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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
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