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the church of Christ, by securing it with the sale of his patrimony in Cyprus, the whole price of which he laid at the apostle's feet, to be put into the common stock, and disposed of as they should think fit, amongst the indigent followers of the Holy Jesus. This worthy example was followed by those who were blessed with the goods of fortune: none kept their plenty to themselves, but turned their houses and lands into money, and devoted it to the common use of the church. St. Barnabas is indeed mentioned as selling the most valuable estate on this occasion; or being the most forward and ready to begin a common stock and set others a laudable pattern of charity and benevolence to the brethren.
Our apostle now became considerable in the ministry and government of the church; for we find that St. Paul coming to Jerusalem three years after his conversion, and not readily procuring admittance into the church, because he had been so grievous a persecutor of it, and might still be suspected of a design to betray it, he addressed himself to Barnabas as a leading man amongst the Christians, and one that had personal knowledge of him. He accordingly introduced him to Peter and James and satisfied them of the sincerity of his conversion, and in what miraculous manner it was brought about.
The agreeable news was brought to Jerusalem, about four or five years afterwards that several of their body who had been driven out of Judea by the persecutions raised about St. Stephen, had preached at Antioch with such success, that a great number, both of Jews and proselytes embraced Christianity, and were desirous that some of the superior order would come down and confirm them. This request was immediately granted; and Barnabas was deputed to settle this new plantation. Upon his arrival, he rejoiced extremely, to see what progress the gospel had made amongst shem; and earnestly exhorted them to continue immoveable in their profession of Christ Jesus. And being himself a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost; and of faith, his charitable deeds accompanying his discourses, and his 'pious life exemplifying his sound doctrine, the people were greatly influenced by him, and very large additions were made to the Christian church: but there being too large a field for one labourer, he went to fetch Paul from Tarsus, who came back with him to Antioch, and assisted him a whole year in establishing that church. Their labours prospered, their assemblies were crowded, and the disciples, who before this were called amongst themselves brethren, believers, elect, and by their enemies, Nazarenes, and Galileans, were now called Christians first in this city.
While these apostles preached at Antioch, Agabus, a prophet, gave the church notice, that there would shortly be a great famine throughout the Roman empire; especially in Judea. On hearing this prophecy, the Christians of Antioch considering the number and necessities of their brethren at Jerusalem, and how generously the rich amongst them had exhausted their estates in maintaining the poor, determined to send them assistance against the ensuing scarcity, which they raised by contributions according to every man's abilities, and sent it to the heads of the church at Jerusalem, by the hands of Barnabas and Paul. This famine lay heavy on Judea, during the four years government of Caspius Fadus, and Tiberias Alexander, who, under the emperor Claudius, were presidents of that province.
After the apostles had fulfilled their charitable embassy, and staid some time at Jerusalem to see the good effect of it, they returned again to Antioch, bringing with them John, whose surname was Mark, the son of Mary, sister to Barnabas; and at whose house the disciples found both security for their persons, and conyeniency for the solemnity of their worship. But soon
after the apostles' return to Antioch, an express reveJation was made to the church, by the mouth of one of the prophets who ministered there, that Barnabas and Paul should be set apart for an extraordinary work, unto which the Holy Ghost had appointed them. Upon this declaration the church set apart a day for a solemn mission, and after devout prayer and fasting, they laid their hands upon them, and ordained them to their office; which was to travel over certain countries, and preach the gospel to the Gentiles: from this joint commission, Barnabas obtained the name of an apostle, not only amongst later writers of the church, but with St. Paul himself, and with St. Luke, in the history of the acts of the apostles written by him.
Being thus consecrated the apostles of the Gentiles, they entered upon their ministry, taking with them John Mark for their minister or deacon, who assisted them in many ecclesiastical offices, particularly in taking care of the poor and receiving contributions for them.
After their departure from Antioch, the first city they visited was Selucia, a city of Syria, adjoining to the sea; from whence they sailed for the island of Cyprus, the native place of St. Barnabas, and arrived at Salamis, a port formerly remarkable for its trade. Here they boldly preached the doctrines of the gospel, in the synagogue of the Jews; and from thence travelled to Paphos, the capital of the island. Here their preaching was attended with remarkable success; Servius Paulus, the proconsul, being, amongst others, converted to the faith of the gospel.
Having quitted Cyprus, they crossed the sea to preach in Pamphylia, where their deacon John, to the great grief of his uncle Barnabas, left them, and returned to Jerusalem. The apostles afterwards went to Perga, where they did not continue long, but travelled seventy or eighty miles northward to Antioch in Pisidia,
so called to distinguish it from Antioch in Syria, where the apostles received their ordination. preached to the Jews in their synagogue ; but meeting with blasphemous opposition, they told them plainly, that they thought it reasonable to preach the gospel first to them; but as they had so unthankfully rejected it, they would now make the same offers of salvation to the Gentiles, according to the commandment of God, by his prophets; but the exasperated Jews stirred up some of the principal citizens to persecute them, and force them to leave the city; whereupon they departed from Antioch, and came to Iconium the metropolis of Lycaonia, where they continued a considerable time, preaching in the synagogues with great success: but, at last, the old spirit of Jewish rage and malice prevailed against them, and obliged them, in order to avoid the madness of the multitude, to retire to Derbe, a city of Lycaonia.
They returned from Derbe to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch in Pisidia, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith ; and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. After a short stay, they again visited the churches of Pamphylia, Perga, and Attalia, where they took ship and sailed to Antioch in Syria, the place from whence they first set out. Presently after their arrival, they called the church of this city together, and gave them an account of their travels, and of the great success which had attended their preaching in the Gentile world.
They had not long continued in this city, before their assistance was required to compose a difference in this church,occasioned by some of the Jewish converts, who endeavoured to persuade the Gentiles that they were bound to observe the law of Moses, as well as that of CHRIST; and be circumcised as well as baptized. Barnabas endeavoured to persuade the zealots from pressing such unnecessary observations; but all his endea
vours proving ineffectual, he was deputed with St. Paul, and others, to go to the church at Jerusalem, to submit the question to be determined there in a full assembly.
During their stay at Jerusalem, Mark, in all probability, reconciled himself to his uncle Barnabas, and returned with him and St. Paul to Antioch, after they had succeeded in their business at Jerusalem, and obtained a decree from the synod there, that the Gentile converts should not have circumcision and other Mosaic rites imposed upon them, as they were now under the gospel dispensation.
The minds of the Gentiles were greatly quieted and comforted by this determination; nevertheless it did not prevent the bigotted Jews from keeping up a separation from them; and that with so much obstinacy, that when St. Peter some time after came to Antioch, he, for fear of offending them, contradicted his former practice, and late speech apd vote in the synod of Jerusalem, by refraining from all kind of communion with the Gentiles; and Barnabas himself, though so great and good a man, was induced, by the authority of his example to commit the same error; though doubtless, on being reproved by St. Paul, they both took more courage, and walked according to that true Jiberty and freedom which the gospel imparts.
After this transaction, Paul made a proposal to Barnabas, that they should repeat their late travels amongst the Gentiles, and see how the churches they had planted increased in their numbers, and improved in the doctrines they had taught them. Barnabas very readily complied with the proposal, but desired they might take with them this reconciled nephew, John Mark. This Paul absolutely refused, because in their former voyage, Mark had not shewn the constancy of a faithful minister of Christ, but consulted his own ease at a dangerous juncture, departed from them without