Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

a stranger to the great Redeemer of man- | himself. The rest of the evangelists are kind, we shall find that the love of the careful to mention the honour of bis apoworld had possessed his heart. But not stleship, but speak of his former sordid, diswithstanding this, no sooner did Christ call honest and disgraceful course of life, only him, than he abandoned, without the least uuder the name of Levi ; while he himself scruple or hesitation, all his riches ; nay, sets it down with all the circumstances, he not only renounced his lucrative trade, under his own proper and common name. but ran the greatest bazard of displeasing A conduct which at once commends the the masters who employed him, for quitting prudence and candour of the apostle, and their service without giving them the least suggests to us this useful reflection, that the notice, and leaving his accounts in confu. greatest sinners are not excluded from dision. Had our blessed Saviour appeared vine grace ; nor can. any, if penitent, have as a secular prince, clothed with temporal i just reason to despair, when publicans and power and authority, it would have been sioners find mercy at the throne of grace. no wonder for him to have gone over to his service ; but when he appeared under all The last thing we shall remark in the the circumstances of meanness and disgrace, life of this apostle, is his gospel written at when he seems to promise his followers no the entreaty of the Jewish converts, while thing but misery and sufferings in this life, | he abode in Palestine ; but at what time and to propose no other rewards than the is uncertain ; soine will have it to have been invisible encouragements of another world, written eight, some fifteen, and some thirty his change appears truly wonderful and years, after our Lord's ascension. It was surprising ; but divine grace can subdue originally written in Hebrew, but soon after all opposition.

| translated into Greek by one of the disciples.

His contempt of the world appeared in his exemplary temperance and abstemiousness from all delights and pleasures ; nay, even from the ordinary conveniences and accommodations of it. He was mean and modest in his own opinion, always preferring others to himself ; for whereas the other evangelists, in describing the apostles by pairs, constantly place him before St. Thomas, he modestly places, him before

After the Greek translation was admitted, the Hebrew copy was chiefly owned and used by the Nazaræi, a middle sect between Jews and Christians : with the former, they adhered to the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, and with the latter, they believed in Christ, and embraced his religion ; and hence this gospel has been styled “ The gospel according to the Hebrews,' and " The gospel of the Nazarenes."

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

575 efsiogivad l as sHT 3 Sarris ! To Pedrobe I JEDT9 o 159 COGE c ome

out of 1910. aut 10 9701 st 1 sdt boit lada si mat b bob Vacation are the

en

1159 and bgaa9ac0q below VENETO Sato la guih Saint Thomas. bib 1000e of illa Das sline 10990 sau 10 il suodin blatoboss and tour EDGASP lis w triob

ě origine zid ils cholestean To STD

139079-two i nab abgut wisi ad bonito D91 v'hotos Debt St te void w333bnai amenalib tomosdossier jud

u eCHAP. I. beonbu | cannot miss the way, if you follow my exdodat, its all ample. mod galveg tror vi oss viedt The Transactions of St. Thomas, from 450 E: 21Suoass eid is b orot

his Birth to the Ascension of our bles After the disciples had seen their great besed Saviour. 190W nisgeb 01 RON 1213 Master expire on the cross, their minds

J0973 lo noti 1,18 prom bait asiatie were distracted by hopes and fears, concern. TVANGELICAL history is entirely si. ing bis resurrection, about which they were

lent with regard either to the country not then fully satisfied; which engaged him or kindred of Thomas. It is, however, cer the sooner to hasten his appearance, that tain that he was a Jev, and in all probability by the sensible manifestations of himself, he a Galilean. Judaizsisti obodo si might put the matter beyond all possibility nedosyal or Vi aver liw.

5o , nien1990ai of dispute. Accordingly, the very day in He was, together like the rest, called to which he arose from the dead, he came into the apostleship; and, not long after, gave the house where they were assembled, while an eminent instance of his being ready to

the doors about them were close shut, and undergo the most melancholy fate that might gave them sufficient assurance, that he was attend him. For when the rest of the apo risen from the dead. stles dissuaded their Master from going into i b9166s blow si o imos H Judea, at the time of Lazarus's death, be. At this meeting Thomas was absent, have cause the Jews lately endeavoured to stone ing probably never joined their company him, Thomas desired them not to hinder his 1 since their dispersion in the garden, where journey thither, though it might cost them every one's fears prompted him to consult all their lives. "Let us go, said he, that his own safety. At his return, they told we may die with him ;!" concluding that, him that the Lord had appeared to them; instead of Lazarus being raised from the but he obstinately refused to give credit to dead, they should all, like him, be placed what they said, or believe that it was really in the chambers of the dust.

On he, presuming it rather a spectre or appa

rition, unless he might see the very print of When the holy Jesus, a little before his the nails, and feel the wounds, in his hands sufferings, had been speaking to them of and side. the joys of heaven, and had told them that he was going to prepare mansions for them, But our compassionate Saviour would not that they might follow him, and that they take the least notice of his perverse obsti. knew both the place whither he was going, Bacy, but on that day seven-night came and the way thither ; our apostle replied, again to them, as they were solemnly met at that they knew not whither he was going, their devotions, and calling to Thomas, bade much less the way that would lead them him look upon his hands, put his fingers into thither. To which our Lord returned this | the prints of the nails, and thrust his hand into short but satisfactory answer, I am the way; bis side, to satisfy his faith by a demonstration I am the person whom the Father has sent from the senses. Thomas was soon con. into the world to shew mankind the paths vinced of his error and obstinacy, confessing that lead to eternal life; and, therefore, you that he now acknowledged him to be bis Lord and Master, saying, My Lord and my God. that St. Thomas came first to Socotora, an Our Lord answered, that it was happy for island in the Arabian Sea, and then to him he believed the testimony of his own Cranganor, where having converted many senses; but that it would have been more from the error of their ways, he travelled commendable in him to have believed with farther into the East; and having successfulout seeing, because it was foretold that the 1 ly preached the gospel, returned back to the Son of God should burst the chains of death kingdom of Coromandel, where, at Maliaand rise again from the dead.

pour, the metropolis of that kingdom, not

far from the mouth of the Ganges, he began $90-3ecoensessbeo20 toerect a place for divine worship, till prohi.

bited by the idolatrous priests, and Sagamo, CHAP. II.

prince of that country. But after perform

ing several miracles, the work was suffered The Transactions of St. Thomas, from the to proceed, and Sagamo himself embraced Ascension of the Son of God to his Death. the Christian faith, whose example was soon

followed by great numbers of his friends and UR great Redeemer having, according subjects.

to promise before his ascension, poured an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Ghost This remarkable success alarmed the upon the disciples, to qualify them for the Brachmans, who plainly perceived that their great work of preaching the gospel, Saint religion would be soon extirpated, unless Thomas, as well as the rest, preached the some method could be found of putting a gospel in several parts of Judea ; and after stop to the progress of Christianity: and the dispersion of the Christian church in therefore resolved to put the apostle to Jerusalem, repaired into Parthia, the pro death. At a small distance from the city to vince assigned him for his ministry. After was a bomb, whither St. Thomas often retirwhich, as Sempronius and others inform us, ed for private devotions. Hither the Brachhe preached the gospel to the Medes, Per mans and their armed followers pursued sians, Carmanians, Hyrcani, Bractariaus, him, and while he was at prayer, they first and the neighbouring nations. During his shot at him with a shower of darts, after preaching in Persia, he is said to have met which one of the priests ran him through with with the Magi, or wise men, who had taken a lance, that long journey at our Saviour's birth to worship him whom he baptized, and [ His body was taken up by his disciples, tuok with him as his companions and assist. and buried in the church he had lately erectants in propagating the gospel.

ed, and which was afterwards improved in

to a fabric of great inagnificence. Leaving Persia, he travelled into Ethiopia, preaching the glad tidings of the gospel, St. Chrysostom says, that St. Thomas, healing their sick, and working other mira. who at first was the weakest and most incre. , cles, to proye he had his commission from on dulous of all the apostles, became, through high. And after travelling through these Christ's condescension to satisfy his scruples, countries, he entered India.

and the power of the divine grace, the most

active, and invincible of them all; travelling When the Portuguese first visited thiese over most parts of the world, and living countries, after their discovery of a passage without fear in the midst of barbarous na. by the Cape of Good Hope, they received tions, through the efficacy of that almighty the following particulars, partly from con power, which can make the weakest vessels stant and uncontroverted traditions presery to perforin acts of the greatest difficulty and ed by the Christians in those parts; namely, ! moment. ..

No. 23.

Saint James the Less.

'TT has been doubted by some whether this sess such extraordinary endowments. The

I was the same with that St. James who Jews looked for a Messiah invested with all was afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, two of the pomp and splendour of an earthly potenthis name being mentioned in the sacred tate; well then might they ask, when they writings, namely, St. James the Great, and beheld the display of his power, Whence then St. James the Less, both a postles. The hath this man these things? ancients mention a third, sirnamed the Just, which they will have to be distinct from the 1 After the resurrection, he was honoured former, and bishop of Jerusalem. But this with the particular appearance of our Lord opinion is built on a sandy foundation, to him, which, though passed over in silence for nothing is plainer than that St. James the by the evangelists, is recorded by St. Paul. a postle (whom St. Paul calls our Lord's brother, and reckons, with Peter and John, Some time after this appearance, he was one of the pillars of the church) was the same | chosen bishop of Jerusalem, and preferred who presided among the apostles, doubtless before all the rest for his near relation to by virtue of his episcopaloffice, and determin- | Christ; for the same reason we find Simon ed the causes in the synod of Jerusalem. | chosen to be his immediate successor in that It is reasonable to think that he was the son see, because, after St. James, he was our of Joseph, afterwards the husband of Mary, Lord's next kinsman; a consideration that by his first wife, whom St. Jerom styles made Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, Escha, and adds, that she was the daughter though they had been peculiarly honoured of Aggi, brother to Zacharias, the father of by our Saviour, pot to contend for this high John the Baptist. Hence te was reputed and honourable station, but freely chose our Lord's brother. We find indeed several ✓ James bishop of Jerusalem.. mentioned as the brethren of our Saviour in the Evangelical history; but in what sense, | When St. Paul came to Jerusalem after was greatly controverted by the ancients. his conversion, he applied to St. James, and St. Jerom, St. Chrysostom, and some others, was by him honoured with the right hand will have them to be called, from their be of fellowship. And it was to St. James that ing the sons of Mary, cousin-german, or Peter sent the news of his miraculous deliveraccording to the Hebrew idiom, sister to ance out of prison. “Go, said he, sbew these the Virgin Mary. But Eusebius, Epiphanius, things unto James and to the brethren;" and many others, tell us, they were the that is, to the whole church, especially to children of Joseph by a former wife. And St James the pastor of it. this seems to be more natural, and best agrees with what the evangelists say of them, He performed every part of his duty with when they enumerate the questions of the all possible care and industry, omitting ro Jews: evidently implying their astonish particular necessary to be observed by a ment, that a person descended from, and diligent and faithful guide of souls, strengthrelated to, not the opulent and the mighty, ening the weak, instructing the ignorant, but those of a humble sphere, as his parents reducing the erroneous, reproving the oband bretbren were known to be, should posa stinate; and by the constancy of his ser

mons, conquering the stubbornness of that trine of Jesus who was crucified; tell us what perverse and refractory generation he had is the instruction of the crucified Jesus?" to deal with, many of the nobler and better To which the apostle answered, with an ausort being persuaded to embrace the Chris dible voice, “ Why do you enquire of Jesus, tian faith.

the Son of man? He sits in heaven, at the

right hand of the Majesty on bigh, and will But a person so careful, so successful income again in the clouds of heaven.” The his charge, could not fail of exciting the people below hearing this, glorified the

spite and malice of his enemies; a sort of blessed Jesus, and openly proclaimed, · men to whom the apostle has given too true Hosanna to the Son of David.

a character, that they please not God, and are contrary to all men. They were vexed | The Scribes and Pharisees now perceived to see St. Paul had escaped their hands, by that they had acted foolishly; that instead appealing unto Cæsar; and therefore turn- of altering, they had confirmed the people ed their fury against St. James: but being in their belief: and that there was no way unable to effect their design under the go I left but to dispatch him immediately, in vernment of Festus, they determined to at. order to warn others by his sufferings not to tempt it under the procuratorship of Albi | believe in Jesus of Nazareth. Accordingly nus his successor, Ananus the Younger, of they suddenly cried out, That James himthe sect of the Sadducees, being high priest. self was seduced, and become an impostor,

and immediately threw him from the pinna. In order to this a council was summoned, cle on which he stood, into the court below: and the apostle, with others, arraigned, and but not being killed on the spot, he recocondemned as violators of the law. But | vered himself so far as to rise on his knees, that the action might appear more plausible and prayed fervently to heaven for his murand popular, the Scribes and Pharisees, derers. But malice is too diabolical to be masters in the art of dissimulation, endea- pacified with kindness, or satisfied with voured to ensnare him ; and at their first cruelty. coming told him, that they had all placed the greatest confidence in him ; that the | Accordingly, his enemies, vexed that they whole nation, as well as they, gave him the bad not fully accomplished their work, pourtitle of a just man, and one that was no re ed a shower of stones upon him, while he specter of persons; that they therefore de | was imploring their forgiveness at the throne sired he would correct the error and false of grace; and one of them, dissatisfied with opinion the people had conceived of Jesus, this cruel treatment, put an end to his whom they considered as the Messiah, and misery with a fuller's club. take this opportunity of the universal confluence to the paschal solemnity to set them Thus did this great and good man finish right in their opinions in this particular, his course in the ninety-sixth year of his age; and would go with them to the top of the | and about twenty-four years after our blestemple, where he might be seen and heard sed Saviour's ascension into heaven. His by all.

death was lamented by all good men, even

by the sober and just persons among the The apostle readily consented, and being Jews themselves, as Josephus himself conadvantageously placed on a pinnacle of the fesses. temple, they addressed him in the following manner: “ Teil us, for we have all the real He was a inan of exemplary piety and son in the world to believe, that the people devotion, educated under the strictest rules are thus generally led away with the doc. I and institutions of religion. Prayer was bis

« AnteriorContinuar »