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From Gal. ii.9, it appears that John was present at the council of Jerusalem, which met A. D. 49. or 50. to determine the great question agitated in the church of Antioch ; namely, whether it was necessary to the salvation of the believing Gentiles, that they should be circumcised. ---And if, as is pro. bable, John had his ordinary residence in Jerusalem till that time, he had his share in working the many signs and wonders, which are said to have been done by the hands of the apostles, Acts ii. 43. iv. 33. v. 12.
We are told, Rev. i. 9. That John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus. In that island, he was favoured with the visions, which he hath recorded in his book of the Revelation.
The foregoing particulars concerning John, are all mentioned in the New Testament. The fathers in their writings add, that John lived to a great age; that he spent the latter part of his life mostly at Ephesus the metropolis of the province of Afia; that the Roman emperor Domitian banished him to Patmos about the year 95; consequently after the destruction of Jerufalem. But Grotius and Sir Isaac Newton, place John's banishment to Patmos, the former in the reign of Claudius, the latter in the reign of Nero: confequently before the destruction of Jerusalem. And in support of their opinion, they allege some testimonies of later writers, together with other particulars: But Lardner, Can. vol. 1. p. 359.-377. hath shewed, that these things are insufficient for establishing the early date of John's banishment. He therefore adheres to the common opinion, that John was banished to Patmos, by Domitian's edict for persecuting the Christians, published in the latter part of his reign, A. D. 95. Domitian died September 18. A. D. 96. and was succeeded by Nerva, in the first year of whose reign, if not sooner, John being released, returned to Ephesus, where, ac. cording to the ancients, he died in the third year of the Emperor Trajan, answering to A, D. 100. Or, as Jerome expresses it, he died in the 68th year after our Lord's passion; which was the third of Trajan. Wherefore, if Lampe's opinion is well founded, that John was born in the same year with his master, he must have been an hundred years old when he died. B 3
The time of John's leaving Judea is unknown. But, as in Luke's history of Paul's travels, John is not mentioned, and no falutation is sent to him in any of the epistles which Paul wrote from Rome to the churches of Afia, not even in his epistle to the Ephesians, nor in the epistles which in the latter part of his hfe he wrote to Timothy in Ephesus, it is reasonable to think, that John was not at Ephesus while Paul was alive. I therefore am of their opinion, who suppose that John remained in Judea, from the time of the council of Jerufalem, till he faw Jerusalem encompaffed with armies, and observed the other signs of its approaching destruction foretold by his master ; that he then fled into Asia ; and coming at length to Ephesus, he fixed his ordinary residence in that city, and abode there till his death ; as all the ancient Christian writers testify.-- Because none of these writers say our Lord's mother went with John into Afia, Cave, Basnage, and Lardner conjecture that she died before John left Judea.
The other particulars, faid by the ancients to have happened to John after he settled at Ephesus, it is needless to mention as some of them are not sufficiently attested, and others of them are embellished with circumstances evidently fabulous. Yet, if the reader is desirous to know, what ancient authors have reported concerning our apostle after he went into Afia, he will find the passages of their writings, in which these things are mentioned, quoted by Lardner, Canon, vol. 1. beginning at page 349.
Sect. II. Of the Authenticity of the first Epistle of John,
The authenticity of any ancient writing is eftablished, First, by the testimony of contemporary, and of succeeding authors, whose works have come down to us; and who speak of that writing, as known to be the work of the person whose name it bears. Secondly, by the suitableness of the things contained in such a writing, to the character and circumstances of its supposed author ; and by the fimilarity of its style, to the style of the other acknowledged writings of that author:- The former of these proofs is called the external evidence of the authenticity
of a writing : The latter its internal evidence. Where these two kinds of evidence are found accompanying any writing, they render its genuineness indubitable.
The external evidence of the authenticity of John's first epiftle shall be laid before the reader in the preface to the second epistle, sect. 1. by shewing that the earliest and best Christian writers have all with one confent, and without any hesitation, ascribed the first epistle to him. And their testimony is confirmed by this circumstance, that the Syriac translator who omitted the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, and the epistle of Jude, because some doubts were en tertained concerning them in the first age, or perhaps because they had not come to his knowledge, hath translated John's first epistle, as an apostolical writing of which there never was any doubt.
In this preface, therefore, we shall state the internal evidence of the authenticity of the first epistle ascribed to John, by shewing, First, that in respect of its matter; and Secondly, that in respect of its style, it is perfectly suitable to the character and circumstances of its supposed author.-In respect of the matter or subject of the epistle under consideration; the writer of it hath discovered himself to be John the apostle, by introducing a number of sentiments and expresfions found in the gospel, which all Christians from the beginning, have acknowledged to be the work of John the apostle.
GOSPEL. CHAP. I. 1. That which Chap. I. 1 In the beginning was from the · beginning—ó was, the word.
14. And, εθεασαμεθα, which we have Jexpela, we beheld his glory. contemplated-concerning the 4. In him was life. living word.
14. The word
II. 5. Whosoever keepeth his word, truly in that man the love of God is perfected.
me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him.
H. 6. He
II. 6. He who faith he XV, 4. Abide in me and I abideth in him, ought himself in you, As the branch cannot also so to walk, even as he bring forth fruit of itself, exwalked, See chap. iii. 24. iv, cept it abide in the vine, no
more can ye, except ye abide
II. 8. I write to you a new
34. A new command. commandment.
ment I give to you, III. 11. This is the message that ye love one another as which ye have heard from the I have loved you, beginning, that we should love one another.
II. 8. The darkness pafseth 1. 5. The light shineth in away, and the light which is darkness. true, now shineth,
9. That was the true light, 10. Abideth in the light, XI. 10. If a man walk in and there is no stumbling- the night, he stumbleth, beblock to him.,
cause there is no light to him. II. 13. Young children, I XVII. 3. This is the eternal write to you, because ye have life that they might know thee known the Father.
the only true God. 14. Because ye have known
And Jesus Christ whom thou him from the beginning.
haft fent. II. 29. Every one who work- III. 3. Except a man be beeth tighteousness, is begotten of gotten again. God. See also jii. 9. v. 1. 5. Except a man be begot.
ten of water and of the Spirit. III. 1. Behold how great
I. 12. To them he gave love the Father hath bestowed power to become the sons of on us, that we should be called God, even to them who believe the sons of God!
on his name. III. 2. We shall be like XVII. 24. Be with him, for we shall see him as he where I am, that they may is.
behold my glory, III. 8. He who worketh fin VIII. 44. Ye are of your is of the devil; for the devil father the devil-He was a Anneth from the beginning,
murderer from the beginning.
III. 13. Da
III. 13. Do not wonder, my XV. 20. If they have perse. brethren, that the world hateth cuted me, they will also peryou.
IV. 9. By this the love of III. 16. God so loved the God was manifefted, that God world, that he gave his only sent his Son, the only begotten, begotten Son, that whosoever into the world, that we might believeth on him might not live through him.
perish, but have everlasting
life. IV. 12. No man hath seen I. 18. No man hath feen God at any time.
God at any time. V. 13. These things I have XX.31. These things are writwritten to you who believe on ten that ye might believe that the name of the Son of God, Jesus is the Christ the Son of that ye may know that ye have God, and that believing 'ye eternal life, and that ye may might have life through his believe on the name of the Son of God.
y, 14. If we ask any thing XIV. 14. If ye shall ask any according to his will, he heareth thing in my name, I will do US:
it. V. 29. The son of God is XVII, 2. Thou hast given come, and hath given us an un- him power over all flesh, that derstanding, that we may know he might give eternal life to as him that is true, and we are many as thou hast given him, in him that is true, even in his 3. And this is the eternal life, Son Jesus Christ. This is the that they might know thee the true God, and eternal life. only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom thou hast sent.
From the above comparison of the first epistle of John with his gospel, there appears such an exact agreement of sentiment in the two writings, that no reader who is capable of discerning what is peculiar in an author's turn of thinking, can entertain the least doubt of their being the productions of one and the fame writer. Farther, since John hath not mentioned his own name in his gospel, the want of his name in the epistle, is no proof that it was not writtten by him ; but rather a presumption