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Patmos, the former in the reign of Claudius, the latter in the reign of Nero: consequently 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, according 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.

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 salutation is sent to him in any of the epistles which Paul wrote from Rome to the churches of Asia, not even in his epistle to the Ephesians, nor in the epistles which in the latter part of his life 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 Jerusalem, till he saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies, and observed the other signs of its aproaching 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 Asia, Cave, Basnage, and Lardner, conjecture that she died before John left Judea.

The other particulars, said 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 Asia, he will find the passages of their writings, in which these things are mentioned, quoted by Lardner, Canon, vol. 1. beginning at page 349.

SECTION II.

Of the Authenticity of the First Epistle of John. The authenticity of any ancient writing is established, 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 similarity 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 epistle shall be laid before the reader in the preface to the second epistle, seçt. I. by shewing that the earliest and best Christian writers, have all with one consent, 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 entertained 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 expressions found in the gospel, which all Christians from the beginning, have acknowledged to be the work of John the apostle.

EPISTLE.

GOSPEL. CHAP. I. 1. That which Chap. I. 1. In the beginning was from the beginning- edad

was the word. 14. And, etGauild, which we have contem- bauela, we beheld his glory. plated-concerning the living 4. In him was life. word.

14. The word was made flesh. II. 5. Whosoever keepeth XIV. 23. If a man love me, his word, truly in that man the he will keep my words, and my love of God is perfected. Father will love him.

II. 6. He who saith he a- XV. 4. Abide in me and I bideth in him, ought himself al- in you. As the branch cannot so so to walk, even as he walk- bring forth fruit of itself, exed. See chap. iii. 24. iv. 13. cept it abide in the vine, no 16.

more can ye, except ye abide

in me.

II. 8. I write to you a new

XIII. 34. A new coinmandcommandment.

ment I give to you, III. 11. This is the mes- that ye love one another as sage which

ye

have heard from I have loved you. the beginning, that we should love one another.

II. 8. The darkness pass- I. 5. The light shineth in eth away, and the light which darkness. is true, now shineth.

9. That was the true light. 10. Abideth in the light, and XI. 10. If a man walk in the there is no stumbling-block to night, he stumbleth, because him.

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. hast sent.

II. 29. Every one who work- III. 3. Except a man be beeth righteousness, is begotten gotten again. of God. See also iii. 9. v. 1. 5. Except a man be begotten

of water and of the Spirit. III. I, Behold how great

1. 12. To them he gave pow. love the Father hath bestowed er to become the sons of God, on us, that we should be called even to them who believe on the sons of God!

his name.

was a

III. 2. We shall be like him, XVII. 24. Be with me for we shall see him as he is. where I am, that they may be

hold my glory. III. 8. He who worketh sin VIII. 44. Ye are of your is of the devil; for the devil sin- father the devil-He neth from the beginning. murderer from the beginning.

III. 13. Do not wonder, my XV. 20. If they have persebrethren, that the world hateth cuted me, they will also peryou.

secute you. IV. 9. By this the love of III. 16. God so loved the God was manifested, 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 himn.

perish, but have everlasting

life. IV. 12. No man hath seen I. 18. No man hath seen 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 name. of God.

14. If we ask any thing XIV. 14. If ye shall ask any according to his will, he hear thing in my name, I will do eth us.

it. V. 20. 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 in many as thou hast given him, him that is truc, even in his Son 3. And this is the eternal life, Jesus Christ. This is the true that they might know thee the God, and eternal life.

only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

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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 same 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 written by him ; but rather a presumption that it is his, especially as he hath sufficiently discovered himself to be an apostle, by affirming in the beginning of the epistle, that he was an eye and ear witness, of the things which he hath written concerning the living Word.

3. The style of this epistle, being the same with the style of the gospel of John, it is, by that internal mark, likewise shewed to be his writing. In his gospel John doth not content himself with simply affirming or denying a thing, but to strengthen his affirmation he denieth its contrary. In like manner to strengthen his denial of a thing, he affirms its contrary. See John i. 20. iii. 36. v. 24. vi. 22. The same manner of expressing things strongly, is found in the epistle. For example, chap. ii. 4. He who saith I have known him, and doth not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.-Ver. 27. The same unction teacheth you concerning all things, and is truth, and is no lie.Chap. iv. 2. Every spirit, which confesseth Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh, is from God. 3. And every spirit, which doth not confess Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh, is not from God.

In his gospel likewise, John, to express things emphatically, frequently uses the demonstrative pronoun, This.-Chap. i. 19. Auth, This is the testimony.-iii. 19. Avgn, This is the condemnation, that light, &c. vi. 29. Txto, This is the work of God.ver. 40. Toto, This is the will of him.-ver. 50. 'Ouros, This ist he bread which came down from heaven.xvii. 3. Avon, This is the life eternal.- In the epistle, the same emphatical manner of expression is found, chap. i. 5. ii. 25.-This is the promise.- i. 23. Aurn, This is his commandment -V. 3. Autn, This is the love of God.-ver. 4. This is the victory.ver. 6. 'Outos, This is he who came by water.-ver. 14. This is the boldness which we have with him.

Such is the internal evidence, on which all Christians, from the beginning, have received tbe first epistle of John, as really written by him, and of divine authority, although his name is not mentioned in the inscription, nor in any part of the epistle,

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VOL. VI

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