HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

ABOUT this time also, the beloved disciple of Jesus, John the apostle and evangelist, still surviving, governed the churches in Asia, after his return from exile on the island, and the death of Domitian. That he was living until this time, it may suffice to prove, by the testimony of two witnesses. These, as maintaining sound doctrine in the church, may surely be regarded as worthy of all credit: and such were Irenæus and Clement of Alexandria. Of these, the former, in the second book against heresies, writes in the following manner: “And all the presbyters of Asia, that had conferred with John the disciple of our Lord, testify that John had delivered it to them; for he continued with them until the times of Trajan.” And in the third book of the same work, he shows the same thing in the following words: “The church in Ephesus also, which had been founded by Paul, and where John continued to abide until the times of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the apostolic tradition.” Clement also, indicating the time, subjoins a narrative most acceptable to those who delight to hear what is excellent and profitable, in that discourse to which he gave the title, “What Rich Man is saved?” Taking therefore the book, read it where it contains a narrative like the following: “Listen to a story that is no fiction, but a real history, handed down and carefully preserved, respecting the apostle John. For after the tyrant was dead, coming from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went also, when called, to the neighbouring regions of the Gentiles; in some to appoint bishops, in some to institute entire new churches, in others to appoint to the ministry some one of those that were pointed out by the Holy Ghost. When he came, therefore, to one of those cities, at no great distance, of which some also give the name, and had in other respects consoled his brethren, he at last turned towards the bishop ordained (appointed), and seeing a youth of fine stature, graceful countenance, and ardent mind, he said, ‘Him I commend to you with all earnestness, in the presence of the church and of Christ.’ The bishop having taken him and promised all, he repeated and testified the same thing, and then returned to Ephesus. The presbyter taking the youth home that was committed to him, educated, restrained, and cherished him, and at length baptized him. After this, he relaxed exercising his former care and vigilance, as if he had now committed him to a perfect safeguard in the seal of the Lord. But certain idle, dissolute fellows, familiar with every kind of wickedness, unhappily attached themselves to him, thus prematurely freed from restraint. At first they led him on by expensive entertainments. Then going out at night to plunder, they took him with them. Next, they encouraged him to something greater, and gradually becoming accustomed to their ways in his enterprising spirit, like an unbridled and powerful steed that has struck out of the right way, biting the curb, he rushed with so much the greater impetuosity towards the precipice. At length, renouncing the salvation of God, he contemplated no trifling offence, but having committed some great crime, since he was now once ruined, he expected to suffer equally with the rest. Taking, therefore, these same associates, and forming them into a band of robbers, he became their captain, surpassing them all in violence, blood, and cruelty. Time elapsed, and on a certain occasion they sent for John. The apostle, after appointing those other matters for which he came, said, ‘Come, bishop, return me my deposit, which I and Christ committed to thee, in the presence of the church over which thou dost preside.’ The bishop, at first, indeed was confounded, thinking that he was insidiously charged for money which he had not received; and yet he could neither give credit respecting that which he had not, nor yet disbelieve John. But when he said, ‘I demand the young man, and the soul of a brother,’ the old man, groaning heavily and also weeping, said, ‘He is dead.’ ‘How, and what death?’ ‘He is dead to God,’ said he. ‘He has turned out wicked and abandoned, and at last a robber; and now, instead of the church, he has beset the mountain with a band like himself.’ The apostle, on hearing this, tore his garment, and beating his head, with great lamentation said, ‘I left a fine keeper of a brother’s soul! But let a horse now be got ready, and some one to guide me on my way.’ He rode as he was, away from the church, and coming to the country, was taken prisoner by the outguard of the banditti. He neither attempted, however, to flee, nor refused to be taken; but cried out, ‘For this very purpose am I come; conduct me to your captain.’ He, in the mean time, stood waiting, armed as he was. But as he recognised John advancing towards him, overcome with shame he turned about to flee. The apostle, however, pursued him with all his might, forgetful of his age, and crying out, ‘Why dost thou fly, my son, from me, thy father; thy defenceless, aged father? Have compassion on me, my son; fear not. Thou still hast hope of life. I will intercede with Christ for thee. Should it be necessary, I will cheerfully suffer death for thee, as Christ for us. I will give my life for thine. Stay; believe Christ hath sent me.’ Hearing this, he at first stopped with downcast looks; then threw awav his arms; then trembling lamented bitterly, and embracing the old man as he came up, attempted to plead for himself with his lamentations, as much as he was able; as if baptised a second time with his own tears, and only concealing his right hand. But the apostle pledging himself, and solemnly assuring him, that he had found pardon for him in his prayers at the hands of Christ, praying on his bended knees, and kissing his right hand as cleansed from all iniquity, conducted him back again to the church. Then supplicating with frequent prayers, contending with constant fastings, and softening down his mind with various consolatory declarations, he did not leave him, as it is said, until he had restored him to the church; affording a powerful example of true repentance, and a great evidence of a regeneration, a trophy of a visible resurrection.”








Copyright ©1999-2016 e-Catholic2000.com