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were very satisfactory to my minds , I inean its external evidences as exhibited particularly ~ b y Dr . Lardoero In the beginning of the year 1803 , when lie resided at JLympston , receiving from him a present of his
ingenious pamphlet , entitled " Reflections on the State of Religion in Christendom at the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century of the . Christian Era , " with a request that I would not only read it with attention , but also favour him with such remarks as
occurred tome in the perusal I readily complied , and this led to an epistolary correspondence between us . Some of his letters I have unfortunately lostj two of them , however , which are preserved , I have transcribed ( with the omission of a few things of merely a
private and personal nature ) , for insertion in the Monthly Repository ^ should it meet with your approbation ., I did not take copies of my letters to him , but recollect , that in the communication , which gave occasion to liis remarks contained in the first
letter , . I expressed sny surprise at his not vindicating the authenticity of the Apocalypse of John by any external evidences . I gave my reasons for differing from him in the opinion of the necessity of a person ' s
understanding this mysterious book * before he can be qualified to distinguish pure Christianity from its corruptions * , I was led to acknowledge , with respect to my self 9 that after many years of attention to it , I was not sure that I entertained clear ideas of some of its
symbolical representations . I thought I mighty in general , be more usefully employed in the pulpit , by proving and illustrating the plain doctrines and enforcing the pure precepts of the gospel , than by endeavours to explain to : hearers the visionary symbols
of Daniel and John , though the latter , I admitted , might with propriety be occasionally done . I aiso expressed a doubt , whether the Apocalypse was written , at so early a date as my
worthy correspondent had given it , referring him to the researches of Lardner and JLowman . These things it $ eems proper for me to state , as being the ground on which his remarks . in the first letter were founded . These remarks of Mr ., Evanson led me to i llustrate my . views of the , subject more
largely-in my . rep ^ y . ..,. None , of tl \ e epistles of the Apostle Paul furnished to inymind unequivocal evidence that he must necessarily have seea the Apocalypse of John . The account which the former gives , for instance , of the rise * reign and destruction of
the man of sin in 2 Thess , ii . might have been communicated to him by supernatural inspiration ? and after some years more particulars of the same events r presented to the view of the latter by visionary representations , and also others in addition to them .
The hypothesis of Mr . Eyarisoh ( previously advanced by Sir Isaac Newton in his Observations upon the Apocalypse of St . John , p . 239 )> of the apostles Paul and Peter sometimes alluding in their Epistles to the Apocalypses I take the liberty to recommend to some of your learned
Correspondents , as a subject' of ' curious , useful and important discussion in the pages of your valuable Repository . If it can be maintained ? it niu $ t esta-Tblish * beyond doubt , . both the authen « ticity and early date of this sublime and wonderful production , and tend to illustrate some of its mysterious passages * THOMAS HOWE .
Letter I . Lympston 9 April 6 , I 803 o Dear Sir , AFTER your obliging politeness in sending me a copy of your excellent discourse upon ** the Commencement of the New Century , " I thought it incumbent on me to trouble vou
with ooe of my late publications . It would have given me great pleasure to find , that my little pamphlet had giveo you the same entire satisfaction that I received from the perusal of yours . You do me justice , however , in supposing me to be influenced only
by conscientious motives , and performing what I regard as a very important duty to the < eause of true Christianity , and the temporal and eternal happiness of my fellow-creatures . And to a mind so impressed ^ the censures or more serious
consequences of the mftlice of any interested , mistaken men , seem quite undeserving notice . Firmly , persuaded « s , I , aipn , that there is no other sufficient . evidence of the divine authority of the . Christian
8 Letters from the late Mev 0 EdwarAMvanson to ike Mev . 'IJipmas Howe
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1818, page 8, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2472/page/8/