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St. Stephen, the first martyr, is a blessed instance of faith, and of Christian forgiveness of injury. St. Paul is a pattern of zealous and earnest labour in the vineyard. And thus all in their turns teach us some lesson of faith and practice.

With this view, then, we would proceed to consider what we learn from holy Scripture of St. Barnabas.

The passage which has been read as the text, may be regarded as setting forth his character in a few short words. "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith."

It will be my endeavour to put together such notices of the holy apostle, as may help to bring before our minds those "singular gifts of the Holy Ghost," (as they are called in the Collect,) with which he was endued by God.

The first notice we have of St. Barnabas, occurs in the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; and it is full of interest. We there read how-when, upon occasion of the conversions to God on the day of Pentecost, the world beheld, for the first time, an example of selfdenying Christian charity; when "all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and

parted them to all men, as every man had need;' when "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common;" when "as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need;" -"Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet."

Assuredly, "the son of consolation" was "a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith;" that pure and holy flame of Christian love could have been kindled by no other than God's own Good Spirit; no other principle than a true and living faith could have led him thus fearlessly to put away from him his wealth, and to rely solely upon the promises of God.

One history, of which we read in the gospels, forces itself upon us in painful contrast,-that of the young man, of whom it is written, that "Jesus beholding him, loved him;" but who, re

ligiously-minded and amiable as he seems to have been, was yet turned aside from following Jesus, and thus, it may be, lost his reward, by this one snare; he could not, it should seem, make this one sacrifice, even when called to make it by our Lord Himself; he trusted in himself that he had kept all the commandments from his youth up; but God, who knoweth the heart, put his obedience, and with it his faith, to the test of one great act of self-denial, and it failed. "The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me. when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions."


The next occasion on which we have any notice of St. Barnabas, is in connection with St. Paul, in the ninth chapter. And here, again, we find him engaged in a work of true Christian charity, removing from the minds of the Christians at Jerusalem the jealousies and suspicions with which they regarded their old persecutor, now converted into a zealous preacher of Jesus "And when Saul was come to Jeru


salem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus." Thus was St. Barnabas, by the will of God, made the instrument of introducing into the bosom of the Church the great apostle of the Gentiles, with whom from that period his own life was so closely connected.

The next notice of him, in the eleventh chapter, from which the text is taken, is much of the same nature, still is he performing the work of "the son of consolation." The Gospel had been preached at Antioch, ever memorable as the place where the disciples were first called Christians, "And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the Church which was in Jerusalem; and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord. For he was a

good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith; and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the Church, and taught much people." And, again, later in the same chapter, St. Barnabas and St. Paul are united in a ministry of consolation, in carrying to Jerusalem, against a time of great dearth, the alms of the faithful at Antioch for the poorer brethren in Judæa.

We now come, in the thirteenth chapter, to the most important event in the life of the apostle. It was the will of God that he should be associated with St. Paul in his great work of making known unto the Gentiles "the unsearchable riches of Christ;" that so he, who had ministered unto his brethren freely of his temporal goods, should be an honoured instrument in the hand of God of ministering unto the spiritual wants of the world. Almighty God, it would seem, thus graciously rewarding the sacrifices which He Himself has put it into our hearts to make, by calling us to higher and holier duties in His Church.

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