« AnteriorContinuar »
shown the exact conformity of those then recent and terrible transactions which he had witnessed, to what our Lord had foretold, and his evangelists recorded, at a time when there was not the shadow of any revolution, much less of such a total overthrow of the country. For an example, on the contrary, of a fact related by John, but omitted by all the rest, the most striking by far is the resurrection of Lazarus, than which none of our Lord's miracles was greater in itself, or more signalized by the attendant circumstances. first it appears astonishing, that an action so illustrious as the resuscitation of a man who had been four days dead and buried, the most public too, in what may be called a suburb of the capital, in open day, the spectators numerous, as the paschal solemnity approached, which always drew an immense concourse to Jerusalem, and (which
more remarkable) a little before Christ's crucifixion ; circumstances so impressive as to render it morally impossible that a fact so memorable should have escaped any Christian historian of the time. But how happily does the circumstance remarked by Grotius, as suggested in the sequel of this evangelist's narrative, remove every appearance of negligence in the sacred penmen, and account in the most rational manner for the profound silence they had observed on this article! “A great number of the Jews,” says John, ch. 12: 9–11," knowing that Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Lazarus, flocked thither, not on account of Jesus only, but likewise to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. The chief priests, therefore, determined to kill Lazarus also; because he proved the occasion that many Jews forsook them, and believed on Jesus.” Consequently, to publish this miracle whilst Lazarus and his sisters lived in the vicinity of Jerusalem, was to set up that worthy family as marks to the malice, not of the chief priests only, but of all the enemies of the Christian name. If we may credit tradition, Lazarus lived after this resurrection thirty years. Within less than twenty, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, published their Gospels. But it was thirty-two years at least, and consequently after the death of Lazarus, that John wrote his Gospel. I subjoin an observation on the suppression of a small circumstance in another passage, which is similarly accounted for, and deserves notice, because the similarity itsell is a presumption of the justness of the account in the solution of both. It has been observed that all the four mention, that in the slight attempt to resist, when Jesus was apprehended, the high-priest's servant had an ear cut off, but John alone acquaints us that the disciple who did this was Simon Peter. The fact must have been well known to them all : but the other Gospels were written in Peter's lifetime; this alone after his death, when the mention of that circumstance could nowise hurt him. The uniformity of this caution in the sacred writers appearing in different instances, renders the justness of the reasons assigned the more probable. I may add, that, from circumstances which to a superficial view seem to add improbability to a narrative, there arises sometimes, when nearly inspected, additional presumptive evidence of its truth. There is also in these hints what may serve to confirm the traditions and early accounts we have both of the writers of the Gospels and of the time of their composition. This Gospel may be truly said to interfere less with the rest, than these do with one another : in consequence of which, if its testimony cannot often be pleaded in confirmation of theirs, neither is it liable to be urged in contradiction. It is remarkable also, that though this evangelist appears, more than any of them, to excel in that artless simplicity which is scarcely compatible with the subtlety of disputation, we have in his work a fuller display of the evidences of our religion, on the footing on which it then stood, than in all the rest put together.
15. Here we have also the true sources of Christian consolation under persecution, and the strongest motives to faith, patience, constancy, and mutual love, in every situation wherein Providence may place us. From the incidents here related, we may learn many excellent lessons of modesty, humility, and kind attention to the concerns of others. Nor does any one of these incidents appear to be more fraught with instruction than the charge of his mother, which our blessed Lord, at that critical time when he hung in agony upon the cross, consigned to his beloved disciple ; John 19: 25, etc. Though the passage is very brief, and destitute of all artful coloring, nothing can impress more strongly on the seeling heart, his respectful tenderness for a worthy parent, and his unalterable affection for a faithful friend. Upon the whole, the language employed in conveying the sentiments is no more than the repository, the case. Let not its homeliness discourage any one from examining its invaluable contents. The treasure itself is heavenly, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, which the apostle observes, 2 Cor. 4: 7, to be committed “to earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may,” to the conviction of all the sober-minded, be of God, and not of men.”
13. The apostle John, by the concurrent testimony of all Christian antiquity, after suffering persecution for the cause of Christ, lived to a very great age, and having survived all the other apostles, died a natural death at Ephesus in Asia Minor, in the reign of the emperor Trajan.
GOSPEL BY ST. JOHN.
SECTION I.-THE INCARNATION.
Col. 1. 16.
Matt. 3. 1.
1 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with 2 God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with 3 God. All things were made by it, and without it not a single 4 creature was made. In it was life, and the life was the light of 5 men. And the light shone in darkness ; but the darkness ad
mitted it not. 6. A man named John was sent from God. This man came as
a witness to testify concerning the light, that through him all 8 might believe. He was not himself the light, but came to tes
tify concerning the light. The true light was he who, coming
into the world, enlighteneth every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him; yet 11 the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his 12 family did not receive him ; but to as many as received him,
believing in his name, he granted the privilege of being chil13 dren of God, who derive their birth not from blood, nor from
the desire of the flesh, nor from the will of man, but from God. Matt. 1. 16. 14 And the Word became incarnate, and sojourned amongst us,
(and we beheld bis glory, the glory as of the only begotten of 15 the Father), full of grace and iruth. (It was concerning him
John testified, when he cried, “This is he of whom I said, He
that cometh after me is preferred to me; for he was before 16 me.”) of his fulness we all have received, even grace for his 17 grace; for the law was given by Moses, the grace and the truth 18 came by Jesus Christ. No one ever saw God: it is the only
begotten Son, that is in the bosom of the Father, who hath
made him known. 19 NOW this is the testimony of John. When the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him : Who art thou ? 20 he acknowledged and denied not, but acknowledged, saying: 21 I am not the Messiah. And they asked him : Who ihen ? 22 Art thou Elijah? He said : I am not. Art thou the pro
Lu. 2. 7.
Ti. 6. 16.
Isa. 40. 3
phet? He answered: No. They said : Tell then who thou 23 art, that we may return an answer to them who sent us. What Matt. 3. 3.
sayest thou of thyself? He answered: I am he whose voice Lu. 3. 4.
proclaimeth in the wilderness, “ Make straight the way of the 24 Lord,”* as said the prophet Isaiah. Now they who were sent 25 were of the Pharisees : and they questioned him further : Why 26 then dost thou baptize, if thou be not the Messiah, nor Elijah, Matt. 3. 11.
nor the prophet? John answered : I baptize in water, but Lu. 3. 16. 27 there is one amongst you whom ye know not. It is he who Actes 1.5.
cometh after me, and was before me, whose shoe-latchet I am & 19: 4. 28 not worthy to loose. This happened at Bethany, upon the Jor
dan, where John was baptizing. 29 On the morrow John seeth Jesus coming to him, and saith :
Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the 30 world. This is he concerning whom I said, " Aster me cometh 31 a man who is preferred to me; for he was before me.' As for
me, I knew him not; but to the end that he may be discovered 32 to Israel, I am come baptizing in water. John testified further, Matt. 3. 16.
saying : I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, Lu. 3. 22. 33 and remaining upon him. For iny part, I should not have
known him, had not he who sent me to baptize in water told me, • Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending and
remaining, the same is he who baptizeth in the Holy Ghost.' 34 Having therefore seen this, I testify that he is the Son of God. 35. The next day Jolin being with two of his disciples, observed 37 Jesus passing, and said : Behold the Lamb of God. The two 38 disciples hearing this, followed Jesus. And Jesus turning about 39 saw them following, and said to them, What seek ye? They
answered : Rabbi, (which signifieth Doctor), Where dwellest 40 thou? He replied: Come and see. They went and saw
where he dwelt; and it being about the tenth hour,t abode 41 with him that day. One of the two who, having heard John, 42 followed Jesus, was Andrew the brother of Simon Peter. The
first he met was his own brother Simon, to whom he said : We 43 have found the Messiah, I (a name equivalent to Christ). And
he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looking upon him, said : Thou art Simon, the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas,
which denoteth the same as Peter. 44 The next day Jesus resolved to go to Galilee, and meeting 45 Philip, said to him: Follow me. Now Philip was of Beth46 saida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip meeteth Nathan
ael, and saith unto him: We have found the person described Gen: 49:2108 by Moses in the law and by the prophets, Jesus the son of Jer. 23. 5.
| Anointed. VOL. II.
# Four o'clock afternoon.
47 Joseph, from Nazareth. Nathanael saith unto him : Out of
Nazareth can any good thing coine ? Philip answered : Come, 48 and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to bim, and said con
cerning him : Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. 49 Nathanael said unto him: Whence knowest thou me? Jesus
answered : I saw thee when thou wast under the fig-tree, be50 fore Philip called thee. Nathanael replying, said unto him:
Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 51 Jesus answered him, saying: Because I told thee that saw
thee under the fig-tree, thou believest : thou shalt see greater 52 things than this. He added: Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the messengers of God ascending from the Son of man, and descending to him.
SECTION 11.-THE ENTRANCE ON THE MINISTRY.
11. THREE days after, there was a marriage in Cana of Gal
2 ilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also and his 3 disciples, were invited to the marriage. The wine falling short, 4 the mother of Jesus said to him: They have no wine. Jesus
answered : Woman, what hast thou to do with me? My time 5 is not yet come. His mother said to the servants : Do whatev6 er he shall bid you. Now there were six water-pots of stone,
containing two or three baths* apiece, placed there for the Jew7 ish rites of cleansing. Jesus said to them: Fill the pots with 8 water. And they filled them to the brim. Then he said : Draw 9 now, and carry to the director of the feast. And they did so.
When the director of the feast had tasted the wine made of wa
ter, not knowing whence it was, (but the servants who drew the 10 water knew), he said, addressing the bridegroom : Every body
presenteth the best wine first, and the worse wine afterwards,
when the guests have drunk largely; but thou hast reserved the 11 best until now. The first miracle Jesus wrought in Cana of
Galilee, displaying his glory: and his disciples believed on him. 12
Afterwards he went to Capernaum, he and his mother, and his brothers, and his disciples; but they stayed not there many
days. 13 AND the Jewish passover being nigh, Jesus went to Jeru14 salem; and finding changers sitting in the temple, and people 15 who sold caule, and sheep, and doves, he made a whip of cords,
and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the
cattle, scattering the coin of the changers, and oversetting their 36 tables ; and said to them who sold doves : Take these things
* A bath contained about 7 gallons.