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“ and some of you shall they cause to be put to death, and ye shall be hated of all
name's sake c, What less than conviction founded on evidence from which the human mind saw no means of escaping, what less than the assurance of a transcendent recompense in a world to come, can have drawn a man from the religion of his fathers to embrace a faith pregnant with such temporal suffering ? But further, though St. Luke's first belief in Christianity, and his accession to the apostolic body, must have been founded upon the evidence of others, yet would he not long remain in that sacred brotherhood before he would also have the conviction of his own senses, I mean his bodily organs, that the religion which he had embraced was true. And by whomsoever in after times this faith shall be cordially received, and its precepts sedulously practised, by him it will soon be learned, though not as in the case of the Apostles, from the report of his bodily organs, yet from the internal sense of present satisfaction, and holy hope, that he has done more than follow a cunningly devised fable.
c St. Luke xxi. 12. 16, 17.
“ If any man will do his will, he shall “know of the doctrine whether it be of God." St. Luke's narrative records the last promise of our Saviour to his disciples, that he would send down the Holy Ghost upon them'; and his eyes must have witnessed its accomplishment in the mighty works which they performed. He had therefore, like the rest of the Apostles, the report of his senses,
the evidence of miracles, as guarantees for the truth of the religion which he had embraced : and his conversion may strengthen our faith. The other incidents of this eminent
person's life shall be briefly summed up. He is related by the early writers of ecclesiastical history to have been a Syrian by birth, of the city of Antioch, the capital, a city interesting to Christians, as the place in which we first obtained our name and
d 2 Pet. i. 16.
e St. John vii. 17. g Acts xi. 27.
celebrated by the Grecian orators as the seat of science and philosophy. Here he is said to have cultivated Gentile literature, and to have attained the theory of his profession. Some, however, have doubted whether he be the person meant in the following verse of St. Paul to the Colossians, “ Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas
greet you;" though the epithet “beloved” might seem to be exclusively appropriate to St. Luke, when St. Paul was the writer, and wrote of one then present with him. Of this great Apostle St. Luke was the constant companion in all his travels and dangers by sea and land; attending him, as appears by the Acts, in his last voyage to Rome, and probably witnessing his death.
Only Luke is with me,” says St. Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, written from Rome: and in the Epistle to Philemon he calls Luke his fellow-labourer".
I should not have noticed an unfounded rumour, that St. Luke was the professor of another art, had not the subject been connected with what we esteem superstitious
ceremonies in the Romish Church. The report that this Evangelist was a painter, and had transferred to the canvass, and left behind for the homage of posterity, the corporeal features of the Virgin Mary, was an invention of the sixth century, intended no doubt to propagate the impious adoration then begun to be offered to the Virgin, and confirm the general veneration, whatever may be its nature, paid to the pictures, images, and relics of pretended saints.
Of the real profession of this Evangelist it
may be observed, that the practice of medicine was not held in such esteem among the Jews as among the more polished nations of ancient or modern times, and that the professor of that art could therefore derive no advantage from it in the propagation of his religious opinions'.
i The dignity and wealth of Antonius Musa, the friend of Horace, forms no exception to this rule, of the inferior rank and influence of physicians in ancient when compared with modern times. He was originally the freedman of Augustus. But it is here worth remarking, that, of the immediate followers of our Saviour, those on whom the duty must devolve of examining evidence, before they sur
soul. Let us fervently address God in the words of the collect appropriated to that day on which our Church celebrates or commemorates the merits of this Evangelist :
Almighty God, who calledst Luke the physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, " to be an evangelist and physician of the
soul, may it please thee, that by the “ wholesome medicines of the doctrine de
livered by him all the diseases of our “ souls may be healed, through the merits
of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”