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Another remark was, that on this occasion, as on one of the Visible greatest moment, the Holy Ghost manifested his descent by the Descent of same visible signs as on the day of Pentecost. To this conclusion Ghost. we are led by remarking, first, in the narrative of the event, that the Holy Ghost fell on them,
“poured out on them ;' expressions which could only properly apply to the above-mentioned extraordinary descent of the Holy Ghost. Again, as on the day of Pentecost, it was followed by an involuntary display of the gift of tongues, that gift which was especially denoted by the visible symbol of - tongues of fire." By this, no doubt, God gave now the same proof to the Jewish Christians, that the devout Gentiles were called, as he had before given to the unbelieving Jews, in favour of their converted brethren. And accordingly those believers of the circumcision who had come with Peter, were amazed at the gifts of the Holy Ghost having been poured out even on the Gentiles; for they heard them“ speaking in divers tongues, and magnifying God.” Lastly, St. Peter's words are decisive of the fact, that the mode of the Spirit's descent was the same as on the day of Pentecost; “ The Acts xi, 15. Holy Ghost,” said he, "fell on them as on us at the beginning, putting no difference between them and us.
It was further observed, as a solitary instance on record, that the Holy Ghost descended on the candidates for baptism before the ceremony was performed. This strongly confirms the view already taken of the extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit. They were for confirmation of its real but unseen and perpetual descent, and residence in the heart of every member of the Church in every age. Baptism, which was to be our perpetual rite of admission to this privilege, was not superseded by the miraculous signs; those signs were only hailed as a sanction for baptism, inasmuch as they proved that even the Gentiles were admissible to the mysterious and insensible influence of the Spirit through it. The signs were the appropriate miracles of God manifested by the Spirit; as healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, walking on the sea, raising the dead, and the like, were the miraculous evidence of God manifested in the flesh. When the apostles healed the sick and raised the dead, they did it by virtue of their appointment by Christ as his witnesses ; but when they exercised the gifts of “tongues,” of “wisdom,” &c. or imparted any divine powers to others, they did so by virtue of their appointment by the Spirit.
Spirit. The one class of miraculous evidence exactly corresponds to the other. Nor is this correspondence diminished by the circumstance, that these gifts were also the means whereby the Holy Spirit taught and spread Christianity, but is rather increased thereby; for a like purpose did even the testimonial miracles wrought by our Saviour serve, as has been already, it is presumed, sufficiently proved and illustrated.
Acts xi. 22.
Acts xi. 1921.
Church founded by Barnabas.
FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH OF ANTIOCH. This second period of the Holy Spirit's dispensation does not require that we should pause long on any of the transactions which it embraces. Whilst the conversion of Cornelius was taking place, and indeed after Peter had made the Church acquainted with the new enactment of the Spirit respecting the devout Gentiles, those Christians who were scattered abroad still continued to call and to baptize only Jews. At length, certain converts of Cyprus and Cyrene having, doubtless, heard of Peter's revelation, boldly followed his example, and obeyed the command of their Divine Guide, in attempting the conversion of the Gentiles also. Going to Antioch of Syria, they there commenced their labours ; “ and the hand of
the Lord was with them, and a great multitude believed and turned First Gentile unto the Lord.” On tidings of this being brought to the Church
at Jerusalem, they took the matter into their own hands, and gave directions for the formation of the first Gentile Church. The commission was intrusted to Barnabas, although, from the sacred narrative, it does not appear under what precise character he went. Little more is specified, than that he exhorted them to perseverance on his arrival, and, (as a reason probably for his appointment,) that
a good man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost. This description might merely imply, that being more highly and fully endowed with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, than the above-mentioned Cyprian and Cyrenian preachers, he was better fitted for the work of conversion. But when we also read that the hand of the Lord was already with these, and that the work prospered greatly under their management, this could hardly be the reason.
What seems more likely is, that they had no presbyter among them, and that therefore their Church establishment was incomplete without one.
Barnabas then might have been sent to them in that capacity. But Probably as a more probable reason still suggests itself. Is there not some
ground to suppose that he went in the character of an apostle? In this case this higher office might supersede, and for a time render
unnecessary, the inferior one of presbyter. What gives some show Acts xiv. 14. of plausibility to this is, that we know Barnabas had the title of
apostle. If appointed as such, and in the same manner as the others, that appointment, as was before suggested, must have taken place at a period preceding this. Now we know that when Samaria was first converted, although he who instructed and baptized there
was no less a person than Philip the deacon, yet the Church at Acts viii. 14. Jerusalem sent thither two apostles. The reason for sending these
has been explained. It was because none but apostles could confer the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, and these gifts or some of them were probably granted to all members of the infant Church. The instance of St. Paul regretting that he had not been able to visit the Roman converts for this purpose, was noticed in illustration
of the truth of this statement. On so important a conversion, then, as this at Antioch, we are naturally led to expect the same procedure on the part of the Church of Jerusalem, as was observed in the conversion of Samaria.
Finding it recorded that, as on that occasion, an official embassy was appointed to Antioch, we naturally expect that he whom they sent (e néoteinav) should be an apostle, and that he should be sent for a similar purpose as Peter and John had been to Samaria. In Barnabas accordingly we find much which renders it by no means improbable that he was one, especially if viewed in connexion with the presumption arising out of that embassy. To all that has been already suggested, in accordance with this view, it may be added, that, for no reason assigned, Barnabas's name always precedes Paul's, although the latter was equally proved to be “full of the Holy Ghost,” until by inflicting blindness on the sorcerer Elymas he displayed his evidence, that he was not only a minister of the Spirit, but one bearing a commission also from the Lord Jesus,-in short, an apostle.40 Does not this then seem to intimate, that up to that period Barnabas was treated as Paul's superior ? Afterwards, we may observe, the order is not reversed, but sometimes the one name, sometimes the other, takes precedence. Doubtless, Paul's is thenceforward more frequently placed first; but this, if it affect the argument at all, only renders the circumstance noticed more remarkable.
Supposing Barnabas to have been an apostle, a reason obviously suggests itself, why, in preference to the others, he should be chosen for this mission. A Levite and of the country of Cyprus,” is the Acts iv. 36. character under which he is first introduced to our notice. Belonging then to the numerous settlement of Jews in that island, he was naturally fixed on as the most proper apostle for converts who had received their first instruction and baptism from his fellow-countrymen, perhaps from his friends or acquaintance.
40 Acts xiii. 8. He is however called the reader of the New Testament in the a prophet in verse 1, perhaps because he original Greek will perceive, that of the is there described as exercising the office two rival readings given in Acts xi. 20, of prophet, which was no doubt compre- "Ελληνες has been adopted in preference hended in the apostolic commission. to 'Eaanuotai. Waiving so much of the Eusebius (Lib. I. C. 12) suggests, that question as depends on the balance of others besides the twelve must have been authority between the manuscripts, the called apostles during our Lord's abode circumstances of the record, and the conon earth. His conjecture is founded on text itself plainly determine the former St. Paul's account of the Resurrection, to be genuine. For the opposition exin the fifteenth chapter of his first Epistle pressed by the particles, play and de, indito the Corinthians. It must be confessed, cate that the Cyprians and Cyrenians however, that his interpretation of the were not doing what the dispersed were passage is a forced one, and the notion doing, namely, preaching to the Jews is besides inconsistent with the indifferent alone; but that they, on the contrary, use which is constantly made by the were preaching, to whom? Not is tous Evangelists of the terms “ the apostles 'Eaanuotas, for they were Jews, and to and "the twelve.”. It is moreover ex- them by the dispersed the Gospel had pressly contradicted by St. Luke's asser- been preached as in the case of Philip, tion, (vi. 13,) “He chose twelve, whom but προς τους "Ελληνας- to the Gentiles, he named apostles.”
namely, the devout Gentiles. 41 In this view of the Church of Antioch, Among the circumstances which con
St. Paul's REVELATION AND APPOINTMENT. To the establishment of the Church of Antioch, the first society which admitted the Gentiles as brethren and members of one Christian body, we may reasonably attribute the second burst of malignant feeling in the Jewish unbelievers towards their believing brethren. At their instance, Herod put to death James the brother of John; and his imprisonment of Peter, with the intent to execute him also, is said to have taken place, because he observed that the former "pleased the Jews.” Peter, indeed, would at this time be naturally the chief object of their vengeance, and could have escaped from the fate which they had prepared for him only by the interposition of God's angel. On his deliverance from prison he left Jerusalem, as it is probable all the other apostles had already done. St. Paul, at least, when he undertakes to show the impossibility of his having received his instruction from the other apostles, instead of what he asserted to be the case, froin Christ himself, and for this purpose enumerates his several visits 42 to Jerusalem,
Acts xiii 22; xxii. 17.
firm this, it would be wrong to pass
It may be regarded, by the way, as a
proof that the New Testament histories were not the production of an age much later than the facts they record, that in them the members of the Church are not called Christians; but are designated by the terms which that word gradually superseded.
An argument similar to this has been suggested for the early date of the four Gospels, from the fact that our Lord is called in them Jesus, and Christ in the Epistles, as of later date. -See “Dobbin's Antiquity of the Gospels.”
42 St. Paul, after his conversion, appears to have visited Jerusalem five times.
I. After his return from Arabia to Damascus, at which time he was introduced to Peter and James by Barnabas. -See Acts ix. 26, 28, and Gal. i. 18.
II. When he and Barnabas were sent from Antioch with the contribution. No apostle was then at Jerusalem, but the management of affairs was left to the elders. It was during this visit that he probably received his revelation in the temple, as mentioned in 2 Cor. xii.- This visit is omitted in his Epistle to the Galatians.-See Acts xi. 30.
III. On his return from his first apostolical journey, when he went with Barnabas to consult the Church of Jerusalem, concerning the obligation of the Mosaic law on the Gentile Christians. It was during this visit that he communicated “his Gospel” privately to Peter, and James, and John.--See Acts xv. and Gal. ii.
IV. When, in fulfilment of a vow made at Cenchræa, he went from Ephesus, and returned after a very short stay.Acts xviii. 18, 22.
V. This was at the close of his third apostolical journey, when he went up to
mention of this, which the course of his argument required, had there been at that time any one apostle at Jerusalem. 43
Trifling as the circumstance is, it becomes important when connected with the evidence of Paul's immediate and apostolic revelation. How it happened that he should go to Jerusalem at that particular juncture will be readily recollected. Soon after Barnabas had been sent to preside over the Church of Antioch, he went to Tarsus, and brought back with him Saul as his coadjutor. Tradition reports, that they were educated together under Gamaliel ; which, if true, accounts for the friendly office which he had previously performed in introducing him to Peter and James ; 44 as well as for his now choosing him to be his associate. At the very commencement of their joint labours, the disturbances to which we have been adverting occurred at Jerusalem. Among those who, together with the apostles, withdrew from the scene of danger, were very probably the prophets, who then made their appearance at Antioch, and gave notice of a famine which was to take place throughout Judæa. It was for the purpose of conveying to Jerusalem a contribution, which was in consequence raised and sent as a provision against the season of distress, that Barnabas and his companion went thither. They went accordingly, not commissioned to the apostles
-nor to the apostles and brethren—but only to the presbyters. Acts xi. 30. The apostles were absent, and the presbyters, or those who represented the disciples at large, were all who composed the assembly.
During this visit then of Saul to Jerusalem, he received that Revelation revelation which was hitherto wanting to complete in him the character of an apostle. Falling into a trance in the temple, he was permitted, like the other apostles, to be an eye-witness of the 2 Cor. xii. resurrection," to see his Lord and his God manifested in the flesh; 17, 18. and, like the rest, to receive from Jesus himself the appointment of witness, and the powers attached to it. 46 All that portion of the
to St. Paul.
keep the feast of Pentecost, and to declare openly to all the Church
his Gospel,” or his mission to the idolatrous Gentiles.
43 See the first and second chapters of his Epistle to the Galatians. His statement there is, that he could have had no opportunity of being instructed by the apostles, because on his first visit to Jerusalem he only saw two of them, and that for fifteen days, and no more; and, when again he was fourteen years afterwards in their company, he was employed, not in receiving, but communicating his revelation to them. The account in the Acts agrees with this, but then, between these two visits, occurs the one in question; and, if he had found any apostles at Jerusalem, his argument was of course open to the objection-how do we know that the borrowed information may not then have been received ?
44 Only to these, by his own account, (see Gal. i.) and accordingly he asserts,
that after that first visit he was still unknown by face to the Churches of Judæa.
45 'Ιδείν τον δίκαιον, και ακούσαι φωνήν εκ του στόματος αυτού. 'Οτι έση μάρτυς αυτώ προς πάντας ανθρώπους, ών εώρακας και ήκου
46 The period when this took place is not distinctly marked in the New Testament; and it is generally referred to the first visit to Jerusalem. But direct testimony being wanting, it is surely more natural to assign it to the visit which immediately preceded his formal appointment by the Church at Antioch, and his entrance on the course of duty, with a view to which the revelation was made. This, too, is more agreeable to the train of argument which he adopts in his Epistle to the Galatians, and to which allusion has already been made. If he professed to have received his Gospel during the fifteen days of his first visit