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Clemens of Alexandria, having travelled into Ethiopia, found there, as Eusebius relates, a copy of Matthew's Gospel in Hebrew, which had been left there by Bartholomew. Phrygia was also for a time the field of the apostle's labors, where he met with his former companion, Philip, and at the period of his martyrdom, narrowly escaped crucifixion himself. Lastly, he came to Albanopolis in the greater Armenia, where he was persecuted, and finally crucified, on account of his efforts to overthrow the idolatry of the place. Some accounts speak of his having been flayed alive, previous to his crucifixion.
Legends and martyrologies affirm, what we need not believe, that - his body removed from place to plące, till it came at last to Rome, where it rested, and where it is now deposited, as Roman Catholics suppose, in a porphyry monument, under the Church of St. Bartholomew.
· August the 24th is consecrated to him by the Western Church.
The seventh of the twelve is Thomas. In the Gospel of John, he is styled .“ Thomas called Didymus," but every where else, simply Thomas. It is probable that Didymus is merely an interpretation into Greek of the Hebrew word Thomas, as they both mean a twin. And it may be, that he really was what his name designates him to have been.* But we have no certain accounts whatever of his early life, nor of the early period of his apostleship.
* “ It was customary,” says Cave, “ with the Jews, when travelling into foreign countries, or familiarly conversing with the Greeks and Romans, to assume to themselves a Greek or a Latin name, of great affinity, and sometimes of the very same signification with that of their own country. Thus our Lord was called Christ, answering to his Hebrew title, Mashiach, or the Anointed; Simon stýled Peter according to that of Cephas, which our Lord put upon him ; Tabitha ealled Dorcas, both signifying a goat. Thus our St. Thomas, according to the Syriack importance of his name, had the title of Didymus, which signifies a Twin ; Thomas, which is called Didy
The first mention which is made of him, is on a most interesting occasion, and when he appears in a 'most interesting light. Shortly after our Lord had escaped from the hands of the Jews, who were about to stone him, and had gone away beyond Jordan, the sisters of Lazarus, his friend, sent to him, informing him that their brother was sick. Jesus remained two days, after hearing this intelligence, in the place where he was; for it was his intention, not to rescue, but to restore Lazarus from death, that God might be the more glorified; and then he said to his disciples, “ Let us go into Judea again.” His disciples earnestly sought to dissuade him from this, as they thought it, rash determination, and said unto him, “ Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again ?” In answer to this expostulation, Jesus tells them, in figurative speech, that what he had to do must be done in its due season, and before the appropriated time was past; and then he adds, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I
awake him out of sleep." The disciples, understanding him literally, answer, that if Lazarus was sleeping, he would recover, and therefore it was unnecessary to incur danger, merely for the sake of seeing him. " Then said Jesús unto them,
plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him." It is at this crisis, when the apostles seem to be hesitating between the sense of imminent danger, and the feeling of duty to their Master, the one holding them back, and the other urging them forward, that Thomas advances, faithful, bold, and with a mind made up to abide by Jesus at all hazards, and says unto his fellow disciples, “ Let us also go, that we may die with him.” His intrepidity in this case had its effect, no doubt, on his brethren; for they all went to Bethany, the village of Lazarus, which was only about two miles from Jerusalem, and the result was one of the most remarkable and important miracles of our Lord; which was soon followed indeed, as the disciples had feared, and as he had foreseen, by his own violent death.
Thomas is again introduced as one of the speakers on the night of the last supper. As Jesus was discoursing to his disciples, endeavouring to prepare them for his approaching departure, and to lead them to the sublime arid consoling truths of immortality, he said to them, “Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas, who, no more than the rest, could believe, that the Messiah was to die, and to be taken from the world, before he had achieved his expected glories, and the deliverance of Israel, said to him, “ Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” His thoughts had not accompanied his Master's thoughts; they were yet on the earth, groping about there after a destination and a path, though Jesus was pointing so plainly to the mansions of another world, and the true and spiritual way which led to them. And it was immediately afterwards that Philip, too, uttered those words of ignorance, which we have just now considered, and which show how much that light was needed, which was soon to break in upon them all.
Once more we hear of Thomas, in a manner which marks his character with some strong lines, and particularly distinguishes his life. On the evening of the resurrection, our Saviour came and stood in the midst of the disciples, and showed them the wounds in his hands and side, and satisfied them that he was indeed risen from the dead. But Thomas was not then with them, and when they told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied, that unless he not only should see those wounds, but be allowed also to touch them and put his hand in them, he would not believe.