And still in the 19th century:
“The Apocalypse is the mystery of Christ, or the mystical account of His kingdom from the day of Pentecost till the day of Judgment; not strictly predictive, but interweaving the past, present, and future as seen of God. There is a Divine dignity in the opening words, as in St. John’s Gospel and general Epistle.” [from THE APOCALYPSE WITH NOTES AND REFLECTIONS, by Isaac Williams, 1873]
Mr. Williams is harkening back to earlier times, stating that Revelation is about the history of the Church. At least he sees that Revelation has some future events, though “not strictly predictive.” It’s funny, but I don’t think I’ve ever read about any other Bible prophecy being “not strictly predictive.”
Continuing on in the 19th century with Joseph Augustus Seiss:
“What concerns the subject and contents of this book, I find for the most part in the name which it gives itself. It is the common rule with Scripture names, to express the substance of the things to which they are applied. The name of God expresses what God is; so themes of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the leading names found in the Bible. Even those which the Church has given, are often wonderfully expressive and significant, Genesis is the generation of things; Exodus, the going forth from bondage; The Gospel, the very heart and substance of all God’s gracious communications the good news. And when God himself designates this book The Revelation of Jesus Christ, we may rest assured, that it is the very substance and kernel of the book that is expressed in this title…
“It is a book of which Christ is the great subject and centre, particularly in that period of his administrations and glory designated as the day of his uncovering, the day of his appearing. It is not a mere prediction of divine judgments upon the wicked, and of the final triumph of the righteous, made known by Christ; but a book of the revelation of Christ, in his own person, offices, and future administrations, when he shall be seen coming from heaven, as he was once seen going into heaven. If ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’ meant nothing more than certain communications made known by Christ, I can see no significance or propriety in affixing this title to this book, rather than to any other books of holy Scripture. Are they not all alike the revelation of Jesus Christ, in this sense? Does not Peter say of the inspired writers in general, that they were moved by the Spirit of Christ which was in them? Why then single out this particular book as ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ,’ when it is no more the gift of Jesus than any other inspired book? Besides, it would be particularly strange, that this book should be so specially designated ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’ in the sense of revelation by Christ, when the book itself declares that it was not received from Christ, but from an angel or messenger of Christ. These considerations alone ought to satisfy us that there is something more distinctive and characteristic in this title than is embraced in its ordinary acceptation. For my own part, I am perfectly convinced, from a review of the places in which the word occurs in the New Testament, as well as from all the contents of this particular part of it, that The Apocalypse, or Revelation of Jesus Christ, means Jesus Christ revealed, and uncovered to mortal view; and not merely Jesus Christ revealing, and making known hidden things to be recorded for our learning. Let me refer to a few passages bearing upon the case.