Obrázky na stránke


[ocr errors]

with the Heaviness of the Understanding, and to endeavour with Gentleness and Patience to instil that Knowledge which is necessary to make Devotion perfect; and that the doing that Will of God, which we know is the best Qualification to attain greater

Degrees of Knowledge ; since we are assured by John vii. our Saviour, If any Man will do his Will, be Mall

know of the Doctrine, whether it be of God.

Q. What Proof did St. Thomas require of our Saviour's Resurrection?

H. The Testimony of his own Senses; for though the rest of the Apostles assured him they

had really seen their Mafter alive again, yet he proToln xx. feffed, except he should see in bis Hands the Print of

the Nails, and thrust bis Hand into his Side, be would not believe. A strange Piece of Infidelity, after he had seen our Saviour's Miracles, and had so long conversed with him, who had frequently asserted, in plain Terms, that he must rise again the third Day.

Q. How did our Saviour cure this bis Infidelity? John xx. A. Compassionating the Weakness of St. Thomas,

and willing to satisfy the Doubts and Scruples of fincere though ignorant Man; he appeared to his Disciples again, when St. Thomas was with them, and gave him the Satisfaction he desired; who, being quickly convinced ofhis Error,acknowledgect him to be his very Lord and Master, a Godomnipotent, thus able to rescue himself from the Powers of Death.

Q. What Reply did our Saviour make to this Profelion of St. Thomas's Faith?

A. "That he did well to believe upon this Testimony of his Senses; but that it was a more noble

and commendable Act of Faith, to acquiesce in a Ver. 29. rational Evidence, and to entertain the Doctrines

and Relations of the Gospel upon such Assurances of the Truth of Things, as are fit to satisfy a wise and sober Man, though he did not see them with his own Eyes.

Q. What


Q. What Advantage is this Axt of St. Thomas's Infidelity to us Christians ?

A. It confirmeth our Faith in our Saviour's Refurrection, and convinces us beyond all Doubt or Scruple, by the most sensible Évidence, that the very same Body of our Lord was raised, in which he suffered.

Q. Where did St. Thomas preach the Gospel?

A. The Province allotted to him for the Exercise Eufeb.lib. of his Apostolical Office was l'arthia? he published So Co to! the glad Tidings of

Salvation to the Medes, Persians, Carmanians, Hyrcani, and BaEtrians. Some of the Ancients relate how he met with the Magi; to whose Country they belonged, who brought Presents to our new-born Savior; that he baptized several of them, and made use of them as his Asistants in

propagating the Gospel; that he passed through the Asian Ethiopia, and at last came to the Indies, as is proved by antient Tradition, and several Marks still preserved among those People to this Day.

Q. How are the Christians in that Part of India called?

A. The Christians which inhabit the more fouth- Breres trly Part of the great Promontory, whose Base lies were des

Enquir. C. between the Outlets of the Rivers Indusand Ganges, 20. are called the Christians of St. Thomas, because supposed to be converted by his Preaching. Before the Portuguese frequented those Parts, they were esteemed to be about fifteen or fixtcen thousand Families. They had then no Dependance upon the Bishop of Rome, but denied his Primacy. The Sacrament was administered among them in both Kinds; they celebrated it with Bread seasoned with Salt; and instead of Wine, which their Country afforded not, they made Use of the Juice of Raisins, softenedone Night in Water, and then pressed forth. They baptized not their Infants till they were forty Days old, except in Danger of Death. They used


not extreme Unction. They had no Images in their Churches, but only the Cross. And their Priests were excluded from fecond Marriages.

Q. How is it thought St. Thomas suffered Martyrdom?

A. Having converted mariy to the Faith in India, and, among the rest, the Prince of the Country, the Brachmans, perceiving this would spoil their Trade, resolved to put a Stop to his successful Progress, and conspired his Death.

And one Day, when our Apostle was retired without the City of Malopur for his private Devotions, they assaulted him with armed Men, first loading him with Darts and Stones, and then one run him through with a Lance.

Q. What became of his Body? A. It was by his Disciples buried in a Church which he had lately caused to be built in the forementioned City. And though some say it was afterwards transated to Edelu, yet the Christians in the East constantly affirm it to have remained in the Place of his Martyrdom.

Q. What may we learn from the Observation of ibis Festival?

A. That provided our Minds sincerely intend God's Service and that our Affections are fixed upon him as our chiefest Good, he will compassionate the Weakness of our Understandings and either pardon our Errors, or deliver us from them. That the best Meu thod to procure divine Light, is to practise what we know to be God's Will. That no Dangers should discourage us from adhering to our blessed Master, and that even Death itself should not be able to se parate us from him. That Faith ought to be the prevailing Principleofa Christian,underall Events, and in every Condition of human Life; and that, though it is a Degrce of Affent inferior to Sense, yet the Afts of it are much more praise-worthy and



[ocr errors]

commendable : Blessed are they which have not seen, John xs. and yet believe

Q. How is Failh made the prevailing Principle of a Christian Life?

A. By governing all our Thoughts, Words, and Actions, with a Regard to another World; and by a firm Persuasion of abfent and invisible Things; as the Belief of a God, and his Providence that orders all Things, and of his invisible Grace, ready at Hand to assist us in all that is good, and to keep us from all Evil: Especially when in all our Ways we have a Regard to the Promises of everlasting Life; and the Threatenings of eternal Misery : Which was the great Principle of the Piety and Virtue of all good Men from the Beginning of the World; as the Apostle to the Hebrews declareth Heb. xi, at large.

Q. Wberein confifteth the Power of this Principle?

A. In that the Objects of Faithare fitted to work upon our Minds upon the Account of both the Certainty and the Concernment of them. We have all the Affittance of the Truth of them that we are capable of in this Life, from the Dictates of Reason, and the general Consent of Mankind; besides that, to assure us these Reasonings are true, we have a most credible Revelation of these Things in the Gofpel of our Saviour; who gave a sensible Proof of his divine Mission in his Resurrection from the Dead. And, as to the Importance of them, every one must own, that the highest Hopes, and the greatest Fears, are sufficient Springs of human Actions; for what can concern us more than eternal Happiness and eternal Misery?

Q. What is meant by Faith in Chrilt?

1. In general, it is the believing all those Things that are declared to us by Christ, and more particularly some Things that are declared of him. - The believing what is said by him is called Faith in Clyrill,


as his Authority and Credit is the Ground and Reason of our Belief. And the believing Things said of him is called Faith in Christ, as he himself is the Object of it. And when this Belief suitably affecteth us, and we resolve and practise so as may reasonably be expected from Persons under such Persuasions, then it is imputed to us for Righteousness.

Q. What are those Properties that fit Faith to produce such suitable Effects? A. It must

be real and unfeigned, against the Pretences of those that use it only as a Disguise to be trusted; or as a mere outside Profession, without looking for any farther Reason than to be in the Fashion. It must be bearty and affectionate; not a merespeculative Opinion, as of Things wherein we are not much interested; but a moving and influencing Persualion, wherewith all the Powers of the Soul are affected. It must be assured and confident ; for a wavering and uncertain Opinion will not accomplish its Work. Men.will not run Ventures and bear Losses on uncertain Hopes, but only on firm and certain Expectations. It must be honest, and accompanied with a good Conscience,implying a Man's Integrity in discharging the Profession he makes, and Honesty in performing his Undertaking. It must be resolute, and fully fixed, after all Things are well considered, so that when any Hardihips arise, we may not be soon staggered in our Minds. The PRA Y ER S.

For a firm

more Confirmation of Faith, didst suffer thy holy Apostle Tbomasto be doubtful in thy Son's Resurrection; grant me so perfectly, and without all Doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that my Faith in thy Sight may never be reproved. Hear


« PredošláPokračovať »