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leave at Pamphylia, and returned to Jerusalem. Barnabas still insisted on taking him, and the other continuing as resolute to oppose it, a short debate arose, which terminated in a rupture ; whereby these two holy men, who had for several years been companions in the ministry, and with united endeavours propagated the gospel of the Son of God, now took different provinces. Barnabas, with his kinsman, sailed to his own country, Cyprus; and Paul travelled to the churches of Syria and Cilicia, taking Silas with him.
The sacred writers give us no account of St. Barnabas, after his separation from St. Paul; nor are the ecclesiastical writers agreed amongst themselves with regard to the actions of our apostle, after his sailing for Cyprus: this however seems to be certain, that he did not spend the whole remainder of his life in that island, but visited different parts of the world, preaching the glad-tidings of the gospel, healing the sick, and working other miracles amongst the Gentiles; and after long and painful travels, attended with different degrees of success in different places, he returned to Cyprus, his native country, where he suffered martyrdom in the following manner: certain Jews coming from Syria to Salamis, where Barnabas was then preaching the gospel, were highly exasperated at his extraordinary success, fell upon him as he was disputing in the synagogue, dragged him out, and after the most inhuman tortures, stoned him to death. His kinsman John Mark, who was a spectator of this barbarous action, privately interred his body in a cave, where it remained till the time of the emperor Zeno, in the year of Christ 485, when it was discovered laying on his breast, with St. Matthew's gospel in Hebrew, written with his own hand.
An epistle in Greek is still extant, which bears this apostle's name: but the church has not received it into the canon of Scripture: and for that reason, both Eusebius and St. Jerom called it apocryphal, though they do not deny its being the work of St. Barnabas. Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen often quote it as his, and Monardus, who published the Greek with the old Latin version, sufficiently shews, that it is the same known to the ancients, because all their quotations are found in it. The style of it resembles that of the apostolic age; but it appears to have been written some time after the destruction of Jerusalem, a period which St. Barnabas may easily be supposed to survive: the beginning of it is wanting, and the inscription, if ever it had any; but the matter of it evidently shews, that it was written to such Jews as are mentioned in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts, who having embraced Christianity, still held, that the observance of the ceremonial law was necessary to salvation: but this law St. Barnabas shews to be abolished by the gospel, and that the customs of it are of no consequence to the Christians. The latter part contains excellent precepts, delivered under two different similitudes, the one of light, the other of darkness; the former under the conduct of the angels of God, the latter under the influence of the angels of Satan. The way of light is a summary of what the Christian is to do, that he may attain eternal happiness; and the way of darkness represents those particular sins and vices which exclude men from the kingdom of hea
He closes the whole with pressing Christians to live in such a manner, while they sojourn in this vale of misery, that they may after they quit it, enjoy the pleasures of the heavenly Canaan, and inherit the kingdom of glory for ever and ever.
AN ACCOUNT OF ST. PHILIP,
The Apostle. ST. PHILIP was a native of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had the honour of being first called to be a disciple of the great Messiah, which happened in the following manner. Our blessed Saviour, soon after his return from the wilderness, where he had been tempted by the devil, met with Andrew and his brother Peter, and after some discourse parted from them. The next day, as he was passing through Galilee, he found Philip, whom he presently commandcd to follow him, the constant form he made use of in calling his disciples, and those that inseparably attended him ; so that the prerogative of being first called, evidently belongs to St. Philip, he being the first of our Lord's disciples; for though Andrew and St. John were the first that came and conversed with the Saviour of the world, yet they immediately returned to their occupation, and were not called till a whole year afterwards.
Our apostle was not idle after the honour he had received of being called to attend the Saviour of the world; he immediately imparted the glad-tidings of the Messiah's appearance to his brother Nathanael, and conducted him to Jesus: so ready is a good man to conduct others in the paths that lead to happiness
We have very little recorded of St. Philip by the evangelists, after his being called to the apostleship. It was, however, to him that our Saviour proposed the question, where they should find bread sufficient to satisfy the hunger of so great a multitude? To which Philip answered, that it was not easy to procure so large a quantity; not considering, that it was equally
easy for Almighty power to feed double the number, when it pleased to exert itself. It was also to the same apostle, that the Gentile proselytes, who came up to worship at Jerusalem, applied, when they were desirous to see the Saviour of the world : and it was with him our Lord had the discourse a little before the pas.
when he was about going to suffer. While the holy compassionate Jesus was fortifying the minds of his disciples with proper considerations against his departure from them, and had told them of a place in the mansions of the heavenly Canaan: that he was the way, the truth and the life: that no man could come to the Father but by him, and that knowing him, they both knew and had seen the Father : Philip, not thoroughly understanding the force of his Master's reasonings begged of him that he would shew them the Father. We can hardly suppose that Philip should have such'gross conceptions of the Deity, as to imagine the Father invested with a corporeal and visible nature ; but Christ having told them that they had seen him, and knowing that of old God frequently appeared in a visible shape, he only desired that he would manifest himself to them by some such appearance. Our Lord gently reproved his ignorance, that after attending so long to His instructions, he should know, that he was the image of his Father, the express characters of his infinite wisdom, power, and goodness appearing in him; that he said and did nothing but by his Father's appointment, which, if they did not believe, his miracles were a sufficient evidence; that such demands were therefore unnecessary and impertinent; and that it was an indication of great weakness in him, after three years education under his discipline and institution, to appear so ignorant with regard to these particulars.
We are told by the ancients, that in the distribution made by the apostles of the several regions of the world, the upper Asia fell to the share of St. Philip, where he applied himself with an indefatigable diligence and industry, to turn the children of men from the paths of wickedness which lead to destruction, to the ways that terminate in eternal felicity: and by the constancy and power of his preaching, and the efficacy of his miracles, he gained numerous converts, whom he baptised into the Christian faith, curing at once their bodies of infirmities and distempers; and their souls of error and idolatry, he continued with them a considerable time in settling churches, and appointing them spiritual guides and ministers.
Having several years successfully exercised his apostolical office in all those parts, he came at last to Hierapolis in Phrygia, a city remarkably rich and populous, but at the same time over-run with the most enormous idolatry : amongst the many vain and trifling deities, to whom they paid religious adoration, was a serpent or dragon, of an enormous magnitude which they worshipped with the most solemn reverence and devotion.
Being grieved to see the people so wretchedly en. slaved by error and superstition, St. Philip continually offered his addresses to heaven, till by his prayers, and often calling upon the name of Christ, he procured the death or at least the vanishing of this famous and beloved serpent. Having thus demolished their deity, he demonstrated to them how ridiculous and unjust it was for them to pay divine honours to such odious creatures, shewed them, that God alone was to be worshipped as the great Parent of all the world, who in the beginning made man after his glorious image, and when fallen from that innocent and happy state, sent his own Son into the world to redeem him ; that in order to perform this glorious work, he died on the cross, and rose again from the dead, and at the end of the world will come again to raise all the sons of men from the chambers of the dust, and sentence them to everlasting rewards and punishments, according to their works. This discourse roused them from their lethargy; so that great numbers were ashamed of their late idolatry, and VOL. ii.