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ing him, by one Prochorus, who tells us that, some heretics having presented the apostle with a cup of poisoned liquor, he made the sign of the cross over it, and all the venom was immediately expelled from the vessel, embodied in the visible form of a serpent.*

Stories of this kind would naturally be multiplied in that, or indeed in any age, concerning persons whose lives were singularly out of the common course, and who were in reality gifted with the power of working miracles. The ancient writers and fathers were too apt to promulgate such legends, without distinguishing them, as carefully as they ought to have done, from accounts which were worthy of credit; and the Church, finding how ready and even eager the multitude were to receive every tale of wonder, made it a part of its policy to cherish their credulity and strengthen their delusion. But we, who are of a more simple taste, require no such means to interest us in the history of a person in every way so interesting as the "disciple whom Jesus loved."

One of the best authenticated stories of his

*There is also generally introduced in the pictures of this saint the figure of an eagle. This is because he is supposed to be mentioned in the Book of the Revelation as the last of the "four beasts' near the throne, who was "like a flying eagle." We have seen above, also, that Jerome compares him to an eagle.

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latter days, which is further recommended by its conformity with the known gentleness and amiableness of his character, cannot but please all readers, and I will therefore insert it. It is said that when the infirmities of age so grew upon him at Ephesus, that he was no longer able to preach to his converts, he used, at every public meeting, to be led to the church, and say no more to them than these words, "Little children, love one another." And when his auditors, wearied with the constant repetition of the same thing, asked him why he always said this and nothing more to them, he answered: "Because it was the command of our Lord; and that if they did nothing else, this alone was enough."

"Such," says Dr. Watts, in one of his sermons, "such was John the beloved disciple. You may read the temper of his soul in his epistles. What a spirit of love breathes in every line! What compassion and tenderness to the babes in Christ! What condescending affection to the young men, and hearty good-will to the fathers, who were then his equals in age! With what obliging language does he treat the beloved Gaius, in his third letter; and with how much civility and hearty kindness does he address the elect lady and her children, in the second! In his younger years, indeed, he seems to have had something more of fire and vehemence, for which he was surnamed

A son of thunder. good temper in him, mixed with that sprightliness and zeal, that he expressed much pleasure in his company, and favored him with peculiar honors and endearments above the rest. This is the disciple who was taken into the holy mount with James and Peter, and saw our Lord glorified before the time. This is the disciple who leaned on his bosom at the holy supper, and was indulged in the utmost freedom of conversation with his Lord. This is the man who obtained this glorious title, The disciple whom Jesus loved'; that is, with a distinguishing and particular love. As a Saviour he loved them all like saints, but as a man he loved St. John like a friend; and when hanging upon the cross, and just expiring, he committed his mother to his care, a most precious and convincing pledge of special friendship.

But our Lord saw so much



"O how happy are the persons who most nearly resemble this apostle, who are thus privileged, thus divinely blessed! How infinitely are ye indebted to God, your benefactor and your Father, who has endowed you with so many valuable accomplishments on earth, and assures you of the happiness of heaven! It is he who has made you fair or wise; it is he who has given you ingenuity, or riches, or perhaps has favored you with all these; and yet has weaned

your hearts from the love of this world, and led you to the pursuit of eternal life. It is he that has cast you in so refined a mould, and given you so sweet a disposition; that has inclined you to sobriety and every virtue, has raised you to honor and esteem, has made you possessor of all that is desirable in this life, and appointed you a nobler inheritance in that which is to come. What thankfulness does every power of your natures owe to your God! that Heaven looks down upon you and loves you, and the world around you fix their eyes upon you and love you; that God has formed you in so bright a resemblance of his own Son, his first-beloved, and has ordained. you joint heirs of heaven with him."

Besides the affectionate title which so peculiarly connects this disciple with his Master, he is styled by ancient writers, "John the Divine," on account of the sublimity and spirituality of his writings.

His day is December 27 in the Roman Calendar; but the Greeks keep it on the 26th of September. And it may here be observed, that the Roman and Greek Calendars differ from each other in their dates throughout the ecclesiastical year.


THE fifth named on Matthew's catalogue of the apostles is Philip. He was a native of Bethsaida, and consequently a townsman of the four partners whose histories I have already told. "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter." We have no certain intelligence of his parentage or condition, though he was probably in the same rank of life with Peter and Andrew, James and John, and perhaps of the same profession.

The day after Peter and Andrew had become disciples of Christ, we read that "Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me." Though Peter and Andrew were the first who appear to have attended on the instructions of Jesus, and to have been particularly noticed by him, and are therefore termed his first disciples, — and though Andrew is styled Protocletos, as having been the first, whose name we know, who was invited to visit him and converse with him, it is certain that the distinction belongs to Philip of having been

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