صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

a

Power. “Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” Again, in c. xii. we read of certain persons applying to St. Philip, in order to be by him brought into the presence of our Lord. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the Feast. The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida, of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus, Philip cometh and telleth Andrew; and, again. Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.” And, again, in

, c. xiv, in the course of our blessed Lord's conversation with His apostles in the night before He suffered, the request of St. Philip is made the occasion of our Saviour's setting forth in the fullest terms, the unity of substance between Himself and His Father. “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip ? He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"

Thus much we learn about St. Philip from holy Scripture. What more we know is found in early Christian writers, from whose works we

us.

[ocr errors]

gather what notices remain of the lives and deaths of the holy apostles.

The countries, where St. Philip is said to have preached the gospel, were those of Upper Asia, where he remained many years, and, at last, suffered martyrdom in the city of Hierapolis.

We have next to speak of St. James, (called “the Less,” to distinguish him from the other St. James, the brother of St. John.) This St. James, the son of Alpheus, is also called in holy Scripture the brother of our Lord. Among the Jews the term “brother' was frequently used to denote the relation of cousin : and so, probably, in this case St. James was called our Lord's brother, as being the son of another Mary, the sister of the blessed Virgin. In St. Matthew xiii. 55, and in St. Mark vi. 3, mention is made of him as our Lord's brother, and the same term is used of Judas, (i. e. the apostle St. Jude,) Simon, (the same with Simeon who succeeded St. James as Bishop of Jerusalem,) and Joses. After our Lord's Ascension, and before their own dispersion, St. James was instituted by the apostles Bishop of Jerusalem, i. e. Bishop of the Mother Church of Christendom, in consequence, it has been believed, of some immediate intimation of our Lord's will. And so we find special

[ocr errors]

notices of St. James in the Acts of the Apostles, and other records of the early Church, in all of which his name stands foremost. Thus in ch. . xiž., St. Peter, after his miraculous escape from prison, mentions St. James by name, “Go, shew these things unto James and to the brethren.” And in ch. xv, in the council held at Jerusalem on the subject of the Gentile converts, “ When the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter," St. James speaks, it would seem, in some sense, in the name of the whole Church, the sentence of the whole Church. “ And after they had held their peace, James answered saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me .. Wherefore my sentence is , And so St. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, joins his name with that of St. Peter and St. John, as in chief place in Jerusalem.

« Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days; but other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to

, me and Barnabas the right-hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

.

St. James is also known to us as the writer of the General Epistle which bears his name ; in the very first words of which we see his great humility. Although he was an apostle, and bishop of Jerusalenı, the holy city, and Mother Church of Christendom; although he was so near akin to our Lord, as that he is called by St, Paul “ the Lord's brother;" yet it is not of his high place and apostolic office that he speaks, nor of his nearness to Christ in the flesh; but his first words are : “ James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And all early records speak of his great and excellent piety and holiness of life. In fact it would seem from them that his life was one course of abstinenoe, selfdenial, prayer, and religious exercises ; eating sparingly of the simplest and coarsest food, clothed in the rudest and simplest dress, his knees worn by frequent prayers, his body pale with fastings, Such was the holy apostle and bishop whom we this day have in memory.

And this his piety and holiness of life won for him reverence even from the enemies of the faith, so that he was known even among them by the name of “ the Just."

And, as his life had been that of a Christian bishop, ruling the flock over which the Chief

Shepherd had set him, faithfully and wisely, himself “an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity;" as he had been all this in his life, so was he no less an example of faith and charity in his death,

We read in Eusebius, the early historian of the Church, that at the season of the Pass. over the Scribes and Pharisees summoned St. James before them, and led him up to a pinnacle of the temple ; if so be that, by threats or otherwise, they might lead him to deny Christ in the presence of the people assembled beneath. To this end they spake thus with him.

« Thou just man, of whom we ought all to be persuaded, , the people is deceived, and followeth after Jesus, which was crucified; do thou therefore declare unto us how Jesus is the door.” And he an, swered with a loud voice, and said, “Why ask ye me concerning Jesus, the Son of Man ? Behold, He sitteth on the right hand of Great Power, and He shall come hereafter upon the clouds of heaven."

When he had said this in the hearing of the multitude, they who had placed him there, in their rage, casť him down headlong. And they began to cast stones at him, because

« السابقةمتابعة »