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" Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" — John l 47.

" Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" — John l 47.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 18, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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NATHANAEL BY Rev. WILLIAM ANDERSON, LL.D, " Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" — John l 47. In Nathanael our Lord has sketched a character which is a universal favourite, in the way of contemplation at least, howsoever little honoured it may be in the way of imitation. Yet is it evident that Christ would have our attention fixed on Nathanael especially for the latter purpose — that in admiring him we may copy his example, and not incur condemnation by professing our approbation of that in the conduct of others which we make no effort to transfer to the conduct of ourselves. This remark for caution is peculiarly requisite in regard of our treatment of this saint. There is not, perhaps, another portrayed in the Scripture which, when it attracts our love, is BO ready to be denied our imitation. There is no earthly glory in it; it requires a spiritualized mind to be ambitious of being adorned, like Nathanael, with the beauties of holiness. Before I proceed to display the example of this highly commended saint, and enforce it on our imitation, I may observe, that when otherwise we might have wondered that one so excellent as Nathanael was not assigned a
place among the apostles, the wonder is prevented by the * Fnneral sermon preached on occasion of the death of the late Mr. James Roberton, oldest member of John Street Session, Glasgow, who died in November, 1868. Digitized by Google NATHANAEL. 367 explanation, that there seems to be no reason to question that he had a place among them, under the name of Bar-tholomew. This is the tradition of the Church from very early times. Accordingly, we find him under his first name, Nathanael, in intimate fellowship with Peter and the other apostles at the time of the resurrection of our Lord. And (which almost amounts to a demonstration) when, in the list of the apostles, they are enumerated not
only according to the times when they were called, but in pairs, we find both that Bartholomew must have been called early and that he was paired with Philip. Now both of these requirements are found in Nathanael. He was early introduced to Christ, and he was introduced by Philip. This, I say, almost amounts to a demonstration that Nathanael and Bartholomew are different names for the same person. Supposing, then, that the tradition that Bartholomew is Nathanael is correct, observe how it increases the horror of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew — that the tyrant of France, under the instigation of the Court of Rome, should have selected the day which superstition had consecrated to the memory of the most guileless of men for the perpetration not only of the bloodiest, but of the most treacherous act which is recorded in the annals of crime. England, too, had its Bartholomew's Day under the vilest of its tyrants, for whose restora-tion annual thanksgiving is presented in all the southern churches — an annual insult both to God and the nation. Our Charles placed himself next to Charles of France in this world — I know not if next to him in that which is to come — when, by the Act of Uniformity, he, on Bartholomew's Day too, ejected from their pulpits two thousand of the best of the ministers of England — the

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