in what he says that the article is required before πόλεως. Even the Complutensian edition is correct, and though Erasmus introduced the error into the first published edition and all those which followed, it is now known that it was his own error, not the bad reading of his manuscript; for Codex Reuchlini exhibits ἐπὶ τῆς πλ. τῆς π.
2. At page 203 Mr. K. animadverts on my preferring the reading ηνοιγη ὁ ναος του Θεου εν τῳ ουρανῳ, in Apoc. xi. 19, to ηνοιγη ὁ ναος του Θ. ὁ εν τῳ ουρ., which he regards as that of best MS. authority. In reply to which charge I have to say that what I prefer is the reading of Griesbach, Scholz, Heinrichs, Tregelles, Alford; Wordsworth alone of the critical editors by me preferring the other reading."
What I do say in my page 203 makes Mr. E.'s present statement just cited more serious than the former one, and is to my mind unaccountable in a careful scholar. "The true reading is probably ὁ ἐν τῳ οὐρανῳ (i.e. which is in heaven). At any rate, so the Alexandrian and the Paris rescript, the Leicester, L Vatican cursive (579), the Middlehill, the Montfort, and one of the Parham (17) manuscripts say, not to speak of the Cod. Coislin. of Andreas and Victorinus. Mr. E. is also quite wrong in saying that 'according to Tregelles this is a mistake.' It is true that in his first edition, he omits this various reading though long before noted by Walton, Bengel (Wetstein probably [I now add certainly]), and even adopted without question in the text, not of Wordsworth only, but of Lachmann and Tischendorf, as it appears to be by Tregelles, judging from the new edition of 1859 [which gave the English only, not the Greek]. How it was that Mr. E. did not find it in the critical editions of Griesbach and of Scholz, it is not for me to say; but there it unquestionably may be found by any who examine them. In Hahn's manual one could not rightly expect such a thing." Such was my notice of Mr. E.'s note 5, page 478, vol. ii., fourth edition, where he had the temerity to say "Wordsworth reads ὁ ναος του Θεου ὁ εν τῳ ουρανῳ, with the article ὁ: as if in A and C. [!!] But according to Tregelles this is a mistake. Nor do I find it in any of the critical editions, whether Griesbach, Scholz, Hahn, Tregelles, or Heinrichs. And in the parallel passage, Apoc. xv. 5, Wordsworth, as well as all the others, read ηνοιγη ὁ ναος. … εν τῳ ουρανῳ." Now it must be evident to any candid mind that my fault with E. was not the question of adopting ὁ, for I myself bracketed it in my Greek text, and therefore doubted it more than the greatest of modern critics, and only used the word "probably" in the note before Mr. E. What I charged him with was the extraordinary tissue of errors, which he now, one is sorry to see, evades by an argument about the reading He distinctly affirmed in his fourth edition that when W. read the disputed ὁ as if in A and C, this was a mistake according to Tregelles. I denied both the mistake and that T. says anything of the sort. Dr. T. knows the readings of the Revelation far too well to be guilty of an assertion so monstrous in the eyes of any one acquainted with such matters. He never said so. He omitted this various reading in his first edition — a rare fault with him; for the book was in most respects very well done and abounded in sound information. But T.'s omission (which the most careful may fall into sometimes) is no warrant for using his name to deny ὁ to be the reading of A and C, as it certainly is. And I corroborated this by referring to Tregelles's new edition (English) of 1859, in which he gives the clause, "And the temple of God* which is in heaven was opened." This can leave no doubt how utterly mistaken Mr. E. was. Further, though not adopted in the text of Griesbach or Scholz, the reading is given with the authorities then ascertained.
*In his explanation of marks used Dr., T, says, "An asterisk (*) is inserted whenever the ancient text differs from the modern."
I must add too that the changes in the new note seem to show that Mr. E. was aware in measure that his statement in the fourth edition could not be justified. For he has materially modified the matter in his fifth edition (ii. 489, note 5): "Wordsworth comments on this, as if ὁ ναος του Θεου ὁ εν τῳ ουρανῳ, with the article ὁ, were the true reading. But such is not the case. I do not find it in any of the critical editions, whether of Griesbach, Scholz, Hahn, Tregelles, Heinrichs, or Wordsworth himself. Moreover, in the parallel," etc. It is some satisfaction to me that, if Mr. E. defends himself so bravely in vol iv. when he is criticising me, it is very plain that he silently used the correction afforded as to some of the chief points here which disappear from the fifth edition as compared with the fourth. It is odd to class Hahn and Heinrichs with the principal critics, and to leave out several which have cleared the ground or advanced the frontiers since Griesbach and Scholz. I presume the reason why Mr. E. could not find the reading ὁ in the critical editions is that he uses mere manuals, not their real editions wherein they present the various readings whether adopted or not. But the question here with Mr. E. was not the reading but the facts which were altogether misstated in ed. 4, and only in part stated rightly in ed. 5. It is a province, as I have always judged, in which Mr. E. is not at home; and the self-defence, he may be assured, will only fix it more by calling attention to the facts among all who are competent to form a solid opinion on the subject.
Lastly Mr. E. states what is absolutely contrary to fact when he says in his zeal that "Mr. Kelly, indeed, would here too [Apoc. xv. 5] read ὁ εν τῳ ουρανῳ: for he gives as the English, 'the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened;' not 'was opened in heaven.' But altogether, so far as I know, without authority. And why? It seems to be only because of its suiting his peculiar interpretation of the passage, and of the Apocalyptic scenery; the very fault he has so often and wrongly ascribed to me."
The simple answer to all this is that I do not read ὁ in Rev. 15:5, as Mr. E. may see in the Greek text published the year before the edition of the lectures he cites, which is there translated as nearly as possible in the order of the Greek, "there was opened the testimony of the tabernacle in heaven." Further it is not the fact that in giving the words as he says in the lecture I make the smallest use of them in the way he imputes as a motive to me. The whole of this remark therefore is due to imagination, and certainly not of a noble or amiable kind.
"3rdly comes my adoption in the fourth seal (H. A., vol. i. p. 189, 4th ed., or in this 5th ed., p. 201) of a reading correspondent with Jerome's well known Latin translation in the Vulgate, super quatuor partes terrae, 'on the four parts of the earth;' instead of that found in our Greek MSS. all but [is it not altogether?] universally, επι το τεταρτον της γης, 'on the fourth part of the earth.'" Here the case is simple enough. There are five uncial MSS. of the Revelation, and upwards of a hundred cursives, in not one of which has there been found the smallest ground for justifying Jerome's "quatuor partes." Two or three later Latins who used the Vulgate (not always without discrepancy) give the same very naturally; but neither Greek ecclesiastical writer nor Oriental, nor any version save the Vulgate, countenances the change. In my judgment it is critically discreditable and doctrinally dangerous to adopt such a change on such a precarious footing. Nothing like it can be produced from the entire New Testament. Why should it be here? How much better to leave the difficulty unsolved than to adopt a resource so desperate? Mr. E. refers to my own principle of using internal evidence. Certainly I do to decide between readings with good external support on both sides, never where all the direct witnesses are on one side, and you have hear-say evidence of one type on the other side. The rest of Mr. E.'s reasons and remarks as to this I can happily leave with a brief answer. That there should be difficulty according to the historical scheme in finding a precise fulfilment of "the fourth part" I can well believe; but this is in perfect harmony with my view, which supposes vagueness in that application and precision only in the future. In itself the fourth part is thoroughly plain and intelligible. That it cannot be readily adjusted to history is an obstacle to Mr. E., not to me.
4. There is noticed by Mr. K. 'the flagrant proof of my proneness to prefer a manifestly spurious reading where my hypothesis requires' in my preference of επι το θηριον to και το θηρ. in Apoc. 17:16. So W. K., p. 304. And no doubt the evidence of Greek MSS. is very strong in favour of the και. Moreover, I have in the course of this last revision of my book found that I was mistaken in supposing that the early Hippolytus read επι, in common with the early Latin Father Tertullian, and also probably with Jerome; being misled by the Latin translation of Hippolytus'. 'De Christo of Antichristo.' Hence my confidence in decidedly preferring the επι is less strong than before." As Mr. E. speaks thus moderately of the point raised, I do not feel it needful to swell this introduction with an answer to his stout defence of the Protestant scheme and assault on futurism, supposing kaiv to be the true reading, as I am satisfied it is. Any one who knows Mr. E.'s system will be able to judge, spite of his arguments, whether his system can sustain the shock given to it by the inspired prediction that the beast and the ten horns unite their fury against Rome, first in rendering it contemptible, next in enriching themselves with its substance, and lastly in its destruction. The effort to bring in the beast joining the Goths and Vandals to destroy the old heathen city is more worthy of Bossuet than of Mr. E.; and the rather as the phrase of the Spirit is most precise. It is the whore, not the woman merely; that is, it is the corrupt religious state, not Rome viewed simply as a city. Further, it is a state of final revulsion after the beast had carried her in ease and honour and influence, and just before the war of the beast and the kings with the Lamb. Any spiritual man can judge whether this suits the Protestant scheme of the prophecy.
"1. Says Mr. Kelly, 'Mr. E. contends for the strangest possible version of εις, as= after, or at the expiration of the aggregated period, of the hour, day, month, and year in Apoc. ix. 15.' So p. 150. When Mr. K. has shown that the same Greek preposition placed before a time, times, and half a time in Dan. 12, as well as before the 1335 days in a verse immediately following, does not mean before [it should be after], or at the expiration of, those aggregated periods, he will be in a better position for so expressing himself about my rendering of the clause in Apoc. 9:15. But, though he had these parallel passages before his eyes in my Commentary, as very mainly my justification in the rendering of Apoc. ix. 15, Mr. K. makes no allusion to them."
Mr. E. should have understood better my motive for silence. The two passages "very mainly" rested on for justification are not parallel. The first certainly cannot bear the smallest approach to the meaning he would put on them. Indeed Mr. E. gives the Greek according to the received punctuation (not as he says of the Septuagint copies, but) of Theodotion's version, and then translates without regard to that punctuation; for he clearly should put at least a comma at the end of the clause, the effect of which would be nearly what he gives with a period in his foot-note. But, to avoid the smallest charge of forcing anything, I shall cite Sir L. C. L. Brenton's version, "that it should be for a time of times* and half a time: when the dispersion is ended, they shall know these things." Now if this be so, this witness must disappear.
*So it is in Holmes and Parsons' text, εἰς καιρὸν καιρῶν καὶ ἥη καιροῦ. Many MSS. and editions however give καιρούς for καιρῶν.
But Mr. E. is very confident as to verse 12, where however Sir C. B. equally fails him, for he translates it thus, "Blessed is he that waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." This latest and most exact rendering of the Greek Bible is then opposed to the desired issue.
But I must go farther, while allowing of course that there are cases where εἰς may mean for the space, or to the amount of, as εἰς ἐνιαυτόν "for a year," that is, not till it begins merely, but for that term. Such I believe is the true sense of the last case, not after or at the expiration of, which even, if true in fact for the blessed person, is in no way the sense of the word either here or anywhere else. But the important point which every scholar must see is that the structure of the clause in Revelation has nothing akin to that in Daniel, on which depends the precise shade of meaning intended and legitimate. Mr. E.'s notions are most vague and uncritical, as I have often had occasion to notice with regret; and he is mistaken if he thinks that the examples adduced could not be multiplied. Thus he reasons at length on the possible difference of ἀποκτείνωσιν, as if it might be taken either as the present or as the aorist subj.; whereas the real turning point is the connection with ἠτοιμασμένοι, as well as with the purpose expressed in the last clause. Now I affirm, without fear of contradiction from any unbiassed man competent to deal with these questions, that the sense of such a phrase is and can only be "prepared for, or as we say idiomatically against, the hour," etc. No doubt those are wrong who confound the perfect participle with either the present or the aorist. It is neither the course of preparation nor the simple historical fact that they were prepared, but the present result of a past preparation, as usual in such forms. But this does not touch the true force of εις, any more than the question whether the slaying the third of men be a continuous action, or one viewed as summed up in its conclusion. The nearest and a true parallel that I observe in the New Testament is John 12:7, εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ μου τετήρηκεν αὐτό. Here it is the finite verb, not the participle; but this does not affect the question. Indeed the sense is beyond controversy. It was for or against the day of Christ's burial she had kept the unguent, certainly not after or at its expiration, whatever others may have done. It is just the same with the phrase in the Revelation, though the nature of the case may forbid the absurdity of after being so conspicuous. Had it been said in Dan. 12, "Blessed is he that comes to the 1260 days," or even to the 1290 days, I could understand Mr. E.'s argument, though even so it would seem to me invalid. But the period is one which overlaps these times of horror and destruction, and, as I believe, goes up to the day of settling Judah and Israel in the land, though the millennial age may not be in its full character till the 1335 days. We can readily see then that he who arrives at these days is blessed indeed. And the Hebrew confirms this as the true meaning. But in Rev. 9 it is an aggregated period which must elapse before the end of the slaying. To begin the work of slaughter at the end of that period is contrary to all analogy of dates, and untenable according to the true force of the phrase employed. If εἰς can mean after, it can as truly mean before, and language would dissolve into a linguistic chaos. It appears therefore that Mr. E. by his bold challenge only secures the exposure of his erroneous criticism; and with all the respect that I retain for excellent points in the book, it appears to me plain enough that critical acumen in the Greek tongue is as weak a point in the Horae Apoc. as acquaintance with the sources of the text and the comparative value of readings.
"2. I utterly reject Mr. E.'s statement that 'at one and the same time' is the true rendering of the Greek phrase in Apoc. 17 of μιαν ὡραν μετα τού θηριου. It should be, he says, for the same time, marking duration, not epoch or occasion. So Mr. K., p. 300. But as in the preceding case, so here let me say, when Mr. K. has succeeded in setting aside the parallels of John 4:52, Acts 10:3, and Rev. 3:3, adduced by me in loc., where the accusative of time is unquestionably in the sense of epoch at which, it will be time enough to reply to him further on this point."
How others may regard such an answer it is not for me to say. But I avow that to me the effort to escape the regular rule in the use of the accusative and the dative of time seems far beneath a Christian of less reputation than the author of H. A. For there is not the remotest resemblance between these three exceptional instances culled out of the New Testament and the ordinary construction under which falls Rev. 17:12. This I pointed out at some length in the note to which the citation refers. There is no rule whatever without an exception. What can one think of the judgment which musters a few exceptions against the plainest examples of a plain principle of the Greek language? The true scholar would rather seek to understand what lay secretly under the three irregularities, and thus to account for them, instead of perverting them to set aside instances where no such modifying influences wrought.
Thus, to take the first, any scholar ought to observe that the reason why the accusative is found is not because it can ever in itself mean the point at which a given fact occurred. This is the force of the temporal dative, though it properly requires the preposition ἐν to define it. The accusative here is due solely to the context. The courtier enquired from his servant τὴν ὥραν in which his son got better. And they said to him, Yesterday ὥραν ἑβδόμην the fever left him. It is the former clause which thus influences the latter. But this would not justify the conclusion that, when such a disturbing cause did not interfere, the accusative could have been employed per se. Hence in the very next verse, when it does not operate, the grammar returns to its ordinary conditions. The father knew therefore that it was ἐν τῃ ὥρᾳ ἐν ῃ κ.τ.λ.
As to the second, Mr. E. is not entitled to cite it, because the very best manuscripts, the Sinai, Alexandrian, Vatican, Palimpsest of Paris, and the Laudian of Oxford, with more than twenty cursives and other authorities, give ὡσεὶ περὶ ὥραν ἐνάτην, and so it is edited by Alford, Lachmann, Tregelles, as well as Tischendorf in his most recent (8th) edition.
There remains only Rev. 3:4, which is strange indeed either to misunderstand in itself or to compare with the phrase in debate. The reason for the accusative is even more obvious and closer than in John 4:52, though similar in principle. It depends on the γνῳς just before:· οὐ μὴ γνῳς ποίαν ὥραν ἥξω ἐπὶ σέ. If the construction were filled up, it would be τὴν ὥραν ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ. As far as grammar is concerned therefore, it was open to omit either the accusative or the dative, as both would be cumbrous and uncalled for. So in Matt. 24:42 we have οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ, in our passage we have γνῳς ποίαν ὥραν. But to infer from this that, where no such reason occurs for a compendious mixed construction, the accusative can be used for a point of time or the dative for duration, or that the radical difference does not always really abide underneath such an ellipse, is contrary to every just thought of language.* We are not at liberty to reason from these peculiar instances to others wholly different; it is as illogical as can be.
*Such has always been my conviction, as any one can see in the earliest edition. But I thought it might be more satisfactory to others, perhaps to Mr. E., if I submitted the point of grammar to the learned author of the latest and most elaborate work of the kind which has emanated from Oxford. The following is the reply: — "I have no doubt but that in the two passages, John 4:52, Rev. 3:3, the accusative depends upon the verb. In the latter the full construction would be ποία ἦν ὥρα ἐν ῃ, or more briefly and simply ὥραν ἐν ῃ (or ῃ alone) κ.τ.λ.; and the relative is attracted to the accusative and prefixed to it, just like ὃν τρόπον, ὃν χρόνον, etc. In the former (John 4:53) this full construction does occur, the attraction being prevented by the insertion of ἐν before the relative. In Acts 10:3, the accusative is used, just as it would be with a περί for an indefinite and general notion of time; and I have no doubt but that the writer followed the analogy of περί, though he chose to express the notion by ὡσεί [that is, even according to the common text, without περί]. Moreover, where time is indefinitely expressed, it is in reality a space of time and not a point, and its construction would follow the analogy of the expression for a space of time (accusative) rather than that of the expression for a point of time (dative). When you say, 'about three o'clock,' there is no definite point presented to the mind, but a space extending (say) from ten minutes before to ten minutes after. This seems to be the philosophy of the accusative after περί in such expressions. To my mind then neither of the three passages justify the taking μίαν ὥραν (Rev. 17:12) as a point of time. I am happy to say that I have no theological or mystical bias one way or the other; I really do not know which of the various Apocalyptical parties I am favouring when I say that to my mind, looking at it grammatically, the words can only mean 'one and the same space of time with the beast,' not 'one and the same point of time.' My answer would have been sent sooner, had I not been from home, so that the letter was some time in reaching me. I am, dear sir, yours faithfully, W. E. Jelf."
I have in my lectures shown the importance of the true force of the accusative in Rev. 17:12. Like "at," it supposes the same starting-point for the beast and the ten horns; but it adds the other, and this the main and intended, information that they receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast: not the Roman empire as once without the kings, nor the kings as afterwards without the empire, but both together, the revived empire in its place, the kings in theirs, enduring for the same space till they all perish together at the appearing of Jesus.
3. It is the question of the seven thunders; but inasmuch as Mr. E. adds nothing, we can dismiss it without farther notice.
4. Here, as Mr. E. admits that the rendering of Rev. 11:9 in his former editions was unsatisfactory, I am happy to say little. It seems to me plain, however, from the context, that the sense is not merely that their testimony was perfected but finished when the beast slays them.
In 5 and 6 we have the questions whether the ναός includes the court sometimes, and whether toads and frogs are interchangeable, both of which Mr. E. answers affirmatively, which I doubt.
His 7 calls for a fuller notice. "At p. 246 Mr. K. insists on the right translation of ενεστηκεν in 2 Thess. 2:2 being 'is present;' not as in our English authorized version, and as in the Horae, 'is at hand.' At p. 92 of my vol. iii., in this edition, my readers will find the point more fully argued out than before; and the latter rendering of the word, I may unhesitatingly say, on the grounds of Greek criticism, fully justified. Let me only here ask Mr. K. the question how he supposes the Thessalonian Christians could have believed that the day of the Lord was then actually present, when putting together the two facts — first, that they knew from St. Paul's former epistles that the primary event of the day of the Lord would be the gathering of Christ's saints, both the dead and the living, to meet Christ in the air; secondly, that neither themselves nor even St. Paul had thus far been made the subjects of that promised blessed rapture? Will Mr. K. be agitated by the idea of the day of Christ having begun, so long as he is conscious that neither on himself nor on any of his most honoured Christian friends has any change taken place?"
The reader will find in the text and note, pp. 299-304, a tolerably complete refutation of what I judge to be mistaken in Mr. E.'s. argument. He starts with the common error* of confounding the presence of the Lord to gather His saints with the day of the Lord to execute judgment on His enemies. This necessarily vitiates all that follows, as it misses wholly the force and even sense of the apostle's opening entreaty. For where would be the wisdom of entreating them for the sake of the same thing as that in respect of which he was going to disabuse their mind? The apostle is guilty of no such slip or paralogism. He begs them by reason, or for the sake, of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him that they be not soon shaken in mind [or literally "from their mind," though it is hardly English] … as that the day of the Lord is present. This to my thinking is not only intelligible but plain and conclusive for the object in hand when we distinguish according to the light given in 1 Thess. 4 and 5, where these two things, the presence and the day of the Lord, are both discussed and distinguished as here. It was the false teachers who brought in confusion, and, instead of holding up the bright hope of Christ's coming to receive His own to Himself as the apostle did and does everywhere, sought to fill and alarm them with the terrors of the day of the Lord — that term of solemn judicial dealing which abounds in Old Testament prophecy. It is well known that it has there an incipient application to such a frightful judgment as befell Babylon, Egypt, or other earthly states. In some such way the misleaders at Thessalonica seem to have interpreted the trouble through which, we can see from the first epistle, the saints there were then passing. They pretended, like many since their time, that the dread day was come, pretending to the Spirit's revelation of it, teaching it, and even led on by the enemy to allege a letter purporting to be from the apostle to that effect. If they so misunderstood the first epistle, as Jerome throws out and E. doubts not, it is certainly not the meaning of δἰ ἐπιστολῆς ὡς δἰ ἡμῶν. I know what Paley says; but, pace tanti viri, the apostle here means a suppositious letter falsely bearing his name, not his own epistle: yet this is the only basis they have for the thought.
*The want of light that prevails among commentators in general on the subject of prophecy affects their criticism seriously. Thus assuming, as they almost all do with excessive vagueness, that the coming of the Lord to gather His saints is the theme about which the apostle is about to give instruction in the verses which follow, many were influenced to translate ὑπέρ here as nearly equivalent to περί, whereas this is hardly the case with verbs of prayer, beseeching, etc., like ἐρωτάω. Each has its own appropriated force, as any intelligent man can verify with a Greek Concordance. Had these writers seen that he entreats the saints on account of their own bright hope not to be alarmed by the false rumour that the day of the world's judgment was arrived, they would have avoided an error singularly gross and grave, not so much lexically, though certainly phraseologically (for ἐρωτάω ὑπέρ means, "I beg, not concerning or with regard to, but on account of, by reason of, by or for the sake of"), but mainly because of the contextual fact that he urges the one as a motive of comfort against the uneasiness inspired by the mistake as to the other, instead of treating of one and the same thing throughout. Dan. 2:18; Rom. 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:12, 2 Cor. 7:4, 2 Cor. 8:23, 2 Cor. 9:3; Phil. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:4, on which Mr. E. leans with Rosenmüller, Macknight, Whitby, etc., are beside the mark; they none of them follow a verb of entreaty. It is true that both ὑπέρ and περί may often be translated "for," and ὑπέρ sometimes even "concerning;" but there are limits to such approximations of meaning as a scholar knows, instead of vaguely catching at a possible sense and applying it to suit a purpose. Words of entreaty, as far as I have noticed, exclude such a sense when joined with ὐπέρ and require περί. It is absurd to identify them at random.
Mr. E. contends (ii. 92) for "partly" some forged words or letter ascribed to St. Paul, and "partly too" misconstruction of words which he had really written in his first epistle about Christ's coming again to gather to Himself His saints both quick and dead. But this is utterly baseless. There is but one clause for the inference, and the Greek phrase cannot possibly mean both. It is only laxity of mind or negligence which could seriously think of extracting partly the one thing and partly the other from words which can bear but one unequivocal meaning. Had the apostle intended his own epistle, he would have so expressed it. He might have said (as he does later in this very chapter, where such is his intention) δἰ ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν, or rather, as he would in that case have referred to his previously existing letter, διὰ τῆς ἐπιστολῆς, with or without ἡμῶν. But to convey such an idea, he could not have written as he does at δἰ ἐπιστολῆς ὡς δἰ ἡμῶν, which can only signify a letter falsely professing to come through the apostle and his companions. Hence says Theodoret, μήτε εἰ προσποιοῖντο χρησμωδεῖν καὶ προφητεύειν ; τοῦτο γὰρ λὲγει, Μήτε διὰ πνεύματος· μήτε εἰ πλασάμενοι ὡς ἐξ αὐτοῦ γραφεῖσαν ἐπιστολὴν προφέροιεν, μήτε εἰ ἀγράφως αὐτὸν εἰρηκέναι λέγοιεν. (Opera, iii. 532, ed. Schulze.)* If they claimed the apostle's authority for their affirmation in writing or in word, it was spurious, as far as the apostle informs us and we therefore have ground to believe; not a question of misunderstanding either his oral teaching or his first epistle. Of this there can be no doubt for such as fairly judge the words with a competent knowledge of the Greek tongue, or pay due heed to any right translation of the words. For in no language whatever is Mr. E.'s inference well founded or defensible.
* I understand Chrysostom to be of the same mind (Opera, iv. 231, ed. 232, Savile) and the ablest of modem German expositors, as well as Ellicott and Alford.
I have already perhaps sufficiently anticipated the answer to Mr. E.'s questions without delaying to notice the mistake which treats the gathering of the saints as an event, primary or not, of the day of the Lord (which scripture never does); but I reply that, though the Thessalonians had been set right as to the dead saints by the first epistle, the second proves that they were liable to go astray as to the living saints, and needed therefore fresh instruction. They already knew the fact, that the Lord would come to translate the saints, deceased or alive, and that His day is to fall with swift destruction on the world; but the mutual relation of these two things they clearly did not know, and hence were open to those who pretended that the day was arrived with its dangers and troubles before the presence of the Lord to gather them home on high. The heresiarchs at Thessalonica probably taught a quasi-spiritual day of the Lord, as others went so far later as to teach similarly that the resurrection had taken place already. There is not the least force therefore in what Mr. E. urges, particularly as 1 Thess. does not unfold the relative order of the two events, the presence and the day of the Lord, in such a way as to preclude the false rumour which is refuted in 2 Thess. We know now that such a notion must be unfounded; but how this could have been known before the second epistle was written is, I believe, beyond Mr. E.'s power to prove.
The reader has before him the substance of Mr. E.'s critique on my criticism. He has left many remarks without notice, in which I consider him wrong: how far he has defended himself to purpose in those he selected for a reply, it is for others to judge rather than for me to say more. It must be plain what my opinion is. Were it the object to give a complete review of the Horae Apocalypticae, faults and defects especially in the intelligent criticism of the text could be enormously increased from the first chapter to the last. From the first I have ever felt that this was one of the chief drawbacks; and a singular sight it is to me that, with a great deal of interesting history and ingenious applications of antiquities, such a book should give continual evidence of the want of an average amount and exactitude of knowledge in what ought to be the groundwork — the best readings and their evidence. I also think that the version preferred is too often vulnerable. The grand desideratum of all however is of another sort: I need not rehearse it here, having often pressed it in the lectures and the notes. There is an absence throughout of truth as to the heavenly relations of Christ and the church; and hence failure in discriminating between the proper Christian hope and prophecy. This in such a book must needs be ruinous if true, as I firmly believe it to be. Of course it is to me matter of regret that Mr E. should say or think that my criticisms on his book were wanting in fairness and candour; but the reader will have perceived that the reason was in part or wholly due to the fact that he has not even understood many errors already pointed out. I have always considered the H. A. peculiarly defective in this, that the author did not first diligently ascertain, according to his best judgment or that of the ablest critical inquirers, the true text, and then seek to expound it. I can honestly say that such has been my own course; whereas his book constantly gives the impression of one who up to its fifth edition is not yet in possession of the full grounds for a sound judgment, of a mind either unused or not adapted to the resolution of such questions, and consequently choosing, as his system seemed to require, such readings as suited, not those which command the acceptance of the most competent judges on the broadest basis. I believe I could make good this opinion of Mr. E.'s book throughout every chapter, if it were called for; and the attentive reader of my lectures will have seen many more instances than the author has sought to defend. But I will take as an example the first and last chapters, with one in the middle of the book, which Mr. E. professes to give as corrected by critical authority.
(1.) Rev. 1:2 presents an instance of extreme carelessness. How could any one, unless barely reprinting the received text or the Authorised Version, intelligently keep τε in the Greek text or the last "and" in English? The best MSS. and versions are unanimous; and so are all careful editors. The erroneous addition falsifies the sense; for it makes of John's visions a third division of his testimony, instead of representing them as qualifying the word of God and the testimony of Jesus which he testified. (2.) His neglect of the present form of the participle τῳ ἀγαπῶντι is a glaring fault in verse 5; but I have dwelt so much on its force in its proper place in the following pages, that I need say no more. The external authority is overwhelming in its favour and against the vulgar aorist which E. continues without remark. (3.) The καί with ἀδελφός in verse 9 is contrary to the best authorities, and even to Erasmus' Cod. Reuchlini, though he (not the Complut.) inserted it in his text. It is a manifest clog to the sense. In the same verse should be a still more needed restoration of the right reading by striking out ἐν τῃ, "in the," before kingdom, which mars the sense. I say nothing of two disputed questions in the same verse; but Mr. E. is as silent about the two certain and necessary changes as he is about the points which may be considered still sub judice. (4.) Mr. E. properly omits the ill-attested clauses in verse 11, but does not bring out the distinctive force of ἐλάλει as supplanting the common ἐλάλησε in verse 12. (5.) In verse 14 he gives the Authorised Version where it differs from the received text as much as from that approved by all judicious critics and required by the best witnesses. It should be "white as white wool, as snow." (6.) Verses 17, 18, he fails to represent according to any good text. It should be, "I am the first and the last, and the living one [or "he that liveth"]; and I was [or became] dead," etc. (7.) He omits the beautiful and emphatic οὖν of the best authorities in verse 19: "Write therefore," etc. Minor points are omitted, but such errors as these are found too commonly to allow the claim of the H. A. to take rank as a critical work up to the fair requirements of earnest and intelligent students in our days. The favourable opinion of an English judge or of an Edinburgh reviewer will not affect the judgment of any competent to pronounce on questions in which one could not fairly expect such persons to be at home. The first requisite in a comment surely is that it be founded on a correct text. Is it so with the H. A.? I believe it is not.
Let us now review the last chapter similarly. (1.) In the first verse Mr. E. gives, without the least warrant, "the" river of the water of life. It should be of course "a river of water of life." All agree in omitting the καθαρόν of the received text. (2.) In verse 3 there is a needless departure from the regular sense of the καί. On the disputed reading in verse 5 I say nothing; but (3.) verse 8 is as loosely given in the Horae as the Authorised Version. For surely it must be, "And I John am [or was] he that heard and saw these things;" and in this order, spite of ℵ and some cursives. (4.) In verse 12 the true reading I believe to be ἐστίν "is" as in ℵ, A, and two cursives in the Vatican. Still, as the Rescript of Paris and the Porphyrian uncial are here deficient and the Basilian Vatican with the other cursives opposed, I would say no more than that an exact commentator ought to have noticed a good reading, which is far more energetic than the common one, even if he adhered to the received text, ἔσται, "shall be." (5.) In verse 13 I suppose there can be no doubt Mr. E. is wrong in adhering to the order of the common text, contrary to the critics who follow the ancient MSS. (6.) In verse 14, though agreeing with Mr. E. in adopting πλύνοντες τ. στολὰς αὐτῶν on the authority of ℵ, A, 7, 38 against all other known manuscripts, I cannot accept his connecting this verse with Rev. 7:9, 13-14; as if the one were the anticipation, the other the realization, but rather as a similar blessing possessed by two distinct classes of saints. (7.) "For" (δέ) in verse 15 is absent from the best MSS. and editions. Its insertion in H. A. spoils the contrast intended. (8.) The readings in verse 16 may be considered doubtful; but there need be no hesitation in striking out καί from the received text before ὁ θέλων, which Mr. E. keeps in. Again, it is wrong to say as he does, "of the waters of life." "Of the fountain of the water of life" is all right in Rev. 21:6; here it is simply "life's water," without a various reading.
I will finally take a central portion (Rev. 11), with a view to a similar test. (1.) Mr. E. is far too reluctant in accepting the critical correction of the received text in verse 1; and the difficulty of construction is due to not seeing the Hebraism of the style. (Compare Rev. 4:1; Rev. 14:6-7; Rev. 19:7.) The Sinaitic and Porphyrian uncials confirm the Alexandrian and upwards of thirty cursives, with most of the ancient versions, against the reading of the Basilian Vatican, and ten cursives, with the later Syriac and the Armenian; which is indeed an evident gloss to get rid of the seemingly harsh phrase in the original text. The Sinaitic alone reads λέγει for λέγων; but this is of no moment, especially in the Revelation, where slips of the kind are more than usually common. (2.) On Mr. E.'s version of τελέσωσι in the sense of perfected, to avoid its natural meaning, "completed," I will not here delay further than to express dissent. (3.) Surely "in that hour" is the right rendering of ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῃ ὥρᾳ, rather than "at that same time." It is a fair question as to ἤκουσα or ἤκουσαν, the latter having decidedly the best ancient evidence in its favour, as well as the more modern copies from which the received text was drawn; but the former has good authority, uncial and cursive, supported by most of the ancient versions, and the general analogy of the phrase in the book. (4.) καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος is rejected by the Sinaitic, the Porphyrian, the Basilian Vatican (B 2066), as well as A and C, and the mass of cursives; also by the Complut. and even by Erasmus' Cod. Reuchl., though he boldly inserted it (probably out of deference to the Vulgate, not knowing that its best copies, Amiat. Fuld. Demidov. and Harl., reject the clause). Mr. E. might have been therefore a little bolder, had he known the facts more fully. (5.) I have elsewhere discussed the question of ὁ ἐν τῳ οὐρανῳ, so that I need say no more here. What Mr. E. remarks on it is incorrect; but I do not say that it is "the true reading." In 1860 I bracketed the article before ἐν as doubtful; I should be disposed to do the same in 1871.
This will serve as a sample of the H. A., examined at the beginning, middle and end, in order to test its critical accuracy as to the text, which is evidently the most fundamental of all questions for the commentator who aims at precision on a solid footing.