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Saint Philip.

CIIAP. J.

| diately imparted the glad tidings of the Mesa

siah's appearance to his brother Nathaniel, The Transactions of St. Philip, from his and conducted him to him. Birth to his being called to the Apostle

After being called to the apostleship we ship. .......: Por i s, inde

have very little recorded of him by the M AIS apostle was a native of Bethsaida, evangelists. It was, however, to him that 1 the city of Andrew and Peter. He had

our Saviour proposed the question, 'where the honour of being first called to be a disci.

they should find bread sufficient to satisfy ple of the great Messiah, which happened

the hunger of so great a multitude ? Philip in the following manner : Our blessed Sa

answered, that it was not easy to procure viour, soon after his return from the wilder

so great a quantity; not considering that ness, where he had been tempted by the de

it was equally easy for Almighty power to vil, met with Andrew and his brother Peter,

feed double the number, when it should be and after some discourse parted from them.

bis divine will. It was also to the same The next day, as he was passing through

apostle that the Gentile proselytes, who Galilee, he found Philip, whom he present

came up to worship at Jerusalem, applied, Jy commanded to follow him, the constant

when they were desirous to see the Saviour form he made use of in calling his disciples,

of the world. And it was with him our and those that inseparably attended him.

Lord had the discourse a little before the So that the prerogative of being first called,

paschal supper. evidently belongs to St. Philip, he being the

The compassionate Jesus had been fortie first of our Lord's disciples ; for though Andrew and St. John were the first that

fying their minds with proper considerations came and conversed with the Saviour of the

against his departure from them, and had

told them that he was going to prepare for world, yet they immediately returned to

them a place in the mansions of the heaventheir occupation, and were not called till

ly Canaan; that he was “the way, the a whole year after. ci kami , truth, and the life ; and that no man could

come to the Father but by him." It cannot be doubted, that notwithstanding St. Philip was a native of Galilee, yet he Pbilip, not thoroughly understanding the was excellently skilled in the law and the

force of his Master's reasonings, begged of prophets. Metaphrastes assures us, that he

him, that he would shew them the Father. had, from his childhood, been excellently educated : that be frequently read over the Our blessed Lord gertly reprored his books of Moses, and attentively considered ignorance, that after attending so long the prophecies relating to the Messiah. to his instructions, he should not know that

he was the image of bis Father, the express Nor was our apostle idle after the ho. character of his infinite wisdom, power, and nour be had received of being called to ato | goodness appearing in him ; that he said and tend the Saviour of the world; he imnie. | did nothing but by his Father's appointment;

seed Lorem atid 100

which if they did not believe, his miracles, calling on the name of Christ, he procured were a sufficient evidence : that such de- the death, or, at least, the vanishing, of mands were therefore, unnecessary and an enormous serpent, to which they paid impertient : and that it was an indication of adoration. .

great weakness in him, after three years' · education under his discipline and institu Having thus demolished their deity, he tion, to appear so ignorant with regard to

demonstrated to them how ridiculous and these particulars.

unjust it was for them to pay divine honours to such odious creatures ; shewed them that God alone was to be worshipped as the

great parent of all the world, who, in the CHAP. II.

beginning made man after his glorious

image, and when fallen from that innocent · The Transactions of St. Philip to the and happy state, sent his own Son into the ... Time of his Martyrdom. | world to redeem him : that in order to per

form this glorious work, he died on the THE ancients tell us, that in the distri cross and rose again from the dead, and

bution made by the apostles of the at the end of the world, will come again to several regions of the world, the Upper raise all the sons of men from the chambers Asia fell to his share, where he laboured of the dust, and sentence them to everlastwith indefatigable diligence and industry ing rewards or punishments. This dis By the constancy and power of his preach- | course roused them from their lethargy, ing, and the efficacy of his miracles, be they were ashamed of their late idolatry, gained numerous converts, whom be bap. and great numbers embraced the doctrines tized into the Christian faith, curing at of the gospel. once their bodies of infirmities and distempers, and their souls of errors and idolatry: This provoked the great enemy of manHe continued with them a considerable kind, and he bad recourse to his old methods, time in settling churches, and appointing cruelty and persecution. The magistrates them guides and ministers of religion. of the city seized the apostle, and, having

thrown him into prison, caused him to be After several years successfully exercising scourged. When this preparatory cruelty his apostolical office in all those parts, he was over, he was led to execution, and, came at last to' Hieropolis, in Phrygia, a being bound, was hanged against a pillar: city remarkably rich and populous, but at lor, according to others, crucified. The the same time over-run with the most enor a postle being dead, his body was taken mous idolatry.

down by St. Bartholomew, his fellow-labour

er in the gospel, and Mariamne, St. Philip's St. Pbilip, being grieved to see the peo sister, the constant companion of bis travels, ple so wretchedly enslaved by error and sú and decently buried; after which they conperstition, continually offered his addresses firmed the people in the faith of Christ, and to heaven, till, by his prayers, and often departed from them.

St. Bartholomero.

CHAP. I. ..,

that

was no guile, not in an absolute but restricted sense; for perfection cannot be attached to human nature, but in the character of the blessed Jesus, of whom it is said, with peculiar propriety, that he was holy,harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners; also that he knew no sin, neither was guile, that is, fraud, or deception, found in his tongue. Our Saviour knew that Bartholomew's doubt of his Messiahship arose from Philip's announcing him in the character of Jesus of Nazareth, a place stigmatized for the vices of its inhabitants; which on a similar occasion caused an interrogatory, which accords with Bartholomew's opinion; Can any good come out of Nazareth ? Our Saviour therefore commends his frankness, by denominating him, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile. In another sense he appeared to be a true Israelite, or one that waited for redemption in Israel, which from the times mentioned in the scripture predictions, he knew to be near at hand.

The Transactions of St. Bartholomew,

from his Birth to the Ascension of his great Master. THIS apostle is mentioned amongst the

I twelve immediate disciples of our Lord, under the appellation of Bartholomew, though it is evident, from divers passages of scripture, that he was also called Natha. njel: we shall therefore, in our account of his life, consider the names of Nathaniel and Bartholomew, as belonging to one and the same person......

With regard to his descent and family, some are of opinion that he was a Syrian, and that he was descended from the Ptolemies of Egypt. But it is plain, from the evangelical history that he was a Galilean, St. John having expressly told us that Nathaniel was of Cana, in Galilee. .

his li we

The scripture is silent with regard to his He was greatly surprised at our Lord's trade and inanner of life, though from some | salutations, wondering how he could know circumstances, there is room to imagine bim at first sight, as imagining he had never that he was a fisherman. He was at the before seen his face. But he was answered, first coming to Christ, conducted by Philip,

na to Christ, conducted by Philip, that he had seen him while he was yet who told him they had now found the long under the fig-tree, even before Philip called espected Messiah, so often foretold by hiin. Convinced by this instance of our Moses, and the prophets, Jesus of Naza. Lord's divinity, he presently made his conreth, the son of Joseph. And when he ob fession that he was now sure that Jesus was jected that the Messiah could not be born the promised Messiah, that Son of God at Nazareth, Philip desired him to come whom he had appointed to govern the and satisfy himself, that be was the Mes. church. Our blessed Saviour told him, that siah.

if from this instance he could believe him to

be the Messiah, he should have far greater At his approach, our blessed Saviour salu. | arguments to confirm his faith ; for that he ted bim with this honourable appellation, that should hereafter behold the heavens opened he was an Israelite indeed, in whom there to receive him, and the angels visibly ap. pearing joyful at his entrance into the hea-' | the blind idolaters of the evil of their ways, venly Canaan,

and direct them in the paths that lead to

eternal salvation. This enraged the biarresired

gotted magistrates, and he was, together

with St. Philip, designed for 'martyrdom, CHAP. II.

and in order to this, fastened to a cross ;

but their consciences pricking them for a The Transactions of St. Bartholomewo, time, they took St. Bartholomew down from

from the Ascension of Christ to his the cross and set bim at liberty...! Martyrdom.

UR apostle having his peculiar spot From hence he retired to Lycaonia, and

allotted him, for the promulgation of St. Chrysostom assures us that he instructed the gospel of bis blessed Master, who had and trained up the inhabitants in the Chrisnow ascended into heaven, and dispersed tian discipline. His last remove was to his Holy Spirit to fit and qualify bis disciples Albanople, in Great Armenia, a place mifor the important work, visited different serably overrun with idolatry, from which parts of the world to preach the gospel, and he laboured to reclaim the people. But his penetrated as far as the higher India. . endeavours to turn them from darkness

unto light, and from the power of Satan . After spending considerable time in India, unto God, were so far from having the deand the eastern extremities of Asia, he re sired effect, that it provoked, the magisturned to the northern and western parts,

trates, who prevailed on the governor to and we find him at Hieropolis, in Phrygia,

put him to death, which he cheerfully underlabouring in copsort with St. Philip to plant

went, sealing the truth of the doctrine he Christianity in those parts; and to convince | preached with his blood.

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Saint Matthew.

rood

CHAP. I.

| Jews on two accounts; first, because hav.

ing farmed the custom of the Romans, they

used every method of oppression to pay The Transactions of St. Matthew, from

their rents to the Romans; secondly, behis Birth to the Ascension of Christ.

cause they demanded of the Jews, who con

sidered themselves as a free people, having ST. Matthew, called also Levi, though a received that privilege froni God himself. w Roman officer, was a true Hebrew, and And hence they had a common proverb probably a Galilean. His trade was that of l among them, “ Take not a wite out of that a publican, or tax-gatherer to the Romans, 1 family in which there is a publican, for an office detested by the generality of the 1 they are all publicans.” That is, they are. No. 22.

4 T

all thieves, robbers, and notorious sinners. | bumble self-convinced, siyners, to repente, And to this proverbial custom our blessed ance. Saviour alludes, when speaking of an hardened sinner, on whom neither private re | After St. Matthew's election to the apoproofs, nor the public censures and admoni- stleship, he continued with the rest till the tions of the church, can prevail. Let him be ascension of his great and beloved Master ; 10 thee as an Heathen man and a publican. ', but the evangelical writers bave recorded

nothing particular concerning him, during Our blessed Saviour having cured a per that period. pro

S

g? 10 son long afflicted with the palsy, retired out of Capernaum, to walk by the sea-side, where he taught the people that flocked after him.

CHAP. 11. 1 is just a Here he saw Matthew sitting in his office,

Pjeo may nagpun wont and called him to follow him. The man The Transactionsof St. Malthew, from the was rich, had a large and profitable employ Ascension of Christ to his Martyrdom. ment, was a wise and prudent person, and doubtless understood what would be his

FTER our blessed Saviour's ascension loss to comply with the call of Jesus. He

A into heaven, St. Matthew, for the first was not ignorant that he must exchange

eight years at least, preached in different wealth for poverty, a custom-house for a

parts of Judea ; but afterwards he left the prison, and rich and powerful masters for

country of Palestine to convert the Gentile a naked and despised Saviour. But he

world. Before his departure he was intreatoverlooked all these considerations, left all

ed by the Jewish converts to write the hishis interest and relations to become our

tory of the life and actions of the blessed Lord's disciple, and to embrace a more spi Jesus, and leave it among them as a stand. rilual way of life.

ing monument of what he had so often de.

livered to them in his sermons. This he The Pharisees, who sought all opportu

| readily complied with, as we shall more parnities of raising objections against the doc- ticularly mention in giving an account of irines of the blessed Jesus, 1ook this oppor- | bis gospel. tunity of suggesting to his disciples, that it was highly unbecoming so pure and holy a After his leaving Judea, he travelled into person as their Master appeared to be, to

several parts, especially Ethiopia, but the converse so familiarly with the worst of men ;

particular places he visited are not known with publicans and sinners, persons infa

with any certainty. mous to a proverb. But he presently replied to them, that these were the sick, and However, after labouring indefatigably in therefore needed the physician; that bis the vineyard of his Master, he suffered marcompany was of most consequence where tyrdom at a city of Ethiopia, called Naddathe souls of men most required it ; that God bar; but by what kind of death is not absohimself preferred works of mercy and cha. | lutely known, though the general opinion rity, especially in doing good to the souls is, that he was slain with an halbert.

of men, infinitely above all ritual observ. ·ances; and that the principal design of his | St. Matthew was a remarkable instance coming into the world was not to call the of the power of religion, in bringing men righteous, or those who, like themsclves, to a better temper of mind. If we reflect vainly pretended to be so, but sinners, upon his circumstances while he continued

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