Imatges de pÓgina

of the gospel to confound the wisdom and learning of the world by the plain doctrine of the cross.

He was humble to the lowest step of debasement and condescension, no one ever thinking better of others, or more meanly of himself. And though when he had to deal with envious and malicious adversaries, who endeavoured by vilifying his person, to obstruct his ministry, he knew how to magnify his office, and to let them know that he was not inferior to the chiefest of the apostles; yet at other times, he always declared to the world that he considered himself "the least of the apostles, not meet to be called an apostle ;" and, as if this were not enough, he formed a word ou purpose to express his humility, styling himself, Elachistoteron, that is," less than the least of the saints, nay, the very chief of sinners."

His repentance and sobriety were remarkable; for he often abridged himself of the conveniency of lawful and necessary accommodations.

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What he taught to others he practised himself; his conversation was in heaven," and his "desires were to depart, and to be with Christ;" and hence it is very probable, that he always led a single life, though some of the ancients rank him among the married apostles.

His kindness and charity were remarkable; he had a compassionate tenderuess for the poor, and a quick sense of the wants of others. To what church soever he came, it was always one of his first cares to make provision for the poor, and to stir up the bounty of the rich and wealthy: nay, he worked often with his own hands, not only to maintain himself, but also to help and relieve the poor. But his charity to the souls of men was infinitely greater, fearing no dangers, refusing no labours, going through good and evil report, that he might No. 22.

gain men over to the knowledge of the truth, and bring them out of the crooked paths, and place them in the straight way that leadeth to life eternal.

Nor was his charity to men greater than his zeal to God, labouring with all his might to promote the honour of his Master. When at Athens, he saw them involved in the grossest superstition and idolatry, and giving the honour that was due to God alone to statues and images; this fired his zeal, and he could not but let them know the resentment of his mind, and how greatly they dishonoured God, the great maker and preserver of the world. Nor in the course of a most extensive ministry, was he tired either with the dangers and difficulties he met with, or the troubles and oppositions that were raised against him.

This will easily appear, if we take a survey of what trials and sufferings he underwent; some parts of which are thus briefly summed up by himself; "In labours abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons frequent, in death oft; thrice beaten witha rods, once stoned, thrice suffered shipwreck, a night and a day in the deep. In journeying often, in perils of water, in perils by his countrymen, in perils by the Heathens, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst; in fastings often, in cold and darkness, and besides those things that were without, which daily came upon him, the care of all the churches." An account, though very great, yet far short of what he endured. He did not want solicitations, both from Jews and Gentiles, and might, doubtless, in some measure, have made his own terms, would be have been false to his trust, and quitted that way which they so violently opposed.

But alas! those things weighed little with our apostle, who "counted not his life. dear unto him, so that he might finish his 4 Q

course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus. And therefore when he thought himself under the sentence of death, could triumphantly say, “ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." In short, he

was a man in whom the grace of God was displayed with peculiar lustre, and who gave the most convincing proofs, that the influence of gospel principles exceeds all moral and legal obligation.

St. Andrew.


The Transactions of St. Andrew, from his Birth, to his being called to the Apostleship.


HIS apostle was born at Bethsaida, a city of Galilee, built on the banks of the lake of Genesareth, and was son to John of Jonas, a fisherman of that town. He was brother to Simon Peter, but whether older or younger is not certainly known, though the generality of the ancients intimate, that he was the younger. He was brought up to his father's trade, at which he laboured, till our blessed Saviour called him to be a "fisher of men," for which he was, by some preparatory institutions, qualified, even before the appearance of the Messiah.

John the Baptist had lately preached the doctrine of repentance; and was, by the generality of the Jews, from the impartiality of his precepts, and the remarkable strictness and austerity of his life, held in great veneration.

In the number of his followers was our apostle, who accompanied him beyond

Jordan, when the Messiah, who had some time before been baptized, came that way. Upon his approach, the Baptist pointed him out as the Messiah, styling him the Lamb of God, the true sacrifice that was to expiate the sins of the world. As soon as the Baptist had given this character of Jesus, Andrew and another disciple, probably St. John, followed the Saviour of mankind to the place of his abode.

After some conversation with him, Andrew departed, and having found his brother Simon, informed him that he had discovered the great Messiah, so long expected by the house of Jacob; and accordingly brought him to Jesus. They did not, however, stay long with their Master, but returned to their calling.

Something more than a year after, Jesus, passing through Galilee, found Andrew and Peter fishing on the sea of Galilee, where be fully satisfied them of the greatness and divinity of his person, by a miraculous draught of fishes, which they took at his command. He now told them that they should enter on a different series of labours, and instead of fish, should, by the efficacy and influence of their doctrine upon the heartand conscience, catch men; command

ing them to follow him, as his immediate disciples and attendants; and accordingly they left all and followed him.


The Transactions of St. Andrew, from our blessed Saviour's Ascension, till his Martyrdom.

AFTER the ascension of the blessed

Jesus into heaven, and the descent of the Holy Ghost on the apostles, to qualify them for their great undertaking, St. Andrew, according to the generality of ancient writers, was chosen to preach the gospel in Scythia, and the neighbouring countries.

Accordingly he departed from Jerusalem, and first travelled through Capadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, instructing the inhabitants in the faith of Christ, and continued his journey along the Euxine Sea, into the desarts of Scythia. An ancient author tells us, that he first came to Amynsus, where, being entertained by a Jew, he went into the synagogue, preached to them concerning Jesus, and from the prophecies of the Old Testament, proved him to be the Messiah, and Saviour of the world. Having converted many here, he settled the times of their public meetings, and ordained them priests.

He went next to Trapezium, a maritime city on the Euxine Sea; from whence, after visiting many other places, he came to Nice, where he stayed two years, preaching and working miracles with great success. After leaving Nice he passed to Nicodemia, and from thence to Chalcedon, whence he sailed through the Propontis, came by the Euxine Sea to Heraclea, and afterwards to Amastris. In all these places he met with the greatest difficulties, but overcame them by an invincible patience and resolution.

He next came to Synope, a city situated on the same sea, and famous both for the birth and burial of king Mithridates; here he met with his brother Peter, and stayed with him a considerable time. The inhabitants of Synope were mostly Jews, who partly from a zeal for their religion, and partly from their barbarous manners, were exasperated against St. Andrew, and entered into a confederacy to burn the house in which he lodged. But being disappointed in their design, they treated him with the most savage cruelty, throwing him on the ground, stamping upon him with their feet, pulling and dragging him from place to place; some beating him with clubs, some pelting him with stones, and others, to satisfy their brutal revenge, biting off his flesh with their teeth; till apprehending they had entirely deprived him of life, they cast him into the fields. But he miraculously recovered, and returned publicly into the city; by which and other miracles he wrought among them, he converted many from the error of their ways, and induced them to become disciples of the blessed Jesus.

Departing from Synope, he returned to Jerusalem; but he did not continue long in that neighbourhood. He returned again to of his ministry, which greatly flourished the province allotted him for the exercise through the power of the divine grace that attended it.

He travelled over Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, Achaia, and Epirus, preaching the gospel, propagating Christianity, and then confirming the doctrine he taught with signs and miracles. At last he came to Petrea, a city of Achaia, where he gave his last and greatest testimony to the gospel of his divine Master, sealing it with his blood.

Egenas, proconsul of Achaia, came at this time to Petrea, where observing that multitudes had abandoned the Heathen reli

gion, and embraced the gospel of Christ, he had recourse to every method both of favour and cruelty, to reduce the people to their old idolatry. The apostle, whom no difficulties or dangers could deter from performing the duties of his ministry, addressed himself to the proconsul, calmly putting him in mind that being only a judge of men, he ought to revere him who was the supreme and impartial judge ofall, pay him the divine honours due to his exalted majesty, and abandon the impieties of his idolatrous worship: observed to him, that if he would renounce his idolatries, and heartily embrace the Christian faith, he should, with him and the members who had believed in the Son of God, receive, eternal happiness in the Messiah's kingdom. The proconsul answered, that he himself should never embrace the religion he mentioned; and that the only reason why he was so earnest with him to sacrifice to the gods, was, that those whom he had every where seduced, might, by his example, be brought back to the ancient religion they had forsaken. The apostle replied, that he saw it was in vain to endeavour to persuade a person incapable of sober counsels, and hardened in his own blindness, and folly; that with regard to himself, he might act as he pleased, and if he had any torment greater than another, he might heap that upon him; as the greater constancy he shewed in his sufferings for Christ, the more acceptable he should be to his Lord and Master. Egenas could hold no longer; and after treating him with very opprobrious language, and shewing him the most distinguished marks of contempt, he passed sentence on him that he should be put to death.


He first ordered the apostle to be scourged, and seven lictors successively whipped his naked body; but seeing his invincible patience and constancy, he commanded him to be crucified; but to be fastened to the cross with cords instead of nails, that his death might be more lingering and tedious.


As he was led to the place of execution, walking with a cheerful and composed mind, the people cried out, that a good and innocent man was unjustly condemned to die. On his coming near the cross, he saluted it in the following manner; "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it, and adorned with hist members as with so many inestimable jewels. I therefore come joyfully and triumphing to it, that it may receive me as a disciple and follower of him, who once hung upon it, and be the means of carrying me safe to my Master, being the instrument on which he redeemed me."

After offering up his prayers to the throne of grace, and exhorting the people to constancy and perseverance in the faith he had delivered to them, he was fastened to the cross, on which he hung two whole days, teaching and instructing the people in the best manner his wretched situation would admit, being sometimes so weak and faint as scarce to have the power of utterance.

In the mean time great interest was made to the proconsul tospare his life, but the apostle earnestly begged of the Almighty, that he might now depart, and seal the truth of his religion with his blood. His prayers were heard, and he expired on the last day of November, but in what year is uncertain.

There seems to have been something peculiar in the form of the cross on which he suffered. It was commonly thought to have been a cross decussate, or two pieces of timber crossing each other in the centre, in the form of the letter X, and hence usually known by the name of St. Andrew's


His body being taken down from the cross, was decently and honourably interred by Maximillia, a lady of great quality and estate, and who, Nicephorus tells us, was wife to the proconsul.

Constantine the Great afterwards removed his body to Constantinople, and buried it in the great church he had built to the honour of the apostles; but this structure being taken down some hundred years after,

in order to rebuild it, by Justinian the Emperor, the body of St. Andrew was found in a wooden coffin, and again deposited in its proper place.

Saint James the Great.


The Transactions of St. James the Great, from his Birth to the Ascension of the Son of God.


HIS apostle (who was surnamed the Great, by way of distinction from another of that name) was the son of Zebedee, and by trade a fisherman, to which he applied himself with remarkable assiduity, and was exercising his employment, when the Saviour of the world passing by the Sea of Galilee, saw him, with his brother, in the ship, and called them both to be his disciples. Nor was the call in vain; they cheerfully complied with it, and immediately left all to follow him: readily delivering themselves up to perform whatever service he should appoint them.

Soon after this he was called from the station of an ordinary disciple to the apostolical office, and even honoured with some particular favours beyond most of the apostles, being one of the three whom our Lord made choice of as his companions in the more intimate transactions of his life, from which the rest were excluded. Thus, with Peter and his brother John, he attended his Master when he raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead; he was admitted to Christ's glorious transfiguration on the

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mount; and when the holy Jesus was to undergo his bitter agonies in the garden, as preparatory sufferings to his passion, James was one of the three taken to be a spectator of them. Nor was it the least instance of that particular honour our Lord conferred on these apostles, that at his calling them to the apostleship, he gave them a new name and title. Simon he called Peter, or a rock; and James and John, who were brothers, Boanerges, or the son of thunder.

Some think that this name was given them on account of their loud and bold preaching the gospel to the world, fearing no threatenings, despising all opposition, and going on thundering in the ears of a drowsy and sleepy world; rousing and awakening the consciences of men with the earnestness and vehemence of their preaching, which resembled thunder, as the voice of God powerfully shakes the natural world and breaks in pieces the cedar of Lebanon. Others think it relate to the doctrine they delivered, teaching the great mysteries, and promulgating of the gospel in a more profound and lofty strain than the rest.

But however this be, our blessed Saviour, doubtless, alluded by this term to the furious and resolute disposition of these two brothers, who seem to have been of a

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