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Notes on the Apocalypse   By:

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NOTES

ON

THE APOCALYPSE;

WITH

An Appendix

CONTAINING DISSERTATIONS ON SOME OF THE APOCALYPTIC SYMBOLS,

TOGETHER WITH

ANIMADVERSIONS ON THE INTERPRETATIONS OF SEVERAL AMONG THE MOST LEARNED AND APPROVED EXPOSITORS OF BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

BY DAVID STEELE, Sr.,

Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Congregation, Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA: YOUNG & FERGUSON, No. 14 SOUTH SEVENTH ST. 1870.

TO THE

REV. JOHN CUNNINGHAM, LL.D.,

Missionary from the Reformed Presbyterian Church to the Jews in London, England.

REV. AND VERY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER:

Although we are "separated upon the wall, one far from the other," we are not altogether precluded from mutual salutation. Placed by our Master on two hemispheres, between which the electric current bears frequent tidings, our respective positions are advantageous for noting the events of providence. These constitute the signs of the times, and are the counterpart of prophecy. Prophecy and providence reflect light upon each other, and both are helpful to the interpretation of each; but He alone who is the "Wonderful Counsellor," can cause us to understand either.

In submitting the following work to the public, I venture to do so under your auspices, if not under the sanction of your name. And I embrace the present occasion, Rev. Sir, to bear willing testimony to your acknowledged scholarship, your profound erudition, especially in Natural Science and Philology. I do also cheerfully and joyfully recognise you as a public witness; and at the present time of general defection, as an official and consistent witness in the British Isles for the integrity of our Covenanted Reformation, that reformation which in its fuller development is destined to secure the rights of God and man in reorganized society. Such, I believe to be one of the cheering lessons which may be learned by Christ's witnesses from searching the Apocalypse.

That you, Dear Sir, may be long preserved, sustained and comforted by the providence and grace of the Most High, amid all your self sacrifice, privation and reproach which you endure for the truth's Bake, is the prayer of

Your brother in covenant bonds,

DAVID STEELE.

PHILADELPHIA, February 1st, 1870 .

PREFACE

The Apocalypse is one of the most sublime and wonderful dramatic exhibitions presented for human contemplation. Internal evidence concurs with authentic history, in demonstrating to the devout and intelligent reader, its divine origin. God, angels and men, are the principal actors. Men's natural curiosity may find entertainment in this book; and from no higher principle, many have doubtless been prompted to attempt a discovery of its mysterious contents. What is true, however, of supernatural revelation in general, is equally true of this book: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

To the right understanding of the Apocalypse, so far as the prophetical parts of it are contemplated, the following prerequisites would seem to be indispensable:

1. A competent knowledge of what may be termed the fundamental doctrines of the gospel: such as the unity of the Divine Nature; the distinction of persons in the Godhead; the atonement and intercession of Christ; the total depravity and renovation of human nature; the resurrection and final retribution, etc.

2. Acquaintance with symbolical language, as the only language common to all men since the confusion of tongues.

3. Familiarity with the typical dispensation, from which most of the symbols are taken. 4. Freedom from all political bias.

No expositor of the Apocalypse appears to have possessed all these qualifications, however few and simple. The most learned and judicious interpreters of this book have been divines of Britain and of the United States.

After so many laborers employed in this harvest, the reader may ask, What remains to be gleaned? To this inquiry, it may be sufficient to remind the devout Christian, that as the Apocalypse is the end of the Bible, so "the harvest is the end of the world;" and during the intermediate time "the Lord of the harvest is sending forth laborers... Continue reading book >>




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