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Lord Bishop of Pama. Ihar.Ipostolic of the Western Dis:
(S B. D.D. or Sorbon FRS ar London Ki Bartın.
06 Vov. 23h1797 At the end his Episcopury.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH,
HER FINAL TRIUMPHANT STATE IN HEAVEN:
CHIEFLY DEDUCED FROM
THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN,
THE APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST.
BY SIG. PASTORINI. pravili
Blessed is he that readeth, and beareth the words of this prophecy.--Apoc. i. 3.
SECOND AMERICAN EDITION.
PUBLISHED BY JOHN DOYLE, 12 LIBERTY-STREET.
STEREOTYPED BY CONNER & COOKE.
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.
NOTWITHSTANDING the several editions of PASTORINI'S commentary on the Apocalypse, the work is, by no means, heavy on the hands of the booksellers. It may, in some measure, be considered out of print. To satisfy a prevalent desire for a new and cheap edition, the present publication has been strongly urged. Perhaps it may be advanced, without the imputation of heated fancy, that the times, and “the signs of the times,” we live in, seem to add a peculiarly new interest to this rare and celebrated production.
The author's views of the awful prophecies, mysteries and judgments contained in the sacred volume, from which he has undertaken to illustrate the General History of the Church, have operated variously, as in course they must, upon various dispositions. In many minds they confirmed the old faith. In some they disturbed, or subverted new opinions. In some they excited, or seemed to excite, anger and ridicule. But, generally, they have been considered ingenious, interesting, and highly edifying. His admonitions are evidently directed by a spirit of charity, pure and universal-and his illustrations of the sublime text before him exhibited a mind, uncommonly gifted with intuition, assiduity, and deep and discerning research. He seems to have sensibly apprehended that some of the dreadful scourges, menaced in the Revelations, were soon to fall on criminal and unrepenting nationsmand he forewarns all Christians to strive, by sincere repentance, to avert, if possible, the impending judgment, or at least, to be prepared for its awful visitations.
Sensible of the precision and brevity of the inspired writer of the Apocalypse, our author examines every word with scrupulous care, and turns his text on every side, in order to ascertain its true meaning. Unlike former commentators, he confines not his views to the early ages of the Church, but traces the divine economy in her regard from her foundation, through every succeeding period, to the end of time and her final triumphant introduction into heaven. For this arduous undertaking his station, talents, and learning, had eminently fitted him.
The first edition of the present commentary on the book of Revelations appeared about the year 1776. It was soon bought up—and after much solicitation, the author consented to the preparation of a second edition, with additional remarks.
Although no pains were particularly taken by the author or his friends to extend the circulation of the work, it soon found its way into foreign countries. A French translation of it was published in 1778; shortly after it appeared in Latin; in 1785 it was translated into German; and a few years ago, an Italian version was sent to the public. Of the high repute, which this noted production has obtained in other countries, we may judge by the following extract from one of the periodical works of the learned Abbe Feller, published in 1786:
Signior Pastorini's work is the only good comment, which England has produced on the Apocalypse--and the nation is much indebted to him, for having contributed to put down the extravagant notions of James I. and of the celebrated Newton, concerning this divine book. It is a learned and edifying performance, in which theology and ecclesiastical history reflect valuable lights on the most mysterious of the sacred writings. The wonderful prophecies it contains, realized as they are by striking, authentic, and public facts, inspire the christian soul with hope and fortitude, and give solemn testimony to the power and veracity of God. What remains as yet undisclosed is already manifesting itself in a sensible manner--and the times we live in are furnishing a faithful and lively picture."