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more fiery temper than the rest of the apo- | will have it, that after preaching the gospel atles, of which we have this memorable in. in several parts of Judea and Samaria, 'he stance. When our Lord was determined on visited Spain, where he planted Christianity, his journey to Jerusalem, he sent some of and appointed some select disciples to perhis disciples before him to make prepara fect what he had begun; but if we consider tions for his coming; but, on their entering the shortness of St. James's life, and that a village of Samaria, they were rudely re the apostles continued in a body at Jerusajected, from the old grudge that subsisted lem, even after the dispersion of the other between the Samaritans and Jews, and Christians, we shall find it difficult to allow because the Saviour, by going up to Jerusa time sufficient for so tedious and difficult a lem, seemed to slight their place of worship voyage as that was in those early ages : and on mount Gerizim. This piece of rudeness | therefore it is safest to confine his ministry and inhumanity was so highly resented by to Judea and the adjacent countries. . St. James and his brother, that they came to Jesus, desiring to know if he would not imi Herod, who was a bigot to the Jewish retate Elias, by calling fire down from heaven ligion, as well as desirous of acquiring the fato consuine this barbarous unhospitable peo vour of the Jews, began a violent persecuple? Thus we find the best of men are but tion of the Christians, and his zeal against men, and that corrupt nature will some. them animated him to pass sentence of death times appear even in renewed minds. But on St. James immediately. As he was led the holy Jesus soon convinced them of their to the place of execution, the officer that mistake, by telling them, that instead of de guarded him to the tribunal, or rather his stroying, he was come to save, the lives of accuser, having been converted by that the children of men.
remarkable courage and constancy shewn
by the apostle at the time of his trial, repentmonocaravoroorooron
ed of wbat he had done, came and fell down
at the apostle's feet, and beartily begged CHAP. II.
pardon for what he had said against him. The Transactions of St. James, from the
The holy man, after recovering from the Messiah's Ascension, to his sealing the
surprise, tenderly embraced him. “Peace," Truth of the Gospel with his Blood.
said he, “my son, peace be unto thee, and
pardon of thy faults." Upon which the offi. SOPHRONIUS tells us, that after the cer publicly declared himself a Christian,
asceusion of the blessed Jesus, this and both were beheaded at the same time. a postle preached to the dispersed Jews; that | Thus fell the great apostle St. James, taking is, to those converts who dispersed after cheerfully that cup of which he had long the death of Stephen. The Spanish writers / since told his Lord, he was ready to drink.
Saint John the Evangelist.
Saviour, confidently entered the high priest's
hall, followed our Lord through the several The Transactions of St. John, from his particulars of his tr
particulars of his trial, and at last waited on Birth to the Ascension of his great Lord
him at his execution, owning him as well as and Master.
being owned by hien, in the midst of armed
soldiers, and in the thickest crowds of his ROM the very minute and circumstan most inveterate enemies. Here it was that T tial account this Evangelist gives of our great Redeemer committed to his care John the Baptist, he is supposed to have his sorrowful and discunsolate mother with been one of his followers, and is thought to 1 his dying breath. And certainly the holy be that other disciple who, in the first chap Jesus could not have given a more honourter of his gospel, is said to have been pre able testimony of his particular respect and sent with Andre, when John declared Jesus kindness to St. John, than by leaving his to be the Lamb of God, and thereupon to own mother to his trust and care, and subhave followed him to the place of his stituting him to supply that duty himself abode.
paid her while he resided in this vale of
sorrow. · He was by much the youngest of the
apostles, yet he was admitted into as great · a share of his Master's confidence as any of them. He was one of those to whom he
CHAP. II. communicated the most private transactions The Transactions of St. John. from the of his life: one of those whom he took with
Ascension of Christ to his Death. him when he raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead; one of those to whom he FTER the ascension of the Saviour of displayed a specimen of his divinity, in bis the world, when the apostles made a transliguration on the mount: one of those division of the province among themselves, who were present at his conference with that of Asia fell to the share of St. John, Moses and Elias, and heard that voice wbich though he did not immediately enter upon declared him the beloved Son of God; and his charge, but continued at Jerusalem till one of those who were companions in his the death of the blessed Virgin, which might solitude, most retired devotions, and bitter' | be about fifteen years after our Lord's ascen. agonies in the garden.
sion. · Being released from the trust com.
mitted to his care by his dying Master, lie These instances of particular favour our retired into Asia, and industriously applied apostle endeavoured, in some measure, to himself to the propagation of Christianity, answer by returns of particular kindness and preaching where the gospel had not yet been constancy. For though he at first deserted known, and confirming it where it was his Master on his apprehension, yet he soon already planted. Many churches of note recovered hiinself, and came back to see his and eminence were of his foundation, par
ticularly tliose of Smyrna, Pergamos, Thy- | had lately martyred Timothy the bishop. atira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Here with the assistance of seven other others; but his chief place of residence was bishops he took upon himself the govern. at Ephesus, where St. Paul had many years ment of the large diocese of Asia Minor, before founded a church, and constituted and disposed of the clergy in the best manTimothy bishop.
ner that the circumstances of those times
would permit, spending bis time in an indeAsier spending several years at Ephesus.
fatigable execution of his charge, travelling he was accused io Domitian, who had be
froin east to west, to instruct the world in
the principles of the holy religion he was gun a persecution against the Christians, as an eminent asserter of atheism and im
sent to propagate. piety, and a public subverter of the religion of the empire; so that by his command the In this manner St. John continued to la.. pro-consul sent bim bound to Rome, where bour in the vineyard of his great Master, he met with the treatment that might have until death put a period to all his toils and heen expected from so barbarous a prince, I sufferings; which happened in the beginbeing thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil. ning of Trajan's reign, in the ninety eighth But the Almighty, who reserved him for fur year of his age; and, according to Eusebius, ther service in the vineyard of his Son, re- bis remains were buried near Ephesus. strained the heat, as he did in the fiery furnace of old, and delivered him from this
St. John seems always to have led a single seemingly unavoidable destruction. And
life; though some of the ancients tells us he surely one would have thought that so mira
was a married man. He was polished by culous a deliverance should have been suf
no study or acts of learning; but what was ficient to have persuaded any rational inan,
wanting from human art, was abundantly that the religion he taught was from God,
supplied by the excellent constitution of and that he was protected from danger by the
his mind, and that fulness of divine grace hand of Omnipetence. But miracles them
with which he was adorned. His humility selves were not sufficient to convince this
was admirable, studiously concealing his cruel emperor, or abate his fury. He or
own honor. For in his epistles he never dered St. John to be transported to a dis
styles himself either a postle or evangelist: consolate island in the Archipelago, called
the title of presbyter, or elder, is all be ase Patmos, where he continued several years,
sumes, and probably in regard to his age as instructing the poor inhabitants in the know
much as bis office. In his gospel when he ledge of the Christian faith; and here, about
speaks of the disciples whom Jesus loved, hę the end of Domitian's reign, he wrote his book
constantly conceals his own name, leaving of Revelations, exhibiting by visions, and
the reader to discover whom he meant. prophetical representations, the state and
Love and charity he practised himself, and condition of Christianity in the future pe.
affectiouately pressed them upon others; riods and ages of the Church. Die
the great love of his. Saviour towards him
seems to have inspired his soul with a large Upon the death of Domitian, and the and more generous charity than the rest. succession of Narva, who repealed all the | This is the great vein that runs through all odious acts of his predecessor, and by pub his writings, especially, bis epistles, where lic edicts recalled those whom the fury of be urges it as the great and peculiar law of Domitian had bavished, St. John returned to Christianity, and without which all other Asia, and fixed his seat again at Ephesus; pretences to the religion of the holy Jesus the ratber because the people of that city are vain and frivolous, useless and insignifi.