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WORD OF GOD,
THE ORIGINAL GREEK
OLD MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN THE ISLAND OF PATMOS,
WHERE ST. JOHN WROTE HIS
BOOK OF THE REVELATION.
The following is the account, given by a respectable individual, of the manner in which he became possessed of a translation which is now submitted to the public:
"I was determined, on my departure from England, to visit the islands of the Egean Sea, once so celebrated, some of them blessed with the light of the Gospel, though now, unhappy change, involved in night. I had already visited some, which are at present but barren rocks and uncultivated sands; and can you wonder that I had an inclination to tread on that soil where the blessed feet of the beloved St. John once trod; and to see that desert Patmos to which the favourite of our Lord was banished? Surely no :-to say the truth, I longed ardently to do so.
“ I was determined to take a survey of the island, as is always my custom, and with three attendants from the ship I ascended a lofty rock, for the exacter view of the place; but how unexpectedly and agreeably was I surprised at seeing three or four homely cots at the bottom, in a very pleasant valley, shaded with tall pine trees, and watered with a fine chrystal rivulet; throwing our carbines therefore over our shoulders, we walked leisurely down to the valley, which we had no sooner entered, than we called aloud, and putting ourselves in a posture of defence waited for a reply, or for the appearance of some of the inhabitants - when, behold, from the highest shed, which yet was so low as to teach us, in Shakspeare's fine language, “to adore and bow to holy office :” when, I say, from the middle and highest shed, out walked the most venerable and august figure I ever beheld. On his appearance we immediately grounded our arms, and bowed with the greatest respect; he returned our compliment in a most graceful manner, and advanced with a slow and composed air towards us. His head 'was silvered over with locks white as the mountain snow, and his long, graceful beard was of the same pure hue; his countenance was open, though serious, invitingly cheerful, though at the same time majestically grave; he had on a brown long robe, sandals on his feet, and in his hand he held a scroll, on which he seemed to have been meditating when disturbed by our unexpected approach. I addressed him in the most courteous manner I was able, in Latin, in French, in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, to all which he replied only in modern or ancient Greek.
“ Having invited us to enter his little cot, and seated us on a bench of turf which he had made around it, he said, he would bless us with a gift which he held in the highest estimation, but which he would by no means part with unless we would promise to spread and disperse it for the good of mankind; telling me, that on the back of the scroll he himself had written in the Greek language (the language of the treatise), a short account of the wonderful manner of his finding it, and a prayer to the Author of all good gifts: they are as follow
6 Son of man, whoever thou art, into whose hands this “ little though inestimable gem shall fall, know that after
having been three days on the desolate island of Pat
mos, I was wandering under a row of rocks, and by 66 accident directed into a cave, cut at the bottom of one s of them, which therefore seems to have been the habi“ tation of human creatures. I looked diligently around “it, and sate me down on a seat hewn from the living “ stone, full of gloomy ideas, and sorrowfully reflecting " on the vicissitudes of all human affairs ! Casting my “ eyes upwards, i perceived on the side of the rock, a “ kind of shelf, cut likewise from the stone; raising
myself to look thereon, behold there lay, with a writ“ ten scroll of the divine and ever sacred scriptures, this
manuscript whereon now I write! Looking on each, I “ fell down, adored and magnified the God of all wis“ dom, in whose hand we are, and by whose providence “ we are held and supported all the days of our life; “ hoping he will by some means (how ever improbably " it may at present seem) deliver the work from the
night of obscurity, and make it subservient to the good “ of his creatures ; thus I commend it to his favour “ whose mercy is over all, and whose hands, I trust, will “speedily receive my immortal soul!
“Being of beings, God of all mercy, fountain of glory, “ of wisdom and love ; thanksgiving and honour, and
power and praise, be unto thee, eternal and incom“ prehensible, from the voice of every nation under thy “ heavens, for ever and ever, Amen! I bless thee ever“ more for thy wonderful loving-kindness to me the least “ of thy servants! Oh strengthen my faith in every trial, “ give me comfort and full assurance in thy promises, “ that my eye and heart being fixed upon thee, may never “ lose sight of that golden crown, the purchase of thy “ sufferings for all the sons of men ! For my heavy « afflictions and deadliest persecutions, loving heavenly “ Father, most gratefully do I thank and praise thee!
They have shewn me myself, they have revealed my “ heart to me, they have nailed me to the cross, blessed