« AnteriorContinuar »
that way which he had prescribed and chalked
out before them. It was customary with the Jews, when travelling the apostles were distracted between hopes and
2. Our Lord being dead, it is evident how much into foreign countries, or familiarly conversing fears concerning his resurrection, not yet fully sawith the Greeks and Romans, to assume to them- tisfied about it ; which engaged him the sooner to selves a Greek or a Latin name, of great affinity, hasten his appearance, that by the sensible maniand sometimes of the very same signification festations of himself he might put the case beyond with that of their own country. Thus our Lord all possibilities of dispute. The very day whereon. was called Christ, answering to his Hebrew title, Mashiach, or the anointed ; Simon, styled Peter, he arose he came into the house where they were, according to that of Cephas, which our Lord put shut about them, and gave them sufficient assur
while for fear of the Jews the doors were yet fast upon him; Tabitha, called Dorcas, both signifying a goat: thus our St. Thomas, according to ance that he was really risen from the dead.* At the Syriac importance of his name, had the title this meeting St. Thomas was absent, having proof Didymus, which signifies a twin ; Thomas bably never recovered their company since their which is called Didymus. Accordingly the Syriac fears prompted him to consult his own safety. At
last dispersion in the garden, when every one's version renders it Thauma, which is called Tha. ma; that is, a twin': the not understanding peared to them; but he obstinately refused to give
his return, they told him that their Lord had apwhereof imposed upon Nonnus the Greek para phrası, who makes him av&pa diwropov, to have had credit to what they said, or to believe that it was two distinct names,
he, presuming it rather a phantasm or mere appa
rition, unless he might see the very prints of the διωνυμος εννεπε θωμας,
nails, and feel the wounds in his hands and sides.
, Ον Διδυμον καλενσι
A strange piece of infidelity! Was this any more
than what Moses and the prophets had long since it being but the same name expressed in different foretold? Had not our Lord frequently told then languages. The history of the gospel takes no in plain terms, that he must rise again the third particular notice either of the country or kindred day? Could he question the possibility of it, who of this apostle. That he was a Jew is certain, had so often seen him do the greatest miracles and in all probability a Galilean. He was born Was it reasonable to reject the testimony of sa (if we may believe Symeon Metaphrastes) of very many eye-witnesses, ten to one against himself, mean parents, who brought him up to the trade and of whose fidelity he was assured ? or could be of fishing; but withal took care to give him a more think that either themselves should be deceived. useful education, instructing him in the knowledge or that they would jest and trifle with him in se of the Scriptures, whereby he learned wisely to solemn and serious a matter? A stubbornnese govern his life and manners. He was together that might have betrayed him into an eternal in with the rest called to the apostleship ; and not fidelity. But our compassionate Saviour would not long after gave an eminent instance of his hearty take the advantage of the man's refractory unbe. willingness to undergo the saddest fate that might lief, but on that day seven-night came again to them attend them. For when the rest of the apostles as they were solemnly met at their devotions, and dissuaded our Saviour from going into Judæa, calling to Thomas, bade him look upon his hands (whither he was now resolved for the raising his put his fingers into the prints of the nails, anı dear Lazarus, lately dead,) lest the Jews should thrust his hand into the hole of bis side, and satisfy stone him, as but a little before they had attempt- his faith by a demonstration from sense. The ed it, St. Thomas desires them not to hinder man was quickly convinced of his error and obsti Christ's journey thither, though it might cost their nacy, confessing that he now acknowledged him lives: “Let us also go, that we may die with to be his very Lord and master; a God omnipo him ;'** probably concluding, that instead of raising tent, that was thus able to rescue himself from thi Lazarus from the dead, they themselves should be powers of death. Our Lord replied no more, thai sent with him to their own graves.
So that he that it was well he believed his own senses, bu made up in pious affections what he seemed to that it was a more noble and commendable act o want in the quickness and acumen of his under- faith to acquiesce in a rational evidence, and t standing, not readily apprehending some of our entertain the doctrines and relations of the gospe Lord's discourses, nor over-forward to believe upon such testimonies and assurances of the trut more than himself had seen. When the holy of things, as will satisfy a wise and sober mar Jesus, a little before his fatal sufferings, had been though he did not see them with his own eyes. speaking to them of the joys of heaven, and had
3. The blessed Jesus being gone to heaven, an told them that he was going to prepare, that they having eminently given gifts and miraculous pow might follow him, that they knew both the place ers to the apostles, St. Thomas moved thereio b whither he was going, and the way thither; our some divine intimation, is said to have despatche apostle replied, that they knew not whither he Thaddæus, one of the seventy disciples to Abga went, and much less the way that led to it.f To rus, toparch of Edessa, (between whom and oi which our Lord returns this short but satisfactory Saviour the letters commonly said to have passer answer, that he was the true living way, the Per- are still extant in Eusebius,) whom he first cure son whom the Father had sent into the world to of an inveterate distemper, and after converte show men the paths of eternal life ; and that they him and his subjects to the faith. The apostolic: could not miss of heaven, if they did but keep to province assigned to St. Thomas, (as Origen tel John xi. 16. + John xiv.5.
* John xx. 19.
is,) was Parthia ; after which Sophronius and whose example was soon followed by great num-
4. In want of better evidence from antiquity, it granted to him a piece of ground for the building
selves, which, for my part, as I cannot certainly! ST. JAMES THE LESS.
BEFORE we can enter upon the life of this apostle, 6. From these first plantations of Christianity some difficulty must be cleared relating to his in the Eastern Indies by our apostle, there is said person. Doubted it has been by some, whether to have been a continued series and succession of this was the same with that St. James that was Christians (hence called St. Thomas-Christians) | bishop of Jerusalem, three this name being prein those parts unto this day. The Portugals, at sented to us ; St. James the Great, this St. James their first arrival here, found them in great num- the Less, (both apostles,) and a third, surnamed bers in several places, no less, as some tells us, the Just, distinct (say they) from the former, and than fifteen or sixten thousand families. They bishop of Jerusalem. But this (however pretendare very poor, and their churches generally mean ing to some little countenance from antiquity) is and sordid, wherein they had no images of saints, a very great mistake, and built upon a sandy botnor any representations but that of the cross : tom : for besides that the Scripture mentions no they are governed in spirituals by a high-priest, more than two of this name, and both apostles, (whom some make an Armenian patriarch, of the nothing can be plainer, than that that St James sect of Nestorius, but in truth is no other than the apostle, whom St. Paul calls our Lord's the patriarch of Muzal; the remainder, as is pro- brother, and reckons with Peter and John, one of bable, of the ancient Seleucia, and by some, the pillars of the church, was the same that prethough erroneously, styled Babylon,) residing sided among the apostles, (no doubt by virtue of northward in the mountains ; who, together with his place,) it being his episcopal chair, and detertwelve cardinals, two patriarchs, and several mined in the Synod at Jerusalem. Nor does bishops, disposes all affairs referring to religion ; either Clemens Alexandrinus, or Eusebius out of and to him all the Christians of the east yield him, mention any more than two: St. James, put subjection. They promiscuously admit all to the to death by Herod, and St. James the Just, bishop holy communion, which they receive under both of Jerusalem, whom they expressly affirm to be kinds, of bread and wine ; though instead of wine, the same with him whom St. Paul calls the brother which their country affords not, making use of the of our Lord. Once, indeed, Eusebius makes our juice of raisins, steeped one night in water, and St. James one of the seventy, though elsewhere then pressed forth. Children, unless in case of quoting a place of Clemens of Alexandria, he sickness, are not baptized till the fortieth day. At numbers him with the chief of the apostles, and the death of friends, their kindred and relations expressly distinguished him from the seventy diskeep an eight-days' feast in memory of the de- ciples. Nay, St. Jerome, though when representparted. Every Lord's day they have their public ing the opinion of others, he styles him the assemblies for prayer and preaching, their devo- thirteenth apostle, yet elsewhere, when speaking tions being managed with great reverence and his own sense, sufficiently proves that there were solemnity. Their Bible, at least the New Testa- but two, James the son of Zebedee, and the other ment, is in the Syriac language, to the study the son of Alphæus; the one sirnamed the greatwhereof the preachers earnestly exhort the peo- er, the other the less. Besides that the main supple. They observe the times of Advent and Lent, port of the other opinion is built upon the author, the festivals of our Lord, and many of the saints ; ity of Clemen's Recognitions, a book in doubtful those especially that relate to St. Thomas, the cases of no esteem and value. Dominica in Albis, or Sunday after Easter, in 2. This doubt being removed, we proceed to memory of the famous confession which St. the history of his life. He was the son (as we Thomas on that day made of Christ, after he had may probably conjecture) of Joseph, (afterwards been sensibly cured of his unbelief; another, on husband of the blessed virgin, and his first wife, the first of July, celebrated not only by Christians, whom St. Jerome, from tradition, styles Escha; but by Moors and Pagans, the people who come Hippoletus, bishop of Porto, Salome; and further to his sepulchre on pilgrimage, carrying away a adds, that she was the daughter of Aggi, brother little of the red earth of the place where he was to Zacharias, father to John the Baptist : hence interred, which they keep as an inestimable trea- reputed our Lord's brother, in the same sense sure, and conceit it sovereign against diseases. that he was reputed the son of Joseph. Indeed They have a kind of monasteries of the religious, we find several spoken of in the history of the who live in great abstinence and chastity. Their gospel, who were Christ's brethren; but in what priests are shaven in fashion of a cross, have sense, was controverted of old.
St. Jerome, leave to marry once, but denied a second time: no marriages to be dissolved, but by death. These Christianity in the region of Malabar, was not the rites and customs they solemnly pretend to have disciple of Christ, but a certain Manichæan, who derived from the very time of St. Thomas, and obeying the zealous spirit which appears in many with the greatest care and diligence do observe instances to have inspired the followers of that them at this day.*
great heresiarch, conveyed the doctrines of his Masier, as so much of Christianity as was conformable
to those doctrines to this distant region. But, after * In the learned work of La Croze, “ Historie du all, there is no improbability in the tradition respectChistianisme des Judes," much curious information ing the journeys of the apostle; and it is on the is given on the subject of the first planting of Chris- whole far more reasonable to ascribe the first planttianity in those countries which are said to have ing of the gospel in so remote a part of the world been converted by the apostles. La Croze himself, to an inspired and divinely appointed, and divinely however, inclines to the opinion that the Thomas protected minister of Christ, ihan to an obscure and whose memory is received as the first teacher of bewildered heretic.--Ed.
Chrysostom, and some others, will have them so piety and strictness, his wisdom, parts, and learncalled, because the sons of Mary, cousin-german, ing rendering the conjecture above the censure or according to the custom of the Hebrew lan- of being trifling and contemptible. guage, sister to the virgin Mary. But Eusebius, 3. Of the place of his birth the sacred story Epiphanius, and the far greater part of the an- makes no mention. The Jews, in their Talmud, cients (from whom, especially in matters of fact, (for doubtless they intend the same person,) style we are not rashly to depart) make them the chil him more than once “a man of the town of Sedren of Joseph, by a former wife. And this seems chania ;" though where that was, I am not able most genuine and natural, the evangelists seem- to conjecture. What was his particular way and ing, very express and accurate in the account course of life before his being called to the disciwhich they give of them: “Is not this the car- pleship and apostolate, we find no intimations of penter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? in the history of the gospel, nor is there any disand his brethren James, and Joses, and Simon, tinct account concerning him during our Saviour's and Jude? and his sisters (whose names, says the life. After the resurrection he was honored with foresaid Hippolytus, were Esther and Tamar) are a particular appearance of our Lord to him, which they not all with us? Whence then hath this though silently passed over by the evangelists, is man these things ?" By which it is plain, that the recorded by St. Paul, next to the manifesting himJews understood these persons not to be Christ's self to the five hundred brethren at once, " he was kinsmen only, but his brothers, the saine carpen- seen of James," which is by all understood of our ter's sons, having the same relation to him that apostle. St. Jerome, out of the Hebrew gospel of Christ himself had: though indeed they had the Nazarenes, (wherein many passages are set more, Christ being but his reputed, they his na- down, omitted by the evangelical historians.) gives tural sons. Upon this account the blessed virgin us a fuller relation of it: viz. that St. James had is sometimes called “ the mother of James and solemnly sworn, that from the time that he had Joses;" for so, amongst the women that attended drunk of the cup at the institution of the supper, at our Lord's crucifixion, we find three eminently he would eat bread no more till he saw the Lord taken notice of, Mary Magdalen, Mary, the risen from the dead. Our Lord therefore being mother of James and Joses, and the mother of returned from the grave, came and appeared to Zebedee's children.* Where, by “ Mary, the him, commanded bread to be set before him, which mother of James and Joses," no other can be he took, blessed, and brake, and gave to St. James, meant than the virgin Mary : it not being reason- saying, “ Eat thy bread, my brother, for the Son able to suppose that the evangelists should omit of man is truly risen from among them that the blessed virgin, who was certainly there; and sleep.” After Christ's ascension, (though I will therefore St. John, reckoning up the same persons, not venture to determine the precise time, he expressly styles her “the mother of Jesus." And was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, preferred before though it is true she was but St. James's mother. all the rest, for his near relation unto Christ; for in-law, yet the evangelists might choose so to style this we find to have been the reason why they her, because commonly so called after Joseph's chose Symeon to be his immediate successor in death ; and probably (as Gregory of Nyssa thinks) that see, because he was after him our Lord's known by that name all along, choosing that title next kinsman. A consideration that made Peter that the Son of God, whom as a virgin she had and the two sons of Zebedee, though they had brought forth, might be better concealed, and less been peculiarly honored by our Saviour, not to exposed to the malice of the envious Jews; nor is contend for this high and honorable place, but it any more wonder, that she should be esteemed freely chose James the Just to be bishop of it. and called the “mother of James,” than that This dignity is, by some of the ancients, said to Joseph should be styled and accounted the “ father have been conferred on him by Christ himself, of Jesus.” To which add, that Josephus, emi- constituting him bishop at the time of his appear. nently skilful in matters of genealogy and descent, ing to him. But it is safest, with others, to underespressly says, that our St. James was the stand it of its being done by the apostles, or possi. “ brother of Jesus Christ.”+ One thing there is bly by some particular intimation concerning it, that may seem to lie against it, that he is called which our Lord might leave behind him. " the son of Alphæus.” But this may probably 4. To him we find St. Paul making his address mean no more, than either that Joseph was so after his conversion, by whom he was honored called by another name, it being frequent, yea, with the right-hand of fellowship. * To him Peter almost constant among the Jews the same per- sent the news of his miraculous deliverance out of son to have two names; Quis unquam prohibuerit prison: “ Go show these things unto James, and to Juobus vel tribus nominibus hominem unum the brethren;" that is, to the whole church, and vocari? as St. Augustin speaks in a parallel case,) especially St. James, the bishop and pastor of it. or (as a learned man conjectures) it may relate But he was principally active in the synod at Jeto his being a disciple of some particular sect or rusalem, in the great controversy about the Mosaic synagogue among the Jews, called Alphæans ; de- rites : for the case being opened by Peter, and noting a family or society of devout and learned further debated by Paul and Barnabas, at last men of somewhat more eminency than the rest, stood up St. James to pass the final and decretory there being, as he tells us, many such at this time sentence, that the Gentile converts were not to among the Jews; and in this probably St. James be troubled with the bondage of the Jewish yoke, had entered himself , the great reputation of his only that for a present accommodation some few
indifferent rites should be observed; ushering in Matt. xxvii. 56; Mark xiv. 40. † Antiquit. Jud. lib. xx. c. 8, p. 698; Matt. x. 3. • Gal. i. 19; ii. 9.
+ Acts xii. 17. 97
the expedient with this positive conclusion : 8.0 on the right hand of the majesty on high, and cyw wpivw, I thus judge or decide the matter ; “this will come again in the clouds of heaven.” The is iny sentence” and determination.* A circum- people below hearing it, glorified the blessed stance the more considerable, because spoken at Jesus, and openly proclaimed “Hosanna to the the same time when Peter was in council
, who Son of David.” The Scribes and Pharisees perproduced no such intimation of his authority. ceived now that they had overshot themselves, Had the champions of the church of Rome but and that instead of reclaiming they had confirmed such a passage for Peter's judiciary authority and the people in their error; that there was no way power, it would no doubt have made a louder left, but presently to despatch him, that by his sad noise in the world, than “ Thou art Peter,” or fate others might be warned not to believe him. “ Feed my sheep.”
Whereupon suddenly crying out, that Justus him5. He administered his province with all possi- self was seduced and become an impostor, they ble care and industry, omitting no part of a dili threw him down from the place where he stood; gent and faithful guide of souls ; strengthening though bruised, he was not killed by the fall, but the weak, informing the ignorant, reducing the recovered so much strength, as to get upon his erroneous, reproving the obstinate, and by the con- knees, and pray to heaven for them. Malice is of stancy of his preaching, conquering the stubborn- too bad a nature either to be pacified with kindness of that perverse and refractory generation ness, or satisfied with cruelty; jealousy is not that he had to deal with ; many of the nobler and more the rage of a man than malice is the rage better sort being brought over to a compliance of the devil, the very soul and spirit of the aposwith the Christian faith. So careful, so success- tate nature. Little portions of revenge do but infui in his charge, that he awakened the spite and flame it, and serve to fesh it up into a fiercer viomalice of his enemies to conspire his ruin ; a sort lence. Vexed that they had not done his work, of men of whom the apostle has given too true they fell fresh upon the poor remainders of his a character, “ that they please not God, and are life; and while he was yet at prayer, and that a contrary to all men.” Vexed they were to see Rechabite, who stood by, (which, says Epiphathat St. Paul, by appealing to Cæsar, had escaped nius, was Symeon, his kinsman and successor,) their hands ; (malice is as greedy and insatiable stepped in, and entreated them to spare him, a as hell itself;) and they therefore now turn their just and a righteous man, and who was then prayrevenge upon St. James, which not being able to ing for them, they began to load him with a effect under Festus's government, they more ef- shower of stones, till one more mercifully cruel fectually attempted under the procuratorship of than the rest, with a fuller's club beat out his Albinus's successor, Ananus the younger, then brains. Thus died this good man in the ninetyhigh-priest, and of the sect of the Sadducees, (of sixth year of his age, and about twenty-four years all others, says Josephus,f the most merciless and after Christ's ascension into heaven, (as Epipha. implacable justicers,) resolving to despatch him nius tells us ;) being taken away, to the great before the new governor could arrive. To this grief and regret of all good men; yea, of all sober end a council is hastily summoned, and the apos- and just persons even amongst the Jews themtle with some others arraigned and condemned as selves. He was buried (says Gregory, bishop of violators of the law. But that the thing might Tours) upon Mount Olivet, in a tomb which he be carried in a more plausible and popular way, had built for himself, and wherein he had buried they set the Scribes and Pharisees (craft’s-mas- Zacharias and old Symeon; which I am rather ters in the arts of dissimulation) at work to en- inclinable to believe than what Hegesippus re. snare him, who coming to him, began by flatter- ports, that he was buried near the temple in the ing insinuations to set upon him. They tell him, place of his martyrdom, and that a monuinent was that they all had a mighty confidence in him, and there erected for him, which remained a long that the whole nation as well as they gave him time after ; for the Jews were not ordinarily wont the testimony of a most just man, and one that to bury within the city, much less so near the was no respecter of persons; that therefore, they temple; and least of all would they suffer him, desired he would correct the error and false opi- whom as a blasphemer and impostor they had so nion which the people had of Jesus, whom they lately put to death. looked upon as the Messiah, and would take this 6. He was a man of exemplary and extraordiopportunity of the universal confluence to the nary piety and devotion, educated under the strictpaschal solemnity, to set them right in their no-est rules and institutions of religion, a priest (as tions about these things; and would, to that end, we may probably guess) of the ancient order of go up with them to the top of the temple, where the Rechabites; or rather, as Epiphanius conjeche might be seen and heard by all. Being ad- tures, "according to the most ancient order and vantageously placed upon a pinnacle or wing of form of priesthood," when the sacerdotal office the temple, they made this address to him. “Tell was the prerogative of the first-born ; and such us, 0 Justus, whom we have all the reason in the was St. James, the eldest son of Joseph, and world to believe, that seeing the people are thus thereby sanctified and set apart for it. Though, generally led away with the doctrine of Jesus that whether this way of priesthood at any time held was crucified, tell us, what is this institution of under the Mosaic dispensation, we have no the crucified Jesus ?" To which the apostle an- intimations in the holy story. But, however he swered with an audible voice: “Why do ye in- came by it, upon some such account it must be quire of Jesus the Son of man? he sits in heaven that he had a privilege (which the ancients say
was peculiar to him, probably because more freActs xv. 13
quently made use of by him than by any others) + Josephus Antiquit. Jud. lib. XX. C. 8, p. 698. to enter as ta ayıa; not into the "sancta sancto