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Nero, and pleaded before bim. But St. Luke forbore to give a distinct account of it, because he had already given a particular account of Paul's pleadings before Felix and Festus, and Agrippa; and from them may be concluded wbat was the tenor of his apology before the emperor himself.
6.) St. Paul, in his epistle to the christians at Rome, says, cb, i. 11, “ I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.” And ch. xv, 29, “I am sure, that when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” And unquestionably, the event was agreeable to these wishes and expectations.
7.) St. Luke has not particularly recorded these things in his history : but from what he bas said they may be inferred. Says our bistorian, Acts xxviii. 13—16, “And we came the next day to Puteoli. Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren beard of us, they came to meet us, as far as Appii Forum, and the Three Taveros. Wbom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. But Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him.” And ver. 30, “ Paul dwelt two whole years in his own bired house."
8.) From the things here said it may be fairly concluded, that during the apostle's stay at Rome, there was a very delightful communication of civil and religious offices between him and the believers there, according to the abilities and the exigences of each. Before he left Rome, the Philippians seem to have sent him a supply by Epaphroditus, Philip. iv. 10–18. But it may be well supposed, that the price of bis lodging, and the expenses of his maintenance, were provided for, chiefly, by the cbristjans, whom he found at Rome, when he came ibither, and by the converts which he made afterwards. The soldiers, likewise, who by turns attended upon him, would expect to be considered, if they carried it civilly toward their prisoner. All which, we may suppose, was taken care of by the good christians at Rome, who, as St. Luke assures us, went out to meet him, and conducted bim into the city.
ST. JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST.
I. His history from the N. T. II. His age. III. When
he left Judea, to go to Ephesus. IV. His history from ecclesiastical writers. V. The time when he was banished into Patmos. VI. How long he was there. VII. Testimonies of ancient writers to his gospel. VIII. Opinions of learned moderns concerning the time when this gospel was written. IX. An argument, to prove that it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. X. Objections considered. XI. Observations upon this gospel.
I. JOHN was the son of Zebedee a fisherman upon the sea of Galilee, probably a of the town of Bethsaida, and SaJome. Jobn was the younger brother: for James is always c mentioned first, except in Luke ix. 28, and John is generally reckoned the youngest of all Christ's disciples. · Though Zebedee was by trade a fisherman, he needs not be reckoned poor : for, as St. Mark has particularly observed, he was not only master of a boat, and nets, but had “ hired servants," ch. i. 20. Moreover, we may recollect what Peter said to Christ, who also had been a fisherman upon the same sea : “ We have left all, and followed thee,” Matt. xix. 27. They left their employments, by which they gained a subsistence : and for the present there was selfdenial in their attendance upon Jesus.. - It is not unlikely, that Zebedee died not long after these two brothers were called to be apostles. However, the circumstances of the family may be collected from what is said of their mother, who is mentioned, Matt. xxvii. 55, and Mark xv, 40, among “ those women, who followed Jesus out of Galilee, and ministered unto bim.” That ministry is described, Luke viii. 3. To which might be added, that . a Zebedæum gente Galilæum fuisse, ex loco commorationis circa lacum Gennesareth, suspicamur. Incertius autem, Bethsaïdensem pronuntiare, ut plerique faciunt; cum id nitatur tantum testimonio evangelii, sociis Andrea ac Petro hoc oppidum adsignantis. Neque tamen argumenta ad manus sunt, quibus vulgatam hanc opinionem impugnemus. Lampe, Prolegom. in Johan. she is mentioned among those women that bought sweet spices to embalm the body of Jesus, Mark xvi. 1; Luke xxiii. 55. And our Lord, having recommended bis mother to this disciple, it is said, tbat “ be took her to his own home,” John xix. 27.
o Compare Matt. xxvii. 56, with Mark xv. 40, and xvi. 1. . c So Matt. iv. 21; ch. x. 2; Mark i. 19; ch. iii, 17; ch. x. 35; Luke v. 10; Acts i. 13.
If Salome was related to our Lord in the manner supposed by a Theophylact, or some other way, with which we are not distinctly acquainted, that may have been, in part, the ground and reason of several things mentioned in the gospels, as the petition of these two brothers, disciples, for the first two places in Christ's kingdom: John's being the beloved disciple, and friend of Jesus, and being admitted to some freedoms denied to the rest: and, possibly, perform‘ing some offices about bis person : and, finally, our Lord's committing to him the care of bis mother, so long as she should survive bim.
In Acts iv, 13, it is said of Peter and John, that they were ignorant and unlearned men. Which, indeed, is nothing else, but that they were neither f doctors por magistrates, but men of private stations, who had not been educated in the schools of the Rabbies : or, as Dr. Dod. dridge bas happily translated this text, illiterate men, and in private stations of life. So Ecumenius says, that s St. John in sending a letter to Gaius had Paul for an example, who wrote to Timothy, and Titus, and to Philemon, an idiot : that is, a man of a private station: whereas Timothy and Titus bad a public character in the church, as they were evangelists."
There can be no doubt, that Zebedee's sons, as the children of all pious Jews at that time, were well acquainted with the scriptures of the Old Testament. They had read them, and had heard them read and explained in the synagogues. They had also been accustomed to go to Jerusalem at the feasts, and had discoursed with many upon the
See this Vol. p. 160. e Opus scilicet erat ipsi aliquo, quem interdum ad matrem mitteret, (quod non ita raro factum esse, facile intelligitur,) quo uteretur ad lavandos sibi pedes, ad induendos sibi et exuendos calceos, [vid. Matt. iii. 11; Marc. i. 8; Luc. iii. 16; Joan. i. 27.] qui sibi præsto esset ad mandata subita, qui in cubiculo sibi adjaceret dormienti, qui alia sibi præstaret minuta officiola domestica, qui propterea perpetuus sibi esset pedissequus, nec nisi jussus ab ipso recederet. Heuman. Diss. Syll. tom. II. p. 338.
Aypapuatou, sine literis ;' id est, non versati in doctrinis thalmudicis, quales illiterati Hebræis. Nam scripturas sacras apostoli et legerant, et memoriâ tenebant. Kai idiwrat. Idiotæ sunt Hebræis qui neque magistratus sunt, neque legisperiti. Grot. in loc.
8 Προς δε Γαϊον ένα γραφων εχει Παυλον Τιτη γραφοντα και Τιμοθεο, και a poc Didmuova de idiwrnv. Ecum. T. II. p. 606. C.
thing's of religion. They now were in expectation of the appearing of the Messiah, foretold in the law and the prophets : but, undoubtedly, were in the common prejudice of the nation, that it would be, in part at least, a worldly kingdom. And it is very likely, that they had heard John preach : though they did not attend statedly upon him as his disciples : for all the people of Judea, in general, went to John's baptism.
Says St. John, i. 35, 36, Again, the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God From ver. 40, we learn, that one of these two, whicb, heard John speak, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. And h some have supposed, that our evangelist, who writes this, was the other : wbich I do not look upon as certain, though I do not deny it. ' .
Whether the other was John, or not, it ought to be reckoned unquestioned, that before he was called to be an apostle, he had seen and heard the Lord Jesus, and had been witness of some miracles wrought by bim. It appears to me very probable, that' he was one of the disciples, who were present at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, where water was made wine. John ii. 1–11.
The call of James and John, to attend upon Jesus statedly, is related, Matt. iv. 21, 22; Mark i. 19, 20; Luke v. 1-10.
St. Mark, putting down the names of the twelve apostles, when he mentions James and John, says, that our Lord “ surnamed them Boanerges, which is, sons of thunder,” ch. ii. 17. By wbich it seems unreasonable to suppose that our Lord intended to reproach tbem with some fault in their natural temper, as if they were fierce and furious : thougb k a learned writer bas intimated so much. That! name must bave been very honourable, prophetically representing the resolution and courage with which they would openly and boldly declare the great truths of the gospel, when fully acquainted with them. How John answered this character, we know froin wbat is said of him in the
Ducrum alter ver. 41. nominatur. Alter videtur ipse evangelista noster fuisse, uti visum in vitâ ejus. Lib. I. cap. 2. Lampe, in Joh. cap. i. ver. 35, 36.
i However, Basnage disputes this. Neque probabile admodum, Joannem his interfuisse nuptiis. Quod si concederetur, &c. Basn. ann. 30. num. xxxviii.
k • However it was, our Lord, I doubt not, • herein had respect to the furious and resolute disposition of those two bro• thers, who seem to have been of a more fierce and fiery temper than the • rest of the apostles.' Cave's Life of St. James the Great, num. 5. p. 142.
| Vid. Fr. Lamp. Prolegom. 1. i. cap. 2. num. vii. xv. VOL. v.
book of the Acts, and from his own writings, and from thing's recorded of bim in ecclesiastical bistory. How well James, the other brother, answered that character, may be concluded from his being beheaded by Herod Agrippa at Jerusalem, not many years after our Lord's ascension. Wbich, we cannot doubt, was owing to an open and stedfast testimony to the resurrection of Jesus, and to other services for the church : whereby he had greatly signalized himself in the short period of his life after our. Lord's ascension. Possibly m he had, with a freedom, not a little offensive, spoken of the calamities coming upon the Jewish people, if they did not repent, and believe in Jesus as the Cbrist: as also John the Baptist bad declared in his preaching, Matt. ji, 7-12; Luke ij. 17; and Stephen in bis, Acts vi. 13, 14. James " was the first martyr. for Cbrist among the apostles; and bids fair for obtaining his petition, in a higher sense than it was first intended, of “sitting on the right hand or the left band of Christ in his kingdom.” And the other brother, surviving all the other apostles, bore the longest testimony to the truth of the gospel.. .
This account of that name is agreeable o to what Grotius m Accedit altera ratio, quæ eos adhuc proprius spectabat, nempe quod in scopo ministerii sui præ cæteris apostolis Baptistæ similes futuri. Nempe sicut Baptista in eo totus erat, ut per tonitru præconii sui judicium jam tum Judæis imminens indicaret et averteret ; ita et ministerium fratrum horum potissimum ad Judæos spectaturum erat. Jacobus quidem eâ fini post adscensionem Domini nunquam, quod scimus, ab Hierosolymâ discessit, donec pro fide martyrium suhiret. Hoc vero ei evenisse, quam maxime probabile est, quia invidiosa præ cæteris ejus concio fuit, periculum instans incredulorum ex Judæis omni datâ occasione ingeminans, &c. Lamp. ib. I. i. cap. 2. num. xv.
* It has long been the general opinion of the people of Spain, that this James, the son of Zebedee, planted the gospel in that country. Gaspar Sanctius, a learned Spanish Jesuit, wrote a treatise in defence of it, beside what he says in his Commentary upon the Acts of the Apostles. But it is inconsistent with the history in the Acts: none of the apostles left Judea so soon; nor is this opinion founded on the testimony of any ancient writers of good credit; and it is now generally given up, even by Popish writers. Vid. Baron. A. D. 41. num. i. Tillemont, S. Jaques Le Majeur, et note vi. Mem, Ec. tom. I. I transcribe here the judgment of Estius. Deinde, quando occisus est, vixdum ceperat evangelium gentibus prædicari, ut ex præcedenti. bus et sequentibus patet. Nec dum apostoli dispersi erant in remotas gentes; sed ejus rei commodum tempus expectabant. Denique nullus scriptor antiquus certæ fidei refert, Jacobum Hispanias vidisse. Est. in Act. Ap. Cap. xii. ver. 2.--Vid. et Basnag. ann. 44. num. iv, v. et Dictionnaire de Moreri, S. Jaques Le Majeur.
• Omnino mihi videtur Christus, in hujus nominis impositione, respexisse ad Aggæi vaticinium, cap. ii. 7.-quod de evangelii prædicatione exponit scriptor ad Hebræos, xii. 26. Ad hanc ergo maximam rerum mutationem significat Christus, Zebedæi filios eximios sibi ministros fore. Et certe destinatam illis excellentiam quandam inter ipsos apostolos vel hoc ostendit, quod cum Petro seorsim a cæteris multarum rerum testes sunt assumti. Adde jam