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by the laws of fate to die, whom just now you styled immortal.” He was removed into the palace, but his pains still increased upon him; and though the people fasted, and offered prayers for his life and health, yet his acute torments prevailed, and after five days put a period to his life.


Surnamed the Less. BEFORE we enter upon the life of this apostle, it : will be necessary to remove some difficulties relating to his person. It has been doubted by some whether this was the same with that St. James, who was afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, two of his name being mentioned in the saered writings, namely, St. James the Great and St. James the Less, both apostles; the ancients mention a third, sarnamed the Just, which they will have to be distinct from the former, and bishop of Jerusalem ; but this opinion is built on a sandy foundation; for nothing is plainer, than that St. James the apostle, whom St. Paul calls our Lord's brother, and reckons with Peter and John, one of the pillars of the church, was the same who presided among the apostles, doubtless by virtue of his episcopal office, and determined the causes in the synod of Jerusalem. Nor do either Clemens, Alexandrinus, or Eusebius, mention any more than two, St. James slain by Herod, and St. James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem, whom they expressly affirm to be the same with him who is called the brother of our Lord by St. Paul.

The difficulties with regard to this person being thus removed, we shall proceed to the history of his life. It is reasonable to think that he was the son of Joseph,

afterwards the husband of Mary, by his first wife, whom St. Jerom styles Escha, and adds, that she was the daughter of Aggi, brother to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist: hence he was reputed our Lord's brother. We find indeed several mentioned as the bre. thren of our Saviour, in the evangelical history; but in what sense, was greatly controverted by the ancients. St. Jerom, St. Chrysostom, and some others, will have them to have been so called from their being the sons of Mary, cousin-german, or according to the Hebrew idiom, sister to the Virgin Mary: but Eusebius, Epiphanius, and many others tell us, they were the children of Joseph by a former wife; and this seems most natural, and best agrees with what the evangelist says of them, when he enumerates the questions of the Jews: Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simeon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then has this man these things? By which it is plain that the Jews understood these persons not to be Christ's kinsmen only, but his brethren; the same Carpenter's sons having the same relation to him, that Jesus himself had: indeed they had more, Christ being only his reputed, they his real sons. Upon this account the blessed Virgin is sometimes called the mother of James and Joses; and by this name we frequently find her mentioned by the evangelists in relating our Lord's crucifixion: and though she was only mother-in-law to St. James, yet the evangelists might choose to style her so, because she was commonly called his mother after the death of Joseph: perhaps she herself chose that ti. tle, that the Son of God, whom as a virgin she had brought into the world, might be the better concealed, and less exposed to the envious malice of the Jews. To this it may be added, that Josephus, who was eminently skilled in matters of genealogy and descent, expressly says, that St. James was the brother of Jesus Christ. There is indeed, one objection against this, namely, that he is called the son of Alpheus: but this may mean no more, than either that Joseph was called

by another name, a thing very common among the Jews, or that James himself was a disciple of some particular sect or synagogue called Alpheans, there being many such sects about this time amongst the Jews.

The sacred history is silent with regard to the place of his birth: the Jews, in their Talmud, call him a man of the town of Sechania; but where that place was situated is uncertain; nor is it known what his particular way or course of life was before he was called to the apostleship: the sacred writers having been silent with regard to this particular, mentioning nothing concerning him during the life of our Saviour,

St. James was honoured, after the resurrection, with a particular appearance of our Lord to him, which though passed over in silence by the evangelists, is recorded by St. Paul and St. Jerom, from the Hebrew gospel of the Nazarenes, which contain several particulars omitted by the evangelical historians, gives the following relation of his appearance to this apostle. St. James had solemnly sworn, that from the time he had drank of the cup at the institution of the supper, he would eat bread no more, till he saw the Lord risen from the dead; our Lord, therefore, being returned from the grave, came and appeared to him, and commanded bread to be set before him, which he took, blessed, and brake, and gave to St. James, saying, “ Eat thy bread, my brother, for the Son of man is truly risen from amongst them that sleep."

After the resurrection of our Saviour, he was cho. sen bishop of Jerusalem, being preferred before all the rest, for his near relation to Christ; and for the same reason, we find Simeon chosen to be his immediate successor in that see, because, after St. James, he was our Lord's next kinsman; a consideration that made Pe. ter and the two sons of Zebedee, though they had been peculiarly honoured by our Saviour, not to contend for this high and honourable station, but freely chose James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem. This dignity is indeed said by some of the ancients to have been conferred on him by CHRIST, who constituted him bishop at the time of his appearing to him: but it is safest to follow the general opinion, that this dignity was conferred upon him by the apostles; though possibly they might receive some intimations from our Lord concerning it.

St. Paul, when he came to Jerusalem, after his conversion, applied to St. James, and was by him honoured with the right-hand of fellowship: and Peter sent to St. James the news of his miraculous deliverance out of prison, Go, said he, shew these things unto James and to the brethren; that is, to the whole church, especially to St. James the pastor of it at that time. ·

This apostle was remarkably active in the synod of Jerusalem, when the great cause relating to the Mosaic rites was debated; for the cause being opened by Peter, and further debated by Paul and Barnabas, St. James stood up to pass the final decretory sentence,-That the Gentile converts were not to be loaded with the Jewish yoke; a few indifferent rites only, being ordered to be observed in order to produce an accommodation between the Jews and Gentiles, ushering in the expedient with this positive conclusion, “ This is my sentence and determination;" a circumstance the more considerable, because spoken at a time when Peter was in council, and produced not the least intimation of the authority afterwards ascribed to him.

St. James performed every part of this charge with all possible care and industry, omitting no particular necessary to be observed by a diligent and faithful guide of souls; strengthening the weak, instructing the ig. norant, reducing the erroneous, reproving the obstinate; and, by the constancy of his sermons, conquering the stubbornness of that perverse and refractory generation he had to deal with, many of the nobler and better sort being persuaded to embrace the Christian faith: butą a person so careful, so successful in his charge, could not fail of awakening the spite and malice of his enemies; a sort of men of whom the apostle has given too true a character, that they please not God, and are contrary to all men.

The Jews being vexed to see St. Paul had escaped their hands by appealing unto Cæsar, their malice became as great and insatiable as hell itself, so that as they could not have their revenge on St. Paul, they turned their fury against St. James; but being unable to effect their design under the government of Festus, they determined to attempt it under the procuratorship of Albinus his successor, Ananus the younger, of the sect of the Sadducees, being high priest. They were however fearful that Albinus would oppose their design and therefore thought it the surest method to dispatch him if possible before the new governor arrived. In order to this, a council was summoned, and the apostle with others, arraigned and condemned as violaters of the law : but that the action might appear more plausible and popular, the Scribes and Pharisees, masters in the art of dissimulation, endeavoured to ensnare him, they persuaded him that they placed the greatest confidence in him ; that the whole nation, as well as themselves gave him the title of a just man, and one that was no respector of persons; and they therefore desired he would correct the error and false opinion the people had conceived of JESUS, whom they considered as the Messiah, and take this opportunity of the universal confluence to the paschal solemnity, to set them right in their opinions in this particular, and that he would go with them to the top of the temple, where he might be seen and heard by all the people.

To this the apostle readily consented, and being advantageously placed on a pinnacle of the temple, they addressed him in the following manner: “Tell us o Jus. tus! whom we have all the reason in the world to believe that the people are thus generally led away with the doc

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