תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

particular appearance to him after his resurrection mentioned by St. Paul ?

A. St. Jerom relates, out of the Hebrew gospel of the Nazarenes, that St. James had solemnly sworn,

That from the time he had drunk of the cup at the institution of the sacrament, he would eat bread no more till he saw the Lord risen from the dead. That our Lord, when he appeared to him, said, bring hither bread and a table; and he took the bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave it to James the Just, and said unto him, my brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep.

Q. What became of St. James after our Saviour's ascension?

A. He was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, some say by our Saviour, before his departure from his disciples ; others hold he was elected by the Apostles, possibly by some particular intimation concerning it, which our Lord might leave behind him; whither way he was preferred, it is certain he was bishop of Jerusalem, the mother of all other churches; and preferred upon the account of his relation to our Saviour, as for the same reason was Simon chosen his immediate successor.

Q. What particulars are related in Scripture concerning him?

A. That St. Paul after his conversion made his address to this Apostle, by whom he was honoured with the right hand of fellowship." That to him St. Peter sent the news of his miraculous deliverance out of prison ; Go shew these things unto James and to the brethren;" that is, to the whole church, especially St. James the bishop and pastor of it.

[blocks in formation]

Q. Wherein did he appear principally active ?

A. At the Synod of Jerusalem, in the great controversy concerning the obligation of the Jewish rites and ceremonies; for though the case was opened by St. Peter, and debated by St. Paul, yet the final and decretory sentence was pronounced by St. James.

Q. What is related concerning his extraordinary piety and devotion ?

A. That he was of a meek and humble temper; the dignity of his station, and his relation to our Saviour, did not exalt him in his own thoughts ; for, in the inscription of his epistle, he only styles himself, Serrant of the Lord Jesus. His temperance was admirable ; he wholly abstained from flesh, he drank neither wine nor strong drink, nor ever used the bath; he was so very abstemious, that his body was covered with paleness through fasting. Prayer was his constant business and delight, and by his daily devotions, his knees were become as hard and brawny as camels; and by his prayers in a great drought he obtained rain. He verned the church with wisdom and application, and shewed great charity to his enemies by praying for them at the hour of his death. He was not only reverenced by the Christians, but honoured even by the Jews, for his excellent virtues.

Q. How did the enemies of St. James conspire his ruin?

A. St. Paul having escaped the malice of the Jews by appealing to Cæsar, they resolved to revenge it upon St. James; but not being able to accomplish it under Festus's government, they more effectually attempted it under the procuratorship of Albinus his successor. When

1. Acts xii. 17.

Acts xv. 7. 13, 19.

• James i. 1.

Ananas the younger, the high priest, and of the sect of the Sadducees, merciless and implacable in his temper, resolved to dispatch him before the new governor could arrive; to this end the council was hastily summoned, and the Apostle, with some others, were accused for transgressing the law, and for blasphemy against God.

Q. How did the Scribes and Pharisees set about to ensnare him?

A. By flattering speeches they endeavoured to engage him, at the confluence of the Paschal solemnity, to undeceive the people concerning Jesus, whom they looked upon as the Messiah ; and that he might be the better heard, to go with them to the top of the temple, thinking by this method to bring him to renounce Christ. They addressed him, as he was placed upon the pinnacle of the temple, in these words, “ Tell us, o just man, what we are to believe concerning Jesus Christ, who was crucified ?” he answered with a loud voice, “Why do ye enquire of Jesus the Son of Man? He sits in heaven on the right hand of the Majesty on high, and will come again in the clouds of heaven.” Upon which the people glorified the blessed Jesus, and proclaimed, Hosannah to the Son of David.

Q. How did St. James suffer martyrdom?

A. Upon this disappointment of the Scribes and Pharisees, they suddenly cried out that Justus himself was seduced, and they threw him down from the place where he stood, and being very much bruised, though not killed, he recovered so much strength as to get upon his knees, and pray for them that thus cruelly used him ; and while he was thus praying for them, they loaded him with a shower of stones, till one, with a Fuller's club, beat out his brains. He died, according to Epiphanius,

E e

210

spurious and apocryphal.

Festival?

in the ninety-sixth year of his age, about twenty-four
us atter Christ's ascension.
Q. What critings remain of St. James ?

4. One epistle addressed to the Jewish converts dispersed and scattered abroad ; to fortify them against all those temptations whereby the purity of their faith might be endangered, and to secure their patience and their couraging them to faithful perseverance. The gospel charity, and all other Christian practices, hereby enthat goes under his name is rejected by learned men as divine grace, and to prepare our minds for the reception of supernatural truth. Zealously to propagate that Christian knowledge to others, which the good providence of God has graciously bestowed upon us ;

Q. What may we learn from the observation of this
A. Readily to obey all the suggestions and offers of

which obliges pastors in respect of their flock, parents of their children, masters of their servants, and all Christians, in

degree, in regard of one another, boldly to profess the truth when the providence of God calls us to give testimony to it. And under all our sufferings to preserve

Christian frame of mind, and to express our charity for those who are the instruments of our sufferings. Frequently to curb our appetites in the use of lawful pleasures, that we may be prepared to imitate these blessed Apostles in the greatest acts of self-denial. Q. Wherein consists the duty of self-denial ?

A. In a strict sense, our sinful and disobedient appetites are the only objects of religious self-denial ; and as it is commanded by our Saviour, it seems to denote nothing else, but that we should be willing to quit all earthly comforts, even life itself, and to undergo the

some

a

greatest hardships, though they end in death, rather than out of a fondness to this world, and the enjoyments of it, to do any thing contrary to the religion of Jesus Christ. With Moses choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. In a larger sense, it comprehends the denying our innocent appetites, as a necessary means and instrument, without which we shall never be able to practise the greatest acts of self-denial.

Q. In what terms is the duty of self-denial represented in Scripture?

A. By forsaking father and mother, by hating wife and children, by denying brother and sister, by quitting all that we have, by laying down our lives, and bearing the cross. He that loveth father and mother more than me, saith our Saviour, is not worthy of me. If any man come after me, and hateth not wife and children, brethren and sisters, he cannot be my disciple. If he forsaketh not all that he hath, and hateth not his own life, and doth not bear his cross he cannot be my disciple." These are the maxims of eternal wisdom, from which whenever we deviate, we do most foolishly ruin and destroy ourselves.

Q. What is implied in the forementioned expressions?

A. That no consideration of pleasure, or fear of pain, should allure or fright us from holding fast the faith once delivered to the saints.' That the commands of our parents, to whom we owe the greatest natural affection and reverence, ought not to be complied with, when they contradict the commands of our Saviour; because all

m

Mat. x. 37.

Luke xiv. 26, 33, 27.

1 Heb. xi. 25. • Jude 3.

« הקודםהמשך »