Page images


Ch. 24. 28 sages relating to himself. When they came near

the village, whither they were travelling, he seemed 29 as intending to go fariher. But they constrained

him, saying, Abide with us; for it groweth late,

and the day is far spent. And he went in to abide 30 with them. While they were at table together, he

took the loaf, and blessed and broke it, and distri31 buted to them. Then their eyes were opened, and 32 they knew him ; and he disappeared. And they

said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within
us, while he talked with us on the road, and ex-

pounded to us the Scriptures ?
33 Immediately they arose, and returned to Jeru-

salem, where they found the eleven, and the rest of 34 their company, assembled, who said, The Master

is actually risen, and hath appeared unto Simon. 35 These also recounted what had happened on the

road, and how he was discovered to them in break

ing the loaf. 36 While they discoursed in this manner, Jesus stood Mar. 16; 14.

Jo. 20; 19 in the midst of them, and said, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were amazed and affrighted, imagining 38 that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, Why

are ye alarmed? And wherefore do suspicions arise 39 in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet;

it is I myself; handle me and be convinced ; for

a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. 40 Saying this, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 While yet they believednot, for joy and amazement,

he said to them, Have ye here any thing to eat ? 42 And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a

CH. 24.


43 honey-comb, which he took andate in their presence. 44 And he said to them, This is what I told you while

I remained with you, that all the things which are written concerning me, in the law of Moses, and

the Prophets, and the Psalms, must be accomplish45 ed. Then he opened their minds, that they might un46 derstand the Scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is

written, and thus it behoved the Messiah to suffer, 47 and 'to rise from the dead the third day; and that

reformation, and the remission of sins should be

proclaimed in his name among all nations, beginActs, 1; 8. 48 ning at Jerusalem. Now ye are witnesses of these . ; 26 Acts, 1; 4. 49 things; and behold I send you that which


Father hath promised; but continue ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be invested with power

from above.

50 He then led them out as far as Bethany, and Mar. 16; 19. 51 lifted up his hands and blessed them. And while Acts, 1; 9.

he was blessing them, he was parted from them, 52 and carried up into heaven. And having worship53 ped him, they returned to Jerusalem with great

joy; and were constantly in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.




That the Apostle John, a fisherman of Bethsaida in Galilee, the beloved disciple, the

younger brother of James called the greater or elder (there being two Apostles of the name) and son of Zebedee by Salome ' his wife, one of the three most favoured Apostles, and who, with his brother James, on account of their zeal in their Master's service, were honoured with the title Boanerges, or Sons of Thunder, was, in the order of time, the last of the Evangelists, is manifest from the uniform voice of Christian antiquity. There are evident references to this Gospel, though without naming the author, in some Epistles of Ignatius, the authenticity of which is stre. nuously maintained by Bishop Pearson, and other critics of name.

1 Compare Matth. xxvii. 55. with Mar. xv. 40.



2. The precise time when this Gospel was written has not been ascertained. The most probable opinion seems to be, that it was after John's return from exile in the isle of Patmos, whither, as we learn from himself, he had been banished for the word of God and testimony of Jesus ?. This probably happened in the persecution under the emperor Domi- . tian. It was in that island where God made those revelations to him, which were collected by him into a book, thence called the Apocalypse or Revelation. The last of his works is thought to have been his Gospel, which the entreaties of the Christian people, and pastors of Ephesus, and of other parts of Asia Minor, where he had his residence in the latter part of his life, prevailed on him to undertake. If so, it must have been towards the close of the first century when this Gospel first appeared in the church, and it was in the beginning of the second, when the above-mentioned Ignatius wrote his Epistles. There are also in Justin Martyr, both references to this Gospel, and quotations from it, though without naming the author. Tatian took notice of this Evangelist by name, and used his Gospel along with the rest in composing his Diatessaron. I need scarcely mention the notice that is taken of it in the Epistle of the churches of Vienne and Lyons, or by Irenæus, who names all the Evangelists, specifying something peculiar to every one of them whereby he may be distinguished from the rest.


I might

2 Rev. i. 9.

add Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and the whole current of succeeding ecclesiastical writers.


§ 3. The account which Irenæus gives of the occasion of writing this Gospel is as follows 3 : “ John, " desirous to extirpate the errors sown in the minds “ of men by Cerinthus, and sometime before by “ those called Nicolaitans, published his Gospel, “ wherein he acquaints us that there is one God who “ made all things by his word; and not, as they

say, one who is the Creator of the world, and “ another who is the Father of the Lord; one the « Son of the Creator, and another the Christ from “ the supercelestial abodes, who descended upon “ Jesus, the Son of the Creator, but remained im

passible, and afterwards flew back into his own “ pleroma or fulness.”. Again,

" This disciple, therefore, willing at once to cut off these errors, " and establish a rule of truth in the church, de“ clares that there is one God Almighty who, by “ his word, made all things visible and invisible; “ and that by the same word, by which God finish" ed the work of creation, he bestowed salvation upon

men who inhabit the creation. With this doc“ trine he ushers in his Gospel, In the beginning

was the word,&c. This testimony is of great antiquity, having been given in less than a century after the publication of the Gospel. As Irenæus,

3 Advers. Hæres. lib. iii. cap. 11.

« PreviousContinue »