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Philip was so entirely unconscious of his meaning, and so blind, notwithstanding his long intimacy with Jesus, — so blind to the presence and agency of God in this, his beloved Son, -as to say to his Master, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.' Grieved at his dulness and insensibility, Jesus returns that sadly reproachful answer, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father ? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” As if he had said, Is it not evident to you that the power which
you have seen me exert is more than human power? that the wisdom which you have so long been hearing from my lips is more than human wisdom ? that the Father must have been with me, and in me, all this time, or I could not have thus acted and spoken? How can you then, who have been one of my constant companions, how can you say, Show us the Father? As a Jew, you certainly do not expect to see God in person; and how can you behold a brighter manifestation of his image and attributes than that which you have so long beheld in me? You do not know me, Philip, neither me normy Father.
This instance of the apostle's incredulity and slowness of apprehension does not prove that he was more incredulous and dull than his brethren; it only shows how small the impression was which the extraordinary instructions and actions of Jesus had as yet produced on the whole twelve. They entered into his service with the Jewish ideas of a Messiah ; and now, when he was just about to leave them, they were almost as ignorant of the spirituality of his kingdom as when they first joined themselves to him.
Nothing further is said in the sacred histories to assist us in elucidating Philip's character. The Book of Acts relates nothing concerning him ; for we must not confound Philip the Apostle with Philip the Deacon or Philip the Evangelist, both of whom are there mentioned. The best ancient testimony specifies Scythia as the principal scene of his apostolical labors; from which country he came at last into Phrygia, and dwelt in Hierapolis, the chief city in the western part of that province.* There he preached the Gospel of his Master, and planted the seeds of faith in the midst of idolatry ; and it is said by some, that it was by effecting the destruction of an object of superstitious worship that he incurred the hatred
* This city is mentioned by Paul, in his Epistle to the Colossians iv. 13. It was near to Colosse and Laodicea, and had probably been visited by Paul.
and persecution of a part of the inhabitants, who caused him to be imprisoned and severely scourged, and then hung by the neck to a pillar. By others, however, he is said to have died a natural death.
By a concurrence of authorities, Philip is stated to have been a married man, and to have had several daughters.
The festival of this apostle, according to the Calendar of the Western Church, is on the 1st of May.
The next in order of the twelve is Bartholomew. Respecting him there is a still greater dearth of information than there is respecting Philip ; for there is absolutely nothing told of him in the New Testament, unless we resort to the supposition, which many scholars have adopted, that he is the same person with Nathanael. In favor of this supposition there are several arguments, which form together a body of strong presumptive evidence.
It is observed, in the first place, that the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who all place Bartholomew on their catalogues of the apostles, never mention Nathanael ; and that John, who gives the particulars of Nathanael's conversation with our Lord, never mentions Bartholomew. Secondly, as John acquaints us with the fact that Philip led Nathanael to Jesus, so, in the lists of the apostles by the other evangelists, Philip and Bartholomew are constantly joined together as companions. “As they were jointly called to the discipleship,” says Cave, “ so they are jointly referred to in the Apostolic Catalogue, as afterwards we find them joint companions in the writings of the Church.” Thirdly, it is remarked that Nathanael is introduced, in the company of several apostles, in the twenty-first chapter of John's Gospel, in such a manner as to lead us to suppose that he likewise might be one. The passage is that which relates to the appearance of Jesus, after his resurrection, at the sea of Tiberias; on which occasion Peter swam to him from the vessel in which he and the rest were fishing. The disciples, who were present, are thus named: “There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.” Fourthly, the difference in the two names, which may at first appear to be an argument against this supposition, is rather in its favor. Bartholomew signifies the son of Tolmai, just as Bartimeus, the blind man whom Jesus restored to sight, signifies the son of Timeus; bar being the Hebrew word for son. Nathanael, therefore, might have also been called Bartholomew, after his father, just as Simon was called Barjonas after his father. Bartholomew could hardly have been the only name of the apostle, because it is a patronymic; and when circumstances agree so well, why might not his first name have been Nathanael ? That John never