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17.

John vii: Soul; for he that doth God's Will

, shall know of the Doctrine, whether it be of God.

Q. How may we make the Reading of the Holy Scriptures most beneficial to us?

A. By diligently considering the Design of the Author of each Book of Scripture; and what is the Subject he chiefly handles, with the Occasion of his Writing. By explaining difficult Places by those that are more clear; distinguishing between literal and figuratioe Expressions; and never having Recourse to Metaphors and Figures, but when Something absurd results from their being taken in a proper and literal Sense. By confining ourselves to the natural Signification of Words, the usual Forms of Speech, and the Phraseology of Scripture. By acquainting ourselves with the common Usages and Customs of those Times in which they were writ, to which many Expressions allude. Not to make either Side of the Question in Dispute the Reason of our Interpretation; for this is to make it a Rule of interpreting Scripture, not a Question to be decided by it. Avd again, by applying general Rules to particular Cases; it being impossible Scripture should comprehend all special Cases, which are infinite: And where there is any Difficulty, Nothing adds greater Light than the consulting those ancient and faithful Witnesses, who learnt the true Sense of Scripture from the Authors themselves. Without some such Method, no Author can be well understood; and to this purpose we have many Helps in our own English Tongue.

THE PRAYERS.

I. Por Sted. O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy Religion.” holy Church with the heavenly Doctrine of thy

Evangelist St. Mark; give us Grace, that being not like Children who are carried away with every

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Blast of vain Doctrine, we may be established in the Truth of thy holy Gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. I slow 90 DO

Sapotioned some 293310532 toimia ont gairolinos vinogilib và O LORD, I beseech thee mercifully to receive the For the Prayers of thy People which call upon thee; acceptand grant that I may both perceive and know what Prayer. Things I ought to do, and also may have Grace and Power faithfully to fulfil the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. rus qoism of STOS viato neitrag: v tlenku sinf boe 19907

III. ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who makest for the me both to will and to do those Things that be Assistance good and acceptable unto thy divine Majesty; letly Spirit. thy fatherly Hand, I beseech thee, be over me; let thy Holy Spirit be ever with me; and so lead me into the Knowledge and Obedience of thy Word, that in the End I may obtain everlasting Life, through the Merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Amen. Trasy Tipy vál

JVA WWholog bind learn bridWS. 15 DE DE ALMIGHTY God, who hast not abandoned us for a right to the dim Light of our own Reason to conduct

Scriptures. us to Happiness; but, when Mankind had miserably mistaken the Object of their Worship, and the right Manner of performing it, wert graciously pleased to reveal to us in the holy Scriptures whatever is necessary for us to believe and practise in order to our eternal Salvation; grant that I may with Care and Diligence apply myself to the Reading of those sacred Volumes; and do thou open my Eyes, that I may see the wondrous Things of thy Law. Let me peruse them with that Reverence and Respect which is due to thy gracious Manifestations; With an entire Submission of my Understanding to (thy divine Authority, and with a sincere and stedfast Resolution of Mind, to govern my Life by the Maxims of thy holy Gospel, and to obey and sub

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Use of the

mit' to thy blessed Will in every Thing. Let thy precious Promises quicken my Obedience, and make me fruitful and abundant in the Work of the Lord. Let thy dreaded Threatenings fright me from my Sins, and make me speedily depart from all Iniquity: And thou, who workest in me to will and to do of thy good Pleasure, teach me to obey all thy Commandments, to believe all thy Revelations, and make me Partaker of all thy gracious Promises, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHAP. XIX.
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES THE LESS.

MAY 1.
Q. WHAT Festival doth the Church celebrate

this Day?
A. That of the two Apostles, St. Philip and St.
James.
Q. Where was St. Philip born?

A. At Bethsaida, in Galilee, a Town near the Sea John i. 44.' of Tiberias. The Natives of this Place passed under

a very reproachful Character, as a People more rude and unpolished than any other in the Territories of Palestine.

Q. Why did our Saviour chuse his Disciples, the great Instruments to convert the World, from this Place?

A. To confound the Wisdom of the Wise, and by the Success of such contemptible Means to attest the Divinity of that Doctrine they preached.

Q. Of what Profession was St. Philip?

A. The Gospel takes no Notice of his parents and Way of Life, though probably he was a Fisherman, the general Trade of that place.

Q. What is thought by some to be his peculiar Privilege?

A. That he had the Honour of being first called to be a Disciple of our blessed Saviour; because

thouglı our Saviour, after his Return from the Wil. derness, first met with Andrew and his Brother Peter, and had some Conversation with them, yet they immediately returned to their Trade; and the next Day, as he was passing through Galilee, he John i. 45. found Philip, whom he commanded to follow him; the constant Form he used in chusing his Disciples. And it was a whole Year after, that the other two were called to be Disciples, when John was cast into Prison.

Q. Did St. Philip readily comply with our Lord's Command ?

A. Yes, he immediately engaged in his Service, though he had not seen any Miracle. But it is reasonable to believe, that he was acquainted with Moses and the Prophets, and that he was awakened with the general Expectation then among the Jews that the Messias would immediately appear; besides, we are to suppose the Divine Grace did particularly accompany the Command of Christ, and dispose those that he called, to believe him to be the Messias,

Q. What was the first Effect of his Faith in the Messias ?

A. A Forwardness of Mind to direct others in the same Way of Happiness with himself; for he finds Nathaniel, a Person of Note and Eminence, and Johu i. 45. acquaints him with the welcome News of his Disa covery, that he had found him of whoin Moses and the Prophets did write, the Anointed of God, the Saviour of the World, and conducts him to him.

Q. What is recorded of this Apostle in the History of the Gospel?

A. That to try his Faith, our Saviour propounded to him that Question: What they should do to procure so much Bread as would feed the vast Multi-John vi. 5, tude that followed him? That it was to him the Ch. xii. Gentile Proselytes addressed themselves, when desi-21. rous to see our Saviour, of whom they had heard so great a Fame. And that it was with him our Lord had that Discourse concerning himself before

John xiv. the last Paschal Supper: wherein our Saviour 8, 9.

gently rebukes him for the small Improvement he had made, after having attended so long upon his Instructions.

Q. What Part of the World is thought to have fallen to the Care of this Apostle?

A. The Upper Asia, where he took great Pains in planting the Gospel, and by his Preaching and Miracles made many Converts. In the latter End of his Life he came to Hierapolis in Phrygia, a City rich and populous, and very much addicted to Idolatry; and particularly to the Worship of a Serpent or Dragon of a prodigious Bigness. St. Philip, by his Prayers, procured the Death, or at least the vanishing of this famous Serpent, and then by his Discourses, made them sensible, how unbecoming it was to give divine Honours to such odious Creatures.

Q. Where did he suffer Martyrdom?

A. At this City of Hierapolis ; for the Magistrates being provoked by the Success Christianity found among the People, put St. Philip into Prison, and caused him to be severely whipped and scourged, and then led to Execution; where he was, as some say, hauged up by the Neck against a Pillar, though others affirm he was crucified.'

Q. Is St. Philip reckoned among the married Apostles ?

A. The Ancients generally affirm it, and say, that he had three Daughters; two whereof persevered in their Virginity, and died at Hierapolis ; the third, after having lived a very spiritual Life, died at Ephesus.

Q. What Writings did he leave behind him?

A. None: the Gospel that was forged under his Name, was produced by the Gnosticks, to countenance their bad Principles and worse Practices. Le

Q. What Account have we of St. James?

A. There is no Mention in the sacred History of the Place of his Birth; but he is in Scripture styled

Euseb. lib. 3.

c. 50.

1

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