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gp . y ^ pglit , &c ^ ordiiig to the plain dictates pf reason and the word of Gq $ 9
besid ^ js yvhat arises frpm completion of that prophetic * an ticipated nistpry pf the great leading events ( which have produced all the important changes in civil and ecclesiastical affairs from Nebuchadnezzar ' s time to
pur own ) , contained in those visions of I ) aniel a of which the Apocalypse professes to jbe both a continuation aod piore diffuse explanation 9 and that , without understanding the Apocalypse * it is Bot possible to distinguish the truths of Christ's gospel from the
superstitious errors pf the antichristian apostacy , I am sincerely grieved to j&acj you avowing , that , after ten years ' particular attention to that important Scripture , you jcanr ^ ot unde rs tand it . * If , indeed , you have accustomed yourself tp endeavours to discover the
meaning of certain isolated detached passages , without considering them as parts only of ope whale history ? and therefore closely connected with those parts wjhicli both precede and follow , the dissatisfaction which must arise
from such a mode of study is sufficiently © Jbvious . The same process , I Jbelieve , would render every human jiis ^ ory unintelligible . As Sir Isaac Jtfewton , a century ago , demonstrated the futility and falsehood of the slight
unfounded report of Irenseus , that Jotin wrote the Apocalypse in the reign of IPprpitian , I did not imagine that any ojie could now Suppose it was written after the destruction of Jerusalem .
j / he passages , hovyever , I have quoted put of Paul ' s Epistles , written certainjy before the end of Nero ' reign 9 ^> me of wjhic fa carj ^ pt ) be understood pppp ajiy principles of divine revelatjfaft or of common sense * without
$ upp& 9 ipg them t © refer to the Apocalypse , surely afford an external testiiapny of Joh # \ s having written that invaluable Scripture in or before the rei g $ pf Nero , far more respectable than the evidence deduced from the Wbole fcip ^ t of fath ers of tji e apost ate
# I recollect stating-, that though I thought I perceived the general drift and purport of the prophetic history of the € ln istian chiuch contained in the Apoca-^ f ^ e , t | ip meHMng ^ f mme oT its sjnv bolicat aescrij ^ ious I ^ oultl not clearly understand .
. ( phurdhp . This ? indeed ^ would be the case , if instead of disagreeing with each 6 ther 9 as they do , they were ajl nnanimoiis \ u their testimony . To have attempted to establish itsautheaticity 9 would have appeared to m@ the most idle waste of time and the
reader ' s patience ^ because there cap be but one proper satisfactory criterion of the divine authority of any prophetic scripture , I mean that infallible one of the absolute certainty of the regular strict completion of it ® predictions , so that each antitype
corresponds wiili the emblematical type in order , time and place . If my explanation has not shewn that they do so , it has done nothing ; and as I know by the experiments I haye made uppa the unsatisfactory parts of the interpretation of other expositors , my
errors niay ? from their inconsistency with other essential points of the pr ©~ phecies , be uiost easily proved to be such . Should my well-intended * Reflections on the State of Religion in Christendom / ' attract so much notice as to induce any body * to undertake
such a works I shall rejoice , be the consequence to myself what it may because the very discussion must lead people in general to think more seriously and attentively pf that most important of all tlie sacred books , than they seem at present inclined to do .
All I wish for is the prevalence of truth , genuine unsophisticated Christian truth ? as the sure and only means of making mankind wise 9 virtuous and happy . Io ova < d all Jig Wear Sir , yours very sincerel y ^ EDWARD EVANSON .
Letter IJL Lympston 9 AprilQ \ 18 OS , Dear Sir , So far are the remarks whiclt yoe did ? ne the hopour of niaking iipoe my late publication from standing in need of any apology , that I think myself
much obliged to you for your friendly frankoess in making them ; and " should be still more so , if , by pointing out the reasons of your objections to any particulars , you would enable me to perceive tjiose errors , which , according to tl ^ e common lot of humanity ^ it is highly probable I may have fallen into *
J ^ ffgr Ji'OW P ?^<^ . lf $ e Men * ] $ tjl'i& $ r $ , lEvamon to $ he Me % ¦ Thorn ®® Mpwe * , 9
¥ © i . XIII . ^
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1818, page 9, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2472/page/9/