Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Luke 9. his Fece being as though he would go to Jerusalem. 51: Which different Places of Worship had created

an inveterate Quarrel between the Jews and the Samaritans; the Occasion whereof was this; that after the Tribe of Judah were returned

from the Captivity of Babylon, and the Temple Joseph. of Jerusalem was rebuilt; the Jews were, by Antiq. lib. 11.

a soleinn Covenant, obliged to put away their c. 8. Heathen Wives. But Sanballat Governor of

Srimaria, having married his Daughter to Ma. nasses a feroish Prict, who was unwilling to put away his Wife, excited the Samaritans to build a Temple upon Mount Gerizim near the City of Samaria, in Opposition to the Temple at Jerusalem, and made his Son-in-Law Manases Priest there; which laid the Foundation of that Feud between the Jews and Samaritans, which in process of Time grew so great, that they would not so much as shew common Civility to one another.

Q. How did cur Saviour resent the warm Zeal of these Apostles ?

A. He severely rebukes the Fierceness of their $5,56. Temper, as contrary to the Nature of the Gospel

Institution, and his Design of coming into the World; which was to save Mens Lives, by establishing a Religion, that not only consults their eternal Salvation, but their temporal Peace and Security.

Q. How did our Saviour correet the Ambition of these two Apostles, in prompting their Mother Salome to petition for the principal Places of Ho

nour iuxt bis Perfon? Mat. 20.

A. By making them sensible of the Rashness 22, 23. of their Demand, and that in his Kingdom, the highest Place would be to take the greatest

Luke 9.

Pains, and to undergo the heaviest Troubles and Sufferings ; and that as for any Dignity, it was to be disposed of to those for whom it was prepared by the Father.

Q. How doth our Saviour calm the Pasions of the rest of the Disciples offended at this Request ?

A. By instructing them in the Nature of his Mat. 20. Kingdom, and shewing them how different it 25, 26. was from that of worldly Potentates; that in his Service Humility was the Way to Honour; and that he who took moft Pains, and did most Good, would be the greatest Person; and that his own Example was a Pattern of it, who came into the World not to be served himself, but to serve others even at the Expence of his own Life.

Q. What became of St. James after our Saviour's Ascension ?

A. The Spanish Writers contend, that after he had preached the Gospel in Judæa and Samaria, he planted Christianity in Spain. But of this there is no Account earlier than the middle Ages of the Church; therefore it is safest to confine his Ministry to Judæa and the Parts thereabouts.

Q. How did he suffer Martyrdom ?

A. Herod being desirous, upon his Entrance into the Government, to please the People, caused Ads 12. St. James to be apprehended at Jerusalem, and 2. then commanded that he should be beheaded. And so he became the first Apostle that laid down his Life for the Testimony of Jesus.

Q. What happened as he was led to the Place of Dis Martyrdom?

4. His Accuser being enlightned by the Courage and Conftancy St. James shewed at his Eufeb.

Trial, repented of what he had done, and fa!.lib.2.c.9. ling at the Apostle's Feet, heartily begged his

Pardon

A a 4

Pardon for what he had testified against him. The holy Man, after a little Surprize, raised him up, and embracing him said, peace be to thee. Whereupon he publickly professed himself a Christian, and was beheaded at the fame Time.

Q. Why do the Spaniards express so great e Vineration for this Apostle ?

A. Because they do not only suppose that he planted Christianity in those Parts, but that his Body, after his Martyrdom at Jerusalem, was tranilated from thence to Compostella in Galicia ; though the Accounts of both these Passages have little or no Foundation in History.

Q. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival?

A. That Gou's Blessing attends those that depend upon his Providence, in a diligent and faithful Discharge of the Duties of their Calling. That we ought to quit all worldly Accommodations, and our Father's House, rather than make Shipwreck of Faith and a good Conscience. That no Difference of Religion, nor Pretence of Zeal for God and Christ, can warrant and justify ą passionate and fi rce, a vindictive and exterminating Spirit. That we ought to treat all that differ from us with Kindness and Affability, and to Mew our Moderation not by parting with our Principles, but by increasing our Charity. That the great Honour of a Christian is to take Pains in doing good; and that the highest Pitch of his Prelerment is to suffer for the Name of Chrifi, being moft blessed when he is reviled and persecuted for his Sake. That the Crown of Martyrdom exceeds all the Pomp and Splendour that attends ecclesiastical Preferinents. Q. What do you mean by a Martyr ?

A. One

A. One that bears Witness to the Truth at the Expence of his own Life. Those that suffered Imprisonment, the Spoil of their Goods, and Banishment, and several other severe Torments, if they escaped without dying, were called Confessors, But it was necessary to refift Heb. 12. unto Blood, to acquire the glorious Privilege of a 4. Martyr; though, in a large Sense, they who died in Prison, or during their Sufferings by Want, or in their Banishment were killed by Thieves or wild Beasts, and even those who, administring to their Fellow-Christians in the Time of a Plague, lost their Lives, were called Martyrs, and intitled to the Privileges that were thought to belong to that State.

Q. What Privileges were assigned to Martyrs by the Primitive Christians ?

A. That upon their Death they were immediately admitted to the Beatifick Vision; while other Souls waited for the Day of Judgment to complete their Happiness. 'That God would grant chiefly to their Prayers the hastening of his Kingdom, and the shortning of the Times of Perfecution. That they should have the greatest Share in the Resurrection of the Just, which is called the first Resurrection; which was the most considerable, because the Primitive Chriftians looked upon the End of the World as near at hand: And many believed, that those who were Partakers of the first Resurrection should reign with Christ a thousand Years upon Earth. . That the Martyrs and some other perfect Souls should receive no Hurt or Prejudice from the general Conflagration of the World, when others lefs perfect should be purged bgthat uniyersal Fire from the Dross they har ontracted

in Life. That Martyrdom supplied the Grace
conveyed both by Baptism and the holy Eucha-
rift, and intitled Men to the Benefit of those
Sacraments, viz. Remission of Sins. The Mar-
tyrs had also a considerable Hand in abfolving
Penitents who through Fear of suffering had
lapsed into Idolatry, and in restoring them to the
Communion of the Church,

Q. Wherein appears the Reasonableness and
Happiness of chusing Martyrdom?

A. In that a Man prefers a future Good, infi-
nitely valuable in itself, and eternal as to its
Duration, before a present Satisfaction, which in
its own Nature is mixed and imperfect, as well

as short and uncertain in respect of its ContinuRom. 8. ance, the Sufferings of this present Time being not 18.

worthy to be compared with the Glory that fall be
revealed. Now this was always, in the Account
of the wiseft Men, esteemed a great Piece of Pru-
dence, to part with a little in present for a far
greater future Advantange. Besides, God, who
hath a Right in us both by Creation and Re-
demption, and thereby hath Power to dispose of
us as he pleaseth, hath declared he will not en-
dure any Rival, and that we ought to be his
without Reserve. And the Happiness of Martyr-
dom consists in having an Opportunity to give
the utmost Evidence of a sincere Love and fer-
vent Affection to our great and mighty Bene-
factor; in being conformed to the Likeness of
Christ's Sufferings, which were endured pure-

ly upon our Account; and in acquiring a Title
Rev.7:13, to a degree of Glory superior to what other
14, & C. Saints thall be made Partakers of. Which
Mat.5.10. made the blessed Martyr St. Ignatius profess,
Epift ad.
Rom.
that till fra Sentence of Condemnation was passed

upon

Luke 14: 26, 27

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »