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The Son of Consolation.

The Son of Consolation.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SO OF COSOLATIO.BY JOH BAIES, M.A.,Acts it. 80.It has often been remarked how many and differentare the characters of Holy Scripture^ and howvarious the lessons to be gathered from them. Allclasses and conditions of men may find somemodel and example in the glorious catalogue of Scripture worthies. It is a great mistake to sup-pose that God's saints who are made known tous in either the Old or the ew Testament, reflectone type of character^ or are gathered from oneprofession. Rather in a book which professes toappeal to the consciences of all men, and in aChurch which claims to be catholic or universal,we might expect a lavish profusion, not merely of precepts adapted to each calling, but of livingexamples of real men and women who exemplifiedthose precepts.228 The Son of Consolation. \_Serm.Thus^ not to mention the examples to theclergy set before us in the zeal of a Peter, or thelabours of a Paul; we have David the king,Daniel the statesman, Abraham the nobleman,Cornelius the soldier, Zenas the lawyer, Boaz thefarmer, Matthew the tradesman, and Joseph theartizan. We have Samuel for the young andSimeon for the old, S. John for the single, Maryand Cleopas for the wedded, Anna for the widowed.We have Lazarus for the poor, and for the rich nofairer model, no brighter example than him, whom
the Church honours to-day^ — " Barnabas, the Sonof Consolation/^Let us then try and see what we may gatherfrom his history. Who he was ; what he did ;and why he is commemorated.He is first mentioned in the passage from whichI have taken my text. After describing the stateof the Church of Jerusalem at this time, and thegenerous sacrifices made by the wealthier membersof the Church, the sacred writer introduces one" Joses," or, as some read it, '^ Joseph,*' andspecially mentions his liberality, and the namewhich the Apostles gave him on his entry intothe Church. '^ And Joses, who by the Apostleswas sumamed Barnabas (which is, being inter-preted, the Son of Consolation) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land sold it, andbrought the money and laid it at the Apostles*^ Preached on S. Barnabas' Day.XVIL] The Son of Consolation. 229feet." Of his previous history nothing is known,beyond that being a Levite we may well sapposehim to have been engaged at times in the sacrifi-cial offices of the Temple. At any rate he was nowin full communion with the Church, and his firstact was one of munificence. He was possessed of land, probably in Cyprus where he had been bom — a property then as now most eagerly prized — butbecause the necessities of the Church seemed todemand it, he sold it to meet those necessities,carefully observing at the same time the rules of the Church — not taking advantage of his wealthto make a party in the Church, or to exalt his
personal influeuce, but acknowledging the autho^rity of the Apostles, laying the money, as thephrase runs, " at the Apostles^ feet." His first actwas one of mercy or consideration for others, andsuch as fully bears out his title of " The Son of Consolation."Of a similar character is the next action re-corded of him. It had pleased God to stop theheadlong career of Saul of Tarsus, and to openhis eyes to the folly of the opposition he was head-ing against the Lord Jesus. In the synagoguesof Damascus, the very place where he had cometo harry Christians, the newly made convertpreached " Christ, that He is the Son of God."The Jews, alarmed at the progress of the Christiandoctrines, laid wait for Saul, and he was forcedto escape by being let down the wall " in a basket,"280 The Son of Consolation. \_Serfn.and so escaped to Jerusalem. Here a new troubleawaited him. He was not received^ as perhaps hehad expected to have been, with open arms. Hisopposition to and hatred of the Church had beenso notoriously and savagely displayed, that theChristians might well be excused if they were alittle suspicious. They could not forget that a*' young man whose name was SauP^ had headeda mob which broke up a court of justice, anddragged one of their deacons to a bloody death.'^ They were all afraid of him and believed notthat he was a disciple.'^ Then '' the Son of Conso-lation^^ appeared, made matters straight, and ex-plained to the Apostles all about him ; " how hehad seen the Lord in the way, and how he hadpreached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.^' Here again the kindly nature of the

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