Obrazy na stronie

travelling into foreign Countries, or familiarly converfing with Greeks and Romans, to affume to themselves a Greek or a Latin Name of great Affinity, and fometimes of the very fame Signification with that of their own Country.

Q. Of what Country and Kindred was this Apostle?

A. The Hiftory of the Gospel takes no particular Notice of either. That he was a few is certain, and probably a Galilean; and it is very likely, that as to his Trade he was a Fisherman; for when St. Peter, after our 'Saviour's Refurrection, thought fit to return to his former Profeffion of Fishing to relieve his prefent NeceffiJoh. 21.2. ties, Thomas bore him Company.

Q. After he was called to be an Apostle what Proof did he give of his Willingness to adhere to cur Saviour?

A. When the rest of the Apostles diffuaded our Savicur from returning into Judæa (whither he' was refolved to go for the railing his dear Friend Lazarus, lately dead) left the Jews should stone him, as they had before attempted; St. Thomas defireth them not to hinder Christ's Journey thiJohn 11. ther, though it might coft their Lives. Let us alfo go, that we may die with him, faith he; probably concluding, that inftead of raising Lazarus from the Dead, they themselves fhould be fent with him to their own Graves.


Joh. 11.8,

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Q. How did our Saviour treat the Slowness of St. Thomas's Understanding; who when our Saviour, a little before his cruel Sufferings, Speaking to his Difciples of the Joys of Heaven, and of his going to prepare a Place for them, profeffed that he knew not whether he went, much less the Way that led to it ?

A. With

Joh. 14.5.

A. With the Mildnefs and Gentlenefs that is proper to be used to a well-difpofed Mind, in a hort but fatisfactory Anfwer, that he was the John 14, true living Way, the Perfon whom the Father had 6. fent into the World, to fhew Men, by his Detrine and by this Example, the Paths of eternal Life; and that they could not mifs of Heaven, if they did but keep to that Way which he had prefcribed.

Q. What may we learn from the foregoing Particulars?

A.That where the Mind is rightly difpofed, and the Affections bent towards Heaven, we ought to bear with the Heavinefs of the Understanding, and to endavour with Gentlenefs and Patience to inftil that knowledge which is neceffary to make Devotion perfect; and that the doing that Will of God which we know, is the beft Qualification to attain greater Degrees of Knowledge; fince we are affured by our Saviour, If any Man John 7. will do bis Will, he shall know of the Doctrine, 17. whether it be of God.

Q. What Proof did St. Thomas require of our Saviour's Refurrection?

A. The Testimony of his own Senfes; for though the rest of the Apoftles affured him they had really feen their Mafter alive again, yet he profeffed, except be fhould fee in his Hands the John 20. Print of the Nails, and thruft his Hand into bis 25Side, be would not believe. A ftrange Piece of Infidelity, after he had feen our Saviour's Miracles, and had fo long conversed with him, who had frequently afferted in plain Terms, that he must rife again the third Day.

Q. How did our Saviour cure this his Infidelity ?

A. Com

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A. Compaffionating the Weakness of St. ThoJohn 20. mes, and willing to fatisfy the Doubts and Scruples of fincere though ignorant Men; he appeared to his Difciples again, when St. Thomas was with them, and gave them the Satisfaction he defired; who, being quickly convinced of his Error, acknowledged him to be his very Lord and Mafter, a God omnipotent, thus able to refcue himfelf from the Powers of Death.

Q. What Reply did our Saviour make to this Profeffion of St. Thomas's Faith?

A. That he did well to believe upon this Teftimony of his Senfes; but that it was a more noble and commendable Act of Faith, to acVer. 29. quiefce in a rational Evidence, and to entertain the Doctrines and Relations of the Gospel upon fuch Affurances of the Truth of Things, as are fit to fatisfy a wife and fober Man, though he did not fee them with his own Eyes.

Q. What Advantages is this Act of St. Thomas's Infidelity to us Chriftians?

A. It confirmeth our Faith in our Saviour's Refurrection, and convinces us beyond all Doubt or Scruple, by the moft fenfible Evidence, that the very fame Body of our Lord was raifed, in which he fuffered.


Q. Where did St. Thomas preach the Gospel? A. The Province allotted to him for the Ex3. c. 1. ercife of his Apoftolical Office was Parthia; he publifhed the glad Tidings of Salvation to the Medes, Perfians, Carmanians, Hyrcani, and Baltrians. Some of the Antients, relate how he met with the Magi; to whofe Country they belonged, who brought Prefents to our new-born Saviour; that he baptized feveral of them, and made ufe of them as his Affiftants in pro


pagating the Gofpel; that he paffed through the Afian Ethiopia, and at laft came to the Indies, as is proved by antient Tradition, and feveral Marks till preferved among thofe People to this Day.

Q. How are the Chriftians in that Part of India called?

d. The Chriftians which inhabit the more Brere. wood's foutherly Part of the great Promontory, whose Enquir.c. Bafe lies between the Outlets of the Rivers 20. Indus and Ganges, are called the Chriftians of St. Thomas, because fuppofed to be converted by his Preaching. Before the Portuguese frequented thofe Parts, they were esteemed to be about fifteen or fixteen thousand Families. They had then no Dependence upon the Bishop of Rome, but denied his Primacy. The Sacrament was adminftred among them in both Kinds; they celebrated it with Bread, feafoned with Salt; and inftead of Wine, which their Country afforded not, they made Ufe of the Juice of Raifins, foftned one Night in Water, and then preffed forth. They baptized not their Infants till they were forty Days old, except in Danger of Death. They ufed not Extreme Unction. They had no Images in their Churches, but only the Crofs. And their Priefts were excluded from fecond Marriages.

Q. How is it thought St. Thomas Suffered Martyrdom?

A. Having converted many to the Faith in India, and, among the reft, the Prince of the Country, the Brachmans perceiving this would fpoil their Trade, refolved to put a Stop to his fuccefsful Progrefs, and confpired his Death. And one Day, when our Apoftle was retired E 3 without


without the City of Malopur for his private Devotions, they affaulted him with armed Men, first loading him with Darts and Stones, and then one run him through with a Lance.

Q. What became of his Body?

A. It was by his Difciplas buried in a Church which he had lately caufed to be built in the fore-mentioned City. And though fome fay it was afterwards tranflated to Edelja, yet the Chriftians in the Eeft conftantly affirm it to have remained in the Place of his Martyrdom.

Q. What may we learn from the Obfervation of this Feftival?

A. That provided our Minds fincerely intend God's Service, and that our Affections are fixed upon him as our chiefeft Good, he will compaffionate the Weekness of our Understandings, and either pardon our Errors, or deliver us from them. That the beft Method to procure divine Light, is to practice what we know to be God's Will. That no Dangers fhould difcourage us from adhering to our bleffed Mafter, and that even Death itfelf fhould not be able to feparate us from him. That Faith ought to be the prevailing Principle of a Chriftian, under all Events, and in every Condition of human Life; and that though it is a Degree of Affent inferior to Senfe, yet the Acts of it are much more John 20. praife-worthy and commendable: Blessed are they which have not feen, and yet believe.


Q. How is Faith made the prevailing Principle of a Chrifiian Life?

A. By governing all our Thoughts, Words, and Actions, with a Regard to another World: and by a firm Perfuafion of absent and invifible Things: as the Belief of a God, and his Provi


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