St. John and Cerinthus (A.D. 80. Cleric. Hist. Eccles. p. 493) accidentally met in the public bath of
Ephesus; but the apostle fled from the heretic, lest the
building should tumble on their heads. This foolish story,
reprobated by Dr. Middleton, (Miscellaneous Works, vol.
ii.,) is related, however, by Irenaeus, (iii. 3,) on the
evidence of Polycarp, and was probably suited to the time
and residence of Cerinthus. The obsolete, yet probably the
true, reading of 1 John, iv. 3 —
—alludes to the double nature of that primitive heretic.