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by His appointment they succour and defend us ou earth,” is no vain or unpractical exercise of the soul, but has to do with Christian faith and duty, with love and charity, with trust in God, submission unto His will, and reliance upon His power to save and defend us.
Thus we read, that when a “ most learned, most humble, holy man,” whose memory is dear to the Church, Richard Hooker, was on his deathbed, he was found, a few hours before his death, " deep in contemplation, which gave occasion to enquire his present thoughts, to which he replied, * That he was meditating the number and nature of angels, and their blessed obedience and order, without which peace could not be in heaven; and, oh! that it might be upon earth.'” He, in his last hours, was meditating upon “their blessed obedience and order;" and we may find other truths relating to the holy angels, other lessons suited to our several needs,-lessons of reverence for God, lessons of love and charity for our brethren, lessons of purity and holiness in our most secret recesses, lessons of devotion in God's house of prayer, lessons of trust in God, and in His power and will to save us in our greatest dangers and in our sorest trials.
JOHN HENRY PARKER, OXFORD AND LONDON.
Sermons for the Christian Seasons:
ST. LUKE'S DAY.
THE HISTORIAN OF THE EARLY CIIURCH.
2 Tim. iv. 11. Only Luke is with me. TO-DAY we keep holy in memory of the evan. gelist St. Luke. It will be my endeavour to put together such passages in holy Scripture and Church writers as set forth the life and labours of St. Luke; and then to dwell upon the merci. ful and gracious providence of Almighty God, in that He hath provided for us and for His Church in all ages, by the means of St. Luke, a record, not only of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ during His sojourn upon earth, but also of the acts and labours of His holy apostles ; that so we may realize the many and great occasions we have on this day for devout thankfulness for the manifold treasures laid up for us in holy Scripture.
St. Luke is said to have been born at Antioch, in Syria, and to have been brought up as a
physician ; so St. Paul calls him, Col. v., “ Luke, the beloved physician.” It is not clear whether St. Luke was by birth a heathen or a Jew, but it is probable that he was a heathen ; although he may have been a proselyte to Judaism before he became a Christian. Neither is the time of his conversion certain. early writers have thought that he was of the number of the seventy, whom Jesus Christ sent out with the apostles ;—which would also seem to be the mind of the Church, in that the Gospel for the day contains the mission of the seventy, and would hardly apply to St. Luke, unless he were thought to have been one of them ;-others have supposed that he was converted after our Lord's ascension, at Antioch, and by St. Paul ; this, however, is certain, both from holy Scripture and early Christian writers, that St. Luke was a faithful companion of St. Paul, and journeyed and laboured with him during very many years of his ministry.
The place at which he joined St. Paul would seem to have been Troas, and the time, just before St. Paul made his first journey into Macedonia and Greece. Thus we read, Acts xvi. 10, 11: “ And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us to preach
the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia.” From this place, and from this time; St. Luke is thought to have been the constant companion of St. Paul: at any rate, it is clear from other places in this chapter that he was with him in Macedonia ; and from chapters xx., xxi., that he went with him his last journey to Jerusalem ; and again, from chap. xxvii., that he went with him to Rome. And that St. Luke was with St. Paul at Rome, is clear from passages in more than one epistle. Thus, to Philemon : “ There salute thee .... Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow-labourers.” And to the Colossians : "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.
And that St. Luke was found faithful to the last, when others failed, is clear from the text, “ Only Luke is with me.” There is, further, another place in holy Scripture, in which St. Luke is not mentioned by name, but where he is usually thought to be meant, 2 Cor. viii. 18: “ We have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the Churches.”
Which place, if it mean St. Luke, (as is thought, and as the Church would seem to intimate in the collect for the day,) would shew both that St. Luke
was trusted by St. Paul and joined with Titus in his mission, and also that St. Luke was already known and esteemed among the Christians throughout all the Churches. After the death of St. Paul little is known of St. Luke, his life, and labours, save only that he lived to a great old age, and laboured much in divers countries for the gospel, and also suffered much for the name of Jesus Christ, being a confessor of Him, if not a martyr. · Besides the Gospel, St. Luke wrote also the Acts of the Apostles. Both the Gospel and the Acts are addressed to the same person, Theophilus, who, by the title “ most excellent, would seem to have been a person of rank. The Gospel is said to have been written and published by St. Luke, with the help and sanction of St. Paul ; indeed, certain early writers say that St. Paul refers to this Gospel of St. Luke, and calls it his own, when he says, “ according to my Gospel.” However this may be, the Gospel of St. Luke was written by hin with the help of them who had been eye-witnesses to what it relates ; who had themselves seen the miracles and heard the discourses of our Lord; had been with Him, and ministered to Him; and it was written, as it should seem, to set