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VI. KAL. JAN.

DECEMBER XXVII.

ASSUMPTIO SCI IOHANNIS APOSTOLI.

THE ASSUMPTION OF SAINT JOHN THE APOSTLE.

Iohannes se Godspellere, Cristes dyrling, wearð on ðysum dæge to heofenan rices myrhðe, þurh Godes neosunge, genumen. He wæs Cristes moddrian sunu, and he hine lufode synderlice; na swa micclum for ðære mæglican sibbe swa for ðære clænnysse his ansundan mægðhades. He wæs on mægðháde Gode gecoren, and hé on ecnysse on ungewemmedum mægðhade þurhwunode. Hit is geræd on gewyrdelicum racum þæt hé wolde wífian, and Críst wearð to his gyftum gelaðod. Þa gelámp hit þæt æt ðam gyftum wín wearð ateorod. Se Hælend ða het þa ðenig-men afyllan six stænene fatu mid hluttrum wætere, and he mid his bletsunge þæt wæter to æðelum wine awende. Þis is þæt forme tácn ðe hé on his menniscnysse openlice geworhte. Þa wearð Iohannes swa onbryrd þurh þæt tácn, þæt hé ðærrihte his bryde on mægðhade forlét, and symle syððan Drihtne folgode, and wearð ða him inweardlice gelufod, forðan ðe he hine ætbræd þam flæsclicum lustum. Witodlice ðisum leofan leorning-cnihte befæste se Hælend his modor, þaþa hé on rode hengene mancynn alysde; þæt his clæne líf ðæs clænan mædenes Marian gymde, and heo ða on hyre swyster suna ðenungum wunode. John the Evangelist, Christ's darling, was on this day, through God's visitation, taken to the joy of the kingdom of heaven. He was the son of Christ's maternal aunt, and he loved him particularly, not so much for the consanguinity, as for the purity of his uncorrupted chastity. He was in chastity chosen to God, and he ever continued in undefiled chastity. It is read in historic narratives that he would marry, and Christ was invited to his nuptials. Then it befell that at the nuptials wine was wanting. Jesus then bade the serving men fill six stone vessels with pure water, and he with his blessing turned the water to noble wine. This is the first miracle that he openly wrought in his state of man. Now John was so stimulated by that miracle, that he forthwith left his bride in maidenhood, and ever afterwards followed the Lord, and was by him inwardly beloved, because he had withdrawn himself from fleshly lusts. Verily to this beloved disciple Jesus intrusted his mother, when, suspended on the cross, he redeemed mankind, that his pure life might take care of the pure virgin Mary, and that she might continue ministering to her sister's son.
Eft on fyrste, æfter Cristes upstige to heofonum, rixode sum wælhreow casere on Romana ríce, æfter Nerone, se wæs Domicianus gehaten, cristenra manna ehtere: se het afyllan ane cyfe mid weallendum ele, and þone mæran godspellere þæron het bescufan; ac he, ðurh Godes gescyldnysse, ungewemmed of ðam hatum bæðe eode. Eft ðaða se wælreowa ne mihte ðæs eadigan apostoles bodunge alecgan, þa asende he hine on wræcsið to anum igeoðe þe is Paðmas gecíged, þæt he ðær þurh hungres scearpnysse acwæle. Ac se Ælmihtiga Hælend ne forlét to gymeleaste his gelufedan apostol, ac geswutelode him on ðam wræcsiðe þa toweardan onwrigenysse, be ðære hé awrat ða bóc ðe is gehaten Apocalipsis: and se wælhreowa Domicianus on ðam ylcan geare wearð acweald æt his witena handum; and hí ealle anmodlice ræddon þæt ealle his gesetnyssa aydlode wæron. Þa wearð Nerua, swiðe arfæst man, to casere gecoren. Be his geðafunge gecyrde se apostol ongean mid micclum wurðmynte, seðe mid hospe to wræcsiðe asend wæs. Him urnon ongean weras and wif fægnigende, and cweðende, "Gebletsod is se ðe com on Godes naman." Some time after, after Christ's ascension to heaven, a cruel emperor reigned in the Roman empire, after Nero, who was called Domitian, a persecutor of the christians. He commanded a vat to be filled with boiling oil, and the great evangelist to be thrust therein; but he, through God's protection, went uninjured from that hot bath. Afterwards, when the cruel one might not suppress the preaching of the blessed apostle, he sent him into exile to an island that is called Patmos, that he there, through sharpness of hunger, might perish. But the Almighty Saviour did not leave his beloved apostle to neglect, but revealed to him, in that exile, the revelation of things to come, concerning which he wrote the book which is called Apocalypse: and the cruel Domitian was slain in the same year by the hand of his senators; and they all unanimously resolved that all his decrees should be annulled. Then was Nerva, a very honourable man, chosen for emperor. With his consent the apostle returned with great worship, he who with contumely had been sent into banishment. Men and women ran to meet him, rejoicing and saying, "Blessed is he who cometh in the name of God."
Mid þam ðe se apostol Iohannes stop into ðære byrig Ephesum, þa bær man him togeanes anre wydewan líc to byrigenne; hire nama wæs Drusiana. Heo wæs swiðe gelyfed and ælmesgeorn, and þa ðearfan, ðe heo mid cystigum mode eallunga afedde, dreorige mid wópe ðam líce folgodon. Ða het se apostol ða bære settan, and cwæð, "Min Drihten, Hælend Crist! Arære ðe, Drusiana; aris, and gecyrr ham, and gearca ús gereordunge on þinum huse." Drusiana þa arás swilce of slæpe awreht, and, carfull be ðæs apostoles hæse, ham gewende. As the apostle John was entering the city of Ephesus, there was borne towards him the corpse of a widow to be buried; her name was Drusiana. She was of great faith, and gave much in alms, and the poor, whom she had bountifully fed, sad, with weeping, followed the corpse. Then the apostle bade them set down the bier, and said, "My Lord, Jesus Christ! Raise thee, Drusiana; arise, and return home, and prepare refection for us in thy house." Drusiana then arose as if from sleep awakened, and, mindful of the apostle's command, returned home.
On ðam oðrum dæge eode se apostol be ðære stræt, þa ofseah he hwær sum uðwita lædde twegen gebroðru, þe hæfdon behwyrfed eall heora yldrena gestreon on deorwurðum gymstanum, and woldon ða tocwysan on ealles þæs folces gesihðe, to wæfersyne, swylce to forsewennysse woruldlicra æhta. Hit wæs gewunelic on ðam timan þæt ða ðe woldon woruld-wisdom gecneordlice leornian, þæt hí behwyrfdon heora are on gymstanum, and ða tobræcon; oððe on sumum gyldenum wecge, and ðone on sǽ awurpan; þilæs ðe seo smeaung þæra æhta hí æt þære lare hremde. Þa clypode se apostol ðone uðwitan Graton him to, and cwæð, "Dyslic bið þæt hwa woruldlice speda forhogige for manna hérunge, and beo on Godes dome geniðerod. Ydel bið se læcedom þe ne mæg ðone untruman gehælan; swa bið eac ydel seo lár ðe ne gehælð ðære sawle leahtras and unðeawas. Soðlice min lareow Crist sumne cniht ðe gewilnode þæs ecan lifes þysum wordum lærde, Þæt he sceolde ealle his welan beceapian, and þæt wurð ðearfum dælan, gif hé wolde fulfremed beon, and he syððan hæfde his goldhord on heofenum, and ðær to-eacan þæt ece líf." Graton ða se uðwita him andwyrde, "Þas gymstanas synd tocwysede for ydelum gylpe, ac gif ðin láreow is soð God, gefeg ðas bricas to ansundnysse, þæt heora wurð mæge þearfum fremian." Iohannes þa gegaderode ðæra gymstana bricas, and beseah to heofonum, þus cweðende, "Drihten Hælend, nis ðe nan ðing earfoðe; þu ge-edstaðelodest ðisne tobrocenan middangeard on þinum geleaffullum, þurh tácen þære halgan rode; ge-edstaðela nu þas deorwurðan gymstanas, ðurh ðinra engla handa, þæt ðas nytenan menn þine mihta oncnáwon, and on þe gelyfon." Hwæt, ða færlice wurdon ða gymstanas swa ansunde, þæt furðon nan tácen þære ærran tocwysednysse næs gesewen. Þa se uðwita Graton samod mid þam cnihtum feoll to Iohannes fotum, gelyfende on God. Se apostol hine fullode mid eallum his hirede, and hé ongann Godes geleafan openlice bodian. Þa twegen gebroðra, Atticus and Eugenius, sealdon heora gymstanas, and ealle heora æhta dældon wǽdlum, and filigdon þam apostole, and micel menigu geleaffulra him eac to geðeodde. On the second day the apostle going in the street, observed where a philosopher was accompanying two brothers, who had turned all their parents' treasure into precious gems, and would crush them in the sight of all the people as a spectacle, in contempt as it were of worldly riches. It was common at that time for those who would sedulously learn philosophy, to change their property for gems, and break them in pieces; or for a wedge of gold, and throw it into the sea; lest the contemplation of those riches should hinder them at their study. Then the apostle called the philosopher Graton to him, and said, "It is foolish that any one should despise worldly riches for praise of men, and be condemned at God's doom. Vain is the medicine that cannot heal the sick; as also is vain the doctrine that healeth not the sins and vices of the soul. Verily my teacher, Christ, enjoined a youth who desired eternal life, in these words, That he should sell all his wealth, and distribute the value to the poor, if he would be perfect; and he should afterwards have his treasure in heaven, and, in addition thereto, eternal life." The philosopher Graton him answered, "These jewels are crushed for idle vaunt; but if thy teacher is the true God, join the fragments to soundness, that their value may benefit the poor." John then gathered the fragments of the jewels, and looked to heaven, thus saying, "Lord Jesus, to thee no thing is difficult; thou didst restore this crushed world for thy faithful, through sign of the holy rood; restore now these precious gems, by thy angels' hands, that these ignorant men may acknowledge thy powers, and in thee believe." Lo, then suddenly the gems became sound, so that even no sign of their former broken condition was seen. Then the philosopher Graton, together with the youths, fell forthwith at the feet of John, believing in God. The apostle baptized him with all his family, and he began openly to preach God's faith. The two brothers, Atticus and Eugenius, gave their gems, and distributed all their wealth to the poor, and followed the apostle, and a great multitude of believers also joined themselves to him.
Þa becom se apostol æt sumum sæle to þære byrig Pergamum, þær ða foresædan cnihtas iú ær eardodon, and gesawon heora ðeowan mid godewebbe gefreatewode, and on woruldlicum wuldre scinende. Ða wurdon hí mid deofles flan þurhscotene, and dreorige on mode, þæt hí wædligende on ánum waclicum wæfelse ferdon, and heora ðeowan on woruldlicum wuldre scinende wæron. Þa undergeat se apostol ðas deoflican facn, and cwæð, "Ic geseo þæt eower mód is awend, and eower andwlita, forðan ðe ge eowre speda þearfum dældon, and mines Drihtnes lare fyligdon: gað nu forði to wuda, and heawað incre byrðene gyrda, and gebringað to me." Hí dydon be his hæse, and hé on Godes naman ða grenan gyrda gebletsode, and hí wurdon to readum golde awende. Eft cwæð se apostol Iohannes, "Gað to ðære sǽ-strande, and feccað me papolstanas." Hí dydon swa; and Iohannes þa on Godes mægenðrymme hí gebletsode, and hí wurdon gehwyrfede to deorwurðum gymmum. Þa cwæð se apostol, "Gað to smiððan, and fandiað þises goldes and ðissera gymstana." Hí ða eodon, and eft comon, þus cweðende, "Ealle ðas goldsmiðas secgað þæt hí næfre ær swa clæne gold, ne swa read ne gesawon: eac ðas gym-wyrhtan secgað þæt hi næfre swa deorwurðe gymstanas ne gemetton." Þa cwæð se apostol him to, "Nimað þis gold, and ðas gymstanas, and farað, and bicgað eow land-áre; forðan þe ge forluron ða heofenlican speda. Bicgað eow pællene cyrtlas, þæt ge to lytelre hwile scinon swa swa róse, þæt ge hrædlice forweornion. Beoð blowende and welige hwilwendlice, þæt ge ecelice wædlion. Hwæt la, ne mæg se Ælmihtiga Wealdend þurhteon þæt hé do his ðeowan rice for worulde, genihtsume on welan, and unwiðmetenlice scinan? Ac he sette gecámp geleaffullum sawlum, þæt hi gelyfon to geagenne þa ecan welan, ða ðe for his naman þa hwilwendan speda forhógiað. Ge gehældon untruman on þæs Hælendes naman, ge afligdon deoflu, ge forgeafon blindum gesihðe, and gehwilce uncoðe gehældon: efne nu is ðeos gifu eow ætbroden, and ge sind earmingas gewordene, ge ðe wæron mære and strange. Swa micel ege stod deoflum fram eow, þæt hí be eowere hæse þa ofsettan deofolseocan forleton; nu ge ondrædað eow deoflu. Þa heofenlican æhta sind us eallum gemæne. Nacode we wæron acennede, and nacode we gewitað. Þære sunnan beorhtnys, and þæs monan leoht, and ealra tungla sind gemæne þam rican and ðam heanan. Rén-scuras, and cyrcan duru, fulluht, and synna forgyfenys, huselgang, and Godes neosung, sind eallum gemæne, earmum and eadigum: ac se ungesæliga gytsere wile mare habban þonne him genihtsumað, þonne he furðon orsorh ne bricð his genihtsumnysse. Se gytsere hæfð ænne lichaman, and menigfealde scrúd; he hæfð ane wambe, and þusend manna bigleofan: witodlice þæt he for gytsunge úncyste nanum oðrum syllan ne mæg, þæt he hordað, and nat hwam; swa swa se witega cwæð, 'On ídel bið ælc man gedrefed, seðe hordað, and nat hwam he hit gegaderað.' Witodlice ne bið he þæra æhta hlaford, þonne he hi dælan ne mæg; ac he bið þæra æhta ðeowa, þonne he him eallunga þeowað; and þær to-eacan him weaxað untrumnyssa on his lichaman, þæt hé ne mæg ǽtes oððe wǽtes brucan. Hé carað dæges and nihtes þæt his feoh gehealden sy; hé gymð grædelice his teolunge, his gafoles, his gebytlu; he berypð þa wánnspedigan, he fulgǽð his lustum and his plegan; þonne færlice gewitt he of ðissere worulde, nacod and forscyldigod, synna ana mid him ferigende; forðan þe he sceal éce wíte ðrowian." Then on a certain time the apostle came to the city of Pergamus, where the before-mentioned youths formerly dwelt, and saw their servants decorated with fine linen, and shining in worldly splendour. Then were they pierced through with the devil's darts, and sad in mind, that they in poverty should go with one miserable cloak, and their servants be shining in worldly splendour. Then perceived the apostle the diabolical wiles, and said, "I see that your mind and your countenance are changed, because ye have distributed your riches to the poor, and followed my Lord's doctrine: go now therefore to the wood, and hew a burthen of rods, and bring them to me." They did as he had commanded, and he in God's name blessed the green rods, and they were turned to red gold. Again the apostle said, "Go now to the sea-strand, and fetch me pebble-stones." They did so, and John by God's majesty blessed them, and they were turned to precious gems. Then said the apostle, "Go to the smithy, and try this gold and these gems." They went, and came again, thus saying, "All the goldsmiths say that they have never before seen such pure and such red gold: also the jewellers say that they have never before met with such precious gems." Then said the apostle to them, "Take this gold and these gems, and go and buy landed property, seeing that ye have lost heavenly riches. Buy yourselves purple kirtles, that ye for a little while may shine as the rose, that ye may speedily fade. Be flourishing and rich for a season, that ye may be poor for ever. What, may not the Almighty Ruler so act that he make his servants powerful before the world, abounding in wealth, and incomparably to shine? But he has placed warfare for the believing souls, that they may believe in order to possess the eternal riches, they who for his name despise temporary possessions. Ye healed the sick in the name of Jesus, ye drove out devils, ye gave sight to the blind, and cured every disease. Behold, now this gift is withdrawn from you, and ye are become poor wretches, ye who were great and strong. The devils stood in so great awe of you, that at your behest they forsook the possessed demoniacs; now ye yourselves dread devils. The heavenly possessions are common to us all. Naked we were born, and naked we depart. The brightness of the sun, and the light of the moon, and of all the stars are common to the high and the low. Rain-showers and the church-door, baptism and forgiveness of sins, partaking of the housel and God's visitation, are common to all, poor and rich: but the unhappy covetous wishes to have more than suffices him, though he enjoys not freedom from care in his abundance. The covetous hath one body and divers garments; he hath one belly and a thousand men's sustenance; but that which he, through the vice of avarice, cannot give to any other, he hoardeth, and knoweth not for whom, as the prophet said, 'Vainly is every man troubled who hoardeth, and knoweth not for whom he gathereth.' Verily he is not lord of those possessions, when he cannot distribute them, but he is the slave of those possessions, when he wholly serveth them; and in addition thereto, diseases of his body increase, so that he may not enjoy food or drink. He cares night and day that his money be preserved; he attends greedily to his gain, his rent, his buildings; he bereaves the indigent, he follows his lusts and his pleasure; then suddenly departs he from this world, naked and charged with crimes, bearing with him his sins alone; therefore shall he suffer punishment everlasting."
Efne ðaða se apostol þas lare sprecende wæs, ða bær sum wuduwe hire suna lic to bebyrgenne, se hæfde gewifod þritigum nihtum ǽr. Seo dreorige modor þa samod mid þam licmannum rarigende hí astrehte æt þæs halgan apostoles fotum, biddende þæt he hire sunu on Godes naman arærde, swa swa he dyde þa wydewan Drusianam. Iohannes ða ofhreow þære meder and ðæra licmanna dreorignysse, and astrehte his lichaman to eorðan on langsumum gebede, and ða æt nextan arás, and eft up-ahafenum handum langlice bæd. Þaða he ðus ðriwa gedón hæfde, ða het he unwindan þæs cnihtes líc, and cwæð, "Eala ðu cniht, ðe þurh ðines flæsces lust hrædlice ðine sawle forlure; eala þu cniht, þu ne cuðest ðinne Scyppend; þu ne cuðest manna Hælend; þu ne cuðest ðone soðan freond; and forði þu beurne on þone wyrstan feond. Nu ic ageat mine tearas, and for ðinre nytennysse geornlice bæd, þæt þu of deaðe arise, and þisum twam gebroðrum, Attico and Eugenio, cyðe hú micel wuldor hí forluron, and hwilc wite hí geearnodon." Mid ðam þa arás se cniht Stacteus, and feoll to Iohannes fotum, and begann to ðreagenne þa gebroðru þe miswende wǽron, þus cweðende, "Ic geseah þa englas, þe eower gymdon, dreorige wepan, and ða awyrigedan sceoccan blissigende on eowerum forwyrde. Eow wæs heofenan rice gearo, and scinende gebytlu mid wistum afyllede, and mid ecum leohte: þa ge forluron þurh unwærscipe, and ge begeaton eow ðeosterfulle wununga mid dracum afyllede, and mid brastligendum ligum, mid unasecgendlicum witum afyllede, and mid anðræcum stencum; on ðam ne ablinð granung and þoterung dæges oþþe nihtes: biddað forði mid inweardre heortan ðysne Godes apostol, eowerne lareow, þæt he eow fram ðam ecum forwyrde arære, swa swa he me fram deaðe arærde; and he eowre saula, þe nu synd adylegode of þære liflican béc, gelæde eft to Godes gife and miltsunge." Behold, while the apostle was speaking this lecture, a certain widow bare her son to be buried, who had been married thirty days before. The afflicted mother, together with the mourners, wailing prostrated herself at the holy apostle's feet, praying that he would, in God's name, rear up her son, as he did the widow Drusiana. John then, pitying the grief of the mother and the mourners, prostrated his body on the earth, in long prayer, and at length rising up, again with up-raised hands prayed a long time. Having done thus thrice, he bade them unwrap the corpse of the youth, and said, "O thou youth, who through thy flesh's lust hast early lost thy soul; O thou youth, thou knewest not thy Creator; thou knewest not the Saviour of men; thou knewest not the true friend, and hast therefore fallen on the worst enemy. Now I have shed my tears, and earnestly prayed for thy sensuality, that thou mayest from death arise, and to these two brothers, Atticus and Eugenius, declare how great glory they have lost, and what punishment they have earned." On this the youth Stacteus arose, and fell at the feet of John, and began to chide the brothers who had been perverted, thus saying, "I saw the angels who had charge of you sadly weeping, and the accursed fiend rejoicing in your destruction. For you was the kingdom of heaven ready, and shining structures filled with repasts, and with eternal light: these ye have lost through heedlessness, and have got for yourselves dark dwellings filled with serpents, and with crackling flames, full of unspeakable torments and horrible stenches; in which groaning and howling cease not day nor night: pray, therefore, with inward heart, this apostle of God, your teacher, that he raise you from eternal perdition, as he hath raised me from death, and that he your souls, which are now blotted from the living book, lead back to God's grace and mercy."
Se cniht þa Stacteus, ðe of deaðe arás, samod mid þam gebroðrum, astrehte hine to Iohannes fótswaðum, and þæt folc forð mid ealle, anmodlice biddende þæt he him to Gode geþingode. Se apostol þa bebead ðam twam gebroðrum þæt hi ðritig daga be hreowsunge dædbetende Gode geoffrodon, and on fæce geornlice bædon, þæt ða gyldenan gyrda eft to þan ærran gecynde awendon, and þa gymstanas to heora wacnysse. Æfter ðritigra daga fæce, þaþa hí ne mihton mid heora benum þæt gold and þa gymstanas to heora gecynde awendan, ða comon hi mid wope to þam apostole, þus cweðende, "Symle ðu tæhtest mildheortnysse, and þæt man oðrum miltsode; and gif man oðrum miltsað, hu micele swiðor wile God miltsian and arian mannum his hand-geweorce! Þæt þæt we mid gitsigendum eagum agylton, þæt we nu mid wependum eagum bereowsiað." Ða andwyrde se apostol, "Berað ða gyrda to wuda, and þa stanas to sǽ-strande: hi synd gecyrrede to heora gecynde." Þaða hi þis gedon hæfdon, ða underfengon hi eft Godes gife, swa þæt hi adræfdon deoflu, and blinde, and untrume gehældon, and fela tacna on Drihtnes naman gefremedon, swa swa hi ær dydon. The youth then, Stacteus, who had risen from death, together with the brothers, prostrated himself in the footsteps of John, and the people with them, all unanimously praying that he would intercede with God for them. The apostle then commanded the two brothers that they for thirty days in penitence should sacrifice to God by penance, and in that space should earnestly pray that the golden rods might be turned again to their former nature, and the gems to their worthlessness. After thirty days' space, when they could not by their prayers restore the gold and the gems to their nature, they came with weeping to the apostle, thus saying, "Ever hast thou taught mercy, and that one should have mercy on another; and if one have mercy on another, how much more will God show mercy to and pity men, his handiwork! The sin which we have committed with covetous eyes, we now with weeping eyes repent." Then answered the apostle, "Bear the rods to the wood, and the stones to the sea-strand: they shall be restored to their nature." When they had done this they again received God's grace, so that they drove out devils, and healed the blind and the sick, and performed many miracles, in the Lord's name, as they before had done.
Se apostol þa gebigde to Gode ealne þone eard Asiam, se is geteald to healfan dæle middan-eardes; and awrat ða feorðan Cristes bóc, seo hrepað swyðost ymbe Cristes godcundnysse. Ða oðre þry godspelleras, Matheus, Marcus, Lucas, awriton æror be Cristes menniscnysse. Þa asprungon gedwolmenn on Godes gelaðunge, and cwædon þæt Crist nære ær he acenned wæs of Marian. Þa bædon ealle þa leod-bisceopas ðone halgan apostol þæt he þa feorðan bóc gesette, and þæra gedwolmanna dyrstignesse adwæscte. Iohannes þa bead ðreora daga fæsten gemænelice; and he æfter ðam fæstene wearð swa miclum mid Godes gaste afylled, þæt he ealle Godes englas, and ealle gesceafta, mid heahlicum mode oferstáh, and mid ðysum wordum þa godspellican gesetnysse ongan, "In principio erat uerbum, et uerbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat uerbum, et reliqua:" þæt is on Englisc, "On frymðe wæs word, and þæt word wæs mid Gode, and þæt word wæs God; þis wæs on frymðe mid Gode; ealle ðing sind þurh hine geworhte, and nis nan þing buton him gesceapen." And swa forð on ealre þære godspellican gesetnysse, he cydde fela be Cristes godcundnysse, hu he ecelice butan angynne of his Fæder acenned is, and mid him rixað on annysse þæs Halgan Gastes, á butan ende. Feawa he awrat be his menniscnysse, forðan þe þa ðry oðre godspelleras genihtsumlice be þam heora bec setton. The apostle then converted to God all the}} country of Asia, which is accounted the half part of the world; and wrote the fourth book of Christ, which treats most of Christ's divinity. The other three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, wrote rather of Christ's human state. Then there sprung up heretics in God's church, who said that Christ was not before he was born of Mary. Thereupon all the diocesan bishops besought the holy apostle to compose the fourth book, and extinguish the audacity of the heretics. John then ordered a general fast of three days; and after the fast he was so greatly filled with the spirit of God, that he excelled all God's angels and all creatures with his exalted mind, and began the evangelical memorial with these words, "In principio erat verbum," etc., that is in English, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God; this was in the beginning with God; all things are made through him, and without him nothing is created." And so forth, in all the evangelical memorial, he made known many things concerning Christ's divinity, how he eternally without beginning was begotten of his Father, and reigneth with him in unity of the Holy Ghost, ever without end. He wrote few things of his human nature, because the three other evangelists had composed their books abundantly concerning that.
Hit gelamp æt sumum sæle þæt þa deofolgyldan þe þa gýt ungeleaffulle wǽron, gecwædon þæt hi woldon þone apostol to heora hæðenscipe geneadian. Þa cwæð se apostol to ðam hæðengyldum, "Gað ealle endemes to Godes cyrcan, and clypiað ealle to eowerum godum, þæt seo cyrce afealle ðurh heora mihte; ðonne buge ic to eowerum hæðenscipe. Gif ðonne eower godes miht þa halgan cyrcan towurpan ne mæg, ic towurpe eower tempel þurh ðæs Ælmihtigan Godes mihte, and ic tocwyse eower deofolgyld; and bið þonne rihtlic geðuht þæt ge geswycon eoweres gedwyldes, and gelyfon on ðone soðan God, seðe ana is Ælmihtig." Þa hæðengyldan ðisum cwyde geðwærlæhton, and Iohannes mid geswæsum wordum þæt folc tihte, þæt hí ufor eodon fram þam deofles temple; and mid beorhtre stemne ætforan him eallum clypode, "On Godes naman ahreose þis tempel, mid eallum þam deofolgyldum þe him on eardiað, þæt þeos menigu tocnawe þæt ðis hæðengyld deofles biggeng is." Hwæt ða færlice ahreas þæt tempel grundlunga, mid eallum his anlicnyssum to duste awende. On ðam ylcan dæge wurdon gebigede twelf ðusend hæðenra manna to Cristes geleafan, and mid fulluhte gehalgode. It happened at a certain time, that the idolaters, who were yet unbelieving, said that they would force the apostle to their heathenship: whereupon the apostle said to the idolaters, "Go all together to God's church, and call all of you to your gods that, through their might, the church may fall down; then will I turn to your heathenship. But if the power of your god may not cast down the holy church, I will cast down your temple, through the might of the Almighty God, and I will crush your idol; and it shall then seem right that ye cease from your error, and believe in the true God, who alone is Almighty." The idolaters assented to this proposal, and John with kind words exhorted the people to go out from the devil's temple; and with clear voice cried before them all, "In the name of God let this temple fall down with all the idols that dwell within it, that this multitude may know that this idolatry is the worship of the devil." Behold then, the temple fell suddenly to the ground, with all its idols turned to dust. On that same day twelve thousand heathens were turned to belief in Christ, and hallowed with baptism.
Þa sceorede ða gyt se yldesta hæðengylda mid mycelre þwyrnysse, and cwæð þæt he nolde gelyfan buton Iohannes attor drunce, and þurh Godes mihte ðone cwelmbæran drenc oferswiðde. Þa cwæð se apostol, "Þeah þu me attor sylle, þurh Godes naman hit me ne derað." Ða cwæð se hæðengylda Aristodemus, "Þu scealt ærest oðerne geseon drincan, and ðærrihte cwelan, þæt huru ðin heorte swa forhtige for ðam deadbærum drence." Iohannes him andwyrde, "Gif ðu on God gelyfan wylt, ic unforhtmod ðæs drences onfó." Þa getengde se Aristodemus to ðam heahgerefan, and genám on his cwearterne twegen ðeofas, and sealde him ðone unlybban ætforan eallum ðam folce, on Iohannes gesihðe; and hi ðærrihte æfter þam drence gewiton. Syððan se hæðengylda eac sealde ðone attorbæran drenc þam apostole, and hé mid rodetacne his muð, and ealne his lichaman gewǽpnode, and ðone unlybban on Godes naman halsode, and siððan mid gebildum mode hine ealne gedranc. Aristodemus ða and þæt folc beheoldon þone apostol ðreo tída dæges, and gesawon hine habban glædne andwlitan, buton blácunge and forhtunge; and hi ealle clypodon, "An soð God is, seðe Iohannes wurðað." Þa cwæð se hæðengylda to ðam apostole, "Gyt me tweonað; ac gif ðu ðas deadan sceaðan, on ðines Godes naman arærst, þonne bið min heorte geclænsod fram ælcere twynunge." Ða cwæð Iohannes, "Aristodeme, nim mine tunecan, and lege bufon ðæra deadra manna lic, and cweð, 'Þæs Hælendes Cristes apostol me asende to eow, þæt ge on his naman of deaðe arison, and ælc man oncnáwe þæt deað and líf ðeowiað minum Hælende.'" He ða be ðæs apostoles hæse bær his tunecan, and alede uppon ðam twám deadum; and hí ðærrihte ansunde arison. Þaða se hæðengylda þæt geseah, ða astrehte he hine to Iohannes fotum, and syððan ferde to ðam heahgerefan, and him ða wundra mid hluddre stemne cydde. Hí ða begen þone apostol gesohton, his miltsunge biddende. Þa bead se apostol him seofon nihta fæsten, and hi siððan gefullode; and hi æfter ðam fulluhte towurpon eall heora deofolgyld, and mid heora maga fultume, and mid eallum cræfte arærdon Gode mære cyrcan on ðæs apostoles wurðmynte. But the chief idolater still refused with great perverseness, and said that he would not believe unless John drank poison, and through God's might overcame the deadly drink. Then said the apostle, "Though thou give me poison, through God's name it shall not hurt me." Then said the idolater Aristodemus, "Thou shalt first see another drink it, and instantly die, that so at least thy heart may fear the death-bearing drink." John answered him, "If thou wilt believe in God, I will fearless receive this drink." Then Aristodemus went to the prefect, and took from his prison two thieves, and gave them the poison before all the people, in the presence of John; and they immediately after the drink died. Then the idolater gave the venomous drink also to the apostle, and he having armed his mouth and all his body with the sign of the rood, and exorcised the poison in God's name, with bold heart drank it all. Aristodemus then and the people beheld the apostle three hours of the day, and saw him having a glad countenance, without paleness and fear: and they all cried, "There is one true God, whom John worshippeth." Then said the idolater to the apostle, "Yet I doubt; but if thou, in the name of thy God, wilt raise up these dead thieves, then will my heart be cleansed from every doubt." Then said John, "Aristodemus, take my tunic, and lay it on the corpses of the dead men, and say, 'The apostle of Jesus Christ hath sent me to you, that ye in his name may arise from death, and that every man may know that death and life minister to my Saviour.'" He then, at the apostle's command, bare his tunic, and laid it on the two dead ones, and they forthwith rose up whole. When the idolater saw that, he prostrated himself at the feet of John, and then went to the prefect, and announced to him those miracles with a loud voice. Then they both sought the apostle, praying for his compassion: whereupon the apostle enjoined them a fast of seven days, and afterwards baptized them; and after their baptism they cast down all their idols, and with the aid of their kinsmen, and with all art, raised a great church to God in honour of the apostle.
Þaða se apostol wæs nigon and hund-nigontig geara, þa æteowode him Drihten Crist mid þam oðrum apostolum, þe hé of ðisum life genumen hæfde, and cwæð, "Iohannes, cum to me; tima is þæt þu mid ðinum gebroðrum wistfullige on minum gebeorscipe." Iohannes þa arás, and eode wið þæs Hælendes; ac he him to cwæð, "Nu on sunnan-dæg, mines æristes dæge, þu cymst to me:" and æfter ðam worde Drihten gewende to heofenum. Se apostol micclum blissode on ðam beháte, and on þam sunnan-uhtan ærwacol to ðære cyrcan com, and þam folce, fram hancrede oð undern, Godes gerihta lærde, and him mæssan gesang, and cwæð þæt se Hælend hine on ðam dæge to heofonum gelaðod hæfde. Het ða delfan his byrgene wið þæt weofod, and þæt greot ut-awegan. And hé eode cucu and gesund into his byrgene, and astrehtum handum to Gode clypode, "Drihten Crist, ic þancige ðe þæt þu me gelaðodest to þinum wistum: þu wást þæt ic mid ealre heortan þe gewilnode. Oft ic ðe bæd þæt ic moste to ðe faran, ac ðu cwæde þæt ic anbidode, þæt ic ðe mare folc gestrynde. Þu heolde minne lichaman wið ælce besmittennysse, and þu simle mine sawle onlihtest, and me nahwar ne forlete. Þu settest on minum muðe þinre soðfæstnysse word, and ic awrat ða lare ðe ic of ðinum muðe gehyrde, and ða wundra ðe ic ðe wyrcan geseah. Nu ic ðe betæce, Drihten! þine bearn, ða ðe þin gelaðung, mæden and moder, þurh wæter and þone Halgan Gast, ðe gestrynde. Onfoh me to minum gebroðrum mid ðam ðe ðu come, and me gelaðodest. Geopena ongean me lifes geat, þæt ðæra ðeostra ealdras me ne gemeton. Þu eart Crist, ðæs lifigendan Godes Sunu, þu þe be ðines Fæder hæse middangeard gehældest, and us ðone Halgan Gast asendest. Þe we heriað, and þanciað þinra menigfealdra goda geond ungeendode worulde. Amen." When the apostle was ninety-nine years old the Lord Christ appeared to him with the other apostles, whom he had taken from this life, and said, "John, come to me; it is time that thou with thy brethren shouldst feast at my banquet." John then arose, and went towards Jesus. But he said to him, "Lo, on Sunday, the day of my resurrection, thou shalt come to me:" and after those words the Lord returned to heaven. The apostle greatly rejoiced in that promise, and at sunrise early rising came to the church, and from cock-crowing until the third hour, taught God's law, and sang mass to them, and said, that the Saviour had called him to heaven on that day. He then ordered his grave to be dug opposite the altar, and the dust to be removed; and he went quick and whole into his grave, and with outstretched hands cried to God, "Lord Christ, I thank thee that thou hast invited me to thy banquet: thou knowest that with all my heart I have desired thee. Oft have I prayed thee that I might go to thee, but thou saidst that I should abide, that I might gain more people to thee. Thou hast preserved my body against every pollution, and thou hast ever illumined my soul, and hast nowhere forsaken me. Thou hast set in my mouth the word of thy truth, and I have written down the lore which I heard from thy mouth, and the wonders which I saw thee work. Now I commit to thee, Lord! thy children, those which thy church, maiden and mother, through water and the Holy Ghost have gained to thee. Receive me to my brothers with whom thou camest and invitedst me. Open towards me the gate of life, that the princes of darkness may not find me. Thou art Christ, Son of the living God, who, at thy Father's behest, hast saved the world, and hast sent us the Holy Ghost. Thee we praise and thank for thy manifold benefits throughout the world eternal. Amen."
Æfter ðysum gebede æteowode heofenlic leoht bufon ðam apostole, binnon ðære byrgene, ane tid swa beorhte scinende, þæt nanes mannes gesihð þæs leohtes leoman sceawian ne mihte; and he mid þam leohte his gast ageaf þam Drihtne þe hine to his rice gelaðode. He gewát swa freoh fram deaðes sarnysse, of ðisum andweardan life, swa swa he wæs ælfremed fram lichamlicere gewemmednysse. Soðlice syððan wæs his byrgen gemet mid mannan afylled. Manna wæs gehaten se heofenlica mete, þe feowertig geara afedde Israhela folc on westene. Nu wæs se bigleofa gemett on Iohannes byrgene, and nan ðing elles; and se mete is weaxende on hire oð ðisne andweardan dæg. Þær beoð fela tacna æteowode, and untrume gehælde, and fram eallum frecednyssum alysede, þurh ðæs apostoles ðingunge. Þæs him getiðað Drihten Crist, þam is wuldor and wurðmynt mid Fæder and Halgum Gaste, á butan ende. Amen. After this prayer a heavenly light appeared above the apostle, within the grave, shining for an hour so bright, that no man's sight might look on the rays of light; and with that light he gave up his spirit to the Lord, who had invited him to his kingdom. He departed as joyfully from the pain of death, from this present life, as he was exempt from bodily defilement. Verily his grave was afterwards found filled with manna. Manna the heavenly meat was called which for forty years fed the people of Israel in the wilderness. Now this food was found in the grave of John, and nothing else, and the meat is growing in it to this present day. Many miracles have there been manifested, and sick healed, and released from all calamities through the apostle's intercession. This hath the Lord Christ granted unto him, to whom is glory and honour with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever without end. Amen.