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by William Nicoll
IN ordinary circumstances one who undertakes to comment upon a book of the New Testament may be justly expected to make every effort to explain each successive clause and each difficult expression of the book on which he writes. My aim in the following Commentary is rather to catch the general import and object of the Revelation of St. John considered as a whole. The latter purpose indeed cannot be attained unless the commentator has himself paid faithful attention to the former; but it is not necessary that the results of these inquiries should in every case be presented to the English reader. To him this book is for the most part a perplexity and enigma, and he would only be embarrassed by a multitude of details. It seemed well, therefore, to treat the book in its sections and paragraphs rather than verse by verse; and this is the course pursued in the following pages. The translation used is for the most part that of the Revised Version. An examination of the words and clauses of the book, conducted upon a plan different from that here adopted, and much more minute in its character, will be found in the Author’s Commentary on the Apocalypse, in the Commentary upon the books of the New Testament edited by Professor Schaff and published by Messrs. Clark, Edinburgh. The principles upon which the Author has proceeded have been fully discussed in his Baird Lectures.
THE UNIVERSITY, ABERDEEN,
the Seventh Week after Easter