Imagens das páginas

constant business and delight; lie seems as I wore on his head evinced his priesthood, it were to have lived upon it, and continu which was rather from Melchizedec than ally to have had his conversation in heaven; Aaron; so he never shaved bis bead, or and he who has told us, that the prayer of a using any ointments, his habit and diet, and frighteous man availeth much, found it so the great severity of his life shewed him to by his own experience, heaven lending a belong to the Nazarite institution, to whom more immediate ear to his petitions ; so that he was consecrated even from his mother's in a time of remarkable drought, on bis womb. In short, he was a man of so divine praying for rain, the clouds melted into a temper, that he was at once the wonder fruitful showers.

of bis age; and from the reputation of his

holy and religious life, was styled James Nor was his charity towards men less than the Just. his piety towards God; he did good to all, watched over the souls of men, and studied He wrote only one epistle, probably not to advance their eternal welfare. He was long before his martyrdom, as appears from of a remarkable meek and humble tenper, some passages in it, relating to the near honouring what was excellent in others, and approach of the destruction of the Jews. concealing what was valuable in himself. He directed it to the Jewish converts, disNeither the eininence of his relation to the persed up and down those Eastern counblessed Jesus, nor the dignity of the place tries, to comfort them under their suffer. he so wortbily filled, could induce him to ings, and confirm them against error. He entertain lofty thoughts of himself above the saw a great degeneracy and declension of rest of his brethren; on the contrary, he manners coming on; and that the purity of strove to conceal whatever might place him the christian faith began to be undermined in a higher rank than the other disciples of by the doctrines and practices of the Gnosthe Lord of glory. Though he was a rela. tics, who, under pretence of zeal for the tive to the Redeemer of mankind, he styles legal rites, generally mixed themselves with himself only the servant of our Lord Jesus the Jews. He beheld libertinism flowing in Christ, not so much as mentioning his be apace, and the way to heaven iade soft ing an apostle.'

and easy, men declaiming against good

works as useless and unnecessary, and His temperance was admirable, wholly wresting the scriptures to subserve the purabstaining from flesh, drivking neither wine pose of their lust and corrupt affections, our nor strong drink, and never using the bath. | Apostle therefore recommends that faith He lived indeed after the strictest rules of which works by love, purifies the heart, and the Nazarite order: and as the mitre he brings forth obedience to the will of God.

Saint Simon the Zealot.

QT. Simon, in the catalogue of the apo- sephus gives a large account of them, and

stles, is stiled. Simon the Canaanite, every where bewails then as the great whence some conjecture he was born in plague of the nation. Cana of Galilee, and others will have him to have been the bridegroom mentioned by Many attempts were made, especially by St. John, at whose marriage our blessed Anpas the high priest, to reduce them to Saviour turned the water into wine. But order, and oblige them to observe the rules this word has no relation to his country, or of sobriety; but all were in vain. They the place of his nativity, being derived from continued their violent proceedings, and, the Hebrew word knah, which signifies zeal, joining with the Idumeans, committed every and denotes a warm and sprightily temper. kind of outrage. They broke into the sancWhat some of the Evangelists therefore call | tuary, slew the priests themselves before

Çanaanite, others, from the Greek word, the altar, and filled the streets of Jerusalem stile Zealot : not from his great zeal, his with tumults, rapine, and blood. Nay, ardent affection to his master, and his desire when Jerusalem was closely besieged by the of advancing his religion in the world, but Roman army, they continued their detestfrom his warm active temper, and zealous able proceedings, creating fresh tumults and forwardness in some particular sect of reli factions, and were indeed the principal gion before his coming to our Saviour. cause of the ill success of the Jews in that

fatal war. In order to understand this the better, it will be necessary to observe, that as there This is a true account of the sect of the were several sects and parties among the zealots; though whatever St. Simon was Jews, so there was one, either a distinct before, we have no reasou to suspect, but sect or at least a branch of the Pharisees, after his conversion he was very zealous for called the sect of the Zealots. This sect the honour of his master, and considered took upon them to execute punishments in all those who were enemies to Christ as extraordinary cases ; and that not only by enemies to himself, however near they might the condivance, but with the leave both of be to him in any natural relation. And as the rulers and the people, till, in process of he was very exact in all the practical duties time, their zeal degenerated into all kinds of of the christian religion, so he shewed a licentiousness and wild extravagance; and very serious and pious indignation towards they not only became the pests of the com those who professed religion, and a faith in monwealth at liome, but opened the door | Christ with their mouths, but dishonoured for the Romans to break in upon them, to their sacred profession, by their irregular their final and irrevocable ruin. They were and vicious lives, as many of the first procontinually prompting the people to throw fessing Christians really did. off the Roman yoke, and assert their natural liberty, taking care when they had St. Simon continued in communion with thrown all things into confusion, to make | the rest of the apostles and disciples at Jetheir own advantage of the tumult. Jou rusalem; and at the feast of Pentecost re

No. 23.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ceived the same miraculous gifts of the Holy | that after he had passed through those burn. Ghost; so that he was qualified with the ing wastes, he took ship and visited the frorest of his brethren for the apostolic office. zen regions of the north, preaching the gosIn propagating the gospel of the Son of pel to the inhabitants of the western parts, God, we cannot doubt of his exercising his and even in Britain; where having convertgifts with the same zeal and fidelity, as his ed great multitudes, and sustained the greatfellow apostles, though in what art of the est hardships and persecutions, he was at world is uncertain ; some say he went into last crucified, and buried in some part of Egypt, Cyrene, and Africa, preaching the Great Britian, but the place where is ungospel to the inhabitants of those remote known.

3 and barbarous countries, and others add S countries; and others add



[ocr errors]

THIS apostle is mentioned by three seve- he does not tell us whether it was the Cyrene

1 ral names in the evangelical history, an Lybia, which is thought to have received namely, Jude, or Judas Thaddeus, and the gospel from St. Mark, or the more Lebbeus.

southern parts of Africa. But however that be, in his first setting out to preach the

gospel, he travelled up and down Judea and He was brother to St. James the Less, afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, being the

Galilee; then through Samaria into Idumea, son of Joseph, the reputed father of Christ,

and to the cities of Arabia and the neighbourby a former wife. It is not known when

ing countries, and afterwards to Syria and or by what means he became a disciple of

Mesopotamia. Nicephorus adds, that he our blessed Saviour, nothing being said of

came at last to Edessa, where Abagarus him, till we find him in the catalogue of the

governed, and where Thaddeus, one of the twelve apostles ; nor afterwards till Christ's

seventy, had already sown the seeds of the Last Supper, when discoursing with them

gospel. Here he perfected what the other about his departure, and comforting them

had begun; and having, by his sermons and

iniracles established the religion of Jesus, with a promise, that he would return to

he died in peace; but others say that he them again, meaning after his resurrection, and that the world should see him no more

was slain in Berites, and honourably buried though they should see him, our apostle

there. The writers of the Latin church are said to his master, Lord, how is it that

unanimous in declaring, that he travelled thou will manifest thyself to us, and not

into Persia, where, after great success in

his apostolical ministry for many years, he unto the world?

was at last, for his free and open reproving

the superstitious rites and customs of the Paulinus tells us, that the province which Magi, cruelly put to death. fell to the share of St. Jude in the apostolic division of the provinces, was Lybia, but | St. Jude left only one epistle, which is

[blocks in formation]

placed the last of those seven, stiled catho , the false teachers who laboured so indefati-
lic, in the sacred canon. It hath no particu- / gably to corrupt it.
lar inscription as the other six have, but is
thought to have been primarily intended for 1 It was some time before this epistle was
the christian Jews, in their several dis. generally received in the church. The au-
persions, as St. Peter's epistles were. In it he thor indeed, like St. James, St. John, and
tells them, “ that he first intended to write sometimes St. Paul, does not call himself an
to them in general of the common salvation, a postle, stiling himself only the servant of
and establish and confirm them in it: but | Christ. But he has added what is equiva-
seeing the doctrine of Christ attacked on lent, Jude the brother of James, a character
every side by heretics, he conceived it more that can belong to no one but our apostle.
necessary to spend his time inexhorting them And surely the humility of a follower of
to fight manfully in defence of the faith | Jesus should be no objection against his
once delivered to the saints, and oppose' writings.

Saint Matthias.

A S Matthias was not an apostle of the 1 duly qualified for the important office. The A first election, immediately called and method of eiection was by lots, a way comchosen of the Son of God himself, it can- mon both among the Jews and Gentiles for not be expected that any account of him determining doubtful and difficult cases, can be found in the evangelical history. He especially in chusing judges or magistrates. was one of our Lord's disciples, probably one And this course seems to have been taken of the seventy that attended on him the whole by the apostles, because the Holy Ghost was. time of his public ministry, and after his not yet given, by whose immediate dictates. death was elected to the apostleship, to sup and inspirations they were afterwards chiefly ply the place of Judas, who, after betraying guided. The prayer being ended, the lotshis great Lord and Master, laid violent hands were drawn, by which it appeared that Maton himself.

thias was the person, and he was according

ly numbered among the twelve apostles. The defection of Judas having made a vacancy in the apostolic college, the first thing Not long after this election the promised they did after their return from mount Oli powers to the Holy Ghost were conferred vet, when their great Master ascended to upon the apostles, to qualify them for that the tbrone of his glory, was to fill up this great and difficult employment upon which vacancy with a proper person.

they were sent, the establishing the holy

religion of the Son of God among the chile Accordingly two persons were proposed, dren of men. Joseph called Barsabas, and Matthias, both |


St. Matthias spent the first year of his sealed the truth of the gospel he had so assiministry in Judea, where he reaped a very duously preached with his blood. Dorotheus considerable harvest of souls, and then tra says he finished his course at Sebastople, velled into different parts of the world, to and was buried there near the temple of the publish the glad tidings of salvation to peo sun. An ancient Martyrology reports him ple who had never yet heard of a Saviour: to have been seized by the Jews, and as a but the particular parts he visited are not blasphemer to have been stoned and then certainly known.

beheaded. But the Greek officers, supportIt is likewise uncertain by wliat kind of ed herein by several ancient breviaries, tell death he left the regions of mortality, and us that he was crucified.

[ocr errors]

THIS apostle was descended from Jewish St. Mark did not confine himself to Alex1 parents, and of the tribe of Levi. Norandria, and the oriental parts of Egypt, but was it uncommon among the Jews to change removed westward to Lybia, passing through their names on some remarkable revolution the countries of Marmacia, Pentapolis, and or accident of life, or when they intended others adjacent, where, though the people to travel into any of the European provinces were both barbarous in their manners, and of the Roman empire.

idolatrous in their worship, yet by his 93 Santa preaching and miracles he prevailed on them The ancients generally considered him as 1 to embrace the tenets of the gospel; nor one of the seventy disciples; and Epiphanius did he leave them till he had confirmed them expressly tells us, that he was one of those, / in the faith. who taking exception at our Lord's discourse of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, went back, and walked no more After this long tour be returned to Alexwith him. But there appears no manner of andria, where he preached with the greatfoundation for these opinions, nor likewise est freedom, ordered and disposed of the for that of Nicephorus, who will have him affairs of the church, and wisely provided to be the son of St. Peter's sister. w

for a succession, by constituting governors

and pastors of it. But the restless enemy of Eusebius tells us, that St. Mark was sent the souls of men would not suffer our apo. into Egypt by St. Peter to preach the gospel, stle to continue in peace and quietness, for and accordingly planted a church at Alexan while he was assiduously labouring in the dria the metropolis of it: and his success vineyard of his Master, the idolatrous inha-' was so very remarkable, that he converted bitants, about the time of Easter, when multitudes both of men and women ; per. they were celebrating the solemnities of suading them not only to embrace the Chris. | Serapis, tumultuously entered the church, tian religion, but also a life of more than forced St. Mark, then performing divine serordinary strictness.

vice, from thence; and binding his feet with

« AnteriorContinuar »