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Epiph. stained from Flesh, he drank neither Wine nor
stronk Drink, nor even used the Bath; he was Euseb. lib. so very abstemious, that is Body was covered 2. c. 23. with Paleness through Fasting. Prayer was his
constant Business and Delight, and by his daily Devotions, his Knees were become as hard and brawny as Camels. And by his Prayers in a great Drought he obtained Rain. He governed the Church with Wisdom and Application, and thewed great Charity to his Enemies by praying for them at the Hour of his Death. He was not only reverenced by the Christians, but honoured even by the Jews for his excellent Virtues.
Q. How did the Enemies of St. James conspire bis Ruin?
A. St. Paul having escaped the Malice of the Jews by appealing to Cæfar, they resolved to re
venge it upon St. James ; but not being able to Jofeph. accomplish it under Festus's Government, they Antiq. more effeétually attempted it under the Pro Jud. I. 20. curatorship of Albanus his Successor. When
Ananus the younger, then High Priest, and of the Sect of the Sadducees, merciless and implacable in his Temper, resolved to dispatch him before the new Governor could arrive; to this End the Council is hastily summoned, and the Apostle, with some others, were accused for transgressing the Law, and for Blafphemy against God.
Q. How did the Scribes and Pharisees set abo14 to ensnare kim?
A. By Aattering Speeches they endeavoured to engage him, at the Confluence of the Paschal
Solemnity, to undeceive the People concerning Eufeb.lib. Icfus, whom they looked upon as the Meffab; 2. C. 3. and that he might be the better heard, to go
with them to the Top of the Temple, thinking by this Method to bring him to renounce Christ. They addressed to him as he was placed upon the Pinacle of the Temple, in these Words, Tell us, O just Man, wbat we are to believe concerning Jesus Christ, who was crucified ? He answered, with a loud Voice, Why do ye enquire of Jesus the Son of Man? He fits in Heaven on the right Hand of the Majesty on High, and will come again in the Clouds of Heaven. Upon which the People glorified the blessed Jejus, and proclaimed Hosanna to the Son of David.
Q. How did St. James Suffer Martyrdom ;
A. Upon this Disappointment of the Scribes and Pharisees, they suddenly cried out that Justus himself was feduced, and they threw him down from the place where he stood ; and being very much bruised, though not killed, he recovered so much Strength as to get upon his Knees, and pray for them that thus cruelly used him ; and while he was thus praying for them, they loaded him with a Shower of Stones, till one with a Fuller's Club beat out his Brains. He died, according to Epiphanius, in the Ninety- Hær. 78 fixth Year of his Age, about Twenty-four Years after Christ's Afcenfion.
Q. What doth Josephus mention concerning the Death of St. James ?
A. He reckons it as what more immediately alarmed the Divine Vengeance, and hastened the universal Ruin and Destruction of the Jewisho Nation.
Q. What Writings remain of St. James's?
A. One Epistle addressed to the Jewish Converts dispersed and scattered Abroad; to fortify them against all those Temptations whereby the
Purity of their Faith might be endangered, and to secure their Patience and their Charity, and all other Christian Practices, hereby encouraging them to faithful Perseverance. The Gospel that goes under his Name is rejected by learned Men as spurious and apocryphal.
Q. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival?
A. Readily to obey all the Suggestions and Offers of divine Grace, and to prepare our Minds for the Reception of supernatural Truth. Zealously to propagate that Christian Knowledge to others, which the good Providence of God hath graciously bestowed upon us ; which obligeth Paftors in respect of their Flock, Parents of their Children, Masters of their Servants, and all Christians in some Degree, in regard of one another, boldly to profess the Truth when the Providence of God calls us to give Testimony to it. And under all our Sufferings to preserve a Christian Frame of Mind, and to express our Charity for those who are the Instruments of our Sufferings. Frequently to curb our Appetites in the Ule of lawful Pleasures, that we may be prepared to imitate these blessed Apostles in the greatest Acts of Self-denial.
Q. Wherein consists the Duty of Self-denial ?
À. In a strict Sense, our finful and disobedient Appetites are the only Objects of religious Selfdenial; and as it is commanded by our Saviour, it seems to denote nothing else, but that we should be willing to quit all earthly Comforts, even Life itself, and to undergo the greatest Hardships tho' they end in Death, rather than, out of a Fondness to this world, and the Enjoyments of it, to do any Thing contrary to the Re
ligion of Jefus Christ. With Mofes chusing rather to suffer Affliction with the People of God, than to Heb. 11 enjoy the Pleasures of Sin for a Season. In a larger 23. Sense it comprehends the denying our inn.cont Appetites, as a necessary Means and Instrument; without which we shall never be able to practise the greatest Acts of Self-denial.
Q. In what Terms is the Duty of Self-denial represented in Scripture?
Å. By forsaking Father and Mother, by hating Wife and Children, by denying Brother and Sitter, by quitting all that we have, by laying down our Lives, and bearing the Cross. He Mat. 1o. that loveth Father and Mother more than me, 3?. laith our Saviour, is not worthy of me. If any Man come after me, and hateth not Wife 00:4 26. Children, Brethren and Sisters, he cannot be này Difciple. If he forsaketh not all that be bath, Ver. 33. and hateth not his own Life, and doth dot bear bis Ver 27a Cross, he cannot be my Disciple. These are the Maxims of eternal Wisdom, from which whenever we deviate, we do most foolishly ruin and destroy ourselves.
Q. What is implied in the forementioned Expressions ?
A. That no Consideration of Pleasure, or Fear of Pain, should allure or fright us from holding fast the Faith once delivered to the Soints
. Jude 3. That the Commands of our Parents, to whoin we owe the greatest natural Affection and Reverence, ought not to be complied with, when they contradict the Commands of our Saviour ; because a! Authority, Natural, Ecclefiaftical, and Civil, must be exercised with Respect to God, who is the Fountain of all Power. That the molt allowable Affection to the Friend of our
Bosom, and natural Tenderness to our own Offspring, will not justify the Transgression of our Duty ; because if we truly love God, we should suffer no Creature to be his Rival. That our whole Substance in this World must be abandoned, when we cannot keep it without making Shipwreck of Conscience; because otherwise we shall certainly lose the Inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not. That Life itself, which Nature hath taught us to guard with so much Care, must be readily parted with, rather than deny the Truth; because this is, in such a Case the only Method to secure the Blessings of Life eternal. And that though the Pain and Ignominy our Persecutors inflict, should equal that of the Cross, yet it must be patiently endured, rather than disown our bleffed Master, who suffered that infamous Punishment upon our Account, and will deny us before his Father, if we deny him before Men.
Q. Is this Duty of Self-denial of indispensable Obligation ?
A. Religion being a Duty we owe to God, can never be superseded by any Commands even of
our lawful Superiors; because we are obliged to Ads 5. obey God rather than Men. And when we are
brought before Kings and Governors for Christ's Sake, we are to bear our Testimony against them because all their Authority is derived from God ? so that they can have no Power to controul those Commands he lays upon us. And if, through Fear, or any other worldly Passion, we are prevailed upon to comply against the Truth, we may justly expect the dreadful Fate of being denied by our Saviour at the Great Day, before his Father who is n Heaven.