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a stranger to the great Redeemer of man himself. The rest of the evangelists are kind, we shall find that the love of the careful to mention the honour of bis apoworld had possessed his heart.
But not stleship, but speak of his former sordid, diswithstanding this, no sooner did Christ call honest and disgraceful course of life, only him, than he abandoned, without the least uuder the name of Levi ; while he himself scruple or hesitation, all his riches ; nay,
sets it down with all the circumstances, he not only renounced his lucrative trade, under his own proper and common name. but ran the greatest bazard of displeasing A conduct which at once commends the the masters who employed him, for quitting prudence and candour of the apostle, and their service without giving them the least suggests to us this useful reflection, that the notice, and leaving his accounts in coafu. greatest sinners are not excluded from dision. Had our blessed Saviour appeared vine grace ; nor can any, if penitent, have as a secular prince, clothed with temporal i just reason to despair, when publicans and power and authority, it would bave been sinners find mercy at the throne of grace. no wonder for him to have gone over to his service; but when he appeared under all The last thing we shall remark in the the circumstances of meanness and disgrace, life of this apostle, is his gospel written at when he seems to promise his followers no the entreaty of the Jewish converts, while thing but misery and sufferings in this life, he abode in Palestine ; but at what time and to propose no other rewards than the is uncertain ; soine will have it to have been invisible encouragements of another world, written eight, some fifteen, and some thirty his change appears truly wonderful and years, after our Lord's ascension. It was surprising ; but divine grace can subdue originally written in Hebrew, but soon after all opposition.
translated into Greek by one of the disciples. His contempt of the world appeared in After the Greek translation was admitted, his exemplary temperance and abstemious the Hebrew copy was chiefly owned and ness from all delights and pleasures ; nay, used by the Nazaræi, a middle sect between even from the ordinary conveniences and Jews and Christians : with the former, they accommodations of it. He was mean and adhered to the rites and ceremonies of the modest in his own opinion, always preferring Mosaic law, and with the latter, they beothers to himself ; for whereas the other lieved in Christ, and embraced his religion ; evangelists, in describing the apostles by and hence this gospel has been styled " The pairs, constantly place him before st. gospel according to the Hebrews," and Thomas, be modestly places bim before “The gospel of the Nazarenes."
Event with regard either to the country
cannot miss the way, if you follow my ex
ample. The Transactions of St. Thomas, from
his Birth to the Ascension of our bles After the disciples had seen their great sed Saviour.
Master expire on the cross, their minds were distracted by hopes and fears, concern:
ing bis resurrection, about which they were
country not then fully satisfied'; which engaged him or kindred of Thomas. It is, however, cer the sooner to hasten his appearance, that tain that he was a Jews, and in all probability by the sensible manifestations of himself, he a Galilean.
might put the matter beyond all possibility
of dispute. Accordingly, the very day in He was, together like the rest, called to which he arose from the dead, he came into the apostleship ; and, not long after, gave
the house where they were assembled, while an eminent instance of his being ready to
the doors about them were close shut, and undergo 'the most melancholy fate that might gave them sufficient assurance, that he was attend him. For when the rest of the apo
risen from the dead. stles dissuaded their Master from going into Judea, at the time of Lazarus's death, be. At this meeting Thomas was absent, havcause the Jews lately endeavoured to stone ing probably never joined their company him, Thomas desired them not to hinder his since their dispersion in the garden, where journey thither, though it might cost them every one's fears prompted him to consult all their lives. “ Let us go, said he, that his own safety. At bis return, they told we may die with him ;!” concluding that, him that the Lord had appeared to them ; instead of Lazarus being raised from the but he obstinately refused to give credit to dead, they should all, like him, be placed what they said, or believe that it was really in the chambers of the dust.
he, presuming it rather a spectre or appa
rition, unless he might see the very print of When the holy Jesus, a little before his the nails, and feel the wounds, in his hands sufferings, had been speaking to them of and side. the joys of heaven, and had told them that he was going to prepare mansions for them, But our compassionate Saviour would not that they might follow him, and that they take the least notice of his perverse obstiknew both the place whither he was going,
but on that day seven-night came and the way thither ; our apostle replied, again to them, as they were solemnly met at that they knew not whither he was going, their devotions, and calling to Thomas, bade much less the way that would lead them him look upon his hands, put his fingers into thither. To which our Lord returned this the prints of the nails, and thrust bis hand into short but satisfactory answer, I am the way; his side, to satisfy his faith by a demonstration I am the person whom the Father! 13 sent
Thomas was soon con. into the world to shew ma:biad i ben
vinced of his error and obstinacy, confessing that lead to eternal life; and iscretio! that he now acknowledged him to be his Lord
and Master, saying, My Lord and my God. . that St. Thomas came first to Socotora, an Our Lord answered, that it was happy for island in the Arabian Sea, and then to him he believed the testimony of his own Cranganor, where having converted many senses; but that it would have been more from the error of their ways, he travelled commendable in him to have believed with farther into the East; and having successfulout seeing, because it was foretold that the ly preached the gospel, returned back to the Son of God should burst the chains of death kingdom of Coromandel, where, at Maliaand rise again from the dead,
pour, the metropolis of that kingdom, not far from the mouth of the Ganges, he began toerect a place for divine worship, till prohi.
bited by the idolatrous priests, and Sagamo, CHAP. II.
prince of that country. But after perform
ing several miracles, the work was suffered The Transactions of St. Thomas, from the to proceed, and Sagamo himself embraced Ascension of the Son of God to his Death. the Christian faith, whose example was soon
followed by great numbers of his friends and OUR great Redeemer having, according subjects.
to an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Ghost This remarkable success alarmed the upon the disciples, to qualify them for the Brachmans, who plainly perceived that their great work of preaching the gospel, Saint religion would be soon extirpated, unless Thomas, as well as the rest, preached the some method could be found of putting a gospel in several parts of Judea ; and after stop to the progress of Christianity: and the dispersion of the Christian church in therefore resolved to put the apostle to Jerusalem, repaired into Parthia, the pro death. At a small distance from the city vince assigned him for his ministry. After was a bomb, whither St. Thomas often retirwhich, as Sempronius and others inform us, ed for private devotions. Hither the Brachhe preached the gospel to the Medes, Per mans and their armed followers pursued sians, Carmanians, Hyrcani, Bractarians, him, and while he was at prayer, they first and the neighbouring nations. During his shot at him with a shower of darts, after preaching in Persia, he is said to have met which one of the priests ran him through with with the Magi, or wise men, who had taken a lance. that lony journey at our Saviour's birth to worship him whom he baptized, and His body was taken up by his disciples, tuok with him as his companions and assist and buried in the church he had lately erectants in propagating the gospel.
ed, and which was afterwards improved in
to a fabric of great magnificence. Leaving Persia, he travelled into Ethiopia, preaching the glad tidings of the gospel, St. Chrysostom says, that St. Thomas, healing their sick, and working other mira. who at first was the weakest and most increcles, to prove he had his commission from on dulous of all the apostles, became, through high. And after travelling through these Christ's condescension to satisfy his scruples, countries, he entered India.
and the power of the divine grace, the most
active, and invincible of them all; travelling When the Portuguese first visited these over most parts of the world, and living countries, after their discovery of a passage without fear in the midst of barbarous naby the Cape of Good Hope, they received tions, through the efficacy of that almighty the following particulars, partly from con power, which can make the weakest vessels stant and uncontroverted traditions presery to perforin acts of the greatest difficulty and ed by the Christians in those parts; namely, moment. No. 23.
sess such extraordinary endowments. The Jews looked for a Messiah invested with all the pomp and splendour of an earthly potentate; well then might they ask, when they beheld the display of his power, Whence then hath this man these things?
I [T has been doubted by some whether this
was the was afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, two of this name being mentioned in the sacred writings, namely, St. James the Great, and St. James the Less, both apostles. The ancients mention a third, sirnamed the Just, which they will have to be distinct from the former, and bishop of Jerusalem. But this opinion is built on a sandy foundation, for nothing is plainer than that St. James the apostle (whom St. Paul calls our Lord's brother, and reckons, with Peter and John, one of the pillars of the church) was the same who presided among the apostles, doubtless by virtue of his episcopaloffice, and determined the causes in the synod of Jerusalem. It is reasonable to think that he was the son of Joseph, afterwards the husband of Mary, by his first wife, whom St. Jerom styles Escha, and adds, that she was the daughter of Aggi, brother to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Hence he was reputed our Lord's brother. We find indeed several mentioned as the brethren of our Saviour in the Evangelical history; but in what sense, was greatly controverted by the ancients. St. Jerom, St. Chrysostom, and some others, will haye them to be called, from their being the sons of Mary, cousin-german, or according to the Hebrew idiom, sister to the Virgin Mary. But Eusebius, Epiphanius, and many others, tell us, they were the children of Joseph by a former wife. And this seems to be more natural, and best agrees with what the evangelists say of them, when they enumerate the questions of the Jews: evidently implying their astonishment, that a person descended from, and related to, not the opulent and the mighty, but those of a humble sphere, as his parents and brethren were known to be, should pos
After the resurrection, he was honoured with the particular appearance of our Lord to him, which, though passed over in silence by the evangelists, is recorded by St. Paul.
Some time after this appearance, he was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, and preferred before all the rest for his near relation to Christ; for the same reason we find Simon chosen to be his immediate successor in that see, because, after St. James, he was our Lord's next kinsman; a consideration that made Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, though they had been peculiarly honoured by our Saviour, not to contend for this high and honourable station, but freely chose James bishop of Jerusalem.
When St. Paul came to Jerusalem after his conversion, he applied to St. James, and was by him honoured with the right hand of fellowship. And it was to St. James that Peter sent the news of his miraculous deliverance out of prison. “Go, said he, shew these things unto James and to the brethren;" that is, to the whole church, especially to St Jaines the pastor of it.
He performed every part of his duty with all possible care and industry, omitting 10 particular necessary to be observed by a diligent and faithful guidle of souls, strengthening the weak, instructing the ignorant, reducing the erroneous, reproving the obstinate; and by the constancy of his ser
mons, conquering the stubbornness of that trine of Jesus who was crucified ; tell us what perverse and refractory generation he had is the instruction of the crucified Jesus?" to deal with, many of the nobler and better To which the apostle answered, with an ausort being persuaded to embrace the Chris dible voice, “Why do you enquire of Jesus tian faith.
the Son of man? He sits in heaven, at the
right hand of the Majesty on bigh, and will But a person so careful, so successful in come again in the clouds of heaven.” The his charge, could not fail of exciting the people below hearing this, glorified the spite and malice of bis enemies; a sort of blessed Jesus, and openly proclaimed, men to whom the apostle has given too true Hosanna to the Son of David. a character, that they please not God, and are contrary to all men. They were vexed The Scribes and Pharisees now perceived to see St. Paul had escaped their hands, by that they had acted foolishly; that instead appealing unto Cæsar; and therefore turn of altering, they had confirmed the people ed their fury against St. James: but being in their belief: and that there was no way unable to effect their design under the go left but to dispatch' him immediately, in vernment of Festus, they determined to at order to warn others by his sufferings not to tempt it under the procuratorship of Albi believe in Jesus of Nazareth. Accordingly nus his successor, Ananus the Younger, of they suddenly cried out, That James himthe sect of the Sadducees, being high priest. self was seduced, and become an impostor,
and immediately threw him from the pinna. In order to this a council was summoned, cle on which he stood, into the court below: and the apostle, with others, arraigned, and but not being killed on the spot, he recocondemned as violators of the law. But vered himself so far as to rise on his knees, that the action might appear more plausible and prayed fervently to heaven for his murand popular, the Scribes and Pharisees, derers. But malice is too diabolical to be masters in the art of dissimulation, endea- pacified with kindness, or satisfied with voured to ensnare him ; and at their first cruelty. coming told him, that they had all placed the greatest confidence in him ; that the Accordingly, his enemies, vexed that they whole nation, as well as they, gave him the bad not fully accomplished their work, pourtitle of a just man, and one that was no re ed a shower of stones upon him, while he specter of persons; that they therefore de was imploring their forgiveness at the throne sired he would correct the error and false of grace; and one of them, dissatisfied with opinion the people bad conceived of Jesus, this cruel treatment, put an end to his whom they considered as the Messiah, and inisery with a fuller's club. take this opportunity of the universal confluence to the paschal solemnity to set them Thus did this great and good man finish right in their opinions in this particular, his course in the ninety-sixth year
-of his age; and would go with them to the top of the and about twenty-four years after our blestemple, where he might be seen and heard sed Saviour's ascension into heaven. His
death was lamented by all good men, even
by the sober and just persons among the The apostle readily consented, and being Jews themselves, as Josephus himself conadvantageously placed on a pinnacle of the fesses. temple, they addressed him in the following manner: “ Teil us, for we have all the rea He was a inan of exemplary piety and son in the world to believe, that the people devotion, educated under the strictest rules are thus generally led away with the doc and institutions of religion. Prayer was his