« السابقةمتابعة »
which, with His help, His saints have attained even in this life.
Much more could be said on this matter; but this may be enough to suggest what reason we have to bless God for the ordinance of holy days, set apart and consecrated to the remembrance of His saints and servants.
Now to speak of the holy apostle whom we have in memory to-day.
St. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida, a town of Galilee, on the banks of the Lake of Gennesareth, the son of Jonas, a fisherman of that town, and the brother of Simon Peter. He had been a disciple of St. John the Baptist, who, in his case as in that of others, had prepared the way of the Lord by the preaching of repentance. And the occasion of the first coming of St. Andrew to Christ, was the witness which St.John the Baptist bore to Christ. Thus we read in the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, from which the text is taken; Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say,
being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother."
The preaching of St. John the Baptist, it would scem, had already called him to repentance; and true repentance had brought with it a deep sense of sin, and an earnest desire of forgiveness, and so the words, "Behold the Lamb of God," the true sacrifice for sin, (of which the lamb of the daily morning and evening sacrifice was but a type and figure,) at once spake to his heart. Many may have heard St. John's words before; but the same words do not speak to all alike; words, ever so solemn, ever so touching, ever so serious, do but move us in proportion as our hearts are opened to receive them. St. Andrew had, doubtless, learned from St. John the Baptist to look to another, not to St. John, for remission of sins; and when He came, it needed not many words to point Him out to a watchful and earnest mind. And so St. Andrew won this especial blessing, that he was the first out of the whole race of mankind, who came to Christ.
But it was not enough to St. Andrew that he had
himself found the Christ; his first act after he had found Him and had been taught by Him, was to bring to Christ the brother whom he loved. "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus." And so it will ever be. They who have found the Christ themselves will seek to bring their brethren also to Him; they who have known the blessings of a religious life will seek to lead others, and chiefly their own kindred, to live religious lives also: humbly, quietly, patiently, they will seek to lead them to the knowledge and obedience of that God whom they serve and obey. If they are parents and masters they will seek to do this by teaching and discipline; and, even where they have no claim to instruct or guide others, who are as old, or older than themselves, still they may do much, by God's grace, (and yet not leave their proper place, nor offend against Christian modesty and humility,) by the quiet influence of good example, by setting forth in their lives the peaceable fruits of the faith which is in their hearts.
After St. Andrew had thus come to Christ himself, and had also brought St. Peter to Him, both he and his brother appear, as we gather from
the Gospels, to have returned for a time to their usual occupation as fishers; the time not being yet come that Christ called them to become His constant followers. The occasion on which Christ thus called them has been already read to you in this day's Gospel. "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they, straightway, left their nets, and followed Him. It was not then from any unwillingness to follow Christ at the first, that they had returned to their daily tasks. They had but returned to them until such time. as He should be pleased to call them to be His more immediate disciples. For when He said unto them "Follow Me," they, straightway, left their nets, and followed Him. He had but to speak the word, and they, at once, obeyed; no worldly care or thought kept them back, even for a moment. And thus they were afterwards advanced to the high place of Christ's apostles, to be of that glorious company of whom Christ spake, As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." And then was fulfilled to St. Andrew and his brother what Christ had said to
them, when He called them, "I will make you fishers of men." For this world is as a sea, (as our Lord Himself teaches,) and the men in the world are as fishes: and the kingdom of heaven, i.e. the Church, is as a net cast into the sea, and they who, at the first, cast the net into the sea, (i. e. gathered men from out of the world into the Church,) were the holy apostles, as now the bishops and priests of Christ's Church; and, as the net gathered of every kind, so are there in the Church good and bad; and will continue so until the judgment-day,- when the net shall be drawn to the shore, and the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. May we give good heed to make our calling and election sure; remembering the solemn truth, Many are called, few chosen."
The other notices which we have of St. Andrew in the Gospels are as follows. It was in the house of St. Peter and St. Andrew at Capernaum that our Lord healed the mother-in-law of St. Peter of a fever: it was St. Andrew who, when our Lord fed five thousand men in the wilderness, spake of the five barley loaves, and two small fishes, which our Lord made use of in the miracle. 66 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here who hath five