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BOOK OF REVELATION OF ST. JOHN
FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, M.A.
INCUMBENT OF ST. PETER'S, VERE STREET.
AND 23, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN,
THESE Lectures are not controversial or learned. They do not demand of the reader any acquaintance with the theories respecting the Apocalypse which have prevailed in earlier times or in later times, in England or elsewhere. If he has adopted any one of those theories, I trust my words may give him some help in testing it by the letter and the general purpose of the book from which it has been derived. If he has been hovering between a number of these theories, I trust my Lectures may enable him to do them all justice, to gain hints from them all, and to find the words of the Prophet more satisfactory and more intelligible than all.
Neither do I ask that the reader should bring with him that extensive knowledge of ancient or modern history which he ought to possess if he is to judge of most modern commentaries on Prophecy. The more acquaintance he has with the facts of history—the more honestly he has sought for that acquaintance from the writers who have least desired to make out a case for the Christian Church, even from those who have been utterly sceptical about its worth—the more, I believe, will the Revelations of St. John assist in explaining those facts, and in harmonizing his own thoughts respecting the government of God in th world. But my plan precludes me from the attempt to detect any minute parallels between particular sentences in the book and particular events that have happened or that are hereafter to happen in one period or another. The principal historical allusions in these Lectures are to the state of the Roman world during the years preceding the fall of Jerusalem. These, I should like my reader to test by the Histories of Tacitus; as he will, of course, turn to Josephus for the records of the crimes and calamities of the Jewish people.