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Q. How ought we treat an Enemy that repents?
A. We are not obliged to treat him with Marks of special Esteem and Confidence, because this is founded upon particular Reasons and Fitness of Persons, as Likeness of Humour, Fidelity of Af. fection, Aptness for our Affairs, or the like. But when we ourselves are only concerned, and the Thing is not of that Weight as to be jealous over it, and we have no other cause but that Offence to exclude him from it; it is a Christian Act to admit a returning Penitent to the same State he held before he offended us. And this is according to St. Paul's Direction to forgive others even as God Eph. iv. 39. for Christ's Sake forgiveth us.
Q. By what Measures ought we to judge of the Repentance of our Enemies:
A. We ought not to be too strict and rigid in standing upon exact Proofs, but to be candid, and apt to interpret all Signs of it to the best Sense, leaning to the Side of Love and easy Admittance. If they take Shame to themselves, and are so far humbled, as penitently to confess their Fault, it is an Argument of their Sincerity, and, in the Case of the first Offence especially, a strong Presumption that they will no more commit it.
GRANT, O Lord, that in all my Sufferings here For Sup.
throth upon Earth, for the Testimony of thy Truth, I may po
movport under stedfastly look up to Heaven, and by Faith behold for Reli the Glory that shall be revealed, and being filled 3100. with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless my Persecutors, by the Example of thy first Martyr St. Stephen; who prayed for his Murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right Hand of God, to succour all those that suffer for thee, my only Mediator and Advocate. Amen..
For Rege. neration.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our Nature upon him, and as at this Time to be born of a pure Virgin; grant that I, being regenerated and made thy Child by Adoption and Grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, World without End. Amen.
III. For Cha- TEACH me, o blessed Jesus, to lay aside all rity to wards our
angry and revengeful Thoughts against my bitterest Enemies. Enemies, because thou requirest it, and hath shewn
me the Way by thy own perfect Example; who
IV. GRACIOUS God, shew Mercy, I humbly intreat for our thee, to all those that persecute me, though they? Deither shew Justice nor Mercy towards me; Pity their Ignorance, remove those Prejudices that blind their Eyes, sweeten and mollify their Spirits, that they may no longer be carried away with Malice and bitter Passions: Dispose them by Humility and Meekness, and by a sincere Love of Truth and Righteousness, to a joyful Reception and Acknowledgment thereof; that they may lay aside their Errors, and instead of persecuting, resolutely profess thy holy Religion. And by whatever Means thou shalt think fit to work their Recovery, let their Repentance prevent thine eternal Vengeance, through the Merits of our dearest Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
A. As to his Country, he was a Galilean, the Son Mat. iv. of Zebedee and Salome, younger Brother to St. James, with whom he was brought up in the Trade of Fishing, and with whom he was called to be a Disciple and an Apostle of our Saviour. He is thought by the Ancients to be far the youngest of all the Apostles, being under thirty Years old when he was first called to that Dignity. And his great Age seems to prove as much; for dying about an hundred Years old in the third of Trajan, he must have lived above seventy Years after our Saviour's Suffering.
Q. What new Name did St. John receive from
his Master ? Mark iii. A. He with his Brother James were styled
Boanerges, that is, the Sons of Thunder. This Sure name is thought more especially to be attributed to St. John, because he so clearly taught the Divinity of Jesus Christ in sublime Words, and delivered the Mysteries of the Gospel in a profounder Strain than the rest of the Evangelists; , upon which Account he is affirmed by the Ancients not so much to speak as to thunder.
Q. What particular Marks had St. John of our Saviour's Esteem?
A. He was not only one of the Three Disciples
which our Saviour admitted to the more private John xiii. Passages of his Life, but was the Disciple whom
Jesus loved, who lay in our Saviour's Bosom at the Paschal Supper, the most honourable Place of being next him, who was made use of by St. Peter, as
the Disciple most familiar with our Saviour, to Ver. 24. enquire whom he meant, when he said, one of them
should betray him; .and to whom our Lord comJohn xix. mitted the Care of his Mother, the blessed Virgin, 26, 27. when he was leaving the World.
Q. What may we learn from this?
Ā. Our Saviour hath by his Example and Autho. rity sanctified the Relation of Friendship, and those closer Bounds of Amity, which natural Affection or special Inclination may form between particular Persons, without any Prejudice to a general Charity.
Q. How did St. John shew his Sense of this par. ticular Kindness of our Saviour towards him?
A. By Returns of Kindness and Constancy: staying with him when the rest of his Disciples deserted him. To this Cause may be attributed bis Zeal to punish the Samaritans that affronted his Lord; and perhaps also his Desire to sit on our Saviour's right Hand in his Kingdom, that he might have a nearer
Enjoyment of him in his Glory. And, hence like. wise, though upon the Surprise of our Saviour's Aps
prebension, he fled with the Rest of the Apostles, yet he quickly recovered himself, and confidently entered into the High Priest's Hall, and followed our Saviour, through the several Stages of his Trial, and at last attended upon him at his Crucifixion, owning him, as well as being owned by him, in the thickest Cloud of his most inveterate Enemies; and having received the blessed Virgin into his House, according to our Saviour's Recommendation, he treated her with Duty and honourable Regard, and made her a principal Part of his Charge and Care.
Q. With which of the Apostles did St. John seem to have the greatest Intimacy?
A. With St. Peter. Upon the news of our Sa-John XX. S. viour's Resurrection, they two hasted together to the John xxi. Sepulcbre. It was to Peter that St. John gave them. . Notice of Christ's appearing at the Sea of Tiberias Ver. 21. in the Habit of a Stranger : And it was for St. John that St. Peter was solicitous what should become of him. After the Ascension of our Lord, we find them both together going up to the Temple at the Hour of Prayer; both preaching to the People, and Acts iii. 1. both apprehended and thrown into Prison, and the next Day brought forth to plead their Cause before Chap. v. the Sanhedrim. And both sent down by the Apostles to Samariu, to settle the Plantations Philip had Acts viii. made in those Parts, where they baffled Simon "*. Magus.
Q. What other Particulars do the Scriptures meni tion concerning St. John?
A. Nothing more than what is recorded of him in Conjunction with his Brother. James ; upon whose Festival they are taken Notice of.
Q. Where did St. Jolin exercise his Apostolical Office:
4. The Province that fell to his Share was Asia : Euseb. lib. Though it is probable he continued in Judea till" after the blessed Virgin's Death; which is reckoned to have happened about fifteen Years after our Lord's Ascension ; otherwise we must have heard of him in the Account St. Luke gives of St. Paul's Journies
3. c. 1.