Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.





IT will, I think, conduce to clearness, if we classify the Apocalyptic expositors whom we shall have to notice under the chronological divisions following: - 1. those between St. John’s publication of the Apocalypse, and Constantine’s establishment of Christianity in the Roman Empire; - 2. those from Constantine to Imperial Rome’s completed fall, and the rise of the Romano-Gothic kingdoms in Western Europe, ere the close of the 5th century; - 3. those between the epoch last-mentioned and the end of the 11th century; - 4. those from the 11th or 12th century to the Reformation; - 5. those of the æra and century of the Reformation; - 6. those from A.D. 1600 to the French Revolution; - 7. those from the outbreak of the French Revolution, A.D. 1790, to the present time. [1]


The earliest profest Apocalyptic Commentary extant is that by Victorinus, Bishop of Pettau in Pannonia; who was martyred in the Diocletianic persecution, just at the very ending of the period now under review. Before that time, however, various brief hermeneutic notices of certain parts of the Apocalypse had been given to the Christian world by some of the earlier fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and also by the Christian Pseudo-Sibyl: notices ranging in date from about the middle of the 2nd to the middle of the 3rd century; and which are too interesting to be past over in an inquiry into the history of Apocalyptic interpretation. I have indeed already partially noticed them, in my sketches of the æras or of the topics that they relate to, in the foregoing Commentary But I think it will be well here to present them again connectedly in one point of view, and somewhat more in full, as the fittest introduction to our whole subject. [2]

1. As regards the Pseudo-Sibylline oracles, - poems which were written and circulated under that title, through the pious fraud of certain Christians, about the middle of the 2nd century, - my readers will already have learnt from previous citations given from them in this Book, [3] that the destruction of Rome, the Apocalyptic Babylon, [4] was one prominent subject in them; and with ideas about it evidently borrowed from the Apocalypse. In Book viii, more especially, it is the burden of the song. And this will be found to be the idea of the writer, or writers, as to events connected with it: - that the destroyer Antichrist, himself of Latin extraction, [5] would be the first author of its ruin; this Antichrist equaling himself with God, and being (as is hinted [6] ) the Emperor Nero restored to life again, and now coming back from Asia in alliance with the Jews; but that the grand and final destruction would be by direct judgment from heaven. “Descending from on high thou shalt dwell underneath the earth; with naphtha and asphalt, and sulphur and much fire, thou shalt disappear, and become as burning ashes for ever. [7] And every one who looks on thee shall hear the deep sound of thy wailing from hell, and thy gnashing of teeth.” - Then, on Rome’s end, there would follow speedily, according to our Sibyl, the world’s end: [8] and then, on the opening of the first octad, [9] another and better world.

2 In Justin Martyr the chief direct reference to the Apocalypse is on the millennium announced by it; which, as we have seen, [10] he interpreted literally: - how St. John prophesied that believers in Christ would reign 1000 years with Him in Jerusalem, Jerusalem having been restored, enlarged, and beautified, agreeably with the Old Testament prophecies of the latter day; after which would follow the general resurrection and judgment. Further, in regard to Antichrist, though referring for authority more directly to Daniel, [11] yet it is evident that he considered the Apocalyptic ten-horned Beast, or rather its ruling head, to be identical with Daniel’s little horn of the fourth wild Beast; [12] and each and either identical with St. Paul’s Man of Sin, and St. John’s Antichrist: also that he regarded this Antichrist as still future, though at the very doors; as destined to reign literally 3 1/2 years; and as to be destroyed by Christ’s glorious advent. [13]

3. In Irenæus again these are the two chief Apocalyptic subjects commented on; and with just the same opinions respecting them as Justin Martyr’s. But his comments are fuller.

With reference more especially to the great subject of the Apocalyptic Beast, Antichrist, he directed his readers, as we saw long since, [14] to look out for the division of the Roman empire into ten kingdoms, as that which was immediately to precede, and be followed by, Antichrist’s manifestation. We saw too his jealousy that the true number of Antichrist’s name, 666, as in the most genuine manuscripts, not 616, as in certain falsified copies, should be well understood: also how he thought that, as being in some way of Roman polity or connection, (even though by birth a Jew,) Antichrist’s characteristic title, in fulfillment of the Apocalyptic enigma, might very probably be Aateinov, the Latin Man, seeing that they who then held the world’s empire were Latins; a name numerally equivalent to 666. [15] - The second lamb-like Beast Irenæus calls the first Beast’s amour-bearer; and also “the False Prophet,” as in Apoc. xix. [16] Under a notion of the Antichrist being a false Christ of Jewish origin, he fancifully suggests that the omission of Dan from those tribes of Israel out of whom an election was sealed, in Apoc. vii., might be an intimation of that being Antichrist’s tribe. [17] His idea of Antichrist sitting in the rebuilt temple of Jerusalem, and there showing himself as God, “setting aside all idols,” in order to concentrate men’s worship on himself, belongs to St. Paul’s prophecy of Antichrist, not St. John’s; and his idea of Antichrist’s 31/2 years being the half of the last of Daniel’s 70 hebdomads, not to St. John, but Daniel. [18] Again that of “Antichrist’s fulfilling the part of the unjust judge in St. Luke, by avenging the Jews of their adversaries the Romans, and transferring the empire to Jerusalem,” is altogether extra-Apocalyptic; and I must add very fanciful. Yet on this he mainly grounds his as yet peculiar opinion that Antichrist would transfer the seat of empire to Jerusalem, and there sit in the temple of God as if he were the Christ and God. [19]

There is yet another direct point of Apocalyptic explanation to be noted in Irenæus. We find in his 4th Book a passing notice of the white horse and rider of the first Apocalyptic Seal; and explanation of it as signifying Christ born to victory, and going forth conquering and to conquer. [20] This is quite a detached comment; without any reference to the contrasted symbols of the Seals following. - I may add too that he makes the Apocalyptic altar to be that on which Christians’ prayers and praises are offered in heaven, not that of the earthly Jerusalem. [21] And so again of the Apocalyptic temple.

4. Next turn we to Tertullian.

And on the subject of Antichrist, while agreeing with Irenæus in expecting his development chronologically after the breaking up of the Roman State into ten kings, or kingdoms, all in strict accordance with the Apocalypse, I see in Tertullian no intimation of his entertaining any such idea as Irenæus’ as to this Antichrist being a Jew of the tribe of Dan; or of his fixing an abomination of desolation in the sense of his own worship, in any rebuilt temple at Jerusalem. [22] Nor again does he, like Irenæus, refer to the last of Daniel’s 70 prophetic weeks, as furnishing out the time of 31/2 years to the two witnesses, and 31/2 to Antichrist. On the contrary he in one place elaborately draws out a sketch of the chronology, from the first year of Darius to that of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans under Titus, to show that the whole 70 weeks were then fully completed, and the whole prophecy then accomplished. [23] And indeed it is evident that he regarded the 31/2 years of the witnesses and 31/2 years of Antichrist as one and the same; for in his view the death of the former was to be the death of the latter. [24] Moreover again and again he speaks of Christians, or the Christian Church, as God’s temple; [25] and in various places of heretics, awhile within the professing Church, as Antichrists and anti-christians. [26] - Yet again he distinctly notes the 144,000 on Mount Sion with Christ in Apoc. xiv. (the same of course with the 144,000 of Apoc. vii.) as the virgins of the Christian Church; [27] and consequently the sealed ones out of the twelve tribes as not Jews, but Christians. With the same anti-Judaic view he markedly speaks of the Apocalyptic New Jerusalem (though with the twelve tribes of Israel written on its gates) as Christian, not Jewish; the Jerusalem spoken of by St. Paul to the Galatians as the mother of all Christians. [28]

Turning to the Seals the first point that meets us is a passing notice of the rider in the first Seal; which symbol Tertullian seems to have explained like Irenæus. [29] - But by far the most interesting to my mind of has passing comments here are those on the 5th Seal’s vision of the souls under the altar, and that of the palm-bearing company, figured before the opening of the seventh Seal. [30] The martyrs of the former vision, he explains as martyrs then in course of being slain under Pagan Rome for the testimony of Christ: thereby distinctly assigning to the then passing æra that particular place in the Apocalyptic prefigurative drama. [31] The palm-bearers of the latter vision, that had to come out of the great tribulation, he identifies as that same second set of martyrs that had been predicted to the souls under the altar; - those that were to make up the martyr-complement by suffering under Antichrist, and so suffering to become triumphant, and attain Paradise. And hence chiefly he formed to himself an Apocalyptic plan, and “ordo temporum” in the prophecy: - how that before the judgment and vindication promised to the souls under the altar, the imperial harlot-city Rome was to be destroyed by the ten kings, (mark, not the ten kings and Antichrist,) after the vial-plagues had first been poured out on its empire: then the Beast Antichrist to rise, make war conjunctively with his False Prophet on the Church, and add an innumerable multitude of sufferers, during the tribulation of his tyranny, to the martyrs previously slain under Pagan Rome, Christ’s two Witnesses, Enoch and Elijah, specially inclusive: [32] then, Antichrist having been thereupon destroyed from heaven, and the Devil shut up in the abyss, the privilege of the first resurrection, and millennial reign with Christ, to be allotted to its chosen participants; and afterwards the conflagration to follow, in which fire the seven-hilled Babylon, with its persecuting princes and provincial governors, would meet their ultimate destruction and torment; [33] and the general resurrection and judgment.

As to the Apocalyptic millennium, Tertullian’s view will have been seen by the citations in my Millennial Chapter to be precisely similar to that of the two preceding Fathers. [34]

Altogether Tertullian’s is an eminently common-sense view of the prophecy; viz. as a prefigurative drama, in orderly succession, of the chief æras and events in the history of the Church and of the world, from Christ’s first coming, or near it, to his second. [35] Excepting his view of Enoch and Elijah as the witnesses, there seems to me little on which we might not even now join hands in concord with the venerable and sagacious expositor.

5. Next comes into review on this head Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus Romanus, now well ascertained to be the modern Ostia: [36] - one who was an immediate successor of Irenæus and Tertullian, indeed it is said Irenæus’ disciple; [37] and who suffered martyrdom, probably about A.D. 235, or 250, under the Emperor Maximin, or the Emperor Decius. [38] Jerome reports that he wrote a Treatise specifically on the Apocalypse, as well as one on Antichrist. [39] If so, the former has perished. But there is still extant a short Treatise purporting to be that by him on Christ and Antichrist, and with every mark of genuineness. [40] This includes in it sundry Apocalyptic notices of much interest; and I therefore give the following brief abstract.

After observing on God’s will that the mysteries of the future, foreshown by the ancient Prophets, or seers, should be concealed from none of his servants, he opens his subject by laying down strongly respecting the coming Antichrist, even as if his grand characteristic, (a view derived evidently in part at least from the Apocalypse, [41] ) that he would in everything affect resemblance to Christ. “The seducer will seek to appear in all things like the Son of God. As Christ a Lion, so he a lion, as Christ a King, so he a king; as Christ a Lamb, so he as a lamb, though inwardly a wolf; as Christ sent out apostles to all nations, so will he similarly send out false apostles:” [42] it being added that he would have also a similar connection with the Jewish people. [43] Then, after extracts from other Scriptures, and especially from Daniel’s two great symbolic prophecies of the quadripartite Image and the four wild Beasts, which he explains, just like the other Fathers, of the Babylonish, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires, and the little horn of the fourth Beast as Antichrist, he thus turns to the Apocalypse for information as to the fated end of both Antichrist himself, and his city Rome: - “Tell me, blessed John, thou apostle and disciple of the Lord, what hast thou heard and seen respecting Babylon: wake up, and speak; for it was she that exiled thee to Patmos.” [44] And then he gives in full the two Chapters, Apoc. xvii. and xviii., containing vision of her destruction. And, adding and interweaving other explanatory notices both from the Apocalypse and Daniel, he expounds the whole subject to the effect following: - that the last of Daniel’s 70 seeks, (for he insulates this last from the rest, in the manner stated below,) [45] that in which the Lord would confirm the covenant with many, and in the half of which would occur the taking away of the daily sacrifice and oblation, would fall at the end of the world: - that in the former half of it, or first 31/2 years, Enoch and Elias would preach as Christ’s two sackcloth-robed witnesses, the precursors of Christ’s second advent, as John the Baptist was the first; [46] include the rise and reign of Antichrist, his slaying of the Witnesses marking its commencement: - that of the two Apocalyptic Beasts the former, or seven-headed ten-horned Beast, [47] meant the heathen Roman empire, wounded to death by a sword; the other, or two-horned lamb-like Beast, Antichrist, inclusive of his False Prophet; who would revive as it were the image or ghost of the old empire, (such is his singular and ingenious interpretation of the giving life to the image of the Beast, and making it speak,) just as Augustus once did to it by his new laws and constitution; [48] and might thence very probably have Aateinov, the Latin Man, as his designative title, a name containing the fated number 666: [49] (the whole passage is every way most observable:) that meanwhile the Church, figured in Apoc. xii. as a travailing woman, because of daily bringing forth Christ (or Christ’s members) by her preaching in the world, [50] and clothed with the Divine Word, as the sun, and the starry crown of the twelve apostles, would, while the Antichrist established his abomination in the holy place, [51] flee to the mountains, pursued from city to city by him, and sustained only be faith in Christ crucified; his arms, extended on the cross, being like the sustaining wings of the great eagle in the Apocalyptic vision: - and that then, and thereupon, Christ’s coming would take place; Antichrist be destroyed by its brightness; and first resurrection of the saints follow; the just, welcomed by Christ, take the kingdom prepared for them (Matt. xxv.) from the world’s beginning, and, as Daniel says, shine forth in it as the sun and the stars; the judgment of the conflagration being meanwhile executed on unbelievers; and so Isaiah’s word fulfilled, “They shall go forth and look on the carcasses of the men that have sinned against me: for their worm dieth not, nor is their fire quenched; and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh.” [52]

6. Next the name occurs of the famous Origen, Hippolytus’ contemporary; who has however left but little in his commentaries on Apocalyptic interpretation. [53] It may be well however to mark the three notices following.

1. Of the Apocalyptic book (Apoc. v.), “written within  and without,” he explains the writing without as the obvious literal meaning; the writing within as its spiritual meaning.

2. The 144,000, both in Apoc. vii and xiv., he explains as true Christians. [54]

3. Regarding the Antichrist whom he evidently identifies with the Apocalyptic Beast warred against by him that sate on the white horse in Apoc. xix., “the Word of God,” he strongly expresses his opinion, just like Hippolytus, as to the hypocrisy with which he would usurpingly ascribe to himself the titles, character, and functions of the true Christ. [55]

In passing on, the names of Dionysius and Nepos occur about A.D. 250, known in connection with the Millennarian controversy, and so with the Apocalypse and its genuiness; on which points, however, I have before spoken at the beginning of the Work. [56] Of these there is no need to speak now. - I proceed therefore,

7thly, to Victorinus; the author, as before observed, of the earliest profest and continuous Apocalyptic Commentary now extant; and who died by martyrdom under the persecution of Diocletian. His Commentary is noticed by Jerome, who speaks of it as one of millennarian views. [57] And hence has arisen a doubt as to the genuineness of the Treatise still extant, that goes under the name of Victorinus’ Treatise on the Apocalypse; containing as it does, at its conclusion, a distinct anti-millennarian declaration. [58] But the objection vanishes on examination; for various indubitable millennarian intimations occur in the body of the Commentary: [59] and the anti-millennarian passage is an evident interpolation by another hand, probably Jerome’s own; [60] as well as one or two shorter passages elsewhere. [61] Moreover in Ambrose Ansbert I have observed a reference to the true Victorinus’ statement on a rather singular point; which precise statement we find in the extant Commentary. [62] - In the edition given in the Bibliotheca Patrum Maxima, now before me, there is the farther disadvantage of transposition of various parts of the Comment from their right places. But the Apocalypse itself makes the rectification of this easy, as Victorinus’ is evidently an orderly Comment on it. - I have only further to premise, that the work is very short, occupying but seven folio pages, or fourteen columns in the Bibliotheca, Vol. iii. pp. 414-421. Of these fourteen columns, three and a half are devoted to the Apocalyptic introductory Vision and Epistles to the Seven Churches; three more to the Apocalyptic scenery; four to the Seals, Trumpets, and Witnesses; two to the Vision of the Dragon and the two Beasts; and one only to all the rest: herein well agreeing with what Cassiodorus says of it, that it only explained the more difficult passages. [63] - I now proceed to give an abstract of it: and this somewhat at large, as due to its chronological interest.

At Its opening Victorinus dwells on the particulars of Christ’s first appearance to St. John: - his head and hair white marking the antiquity of the Ancient of Days, for the head of Christ is God; and perhaps with reference, in the wool that it is compared with, to the sheep his members, in the snow to the multitude of baptismal candidates, white as snow-flakes from heaven: his face as the sun serving not only to express his glory, but the fact of his having risen, and set, and risen again in life on this world; his long priestly robe marking his priesthood; his zone the golden choir of the saints; his breasts the two Testaments, whence his people’s nourishment; and the sword from his mouth his preached word, by which men shall be judged and Antichrist slain: his voice being likened to many waters with reference not only to its power, as that of many people, but perhaps too to the baptismal waters of salvation issuing from him; and his feet to brass glowing from the furnace, in reference to the apostles purified in the furnace of affliction, by whom he walks as it were in his preached gospel through the world. - Then, after a short notice of the Epistles to the Seven Churches, (which seven he explains as representatives of the Church Universal, [64] ) he proceeds to the second series of visions, on the door being opened in heaven, and John called up thither: the heaven once shut having by Christ’s satisfaction been opened; and in St. John’s person, originally of the circumcision, but now a preacher of the New Testament, it being apparent that alike the faithful of either dispensation were now invited. [65] In the heavenly scene presented to John’s view, the throne was that of Divine royalty and judgment; its jasper color, as of water, signifying God’s earlier judgment by the waters of the deluge; its fiery sardine color that to come by fire; and the sea before the throne the gift of baptism, and offer of salvation through it, previous to judgment. The twenty-four elders he explains as the twelve patriarchs and twelve apostles, seated on thrones of judgment: agreeably to the patriarchal privilege, “Dan shall judge his people,” and the apostolic, “Ye shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel;” - while the four living creatures typified the four evangelists, and their preaching of the gospel: the eyes within signifying the insight of that preaching into man’s heart; and the six wings of each (twenty-four in all) having reference to the twenty-four books of the Old Testament, because it is only by help of the previous testimonies of those books that the Gospel can fly abroad. - The voices and thunderings from the throne meant God’s preachings, and threats, and notices of Christ’s coming to judgment; the seven torches of fire the Spirit, granted to men in virtue of Christ’s crucifixion. - As to the seven-sealed book, it was the book of the Old Testament; a book, with its prophecies of things to occur in the last times, [66] opened by none but Christ: who alone, as the lamb that was slain, could fulfill its types and prophecies; alone as a lion, and through death, conquer death for man. Also the saints’ new song of thanksgiving had reference to the new salvation and new blessings, now imparted to believers, especially of the glorious promised kingdom. Even if the opening of the Seals were simultaneous, (?) yet did the arrangement of them indicate order; the first Seal indicating what took place first, [67] the foreshadowing of things that were to be in the last times.

Arrived thus at the opening of the Seals, Victorinus explains the four horses and riders of the first four Seals as indicating respectively the triumphant progress of the Gospel, begun from after Christ’s ascension, [68] and the wars, famines, [69] and pestilences, [70] which Christ said would precede his second coming: also the fifth Seal’s souls under the altar, as marking the continuous persecutions and martyrdoms of Christ’s saints; for whose consolation, till the last great day of retribution, white robes, or joys of the Holy Spirit, are given: the region under the brazen altar of vision figuring the place under-ground where the separate spirits rest; [71] while the place of the golden altar (as being that to which our offerings of prayer and praise are brought) [72] typified heaven. Further, the earthquake of the sixth Seal he makes to be the last persecution: [73] that wherein the darkening of the true doctrine to the unfaithful would answer to the eclipsed sun in the vision, and the bloodshed of martyr-saints to the moon like blood: the falling away of vain professors from the Church, under force of persecution, fulfilling the symbol of the falling stars from heaven; and the removal of the Church itself from public sight that of the rolling away of the figured firmament. [74] - In the sealing vision, Apoc. vii., next following, the four angels of the winds (the same as the four winds of Apoc. ix. 14, bound in the Euphrates [75] signified four nations, (nations being ruled over by angels,) who were not to transgress their limits till they should come in the last æra with the Antichrist; the Angel from the East meaning Elias; who would anticipate the times of Antichrist, turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, (i.e. of the Jews to the Gentile believers,) and convert to the faith both many of Israel, [76] and a great multitude of Gentiles: of all whom, now united in one as God’s elect, the white robes signified their washing in the blood of the Lamb, and subsequent preservation of the grace then given. [77] - In Apoc. viii. the half-hour’s silence figured the beginning of eternal rest; one half-hour only being mentioned, to signify the subject’s then breaking off. For chronological order is not followed in the Apocalypse: [78] but the Holy Spirit, when he has come to the chronological end, returns often, and repeats, by the way of supplement.

Next comes the vision of the incense-offering Angel. Victorinus supposes this incense-offering to depict the prayers of saints: (specially, on Antichrist’s reign approaching, the prayer that they may not enter into temptation:) the Angel being figured, because Angels offer the prayers of the Church, as well as pour out wrath on Antichrist’s kingdom; which wrath was signified alike in the seven trumpets and seven vials, the one set of symbolizations supplying what was omitted in the other. [79] - As to the particular subjects of these Trumpets and Vials, he does not unfold it in detail. He only generally says of them, that they depict “either the ravages of plagues sent on the world, or the madness of Antichrist, or a diminishing of the peoples, or the variety and difference of the plagues, [80] or the hope of the saints’ kingdom, or the ruin of states, or the destruction of the great city, Babylon, - i.e. the Roman.” And just expounding, as he passes, the warning cry of the eagle flying in mid-heaven, after the fourth trumpet-woe, to mean the Holy Spirit’s warning voice to men by the mouth of the two prophets, against the wrath to come in the impending plagues, he so proceeds to the Angel vision of Apoc. x.

The first part of which vision he makes refer, as a parenthesis, to St. John personally. The Angel is explained to be Christ; the open book in his hand the Apocalypse revealed to John; his lion-like voice, that declaring that now only is the time of repentance and hope; the seven thunders the mysteries of the future spoken through the prophets by the divine septiform Spirit; which voices John was not to write, because, as an apostle, of higher functions than that of interpreting Scripture mysteries; an office this latter belonging rather to Church subordinate functionaries afterwards. [81] Further, the charge to eat the book, and preach again to peoples and tongues, Victorinus explains of St. John’s returning personally on Domitian’s death to Ephesus, and publishing the Apocalypse; [82] also his taking the measuring reed with which to measure the Apocalyptic temple and altar, of St. John’s further publishing his Gospel: [83] whereby, and by the creed laid down in it, [84] the orthodox and faithful were marked out and defined as true Church-worshippers; and heretics, like Valentinus, Ebion, and Cerinthus, as to be excluded from the Church.

On the two Apocalyptic Witnesses Victorinus supposes a passing, in the resumed figurations of the future, into the last hebdomad of the last times; [85] during the former 31/2 years of which Christ’s two witnesses, Elijah and Jeremiah, [86] would prophesy: - these witnesses to be killed in Jerusalem (called Sodom and Egypt) by the Beast from the abyss, Antichrist, at the commencement of his 31/2 years’ reign next succeeding, after many plagues inflicted on the world, answering to the fire out of the mouths in the symbol: but to rise again on the fourth day after; the fourth, not the third, so as not to equal Christ.

So he comes to the vision of the Dragon and Woman, Apoc. xii.; or rather to the concluding verse of Apoc. xi., about the temple appearing opened, and the ark appearing, which he connects with it: to the chronological retrogression in which, from the last times previously depicted, he calls especial notice. [87] For he construes the Woman to signify the Judæo-Christian Church of the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles, [88] (like the sun glorious in hope of the resurrection, like the moon bright even when to man’s sight dark in death, and only waning to grow again,) travailing with desire of Christ’s birth out of the Jews’ nation, according to the promise. Then in Christ’s birth, resurrection, and ascension, in spite of the Dragon or Devil, he sees fulfilled the mystic child’s rapture to God’s throne: the Dragon’s color red being explained as that of a murderer from the beginning; the third of stars swept by his tail, as the third part of men, or rather of angels, seduced by him; and his seven heads and ten hors, as of the same significancy with the Beast’s seven heads and ten horns, of which more presently. - Then the time changes. [89] The woman fleeing into the desert is the Church, made up or inclusive of the 144,000, [90] now in simply Christian guise: being forced by the Dragon’s flood-like armies of persecution into mountains and deserts; and upheld in her flight by the two wings of the two witnesses. [91] The Dragon’s fall from heaven, or interdiction from there appearing as before, [92] is explained as following Elias’ 31/2 years of witnessing. [93] and being the beginning of Antichrist. - For he (the Dragon) then stood on the sand of the sea, [94] as if to evoke him: the Antichrist, accordantly with St. Paul’s prophecy to the Thessalonians, having to rise from hell. [95] As regarded the Beast, or Antichrist, his likeness to the leopard signified the variety of nations that would be in the kingdom; his seven heads both Rome’s seven hills, and also seven Roman Emperors; [96] viz. Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, (which five had fallen at the time of the Apocalypse,) the sixth Domitian then reigning, the seventh Nerva, who was to continue but a short time, (for he reigned but one year and four months,) and the eighth Nero; who as a previous Roman Emperor, might be called one of (or of the same body with) the seven. [97] Of this Nero St. Paul spoke, when he said, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work,” for Nero was then reigning: and, having had his throat cut, and so his head wounded to death, he was to revive and re-appear as Antichrist. - Victorinus notes his Jewish as well as Roman connection. He would appear both under a different name, and in a different character from before. Professing before the Jews to be the Christ, with a view to gain them, and instead of patronizing idolatry, now inculcating the religion of the circumcision, he would by them be received as Christ: (a king and a Christ worthy of them!) moreover, whereas once most impure, now renouncing all desire of women, and so fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy. [98] - His number 666 is explained as some name of Greek numerals to that amount; and two solutions offered, veiled in a corrupt text, yet not I think undecipherable: [99] one, antemov, perhaps Victorinus’ own; the other, genshrikov, interpolated by some later copyist. [100] - Of his ally the False Prophet the two horns like a lamb’s signified his assuming the form of a just man; the fire from heaven that same which sorcerers seem to men’s eyes even now to evoke; the Beast’s image a golden statue of Antichrist: which image the False Prophet would get placed in the temple of Jerusalem, and from which Satan will utter oracles. - So will there be the abomination of desolation in the worship of idols instead of himself, and the introduction of heresy into Churches; [101] the desolation, because many men, previously stable, will by these false signs and portents be turned from the faith. - As to the ten kings, Victorinus says that they would have already received royal power, when Antichrist should either have set out from the East Romewards, or from Rome Eastwards; [102] and three of them would be eradicated by him, and the other seven become his subjects, and also the haters and burners of the harlot city, Rome.

The Commentary now hurries to a conclusion. Of the three angels of Apoc. xiv., flying in mid-heaven, the first (the same as in Apoc. vii.) is Elias, anticipating Antichrist by his preaching; the other two, other prophets associated with him. The earth’s harvest and vintage are meant of the nations destined to perish at Christ’s coming: the blood shed to the extent of 1600 (= 4 x 400) stadia, bloodshed in all the four parts of the world. The seven vials are the same seven judgments before signified under the Trumpets; and poured out on the contumacious, [insubordinates], after the Church’s retirement from the scene into the wilderness. [103] Standing on the glassy sea signifies standing firm in baptismal faith. The Woman sitting on many waters, and borne by the seven-headed ten-horned Beast, is the Babylon alike of the Apocalypse, Isaiah, and Ezekiel; viz. the city ROME seated on the Devil, as before explained, of Rome red with the blood of saints: her wickedness having been consummated by a Decree of the Senate, [104] and extending to the prohibition of all preaching of the gospel in all nations. Then Christ (answering to him that was figured on the White Horse with his armies) will come and take the kingdom; a kingdom extending from the river even to the world’s end: the greater part of the earth being cleansed introductorily to it; the millennium itself not ending it. All souls of the nations will next, and finally, be called to judgment. [105]

7. In the “Virginal Banquet” of Methodius, Bishop of Tyre, who like Victorinus suffered martyrdom in the Diocletianic persecution, we find here and there an Apocalyptic expository notice that may be worth our observation: - more especially his application of the Judaic emblems of the Apocalypse to the Christian Church. Thus he expounds the 144,000 sealed ones in Apoc. vii. and xiv., “out of all the tribes of Israel,” not as an election out of the literal Israel, but as a certain select company of the Christian Church, viz. its company of virgins; the palm-bearers in the same vision of Apoc. vii. being the general body of the faithful in Christ. [106] On the same principle he explains also Mount Zion and the temple to mean the Christian Church: [107] and again in Apoc. xii. makes the sun-clothed woman that brought forth the man-child to be the faithful Christian Church, bringing forth sons by regeneration in baptism. For, argues Methodius, this symbol cannot mean Christ’s own birth into the world; seeing that John’s commission in the Apocalypse was to see and record not things past, but things present and things to come. [108] Connected with which last-mentioned vision Methodius broaches a very original idea as to the desert into which the woman fled for refuge from the dragon. It is the Church’s appointed sojourning place or state in the world: a scene and state deserted of the evil, and in which many pleasant fruits and flowers grow for her use, as a in a garden of spices: [109] the 1260 days assigned for this meaning the whole times to come. [110] - With regard to which blessed times Methodius follows the generality of the Fathers before him in explaining them as the world’s seventh sabbath millennary, beginning with the 6000th year from Creation, after the type of the six days of creation, and seventh day of sabbath: “the first resurrection” being the literal resurrection of the saints to partake of it; [111] but the body’s change to an angelic substance not occurring till the end of the millennary. [112] He also speaks of the conflagration as that by which the world is not to be annihilated but purified. [113]

8. Last in this my first period let me notice Lactantius; a writer who, in his famous work on the “Divine Institutions,” formed a kind of connecting link between that period and the Constantinian æra, when the establishment of Christianity took place in the Roman Empire: for his work was nearly all written before the end of the Diocletianic persecution; though dedicated to Constantine in one of the closing Chapters. [114] The time of his writing the Book determines me to place him in the first period, rather than the second. His sketch, towards the conclusion of his Treatise, of the ending of the great mundane drama, involved necessarily certain Apocalyptic notices. Of these the following are I think the chief; being however partly mixed up with ideas derived from the prophecies of Daniel, partly with others of mere imaginary origin.

He states, then, that the first grand preliminary to the consummation was the breaking up of the Roman empire; [115] an event to be hastened by the multiplication of emperors ruling it, with civil wars consequent, till at length ten kings should arise: whereupon an enemy from the extreme North should come against them, [116] overthrow the three Asiatic dynasties of the ten, be received and submitted to by the rest as their head, change the name and transfer the seat of the empire from West to East, and by his cruelties introduce a time of grievous calamity, especially to persecuted Christians; [117] portents on earth and in the sky accompanying, and plagues such as once in Egypt: [118] - that then, the consummation drawing on, a great prophet (Elias) [119] would be sent by God, with power of working miracles, shutting up heaven, turning water into blood, and by fire from his mouth killing such as would injure him; by whose preaching and miracles many would be turned to God: - which done, that another king would rise from Syria, begotten of an evil spirit; and, after destroying that former evil one, (the king of the North?) would conquer and kill God’s prophet afore-mentioned, his work having been completed; [120] whose corpse, however, left unburied, would on the third day be reanimated, and rapt before the enemies’ eyes to heaven: - that the king his murderer would be prophet too, but a prophet of lies; and with the miraculous power of evoking fire from heaven, arresting the sun in its course, and making an image speak: whereby he would make multitudes of adherents; branding them like cattle with his mark, and requiring worship from them as God and the Son of God: for that this would be in fact the ANTICHRIST; falsely claiming to be Christ, [121] but fighting against the real Christ, overthrowing his temple the Church, [122] and persecuting unto the death his saints and true Israel: [123] - that the fated time, the saints having fled in a last extremity to the mountains, the heaven would be opened for their deliverance; [124] and Christ himself intervene to save them, and destroy this Antichrist and his allied kings. After which the saints, raised from the grave, would reign with Christ through the world’s seventh chiliad; a period to commence, Lactantius judged, in about 200 years at furthest: [125] the Lord alone being thenceforth worshipped on a renovated world; its still living inhabitants multiplying incalculably in a state of terrestrial felicity; and the resurrection-saints, during this commencement of an eternal kingdom, in a nature like the angelic, reigning over them. [126]


On the whole, in reviewing our Sketch of this 1st and earliest Period of Apocalyptic Interpretation, the following points may remain in our minds as among its most marked and important characteristics.

1st, that the Apocalyptic figurations were supposed to be such as began to have fulfillment from the time of St. John, or commencement of the Christian æra. I believe there is no one expositor of the period just past under review that entertained the idea of the Apocalyptic prophecy overleaping the chronological interval, were it less or greater, antecedent to the consummation; and plunging at once into the times of the consummation, and of the then expected Antichrist. See e.g. Irenæus and Victorinus on the 1st Seal,; Tertullian on the 5th Seal; and also Methodius, &c. [127]

2. As regards the 1st Seal, and the interpretation of its white horse and horseman by Irenæus, and then Tertullian and Victorinus, as symbolizing Christ’s victories by the gospel, we have to note that though it is Victorinus who first conjoins this its explanation with that of the contrasted horse and horseman of the three next Seals, as symbolizing the “bella fames and pestis” that were to follow after the first gospel preaching and triumphs, antecedently to Christ’s second coming, so as predicted by Christ in Matt. xxiv., yet seems probable that Victorinus’ predecessors, as well as his successors, like him combined this view of the1st Seal with that of the next 3 Seals, and with similar reference to Christ’s prophecy respecting those antecedents to his second coming. Which being so, and as this is a primary and cardinal point in Apocalyptic interpretation, it will be well here to bear in mind Irenæus’ own caution, expressed with reference to another of the Apocalyptic mysteries; (I mean the Beast’s name;) viz. that “if meant to be known at the time it would doubtless have been declared by him who saw the Apocalypse.” As part and parcel of an interpretation of all the four first Seals taken from Matt. xxiv., whereof the explanation of the next three Seals as symbolizing war, famine, and pestilence constitutes another essential part, it is disproved at once by the impossibility of the 3rd Seal’s symbol, with its choenix or 5 lbs. of barley for a denarius, together with plenty of wine and oil, ever meaning famine. [128]

3. As to the great subject of Antichrist, while there was a universal concurrence in the general idea of the prophecy, there was in respect of the details of application a considerable measure of difference; - these differences arising mainly out of certain current notions of the coming Antichrist as in some way Jewish as well as Roman, and the difficulty of combining and adjusting the two characteristics. The Roman view followed of course Apocalyptically from Antichrist’s being figured as the Roman Beast’s 8th head, after the healing of his deadly wound; (for all identified the Beasts of Apoc. xiii. and xvii.; [129] ) and joined too in closest union with the seven-hilled Harlot: as well as from Daniel’s depicting him as a little horn of the 4th or Roman Beast. Of his supposed Jewish connection no Apocalyptic evidence occurred to the early patristic expositors: save only that Irenæus thought Dan’s omission in Apoc. vii. from the sealed tribes might arise from that being the Jewish tribe of Antichrist’s origin; a notion in which none, I believe, followed him. The idea arose chiefly doubtless from a vague expectation of his being a Pseudo-Christ, such as Christ told of in Matt. xxiv. 5, which reads: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many,” the thought being that the Jews might receive this impersonator as their long sought Messiah: conjoined by some of the Fathers, as Irenæus and Hippolytus, with the idea that the abomination of desolation of which Christ then spoke as predicted by Daniel, and which would in fact have the Jewish sanctuary as its place of manifestation, was not only the one prophesied of in Dan. ix. 27, as what would synchronize with the end of the 70 hebdomads, but that associated prediction which that verse refers to in Dan. xi. 36, which reads: “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” Whence the conclusion that the ending epoch of each, and ending epoch also of the 70 hebdomads, would be at the end of Antichrist’s 31/2 years, at the consummation.

Now we have ourselves elsewhere asked, Was there not this in the designation of the desolating abomination in Dan. xii. 11 which might serve to distinguish it from the desolating abomination of Dan. xi. 31 which reads: “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” and Dan. ix. 27, “: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”; and the latter be meant distinctively by Christ, not the former? [130] And I wish here to state it as not improbable that they were asked, and to the same effect, by some also of the patristic expositors of the æra I am referring to. For alike Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, and I may add too Tatian, all before the end of the 2nd century, and also Julius Africanus, at the commencement of the 3rd century, explained Daniel’s 70 hebdomads, and their abomination of desolation, as having had their full accomplishment on Christ’s death, and the consequent desolation of Jerusalem by the Roman armies; and so having no reference whatsoever to any desolation by the then future Antichrist. [131] Nor of the few who with Irenæus and Hippolytus referred that last hebdomad and its abomination of desolation to the end of the world and Antichrist, do I find that any but Hippolytus expounded the 70th and last hebdomad as broken off from the preceding 69 by a great chronological gap. Certainly no such gap is spoken of by Irenæus. [132] And as Apollinarius of Laodicea, who lived a century and a half later under Valens, made the 70 hebdomads to have had commencement with Christ’s first advent, and so to come down continuously to an epoch 490 years later, which he expected might be the time of Antichrist’s coming and the consummation, [133] so might some such view very possibly have been that by which Irenæus referred the last week to the consummation. (I refer not to Judas Syrus, another and earlier writer on the subject mentioned by Eusebius, because how he managed to make the period of the 70 hebdomads end nearly at his own epoch of the 10th of Severus, or about A.D. 203, does not appear: though I infer from Eusebius’ words that he too computed continuously. [134] ) Hippolytus stands alone, as I said, [135] in the exprest view of the 69 hebdomads reaching to Christ’s first coming, and the 70th beginning separately, at some vast chronological gap, just before his second coming. [136]

Reverting to those early expositors’ notices about Antichrist, let me observe further that in regard to his religious profession, though the expectation of its being Judaism was prevalent among them, yet the idea was also ever kept up (an idea derived from St. John’s epistles) that heretics professedly within the Church might be considered also as Antichrists: moreover that when the great and chief Antichrist came, he would sedulously affect external resemblance to Jesus Christ; agreeably with the lamb-like Apocalyptic symbol. [137] Such a notion as that of a professedly atheistic or infidel Antichrist was as yet unknown. - Again, as to Antichrist’s Roman connection, while all admitted this, and thus the Pseudo-Sibyl and Victorinus spoke of him as the resuscitated Roman emperor Nero, and also Irenæus, and yet more strongly Hippolytus, suggested that he might very probably on this account have for his name and number Lateinos, yet then and thereupon their views differed. For the Pseudo-Sibyl and Irenæus thought that he would be prominent in Rome’s destruction, transferring its empire to Jerusalem: Hippolytus, on the contrary, that he would be the restorer of the Roman empire in a new form, somewhat like a second Augustus. To which his opinion I must again beg my readers’ special attention; the rather, because, while expressing it, as I find from the original Greek, [138] he had the more usual reading before him in Apoc. xvii. 16 of ta deka kerata kai to qhrion, not, as his Latin translation first seen by me represents it, ta deka k. epi to qhrin; the reading adopted, as it seems, by Tertullian. But how so? Because it was the old imperial Rome that Hippolytus evidently looked on as that which both Beast and horns would unite to burn: this being a mere temporary burning from which the Beast would in a new form next resuscitate it; and quite distinct from the everlasting fire from God described in Apoc. xviii., as its subsequent and final doom. On the Apocalyptic Babylon’s meaning Rome all agreed. - Once more, as to the time of Antichrist’s duration, though all reckoned it literally as 31/2 years, (how but for this could they have looked for Christ’s coming as near? [139] ) yet, very remarkably, the testimony of Cyprian and of his Biographer was incidentally given even thus early to the year-day principle as a Scriptural one: all ready for its application to the prophetic chronological periods at God’s own fit time afterwards. [140]

4. As to the Apocalyptic Judaic symbols there seems to have been a general reference of them in this æra to the Christian Church or worship. so Irenæus, Tertullian, Victorinus, Lactantius expounded the Apocalyptic temple and altar: so Tertullian, Methodius, Lactantius the Apocalyptic 144,000 sealed ones out of the 12 tribes, and Apocalyptic New Jerusalem. A point important to be marked in the primitive exposition. [141]

On which point, and the general subject of the intent of Scripture symbols and figures, we have to remember that Origen, already briefly noticed by me, lived and taught about the middle of the third century. [142] And, had he fulfilled his declared intention of giving the Christian world an Apocalyptic commentary, [143] we can scarcely doubt but that it would have been of a character more mystical than those we have yet had to do with; though Victorinus’ exposition of the symbols of the primary Apocalyptic vision furnishes us indeed with a partial specimen. Origen’s principle of anagogical [144] or spiritualizing exposition, (a principle not altogether to be exploded, but needing in its application to Scripture analogy, and good sense, abundantly greater than Origen cared to use,) [145] could not but have been largely applied by him to the apocalyptic prophecy: especially as one involving constantly symbolic language, besides those allusions to Babylon, Israel, Jerusalem, which we saw, were always, according to him, to be construed anagogically in Scripture. But this commentary he in effect did not write: and it remained for others fully to apply his principles to Apocalyptic exposition in a later æra.

5. On the millennary question, all primitive expositors except Origen, and the few who rejected the Apocalypse as unapostolical, were premillennarians; and construed the first resurrection of the saints literally.

[1] Some time after the publication of the 3rd Edition of the Horæ, with its Historic Sketch of Apocalyptic Interpretation, Mr. C. Maitland published his Book entitled “The Apostolic School of Prophetic Interpretation,” which consists very mainly of an historic sketch on the same subject. Mr. C. M. had my Sketch before him while writing this; as appears from his reference to my 4th Volume containing it, at his p. 53, and various notices apparently borrowed from it throughout. - In revising this Part of my Work I have, in my turn, had the advantage of keeping his Treatise before me; and found it useful both otherwise, and especially as a check to my own notices of the same expositors: the more so because his views of the Apocalyptic prophecy are essentially different from my own, being mainly those of the futurist school. His Treatise is indeed almost professedly drawn up with the object of inculcating that particular view of prophetic interpretation. Which circumstance imposes on me the duty of checking, and when incorrect (which he too frequently is) correcting his statements; especially with reference to the 1st and 2nd Periods of my Sketch.

[2] I do not specify the pseudo-Barnabas, who wrote probably early in the 2nd century, because we find nothing distinctively Apocalyptic in his Epistle: - except indeed in regard of that passage about the six days of creation and following Sabbath, viewed as types of the world’s six millennaries of duration, and seventh millennium of rest consequent on them, which will be found cited in the Chapter in my Appendix on the present æra in the world’s chronology.

I call this writer the pseudo-Barnabas, because of having no doubt in my own mind as to his not being the apostle Barnabas. The Jewish temple had evidently been destroyed when the Epistle was written; and Barnabas probably died before that event. The author writes as if a Gentile, whereas Barnabas was a Jew: and moreover with such strange mistakes of fact about certain of the Levitical rites and ceremonies as, it seems to me, impossible a Jewish Levite like Barnabas could have made; and fancies too as to typical meanings in them, such as ill consist with the idea of that apostolic companion of the apostles having been their inditer.

For the same reason in part I omit noticing the so-called Hermas’ writings, not doubting that the writer’s assumption of that apostolic name is a fraud; as nearly all critics, following Tertullian’s indignant rejection of its apostolicity, (De Pudieit. 10, 20,) admit: also because of there appearing nothing in them of distinct and particular Apocalyptic interpretation. As a general witness to the genuineness of the Apocalypse he is cited by me in the Preliminary Essay to my Book, Vol. i. pp. 9-11.

Further I omit all notice of the 2nd Book of Esdras; as I incline with Dr. Lawrence to deem it the work of a Jew, written just before Jesus Christ’s birth. The famous passage, Ch. vii. 28, which speaks of Jesus by name, is wanting in the Ethiopic version; where we read simply, “My Messiah shall be revealed,” not “My son Jesus.” Hence Dr. Lawrence deems the passage in the Latin Arabic to be an interpolation, or marginal gloss, by some Christian hand. Further the two first Chapters, in which there might seem to be allusions to certain New Testament Scriptures, (especially Ch. ii. 42-46,) are wanting in both the Arabic and Ethiopic versions.

Mr. C. Maitland, on the contrary, pp. 111-119, opens his Sketch of Christian Prophetic Interpretation by notices of the soi-disant Barnabas, as really the apostle of that name; Hermas, with “his gushes of penitence, &.,” as the Hermas of Rom. xvi. 14, “Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.”; and of the 2nd Book of Esdras, as really the writing of a Christian.

[3] See my Vol. i. pp. 230, 231.

[4] The name given by the Poet in various places to Rome; e.g. Book v. p. 312; (Ed. Paris 1599.)

                             Kai Flexei ponton baqun, authn te Babulwna,

            Italihv gaian q’.

[5] So p. 368;

                             W basileu megalauce, Aatinidov ekgoueRwmhv.

This Latin appellative of Rome appears often elsewhere in the Book: so that I cannot but incline to think that it had reference to Aateinov, as the name and number of the Beast; the same that was soon afterwards specified by Irenæus.

[6] Sometimes designated as the mother-murderer; sometimes by the number 50, as the numeral value of n’, the first letter of his name.

                                             otan gepanelqh

            Ek peratwn gaihv o fugav mhtroktonov elqwn, . . .

            Kai tote penqhseiv.

The latter occurs in Book v. p. 303;

                             IIenthkonta d ostiv kerehn lace koiranov estai,

            Deinov ofiv, ' Fusswn polemon' . .

                             All' estai kai aistov o loigiov' eit' anakamyei,

            Isazwn qew auton elegxev d ou min eonta.

[7] Elsewhere the writer notes in contrast the then flourishing state not only of Rome but its Campagna; to pedon 'Rwmhv epiqhlou' a statement very illustrative of what I have said in p. 20 suprà.

[8] B. viii. p. 368. - This was to be when Rome had fulfilled the number of the years destined her in her name 'Rwmh, viz. 100 + 800 + 40 + 8 = 948.

                             Trev de trihkosiouv kai tessmrakonta kai oktw

            IIlhrwseiv lukabantav' . . teon ounoma plhrwsasa.

[9] B. vii. p. 359;

                             en de trity¢ klhpy peritellomenwn eniautwn,

            Ogdoathv prwthv allov pale kosmov oratae.

Is this Barnabas’ octad? - Compare the anti-premillennarian Jerome’s notice of the Christian sabbath as the 8th day.

[10] See Note 592 p.71 suprà.

[11] See the Note Vol. i. p. 229.

[12] Because the millennium of the risen saints’ reign with Christ, which in the Apocalypse is made to follow immediately after the destruction of the Apocalyptic Beast, by some interposition of Christ from heaven, is by Justin stated to follow immediately after this destruction of Daniel’s Little Horn, or Antichrist.

[13] See Vol. i. p. 230, Note 2. - He intimates further his expectation of Elias coming literally and personally before Christ’s second advent. But he says this without any reference to the two witnesses of the Apocalyptic prophecy, such as Mr. C. Maitland ascribes to him, p. 140.

[14] See the quotations in my Note Vol. i. p. 229.

[15] On the whole however, we saw, he preferred the name Teitan.

[16] Rev:19:20: “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”.

[17] In support of this idea Irenæus (v. 30) strangely refers to Jer. viii. 16, “The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan,” as if said of Antichrist’s emerging from out of that tribe. And Mr. C. M. as strangely, pp. 157-159, seems to approve and endorse the interpretation. The reader need only refer to Jeremiah in order to see that it is said, as Lowth explains it, “of the Chaldæan army marching into Judea through the tribe of Dan:” that being the northern most district of the territory of Israel

[18] It may be well to observe here that Irenæus says nothing of any of Daniel’s hebdomands except the last. Whether with his contemporary Judas (see Euseb. H. E. vi. 6) he supposed the 70 hebdomads to reach continuously to the consummation, through some different view from that which is commonly received of their commencing date, - or whether with Hippolytus he supposed the last hebdomad to be separated from the rest in the prophet’s intention by a chronological break, - does not appear. - See my notice of this subject at the end of the Section.

[19] I say very mainly; because he also refers to one and another passage in Daniel about the sanctuary being desolate, and the abomination of desolation resting in it, as if meaning the Jerusalem (rebuilt) temple; viz. Dan. viii. 13, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”, and Dan. ix. 27, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” But it is in nearest connection with the parable in St. Luke. “Ipse est iniquus judex . . ad quem fugit vidua oblita Dei, id est terrena Hierusalem ad ulciscenduni de inimico. Quod et faciet in tempore regni sui. Transferet regnum in eam; et in temple Dei sedebit seducens eos qui adorant eum quasi ipse sit Christus,” v. 26. So Irenæus would make Antichrist’s empire a fifth mundane great empire, with new and different capital from Rome, in direct contradiction to Dan. ii., vii., which alike state that there would be but four previous to the reign of Messiah.

[20] “Ad hoc enim nascebatur Dominus;” (viz. to overthrow his adversary, like his antitype Jacob;) “de quo et Joannes in Apocalypsi sit, Exivit vincens ut vinceret.” iv. 38.

[21] “Est ergo altare in eoelis. Illuc enim preces nostræ et oblationes diriguntur; et ad templum; quemadmodum Joannes in Apocalypsi ait, Et apertum est templum Dei.” iv. 34, ad fin. Irenæus’ reference here is to Apoc. xi. 19, “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail,” or xv. 5, “ And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:”.But it is quite evident from the passage that he would have expounded the temple scene in Apoc. viii. 3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” - where incense was given to the Angel, of Christian worship also.

[22] More than once he expounds what St. Paul says about Antichrist’s sitting in the temple of God, &c., of pseudo-Christian heretics like the Marcionites sitting in the professing Christian Church.

[23] “Ita in diem expugnationis suæ Judæi impleverunt hebdomadas LXX prædictus à Daniels. Igitur, expletis his quoque temporibus, et debellatis Judæa, postea cessaverunt illie libamina et sacrificia, &c.” Adv. Jud. 8. See my notices on Daniel’s hebdomads at the end of this Section.

[24] See p. 138 Note 1087 which reads; “Translatus est Enoch et Elias, nec more eorum reperta est, dilata scilicet. Cæ. terum morituri reservantur, ut Antichristum sanguine sue extinguant.” De Anim. 50. In another place, Adv. Marc. iv. 22, he explains Zachariah’s two olive-trees as Moses and Elias.”

[25] E.g. De Res. Carn. 26, where he says that Christ, and the faithful Christians who have put on Christ, are God’s temple, Jerusalem, and the Holy Land. Also Adv. Jud. 14; “sacerdote templi spiritualis, id est, ecclesiæ.”

[26] E. g. “Auænam istæ sunt pelles uvium nisi nomin is Christiani extrinseccus superficies?” “Qui Antichristi nisi Christi rebelles?” De Præser. 4. So also Adv. Mare iii. 8, v. 16, &c.

[27] Res. Carn. 27.

[28] Adv. Marc. iii. 25.

[29] “Accipit et Angelus victoriæ coronam, procedens in candido equo ut vinceret.” De Cor. Mil. ch. 15. By the Angel I think Tertullian meant Christ the Covenant-Angel.

[30] The passages are given in my Vol. i. p. 232; but they are so illustrative that I must beg to bring them here again distinctly under the reader’s eye.

1. De Res Carn. ch. 25. “Etiam in Apocalypsi Johannis ordo temporum sternitur, quem martyrum quoque animæ sub altari, ultionem et judicium fiagitantes, sustinere didicerunt: ut prius et orbis de pateris angelorum plagas suas ebibat, et prostituta illa civitas a decem regibus dignos exitus referat, et bestia Antichristus cùm suo Pseudo-prophetâ certamen ecclesiæ Dei inferat: atque ita, Diabolo in abyssum interim relegato, primae resurrectionis praerogativa de soliis ordinetur; dehine, et igni dato, universalis resurrectionis censura de libris judicetur.”

2. Scorp. adv. Gnost. ch. 12. “Quinam isti tam beati victores (Apoc. ii. 7) nisi propriè martyres? Illorum etenim victorai quorum et pugnae; eorum vero pugnae quorum et sanguis. Sed et interim sub altari martyrum animae placidè quiescunt; et fiducià utionis candidam claritatis usurpant, donec et [alii] consortium illarum gloriae impleant. Nam et rursus innumera multitudo albeti, et palmis victorae insignes, revelantur; (Apoc. vii. 9, &c.;) scilicet de Antichristo triumphales.”

[31] Mr. C. Maitland says, p. 164; “This passage contains the earlier identification of the 5th Seal martyrs with those who suffer under Antichrist.” It will be seen I believe, that, instead of this, Tertullian expressly distinguishes the 5th Seal martyrs, as the first set of martyrs, from the second set that were to follow under Antichrist.- The white robes of the palm-bearers in Apoc. vii., robes washed white by them in the blood of the Lamb before death, are also unadvisedly identified by Mr. C. M. with the white robes of the martyrs in Apoc. vi. 11; - white robes given them in vision after death.

[32] “Translatus est Enoch et Elias, nec mors eorum reperta est, dilata scilicet. Cae. terum morituri reservantur, ut Antichristum sanguine sue extinguant.” De Anim. 50. In another place, Adv. Mare. iv. 22, he explains Zachariah’s two olive-trees as Moses and Elias.

[33] “How shall I admire, how exalt, when I behold so many proud monarchs, reported to have been received into heaven, groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness, so many provincial governors who persecuted the name of the Lord liquefying in fiercer fire than they ever kindled against the Christians!” De Spectac. c. 30. Cited already by me under by 5th Seal, Vol. i. p. 224.

[34] See on his millennary view the abbreviated extract given in Note 592 p.71 suprà. But it will be quite worth the reader’s while to read the whole passage from which this extract is taken; which passage I see, is given by Bishop Kaye in his Tertullian, p. 362.

Respecting the New Jerusalem, as will be there seen, his idea was that it was to be of heavenly fabric; and would descend from heaven to be the abode of the resurrection saints during the Millennium. That he did not expect the converted Jews, still in a mortal state, to be restored to, and to occupy their own land of Judah, appears from the general anti-Judaic tone of his remarks. (See for example my extract from him p. 138, in the Note 1086.) In one place however he tells of a glorious city which had been seen shortly before in Judea for forty successive days, suspended in the air at break of morning; the image, it was supposed, and he believed it, of the New Jerusalem. And perhaps he may hence be supposed to have had an idea of Judea, as the chief local point of the manifestation of the glories of the heavenly Jerusalem, during the millennium. But nothing more.

[35] So too as to Christ’s prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction, Tertullian, with the same common-sense eye, regards it as an orderly prophecy, from a commencing date of the time when it was spoken: “Interrogatus à discipulis quando eventura essent quae interim de templi exitu eruperant, ordinem temporum prime Judaicorum, usque ad excidium Jerusalem, dehine communium, usque ad conclusionem seculi, dirigit.” De Res. Cara. 22.

[36] See my notice on this point, Vol. i. p. 26, Note 2

[37] So Photius, apparently on the authority of Hippolytus himself; Maqhthv Eirhnaiou o Ippolutov . . . Tautav de Fhsin eleggoiv upoblhqhnai omelountov Eirhnaiou. Quoted by Lardner, Vol. ii. p. 424.

[38] Lardner, p. 428.

[39] Ib. 422.

[40] I may specify particularly the clause following; which shows the Treatise to have been written in the times of Pagan persecution, and so before Constantine’s establishment of Christianity. All' h meiv oitinev elpizontev eiv ton uion tou qeou diwkwmeqaup' autwn twn apistwn. Ch. 59. Moreover every such notice of monasticism, and of the Virgo Deipara, as are found in the spurious Treatise De Consummatione Mundi ac de Antichristo, bearing Hippolytus’ name, and with much of his real Treatise incorporated, are here wanting; - notices which savor of the latter half of the 4th century, or a period yet later.

[41] Antichrist’s affected likeness to a lamb, which is one of the points here specified, is in a later part of the Treatise expressly inferred by Hippolytus from the Apocalyptic figuration of Antichrist and his False Prophet as a two-horned lamb-like Beast: to de eipein ta kerata auta omoia apniw, oti exomoiusqai mellei tw viw tu qeu. ch. 49. - Compare Tertullian’s explanation of the symbol, p. 138, Note 1089 suprà. - In Mr. C. M’s sketch of Hippolytus’ prophetic views this important passage is not referred to.

[42] Ch. 6; referred to already, Vol. ii. p. 85, Note 5.

[43] en peretomh s Swthr hlqen eiv ton kosmon, kai autov (o Anticristov) omoiwv eleusetai.

[44] Ch. 36.

[45] Ib. p. 5. - Hippolytus was, I believe, the first author of the chronological separation of the last week of Daniel from its fellows. Jerome on Dan. ix. states Hippolytus’ view to the effect following: - that 7 hebdomads of the 70 were to elapse before the Jews’ return from Babylon, 62 after these to Christ’s birth; (a clear mistake, says Jerome, since from Cyrus to Christ there would be 560 years;) then the last hebdomad, quite separate from the rest, to occur at the end of the world, and be divided between Elias and Antichrist, as stated in the text.

[46] Christ’s precursor, says Hippolytus, in preaching the gospel to the souls in Hades. ch. 46, p. 6.

[47] With regard to this seven-headed ten-horned Beast, it appears from Andrea’s Comment on Apoc. xvii. 10 that Hippolytus explained his seven heads of the seven ages or millennaries of the world; five of which had past (according to the Septuagint chronology) when St. John received the revelation in Patmos, the sixth was then current, and the seventh when it came must continue, he thought, but a little space. How so, he does not explain. - I presume this is taken by Andreas from Hippolytus’ Treatise on the Apocalypse; as I have not found it either in the true or the spurious Treatise of Hippolytus on Antichrist.

[48] To men oun qhpion anabainon ek thv ghv thn basileian thn tou Articristou esomenhn legei . . . to de kai thn exousian tou prwtou qhriou epoiei, kai poiei thu ghn kai touv en auth katoikountav ina proskunhswsi to qhrion to prwton, ou eqerapeuqh h plhgh tou qanatou autou, - touto shmainei oti kata ton Augoustou nomon, aF ou kai hbasileia 'Rwmaiwn sunesth, outw kai autov keleusei kai diataxei apanta epikurwn, dia toutou doxau eautou pleiona peripoioumenov. Touto gar esti to qhrion to tetarton ou eplhgh h keFalh, kai palin eqerapeuqh, dia to kataloqhnai authnz h kai atimasqhnai, kai eiv deka deadhmata analuqhvai. 'Ov tote panourgov wn wsper qerapeusei authn kai ananewsei. Touto gar estito eirhmenon upo tou profhtou, dti dwsei pneuma th eikoni, kai lalhsei h eikwn tou qhriou energhsei gar kai escusei palen dia ton drizomenon nomon. Ch. 49. So, according to Hippolytus, Antichrist’s empire would be the old imperial Roman empire revived: not, as Irenæus and Mr. C. M., a 5th empire, which Daniel expressly excludes.

This most important passage in Hippolytus’ prophetic views is silently past over by Mr. C. Maitland.

[49] After mentioning 666 as the Beast’s number, and Teitan and Euanthas as answering to the numeral, he goes on thus. All' epeidh proefqhmen legontev ote eqerapeuqh h plhgh tou qhriou tou prwtou, kai poihsei lalein thn eikona, tout' estin iscusai, Faneron d' evi pasin oti oi kratountev eti nun eisi Aatinoi, eiv enov oun anqrwpou onoma metagamenon genetai Aatevov. c. 50. A passage already cited by me Vol. iii. p. 248.

Mr C. M. writes thus, p. 168; “Like Irenaeus, our bishop knows many names that make the number of the Beast. He prefers the word (arnoumai) I deny, doubtless from the predicted denail of Christ’s being come in the flesh.” I regret that Mr. C. Maitland should have so written. He had the two Treatises before him, the genuine and the spurious. He cites the above, which is only in the spurious one, as Hippolytus’ solution; and leaves the genuine Treatise, and its preferred solution of the name Aateinov unnoticed!

[50] Kai en yavri ecousa krazei wdinousa, kai basavizomenh tikein, oti ou pausetai h ekklhsia gennwsa ek kardiav ton lagon, ton  en kosmw upo apivwn diwkomenon . . . ton arrena kai teleion Crivon, paida Qeou, Qeon kai anqrwpon kataggellomenon aei tiktousa h ekklhsia didmskei panta ta eqnh. Again, on the words “caught up to God;” hrpagh to teknon authv prov ton Oeon kai ton qronon autou, oti epouraniov eti basileuv, kai ouk epigeiov o di' authv aei gennwmenov.

[51] Hippolytus does not expressly define the locality as Jerusalem. I should rather suppose however that he means it: though how to reconcile this with the Antichrist’s complete restoration of Rome’s empire, as by a second Augustus, may seem difficult.

[52] Ad fin. ch. 65.

[53] So in his Commentary on John, Vol. ii. p. 90 [Ed. Huet.]

[54] Ibid. pp. 1, 2.

[55] Ibid. pp. 52-54. The passage is so remarkable that I must transcribe it in part. After speaking of Christ in the language of Apoc. xix. as ¢O Aogov to Qeu, o pivov kalumenov, kai alhqinov, kai en dikaiosunh krinei kai polemei, he thus turns to his conflict with the great usurper Antichrist. Epan de autov men presbauh peri alhqeian, o d upokrinomenov einai Aogov, u Aogov wn, kai h eauthn thn anagoreuasa alhqeian, ak alhqeia tulkanaasa, alla yeudov, Faskh einai eauthn thn alhqeian, tote kaqopliwamenov o Aogov kata tu yeudwv analoi auto tw pneumati ta tomatov, kai katargei th epiFaneia thv parasiav auta. (2 Thess. ii.)

He then dwells on the distinctives of Christ as enumerated by St. John in his description of the sitter on the white horse in Apoc. xix. in such a manner as to imply pretty plainly that he did not so view the rider on the white horse in Apoc. vi., where all these characteristics are wanting.

[56] See my Vol. i. pp. 3-7, 26.

[57] “Et Papias Hierapolites Episcopus, et Nepos in Ægypti partibus Episcopus, de mille annorum regno ita ut Victorinus senserunt.” Cited B. P. M. iii. 414.

[58] (a) “Audiendi non sunt qui mille annorum regnum terrenum esse confirmant; qui cum Cherintho hæretico sentiunt.”Ad flu. B.P.M. iii. 421.

   (b). On the Epistle to the Church of Thyatira, “I will give him the morning star,” the explanation is given, “Primam resurrectionem scilieet promisit:” and again, on “I will give him power over nations,” “id est, judicem illum constituet inter cæteros sanctos.” -p. 416.

[59] Speaking of the nations to be destroyed at Christ’s coming, (“gentibus perituris in adventu Domini,”) as signified by various figurations, such as the harvest and the vintage, the writer adds, “Sed semel in  'adventu Domini, et consummationis, et regni Christi, et apertione regni sanctorum futurum est.” p. 420.

[60] “In Judæâ ubi omnes sancti conventuri sunt, et Dominum suum adoraturi.” - p. 415.

Strange that Bellarmine should have overlooked all this; and in his De Scriptor, Eccl. spoken of the extant Treatise as decidedly anti-millennarian!

[61] For Jerome, in returning the copy of Victorinus sent him, says that he had not only corrected the transcribers’ errors, but himself made additions: - “Quia me literis obtestatus es . . . majorum statim libros revolvi; et quod in corum commentariis reperi Victorini opusculis sociavi. Ab iota inde quae ipse secundum literam senserit, à principio libri ad signum crucis quae ab imperitis erant vitiata scriptoribus, correximus; exinde usque ad finem voluminis addita esse cognosce.” (ibid. 414.) - The anti-millennarian addition, of which I gave in Note 1121 the concluding sentence, occupies near a column at the end of the Treatise as now printed. It gives Jerome’s view of the first resurrection, to much the same effect as Augustin’s; but only, in true Hieronymic style of sentiment, with special notice of the keeping of virginity, as characterizing those millennarian priests and kings unto God, in regard of whom the Devil is bound.

[62] Especially at p. 417; where, Victorinus having mentioned twenty-four Books of the Old Testament, the gloss occurs; “Sunt autem libri veteris Testamenti qui accipiuntur viginti quatuor, quos in Epitomis Theodori invenies: “in which the reference is to Theodorus, a writer of the sixth century.

[63] So Professor M. Stuart, in his Apocalyptic Comment, i. 454.

[64] Like Paul, he adds; who first taught that seven Churches represented the Church Catholic, by addressing epistles to just seven Churches. For Victorinus’ appended List seems not to have included that to the Hebrews among St. Paul’s Epistles.

[65] Such seems to me his meaning; but it is obscure. - Thus early is St. John’s representative character on the Apocalyptic scene hinted.

[66] So I suppose we are to understand him. “Resignatio sigillorum, ut diximus, apertio est Veteris Testamenti, et prædicatorum prænunciatio in novissimo tempore futurorum.” p. 417.

[67] “Quæ licet Scriptura prohetica per singula dicit, omnibus [tamen] simul apertis sigillis, ordinem tamen suum habet prædicatio. Nam aperto primo sigillo, dicit se vidisse equum album et equitem coronatum, habentem arcum; hoe enim primo factum est.” Ibid.

[68] “Postquam enim ascendit in cælos Dominus, et aperuit universe, misit Spiritum suum; cujus verba prædicationis, tanquam sagittæ ad corda hominum pergentes, [ut] vincerent incredulitatem.” ib. Thus, though he refers in the preceding context (cited p. 288) to the last times, yet the vision is explained by Victorinus as having the beginning of its fulfillment from the time of Christ’s ascension.

[69] “Hurt not the wine and oil” he explains, “Spiritualem hominem ne plagis percusseris:” the balance; “Statera in manu libra examinis, in quâ singulorum metita ostenderet.“ p. 418.

[70] He makes no mention of the limiting “fourth part of the earth,” handed down to us in the present Greek text.

[71] “Sub arà, id cat sub terriâ . . . Ara ærea terra intelligitur; sub quà est infernus, remota poenis et ignibus regio, [an opinion like that of Tertullian and Jerome, cited p. 101 supra,] et requies sanctorum.” -- On the idea of the separate spirits of the saints (saints in the Romish sense) not having the beatific vision of God, the Editor appends a Note, Cautè lege! Ibid.

[72] Matt. v. 23, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;”.

[73] He does not say the persecution by Antichrist: and one might almost suppose he meant one before his coming: as Elias’ coming is next notified, who (according to Victorinus) was to precede Antichrist.

[74] Here, at p. 418, occurs the first marked disorder in the printed copy in the Bibliotheca: the comment there going on to Apoc. xi. 1,” And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”; and the proper sequel, on Apoc. vii., not occurring till p. 419.

[75] So Victorinus; agreeably with the Gloss in Griesbach, which on Apoc. ix. 14 reads tesserav anemouv, for tesserav aggelouv

[76] Elsewhere Victorinus explains the 144,000 as the elect out of the Catholic Church, converted in the last days of Elias. See p.144, Note 1155, infrà

[77] “Electorum numerum, qui per sanguinem agni baptismo purgati, suas stolas fecerunt candidas, servantes gratiam quam acceperunt,” p. 419. - The white robes given in the fifth seal Victorinus had explained, we saw, as the gift of the Holy Spirit.

[78] “Semihora initium est quietis aeternae. Sed partem intellexit quia interruptio. Esdem per ordinem repetit.” p. 419. He here, and elsewhere, strongly insists on the retrogressive character of certain of the visions. “. . . licet repetat per phialas; non qussi bis factum dicit; sed, quoniam semel futurum est quod est decretum à Deo ut fiat, ideo bis dicitur. Quidquid igitur in tubis minus dexit hine in phialis est. Nec aspiciendus est ordo dictorum: quoniam sæpe Spiritus sanctus, ubi ad novissimi temporis finem percurrerit, rursus ad eadem tempora redit, et supplet ea quæ minus dixit. Nec requirendus est ordo in Apocalypsi, sed intellectus.” Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] “Differentia plagarum.” Or perhaps, delaying: with allusion to such passages as Apoc. ix. 12, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”; x. 7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets”, xi. 14, “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”. ibid.

[81] Apostoli virtutibus, signis, portentis, magnalibus factis, vicerunt incredulitatem: post illos. ..  ecclesiis datum est solatium propheticarum scripturarum interpretenda rum.” p. 419.

[82] I have quoted this, Vol. i. p. 35.

[83] Victorinus’ testimony to the fact of the publication of St. John’s Gospel subsequently to his return from Patmos, and apparently too after the Apocalypse, should be noted. “Nam et evangelium postea scripsit;” his writing it being, it is said, at the request of the assembled Christians of the whole neighborhood of Ephesus, in consequence of the Gnostic heresies referred to.

[84] This is a curious early specimen of something like a creed; and one, not, I think, as yet noted by those who have written on creeds. “Mensura autem Filii Dei, mandatum Domini, (1.) Patrem confiteri omnipotentem. (2.) Dieimus et hujus filium Christum, ante originem seculi spiritualem spud Patrem genitum, hominem factum, et, morte devietà, in coelos cum corpore à Patre receptum, effudisse Spiritum sauctum, donum et pignus immortalitatis: - hune per Prophetas prædicatum, hunc per legem conscriptum, hunc esse mandatum Dei, et Verbum Patris, et conditerem orbis. Hæc est arundo et mensura fidei. Et nemo adorat [ad] aram sanctam, nisi qui hanc fidem confitetur.” - p. 418.

Victorinus’ application of this figure of the temple and the altar to the Christian Church, and Church worshippers, not any Jewish temple and altar, should be well marked.

[85] Without any express reference however to Daniel’s hebdomads.

[86] For, says Victorinus, Jeremiah had the original commission, “Before that I formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and sanctified thee to be a prophet among the nations” Now, argues Victorinus, during his recorded life Jeremiah was not a prophet among the nations; and also that there is no record of Jeremiah’s death. He adds that his opinion is that of “all the ancients.” A mistake, doubtless; as Enoch and Elijah were more generally supposed the two prophets.

The Apocalyptic Expositor Ambrose Ansbert, B. P. M. xiii. 522, notices this opinion and reasoning at that of the Martyr Victorinus; a fact furnishing conclusive evidence of the Treatise under consideration being indeed that of Victorinus, inasmuch as the opinion appears to have been a singular one. At one point has not, I believe, been observed on before, and the question is so interesting a one, I subjoin the passage. “Victorinus hoc in loco duos testes Eliam vult intelligi et Jeremiam . . . Dicit enim præfatus vir, et (ut debitam ei venerationem exhibeamus) martyr Dei, . . . quia mora Jeremiæ in Scripturâ sacrâ non ieperiatur, et quia Prophetam eum Dominus in gentibus posuerit, ille autrm nondum ad gentes missus fuerit; et ideireo ipsum cum Eliâ venturum credi debere, ut ecclesiam gentium contrà Antichrist perfidiam roboraret.”

[87] “Diligenter et cum summâ solicitudine sequi oportet propheticam prædicit, et intelligere quoniam Spiritus ex parte prædicit, et præposterat, et cùm præcurrerit usque ad novissimum rursus tempora superiora repetit.” p. 418. - So again in the passage cited Note 1141 p.143.

I the rather call attention to this, because Professor M. Stuart not only says (Vol. i. p. 455) of Victorinus, that “no plan of the whole work is sought after,” but that Ambrose Ansbert seems first to have noted that the Apocalypse is occasionally retrogrssive.” (Ib. p. 458.) - Victorinus notes three retrogressions prominently: the first, after the sounding of the seventh Trumpet and half-hour’s silence in heaven; the second, on the transition at the end of Apoc. xi. to the visions of the Dragon and Beast; the third, with reference to the Vial-outpourings, which he identifies with the Trumpets.

[88] So Augustine viewed the Old Testament Church as one with that of the New Testament.”

[89] “Tamen non uno tempore utraque facta sunt: [sc. the Woman’s parturition and flight into the wilderness:] Christus cuim ex quo natus est scimus tempora intercessisse; ut illa autem fugiat à facie serpentis adhue factum non esse.” p. 420.

[90] “Ecclesiam illam catholicam, ex quà in novissimo tempore creditura sunt 144, millia hominum Heliæ.” 419.

[91] “Alæ duo magnæ duo sunt Prophetæ.” 420.

[92] “Ante oportet prædicare Heliam, et pacis tempora esse, et postea, consummato triennio et sex mensibus prædicationis Heliæ, jactari cum de coeio, ubi habuit potestatem ascendendi usque ad illud tempus, et angelos refugas universos.” 420. So, I suppose, as described in Job i. ibid.

[93] There seems here some confusion in the chronology. For as the two Witnesses were to be the supporting wings of the woman, her 31/2 years in the wilderness would seem to be 31/2 years of the Witnesses being alive. But Victorinus quotes in reference to the time, “Then let them that are in Judæa flee to the mountains;” a prophecy applicable to the time of the abomination of desolation being in the holy place; which abomination he explains afterward of Antichrist’s establishment in Jerusalem: - an event this not of the earlier, but the later 3 1/2 years. Perhaps he meant the act of the woman’s safe transmission into the wilderness to be the Witnesses’ last act. pp. 419, 420.

[94] “Stetit,” not “steti.”

[95] “Antichristum de inferno suscitari Paulus ait.” ib. Victorinus distinctly identifies the Beast from the sea of Apoc. xiii., and Beast from the abyss of Apoc. xi. and xvii.

[96] “Septem capita septem reges Romanos, ex quibus et Antichristus est.” p. 419. “Capita septem montes sunt inquibus mulier sedet; i.e. civitas Romana.” p. 420.

[97] Such seems Victorinus’ meaning: “Bestia de septem est, quoniam ante istos reges Nero regnavit.” p. 420.

[98] So Dan. xi. 37 is explained. An explanation noted by me p. 50 suprà.

[99] By previous writers who have noticed Victorinus’ Apocalyptic commentary, the passage seems to have been abandoned as inexplicable. So e.g. by Malvenda, who, Vol. ii. 190, says of it, “Locus obscurus et depravatus, cui sanando non sum.” Also by Dr. Todd of Dublin; who thus similarly abandons the enigma as insoluble; “Victorinus’ explanation of the number 666 is evidently corrupt and unintelligible.” Apocal. Comm. p. 281. And so indeed it at first struck myself; though soon the true explanation suggested itself.

[100] “Numerus ejus sexcenti sexaginta sex. Cum attulerit ad literam Græcam hune numerum explebit. AI. N.L.T. CCC. F. V. M. L. O. L. XX. CCC. I. III EVN. LCC. N. V. P. CIX. K. XX. O. LXX. CC.” ib. - The two words meant are, as above stated Antemov and Genshrikov: of which the first is given by Primasius, in the sense (says he) of honori contrarius, as if for atimov, or aentimov; the other by Ambrosius Ansbertus, with reference to the Vandal persecutor of the fifth century, Genseric. The correspondence of these solutions with the text, slightly altered will appear by separating the Greek letters and their numeral values in Latin, instead of intermixing them.   Thus: -

     ì A  N   T      E    M     O      S        ì  G  E   N   S    H     P    I    K     O     S

1. {  I   L  CCC  V  XL  LXX  CC     2.{ III  V  L  CC  VIII  C   X  XX  LXX  CC

[101] Mark this point in Victorinus’ view of the abomination in the temple.

[102] “Deeem reges accepisse regalem potestatem, cum ille moverit ab oriente, sut mittitar ab urbe Romà cum exercitibus suis.” ib. A thoughtful notice of a difficult subject.

[103] “Dicit quæ in ultimo futura sunt, cum ecclesia de medio exierit.” ibid.

[104] “Vidi, inquit, mulierem ebriam de sanguine sanctorum. Decreto Senatùs illius consummatæ nequitiæ.” ib. A passage this which suggests the question, What in Diocletian’s time may have been the Roman Senate’s part in the decrees of persecution against Christians? Probably Victorinus may have referred to the earlier Roman Emperors’ custom of having their acts formally authorized by the Senate; generally a mere form.

On a statement that “negotiandi causâ ædificia demoliri, et marmora detrahere, edicto Divi Vespasiani et Senatus-Consulto cautum est,” Burman De Vectig. pp. 110-113 thus comments. “ita ferè Imperatorum mos fuit, postquam omnem potestatem quæ olim penes populum erat in se receperant, ut si quid novi juris promulgare vellient, orationem in Senatu haberent, quâ Patribus aperiebant quid statuere vellent, et simni quid ii statuerent consulebant . . . Deinde factum Sentùs Consultum ad Imperatorem perferebatur: qui, si illud approbabat, exire et legis vim habere jubebat; ita ut omne robur non à Senatu sed à Principe accideret.” (How similar to the case of the Roman Popes and Roman Councils afterwards! - See my Vol. iii. pp. 232, 233.) So too Tillemont, ii. 160, on the reign of Aurelius Antoninus; - “C’étoit le style ordinaire des Empereurs de faire presque tout par l’autorité du Senat.”

[105] Here comes the anti-premillennial addition. As ten is the number of the decalogue, says the interpolator, and 100 signifies the crown of virginity, therefore the millennary number (= 10 x 100) indicates a perfect man; who may be said (i.e. while in his earthly state) to reign with Christ, and to have the Devil bound within him, &c. p. 421.

[106] B.P.M. iii. 678, 689.

[107] Ib. 692.

[108] Ib. 692, 693.

[109] Referring to Cant. iv. 16. “Verè desertum à malis,” he calls it. p. 693.

[110] Ib. 694.

[111] Ib. 697-699, 705, 714.

[112] Such seems his view. “Primà festi resurrectionis die, quæ dies est judicii, simul celebro cum Christo millenarium annorum requiem. Inde rursus sequens penetrantem cælos Jesum venio: . . . corpore meo non remanente tali quale prius crat; sed, post mille annorum spatium, mutato ex statu et habitu humano ac corruptionuis in Angelieam magnitudinem et puleritudinem.” Ib. 699.

[113] p. 705.

[114] After Chapter 27 of the viith and last Book of the Institutes, he thus addresses Constantine: - “Sed omnia jam, sanetissime Imperator, figmenta sopita sunt, ex quo te Deus summus ad restituendum justitiæ domicilium, et ad tutelam generis humani, excitavit.”

[115] “Romanum nomen, quo nune regitur orbis, (horret animus dicere, sed dicam quia futurum est,) tolletur de terrà; et imperium in Asiam revertetur; ac rursus Oriens dominabitur, atque Occidens servict.” Ib. vii. 15.

[116] Ib. 16, ad init.

[117] “Tum repente adversus eos hostis potentissimus ab extremis finibus plagæ septentrionalis orietur: qui, tribus ex eo numero deletis qui tune Asiam obtinebunt, assumetur in societatem à cæteria, ac princeps omnium constituctur. Hie insustentalali deominationo vexabit orbem; divina et humana misebit; . . denique, immutato nomine, atque imeril sede translatà, confusio ac perturbatio humani generis consequetur.” vii. 16. - A view derived, I presume, from Dan. xi. 40-43; where however the three kings subjugated are not noted as Asiatics, but those of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya. I infer Lactantius’ belief that the Northern king would transfer the seat of empire to the East, from comparison of the language used in the citation above. [Very curious must have appeared to Lactantius, some ten or twenty years after his thus writing, a comparison with it of Constantine’s course and history as during that ten or twenty years unfolded: - himself a king from the extreme North, who thence bore down upon and overcame the three Asiatic kings of the Roman world, and made preparation for transferring the seat of empire from Rome to the East; but all as the friend and protector, not enemy, of Christianity and the Christians!]

Lactantius seems to suppose this King from the North an intermediate holder of the Roman empire, under a new name, between the then reigning imperial dynasty and Antichrist. A view distinctly exprest c. 17; (see Note 1083 infrà;) and, in the Epitome, e. 11: which latter thus affirms the local transference of the empire to him, not to Antichrist. “Existet longè potentior ac nequior, (i. e. than the ten kings,) qui tribus deletis [viz. of the ten] Asiam possidebit; . . Remp. suam faciet; nomen imperil sedemque mutabit.” Amidst the evils of those reign another king still worse would arise and destroy him, viz Antichrist. “Inter hæe mala surget rex impious, non modo generi hominum sed etiam Deo inimicus. Hic reliquias illius prioris tyranni conteret, vexabit, interimet.”

Yet in vii. 26 he writes as if he thought Antichrist would be the Roman empire’s destroyer: - “No citius quam putemus tyrannus ille abominandus veniat, qui tantum facinus moliatur; se lumen illud offodiat, cujus interitu mundue ipse lapsurus est.”

[118] Ibid. The world (whether the Roman or the universal world) being then, says he, to the people of God, what Egypt was to God’s ancient people Israel, vii. 15. - Compare Apoc. xi. 8, “the city which spiritually is called Egypt:” - a passage which Lactantius probably had in his eye; as also the Egyptian-like plagues inflicted on the Apocalyptic world in the Trumpets and Vials.

[119] So Lactantius’ Fragment on the Last Judgment.

[120] “Peractisque operibus ipsius,” i.e. the works of God’s prophet, (agreeably with the Apocalyptic declaration, ‘When they shall have completed their testimony,’) “alter rex orietur ex Syrià, malo Spiritu genitus, qui reliquias illius prioris mali, cum ipso, simul delest.” Ib. 17. - Is there in this an allusion to Daniel’s predicative statement. “But tidings out of the east shall trouble him;” i.e. the king of the north? Dan. xi. 43, “But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.”.

I presume the Syrian origin means Jewish origin: and from the Fragment of Lactantius on the “Last Judgment” infer that he expected Antichrist to profess the Jewish faith.

[121] “Hie est qui appellatur Antichristus: sed se ipse Christum mentietur.” ib. vii. 19.

[122] “Tune eruere templum Dei conabitur.” ib. vii. 17. That by this Lactantius meant the Church, appears from ib. iv. 13; “ecclesia quæ est verum templum Dei:” and again, 14; where he speaks of Christ raising up to God an “æternum templum quod appellatur ecclesia.” Compare Apoc. xi. 2; “the Gentiles shall tread down the temple, &c.”

[123] “Israel non utique Judæos signiflicat, quos abdicavit Deus; sed nos, qui ab co convocuti ex gentibus in illorum locum adoptione successimus.” Ib. iv. 20. It is hence clear, I think, that Lactantius interpreted the twelve Israelitish tribes of the Apocalypse, as well as the Apocalyptic temple, in a Christian sense.

[124] Ib. vii. 17 - Lactantius had here in his eye, apparently, both Christ’s precept to flee to the mountains, on the abomination of desolation being set up, and the Apocalyptic notice of Armageddon, Apoc. xix.

[125] “Non amplius quàm ducentorum videtur annorum.” Ib. vii. 25. A passage noted by me, Vol. i. p. 396.

[126] Mark Lactantius’ distinction between the two classes. See my citations p. 71, [especially Note 594] suprà.

[127] Against certain Præterists Methodius says; “Johannes non de prætertis, sed deiis quæ vel tunc fierent, vel quæ olim eventura essent, loquitur.” B. P. M. iii. 693

[128] At P. 182 Mr. C. M., in explaining this Seal of “the severity of famine,” notices the price of wheat only; and passes over what is said of the barley wine, and oil in total silence. Was he not aware of the decisive argument thence urged by me against all idea of famine? See Vol. i. pp. 164-166.

[129] Irenæus, v. 30, speaks of the Beast with the name and number as the Beast which was and is not. For the rest see pp. 139, 140, 141, 144, 146, 147, suprà.

[130] See p. 61..

[131] I subjoin a sketch of the statements of these Fathers; and, where given, of their chronological calculations of the hebdomads.

1. Tatian, a writer of the 2nd century, between Justin Martyr whose hearer he was, and Irenæus who cites him, thus (though without specific mention of the hebdomads) speaks of Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation (the one referred to Matt. xxiv.) as fulfilled in Jerusalem’s then imminent destruction by the Romans. After mention of Christ’s rebuking the disciples’ vain pride in the beauty of the temple, by saying that in a little while not one stone would be left on another, he thus proceeds: “Mox abiens in monte Olivarum, urbem intuitus, paulisper consedit. Ubi secreto huic congressi discipuli initia futuræ hujus cladis condiscunt; viz. antichristos, bells, seditiones, terræmotus, pestilentiam, famem, terrifiea de coelo signa, idolum abominabile Danielis vaticiniis celebre, extremam denique calamitatem eorum qui docebunt evangelium. . . Hierusalem vero, captis habitatoribus, et quaquiversum abductis, tis, a gentibus tantisper calcatum iri dum evangelium universos illarum fines occupaverit: tum enim fluem instare mundi.” B. P. M. ii. 209.

Tatian, after Justin’s martyrdom, became the author of the ascetic sect of the Encratites, and is mentioned among the early heretics. (See Irenæus i. 31, and Euseb. H. E. iv. 29.) But the passage I cite from him has nothing of course to do with his heresy. He is spoken of by Jerome as a learned and very voluminous writer.

2. Clemens Alexandrinus states the interval from the end of the 70 years’ captivity to Jesus Christ as 69 hebdomads, in the first seven of which the temple was rebuilt; and one hebdomad as that of Jesus Christ’s ministry. Further in one 1/2 hebdomad Nero st up an abomination in the holy city of Jerusalem; and in 1/2 hebdomad was cut off, as well as Galba, Otho, and Vitellius: whereupon Vespasian, obtaining the empire, destroyed Jerusalem and desolated the sanctuary. Strom. B. i.

Jerome (on Dan. ix), in sketching this exposition of the hebdomads by Clemens, calculates from the 1st of Cyrus; and observes that, instead of 490 years from that epoch to the destruction of Jerusalem by Vespasian and Titus, there elapsed on the most accurate computation 630 years. But Clement defines his commencing date as that of the 2nd of Darius Hystaspes: - “Mansit captivitas annis 70, ut quæ cessavit anno secundo Darii Hystaspis filii.” This makes the difference somewhat less.

3. Tertullian thus computes the period.

From Darius (apparently Darius II, called Northus) to Alexander’s overthrow of the Persian empire 106 years. Then Alexander and the Ptolemies, to Cleopatra’s death and Augustus’ incorporation of Egypt with the Roman empire, 290 1/2 years. Add 28 years under Augustus to Jesus Christ’s birth; and the whole, says Tertullian, is 437 1/2 years = 62 1/2 hebdomads. Then was all prophecy fulfilled; and the vision and the prophecy ceased to the Jews.

As regards the remaining 7 1/2 hebdomads, he reckons 52 1/2 years from Christ’s birth to the 1st of Vespasian: (strangely omitting Claudius’ reign of 13 years, and reckoning Nero’s at 9 1/2 years instead of 14:) and then concludes; “Atque ita in diem expugnationis suæ Judæi impleverunt hebdomadas 70 prædictas à Daniele.”

I am quite unable to follow either Clement’s or Tertullian’s  calculations.

4. Julius Africanus, a writer placed by Jerome under Heliogabalus, or about A.D. 220, and who wrote expressly on Chronology. “Nulli dubium est,” he begins, “quin de adventu Christi (i.e. Christ’s first coming) prædicatio set; qui post 70 hebdomadas mundo apparuit.”

He makes the commencing date of these hebdomads to be the 20th Artaxerxes, when that prince issued his Decree (Hehem. ii. 1-8) for the rebuilding of Jerusalem; (the previous Decrees of Cyrus and Darius having been in considerable measure ineffective:) this being the 115th year of the Persian empire, and the 185th year from the beginning of the 70 years’ captivity. Now the Persian kingdom lasted in all (from Cyrus to Alexander) 230 years, i.e. 115 years from the 20th of Artaxerxes; and the Macedonian empire 300 years: (i.e. I suppose to the death of Cleopatra:) and thence to the 15th year of Tiberius, when Christ was crucified, was 60 years: = in all to 475 years; i.e. 475 solar years. But the Jews often computed by lunar years, each of which is 11¼ days shorter than a solar year: so as to make the difference of one year in every 32, and 15 in the aforesaid period of 475 solar years. Then, at Christ’s death, “consummata sunt delicta, et finem accepit peccatum, et deleta est iniquitas, et annunciata justitia sempiterna, quæ legis justitiam vinceret, et impleta est visio et prophetia.” - The desolation of Jerusalem followed as a consequence of the Jews’ rejection of Christ.

I abstract this from Jerome’s full citation, in his Comment on Dan. ix. It is, as the reader will see, by much the most elaborate and accurate of any of the calculations by the earlier patristic Fathers. [Mr. C. M., to my surprise, takes no notice of Julius Africanus’ calculation; though with Jerome’s citation from that writer before him. See ‘his’ p. 194.]

[132] For Hippolytus’ view of the hebdomads see p. 140; for Irenæus’ likewise p. 140, suprà.

As regards Irenæus, a little fuller abstract of the only passage v. 25, in which he mentions Daniel’s hebdomads, may be useful in showing how evidently his reference of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Christ to Antichrist as the author, and to Daniel’s last half hebdomad as the time, arose out of his confusion of all the various predicted abominations of desolation, as if one and the same.

Says Paul, Antichrist is to sit in God’s temple: i.e. the Jerusalem temple of the true God, as no heathen temple is called in Scripture God’s temple. And so too Christ; ‘When ye see the abomination of desolation told of by Daniel standing in the holy place.’ Which Antichrist is the little horn of Daniel’s 4th or Roman Beast, Dan. vii. . And he is to come in, Paul tells us, with lies; yet the Jews to receive him; as Christ said: ‘If another come in his own name him ye will receive.’ And then he will act as the unjust judge in the parable to the oppressed widow, who, forgetful of God, rested on an earthly helper; and avenge the earthly Jerusalem of its Roman oppressor, by transferring the kingdom to Jerusalem, and there sitting, as if Christ, in his temple. The same is the little horn from one of the goat’s four horns, Dan. viii.; which was to be the author of the transgression of desolation, and to tread the host and sanctuary under foot. And Daniel notes too the duration of desolation; viz. that for half a hebdomad the sacrifice should be taken away (Dan. ix. 27, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”), even till the consummation; i.e. for 3 1/2 years.

There is no chronological calculation, whatsoever in Irenæus, I believe, of the 70 hebdomads; or notice who he connected the last hebdomad with the hebdomads preceding.

[133] Apollinarius of Laodicea, taking the words of Daniel about the decree for the restoration of Jerusalem mystically, as it would seem, reckons the 70 hebdomads to begin from the going forth of the word on Christ’s birth of the Virgin Mary, “ab exitu verbi, quando Christus de Mariâ generatus est virgine:” (I cite his words, says Jerome, that I may not misrepresent him:) hence for 7 hebdomads, or to the 8th of Claudius, when the Roman arms were taken up against the Jews, the repentance of that people was expected, Christ having meanwhile fulfilled his ministry, and preached his gospel. At the expiration of 62 additional hebdomads, or 43 1/2 years, Elias would come, turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, in the course of  1/2 week or 3 1/2 years; then Antichrist come, and for 3 1/2 years sit in the temple of God, thus restored, himself the predicted abomination of desolation; the last desolation and condemnation of the Jews following, because of their despising Christ’s truth and receiving Antichrist’s lie. After which, and the consequent expiration of the 70 hebdomads, Christ would destroy Antichrist with the brightness of His coming.

Jerome adds that Apollinarius framed this his chronological conjecture about the hebdomads (conjecturam temporum) with reference to Africanus’ stated opinion that the last hebdomad (separated from the rest) would coincide with the end of the world. But I presume this is a misprint, or slip of the pen, for Hippolytus, of whom he had just before been speaking as so expounding the hebdomads: where as Africanus’ opinion had been stated quite contrariwise, as supposing that all the 70 hebdomads had been fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. Apollinarius considered it preposterous to divide the hebdomads; and that in any case they must be construed continuously and connectedly: - “Nec posse fieri ut junctæ dividantur ætates; sed omnia sibi juxta prophetiam Danielis esse temporum copulanda.”

This Apollinarius of Laodicea flourished in the 4th century; and was a contemporary and friend of Jerome’s early manhood: being quite a different person from, and above 150 years later than, the Apollinarius of Hieropolis, who wrote an Apologetic Oration to the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, and of whom Eusebius speaks in his H.E. iv. 27.

[134] En touty kai Ioudav . . . eiv tav para ty Daninl ebdomhkonta ebdomadav eggrafwv dialecqeiv, epi to dekaton tou Sebhrou basileiav isthsi thn cronogpafian. H.E. vi. 7.

[135] Origen, in his Treatise against Celsus, vi. 45, cited by Mr. C. Maitland, p. 171, like Irenæus, applies what is said of the abomination of desolation in Dan. ix. 26, which reads: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”; to Antichrist; but, like him, without a word of the hebdomads generally. Elsewhere, as cited by Jerome, on Dan. ix., he seems inclined to reckon the whole period of the hebdomads from the first of Darius to Christ. “Studiosius requirenda sunt tempora, à primo anno Darii filii Assueri usque ad adventum Christi quoi anui sint; . .  et videndum est an ea possimus adventui Domini coaptare.”

[136] What an utter contrast is this to Mr. C. Maitland’s representation of “the primitive scheme” of the 70 hebdomads; or generally received scheme of them in the 2nd and 3rd centuries that we have been reviewing! “According to the primitive scheme,” says Mr. C. M., “the sense of the whole passage amounts to this: - 70 sevens of years are fixed in the history of the Jews and of Jerusalem. . . Between the edict to rebuild Jerusalem and the mission of Christ there will elapse two periods, 7 sevens and 62 sevens of years. In the course of the first the city will be rebuilt: [as recorded I presume in Ezra and Nehemiah:] and at the end of the second Messiah will be put to death. Afterwards the Romans under Vespasian will destroy both city and temple: . . and until the end of God’s warfare with his people it is determined that the desolations of the city and temple shall continue. [Here comes the great gap, according to Mr. C. M., in the primitive scheme.”] But God will renew his covenant with many of his chosen people during a certain seven years, the remaining week of the 70: probably by means of Elias . .  But throughout the latter half of the week, i.e. for 3 1/2 years, the daily sacrifice will be taken away, and on account of the abomination set up by Antichrist the temple will be made desolate. . . This is the plain working sense of the passage. Unlike its modern and fantastic rivals it has borne the burden and host of the day!!” pp. 203, 201.

So Mr. C. M. makes two totally different abominations of desolation to have been included in “the primitive scheme,” separated from each other by the interval of ages. Two questions here suggest themselves: 1. where the authority of a single primitive Father for such a scheme: 2. what the ground for such a view in the prophecy itself?

[137] See .pp 284, &c.

[138] Viz. in Fabricius’ Edition. Compare my Notes Vol. iii. 74, and p. 30 suprà

[139] See my Vol. iii. pp. 264, 265.

[140] See my Vol. iii. p. 281, where the citation from Pontius is given; together with a notice of Mr. C. M.’s strange objection to its parallelism or force on the year-day question.

[141] For it is, of itself, fatal to each Judaic futurist or semi-futurist system of Apocalyptic interpretation.

[142] He died at Tyre A.D. 253, aged 70.

[143] “Omnia hæc exponere sigillatim de capitibus septem draconis (Apoc. xii. 3), which reads: “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”) --- non est temporis hujus: exponentur autem tempore sue in Revelatione Johannis.” In Matth. Tr. 30. - Elsewhere Origen thus singularly notes this prophecy: “John wrote the Apocalypse; being commanded to keep silence, and not write what the seven thunders uttered.” Comment on Joh. Tom. v. (Ed. Huet. ii. 88.) A passage noted by Eusebius, H. E. vi. 25. I suppose he had some anagogic solution of what is deemed an apparent contradiction.

[144] anagwgh, a passing to a higher sense than the literal; i.e. to a more literal sense.

[145] Scripture, like man, said Origen, has a body, soul, and spirit: - viz. the literal sense, useful to those who preceded the Christians, i.e. the ancient Israel; the internal sense (intra literam), to Christians; and the shadowing forth of heavenly things, to saints arrived in heaven. So he remarks on Lev. vi. 25, which reads: “Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy,” --- about the sin-offering. - Elsewhere he speaks of the historic sense, the moral, and the mystical. Bishop Marsh thinks that the three may be reduced to two; 1. the literal, grammatical, or historical; 2. the spiritual or allegorical. He also remarks on Origen’s admission (T. i. p. 180) that the grammatical or historical applies in many more instances than the more spiritual interpretation. Lecture xi., on Scriptural Interpretation, p. 483.

He carried his inclination to the anagogical so far, as to depreciate, and sometimes even nullify, the literal and historic sense. He often says that the literal sense is “proculcandum et contemnendum.” - So. 1. of things typical; as the sin-offering, Lev. vi. 25, “Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.”: Hæc omnia, nisi alio sensu accipias quàm lines texta ostendit, sicut sæpe diximus, obstaculum majus Christianæ religioni quàm ædificationem præstabunt.” - 2. Of historic statements. So in his Hom. vi. on Genesis: “What the edification of reading that Abraham lied to Abimelech, and betrayed his wife’s chastity? Let Jews believe it; and any others that, like them, prefer the letter to the spirit.” So again on the Mosaic history of the creation; the statement of there having been three days without sun, moon, or stars, being pronounced by him impossible: and again on that of the devil leading Christ to a high mountain; &c. - 3. Of precepts: e.g. that which says, “If a man smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other.”

Now it is evident that St. Paul himself has authorized the ascription of an anagogical or spiritual sense, as well as the literal, to the types of the law. They were shadows of things to come. And to certain facts of Old Testament history he has also ascribed an allegorical, as well as literal sense. So in the allegory of Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael. But surely in historical narratives to allegorize beyond what Scripture itself teaches, is unsafe; and to allegorize away a scripturally asserted historic fact, whether from judging it to be unedifying or impossible, most unjustifiable.

As regards prophecy Origen lays down the rule: - Whenever the prophets have prophesied anything of Jerusalem or Judea, of Israel or Jacob, then this (agreeably with St. Paul’s own teaching) is to be referred anagogically to the heavenly Jerusalem, Judea, and Israel; as also in what is said of Egypt, Babylon, Tyre: “cum sint in eoele loci terrenis istis cognomines, ac locorum istorum incolæ, animæ scilicet.” - I presume he would have thus spiritualized, not merely where there was other evidence of the terms being figuratively meant, but even where the local reference was most pointed and precise.

I have thought it well to abstract the above from a chapter in the Abbé Huet’s Origeniana; as there occurs so much of Origenic anagoge in subsequent Apocalyptic interpreters, such as Tichonius, Primasius, &c.