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hat day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." The angels, who excel in knowledge, and shall administer in all the solemnities of the last judginent, are yet ignorant of the time fixed for that awful event. Christ, who is himself to be the judge, and who, as God, knows all things, yet, as the Son of man, knows not the time which the Father hath appointed for the judgment of the world.
Q. What shall be the manner and the circumstances of Christ's appearing?
A. Christ, the judge of the world, shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels;" he shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God ;' he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and in that of his holy angels; he shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him, and he shall separate them, the one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep froin the goats. Those that sleep in the grave shall awake, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and they that are alive shall be changed, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Glorious shall be the appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; glorious in respect of the brightness and splendour of his celestial body, made still more glorious and majestic by the authority which his Father hath committed to him of universal judge; glorious in his retinue, being accompanied with thousands of holy angels, who shall attend not only to make up the pomp of his appearance, but as ministers of his justice; and glorious, lastly, in that bright throne of glory, from whence he shall dispense life and death to all the world.
Q. What may we learn from the certainty of a general judgment ?
A. From the certainty of a general judgment we should learn,—to govern our lives with such care and consideration, that we may be able to give up our account with joy, and not with grief; to keep such strict watch over ourselves, by frequent examination, that our demeanour, in this state of probation and trial, may obtain the favour and acceptance of our Judge at his dreadful tribunal; to restrain ourselves from committing the least sin, because there is none so inconsiderable as to be overlooked by the omniscient Witness and Judge of our actions; not to encourage ourselves, by the greatest secrecy, to the breach of any of God's holy laws, because all our actions shall be then exposed to the view of an assembled universe; not to be dejected by the slanders and calumnies of bad men, because our integrity shall then be cleared by him who cannot err in judgment. The consideration of a final judgment should teach us,--to improve all those talents which the providence of God has intrusted to us, because we are but stewards, and must give an account of them; to be sincere in all our words and actions, because, in that day, the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; to avoid all rash judging of others, because he that judgeth another, shall not escape the judgment of God; and to abound in all good works, because our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.
b1 Thess. iv. 16.
z Mark xiji. 32.
a 2 Thess. i. 7. c Luke ix. 26.
d Matt. xxv. 31, 32. e 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17, 1 Cor xv 51.
f Tit. ii. 13.
Q. What should we learn from the uncertainty of the time when we shall be judged ?
A. The consideration of the uncertainty of the time when we shall be judged should teach us,- immediately to reconcile ourselves to God by a sincere and hearty repentance, that the terrible day of God's wrath may not find us unprepared; to be always upon our guard, that we may make a daily progress towards Christian perfection, and constantly defend ourselves against the attacks of our spiritual enemies; to be frequent in all acts of piety and devotion, that when we are summoned to appear, we may, if possible, be found employed in religious exercises ; and to implore constantly God's grace, that the day of judgment may not overtake us unawares, but that, by a patient continuance in well-doing, we may wait for glory, honour, and immortality.
ST. ANDREW, NOVEMBER 30.
Q. WHY does the Church celebrate the festival of St. Andrew at the beginning of Advent ?
A. As St. Andrew was the first who found the Messiah, and the first who brought others to him, the Church, for his greater honour, commemorates him first in her anniversary course of holy days, placing his festival at the beginning of Advent, as the most proper to bring the news of our Saviour's coming.
Q. Of what parentage and country was the apostle St. Andrew ?
A. St. Andrew was born at Bethsaida, a city of Galilee; was son to Jonas, a fisherman of that town; and was brother to Simon Peter.
Q. How came our Saviour to choose his disciples out of Galilee?
A. Our Saviour chose his disciples out of Galilee, because it was the chief scene of his ministry. Our Saviour was brought up at Nazareth, a city of Galilee ;' he began his solemn publication of the Gospel at Capernaum, the metropolis of Galilee; he preached all round the region of Galilee ;he began his miracles at Cana, in Galilee ;" he was transfigured at mount Tabor, a mount of Galilee ;' our Saviour's ordinary residence was in Galilee; and he appoints his disciples to come to see him in Galilee, when he was risen from the dead."
Q. Was our Saviour's vouchsafing his principal abode to the province of Galilee, any testimony of his being the Messias ?
d. The prophecy of Isaiah" plainly refers to Galilee, as the place where the Messiah should be born ; and to this purpose it is quoted by St. Matthew, when our Saviour made Capernaum the seat of his preaching. The people of Galilee, or of Zebulun and Naphtali, were carried into captivity by the Assyrians;" to comfort them under this calamity, Isaiah assures them, that in recompense of the misery they suffered above the rest of their brethren, they should have the first and chief share of the presence and conversation of the Messiah who was to come.
§ Joho i. 38, 39, &c.
Matt. iv. 13, 23. m Matt. xxvi 32
h John i. 44.
i Luke i. 26. Matt. ii. 23.
Q. How came St. Andrew acquainted with our Saviour ?
A. Being with John the Baptist one day as Jesus passed by, and hearing him say, that he was the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, St. Andrew follows our Saviour, upon this testimony, to the place of his abode ; nearing his instructions, and improving his faith by conversing with him.
Q. What was the first effect of his faith in the Messiah ?
A. St. Andrew went to his brother Simon, and imparted to him the joyful news, that he had found the desire of the world,' the Christ who was promised by the prophets, and carried him immediately to Jesus, where, after a short stay, they returned again to their own houses, and exercised their calling.
Q. When did St. Andrew become our Saviour's disciple and constant attendant ?
A. St. Andrew became our Saviour's disciple and constant attendant about a year afterwards, when, being fully convinced of the greatness and divinity of our Saviour's
boson by the miraculous draught of fishes, our Saviour commanded him, with his brother Peter; to follow him, promising to make them fishers of men. They accordingly left all, and constantly attended our Saviour's person, and were afterwards called by him to the office and honour of the apostolate.
Q. How and where did St. Andrew suffer martyrdom?
A. After this blessed apostle had planted the Gospel in Scythia and the neighbouring countries, and by his indefatigable labours had converted many to the faith, he came at last to Patræ, in Achaia. By his boldness and zeal in proclaiming the Gospel, he enraged the proconsul of Achaia against him, who commanded him to be scourged, and then to be crucified ; and that his death might be the more lingering, he was fastened to the cross,* not with nails, but with cords. He endured martyrdom with the greatest cheerful.
p Kings xv. 29.
John i. 36, 37. r John i. 41. * Matt. iv. 19. * The cross was in the form of the letter X; and this cross is hence known by the pame of St. Andrew's cross
ness and triumph, joyfully saluting the cross on which he was to suffer as soon as he came in sight of it, and continue ing to instruct and exhort the people, even under the agonies of a lingering death.
Q. What may we learn from the observation of this festival ?
A. The readiness with which St. Andrew forsook all to follow Christ, should excite us to forsake all sinful pursuits and pleasures, and to follow that blessed Saviour, whose service leads to present peace and everlasting enjoyment. The zeal which St. Andrew discovered in imparting to his brother Simon the joyful news that he had found the Messiah, and the boldness and activity with which he proclaimed the Gospel, should teach us earnestly to endeavour to make all our relations, friends, and dependents, followers of the blessed Jesus, and to embrace every opportunity of inculcating the necessity and importance of religion, and the happiness which attends it
. The patience and cheerfulness which he discovered under his sufferings and persecutions, should teach us to bear affliction and persecution with a patient and resolute mind, entirely resigned to the will of God, and even rejoicing when we are accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus.
Q. With what temper of mind ought good men to suffer for the cause of religion?
A. When good men are called to suffer for the cause of religion, they should sustain their sufferings with firmness, that they may not grow faint and weary; with meekness, that they may not grow angry and bitter against their persecutors ; with charity, that they may overcome evil with good; with trust in God's providence, that they may be supported under their sufferings by his grace, and delivered in his good time; with joy and thankfulness, inasmuch as, by suffering, they are conformed to Christ their Maker, and when his glory shall be revealed, they shall be made glad with exceeding joy.'
t1 Pet. iv. 13.