Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

and the animosity of their country ed and confounded the Samaritas towards the people of other nations magician, Simon : who being frusbut their own, were for excluding trated as I before observed of bis the Gentiles from the benefits of a expectations of buying the power Saviour : and therefore rebuked Pe. of the Holy Ghost, had now given ter för thus laying open the par. himself up to the devil, and was by his tition wall of separation between diabolical arts and devices among the them. But he having related what citizens of Rome esteemed little less had happened to bimr and Corne- than a deity among them. Peter lius, and represented to them that presently exposed the impostor, and God is no respector of persons; and diminished his reputation very muchthat what he had done was in con- by laying open bis prevaricating die. formity to the divine will, they re. lusions, and by working real mira. turned God thanks for their con- cles; though he could not stay long viction. The controversy however enough entirely to defeat all the suc. which arose among the converts on cess and effect of his former creclit this occasion was not easily or spee. from his. impostures, his presence dily determined. For the Jewish being necessary at this time in his converts crowding far circumcision own province. and the observance of the Mosaical Upon Peter's. return to Antiochlaw to be joined with the possession he was convened to Jerusalem, to of the Christian faith, as equally consult with James, and the rest of necessary to salvation, the Gentiles the apostles, for the well ordering on the other side maintained that the of the churches, which had been ev. Judaic law was abolished, and that ery where established.

This was the faith and profession of the gospel during the passover, in the forty. was sufficient for salvation,

fourth year of Christ. The progress These differences occasioned a ge- of the gospel had now given such neral council of the apostles to be af- umbrage to the unbelievers, that Heterwards called at Jerusalem. But rod Antipas was prevailed upon to before this expedient was thought of persecute all of that persuasion in or proposed, Peter went to Antioch, his dominion. And having put to visit the churches in that city.- to death James, the brother of And from hence it seems he at seve. John, who is the third mentionral times made the tour of Asia. ed in the list of the apostles : he mincr, Ritbynia, C. ppadloci: qind Pon. afterwards seized on Peter, and des tus as his epistles iestify. And at last, livered him to four quaternions of it is affirmed, he travelled as far as soldiers, to keep him in prison, dur. Rome ; not as the Papists pretending the eight days of tlie passover, to take upon him the universal bishop. intending after Easter to bring him ric of the wbule earth, and to usipforth to the people, and publickly a primacy and supremacy among, put him to death ; but he was mira. and over the other aposties and apos. culously delivered by an angel the tolic churches ; but to preach Christ night before he was to have been exe. and his gospel as otbers did : in do. cuted. Peter recovering from the ing which it is related that he

oppos.

astonishment of his deliverance.

went to the house of St. Mark's subsequent historians, to bave til mother where many of the faithful ken, it seems best to suppose that assembled and passed the night in he conţinued in his first appointment prayer to God for him; and having in this city; by which we keep clear enjoined them to give notice of his of all those inconsistercies, which deliverance to the rest of the bre. they, that labour for Peter's erecting thren, he retired to a place of safety a supreme episcopal see at Rome, from Jerusalem.

necessarily fall into. Nothing can be We bear no more of Peter, till more false than the legendary account the year fifty-one, except we should of those writers, that pretend to find give ear to the conjectures of those, Peter quirting the see of Antioch, that find him during this interval in at seven years end, and sitting twena Arabia ; a second time at Rome ; ty five years afterwards at Rome. and some say, in the island of Bri. The story of his contest and victory tain. However that be, we are sure over Simon Magus, and of that bea that he was at the council of the apos. ing the immediate cause of his being tles in the year fifty-one, where he put to death, appears io be a mere appeared in behalf of the Christians fiction invented four hundred years at Antioch ; and assisted at the de. after his death. For, had there been cree, that the Gentile converts should any truth in these assertions, St. not be obliged to submit to the legal Luke, the inspired writer of the acts observances ; but only abstain from of the apostles, who was Peter's com. fornication, from the use of blood, from panion and amanuensis, and who rethings strangled, and from meats of. cords many things of him in the first fered to idols : which decree gare sixteen chapters of that book, could great content to the Gentiles, and put never have passed them over ; espe. an end to the contentions these dis- cially, such a remarkable and inte. putes had raised. After the break. resting particular, as the foundation ing up of this council, Peter went to of the papal chair : when he relates Antioch ; where be fell into an error Paul's arrival at Rome, he does not that seemned to contradict all he had make the least mention of his meet. done before, and was a fresh example ing with Peter there. Again, it is ve. of human inconstancy and weakness. ry unlikely, if Peter had been bishop For certain Jewish converts from Je. of Rome, that Pauil would have for. rusalem, coming to Antioch, he se. got to salute or address him, when, parated himself from the Gentiles, writing to Rome, he salutes the Chrisduring their stay : giving thereby tians and his fellow-labourers by their great offence to the Gentiles, and names.

Nor dues the same apostle a bad example to the converted Jews in his commendation of the faith of the to make thc like separation, and to Romans speak any thing of Peter, as the no less bindrance of the propa. the founder of their church. And gation of the gospel. But St. Paul when Paul writes from Rome, he ne

as

not credible, that a person of Peter's and afterwards to have propagated forward temper'could enjoy such a Christianity in Thrace, Macedonia, prerogative, without mentioning it in Thessaly, Epirus, and Achia, io any of his own writings to the dis. which last country at Patrza, he is persed Jews : but the greatest title said to have suffered martyrdom on he assumes to hiinself, is that of an

a cross, by order of Ægeas king of elder.

the Edesenes, for converting that S. What account do you give of king's consort Maximilla, and his Andrew ?

brother Stratulus to christianity... T. Andrew was Peter's brother What reason the Scots have for claim. and the first nained of those disciples ing this apostle to be the first proof John the Bapțist, that followed pagator of the Christian faith in their Jesus. He was commonly stiled the country, is unaccountable, and has first called. He also was the first never been discovered by the great. that brought his brother tidings of a est researchers into antiquity. Messiah come into the world; S. What account have you of just mentioned in the life of Peter. James the brother of John ? The remaining account given of this T. This apostle is commonly cal. apostle in the gospel, is no more than led James the great, either from his this. It was Andrew that informed age, or some particular honours conour Saviour of the five barley loaves, ferred on him by our Lord. He and and two small fishes. He with Phi. John the Evangelist, were the sons lip told Jesus, a little before his pas- of Zebedee and Salome ; they were son, that some Gentiles desired to both born at Bethsaida, or as some see him. And he, with some others, say at Capernaum and brought up in asked Jesus, when the destruction of the fishing trade, but of more than the temple should happen.

ordinary note, having several servants If we search ancient authors, we under them for that employment.shall find, that in the partition by lot Our Saviour passing along the shore of the world amongst the preuchers seeing him and his brother busy in of the gospel, historians of the great the ship about their nets, called to est note mention Andrew to have had them to follow him, and that he the barbarous and cold region of would make them fishers of men. Soythia and its bordering countries Jesus took them to see the raising assigned him for his province : tho' of Jairus's daughter, and into the Theodoret carries him no further mount to be witnesses of his trans. Chan Greece ; and others confine his figuration, and were spectators of travels within Epirus, Achaia, and his bitter agonies in the garden; he argos. I believe it would be near gave them the name of Boanerges, est the truth to embrace the first o. or sons of thunder, to mark their pinion, and to bring him 10 Constan. zeal, which they shewed on setinople, after a successful ministry in veral occasions, and particularly the Scythian regions ; and then al. when they importuned him to call low him to have founded a church for for fire from heaven, to consume divine worship at Byzantium ; to have the Sainairtans, who had refused to ordained Staclys, bishop of that sce; admit Jesus into their town, or alon

cross.

Iuding perhaps to the power and ve- mitted him to lie in his bosom at his hemency they shewed in the delivery last supper, and discovered to him, of their doctrine.

who it was that should betray him. The two brothers returned to their. John was one of the witnesses of fishing trade after the resurrection Christ's bitter agony in the garden of , of our Saviour. But we find them Gethsemane. He was the very last present at his ascension. And as of all his disciples, that left him in soon as they had received the Holy the hands of the Jews; and recollect. Ghost, James is said to have preach- ed his couragę so far, as to follow ed the gospel to the dispersed Jews; Jesus not only into the high-priest's not to the twelve tribes of Israel, dis. house, but to the very foot of the persed through the world, but to the Here Jesus observing Mary Jewish converts, which were scat. his mother, said to her, Behold thy tered about Judæa and Samaria, af son! and to John, Behold thy mother! ter the martyrdom of Stephen. This as a direction for this apostle to tako apostle has been claimed by the Spa. care of Mary, as if she had been his niards as the first preacher of the own mother; which John punctually gospel in their country; and some performed till her death, at Ephesus, have transported him to Britain and which Eusebius saith, was in the year Ireland. But it is scarce credible, of our Lord forty-eight. that he could have taken such a tour,

At the first news of our Saviour's and settled such churches, and done resurrection, he, with Peter, hasted such great things, as are commonly to the sepulchre: and he is found in ascribed to him by monkish writers; every action of importance, joined when it is certain that he was be. With Peter, till the apostles were se. headed with a sword at Jerusalem, parated to preach in their several proin the forty-second year of Christ's vinces, as they had respectively fallen nativity, by the command of Herod to them, in the division of the world, Agrippa, grandson of Herod the amargst them. According to this parGreat ; who, soon after being eaten tition, John was allotted to preach the liy worins, was cut off in the midst gospel in Asia, and he fixed his chief of a fit of arrogance and vain glory by residence at Ephesus. After he had. the just judgment of God.

settled the affairs of the church in A5. Who was the apostle John?

sia Minor, he went into inore distant T. I have in part told you. He was regions eastward, such as Parthia,and the brother of James just mentioned,

sojne parts of India ; and for that reaand originally a disciple of John the

so is called their apostle. After his Baptist. He was called to the apos

return from the east, can.e on the pertleship at the same time with his bro. secution raised by Domitian a giunst ther, though he was by far the young. the Christians; and John by the comest of all the apostles. Some have mand of the pro-consul of Asia was thought, he was the bridegroom at sent bound to Rome. Here the tyrant the marriage of Cana. However, this ordered him to be cast into a cauldron is certain, he was the beloved disci. of boiling oil : but the Lord, that preple of Jesus, who admitted liim to be served the cluldren in the fiery fur. a witness of his transfiguration, per- nuce, brought him out of it unburti

Ff

Notwithstanding this miracle, he was cords, but it is generally supposed banished to the isle of Patmos, in the that he was a fisherinan. Philip had Ægean sea, where he wrote the book several daughters, and was amongst of Revelations, containing the heave the first disciples of Christ, and stayenly visions, in which God conversed ed altogether with him from the first with him, when he was thus cut off time of his call. It was he that from the ordinary conversation of brought Nathaniel to Jesus, and to men. He remained in this state of whom the Gentiles that desired to see exile several years; during which Jesus, first addressed themselves.The time also, he instructed the inhabi. gospel history relates nothing more tants in the principles of the Chris. of this apostle, except where our Satian faith ; till by an edict of Nerva, viour is mentioned as asking him, Domitian's successor, he among ma- where bread might be bought sufficiny others was recalled from banish- ent to feed the five thousand hungry ment, upon which he returned to his men, that had followed him into the former charge at Ephesus, where he desert; and where Philip desired our arrived about the year 97 of Jesus Saviour to shew the Father to him, Christ, he himself being about ninety and to the rest if his fellow disciples. years old ; yet even then so perfect What part of the world fell to his in his faculties, that at the request of lot, in the division made by the aposthe Asiatic bishops and other Chris. tles, we have no authentic account, tians, he not only confirmed and bore but it is believed that upper Asia was witness to the other three gospels, his province; and that having preach. but he undertook and finished his ed for many years successfully the gospel, containing such particulars, gospel in both the Phrygias, and conas he had heard from Christ himself; firmed his doctrine with many and some of which had been omitted by great miracles, he gained many conthe other evangelists, and many verts, settled many churches, and which served to teach and assert the appointed guides and elders to overdivinity of our Saviour, in opposition see them. He ended his days in a to certain heretics, Cerinthus ad good old age, at Hieropolis, a rich and Ebion, and their followers, that deni- populous city in Phrygia ; where he od it, and had sprung up amongst was severely scourged, and then eithem, during the time of his banish- ther crucified, or hanged by the neck ment. He also wrote the three epis- against a pillar, for having opposed tles that goes under his name ; he the idolatry of these people, who were lived to the third year of the emperor besotted to the adoration of a great Trajan ; when he died aged 99, or as serpent, or dragon, and wbich he desome say 120, and was buried near stroyed ; and thereby persuading mathe city of Ephesus.

ny to turn from their idols to the S. What do we learn concerning faith and worship of the true God. Philip?

S. What account is there of Bar 7. Philip was a native of Bethsai. tholomew! da also, and a married man. There T. The best critics on the sacred is no account, who his parents were, history are of opinion, that this apus. or of his occupation in the sacred re. tle is the very Nathaniel, whom our

!

« ForrigeFortsæt »