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Inhabitants in the Faith of Chrift. This banishing
into Ilands was the worst and feverest Kind of Ex-
ile, whereby the criminal forfeited his Eftate; be-
ing transported into fome certain Island, which only
the Emperor had the Power of naming, there to be
confined to perpetual Banifhment.

Q. Did St. John die in Banifhment?

A. No: the Emperor Nerva revoked the fevere Edicts of his Predeceffor, and St. John took the Advantage of that Indulgence, and returned to Ephesus; where, finding Timothy their Bishop martyred, he governed that Church until the Time of Trajan, about the Beginning of whofe Reign he departed this Life, being about an hundred Years old, and never married. As to the Reports of his being tranflated without dying, or that he only lay fleeping in his Grave, they are Errors built upon that Difcourfe that paffed between our Lord and John xxi. St. Peter, concerning this Apostle.

21.

Q. What was remarkable in St. John's Conduct towards the Heretic Cerinthus?

Hift. lib. 4

A. Going with fome of his Friends to the Bath Eufeb. at Ephefus, and understanding that Cerinthus was at c.14 the fame Time bathing, he immediately retired, exhorting his Friends to avoid a Place where was fo great an Enemy to the Truth, left the Bath fhould fall upon their Heads. This Account is given by Ireneus, as a Tradition from Polycarp, St. John's Iren, adv. Scholar and Difciple.

Hær. lib.

3. C. 3.

Q. What Writings did this Apoftle leave behind bim?

A. His Gospel, three Epifiles, and his Book of

Revelation.

Q. How doth it appear that St. John wrote the
Gospel that goeth under his Name?

A. The Gofpel itself defcribes the Author of it by John xxi. fuch Marks as peculiarly belong to St. John, as that 20, 21, 22, he was a Difciple of our Lord, and that Difciple

23: 24

whom

23. xix.

26. xxi. 7.

whom Jefus loved; and of whom the Fame went abroad among the Brethren that he should not die. John xiii. That St. John was the beloved Difciple, appears by feveral Places in this Gospel, and the whole Chriftian Church hath diftinguished him by that Character; and his not dying was fo conftantly applied to St. John, that fome of the Ancients declared that he died not at all, but was tranflated; and others that he only lay fleeping in his Grave: And he alone of all the Apoftles, tarried till our Lord came to the Destruction of Jerufalem, which he outlived many Years. To which we may adjoin the Testimony of the Pri mitive Church, which afferts it as an unquestionable Lib.3.c.1. Truth. Irenæus fays, that John, the Difciple of our Lord, who leaned upon his Breast, writ his Gospel at Ephefus. Clemens of Alexandria, that St. John, inspired by the Holy Ghoft, compofed his fpiritual Gofpel. Origen reckons it among the Gospels received without Difpute by every Church under Heaven. Eufeb. Eufebius places it among the Books not controverted lib.6.c.14. among Chriftians, and as known to all the Churches of &25.lib.3. the World. And the ancient Heretics, that afcribed it to Cerinthus, were guilty of a great Abfurdity: For how could thofe Things be writ by Cerinthus, which do in direct Terms contradict his Doctrine? Epip han. He afferted that Christ was born as other Men, and Hær. 51. but a mere Man himself; whereas the Author of this Gofpel declares Chrift to be the Word, or Logos, Johni. . which in the Beginning was with God, and was God, and is exprefsly affirmed by Antiquity to be writon Purpofe to remove that Error which Cerinthus had difperfed in the World. All which Evidence, taken together, makes it undeniable, that St. John was the Author of that Gofpel that goeth under his name. Q. When, and upon what Occafion, did he write bis Gofpel?

Hift. Eccl.

c. 24.

$4.

A. Though fome have thought it was writ during his Banishment in the Ifland of Patmos; yet

Irenæus

Hær.

Irenæus and others, with great Appearance of Truth, Adv. affirm it to have been written by him after his Re- lib. 3.c. 1. turn from Ephefus; compofed at the earnest Intreaty of the Afian Bishops, and Ambaffadors from feveral Hieron, de Churches; in order whereunto he firft folemnizes Scr. Eccl. a general Fast, to feek the Bleffing of Heaven upon fo great and momentous an Undertaking. Two Caufes efpecially contributed to engage him in this Work; the one, that he might obviate the early Herefies of thofe Times, particularly of Ebion, Cerinthus, and others, who began to deny Chrift's Divinity, or that he had any Exiftence before the Incarnation; the Reason why this Evangelift is fo exprefs and copious on that Subject. The other was, that he might fupply thofe Paffages of the Evangelical Hiftory, which the reft of the facred Writers had omitted; principally infifting upon the Acts of Chrift from the first commencing of his Ministry, to the Death of John the Baptift. The Subject he treats is fublime and mysterious; upon which Account he is generally by the Ancients refembled to Cyr. Hier. an Eagle foaring aloft; and peculiarly honoured by the Title of Divine, as due to him in an eminent and extraordinary Manner.

Catec. 12.

§1.

Q. To whom did St. John addrefs his Epiftles?

A. The firft is Catholic, calculated for all Times and Places, as well as Perfons; containing moft excellent Rules for the Conduct of the Christian Life; with a particular Regard to Christian Charity; the principal Vein that runs through all his Writings, and was the laft Subject he recommended to his Hearers: For when A geand Weakness difabled him from preaching, yet at every public Meeting in the Church, he exhorted them with thefe Words, Little Children, love one another. His Hieron. Auditors, wearied with the conftant Repetition of tom. 9. the fame Thing, enquiring the Reafon of it, re- p. 83. ceived from him this Anfwer: This is what our

G

Lord

Lord hath commanded, and if we can do this, we need do nothing elfe. This Epiftle, which was univerfally received, and never queftioned, is moreover an excellent Antidote against the Poifon of Gnoftic Principles and Practices. The other two are directed to particular Perfons; and though it hath been doubted whether they were Canonical, yet, by the most Part of the Ancients they are attributed to St. John; 1. 3. c. 25. and the Doctrine, Phrase, and Design of them, fufficiently challenge our Apoftle for their Author.

Eufeb.
Eccl. Hift.

Q. When did he write his Revelation?"

mos.

A. While he was confined in the Ifland of PatAnd though this Book was doubted of by fome, yet it was entertained by the far greater Part of the Ancients, as the genuine Work of St. John the Evangelist. All Circumftances concur to make our Apofile the Author of it. His Name frequently expreffed; its being written in the Ifland of Patmos; the particular Epiftles to the Seven Churches in Afia, all planted, or at least cultivated, by him; the Doctrine in it fuitable to the Apoftolical Spirit and Temper. All which being put together, make the Evidence in this Cafe very confiderable.

Q. What may we learn from the Obfervation of this Feftival?

4. That the true Love of Jefus ought to make us willing to accompany him to Mount Calvary, as well as to Mount Tabor; to bear his Crofs, as well as to partake of his Glories. To be conftant to all the Duties of Friendship, and not to fuffer Misfortunes and Adverfity to abate the Vigour of them. To endeavour to adorn our Souls with fuch Difpofitions and Qualifications, as may make us hope for a Share in the Love of our Redeemer. In all our Compofures upon religious Subjects, to have a particular Eye to the Good of others, and to beg God's Bleffing upon our Undertakings. To confirm ourselves in the Belief of our Saviour's Divinity,

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by frequently reading that Gospel, which was writ on purpose to preferve us from thofe Herefies that denied it. To abound in the Practice of Christian Charity, the Love of our Neighbour, the diftinguishing Mark of a good Chriftian, which St. John urgeth as the great and peculiar Law ofour Religion. Q. Wherein doth Chriftian Charity, or the Love of our Neighbour, confift?

A. In doing him all good Offices, and shewing Kindnefs towards him; if he be virtuous, it will make us esteem him; if he be honest, but weak in Judg ment, it will create Pity and Succour; if he be wicked, it will incline us to pious Admonition, in order to reclaim him; if he receives Good, it will make us rejoice; if he receives Evil, which we can not redrefs, it will make us compassionate him; if we can it will make us relieve him, either by fupplying his Neceffities according to our Power; or by hiding his Difgrace if it be deferved, which is concealing our Neighbour's Defects; and by wiping it off where it is not deferved, which is vindicating his Reputation. If it be our Inferior, it will make us affable and courteous; if our Equal, it will make us candid, and ready to maintain a good Correfpondence; if our Superior, refpectful and fubmiffive; if we receive Good from him, it will make us thankful and defirous to requite it; if we receive Evil, it will make us flow to Anger, easy to be entreated, ready to forgive, long fuffering when it is reafonable to exact Punishment, and merciful in taking it with fuch a Competency, as is no more than what he can bear.

Q. In what Senfe doth our Saviour and St. John call this a new Commandment, fince loving our Neighbour is a Branch of the Law of Nature, and a known Precept of the Jewish Religion?

A. This Commandment is by our Lord and Saviour fo much enlarged as to the Object of it, having extended it to all Mankind; fa greatly adG 2 vanced,

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