(St.) in Christian art is represented (1) as an evangelist- an
old man with long beard; an angel generally stands near him dictating
his Gospel. (2) As an apostie, in which capacity he bears a purse, in
reference to his calling as a publican; sometimes he carries a spear,
sometimes a carpenter's rule or square. (See Luke.)
In the last of Matthew.
At the last gasp, on one's last legs. This is a German expression,
and arose thus: A Catholic priest said in his sermon that Protestantism
was in the last of Matthew, and, being asked what he meant, replied,
“The last five words of the Gospel of St. Matthew are these: ‘The end
of this dispensation.’ Of course he quoted the Latin version; ours is
less correctly translated ‘the end of the world.’”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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