« PoprzedniaDalej »
and Bartholomew are constantly put together ; and afterwards we find them joint Companions in the Writings of the Church.
Q. What renders this Matter still more pro
bable? John 21. A. That Nathanael is particularly reckoned
up with the other Apostles, to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after his Resurrection, where there were together Simon Peter, Thomas, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the two Sons of Zebedee, and two other of his Disciples, who were probably Andrew and Philip. .
Q. How doth it appear that by Disciples is bere meant Apostles ?
A. Partly from the Names of those that are
reckoned up; partly because it is said, that this y. 14. was the third Time that Jesus appeared to his
Disciples : It being plain, that the two foregoing Appearances were made to none but the Apostles. Besides, if Nathanael had not been one of the Twelve already, no tolerable Reason can be given, why he, who was so eminently qualified, was not pitched upon to fill up the Place of Judas.
Q. What signifies the Word Bartholomew ?
A. It imports a relative Capacity, either as a Son or a Scholar, rather than a proper Name. As a Son, it denotes his being born of Tholmai: As a Scholar, it may relate to him as a Disciple of some particular sect among the Jews; and among
several other Institutions of that Nature, some learned Men reckon the Tholmeans from Tholmai, of which Order Nathanael seems to have been, and hence called Bartholomew, the Sun or Scholar of the Tbolmeans. And many of
the Learned concur in the Opinion, that it is the same Person under two Names, the one proper, the other relative.
Q. What is the chief Thing objected in this Matter?
A. What was anciently hinted by St. Auftin, that it is not probable that our Saviour, who designed to confound the Wisdom of the World by the preaching of illiterate Men, would chuse Nathanael, a Doctor of the Law, to be one of his Disciples.
Q. How is this Objection answered? · A. That it equally lies against St. Pbilip, for whose Skill in the Law and the Prophets there is as much Evidence in the History of the Gofpel as for that of Nathanael; and it may be ftill urged with greater Force against St. Paul, who was considerable not only for his Skill in the Jewish Law, but famous also for the Advantages of human Learning.
Q. What Character doth our Saviour give of bim, when Philip first brought bim to our Lord ?
A. That he was a Man of true Simplicity and Integrity; an Israelite indeed, in whom John 1. was no Guile; no Art of Hypocrisy and De-47. ceit.
Q. Wherein appears ibe Simplicity of his Mind?
A. In that when he was told of Jesus, he did not object against the Meanness of his Original, the low Condition of his parents, the Narrowness of their Fortunes ; but only against the Place of his Birth, which could not be Nazareth, the Prophets having foretold he should be born at Bethlebem; and yet he was not so John 1. far carried away with this popular Prejudice, 46.
as not to enquire farther concerning our Saviour; Joh. 1.49. and when he was satisfied he was the Meffab, he
presently owns him for such, calling him the Son of God, and the King of Israel.
Q. Whither is it thought this Apostle travelled to propagate Christianity?
A. As far as India, that part of it that lies next to Afia ; for, as Eufebius relates, when Pantænus, a Man famous for Philosophy, as well as Christianity, desiring to imitate the Apostolical
Zeal in propagating the Faith, travelled as far Eufeb. lib. as India itself, there, among some that yet re5. C. 10. tained the Knowledge of Christ, he found St.
Matthew's Gospel written in Hebrew; left there, as the Tradition asserts, by St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve Apostles, when he preached Christianity to those Nations.
Q. What farther Account is there of bim?
A. That he returned from thence to the more Northern and Western Parts of Afia, instructing the People of Hierapolis in the Doctrine of the Gospel ; from thence he went into Lycaonia, where he employed himself upon the fame Account. And at last removed to Albanople in Armenia the Great ; where endeavouring to reclaim the People from Idolatry, he was by the Governor of the Place put to Death.
Q. How did he suffer Martyrdom ?
A. He was crucified, fome fay with his Head downward ; others, that he was flayed, and his Skin first taken off; which might consist well enough with his Crucifixion, Excoriation being a Punishment in Use not only in Egypt, but a. mong the Persians, next Neighbours, to these Armenians, from whom they inight easily borrow it. He chearfully bore their cruel Usage,
and comforted and confirmed his Christian Converts to the last Minute of his Life.
Q. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival?
A. That a Mind free from Prejudice is the best Preparative for the Reception of Truth. That the Nature of Faith doth not require such selfevident Arguments as force an Affent, but such as leave Room for the Praise and Reward of be. lieving. That true Zeal stops at no Difficulties, and is frightened by no Dangers, and parts with Life chearfully when the Providence of God makes it our Duty. That Sincerity is absolutely necessary to make our Obedience acceptable to God, and our Conversation valuable ainong Men ; Integrity of Mind being the highest Character and Commendation of a good Man.
Q. What is Sincerity as it respects God?
A. It implies both the Reality of our Intention in God's Service, or our performing it tru. ly for God's Sake as we pretend to do; and also the Uncorruptness of it, or our performing it for his Sake more than any thing else whatsoever; and without any Regard to any other Ad. vantages of our own, but such as are allowed by God, and are subordinate under him. And the most certain Rule to examine our Sincerity by, is the Integrity of our Obedience. For he that obeys God at all Times and in all Instances, cannot but serve him with both the Ingredients of Sincerity, viz. Truth and Prebenia nence.
Q. What is Sincerity, as it respeɛts Man?
A. It implies a Simplicity of Mind and Manners in cur Conversation and Carriage one towards another, Not seriously to advance any B b 2
Thing contrary to the true Sense of our Minds by our Words or Gestures. Not to pretend to greater Love and Kindness for our Neighbour than we really feel. In short, it is to speak as we think, to do what we pretend and profess, to perform what we promise, and really be wbar we would seem and appear to be.
Q. What is the best Method to attain that Sixcerity which is so necessary in God's Service ?
Á. To consider that all our religious Actions are of no Value in the Sight of God, except they are performed with a Respect to his Authority, and out of Obedience to his holy Will ; and that by designing other By-ends, as our own Profit, or the Praise of Men, we lose our Title to that Reward which he has promised. To poffefs ourselves likewise with the Appre
hension of God's Presence always with us; Prov. 5. that all our Ways are before the Eyes of the Lord,
and that be pondereth all our Goings. Which, with devout Prayer for his Alistance, will keep us upright before him.
The PRA Y ER S.
I. For the
Almighty and everlasting God, who didft Preserva
give to thy Apostle Bartholomew Grace rion of true Faith truly to believe and to preach thy Word ; grant, in the I beseech thee, unto thy Church to love that Church. Word which he believed, and both to preach
and receive the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.