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to miraculous works: “Miracles are authenticated and made credible by being done in the Church Catholic, and not the Catholic Church by having in it the miracles.” The less can never prove the greater, as something on the outside of it and apart from it wholly, but only as itself bound to it and joined with it in such subordinate relation.
J. W. N.
THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF ST. JOHN.
. 1. Youth and Education of John. The Apostle and Evangelist John, the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of Galilee, and of Salome, the brother of the elder James, was born, as is most probable, like the Apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip, in Bethsaida (Matth. 4: 21; 10: 2, Mark 1: 19; 3: 17; 10: 35, Luke 5: 10, Acts 12: 2). His parents, though not rich, seem to have been at least in good circumstances. His father, according to Mark 1 : 20, was in the habit of employing hired servants; his mother belonged to that class of women who supported Jesus with their property (Matth. 27: 56, Mark 15: 40, Luke 8: 3) and purchased spices for his embalming (Mark 16: 1, Luke 23: 50,56); John himself owned a house in Jerusalem into which he welcomed the mother of Jesus after his crucifixion (John 19: 27). It is natural and reasonable to suppose that his pious mother planted the first seeds of piety in the tender soil of his youthful heart. Salome, it is true, was yet entangled in the false hopes of the Messiah generally prevalent in her time and in the incitements of vanity, as may be gathered from her petition to the Lord that He would grant her two sons the highest places of honor in His kingdom (Matth. 20: 20, ff.), but she adhered to Christ with unwavering fidelity and did not desert Him even when surrounded with the terrors of the Cross (Mark 15: 40).' With the other Apostles, Paul ex
' According to the latest exegesis of John 19: 25, which Wieseler has pro. posed and advocated with acuteness and learning in the "Studien and Kritiken," 1840, No. 3, p. 648, &c., Salome would be the sister of the mother of Jesus; in such case John would have been a cousin of the Lord. The phrase“ sister of his mother” he does not interpret to be, as has hitherto been supposed, Mary, the wife of Cleopas (on account of the improbabili. ty that two sisters would have the same name,) but a form of language,
cepted, John received no learned or scientific education (comp. Acts 4: 13). His personal intercourse of three years' duration with the Master of all masters and the supernatural illumination of the Holy Spirit, abundantly supplied every deficiency in bis mental training. In early life, no doubt, he was carefully indoctrinated in the precepts of the Old Testament which ministered 10 bis natural tendency for profound thought, and to his tender, susceptible disposition, a nourishment vastly superior to the learning of the Pharisaic schools, filled, as it was, with many maxims of the most dangerous character.
In early life he became a disciple of John the Baptist. Of the two disciples of John spoken of in John 1: 35, &c., he is beyond all doubt the one not mentioned. His susceptible disposition which anxiously awaited the hope of Israel must have recognised in no long time a divine messenger in the earnest preacher of repentance who prepared the way for Christ and preceded his coming, like the faint streak of morning before the full-orbed sun. Through the instrumentality of this herald he was directed, together with Andrew, on the banks of the Jordan in Perea, to Jesus as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. His first acquaintance with the Saviour was accompanied with circumstances so impressive in character that he never forgot it and, even in his old age, still remembered the hour of meeting (John 1: 40). Having passed a day in intercourse with the Son of God and listened to the words that fell from his lips, he returned with Peter and Andrew to his home and trade as a fisherman, In this quiet retreat, opportunity was given for the free and uninterrupted growth of the good seed which had been implanted in his heart. Hiş life in this respect furnishes a conspicuous illustration of the manner which Christ pursued, who never violently checks the pure natural disposition of men and nullifies their education prior to conversion, in attracting to his person followers from among the members of the human family. In no long time, however, John together with Janies, Peter and Andrew were summoned by Jesus to abandon their tiade and enlist under his banner (Matth. 4: 18, &c., Mk.
similar to the one which John used to indicate himself (“The disciple, whom Jesus loved") designed to represent his own mother Salome who, as may be gathered from the parallel passages Matth. 27: 56, Mark 15: 40, was really present at the crucifixion and could not well have been passed by in silence by her son. Serious objections, however, stand in the way of this explanation. Comp. Neander's Train. and Plant. of the Church, II. 609, my work on James, etc., p. 22, &c., and the article on John by W. Grimm in the Encyclopedia of Ersh. and Gruber, Sect. II. Th. 22, p. 1, &c.
1: 16, &c., Luke 4: 1-11). He is thus the representative of those disciples who are gradually brought into fellowship with the Saviour by the quiet operation of holy influences, unaccompanied by violent internal struggles and unusual outward changes, whilst the Apostle Paul exhibits the most prominent example of a sudden conversion. The first mode of conversion is specially adapted to persons of a mild, tender, and contemplative disposition, such as Thomas a Kempis, Melancthon, Spener, Bengel, Zinzendorf; the second, to persons of strong, independent, and choleric character, such as Augustine, Luther, and Calvin.
John, whose disposition qualified him for the forming of lasting friendship and the exercise of undying love, became one of the most confidential of Christ's disciples. He, in connection with his brother James, and Simon Peter, formed a select circle of friends on whom the Son of God looked with special favor. 'They only were eye-witnesses of the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5: 37), of the transfiguration of Christ on Tabor (Matth. 17: 1), and of his sufferings in Gethsemane (Matth. 26 : 37, Mark 14: 33). The reason of this preference lies partly in the free choice of Christ, and partly in the peculiar character of the three Apostles. Of James our knowledge is very limited. He seems to have been of a quiet, earnest, profound nature, and died in the year 44 the death of a martyr, and thus became the leader of that glorious band of heroes who sealed their devotion to Christianity by their blood. As regards position and influence, to some extent at least, Paul became his substitute. Peter is best known as a man whose rash, impetuous, and practical disposition admirably qualified him to organize congregations and lay the foundations of the Church deep and strong in the prolific soil of his own confession. John cannot compare with Peter in point of practical energy and zeal ; in the depths of his being, however, burned more brightly and warmly ihe fire of holy love. The invincible tenacity of his love which gave to his religious feeling a marked originality, placed him in a position superior to that occupied by his two associates, and made him most conspicuous among the trio of the friends of the Son of God and Man. He enjoyed the great privilege of leaning on the bosom of Jesus' and listening to the
'On which account he is called by the Greek Church fathers é incorýdros, he who leaned on his bosom, or, as we say, the bosom friend of Jesus. Au. gustine makes the following beautiful remarks concerning John the Evan. gelist. “He poured forth the waters of life which he had himself drunk.”
pulsations of the heart that beat high and warm with feelings of eternal mercy (John 13: 23). In modest self-concealment and, at the same time, with feelings of the profoundest gratitude, he generally calls himself in his Gospel" the disciple whom Jesus
« loved” (13: 23, 19: 26, 20 : 21: 7, 20). This phrase is in all probability, a significant paraphrase and explanation of his proper name, in which he saw a prophecy of this perfect friendship, of his enjoyment of the special favor of Christ, the incarnate Jehovah (comp. John 12: 41 with Isaiah 6: 1).
In the hour of his sufferings John evinced his attachment to the Lord and followed him with Peter into the palace of the high priest (John 18: 19). He was the only one of the disciples who attended the crucifixion when Jesus committed to his care his mother because he was best qualified for the exercise of filial duties (19: 26). He took her to his home (v. 27), and kept her according to traditional report to the day of her death, which, according to Nicephorus, happened at Jerusalem in the year 48, (according to other accounts at Ephesus). On the day of the resurrection he hastened in company with Peter, to the grave and found it empty (20: 3, &c.). The last account we have of him in the Gospels is, that he was engaged in fishing with six other disciples in the sea of Gennesareth. Their efforts were unsuccessful until Jesus himself came to their aid. Most remarkable is the difference that obtained in the conduct of John and Peter on this occasion. The former immediately recognized the Lord with an intuitive gaze of love, but sat still in the ship because fully conscious of a saving interest in His master and completely absorbed in Him; the latter whose knowledge of having denied Him and earnest desire for full pardon excited strong feelings of restlessness, (and being desirous of preceding the oihers,) plunged into the waves and swam to the shore to the feet of Jesus, (John 21: 2, &c.). Thus also the contemplative Mary quietly awaited in the house the coming of the Lord, whilst the busy Martha went to meet him and make him acquainted with her grief (11 : 20).
. 2. His Apostolic Labors. Though John did not, like Peter, on account of the intense
For it is not without reason that it is said of him in his own Gospel that during the Supper he lay on the bosom of the Lord. From this bosom he quietly drank, and what he thus enjoyed in secret, he has revealed unto the world for its delight and nourishment."
inwardness of his character, take such active part in public transactions, and never played the orator but followed in his steps wholly absorbed in the contemplation of heavenly truth, yet, in the Acts he appears next to Peter as the most important personage in the first, Jewish-Christian period of the Church. With Peter he healed the lame man, (Acts 3:1, &c.); with him he was sent to Samaria, in order to confirm by the communication of the Holy Ghost (8: 14, &c.) the Christians who had been baptized by the deacon Philip. From Samaria he returned to Jerusalem, where he met Paul in the year 50; who, together with the oldest Apostles, discussed the binding authority of the Mosaic Law. He designates him and James and Peter as Jewish Apostles, and as pillars of the Church (Gal. 2: 1-9). Down to this time, John seems to have confined his labors to the Jews and to Palestine. Even then, however, he was in possession of a principle strong enough to reconcile the distinctions that held apart the Jewish and Gentile portions of the Church. For it cannot be proven that the Jews appealed to him as an authority, as the followers of Cephas to Peter (1 Cor. 1: 12,) and the yet more strict party to James (Gal. 2: 12), or that a school was formed that acknowledged John as its leader. He stood above mere partizan interest. When Paul came for the last time to Jerusalem, A. D. 58, he was not present; otherwise Luke would have certainly recorded it (Acts 21:18). For accounts of the clos. ing portions of his life, we must have recourse to his own writings and to ecclesiastical tradition.
At a later period John took up his permanent abode in the distinguished commercial city of Ephesus, in which had been planted by Paul one of his most important congregations. The concordant and unanimous testimony of Christian antiquity places this fact beyond all doubt ;' from the book of Revelation (1 : 11, c. 2 and 3), it is evident that he had the superintendence of the Churches in Asia Minor. From the data now known, historians are not able to deduce the precise time of the transfer of his labors to Grecian soil. It is certain, however, that he went to Ephesus if not after, at any rate, not long before the
'Among the vouchers for this are Irenucus, the pupil of Polycarp who knew John personally, adv. haer. III. 1,3, and other passages, also in the letter to Florinus in Eusebius, H. E. V, 20, Clemens Alz. in the homily quis dives salvelur c. 42., Apollonius and Polycrates of Ephesus at the close of the second century, in Eusebius, V. 18. 24 and III, 91., Origen and Eusebius, &c. In the face of such testimony, it required the obtuse scepticism of the Deist Lützelberger lo pronounce the residence of John at Ephesus a fable.