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whom Jesus so loveth, as to admit him, by faith, to behold and dwell upon the contemplation of his blessed Master, in these, his two states of exaltation and humiliation ; the glory of his divine, and the sufferings of his human nature. These are subjects on wbich a man can never meditate, but with infinite profit and advantage. By ascending, the holy mount, and there viewing, in the transfiguration of Jesus, the glory of his person, and an ensample of that glory which he shall bestow on his saints at the resurrection, he is armed against the pain and shame of the cross, and strengthened to undergo his portion of sufferings in the world. By attending his Redeemer in the garden, during his agony, he learns the intolerable punishments due to sin, and the amazing love of him who would descend from Tabor to Gethsemane, to bear them for sinners; he is prepared to take up his cross, and to be conformed to Christ in sufferings, from thence looking back to the glory which the Son of God left for a time, that he might bestow it on his beloved disciples for ever. Whosoever hath so digested in his heart these two subjects, as to be able to reduce the considerations on them to practice, hath attended his Master, with. St. John, on the mount and in the garden.
. Three times we hear in the Gospels, the beloved disciple reproved by his Master, to show us that whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and purgeth; till, like the branch of a well-dressed vine, he bring forth more and better fruit. Once, a spark of ambition, lighting upon the spirits of the two brothers, James
and John, had suddenly inflamed them with a vehe.. ment desire of pre-eminence above their colleagues in the ministry: they wanted to “sit, one on his "right hand, and the other on his left, in his king“ dom.” Our Lord gave them to understand, that they who were called to be his disciples and apostles, were called to do his work, to labour and to suffer for the service of the church and the salvation of souls, and should esteem it sufficient to be exalted, like their blessed Master, in heaven, after the work was done. Thus the two young candidates for pro. motion stood reproved. Made wiser by the instructions of their Lord, and the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them at the day of Pentecost, they thought no more of preceding their brethren, except in diligence and patience : they renounced self, preached the Gospel, suffered persecution, were crowned indeed, but it was with thorns; and thus, at length, in a far better sense, they obtained their wish, of sitting upon thrones with Christ in his kingdom.
At another time the two disciples James and John, not bearing to see their Lord rejected by the schismatical Samaritans, were for calling fire from heaven to consume them, after the example of the prophet Elijah.' But Christ rebuked them, telling them,
they knew not what manner of spirit they were of; “ for the Son of man was come to save the lives of
men, not to destroy them.” The present is the day of grace and mercy, long-suffering and forbearance, with Christ; and it ought to be so with his disciples. The
16 of me.
hour is coming, when, like Elijah, who represented him in his judicial capacity, he shall execute the vengeance written, and burn up his enemies on every side. But the time is not yet.
The third reproof St. John met with from his Master was likewise for an instance of indiscreet zeal, in forbidding a person to cast out devils in Christ's name, because he followed not them. “Forbid him
not,” says Christ; “for there is no man which shall “ do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil
For he that is not against us, is on our "part. For whoever shall give you a cup of water
to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, “ be shall not lose his reward. No emulation or jealousy should prevent our encouraging every man to do good, though not in all points as we are, or could wish hiin to be. Whatever real good he does, it is God who does it in him, and in time that God may reveal all other things to him; towards which, we ourselves, by treating hiin with tenderness and kindness, may be made instrumental.
But these offences, upon Christ's admonitions, having been repented of and forsaken, they deprive not our apostle of the place he had obtained in his Lord's favour. For at the last supper we find him sitting next to Jesus, and, as the manner then was, reclining on his breast : as it is the privilege of the beloved disciple, when admitted to the supper of the Lamb, to pour out all his prayers and his complaints
into the bosom of his Redeemer, who is always ready to hear, always mighty to save.
At the apprehension of Jesus, John fled with the rest, but quickly returning again, entered into the high priest's palace, and attended his blessed Master through every stage of his passion, till we behold him taking his station at the foot of the cross, where he is usually drawn in pictures of the crucifixion, with a countenance full of grief and love unutterable. From the cross Jesus commended his holy mother to the care of St. John, who from thenceforth, happy in an opportunity of showing his love to his Lord, as well as of entertaining such a guest, "took her to his
own home,” where she continued till her death, treated by him with the duty and affection of a son. Let the disciple, then, who would show himself worthy the love of Christ, often contemplate and sympathize with his suffering Lord, placing himself, in imagination, at the foot of the cross, and looking with the eye of faith on him who was crucified thereon : let him abide by the persecuted truth and the afflicted servants of Jesus, in the hour of darkness and sorrow; and let him, for Christ's sake, and in obedience to his repeated injunctions, honour and show kindness to the church so long as he lives, and be a dutiful son to her.
Upon the first tidings of the resurrection, St. John, running with St. Peter, outran him, and came first to the sepulchre; as the soul, that has the love of Christ abiding in her, will always be foremost in quest of him. It was St. John who discovered Jesus to St. Peter, when he appeared in the habit of a
stranger, at the sea of Tiberias.
“ That disciple "s whom Jesus loved saith to Peter, It is the Lord.” He who loves Christ, will always know him when he comes in the disguise of a stranger, or a poor man: he will know, that it is the Lord who asks relief of him in their persons; and he will inform others of the same great truth.--It was concerning St. John that a report went among the disciples as if he was never to die, grounded by mistake on our Lord's answer to St. Peter's question--" Lord, what “ shall this man do? If I will that he tarry till I
come, what is that to thee?” But, alas! St. John loved Christ too well, to think an exemption from death, for the sake of living in such a world as this, a thing to be desired. And whoever loves his Master as he did, will be of the saine opinion.
After the effusion of the Spirit at the day of Pentecost, we read of John, in the character of an apostle, using his gifts for the good of mankind, healing the sick, preaching the Gospel, thrown into prison, and brought forth before the Jewish council, but still undaunted in bearing his testimony; herein leaving an example to his successors, the ministers of Christ, through all generations.
Froin the ecclesiastical histories we learn, that after preaching the Gospel, and founding many churches in Asia, he was sent bound from thence to Rome, at the command of the tyrant Domitian, who had him cast into a caldron of boiling oil. But the God, who preserved the three children in the midst of the fiery furnace, brought the apostle out of the