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  • 1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD JOHN
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    PROLOGUE John, the beloved junior apostle, is said to have been powerfully converted under the preaching of John the Baptist. This evinces from the enthusiasm which characterized his espousal of our Saviorís call and the deep burning love he constantly manifested during his discipleship. He is the only apostle to escape bloody martyrdom. Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia; Mark in Alexandria, Egypt; Luke was hung on an olive tree in Greece; Paul beheaded at Rome; Peter crucified; James the First beheaded by Herod at Jerusalem; James the Less precipitated from a pinnacle of the temple; Andrew crucified in Armenia; Philip in Asia Minor; Bartholomew skinned alive in Phrygia; Matthias martyred in Abyssinia, Africa; Jude shot full of arrows in Tartary; Thomas pierced through with a cruel iron bar in India, and John, having been miraculously delivered from martyrdom when cast into the soap caldron at Rome, and afterward banished to the Isle of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea, where he witnessed the wonderful Apocalyptic visions, spent the closing years of his life at Ephesus; history following him down to age of 101, when he was translated to heaven alive, as testified by Justin Martyr, Jerome and other Christian Fathers, and solidly believed by John Wesley. Of course, we have no inspired record of his translation, as he himself was the last writer. John was truly the Patriarch of the Apostolic Church, surviving all the other apostles a whole generation, standing alone in the heroic grandeur of his solitude. Awaiting his translation, he did all of his writing, the gospel, epistles, and apocalypse, away down at the end of his long and eventful life, doubtless dictating them all to an amanuensis. His early conversion and call to the apostleship, extraordinary fellowship with Jesus, wonderful sanctification, thrilling, miraculous deliverances, ineffable heavenly visions on the Isle of Patmos, great longevity and coming translation, doubtless to him spiritually adumbrating his approaching transfiguration, all conduced to flood him with unparalleled spiritual illumination and make him, more significantly than any other inspired writer, the personification of love, which literally inundates especially his epistles with a sea bottomless and shoreless.

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