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them; by vindicating them from the assaults of calumpy and slander; and by endeavouring to supply their necessities. They are members of the same spiritual body with ourselves, in which, “ if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it." They are redeemed by the same common Saviour, who “ being rich, for our sakes became poor." These considerations should urge us to seek to comfort and relieve them. We are also liable to the same afflictions which assail them; and therefore we should “ remember them that are in adversity, as being ourselves also in the body."u
St. Simon and St. JUDE, October 28.
A FESTIVAL. What account is given of St. Simon? Q. A. St. Simon the apostle was born, as some suppose,
in Cana of Galilee, for which reason they conclude he was surnamed the Canaanite. But others, with more probability, derive that name from Kanah, which signifies the same as Znawans, zealot; St. Simon having received this appellation from his great zeal for the honour of the Christian faith. But others again are of opinion, that he received this name from a particular sect among the Jews called zealots, who professed a great zeal for the honour of God; which zeal afterwards degenerated into licentiousness and extravagance, and became the occasion of great miseries to their own nation. St. Simon having preached the Gospel in Egypt and Africa, and it is supposed in Britain, at last suffered martyrdom.
Q. What account is given of St. Jude ?
A. St. Jude the apostle is reckoned among the number of the brethren of our Lord, being the son of Joseph, and brother of James, Bishop of Jerusalem. He is called in Scrip. ture Libbæus, denoting prudence and understanding ; and also Thaddeus, signifying a person zealous in praising God.
Q. What is particularly recorded of St. Jude at our Lord's last supper?
A. At our Lord's last supper, when he was declaring what
particular manifestations he would make of himself to his disciples after his resurrection, St. Jude asked him what was the reason he would “ manifest himself to them and not to the world."
Q. How does our Saviour answer St. Jude's inquiry?
A. To this inquiry of St. Jude, our Saviour answered, that because the world had no respect for him or his doctrine, therefore they should not enjoy the happiness of his presence. But since they who had been his constant disciples had showed their love to him, by obeying his laws, and attending upon his person, he would reward them, by revealing himself to them, who were to be the witnesses of his resurrection to the world.
Q. Where did St. Jude exercise his ministry?
A. It is most probable that St. Jude preached in Judea, Galilee, and the neighbouring countries, and at last suffered martyrdom in Persia.
Q. What are the writings of this apostle?
A. St. Jude left only one epistle, which, though addressed to all Christians at large, is supposed to have been chiefly intended for the converted Jews in their several dispersions. He exhorts them, with firm, yet mild and gentle zeal, to defend' “ the faith once delivered to the saints," and to oppose the false teachers who were corrupting it.
Q. Since zeal is a great Christian virtue, to which we are excited by the example of these and the other apostles, ex. plain the nature of zeal.
A. Zeal is an earnest concern in favour of or against some truth or object; which concern leads to the eager pursuit of the truth or object, or to an eager opposition to it. Like the other passions, it is in its own nature indifferent, and is either good or bad, according to the object or degree of it. It is used in Scripture in a good sense, when it is considered as exercised on those things which relate to the honour of God and the salvation of the souls of men. And it is used in a bad sense, when applied to a furious spirit of persecution, and such contentions and divisions as produce wrath and ungovernable passions.y
Q. Describe that zeal which may be considered as a Christian virtue.
A. The zeal which is a Christian virtue should be right in regard to its object; that for which we contend should be w John xiv. 22.
* 2 Cor. ix. 2; Tit, ii. 14. Acts xii. 45; xvii. 5: Gal. v. 19, &c.: Rom. 42
some certain and important good, and that which we oppose some certain and important evil. The degree of it should be in proportion to the good or evil of the things on which it is exercised. And our zeal should be restrained to the use of lawsul and justifiable means; for no zeal for God and his glory, for his true Church and religion, will justify the use of any means that are in themselves sinful.
Q. When does our zeal become criminal ?
A. Our zeal becomes criminal, when it leads us violently to contend for any unimportant or erroneous doctrine ; to violate
any of the express institutions or laws of God, under the pretext of a concern for his glory; or to create divisions or schisms in the Church of Christ. And our zeal is crimi. nal, when it leads us to pursue and defend even truth, without the meekness and charity which are essential to the character of a true Christian.
Q. What are the considerations which should excite our zeal in the service of God?
A. The excellency of the divine nature, and the infinite bounty and goodness of God towards us; the wonderful condescension of the Son of God, who stooped so low to redeem us, and suffered so much to purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; the great importance of the salvation of our souls, the weakness of our nature, and the strength of temptation; all these considerations should animate our zeal in the service of our gracious God and Redeemer, and should awaken our most earnest and active exertions to secure our everlasting interests.
Q. Dues zeal for God extenuate the immorality of any action ?
A. Wicked actions, even if done from a sincere but erroneous zeal for God, expose us without repentance to his just wrath; for the nature of wicked actions is not altered by our persuasion concerning them. It may, however, extenuate a crime, and render the person who commits it less obnoxious to the severity of God's wrath, if he has acted from the convictions of an honest, though deluded conscience. It is a much greater fault to do that which we really believe contrary to our duty, than ignorantly to transgress when we are under the power of an erroneous conscience.
Q. How ought we to exert our zeal towards heretics and schismatics?
A. Our zeal against heretics and schismatics should be exerted by earnest prayer to God for their conversion ; that
it would please him to bring into “ the way of truth, all such as have erred and are deceived;" by acting towards them with such kindness and gentleness as may induce them calmly to listen to our arguments and remonstrances; and, at the same time, we should remain steadfast and decided in maintaining the truth, and should earnestly endeavour to convince those of their error, who reject the doctrines or authorized ministry of the Church.
All Saints' Day, November 1.
WHOM does the Church this day commemorate? A. The Church has wisely set apart a day for the com. memoration of those good and eminent Christians who have fought the good fight of faith, and been remarkably distinguished for their virtue and piety, and who are therefore properly called Saints. She celebrates on this day the vir. tues of those saints who are militant here on earth, as well as the memories of those triumphant saints who are now arrived at the haven of eternal repose, and who enjoy uninterrupted peace and happiness with their Lord and Saviour in the mansions of heaven.
Q. What was the design of the Church in instituting this festival?
A. The principal design of the Church in instituting this festival, seems to be to honour God in the virtues and good examples of his saints. For through the assistance of his grace they were made conformable to his will in this life, and through the unmerited mercy of the same gracious Lord, they are crowned with happiness hereafter. The Church also designs, by this festival, to encourage ug here below to run the race that is set before us; since we are passed with so great a cloud of witnesses," who have given the most illustrious evidence of their faith in God and con. stant adherence to his truth, and whose example should animate and encourage us.
Q. Does not the Church also, on this festival, remind us of the doctrine of "the communion of saints ?”
A. The Church, on this festival, reminds us of the im.
portant doctrine of “the communion of saints." By which doctrine is meant, that the saints, or all true Christians, have, in common, one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope ; and that they communicate with one another in all duties of piety and charity, by mutual help or assistance in times of persecution, by mutual beneficence or liberality in time of want, and by mutual par
pation of one another's prayers.
Q. What communion have the saints here below with the saints above?
A. The saints upon earth are called “ fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, of the same family with those in heaven.”z. We bless God for their good examples; we rejoice at their bliss; we give thanks for their labours of love; and pray that with them we may be partakers of the kingdom of heaven. And they rejoice at our conversion; they pray for our protection and final consumo mation and happiness.
Q. By what means did the saints in heaven attain that happiness which they now enjoy ?
A. Through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ the saints attain the happiness of heaven, by the purity of their faith, by the sanctity of their lives, by their constancy and perseverance under all sufferings and persecutions, and by thus fighting manfully under Christ's banner, against sin, the world, and the devil, unto the end of their lives.
Q. In what consists the happiness of heaven?
A. God is pleased to condescend to our low apprehensions, and to describe the happiness of heaven, by comparing it to such objects as we admire and value most upon earth. It is accordingly represented under the images of a treasure, a crown, a kingdom; being styled, “ a treasure that faileth not;'a
"a" a treasure in heaven;"b" a crown of glory;"C" crown of life;'
;»d« a crown of righteousness;"e the dom of the Father.” But the exalted excellence of this happiness is more particularly set forth to us under the expressions “ everlasting life," " the vision of God," a " likeness to him," and " being with Christ.” In the next life, the righteous shall be free from sin, the source of their distress and affliction in the present life; they shall be exempted from all those evils and miseries which are the consequences of
e Eph. ii. 19; üi. 15.
a Luke xii. 33.
b Matt. xix. 21. e 2 Tim. iv. 8.