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| were mostly for the use of converts from Judaism, with whom the
church in the beginning chiefly abounded. But towards the end of the first century, the reception of this doctrine, particularly in Greece, Asia Minor, and those places which had been most favored with the teaching of Paul, becaine much more general among the Gentiles who knew little or nothing of Jewish ceremonies. That the writer of this Gospel had such disciples chiefly in view, is very plain to every reader of discernment.
8. Though simplicity of manner is common to all our Lord's historians, there are evident differences in the simplicity of one compared with that of another. One thing very remarkable in John's style, is an attempt to impress important truths more strongly on the minds of the readers, by employing, in the expression of them, both an affirmative preposition and a negative. Thus: “ All things were made by it (the Word); and without it not a single creature was inade," ch. 1: 3. “ He acknowledged and denied not, but acknowledged," ch. 1: 20. Pleonasms are very frequent in this Gospel : “ This man came as a witness to testify concerning the light," ch. 1: 7; tautologies also, and repetitions. Thus it follows : “ He was not the light, but came to testify concerning the light," ch. 1:8. Again, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. This was in the beginning with God,” ch. 1: 2. See also the verses marked in the margin. *
9. Hebraisms are to be found in all the evangelists; though it may be remarked, that some abound more with one sort of Hebraism, and others with another. A Hebrew idiom, very frequent with this writer, is the repetition or introduction of the personal pronoun in cases wherein it is perfectly redundant. Thus, ch. 1: 33, 'Eq ön äv ions to avườua natapaivov xui dévov in' aŭtov, literally, On whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him. And, ch. 1: 27,'Ov dyooux ciui õčios iva dúow avrou zov iuávia toũ únodńuaros. Here both the pronouns ou and autou are employed in relation to the same person, an idiom which it is hardly possible to express intelligibly in a modern language. As to other particularities in this writer, I shall only observe, that the conjunction xai is not so frequently used by John for coupling sentences as by the rest. The introduction of any incident with the phrase xai šyéveto, generally rendered in the common translation and it came to pass, in which the verb is used impersonally, though common in the other Gospels, never occurs in this.
10. The introduction of either facts or observations by the adverb idov, behold, is much rarer in this Gospel than in the rest. But in the change (or, as rhetoricians term it, enallage) of the tenses, so frequent with the Hebrews, Joho abounds more than any
* John 1: 15, 26, 27, 30, 31, 33.
other of our Lord's biographers. He is peculiar in the application of some names, as of ó lógos, the word, and ó povoyevns, the only begotten, to the Lord Jesus Christ ; and of ó napáxintos, the monitor, or, as some render it, the advocate, and others, the comforter, to the Holy Spirit. He is peculiar also in some modes of expression, which, though inconsiderable in themselves, it may not be improper to suggest in passing. Such is his reduplication of the affir(native verb 'Auñv ; for he always says, 'Aunin auny déyw upīv, Verily, verily, I say unto you. It is never used but singly by the rest. Upon the whole, John's style is thought to be more idiomatical, and less conformable to the syntactic order, than that of any other writer in the N. Testament. There is none whose manner more bespeaks an author destitute of the advantages which result from letters and education.
-11. It is manifestly not without design that he commonly passes over those passages of our Lord's history and teaching which had been treated at large by the other evangelists, or, if he touches them at all, he touches them but sligbtly ; whilst he records many miracles which had been overlooked by the rest, and expatiates on the sublime doctrines of the pre-existence, the divinity, and the incarnation of the Word, the great ends of his mission, and the bles, sings of his purchase. One of the most remarkable passages of our Lord's history, related by all the evangelists except John, is the celebrated prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish temple, and State, about forty years before it happened. The three other historians published it before the accomplishment, when their narratives could answer two purposes of the utınost importance: one was, to prove in due time, to impartial inquirers, an irrefragable evidence of our Lord's mission; the other, to serve to his disciples not only for the confirmation of their faith, but as a warning how to conduct themselves when the signs of an immediate completion should appear. Now neither of these purposes could be answered by the account of a prediction not written till after its accomplishment, when it might be speciously objected, if conformable, that the terms of the prediction were adjusted to the events; and as a warning, every body must see that it was too late to warn when the danger was past. Providence has disposed matters infinitely better, producing Christians who had the best opportunity to know what their Master predicted, to attest the prophecy many years before there was the remotest appearance of its completion, and a Jewish witness, not a friend but an enemy to Christianity, to attest its fulbilment. Such was the historian Josephus, who probably knew nothing of the prediction, but had the best opportunity of knowing circumstantially what was accomplished by the Roinans, and who, by his faithful and accurate narrative of the facts, has unintentionally rendered an eminent service to the Christian cause. He has 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. At 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 made it still 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 10 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 itself 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 Jobn 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 ; tbis 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 bints 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 siinplicity 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 or 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 feeling heart, his respectful tenderness for a worthy parent, and bis 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 1.-THE INCARNATION.
Col. 1. 16.
Mar. 1. 2.
12 the words in the lightenech The true the light
1 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with 2 God, and the Word was God. This was in the begioning 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 mnen. And the light shone in darkness; but the darkness ad
mitted it not. Matt. 3. 1. 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 bim,
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 his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of 15 the Father), full of grace and truth. (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 be was before 16 me.") or 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 bath
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 himn : Who then ? 22 Art thou Elijah ? He said : I am not. Art thou the pro