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ed of by some in his time, p. 445,446. All three were received by Rufinus, p. 484, by the third council of Carthage, p. 487, by Augustine, p. 494, 510, 511, and by all those authors, who received the same canon of the New Testament that we do. They are in the Alexandrian manuscript, vol. v. p. 82. All three are also in the catalogues of Gregory Nazianzen, vol. iv. p. 287, and of Amphilochius, p. 298. But this last observes, that some received one of them only. And indeed it is acknowledged, that but one epistle of St. John is received by the Syrian churches, p. 310,312,321. Nor were any more received by Chrysostom, p. 537,548,549. Venerable Bede, near the beginning of the eighth century, in his Exposition of the second epistle, says, “Some " have ‘ thought this and the following epistle not to have been ‘written by John the apostle, but by another, a presbyter ‘ of the same name, whose sepulchre is still shown at Ephe‘sus, whom also Papias mentions in his writings. But now ‘ it is the general consent of the church, that John the ‘ apostle wrote also these two epistles : forasmuch as there * is a great agreement of doctrine and style between these ‘ and his first epistle, and there is also a like zeal against * heretics.” They who are desirous to see more quotations of ancient writers, may consult the table of principal matters in the last volume, in St. John, Catholic epistles, and Authors, who had the same canon of the N. T. with that which is now generally received : which article may be found under Canon of the scriptures of the N. T. All the three epistles are now generally received as St. John’s in these parts of the world. And with good reason, as seems to me. Said Origen : “he has also left an epis‘tle of a very few lines. Grant also a second and a ‘third.’ That is very right. One epistle was received by all, as certainly genuine. And it is not worth the while to contend about the other two, when they are so very short, and resemble the first in sentiment, phrase, and manner of writing, as is well observed by * Mill. And of the second
* Quidam putant, hanc et sequentem epistolam non esse Joannis apostoli, sed cujusdem presbyteri Joannis, cujus Sepulcrum usque hodie monstratur in Epheso. Cujus etiam Papias, auditor apostolorum, et in Hierapoli Episcopus, in opusculis Suis Saepe meminit. Sed nunc generalis ecclesiae consensus habet, quod has quoque epistolas Joannes apostolus scripserit, quia revera multam verborum et fidei similitudinem cum primâ ejus epistolà ostendunt, et simili zelo detestantur haereticos. Bed. Exp. in 2 ep. Joan.
* Epistolas autem istas habere auctorem Joannem—ex eo plane constat, quod in istis omnibus eaclem passim sint vonpara, idem genus et character dictionis. Secundae, certe oktyostya, (neque enim continet ultra tredecim versus ex hodiernis nostris) octo quidem versiculorum cum sensus, tum ipsae śmasic,
epistle, which consists of only thirteen of our verses, eight may be found in the first, either in sense or expression. The title of elder, at the beginning of these two epistles, affords no just exception. It “ is a very honourable character, well becoming John as an apostle, and now in years, residing in Asia, as superintendent of all the churches in that country. And St. Peter speaks of himself in the same character, in his epistle universally acknowledged, ch. v. 1. Dr. Heumann supposeth, that " here is a reference to St. John's great age, at the time of his writing these two epistles. And he thinks that St. John was then as well known by that title as by his name. The elder therefore is as much, as if he had said, the aged apostle. And he refers to Wolfius, and others, who had before said the same, or what is to the like purpose. The want of a name at the beginning is no objection. It is rather an argument that they are his : that being agreeable to St. John, who prefixes not his name to that epistle, which is unquestionably his. And say Beausobre and L'Enfant in their preface to the second and third epistles: ‘It is certain, that the writer of “ the third epistle speaks with an authority, which the bishop “of a particular church could not pretend to, and could ‘not suit John the elder, even supposing him to have been ‘bishop of the church of Ephesus, as the pretended apos“tolical constitutions say he was appointed by John the 6 ... For if Diotrephres was bishop of one of the ‘ churches of Asia, as is reckoned, the bishop of Ephesus “ had no right to say to him, as the writer of this epistle
exstant in epistolà primä.—Epistola autem tertia, ejusdem omnino coloris ac characteris cum secundá, per omnia Sapit Joannem apostolum. Mill. Proleg. num. 153. * Quod aliqui Joanni cuidam alteri, Presbytero
vulgo dicto, adscriptas velint has duas epistolas, ii neutiquam vident, quam fortiter contra ipsos militet illud & Trpeg|Svrépog kar’ séoxmy; quique privato homini, vel etiam episcopo, haudduāquam conveniat imo vero apostolo nostro peculiariter adaptatum et accommodatum erat: utpote qui jam plusquam nonagenarius fuerit, omnibusque provincia Asiaticae ecclesiis praesederit. Mill. Ibid. num. 153, 154. Wid.et Lamp. Prolegom, in Joan. l. i. cap. 7. num. viii. * Deinde articulo 6 docet Joannes, nomen hoc sibi cum memine commune esse, adeoque viso re Tpsogurspa titulo statim scriptorem harum literarum agnovisse.—Nihilproinderestat, quam ut statuamus, a Joanne isto titulo indicari astatem Suam provectissimam, morisque tum fuisse, eum appellitari honoris ac reverentiae causā ‘Senem, sive “Seniorem,' vel etiam ‘Senem apostolum."—Graeca proinde haec, ‘O IIpsosurepoc Taip, melius reddi Latine non possunt, quam hoc modo : Grandaevus apostolus salutem dicit Gaio.—Heuman, Comm. in Joan. Ep. iii. ap. Nov. Syllog. Diss. P. i. p. 279, 280.
‘does, ver. 10, “If I come, I will remember his deeds ‘which he does.” That language, and the visits made to ‘the churches, denote a man, who had a more general juris‘ diction, than that of a bishop, and can only suit St. John “ the apostle.” II. That may suffice for showing the genuineness of the three epistles. Let us now make some remarks upon each of them, beginning with the first. Concerning which there are two inquiries that may be proper: the time when, and the persons to whom it was written. Grotius thought this “ epistle to have been written in Patmos before the destruction of Jerusalem. Hammond and Whitby likewise were of opinion, that it was written before that great calamity befell the Jewish nation. Dr. Benson f is inclined to place it in the year of our Lord 68, of Nero 14, that is, after the Jewish war was broke out, and not long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Mill, and Le Clerc," who follows him, place this epistle in the year 91, or 92. Basnage i speaks of this epistle at the year 98, and Baronius * at the year 99. Beausobre and L'Enfant in their preface to this epistle express themselves after this manner: “Although we cannot say any thing certain con“cerning the time when St. John wrote this epistle, we * may be satisfied, that it was near the end of the first cen‘tury, when the apostle was far advanced in age.” Du Pin' says, it is not known when it was written, but most probably, near the end of the apostle's life. Mr. Whiston" thought this, and the other two epistles of St. John, to have been written not long after each other, about the year of Christ 82, or 83. Mr. Lampe " supposeth this first epistle to have been written after the Jewish war, before St. John’s . exile in Patmos, and, probably, some good while before it. Consequently, he and Mr. Whiston do not differ greatly about the time of this epistle. I must likewise say, though the exact time is not known, I am of opinion, it was not written, till after the Jewish war
* Puto autem scriptam, ut alibi dixi, ex Patmo hanc epistolam, non multo ante excidium Hierosolymitanum. Grot. Pr. in 1 Ep. Joan. * Preface to St. John's first Epistle, sect. iv. & Proleg. num. 148–150. * H. E. ann. 91. num. i. * Ann. 98. num. iv. * Ann. 99. num. vii—x. | Diss. Prelim. l. 2. ch. 2. Sect. xi. * Commentary upon St. John's three Catholic Epistles, p. 14. " Acquiescimus igitur hactenus in judicio clarissimi Ensii de Canone N. T. p. 270. Scriptae tamen creduntur Joannis epistolae ante exilium in Patmum insulam. Neque est ratio, ob quam non statueremus, eas diu ante illud tempus fuisse conscriptas. Lampe, Prol. cap. 7. num. iv. note (h).
was over. My reason is, that the arguments alleged, for proving it to have been written sooner, are not satisfactory. And in examining them, perhaps, some things may occur, affording hints of a later date. One argument is taken from ch. ii. 18, “it is the last time,” or hour: meaning, as * some interpreters think, the last hour of the Jewish state and constitution. Nevertheless, there P are learned men, who do not assent to that interpretation. Grotius himself owns, that q the phrase is sometimes used concerning the world, or mankind in general, as well as the Jews. And Mr. Lampe, who supposeth the phrase to relate to the divine judgment upon the Jewish people, says, it might be used not only at the time when it was inflicting, but also after it was accomplished. Which he supposes to be meant by those expressions, ch. ii. 8, “the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth :” though * Wolfius thinks no such thing there intended.] nd therefore, he says, he does not acquiesce in the reasons alleged by Grotius and Hammond, to prove that this epistle was written before that event. Let me add here also a part of Wall's note upon ch. ii. 18, which to me appears not amiss. “The saying of St. ‘John, “it is the last time,” is spoken as a great many such “sayings of St. Paul, and the other apostles, had been, “according to the general charge given by Christ to the * apostles, and to all other christians, to live in a continual ‘ expectation of the judgment. They that interpret it
• ‘Ultima hora’ (id est, ultimum tempus,) ubi ad Judaeos sermo est, significat tempus, proximum excidio urbis, ac templi, et reipublicae Judæorum. Grot. annot. in 1 ep. Jo. ii. 18.
P Vid. Wolff. Prolegom. in 1 ep. Joann. p. 243, 244. Conf. eund. ad i. ep. cap. ii. ver. 18. * Nomen, “horae extrema 'modo totum humanum genus respicit, modo populum Judaicum, ex quo erant apostoli, et non pauci christianorum. Grot, in loca quaedam N. T. de Antichristo: speciatim in 1 ep. Jo. cap. ii. Opp. tom. III.
* Alii maturius, autbrevi ante, aut saltem circa excidium Hierosolymitanum scriptum esse existimant, qui mobis maxime ad verisimilitudinem accedere videntur. Probabile enim est, per soxarmy úpav intelligi tempus judicii divini in Judaos, cap. ii. 18. ejusque consummationem spectare verba cap. ii. 8. Lampe, Prol. l. l. c. 7. m. iv. p. 106.
* —— Sed ‘non video, quomodo imminens illud judicium argumentum esse possit, quo apostolus ad inculcandum et urgendum amorem mutuum uti voluerit. Tenebrae omnino inferunt pristinam et Judæorum et Gentilium conditionem, per quam non solum erroribus, Sed et vitiis ita erant immersi, ut viot okorecappellari potuerint. Wolf. Curae in 1 Jo. ii. 8.
* Grotius et Hammondus ante excidium Hierosolymitanum scriptam esse suspicantur; quod tamen loca adducta non evincunt. Licet enim excidium illud in actum datum esset, dici tamen etiammum poterat, quod hora illa ultima venerit. Id. ib. note (h).
‘ otherwise, of the destruction of Jerusalem, as Grotius, and “Hammond, are forced to suppose this epistle to have been ‘written just before that destruction, about the year 69.-“Nor are St. John’s words here like those of any one ‘ that was foretelling that event : but rather of one ‘ that was speaking of the present state of the christian re“ligion.’ e Again, it is argued, that " the apostle might refer to the calamities of the Jewish people in those words, ch. ii. 17, “The world passeth away and the lust thereof.” But those are only general expressions, representing the uncertainty of all earthly things. And therefore afford not any argument, that the apostle had therein a regard to affairs in Judea. For, if he had, his expressions would have been more distinct and particular. Thirdly, an argument is also brought from ch. ii. 13, “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.” Whereby St. John has been supposed by some to intend some aged christians, who had seen Jesus Christ upon earth. Which is more likely to have been the case of some in the year 68, about thirty-five years after Christ's ascension, than many years afterwards. To which I answer, that " by “him that is from the beginning,” probably is intended God the Father, not Jesus Christ. It is equivalent to what is afterwards said of others, in the same verse, “I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.” But it would not sound so well to say: “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known the Father.” See also ver. 14. Fourthly, it is " argued to the like purpose from ch. ii. 7, “I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment, which ye had from the beginning.” But thereby may be meant no more than the commandment, which ye had from the beginning of your being christians: or from the time when you were first converted to the christian religion, whenever it was. And, as * Wolfius observes, none
" Unde etiam per “mundum transeuntem cum suis cupiditatibus' ad idem excidium reipublicae Judaicae respicere evangelista potuit. Lampe, ib. p. 106.
* “Nóstis Deum, qui Senex Dierum.’ Dan. vii. 9, 13, 22. Dat cuique ordini quae ipsi conveniunt. A primâ astate novistis Deum, hujus mundi opificem. Is autem is est, qui Christum misit, eumque pro se audiri voluit. Grot. ad ver, 13. " Accedit, quod ad fratres scribat, qui praeceptum a principio audiverant. cap. ii. 7. Per quod intelligi debct principium praedicationis evangelicae. A quo igitur non nimium removeri debent illi, quos apostolus alloquitur. Lampe, ubi supra, p. 106.
* Quod ad alteram rationem attinet, nullus eorum, qui Joannis aetate ad Christi cognitionem adducti Sunt, ab originibus evangelii nimium removebitur,