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to study the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ; to see there what we yearn after realized : purity of faith and purity of life; zeal for the truth, and fervent charity one towards another. Nor may it be without its use to see that there were trials and scandals even in those early days ; “murmurings,” because some seemed to be * neglected in the daily ministration" of alms; jealousy and distrust; and even estrangement for a time between eminent saints of God, such as St. Paul and St. Barnabas. Thus also God would have us to learn our lessons from the times and acts of the apostles ; to lock for trials and offences; to be content, if so be, to be misunderstood and misinterpreted ; in our acts of charity to meet with murmurings where we had looked for thankfulness; to be viewed with jealousy and suspicion where we feel that our wish and purpose is good and true. Thus may we learn our lessons from the acts of the apostles; our lesson of hope and our lesson of patience: hope for the future, when we see what the Church once was ; patience under present trials and scandals, when we read of such in the Church even in her best and purest days, even when apostles were her teachers and rulers.
I have had occasion, in speaking of the other
evangelists, to discourse to you of the uses and blessings of the written gospel; therefore, in discoursing to you of St. Luke, I would turn our thoughts rather to that other book of holy Scripture which, through God's grace, we have received from him. May God give us grace to read the Acts of His holy Apostles, not carelessly, or in a spirit of curiosity, but seriously and solemnly, so as to draw from them their manifold lessons of faith, piety, and duty.
There is one, and one only, pattern for us to follow,—the pattern of the early Church of Jesus Christ; when the words of the apostles of Jesus Christ were yet fresh in men's ears ; when the graces of the Holy Spirit were shed abroad in men's hearts, and bore fruit in men's lives. Our lot is cast in evil days : all around us is coldness and hardness of heart, unbelief, distrust, profaneness; men have rent asunder the one body of Jesus Christ, which is the Church i men deny the one faith, which was once (for all) delivered unto the saints; and they who should be one are estranged from each other; still there are times to which we may look back, earlier times of unity, purity, and peace, such as we read of in the Acts of the Apostles : there we may learn our lessons of faith, practice, disci
pline, and charity; what we are to believe, what we are to do, how we are to serve God, how we are to love one another. These lessons we may learn from the Acts of the Apostles, and, as we learn them, we shall do well to bless God, who of His great mercy hath provided these lessons for us by the ministry of His servant St. Luke.
And thus, this holy day, as all others, will lead us from man to God, to bless and magnify Him in His saints, for the blessings which we have received by them, from Him, and from the riches of His grace.
JOHN HENRY PARKER, OXFORD AND LONDON,
Sermons for the Christian Seasons.
ST. SIMON AND ST. JUDE.
DANGERS OF HERESY AND SCHISM.
EPHES. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation
of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.
This day we keep festival in memory of the holy apostles St. Simon and St. Jude. I will proceed to put together what we learn of the lives of these apostles from holy Scripture and from early Church writers. St. Simon is called in St. Matthew's Gospel “Simon the Canaanite,' and is thus distinguished from the other Simon, who is better known to us by his other name of St. Peter. Why he was so called is not so clear. Some suppose that he was so called from the town of Cana of Galilee, as being a native or inhabitant of that town. But in St. Luke's Gospel he is called “Simon, called Zelotes," and hence writers of greatest weight have thought that by “the Canaanite,” we are not to under
stand the place where he was born or lived, but that it is a Hebrew word meaning the same as the Greek word Zelotes; and so that St. Matthew, who wrote his Gospel for the Jews, kept the Hebrew word “Canaanite,” whereas St. Luke, who wrote for the Gentiles, rendered it by the Greek word “Zelotes.” Thus both the Hebrew and the Greek would denote one zealous and earnest in what he professed. We are not told in holy Scripture whether St. Simon had this name of Zelotes before, or only after, his call to be a disciple. If he had the name before his call, it was probably as one of a sect who professed to be zealous for the Lord, and to trace back their origin to Mattathias, the father of Judas Maccabæus. In the times which followed, (those of the war with the Romans, and of the siege of Jerusalem,) this sect of Zealots fell into great excesses, violence, cruelty, and bloodshed; but we have no reason to think that such was the case from the first. They may have been in the time of St. Simon, (as their name professed,) zealous for the law, for the worship of Almighty God, for the temple; and the holy apostle may have been of their number before his call, without thereby incurring any guilt. If, on the other hand, St. Simon had this name given to