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“ between them, that they departed asunder, one " from the other."
And from that time forth, nothing is certainly known of S. Barnabas, save that, taking Mark as his companion, “ he sailed unto Cyprus :" and in the Apostolic Epistles, there are only a few incidental allusions to him, as, for instance in that to the Galatians, before he was separated from S. Paul, the journey to Jerusalem, with that Apostle and Titus, is mentioned ; and, further on, the circumstances are recorded under which S. Barnabas, in common with S. Peter, was led away by the “dissimulation” of the Jews, to take a line of conduct towards the Gentiles, which the braver spirit of S. Paul resisted.
S. Barnabas, therefore, like all the other saints of God, was just such an one as ourselves. He was a bright and a shining light,—a true and faithful servant of GOD; but still largely compassed about with human infirmities. He had the common faults of an earnest, generous character. They so lie upon the surface, that any one who takes the trouble will perceive them : but the higher qualities of his inner life, which, in their development, caused him to be described as a “good man, full of the Holy Ghost,
" and of faith,” which rendered him meet for that close and brotherly intimacy with S. Paul,the interruption of which has, perhaps, been felt by most of us to be one of the saddest incidents of that Book which is pre-eminently the record of human sorrow,—these demand our close and careful study, for it is, through the attainment of such qualities, that we shall be made meet to be his companions,—not now to the earthly Zion, but to Jerusalem which is above.
And this is no unimportant matter. Full many have chosen the right road, but, through the evil influence of some fellow-traveller, have wandered from it, and missed their Home at last.
A mighty multitude is working its way through the wilderness of this world. We are in the midst of a throng that is pressing upon us on all sides; but it is seldom that any of us travel side by side for long together. Our longest intercourse is brief, our closest intimacy soon interrupted. A few miles traversed together, begin and end our companionship: the crowd parts us; or we grow indifferent to each other's society; or we misunderstand one another. As time passes on, our habits and tastes have less in common; or, it may be, we have no inclination to
recognise the value of the companion whom Providence has placed beside us, till he is lost to us for ever.
Such is the lot of us wayfarers in this present evil world; and therefore the all in all is rather that we should fix our eyes and hearts upon our journey's end, than that we should find pleasant companionship on the road. It is well to journey with Barnabas, but it is to Jerusalem that, with steadfast, continuous gaze we should be looking. And then, -though Barnabas should be swept from us by the crowd,-aye, even though some sharp contention should separate us from him, as completely as he was parted from St. Paul, the journey's end will re-unite us, and bring us together again, if each, meanwhile, be living to Christ, and following Christ, along the way of the Cross.
One, indeed, may be looking upwards from one direction, and the other from another, but the eyes
of both are fixed on Him Who is the bright and morning Star. One may be keeping to the right side of the road, and the other the left; but, if only the road itself be the same, the course is parallel, and Jerusalem will be reached by both at last. We must often agree to differ in this world. Our eyes are dim; we walk in twilight. As for the Truth, the Day will declare it,—that day when the pure in heart shall see God. Only, when we do differ, let there be no breach of Charity. Looking rather to points of agreement than of difference, let us pass no judgments, say no sharp, harsh, contemptuous words; and, where we cannot agree in opinion, let us, at least, give credit to those who differ from us, for pure and upright motives.
So much as this we can all do, if we will. There must be two to make a quarrel : with God's help on our own fixed resolves, we can avoid being one of the two.
So let us travel Zionwards. For the blessings of companionship which Providence bestows with no unstinting Hand, we have abundant cause to bless God. Some few fellow-travellers are given to be with us along the narrow rugged road throughout our whole pilgrimage; others for a short time only, to help us through some emergency, and then, the Lord that gave will take away.
But, under any circumstances, the journey will soon be over, and the perils past, and differences and separations ended. Barnabas sailed to Cyprus: Paul wended his way through Syria and Cilicia. Distressed for the loss of the other, no doubt, was each,—but lonely neither; for both had the same Rod and Staff to guide, support, and comfort them.
So be it with ourselves! Journey we on along the same pilgrim-path which was trodden by them : seek we Jerusalem together, if so it may be; and let no light matter separate us! But if so it may not be, then apart: but still be ever making towards Jerusalem. Follow we on, as Paul and Barnabas followed Christ, with stedfast resolves, and single hearts, praying evermore for light, and walking in what we believe to be the light; and in a little while, we shall find ourselves side by side once more,—“the blessed “ towers," and gates of pearl, it will be granted us to see; and hand in hand, and side by side, we shall enter the City " which hath founda“tions, whose Builder and Maker is God."