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For a description of Peter's person and features, we refer those who have any curiosity on the subject, to a note at the end of the volume before us. It is entitled to about as much respect, we suppose, as the story of his meeting Jesus after his escape from prison-in Rome, and his return to his cell, when, being asked by him whither he was going, Christ replied, “To Rome, to be crucified a second time; ' or numerous other traditions concerning him, as the report of his carrying the gospel to Babylon and Chaldea in the East, and Britain in the West. The portrait is given by Cave on the authority of Nicephorus, and partly, as it seems, of Jerome, who quotes from a spurious work, called • Clemens' Periods.' The peculiar appearance of the eyes,
black, but spect with red, Baronius attributes to his frequent weeping !
Of Andrew, Peter's brother, and the second on Matthew's list, little is said by the sacred historians, and Mr Greenwood has allotted to him only three pages. In the distribution of provinces supposed to have been made by the apostles, Scythia, we are told, was assigned to Andrew. An ancient writer has left a particular account of his travels, but from what source he derived his materials is unknown, and the credit due to his narrative, therefore, must be determined by the internal marks of probability or of improbability it exhibits. It is said, that having traversed the countries bordering on the Euxine Sea, he penetrated into the remote solitudes of Scythia ; that at Sinope, on the banks of the Euxine, he met with his brother Peter; that while there the Jews rose upon him, treated him with great barbarity, beat him, and dragging him out of the city, left him for dead; that he revived, and afterwards went to Byzantium, Constantinople, and having founded a church there, ordained Stachys, mentioned by St Paul as his beloved Stachys,' Rom. xvi. 9, the first bishop,-a fact asserted by Nicephorus Callistus, and by another Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, but which the reader is at liberty to admit or reject,—that being afterwards banished from the city, he preached the gospel in several parts, and finally came to Patræ, in Achaia, now Patras, an archiepiscopal see, where he sealed his testimony with his blood. That such, or something similar, may have been his track and fortunes, is not improbable. Of his death by crucifixion we have no reason to doubt. We are told that Ægeas, Proconsul of Achaia, being irritated at beholding the numbers who went over from Paganism to Christianity, in consequence of Andrew's preaching, after some ineffectual attempts to silence him, caused him to be committed to prison ; that he earnestly entreated him to renounce the new superstition, as it was then called,
and save himself; that the apostle persevered with great constancy and courage to declare his adherence to the faith of Jesus, in whose cause he professed himself ready to suffer ; that sentence of death after scourging was then pronounced against him. He proceeded to the place of execution with a composed and cheerful air, the people, as he passed along, crying out, that he was a good and just man, and unjustly condemned to die.' That his death might be more lingering, he is reported to have been fastened to the cross by means of cords. He remained, it is added, two days upon it, instructing the people, and exhorting them to constancy and perseverance. The cross on which he suffered, is affirmed to have been what is called a cross decussate, constructed of two pieces of timber intersecting each other at acute angles, in the form of the letter X, hence called St Andrew's cross. His body is said to have been embalmed and honorably buried by the pious care of Maximilla, a lady of quality, whom Nicephorus, on what authority he does not inform us, makes the wife of Ægeas, and says that she, as also his brother Stratocles, had previously become converts to Christianity, a circumstance, he adds, which greatly inflamed the rage of the proconsul against Andrew. His body, we are told, was afterwards removed by Constantine, and deposited in the great church at Constantinople.
The next in order is James, called the Greater, to distinguish him from another apostle of the same name.
We offer no apology for the length of the following extract from his Life.
Here I cannot help requesting my readers to pause a moment, and consider the fortunes, the singular, and, if the word were holy enough, I would say romantic, fortunes of these four men. Simon and Andrew, James and John, brethren of two different families, dwell together with their parents, in a village at the northern extremity of a lake or small sea, in the district of Galilee, and on the confines of the land of Judea. The sea is a large sea to them, and to them the towns, which here and there dot its coast, and the light barks, which, for the purposes of amusement, or traffic, or their own calling, skim along its pleasant waters, are the world. They are fishermen. Day by day do they rise up to the contented exercise of their toil, to throw their nets, to spread their sails, to ply their oars, and, when successful in pursuit, to dispose of their freight in their native village, or the neighbouring towns, for the support of themselves and their families. They are friends; they have joined themselves to each other in their humble profession, and agreed to share profit and loss, storm and calm, together. Their low roofed dwellings look out on each other, and on their native lake, and within these dwellings are bosoms which throb anxiously at their protracted absence, and beat gladly at their return. Their boats contain all their wealth, and their cottages all that they love. Their fathers, perhaps their ancestors, were fishers before them. They themselves have no idea of a different lot. The only changes on which they calculate, are the changes of the weather and the vicissitudes of their calling; and the only great interruptions of the even courses of their lives, to which they look forward, are the annual journies which they take, at the periods of solemn festival, to the great city of Jerusalem. Thus they live, and thus they expect to live, till they lie down to sleep with their fathers, as calmly, as unknowing, and as unknown as they.
*Look at them, on the shore of thcir lake. Think not of them as apostles, as holy men; but look at them as they actually were on the morning when you first hear of them from the historian. They have been toiling through a weary night, and have caught nothing; and now, somewhat disheartened at their ill success, they are engaged in spreading their nets, washing them, and preparing them, as they hope, for a more fortu nate expedition. Presently, surrounded by an eager crowd, that teacher approaches, whom they have before seen, and whose instructions some of them have already listened to. With his demeanour of quiet but irresistible dignity, he draws toward the spot where they are employed; he enters Simon's vessel, and prays him to thrust out a little distance from the land; then he speaks to that assembled multitude as never man spake; then he bids Simon launch out further, and cast his net in the deep; then follows the overwhelming draught of fishes; and then those four partners, filled with wonder and awe, are called to quit their boats, and throw by their nets, and become fishers of men.
• And now what a change, like the change of a dream or of enchantment, has passed over their lives, dividing what was, from what was to be! It was long before they themselves were aware how entire and how stupendous it was. In a few years, they are to be the principal actors in the most extraordinary events of recorded time. Home, kindred, country, are to be forsaken forever. Their nets may hang and bleach in the sun; their boats may rot piecemeal on the shore; for the owners of them are far away, sailing over seas to which that of Gennesereth is a pond; exciting whole cities and countries to wonder and tumult; answering before kings; imprisoned, persecuted, tortured ; their whole existence a storm, and a greater one than ever swept over their lake. On the peaceful shore of that lake, even their bones may not rest. Their ashes are to be separated from the ashes of their kindred. Their blood is to be sprinkled on foreign soils; the headsman and executioner are to preside over their untimely obsequies. A few years more, and the fame and the doctrine of these fishermen have gone out into all lands. Magnificent churches are called by their names. Kingdoms adopt them for their tutelar saints; and the men who claim to succeed to the office of one of them, rule for centuries over all civilized kingdoms, with a despotic and overshadowing sway, and by virtue of that claim give away a continent, a world, which, when their predecessor lived, was entirely unknown. History tells us of a fisherman of Sicily, who was raised to that island's throne; but who will compare that, or any earthly throne, to the twelve thrones which were set up over the twelve tribes of Israel? What is a king of Sicily to an apostle of Christ? A wonderful man has risen up in our own, as we call it, wonderful time, risen up from a moderate station to the einpire of Europe; and yet the eight volumes which another wonderful man has written of that emperor's deeds and fortunes, have not preserved, and cannot preserve, such a name for his hero, as is secured by hardly more than eight lines, which tell us of those men who first fished for their living ou the Sea of Galilee, and then were called to be the apostles of Christ.
There is an improbable and extravagant tale, forged, as it would seem, by the writers of the middle ages, which supposes James to have carried the gospel into Spain, and even to Britain and Ireland. It is of a piece with another, which informs us, that his body, after his death, being put on board a ship designed to carry Ctesiphon to Spain, the ship, without oars or pilot, glided rapidly over the waters, and in seven days arrived at the destined port, whence the body was miraculously conveyed through the air twelve iniles from the shore, where it was interred; that it was afterwards transported to Compostella, that store-house of miracles,' as Baronius calls it, where it has worked innumerable wonders. It is almost certain that he never left Judea. He was put to death by Herod Agrippa. The fact is thus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church; and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.' xij. 1, 2. He is termed the Apostolic Protomartyr, the first of the little band, who was called to attest his fidelity by his death, thus partaking of the cup,
of which he had long before told his master that he was able to drink.
The fourth on Matthew's catalogue is John, the brother of James, the last named, though certainly not the last in merit, of those four friends and partners, the fishermen of Bethsaida,' the disciple towards whom Jesus felt particular affection, and to whose care, in his dying moments, he committed his mother. In the partition of provinces made by the apostles, Asia, according to the testimony of Origen, fell to John. There, as tradition says, he discharged the office of an apostle with great fidelity and success, till a persecution breaking out under Domitian, A. D. 95, he was sent by the proconsul to Rome, and is reported by Tertullian to have been thrown into a cauldron of burning oil, from which he escaped unhurt, or, as Jerome says, “stronger and healthier than he went in,' a ridiculous fable, which only proves to what a pitch of credulity the Fathers of that age, even the best of them, had arrived. He was afterwards banished to the isle of Patmos, in the Ægæan sea, where he is reported, according to the vulgar account, to have written the Revelation. After the death of Domitian he was permitted to return to Ephesus, where, it is said, he wrote his Gospel at the request of the bishops of Asia, and where he finally ended his days, placidly falling asleep in Jesus, as it is generally supposed, about the year one hundred of the christian era, at the age of one hundred years, or very near it. It is quite certain that he survived all the other apostles; that his life was protracted till the time of Trajan, who succeeded Nero in the year ninety eight of the vulgar era ; that he escaped martyrdom,
the general fate of his companions, and that he was buried in or near Ephesus.
Some modern writers have supposed, that the mother of our Lord accompanied him to Ephesus. Others, among whom are Cave, Basnage, and Lardner, are of opinion that she died before he left Palestine. This, Nicephorus affirms from preceding historians, and Eusebius fixes the date of her death at the year fortyeight, fifteen years after our Lord's ascension. Mr Greenwood has not noticed this discrepancy, but observes simply, she is supposed to have died at Ephesus.
Numerous absurd traditions concerning John have been handed about, one of which we have already mentioned. Another is, that being, in company with some others, about to enter the bath at Ephesus, he inquired of the servant, who was within? and being told 'that the heretic Cerinthus was there, says one, Ebion, says another, it is not improbable both, says honest Cave, he fled with precipitation, saying, Let us be gone, and make haste from this place, lest the bath wherein there is such a heretic as Cerinthus, the great enemy of truth, fall upon our heads.'
It is generally reported, and Tertullian and Jerome affirm it, that he was never married. The latter mentions a circumstance, which harmonizes well with the affectionate character of the apostle, and the general strain of his writings. When from age and weakness he was no longer able to preach, he caused himself
, on every public occasion, to be led to the church, where he said no more than, Little children, love one another;' and when his auditors, wearied with the constant repetition of these few words, asked him why he always spoke the same thing, he replied, Because it was the command of our Lord, and that if they did nothing else this alone was enough.'
The fifth named by Matthew, is Philip, also a native of Bethsaida, situated on the banks of the beautiful lake Gennesereth, or Sea of Galilee. History has furnished us with but few particulars of his life. All that we can gather, is, that · Upper Asia' was assigned as his province, which gave rise to the opinion, that he planted the gospel in Scythia ; that he made many converts, and after some years came at last to Hieropolis, a wealthy and populous city in Phrygia ; that having condemned the superstitions of
* Dorotheus, who wrote in the third, and Chrysostom, in the fourth century, assert that he lived to the age of one hundred and twenty years. But this assertion is opposed to the current tradition of antiquity, and seems entitled to no credit. Others, such is the propensity of human nature to the marvellous, propagated the fable, that he never died at all, imagining that he was either translated, or lay sleeping in his grave. The latter was a current story in the time of Augus