Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

upon him, be never began to be a true Disciple of Christ.

Q. How did the Primitive Christians generally embrace Martyrdom ?

A. With great Readiness and Chearfulness of Mind; with Comfort and Satisfaction, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ. And not only the Clergy but the Laity, Women as well as Men, young and old, encounter'd Death with great Fortitude, though it was armed with all the Variety of Torments that the Malice and Cruelty of their Enemies could invent.

Q. To wbat Causes may we attribute this great Courage and Resolution of the Primitive Cbri, ftians ?

A. Next to the plentiful Effusion of supernatural Grace upon such Occasions; the great

Piety and Virtue of their Lives might be a proper Foundation for this Christian Confidence. They were not only innocent, but extremely mortified; they kept their Minds free from Guilt ; and inured their Bodies to Hardships and fevere Usage, and never softened themselves with the Pleasures and Diversions of the Age. They had a lively Sense of the Rewards of the next Life, with which the Sufferings of this are not to be compared. Their Minds were inflamed with great Love to their Lord and Master Fesus Christ, whose Blood was yet warm, and whose Sufferings for their fakes were fresh in their Memories. Besides, many of the Rich, in Times of Perfecution, reduced themselves to a voluntary Poverty distributing what they had among the Poor, that they might be in a Readiness for Martyrdom. But the wonderful

manner

manner sometimes of bearing their Torments; as the burning of their Bodies without a Sbriek, and their rejoicing in the Midit of Flames, must be attributed to the wonderful Work of God, either in taking away the great Sense of Pain from the holy Martyrs in the Time of their Execution ; or by giving them such a lively Sense and assured Prospect of their Reward, as made the most exquisite Torments supportable to them. And we may reasonably suppose, when Women and Children despised the Cross, the Rack, and wild Beasts; that they were sup

ported with particular Amstances from that good Cor. 10. God, who will not suffer us to be tempted above 13. that we are able, or with the Temptation will

find a Wey for us to escape, that we may be able to bear it.

G

The PRA Y ER S.

1. For Rea. Rant, O merciful God, that, as thy holy diness to

J Apostle St. James, leaving his Father and forsake all all that he had without Delay, was obedient for Chrijl.

unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him, fo I, forsaking all worldly and carnal Affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy Commandments, through Jesus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

II. For Con- Lmighty God, who in thy wife Providence tentedness hast constituted several Ranks and Qualiin a mean ties of Men, that they might mutually affist to Condition the Support of each other : Teach me to be con

tent nuance

A

G

tent with the Station wherein thou hast been
pleased to place me; honestly and diligently to
discharge the Duties of my Calling; without
Anxiety to depend upon thy Blessing for tie
Success of my lawful Endeavours. That, how:-
ever contemptible my Profession may be in the
Eyes of Men, my Fidelity and Industry may i".
acceptable in thy Sight ; that they may bring me
in the Return of a convenient Subsistance and
Provision for my Family in this Life; and in
the next the Reward that thou hast promised to
all that truly love and fear thee, through the
Merits of Jesus Christ. Amen.

IIT.
Racious God, who by the Precepts of the For the

Gospel, and by the Example of the blessed Govern Fejus, haft taught us the Art of governing our Zeal. Passions ; let not the specious Pretence of Zeal for thy Service betray me to any unreasonable Heats, but much lefs co such Actions as thou haft forbidden; let not any Difference in Religion destroy in me that Charity which is a peculiar Mark of thy Disciples; but teach me to compasfionate those that are in Error, and to pity those Prejudices which have so unhappily misled them: Grant that, with Meekness and Moderation, I may endeavour their Recovery, if peradventure God will give them Repentance to the Acknowledgment of the Truth : Make me ready to exercise all Acts of Kindness to their Persons, and to implore thy Grace in their Behalf, which is able to subdue the most inveterate Errors ; that though they continue Enemies to thy Truth, I may never facrifice my Patience and Meekness; but by a Conti

ment of

nuance in well-doing, wait for Glory, Honour, and Immortality, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[ocr errors]

IV. For the Blessed Jesus, who for my fake didst enGrace of

dure the most painful and shameful Death Martyr- of the Cross, let the sense of this mighty Love dom.

so constantly inflame my Soul, that, whenever thy Providence shall make it my Duty, I may readily and chearfully embrace Death, though armed with the utmuft Terror, rather than forfake thee. Grant that I may rejoice in such a happy Occasion of testifying the Sincerity and Fervour of my Affection towards thee, of shewing that thou art the Delight of my Soul, that I not only prefer thee before all the Pleasures and Satisfactions of Life, but that the Torments and Pains of a violent Death are not able to separate me from thee. Inspire me with Courage and Resolution from above, that no Difficulties nor Dangers may affright me from thy Service, and that the Apprehension of them may never transport me beyond the Bounds of Christian Decency and Moderation. Whether shall I go? thou hast the Words of eternal Life. O! let the firm Belief of the immortal Joys and glorious Rewards thou hast prepared for those that suffer for thee, fupport me under all the Cruelties of the most merciless Persecutors. Let the Examples of thy holy Martyrs, who bad the Trial of cruel Mockings and Scourgings, of Bonds and imprisonment,

who

were stoned, who were fawn asunder, and Nain with the Sword, of whom the World was not worthy, ftir me up to Patience and Fortitude, that I may

be

be a Follower of them who through Faith and Patience inherit the Promises. Make me careful to do thy holy Will, that I may have Comfort and Joy in suffering for it. Grant this, O blefsed Lord, who diedst for me, and rosest again, and now sittest at the Right-hand of the Father to intercede for me, and all thy faithful Dirciples. Amen.

CH A P.

XXIX.

St. Bartholomew, August 24.

[ocr errors]

HAT Festival doth the Church celebrate

this Day? A. That of St. Bartholomew the Apostle. Q. Was be one of the twelve Apostles

A. Yes; the Evangelical History is most ex- Mat. 10 press and clear as to that Matter. But he being 3. no farther taken notice of, than the bare Mention of his Name, many both antiently and of later Times have supposed that he lay concealed under the Name of Natbanael, one of the first Disciples that came to Christ.

Joh. 1.471 Q. Wby are Nathanael and Bartholomew thought to be the same Person under two different Names ?

A. Because as St. John never mentions Bartholomew in the Number of the Apostles; fo the other three Evangelists never took Notice of Nathanael: And as in St. John, Philip and Nathanael are joined together in their coming to Christ, so is the rest of the Evangelifls Philip

and

« PoprzedniaDalej »