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APLITE—APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE

APLITE, in petrology, the name given to intrusive rock in which quartz and felspar are the dominant minerals. Aplites are usually very fine-grained, white, grey or flesh-coloured, and their constituents are visible only with the help of a magnifying lens. Dykes and threads of aplite are very frequently to be observed traversing granitic bosses; they occur also, though in less numbers, in syenites, diorites, quartz-diabases and gabbros. Without doubt they have usually a genetic affinity to the rocks they intersect. The aplites of granite areas, for example, are the last part of the magma to crystallize, and correspond in composition to the quartzo-felspathic aggregates which fill up the interspaces between the early minerals in the main body of the rock. They bear a considerable resemblance to the eutectic mixtures which are formed on the cooling of solutions of mineral salts, and remain liquid till the excess of either of the components has separated out, finally solidifying en masse when the proper proportions of the constituents and a suitable temperature are reached. The essential components of the aplites are quartz and alkali felspar (the latter usually orthoclase or microperthite). Crystallization has been apparently rapid (as the rocks are so fine-grained), and the ingredients have solidified almost at the same time. Hence their crystals are rather imperfect and fit closely to one another in a sort of fine mosaic of nearly equi-dimensional grains. Porphyritic felspars occur occasionally and quartz more seldom; but the relation of the aplites to quartz-porphyries, granophyres and felsites is very close, as all these rocks have nearly the same chemical composition. Yet the aplites associated with diorites and quartz-diabases differ in minor respects from the common aplites, which accompany granites. The accessory minerals of these rocks are principally oligoclase, muscovite, apatite and zircon. Biotite and all ferromagnesian minerals rarely appear in them, and never are in considerable amount. Riebeckite-granites (paisanites) have close affinities to aplites, shown especially in the prevalence of alkali felspars. Tourmaline also occurs in some aplites. The rocks of this group are very frequent in all areas where masses of granite are known. They form dykes and irregular veins which may be only a few inches or many feet in diameter. Less frequently aplite forms stocks or bosses, or occupies the edges or irregular portions of the interior of outcrops of granite. The syenite-aplites consist mainly of alkali felspar; the diorite-aplites of plagioclase; there are nepheline-bearing aplites which intersect some elaeolite-syenites. In all cases they bear the same relation to the parent masses. By increase of quartz aplites pass gradually, in a few localities, through highly quartzose modifications (beresite, &c.) into quartz veins.  (J. S. F.) 

APNOEA (Gr. ἄπνοια, from ἀ-, privative, πνέειν, to breathe), a technical term for suspension of breathing.

APOCALYPSE (Gr. ἀποκάλυψις, disclosure), a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the mass of men. The Greek root corresponds in the Septuagint to the Heb. gālāh, to reveal. The last book of the New Testament bears in Greek the title Άποκάλυψις Ίωάννου, and is frequently referred to as the Apocalypse of John, but in the English Bible it appears as the Revelation of St John the Divine (see Revelation). Earlier among the hellenistic Jews the term was used of a number of writings which depicted in a prophetic and parabolic way the end or future state of the world (e.g. Apocalypse of Baruch), the whole class is now commonly known as Apocalyptic Literature (q.v.).

APOCALYPSE, KNIGHTS OF THE, a secret society founded in Italy in 1693 to defend the church against the expected Antichrist. Agostino Gabrino, the son of a merchant of Brescia, was its founder. On Palm Sunday 1693, when the choir of St Peter’s was chanting Quis est iste Rex Gloriae? Gabrino, sword in hand, rushed to the altar crying Ego sum Rex Gloriae. Though Gabrino was treated as a madman, the society flourished, until a member denounced it to the Inquisition, who arrested the knights. Though chiefly mechanics they always carried swords even when at work, and wore on their breasts a star with seven rays. Gabrino styled himself monarch of the Holy Trinity. He was credited by his enemies with a desire to introduce polygamy.

APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE. The Apocalyptic literature of Judaism and Christianity embraces a considerable period, from the centuries following the exile down to the close of the middle ages. In the present survey we shall limit ourselves to the great formative periods in this literature—in Judaism to 200 B.C. to A.D. 100, and in Christianity to A.D. 50 to 350 or thereabouts.

The transition from prophecy to apocalyptic (ἀποκαλύπτειν, to reveal something hidden) was gradual and already accomplished within the limits of the Old Testament. Beginning in the bosom of prophecy, and steadily differentiating itself from it in its successive developments, it never came to stand in absolute contrast to it. Apocalyptical elements disclose themselves in the prophetical books of Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, while in Isaiah xxiv.-xxvii. and xxxiii. we find well-developed apocalypses; but it is not until we come to Daniel that we have a fully matured and classical example of this class of literature. The way, however, had in an especial degree been prepared for the apocalyptic type of thought and literature by Ezekiel, for with him the word of God had become identical with a written book (ii. 9-iii. 3) by the eating of which he learnt the will of God, just as primitive man conceived that the eating of the tree in Paradise imparted spiritual knowledge. When the divine word is thus conceived as a written message, the sole office of the prophet is to communicate what is written. Thus the human element is reduced to zero, and the conception of prophecy becomes mechanical. And as the personal element disappears in the conception of the prophetic calling, so it tends to disappear in the prophetic view of history, and the future comes to be conceived not as the organic result of the present under the divine guidance, but as mechanically determined from the beginning in the counsels of God, and arranged under artificial categories of time. This is essentially the apocalyptic conception of history, and Ezekiel may be justly represented as in certain essential aspects its founder in Israel.

We shall now consider (I.) Apocalyptic, its origin and general characteristics; (II.) Old Testament Apocalyptic; (III.) New Testament Apocalyptic.

I. Apocalyptic—its Origin and General Characteristics

i. Sources of Apocalyptic.—The origin of Apocalyptic is to be sought in (a) unfulfilled prophecy and in (b) traditional elements drawn from various sources.

(a) The origin of Apocalyptic is to be sought in unfulfilled prophecy. That certain prophecies relating to the coming kingdom of God had clearly not been fulfilled was a matter of religious difficulty to the returned exiles from Babylon. The judgments predicted by the pre-exilic prophets had indeed been executed to the letter, but where were the promised glories of the renewed kingdom and Israel’s unquestioned sovereignty over the nations of the earth? One such unfulfilled prophecy Ezekiel takes up and reinterprets in such a way as to show that its fulfilment is still to come. The prophets Jeremiah (iv.-vi.) and Zephaniah had foretold the invasion of Judah by a mighty people from the north. But as this northern foe had failed to appear Ezekiel re-edited this prophecy in a new form as a final assault of Gog and his hosts on Jerusalem, and thus established a permanent dogma in Jewish apocalyptic, which in due course passed over into Christian.

But the non-fulfilment of prophecies relating to this or that individual event or people served to popularize the methods of apocalyptic in a very slight degree in comparison with the non-fulfilment of the greatest of all prophecies—the advent of the Messianic kingdom. Thus, though Jeremiah had promised that after seventy years (xxv. 11., xxix. 10) Israel should be restored to their own land (xxiv. 5, 6), and then enjoy the blessings of the Messianic kingdom under the Messianic king (xxiii. 5, 6), this period passed by and things remained as of old. Haggai and Zechariah explained the delay by the failure of Judah to rebuild