Графични страници
PDF файл

Louis, there would be two who would be made gladly welcome to a home within the limits of the late Mission Conferences. And such an arrangement, if possible, would inaugurate a new era in the history of the Church in the Southern States, whose sequel, four years hence, no anticipations can adequately portray.

If, however, these three measures are not adopted, and the same relation is maintained between the Northern and Southern Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church that now exists, the embarrassments of the latter will be a serious detriment to any such success as the first six years' labor was crowned with. What are these embarrassments? The question is answered frankly.

At present the entire Episcopal Board, the Benevolent Agencies, and Publishing Centers are all domiciled at the North. Their remoteness from the latest organized Southern Conferences makes these, geographically, remote colonies. The ministers transfered there, if poorly sustained by the home authorities or funds, in many cases return after a very


years. Episcopal visitations are too much after the model of foreign travelers in haste to be at their far-off homes again. Permanency of organization is hindered thereby. Every thing has the semblance of mere experiment. The Southern people regard these transient itinerant ministers and the flying angels of the general superintendency as merely a corps of observation, which may or may not dwell in their midst. Even those who abide are regarded as having not quite stayed their time out. Under these circumstances the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southern States must remain for indefinite years unrecognized as an established institution of that country.

So they judge who at this period are assigned to duty in the South. They earnestly desire the eye and ear of their brethren who dwell at the centers of influence and direct the forces of the Church under God. This paper is prepared in that behalf. It purports to furnish ample reasons for the action desired on behalf of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southern States.

[ocr errors]



American Quarterly Reviews.
AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN REVIEW, October, 1871. (New York.)-1. Faith, its

Place and Prerogative. 2. The Hebrew Bible: together with Biographical
Sketches of Professors Henry B. Mills, D.D., and Rev. James E. Pierce. 3. The
Authority of the Old Testament as a Rule of Duty. 4. Term-Service in the Elder-
ship. 5. The Judicial Trial of Jesus. 6. The Antagonisms, Perils, and Glory
of the Spiritual Philosophy. 7. The Epistle of Barnabas. S. Explorations in

Palestine. 9. Recent Arabic and Hebrew Literature. 10. Charles Scribner. BAPTIST QUARTERLY, October, 1871. (Philadelphia.)-1. Church Finances. 2. Pas

toral Authority. 3. Preparation of the World for the Introduction of Chris-
tianity. 4. The Lively Experiment. 5. The Antiquity of Man. 6. The First

Formation of Independent Churches. 7. 'Exegetical Studies.

Mass.)-1. Prebistoric Literature. 2. Revelation and Inspiration. 3. Instinct.
4. The Divine Agency in the Establishment, Administration, and Triumph of
Christ's Kingdom. 5. The Three Fundamental Methods of Preaching—The
Writing of Sermons. 6. Reply to Dr. Fiske on Romans v, 12-21. 7. Perkins's

Tuscan Sculptors.
CHRISTIAN QUARTERLY, October, 1871. (Cincinnati.)-1. The Genuineness and All-

thenticity of the Gospels. 2. Is the Jewish Sabbath now in Force? 3. “Classic
Baptism.” 4. Gift of the Holy Spirit. 5. Wuttke on the Ethics of Clothes.
6. Outlines of History of Immersion and Sprinkling. 7. The Nature of the Office

of the Presbytery: NEW ENGLANDER, October, 1871, (New Haven.)-1. The Poetry of William Mor

ris. 2. Christianity in its Progressive Relations. 3. The Ground of Coufidence in Inductive Reasoning. 4. Culis Ventris. 5. Yale College--Some Thoughts Respecting its Future. Fifth Article. 6. The Theory of the Extinction of the Wicked. 7. Rothe on Revelation and Inspiration. 8. Railways and the State. NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER, October, 1871. (Bog.

ton.)-1. The Future of American History. 2. The Broomfield Family. 3. The
Pennington Family. 4. Record Book of the First Church in Charlestown.
6. Local Law in Massachusetts, Historically considered. 6. Browne Family
Letters. 7. The Wivslow Family. 8. Descendants of Jonas Deane, of Scituate,
Mass. 9. Notes on Early Ship Building in Massachusetts. 10. Reminiscences
of an Octogenarian. 11. Thomas and John Lake. 12. William Vaughan and
William Tufts, Jr., at Louisbourg, 1745. 13. Rev. Nathaniel Gookill, of Hamp-
ton, N. H. 14. Memoir of David Reed. 15. Williain Duane and the Phila-
delphia Aurora.
North AMERICAN REVIEW, October, 1871. (Boston.)-1. Volcanism and Mount-
ain-Building. 2. The Regeneratio of Italy. 3. The Misgovernment of New

York— Remedy Suggested. 4. Language and Education. 5. French and
German Diplomacy after Sadowa.
(Nashville, Tenn.)—1. Circumcision-The Token and Seal of the Abrahamic
Covenant. 2. Divinity of Christ. 3. A Call to the Ministry. 4. The Works of
Philip Lindsley, D.D. 5. The Office of Ruling Elder in the Church. 6. Prae-

tical Theology-Entering upon the Ministry. 7. Doctrinal Declaration. QUARTERLY REVIEW OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, October, 1871.

(Gettysburg.) 1. New Obedience. 2. The Religious Training of the Children of the Church. 3. The Apocalypse of St. John. 4. Church Problems Solved by History. 5. Papal Infallibility. 6. Literary Intelligence. The Quarterly of our American Lutheran Church under its new editors is decidedly improved in form, scholarship, and ability. The third article is a translation froin the French of the eininent biblical scholar Reuss. It is an essay npon the Apocalypse, giving a very keen analysis of its contents, and a professed solution of its meaning. It mainly coincides with the solution made familiar to American scholars in Professor Stuart's Commentary, but stripped of the guise by which the American professor endeavored to remove the destructive consequences of the scheme. Really it not only makes the Apocalypse a false prophecy, but, in view of the very conclusive proof existing that the Apostle John is its author, it shakes to the foundations all apostolic authority in the matter of faith.

The assumptions are that the Apocalypse was written in the reign of Galba, the successor of Nero; that Nero is the beast of seven heads and ten horns; and that the Apocalyptist predicts that, in forty-two months from date, both Nero and the city of Rome (under the name of Babylon) shall be destroyed by the personal advent of Christ, coming to establish the millennial kingdom of saints in resurrection. The Apocalypse is then nothing more than a very elaborate expression, constructed by the Apostle John, of the notion of the Apostolic Christians, that the second advent was close at hand. In it John announces, in the reign of Galba, that Christ will reappear in three years and a half. The following extract will illustrate these points :

“The Apocalypses of Daniel, Enoch, and Ezra pursue the same chronological method, in counting likewise series of kings to set the reader right in reference to dates. Five of these kings have already died, (v. 10;) the sixth is reigning at the very moment. The sixth emperor of Rome is Galba, a man seventy-three years old when he ascended the throne. The catastrophe, in which the city and empire are to be destroyed, will take place in three years and a half, as before declared. For this only and simple reason the series of the emperors will have but one more after him who is then reigning, and this one will reign but a short time. The anthor does not know him, but he knows the relative duration of his reign, because he knows definitely that Rome will perish in three years and a half, not to rise again.

Afterward an eighth emperor will come, who is one of the seven, and who is, at the same time, the beast that was, but is not at this moment. John means, consequently, one of the preceding emper

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


ors, who will come a second time, but as Antichrist; that is to say, invested with all the power of that demon, and with the special in, tent to make war on the Lord. As it is said that he is not at this time, but was already, he, therefore, must be one of the first five. He has received a deadly wound in times of old, (chap. xiii, 3,) so that his coming back is somewhat miraculous. It is therefore neither Augustus, nor Tiberius, nor Claudius, none of whom lost his life by a violent death, and of whom, moreover, nobody will think, because not hostile to the Church. This last argument will also exclude Caligula. There remains but Nero, and all circumstances combine to point him out as the personage so mysteriously designated. As long as Galba was reigning, and long afterward, people did not believe Nero dead; he was said to be somewhere concealed, and prepared to come back to avenge himself on his enemies. The Messianic potions of the Jews, of which a vague knowledge had reached the West, according to the testimony of Tacitus and Suetonius, commingled with these expectations, and suggested to credulous persons the opinion that Nero would return from the East to conquer his throne with the assistance of the Parthians. Several false Neros presented themselves, (Suetonius, Ner., 40, 57; Tacitus, Hist., i, 2; ii, 8, 9; Dio Cassius, Ixiv, 9; Zonaras, Vita Tit., p. 578; Dio Chrys., Or. 20, p. 371, D.) These popular fancies spread also among the Christians. The Apocalypses refer incessantly to them, (Visio Jesaj. Æthiopica ; Libri Sibyll., iv, 116 ; V, 33 ; viii, 1-216 ;) and the Fathers of the Church attest that for several centuries they were not forgotten, (Sulpit. Sever., ii, 367; August., Cir. Dei, xx, 19; Lactant., Mort. Persec., c. 2; Hieron. ad Dan. xi, 28; ad Esaj. xvii, 13; Chrysost. ad 2 Thess. ii, 7.)

"Finally, to render our proofs more conclusive, we remark that the name of Nero is, so to say, written at full length in our book. It is contained in the number 666. The mechanism of the problem reposes on one of the cabalistical contrivances used in Jewish hermeneutics, and which consists in calculating the numerical value of the letters of which a word is composed. This proceeding, called Ghematria, or geometrical, that is, mathematical, and used by the Jews in the interpretation of the Old Testament, has given much trouble to our scholars, and led them into a labyrinth of errors. All ancient and modern alphabets, all imaginable combinations of numbers and letters, have been tried. It is known that interpreters have believed, and sincerely maintained, that nearly all the historical names of the past eighteen centuries have been pointed out by this number. They have severally found in it Titus Vespasianus and Simon Gioras, Julianus the Apostate and Genseric, Mohammed and Luther, Benedict IX. and Louis XV., Napoleon I. and the Duke of Reichstadt; and we could enjoy ourselves in finding the names of contemporaries, yea, our own. After all, the enigma was not so difficult, though exegesis has solved it only in our day. I can claim the honor of having first found the solution, although several German scholars have found it soon after mer and without knowing my solution, The Ghematria is a Hebrew art. It is by the Hebraic alphabet that the meaning of the number will be found. One will read 701 7772, Neron Cæsar: : 50% 7 200X7 6x2 50x 100X 60X7 200=666. It is most remarkable that there exists a very old manuscript which substitutes the number 616 for 666. This reading must proceed from a Latin reader ot' the Apocalypse, who also had found the solution, but who pronounced Nero as the Romans did, while the author pronounced Neron with the Greeks and Orientals. By cutting off the final Nun the name has only a numerical value of 616."

The apocalyptic text, however, and the history of Nero, vary in a very important particular. The beast is wounded to death, and rises again from the dead; but Nero was held by rumor not at all to have been slain, and the popular expectation implied not a resurrection but a re-appearance. Alford says, “The first who mentions the idea of Nero returning from the dead is Augustine. But it is observable that Augustine does not connect the idea with the Apocalypse. This is first done by Sulpitius Severus, and completed by Victorinus, whose very words betray the origin of the idea having been from the passage itself.” The overwhelming evidence is that the Apocalypse was written, not in the time of Galba, but of Domitian, five reigns later; consequently, if the heads were the Roman Emperors there must have been more than five that are fallen, and the one that now is could not have been Nero. The entire picture of the Seven Churches of Asia in the earlier chapters of Revelation indicates a later age than that of Nero, almost within the life-time of Paul. The attempted proof of an earlier date from the symbolic introduction of Jerusalem in chapter xiii has no value, and the attempted proofs based on the allusions in the sacred text to the state of persecution existing disprove the earlier and demonstrate the later date. The whole Neronic theory we consider as very dangerous were it not palpably false.

« ПредишнаНапред »