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in the drawing of his character, or whether it were designed, we do not know. We observe that he is constantly rising in the estimation of those who are exhibited before us in the book. It is otherwise with ourselves; and we expect that the like effect will be produced on the minds of other outside spectators. He acts vigorously on imperfect and unreliable grounds; and in an exciting scene, in which he takes a chief part, he fails to extort from us any acknowledgment of his superior wisdom.
Is there any use in our protesting against that perversion of the English language which our schoolboys talk? We scarcely dare suppose
remonstrance we make will be of much arail. But we cannot keep silence; and as we are read in the family circle, we venture to suggest that this deplorable corruption of our mother tongue ought as much as possible to be discouraged. It is a compound of slang and superlatives, amusing when you hear an occasional sentence; most unnatural, untrue, and offensive, when it is the ordinary vehicle of an English boy's thoughts. In one respect it is an instructive study. When you have been used to hear it even for a few days, you have learned to make such deductions from the words, in order to grasp the ideas they represent, as to make you regard it thenceforth as simply foolish exaggeration ; and instead of opening your eyes with astonishment, you assume at once that the expressions of highest praise, censure, amazement, displeasure, or other feelings and convictions, simply mean nothing. The indirect exposure of this absurdity, by its being set down in type in this volume, may contribute something towards its correction.
Our readers will have already judged that much that is instructive may be gathered by the way from the pages now under review; and we venture to say with confidence, that this tale of fiction will be found interesting and profitable to parents and their sons, and that it is happily intermixed with no alloy of a questionable or injurious nature.
THE REV. E. B. ELLIOTT ON PROPHETIC ARTICLES IN THE 3RD
VOLUME OF DR. SMITH'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Dear Sir,-Permit me, if you please, to follow up my late review, in your periodical, of Dr. Vaughan's Lectures on the Apocalypse, with a review of a somewhat elaborate article on the cognate subject of the Antichrist, in the 3rd recently
published volume of Dr. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible; together with a brief and cursory notice of two other articles in the same volume, on the Revelation of St. John, and the prophecy of the Man of Sin, in St. Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. In a review of this volume,which appeared lately, I think, in the Times newspaper, a feeling of satisfaction was expressed by the writer, that, at a time like the present, when the danger is apprehended of a less learned clergy than heretofore rising up in the English Church, there should have been published such and so learned a Dictionary of the Bible, in readiness for their instruction and guidance. And doubtless it will be extensively used, as a book for reference of not a little weight and authority. Hence the greater importance of wise and trne teaching in its articles, especially on subjects such as involve Scriptural truths of real moment. Preeminent among which, according to the statement of God's holy book itself, must be reckoned that of the Apocalyptic and other cognatè prophecies. For, “Blessed,” it is written, “is he that heareth, and he that readeth, the words of this prophecy.” It seems to me, therefore, that an inquiry such as I propose cannot but be both needful and useful, especially since the names, university distinctions, or ecclesiastical position, of the several writers,* must be expected to give additional weight to what they publish as their deliberate opinions on any biblical question, in the minds, at least, of less informed readers; over and above what may arise from the papers having a place in Dr. Smith's Dictionary. And for such a review where could there be a fitter place than in the pages of the Christian Observer ?
I now therefore proceed, as proposed, to the review of Mr. Meyrick's article on the Antichrist :t and, as what may seem always due to a writer on difficult and controverted subjects, shall first furnish an abstract of his views, which, in fact, are somewhat peculiar.- Mr. M. begins, then, by enumerating the chief Scriptural prophecies generally applied to the Antichrist : namely, besides, 1st, the fundamental notices of the great coming Antichrist, spoken of specifically under that name, in St. John's Epistles ; that, 2ndly, of the Man of Sin in St. Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians; that, 3rdly, of the Little
* The Paper on the Antichrist is by the Rev. F. Meyrick, “one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, and late Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Oxford;" that on the Res relation of St. John, by the Rev. W. T. Bullock, “Assistant Secre. tary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel ;" that on St. Paul's Man of Sin, in the 2nd Epistle
to the Thessalonians, by the Rev. J. B. Lightfoot, “Hulsean Professor of Di. vinity, Fellow of Trinity College Cambr dge, and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of London.”
+ This Article is in the Appendir to Dr. Sunith's 3rd volume of the Dic. tionary. And the pages I cite in the way of reference will therefore be looked for there.
Horn in Dan. vii.; that 4thly, of the King of fierce countenance, in Daniel ; (a mistake in the designation which will be noticed by me hereafter ;) and, 5thly and 6thly, those of the greater and lesser Beasts, the ten-horned and the two-horned, in Apoc. xiii. For the false Christs and false Prophets mentioned by our Lord in His prophecy (Matt. xxiv.) on Mount Olivet, Mr. Meyrick (unlike Dr. Vaughan) at once sets aside as irrelevant: these being designated in the plural number, as many; and therefore (whether Antichrist's precursors, or not so,) not the Antichrist.-Further, on a cursory view of the other prophecies enumerated, he infers the following important distinction (let my readers mark this) between the predictive purport of some, and of others that in that of the Antichrist of St. John, that of the Man of Sin of St. Paul, and that of the fierce-countenanced King of Daniel, the language of each prediction alike points decisively to an individual person : whereas the Little Thorn of Daniel vii., both by its symbol of a Beast's horn, and the angel's explanation of it as a kingdom, is marked out as a kingdom or polity: and the great ten-horned Apocalyptic Beast, as being in regard of its various and very peculiar characteristics the evident counterpart of Daniel's Little Horn, must be similarly regarded as a polity or kingdom. (Here, in fact, is the foundation of the chief peculiarity of Mr. Meyrick's exposition.)
At the same time, says our author, though not the Antichrist, yet the polity (Mr. Meyrick's favourite word) intended by those two correspondent symbolizations in Daniel and the Apocalypse was evidently, so as all agree, to be in some way closely related to the Pauline and Johannic Antichrist. And here then, in his judgment, is the main prophetic problem that has to be solved: namely, to explain the relationship of the respective predictions; and to show how, and where, the second and smaller Beast of the Apocalypse, and Woman too, figurative in it of the seven-hilled Babylon, come in, and have their place, among the other cognate prophecies enumerated: also, if already one or the other have in part been realized in the erolutions of history, to explain how so, and where, and when ?
With a view to help towards this he looks, though in vain, to the long catena of former expositors on the predictions of Antichrist ;-expositors grouped by him under four heads. First in his list come those who expounded the Antichrist set forth in those several prophecies as an indivilual person; alike the patristic, from Justin Martyr in the 2nd century to Andreas bishop of Cæsarea in the 6th; and the medieral, from Andreas to Joachim, whose date is about 1200 A.D. : the individualistic point being their one grand point of agreement; but with great differences as to the particular individual intended, whether Satan, or simply one animated with a Satanic
Vol. 63.-No. 315,
spirit; e.g., said some, Nero, if revived ;* said Joachim, perhaps a Pope. Then, secondly, come those who, in expansion of Joachim's notion, expounded the Antichrist to be the Papal polity, or Popes ex officio and successionally; including expositors from the Waldensic era to the Reformation, and from the Reformation to the time even now present. And, thirdly, those who, by a natural reaction from the [Protestant strength ort] Protestant extravagances of this Papal application of the prophecies respecting Antichrist, expounded those prophecies all alike individualistically; whether of the wholly Præterist school, with reference to imperial Roman Heathenism and Judaism, as the Church's ancient enemies, from the Romanists Alcasar and Bossuet in the 17th century, down to the Protestants Eichhorn, Ewald, Moses Stuart, &c., of our own; or Futurists, making all to be future, from the Jesuit Ribera (Alcasar's near contemporary) to Burgh, S. and C. Maitland, Todd, &c., of this present generation. Fourthly in the list come those (as Koppe, Storr, Nitzch, &c.) who expound the Antichrist of Scripture prophecy to be neither a person nor polity; but simply the evil principle in the abstract.
And, as I said, our author concludes that he can gain but little help from what he finds in these expositors. The two last classes of opinion [Mr. M. seems to me to mean only the Præterist subdivision of the third] he at once sets aside, as clearly not answering to the conditions of the prophecies. For first, says he, the express designation of Antichrist in them is of a man, not an abstract principle : secondly, had it been a man come and gone in times long past, Christ's second advent must then needs also have long since supervened ; according to St. Paul's express statement in 2 Thess. ii. 8, “Whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” So the truth, in his judgment, lies between the two first classes of opinion: some of the prophecies indeed (as before said) being individualistic, so as expounded in Class 1, but not all ; some prophecies of a polity, or body corporate, so as in Class but not all.
Now, then, for the mind that has wisdom, i to discern between the intent of the two sets of prophecies thus on this point distinct, and then to show their mutual connexion ; especially with reference to the difficulty which exists, primâ facie, of finding what may answer to the idea of a personal individual Antichrist in the Apocalypse. And this Mr. Meyrick thinks to
Meyrick will rather thank than blame
* “Victorinus supposes that he will be a revivified hero.” So the article in the Dictionary, p. 71. But this is an evident misprint for Nero.
+ I am myself responsible for this interpolation ; for which I think Mr.
# My words, not Mr. Meyrick's; so that he is not responsible for this application of the Apocalyptic saying to himself.
do by making the second (or two-horned) Apocalyptic Beast to be distinctively this individual personal Man of Sin, or Antichrist, of St. Paul's prophecy and St. John's ;* while the first (or ten-horned) Apocalyptic Beast is identified by him (not with Antichrist, or any kingdom of Antichrist, but quite originally, I believe,) with the far advanced apostasy, or apostate body in the Church which was to precede Antichrist, as also described in the same prophecy by St. Paul.
For observe (such is the purport of Mr. Meyrick's argument) the parallelism, to a considerable extent, of what was foretold on these two subjects by St. Paul, and what was in Apoc. xii. xi., foreshown to St. John.
In St. Paul we read that, preparatorily to the revelation of the Man of Sin (or Antichrist), there would be in the Church an apostasy, or falling away, (in fact, though not in profession,) from the true faith; the principles of which (alike, Mr. M. says, the infidel and the immoral) had even then begun to work within its pale, and therewith a body of faithless, as well as of faithful, risen up as members in it: it being implied, further, that the faithless would increase more and more in number, though still not formally severed from the Church ; very much as, under the Old Testament, the Jewish Church was " at the same time” + both Zion and Sodom; until at length, after the removal of some notable restraining hindrance (TO katexov), well and truly understood by the early fathers to be the old Roman empire, the apostasy would be consummated, I by the Church's majority of faithless members constituting a great corporate body of real, though not professed, apostates.
In Apoc. xii., similarly, there was presented to the eye of St. John a figuration of the Church, under the emblem of a bright star-crowned Woman, happily bringing forth children
The third supposed prophecy of a to follow the Apostasy; then, after, the personal Antichrist, viz., that of Daniel's Adversary, or Manof Sin:”--therestrainfierce-countenanced king, is passed over ing obstacle being at p. 75 explained by in silence by Mr. Meyrick after his first Mr. M., concurrently with most expo. mention of it.
sitors, to be the Roman empire. So, † So, p. 74; “just as Jerusalem of again, at p. 73, he speaks of the aposold was at once Zion the beloved city, tasy, or polity of the apostatized, as and Sodom the bloody city." But not what was to rise up “ shortly after the so Isaiah : “How is the faithful city dissolution of the Roman empire.” become a harlot: righteousness did Yet it is notorious that the apostle lodge in it, but now murderers. Hear speaks of the hindrance, as a hindrance, the word of the Lord, ye rulers of So. not to the apostasy's development, but dom,” &c. At p. 76, Mr. M. repeats to the development of the Man of Sin. this; there, however, dating the con- And so indeed at p. 75 Mr. M. hiinself junction in the visible Church of these states the thing.-- It is a strange mis. two characters from the fall of the take that he here thus makes: and the Roman empire; “still Zion, though inore so, not only because of his contraSodom; stiil Sodom, though Zion.” diction of himself in it, but because of And so it is, he adds, even now.
the misstatement constituting an esseu1 So, p. 73:-“ First an unnamed tial point in his argument. obstacle had to be removed; then was