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Souls do require it. And that in order to reclaim Sinners, we ought to prefer Acts of Mercy and Charity before all ritual Observances, and the nice Rules of Persons conversing with one another.

Q. Wherein appeared that Humility for which St. Matthew was remarkable ?

A. In that when the other Evangelifts describing the Apostles by Pairs, constantly place him before St. Thomas, he modestly places himself after him. And when the rest of the Evangelists record the Honour of his Apostleship under the

Name of Matthew, but speak of his former forMark 2. did Course of Life under that of Levi, he him

self sets it down, with all its Circumstances, unLuke 5. der its own proper and usual Name.

Q. Though si. Matthew continued with the reft of the Apostles 'till after our Lord's Ascension, what became of him then ?

A. For the first eight Years he preached up, and down Judæa, endeavouring to convert his Brethren the Jews to the Faith of Clərijt. And when he betook himself to the propagating the Gospel among the Gentiles, Æthiopia is generalJy assigned as the Province of his Apostolical Ministry; where by preaching and working Miracles he mightily triumphed over Error and Idolatry: In which country it is most probable he suffered Martyrdom, but by what kind of Death it is altogether uncertain.

Q. How was be qualified to write his Gof. pel?

A. By being an Eye-witness of the Life and Actions of our blessed Saviour, and by being free from those Temptations which prevail upon Men to impofe upon others.

Q. When

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Q. When and upon what Account did St. Matthew write bis Gospel ?

A. While he was in Palestine, about eight Years after the Death of our Saviour, at the Intreaty of the Jewish Converts, and, as Epipbanius tells us, at the Command of the Apostles. And being designed for the Use of his Country-Iren.lib. 3. men, he wrote it in the Hebrew Language, as is cap: 1': generally afferted by all Antiquity. It was very ros.catech. quickly translated into Greek; some attributing 14. $ 8. it to St. Fobn, others to St. James the Less; the Euseb. Apostles approved the Version, and the Church lib.3.c.24. hath received it as Authentick.

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

A. That there is Mercy for the worst of Sinners, if they forsake their evil Ways, and become obedient to that Call, which their own Consciences, and the Exhortations of God's Minifters so frequently found in their Ears. That true Repentance consists in such a Change of the Heart as produces such Actions as are agreeable to God, and avoids such whereby we have formerly offended him. That Poverty and Want are chearfully to be embraced when they lye in the Way of our Duty. That it may be sometimes adviseable to punish our past Extravagançies by forbearing the ordinary Conveniencies and Accommodations of Life. That if we would enter into the true Spirit of this Festival, we should imitate that Humility and Contempt of Riches, which was so remarkable in this blessed Apostle. That we should keep our Minds free from Covetousness, and raise them above the World, the most dangerous Enemy to our Salyation.

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Q. Wherein confifts the Nature of Covetoufness?

A. In an immoderate Craving and Love of Riches, which shews itself in an eager and infatiable Desire after the Things of this World ; though we employ no indirect Means to obtain them, but is then complete, when we use any unlawful and dishonest Ways to grow rich, and are anxious to acquire the good Things of this Life, even though we neglect those which are infinitely more valuable. When we are fordid, and cannot find in our Hearts to enjoy what we pofless; or if we do, spend it upon our Lufts, and never suffer those who are in Want to share with us. When we make Gold our Confidence, and trust in it as our chief Happiness.

Q. Wbat are the mischievous Effects of this Vice, which our blessed Apostle entirely conquered?

A. It alienates the Mind from God, and takes

Men off from the Care of their Souls ; we canLuke 16. not serve God and Mammon. It obstructs all 15. those Passages through which the Consideration

of Religion should enter into our Thoughts : It is the Parent of most of the Fraud and Injustice, Cruelty and Oppression, Falfhood and Perjury, that is committed in the World. It makes Men fail in the Hour of Temptation, so that, when they should quit all for the sake of Religion, they go away sorrowful, because they have great Porfeflions. It is very apt to blow us up with Pride, and make us over-value ourselves; and by the same Reason inclines us to despise and contemn those who want the same Advantages. It does but too frequently administer to Intemperance and unlawful Pleasures, and is made instrumental in gratifying some irregulur Passions that govern our Minds.

Q. Wbence appears tbe Unreasonableness of bis Vice?

1. In that it is an endless and insatiable Appetite, and consequently can never attain that Contentment and Satisfaction it proposes. Besides, it pursues Happiness by false Measures, for this doth not consist in Abundance; and though the Luxury of Life is boundless, yet che Neceffaries and Conveniencies of it lie within a small Compass. Great Riches are so far from prolonging our Lives, that they rather shorten them, either by Labour and Care in getting them, by Anxiety and tormenting Cares in keeping them, or by Trouble and Vexation in losing them; they neither make us better nor wiser, but are dangerous to our Virtue, and tempt us to play the Fool. They cannot preserve us from Contempt or Miffortunes, from Diseases or Pains; they neither make our Friends more faithful, nor our Children more dutiful, neither can they afford us any Comfort when we stand most in need of it, at the Hour of Death. But we must give a strict Account at the Day of Judgment, both how we have got them, and how we have used them.

Q. Wbat is the best Means to overcome this Vice?

1. To employ our chief Care and Solicitude about the Things of the next Life, because great in themselves, and of an eternal Duration. To put our Trust and Confidence in God, who hath promised, if we seek bis Kingdom and the Righte- Mat. 6. oufness thereof, all these Things shall be added un- 33. to us. To be content with such Things as we have, and to rely upon Providence by the Use of

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just and lawful Means to increase them as he Ihall think fit. To consider the Uncertainty of Riches, that they make themselves Wings and fly away; and that we can by no human Means secure the Enjoyment of them. That if we could fix them, yet that Life is always upon

the Wing, and when we have heaped up Riches, Pf. 39. 6. we cannot tell who shall gather them. To be

charitable in some Measure to the Proportion of what we have received ; to be rich in good Works, and ready to distribute.

The PRA Y E R S.

I.

O

Against Covetour- didit call Matthew from the Receipt of 'ncís.

Custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist, Grant me Grace to forsake all covetous Desires, and inordinate Love of Riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, World without end. Amen.

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II. For the

Lmighty and everlafling God, give unto Increase of

me the Increase of Faith, Hope, and ChaChristian Virtue.

rity; and that I may obtain that which thou dost promise, make me to love that which thou dost command, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

III. Against Lmighty and most gracious God, in all my Covetouf

Passage through this world, and my maness. nifold Concerns in it, suffer not my Heart to be

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