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sel with Ctesiphon, whom they ordained bishop of Spain. The vessel went directly to a port in that kingdom, without the assistance of oars or pilot, guided only by its holy, though lifeless burden, which, on its arrival, was miraculously taken away and buried, and after a great many wonders, was at last translated to Compostella,* where it still abides, the object of constant pilgrimage, and the worker of countless miracles. Cave, after giving this legend rather more at length, observes: "This is the sum of the account, call it romance or history, which I do not desire to impose any further upon the reader's faith than he shall find himself disposed to believe it." It is a pity that such stories as this should be connected with the names of the holy apostles. It would be more a pity, however, if it were more difficult to separate legends from history, and falsehood from truth.

Ferdinand II. of Spain instituted a military order in honor of this apostle. His festival is on the 26th of July.

*It is said by some, that this place was first called Ad Jacobum Apostolum; then Giacomo Postolo; then, by contraction, Compostella.

JOHN.

We now come to John, the brother of James the elder, and the last named, though certainly not the last in merit, of those four friends and partners, the fishermen of Bethsaida. The particulars of his call to be an apostle of Christ have already been related, together with some other circumstances respecting him, in the lives of Peter and James. We have seen that he ardently loved his Master; that he was distinguished by that Master's peculiar regard; and that, although he was sometimes betrayed into unworthy expressions of ambition and anger, for which he was justly reprimanded, his disposition was remarkably amiable, gentle, and affection

ate.

There is not much told of him, individually, until towards the closing scenes of our Saviour's 'ministry and life. At the last supper, which he and Peter had been sent to prepare, we are told that "there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved." This disciple was John himself; who was so fond of the dis

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tinction which his Master's attachment conferred on him, or, to speak more properly, was so gratefully sensible of the value of the attachment itself, that he continually speaks of himself, in his history, as the disciple whom Jesus loved, — a title which he surely would not have assumed unless it had been really conferred on him. His place at the supper is an evidence that he was high in the favor of Jesus. He was leaning or lying on his bosom; that is, he was the next below him, and, as it was the custom of the ancients to recline at their meals, his head was brought in contact with his Master's breast, a situation which used always to be reserved by the host at an entertainment for the person whom he most honored or esteemed. It was while he was thus leaning, that Simon Peter beckoned to him that he should ask of Jesus who it was who should betray him. John did as he was requested, and Jesus showed him who the traitor was by giving Judas a sop. All this seems to have been done in private, and apart from the knowledge of the other disciples, and proves the great measure of condescension and confidence which was exercised by the Master toward this his favorite follower.

After Jesus was betrayed and seized, John is supposed to have been that other disciple who went with Peter to the palace of the high priest,

and gained him admittance there by means of his acquaintance with that dignitary.* However this may be, he was the only one of the twelve who had the fortitude to attend his beloved Master to the cross. How touchingly is it manifested on this awful occasion, that the softest natures are often the noblest and most fearless too; and that those which are apparently the most daring and masculine may yet shrink away in the time of peril and distress! Who, in that hour of darkness, darkness in the heavens and in the

hearts of men, who, in that hour of abandonment, when even the Son of God cried out that he was forsaken, who, of all his followers, were with him then, to support him by their sympathy,

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*"That disciple was known unto the high priest." John xviii. 15. The early writers busy themselves to find out in what manner John became acquainted with Caiaphas. Jerome says, that he belonged to some order of nobility; which, however, seems to be very inconsistent with the occupation of his father. Nicephorus relates, that he sold his paternal estate in Galilee to the high priest, and with the money purchased a fair house in Jerusalem, and so became intimate with him. These stories seem to me, like many other similar ones, to prove two things: one, that the early Christian writers were exceedingly anxious to explain the slightest hints in the Gospel histories; the other, that they were much too apt to write down the first report which came to their ears, glad to catch something, and not careful to sift the truth, or, råther, too ready to sacrifice truth to the gratification of a minute and inordinate, though not perhaps absolutely idle, curiosity. Hence the contradictory statements with which their works are full.

and prove to him their love? In the midst of scoffing soldiers and brutal executioners, under the lowering sky, and just below the frightful cross, we behold four weeping females,* and one disciple, the youngest and the gentlest of the twelve, braving the horrors of this place of blood, braving the anger of those in authority and the insults of those who do their bidding, determined to be near their friend and Master in his agonies, and ready, on the spot and at the moment, to share them. And what is it that braces up the nerves of this feeble company to such a singular pitch of fortitude and daring? The simple but unconquerable strength of affection; the generous omnipotence of their attachment and gratitude. In the might of their love they ascend the hill of Calvary, and take their station beneath the cross; hearing nothing amidst all that tumult but the promptings of their devoted hearts; seeing nothing but their dying Lord; remembering nothing but that he was dear to them, and that he was in misery. O, how loftily does courage like this rise above that ruder and earthly courage which rushes to the battle-field, and is crowned with

* They were Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome the mother of James the Greater and of John. There were other women in company with them, but these four probably stood nearer the cross than the rest.

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