תמונות בעמוד

fion, Paul faw two Apostles only, Peter and James. But St. Luke's words, as seems to me, imply, that all the Apostles were then at Jerusadem, though Paul saw two only, the rest for fome reasons declining to thew themselves in person to him. Dr. Daddridge has this note upon ch. ix. 27. Paul himself tells us, that upon his going up to Jerusalem, "he faw no other Apostles, but Peter and James. Gal. i. 19. Beza « well obferves, we are quite uncertain, on what occasion, the rest were “then absent from Jerusalem. Had they been there, though Paul staid “but about a fortnight, he would no doubt have seen them.” Nevertheless the solution of this difficulty appears to me very easy. The ApoAles were now all at Jerusalem, or near it. But they lived privately, because it was a time of persecution. The great persecution against the church, which began with the death of Stephen, was not yet over. The Apostles therefore could not appear abroad without danger. And it was fufficient, that they spoke to Paul, and received him, by Peter and James. Which I take to be the true import of St. Luke's expression. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the Apostles.

After Peter had been at the house of Cornelius, it is said, Acts xi. I. And the Apoftles and brethren that were in Judea, heard, that the Gentils also had received the word. Another proof, that all the Apostles, or most of them, were still at Jerusalem. But I do not suppose, that the Apoftles, like many other of the Jewish believers, were offended at what Peter had done. Or, if they were at first somewhat offended, they were foon, and easily satisfied, and were very willing to testify their approbation of Peter's conduct.

From the 12. chapter of the Acts we know, that James son of Zebedel, and brother of John, and Peter, were at Jerusalem, in the year 44. or thereabout, near the end of the reign of Herod Agrippa: the former of whom was beheaded, and the other imprisoned. And at ver: 17. is mention made of another James, supposed to be the Lord's brother, and always resident at Jerusalem.

From the account of the Council of Jerusalem, and of the occasion of it, all the apostles appear to have been then in Judea, and at Jerusalem, or in its neighborhood. Aets xv. When therefore Paul and Barnabas bad no small diffenfion and disputation with them, they determined, that Paul, and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem, unto Apostles and Elders about this question. ver. 4. And when they were come to ferusalem, they were received of the church, and or even the Apostles and Elders. . . . ver. 6. And the Apostles and Elders came together, that is, met in Council, for to consider of this matter. . . ver. 22. Then pleased it the Apostles, and Elders, with the whole church, to Jend chojen men of their own companie, to Antioch. . . ver. 23. And they wrote letters by them after this manner: The Apostles, and Elders, and Brethren send greeting. 33. And after they had tarried there a space, that is, at Antioch, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the Apostles.

In all these places the Apostles must intend all the Apostles, or the Apostles in general. For how can the expression be understood other, wife?

If it should be said, that the Apostles might be at the Council at Jes rufalem, though several of them had been before in other countreys: I D 2



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think, that would be said without ground and reason. It does not ap, pear, that the Apostles were sent to, invited, or called in from abroad, to attend this Council. But the Christians at Antioch supposed, or rather knew, that the Apostles were at Jerusalem, and therefore directly sent thither to them,

Indeed none of the Apostles are expressly named as speakers in the debates of the Council, belide Peter and James. But all the rest may have been there. So upon divers other occasions in the Gospels, and at the beginning of the Acts, Peter only {pake, though all the rest were present. In Gal. ii. 8. 9. 10. St. Paul giving an account of a journey to Jerufalem, supposed to be the same with this to the Council, speaks of conferences, which he had with three, namely James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars. Here * is one more mentioned as present at Jerusalem, beside the two before taken notice of. And there must have been others beside these three, who seemed to be pillars, or were the most emi. nent.

The first time, that we meet with the mention of any one of the twelve, as being out of Judea, is that in Gal. ii. 11. after this Council, as is generally allowed, when Peter was at Antioch. It is very observable, Acts xi. 19. . . 22. when tidings came to the ears of the Church at Jerusalem, that

many Gentils had been converted at Antioch by some of those who were fcattered abroad by the persecution, they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. None of the Apostles went, not so much as one, to accompany him. And afterwards ch. xiii. 1... 3. in the account of the extraordinarie mission of Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to Cyprus, and other parts, there is no mention made of any Apoftle, as present at Antioch. And it is plain, there was not one there.

All these considerations induce me to think, that none of the twelve Apostles left Judea to teach either Jews or Gentils in other Countreys, until after this Council.

Having now, as I apprehend, shewn this to be very probable, I shall mention some remarks. Whereby there may be an opportunity for anIwering objections, though several have been already obviated.

1. There was a fitnesle in it. It was very proper, and even expedient, that the Apostles should stay a good while in Judea, to affert and confirm the truth of Christ's resurrection by teaching, and by miraculous works, and do their utmost to bring the Jewish People to faith in Jesus as the Christ.

2. As this was fit, it is likely, that they had received some command from Christ himself, or some direction from the Holy Ghost, to stay thus long in Judea.

3. There were considerations, that would incline them to it, and induce them to do what was fit to be done, and was agrceable to the mind of Christ. One was the difficulty of preaching the gospel in foreign countreys. This would induce them to stay in Judeu, till the circumnkances of things facilitated their farther progrelle, or called them to it.


* Theodoret has a like arguinent : pas no péčisy xaradtir, ás ödémw xatarínoTest thio izdasar i Orios srosóros iwárong. Theod. Pr. in cp. ad Eph. Tom. 3. e: 290,

Another thing was their affection for the Jewish people, their countrymen, especially those of Judea, with whom they had been brought up, and among whom they dwelt, together with a persuasion of the great value of the blessing of the gospel. This last confideration, I apprehend, would induce them to labor in Judea, with earnelt desires, and some hopes, of bringing all, or however, many, to faith in Jesus. This influenced Paul alio to a great degree, and for a good while. Nor was he without hopes of persuading his brethren and countrey-men to what appeared to bimself very certain and evident. So he says in his speech to the people at Jerusalem. Acts xxii. 17. .. 20. He assures them, that whilft he was worshipping at Jerusalem, in the temple, he had a tranfe or extafie: that he there faw Christ, who said to him : Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem. For they will not receive thy tejiimonie concerning me. Paul pleaded, that they mest needs pay a regard to his testimonie, who was well known to have been for some while very zealous in oppafing his followers, and was now convinced and persuaded. But the Lord said unto him: Depart. For I will send thee far hence unto the Gentils. This transe, or vision, seems to have happened in the year 44. after that Paul had preached at Antioch with great successe among Gentils. Nevertheless he had an earnest desire to make one attempt more among the Jews of Judea, where was the body of that people. And if they could have been persuaded, many abroad would follow their example. And it required an express and repeated order from Jesus Christ, in vifion, to induce him to lay aside that defign, and to proceed to preach to Gentils in remote parts.

It is a most affectionate concern, which he expresses for the Jewish people in divers places of the epistle to the Romans, writ so late as the year 58. ch. ix. i. .. 5. X. 1. 2. xi. 4. if by any means, says he, I may provoke them to emulation which are my flejn, and might save some of them. Nor can it be questioned, that the like sentiments prevailed in the other Apostles. If it needs any proof, let St. Peter's discourses at the beginning of the book of the Acts be consulted, particularly ch. ii. 38. ..40. . 22... 26. not to refer to any other.

4. There were many advantages attending the stay of the Apostles in Judea.. Many more Jews were by this means converted, than otherwise there would have been. St. Luke fays, Acts iv. 4. that the number of the men was five thousand. But when Paul came to Jerusalem fome years afterwards, James says to him, Thou seeft, brother, bow many thousands of Jews there are which believe. xxi. 20. And it is very likely, that the Jewish believers had better, and freer principles, than otherwise they would have had. They were, it is true, for observing the law themselves : ver. 20. but they agreed, that the Gentils were under no such obligations. ver. 25. Farther, by this means every step taken in planting the Christian Religion, and spreading the gospel in the world, had the sanction of all the Apostles, and of the whole church of JeruJalem.

Upon occasion of the persecution at Jerusalem, many were scattered abroad, who went every where preaching the word. Í hen Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them, Acts viii. 45. Now when the Apostles, which were at Jerusalem, heard, that Samaria had re


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ceived the word of God, they

, fent unto them Peter and John. This was the first step taken in carrying the gospel to any, beside native Jews, and proselytes to their religion. And what had been done by Philip at Samaria, was approved and ratified by all the Apostles.

The next step was preaching to Gentils, which work was folemnly allotted to Peter. And the Apostles and Elders that were in Judea, heard that the Gentils had also received the word of God. ch. xi. 1. Upon Peter's rehearsing to them the whole affair, and what had happened at the house of Cornelius at Cesarea, all were satisfied. They glorified God, saying : Then hath God also to the Gentils granted repentance unto life. ver. 18.

Soon after this, some of those who were scattered abroad upon the persecution, went to Antioch, and there spake to the Greeks or Gentils, preaching the Lord Jesus. And a great number believed, and turned to the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church, which, was at Jerusalem. And they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. ver. 19... 22. This step therefore was also approved and ratified by the whole church of Jerusalem, including the Apostles. :

And henceforward no objections could be made by wise men against preaching to Gentils, and receiving them, but what arose from the difficulty of the work. Nevertheless some good while after this, there was a dispute raifed at Antioch by some bigotted Jews, who asserted it to be necessarie, that the Gentil believers Mould be circumcised after the manner of Moses. This occasioned the Council of Jerusalem. Where the controversie was fully determined by the Apostles and Elders. Which was a great advantage. By this means the manner of receiving Gentils was fixed and settled beyond dispute, and beyond opposition. Or, if any should be made afterwards, it could not be fuccesful, nor very troublesome. And we may be assured, that all the Apostles, and their difciples, would be harmonious, and preach the same doctrine to Jews and Gentils, wherefoever they went.

5. There was a neceflity of the Apostles staying in Judea, till about this time. Otherwise, they could not have sufficiently testified the doc. trine concerning Jesus in Judea, nor have fully taught the Jewish people, so as to render them inexcufable, if they did not believe, and repent.

If we consider the state of things in Judea, we may discern, that in the year 44. the Apostles had not had an opportunity to fulfill their ministrie in that country. It must be evident to all from the historie in the Acts, that for fome while, foon after our Lord's afcenfion, the Apostles were grievously harrassed, and hardly used by the Jewish Council or Rulers. Which was the more so, because of the weaknesle of Pilate's government, for some time before he was dismified from the province. And afterwards, about the time of his removal, Stephen was stoned, and a great persecution began. Which, as I apprehend, continued from the begining of the year 36. to the begining of the year 40. When the churches had reft.'. Of which reft undoubtedly the Apostles made good use. St. Luke's words are: Then had the churches reft throughout Judea, and Galilee, and Samària, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. ch. xi. 31.



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After which follows an account of Peter's passing throughout all quarters, his going to Lydda, and there healing Eneas, then to Joppa, where he raised Tabitha : and from thence to Cefarea, and there preaching to Cornelius, and his companie : and of some other matters, reaching to ch. xi. 26. How long that rest, or peace and tranquillity continued, in all its fulnesse, we cannot say exactly. Perhaps it lasted a year, or more. And it is not unlikely, that in that space of time other Apostles, beside Peter, travelled in Judea, and the several parts of it, preaching the gospel

, and confirming the disciples. But upon Herod Agrippa being made King of all Judea by Claudius in the year 41. that peace would be abated, if not interrupted. From the begining of his reign, especially from his arrival in Judea, and during the remainder of it, the disciples must have been under many difficulties and discouragements, Prince and People being of one mind. And toward the end of his reign he became an open and violent perfecutor, till Divine Providence (mote him, that he died. After his death Judea came to be in the hands of Roman Procu. rators, Cuspius Fadus, Tiberius Alexander, Cumanús, Felix, Festus : When probably, the disciples of Jesus had for several years together more liberty, than they had at any time, since the resurrection of Jesus, excepting the interval of rest and tranquillity, before taken notice of. For those Governours, or Procurators, had no orders from the Roman Emperour to persecute or disturb any Jews. And that those Governours were not disposed to disturb the Christians, may be argued from the treatment given to Paul by Felix, and Feftus, and the officers under them. Now therefore from the year 44. to the time of the Council in 49. or 50. and afterwards, the Apostles went on fulfilling their ministrie. All of them, as I apprehend, ftaid in Judea till the time of the Council. Soon after which some did, probably, go abroad. However, several of them might stay there a good while longer, and not remove, till a little before the commencement of the Jewish war in 66.

6. We may now perceive, the benefit of the early choice and call of Paul to be an Apoftle. Who having been several years employed and exercised in preaching to Jews in Judea, and out of it, was ready to preach to Gentils likewise, as soon as a door was opened for applying to them at Antioch, and other places : as there was, after Peter had received Cornelius at Cesarea : whilst it was not as yet fit for any of the twelve Apostles to leave the land of Israel.

7. We now obtain some allistance for interpreting those, expressions of Paul : Gal. ii, 7. 8. 9. When they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was committed unto Peter. For he that wrought effectually'in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcifion, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentils

. And they gave unto me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the

and they unto the circumcision. And Rom. xi. 13. inasmuch as I am the Apoftle of the Gentils, I magnify my office. Those expressions çannot be intended to fignify, that Paul was Apostle of the Gentils one ly, and exclusive of the Jews : or that Peter and the other of the twelve, were Apoftles of the circumcision only, exclusive of the Gentils. For an Apostle is a teacher or master of the whole world. They were appointed to be so by Chrift himself. Nor could their commiflion be liP 4



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