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They travel from Puteoli,

THE ACTS.

.

and come to Rome.

A.M.cir: 4067. whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, || captain of the guard: but • Paul A. M.cir.1067

. An. Olymp. and took courage.

was suffered to dwell by himself with An. Olymp. 16 And when we came to Rome, a soldier that kept him. the centurion delivered the prisoners to the 17 1 And it came to pass, that after three days

eir. CCX. 3.

cir. CCX. S.

a Ch. 24. 25. & 27.3.

b Ch. 25. 8, 10, Ps. 112. 5.

And the Three Taverns] This was another place on the Verse 16. The captain of the guard] ETSRTOTE0227. same road, and about 33 miles from Rome. Some of the This word properly means the commander of a camp ; but it Roman Christians had come as far as Appii Forum; others, signifies the præfect, or commander of the prætorian cohorts, to the Three Taverns. Bp. Pearce remarks, there are some or emperor's guards. ruins in that place which are now called Tre Taverne; and Tacitus (Annal. lib. iv. cap. 2.) informs us, that, in the this place Cicero mentions in his Epistles to Atticus, lib. ii. reign of Tiberius, Sejanus, who was then præfect of these 11. Ab Appi foro horâ quartâ : dederum aliam paulo ante in troops, did, in order to accomplish his ambitious designs, Tribus Tabernis. “ Dated at ten in the morning, from Ap- cause them to be assembled from their quarters in the city; pii Forum. I sent off another (epistle) a little before, from and stationed in a fortified camp near it ;, so that their comthe Three Taverns.

mander is with peculiar propriety styled by St. Luke, 5 FOTOZozimus, lib. 2. mentions to MATTERS the three taverns, Tedap%75, the commander of the camp. For the arrival of or victualling houses, where the emperor Severus was stran- St. Paul at Rome was in the seventh year of Nero ; and it gled by the treason of Maximinus IIerculeus, and his son is certain, from Suetonius, (in Tiber. cap. 37), that the Maxentius. See Lightfoot.

custom of keeping the prætorian soldiers in a camp, near The word taberna, from trabs a beam, signifies any build the city, was retained by the emperors succeeding Tiberius; ing formed of timber ; such as those we call booths, sheds, for the historian observes, that both Claudius, at his acces&c. which are formed of beams, planks, boards, and the sion to the empire, was received into the camp, in castra like; and therefore we may consider it as implying, either delatus est, namely of the prætorian cohorts ; and so Tacitus a temporary residence, or some mean building, such as a says of Nero, An. lib. xii. cap. 69. that on the same occacottage, &c. And in this sense Horace evidently uses it, | sion, illatus castris, he was brought into the cump. Dr. Carm. lib. i. Od. iv. ver 13.

Doddridge observes, that it was customary for prisoners who

were brought to Rome, to be delivered to this officer, who Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas

had the charge of the state prisoners, as appears from the Regumque turres.

instance of Agrippa, who was taken into custody by Macro, • With equal pace, impartial fate

the prætorian præfect, who succeeded Sejanus, (Joseph. Ant. “ Knocks at the palace, as the cottage gate.”

lib. xviii. cap. 7. sect. 6); and from Trajan's order to Pliny, FRANCIS.

when two were in commission, Plin. lib. x. ep. 65. Vinctus

mitti ad præfectos prætorii mei debet: he should be sent bound This place, at first, was probably a place for booths or to the præfects of my guards. The person who now had that sheds ; three of which were remarkable ; other houses be- office was the noted Afranius Burrhus; but both before and came associated with them in process of time; and the whole' after him, it was held by two: Tacit. Au. lib. xii. sect. 42. place denominated Tres Tabernæ, from the three first re lib. xiv. sect. 51. See Parkhurst. markable booths set up there. It

appears to have been a

Burrhus was a principal instrument in raising Nero to the large town in the fourth century, as Optatus mentions Felix throne; and had considerable influence in repressing many of a Tribus Tabernis, Felix of the Three Taverns, as one of the vicious inclinations of that bad prince. With many the Christian bishops.

others, he was put to death by the inhuman Nero ; and is Thanked God and took courage.] He had longed to see praised by the historians for moderation and love of justice. Rome, (see Rom. i. 9-15.) and finding himself brought : His treatment of St. Paul is no mean proof of this. Calmet. through so many calamities, and now so near the place, that With a soldier that kept him.] That is, the soldier to he was met by a part of that church, to which, some years whom he was chained, as has been related before, chap. hefore, he had written an epistle, he gave thanks to God, xii. 6. who had preserved him ; and took fresh courage, in the Verse 17. Paul called the chief of the Jews together] prospect of bearing there, a testimony for his Lord and We have already seen, in chap. xviii. 2. that Claudius had Master.

commanded all Jews to depart from Rome ; see the note

!

Paul calls the chief of the Jews

CHAP. XXVIII.

together, and states his case to them.

A. D. cir. 63.

A. D. cir. 63.

cir. CCX. 3.

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A. M. cir.4067. Paul called the chief of the Jews to-cause that for the hope of Israel I 4. M.cir. 1067. An. Olymp. gether : and when they were come am bound with this chain.

An. Olymp. together, he said unto them, Men 21 And they said unto him, We cir. CCX. 3. and brethren, * though I have committed neither received letters out of Judea concerning nothing against the people, or customs of thee, neither any of the brethren that came' our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner shewed or spake any harm of thee. from Jerusalem into the hands of the Ro 22 But we desire to hear of thee what

thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, 18 Who, when they had examined me, would we know that every where 5 it is spoken have let me go, because there was no cause of against. death in me.

23 I And when they had appointed him a day, 19 But when the Jews spake against it, ' I was there came many to him into his lodging ; " to constrained to appeal unto Cæsar; not that I whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of had ought to accuse my nation of.

God, persuading them concerning Jesus, 'both 20 For this cause, therefore, have I called for out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, you, to see you, and to speak with you : be- from morning till evening.

• Ch. 24. 12, 13. & 25.8.-. ch. 21. 33. Le ch. 22. 24. & 24. 10. & & Luke 2. 31. ch. 24. 5, 14. 1 Pet. 2. 12. & 4. 14.- Luke 24. 27. 25. 8. & 26. 31. ch. 25. 11. - ch. 26. 6. 7.ch. 26. 29. Eph. || ch. 17. 3. & 19. 8. See on ch. 26. 6, 22. 3. 1. & 4. 1. & 6. 20. 2 Tim. 1. 16. & 2. 9. Philem. 10, 13.

there : but it seems they were permitted to return very soon ; | solid ; they might have sent long before Paul sailed; and and, from this verse, it appears that there were then chiefs, they might have written officially by the vessel in which the probably of synagogues, dwelling at Rome.

centurion and the prisoners were embarked. But their case I have committed nothing] Lest they should have heard was hopeless ; and they could not augur any good to themand received malicious reports against him, he thought it best selves from making a formal complaint against the apostle, at to state his own case.

the emperor's throne. Verse 20. For the hope of Israel, I am bound, &c.] As if he Verse 22. For as concerning this sect] See the note on bad said—this, and this alone, is the cause of my being delivered chap. xxiv. 14. A saying of Justin Martyr casts some light into the hands of the Romans; I have proclaimed Jesus as on this saying of the Jews : he asserts, that the Jews not the Messiah ; have maintained that though he was crucified only cursed them in their synagogues, but they sent out chosen by the Jews, yet he rose again from the dead; and, through men from Jerusalem, to acquaint the world, and particularly him, I have preached the general resurrection of mankind : the Jews every where, that the Christians were an atheistical this, all Israel professes to hope for; and yet it is on this ac- | and wicked sect, which should be detested and abhorred by count that the Jews persecute me. Both the Messiah and the | all mankind. Justin Martyr. Dial. p.

231. resurrection might be said to be the hope of Israel; and it is Verse 23. To whom he expoundedthe kingdom of God] hard to tell which of them is here meant; see chap. xxiii. 6. To whom he shewed that the reign of the Messiah was to be xxiv. 15, 21. and xxvi. 6. It is certain that, although the a spiritual reign; and that Jesus, whom the Jewish rulers Jews believed in the general resurrection, yet they did had lately crucified, was the true Messiah, who should rule not credit it in the manner in which Paul preached it; for in this spiritual kingdom. These two points were probably he laid the foundation of the general resurreciion, on the those on which he expatiated from morning to evening, provresurrection of Christ.

ing both, out of the law, and out of the prophets. How easily Verse 21: We neither received letters, &c.] This is very Jesus, as the Messiah, and his spiritual kingdom, might be strange, and shews us that the Jews knew their cause to be proved from the law of Moses, any person may be satisfied, hopeless ; and therefore did not send it forward to Rome. by consulting the notes written on those books. As to the They wished for an opportunity to kill Paul ; and when they prophets, their predictions are so clear, and their prophecies were frustrated by his appeal to the emperor, they permitted | so obviously fulfilled in the person, preaching, miracles, pasthe business to drop. Calmet supposes they had not time to sion, and death of Jesus Christ, that it is utterly impossible, send; but this supposition does not appear to be sufficiently with any show of reason, to apply them to any other.

Paul preaches to them, and some

THE ACTS.

believe, and others disbelieve.

cir. CCX. 3.

A. M. cis: 40676 24 And some believed the things || and their ears are dull of hearing, and 4. M. cir.1067. An. Olymp. which were spoken, and some be- their eyes have they closed ; lest they Au. Olymp. lieved not.

should see with their eyes, and hear cir. ccx. 3. 25 And when they agreed not among them with their ears, and understand with their heart, selves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken and should be converted, and I should heal them, one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the the prophet unto our fathers,

salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and 26 Saying, "Go unto this people, and say, that they will hear it. Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not under 29 And when he had said these words, the stand; and seeing ye shall see, and not per-|Jews doparted, and had great reasoning among ceive :

themselves. 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross,

30 I And Paul dwelt two whole years in his

a Ch. 14. 4. & 17. 4. & 19. 9. h Isai. 6. 9. Jer. 5. 21. Ezek. 19. 2.

Matt. 13. 14, 15. Mark 1. 12. Luke 8. 10. John 12. 10. Rom. 11. 8.

© Matt. 21. 41, 43. ch. 13. 46, 47. & 18. 6. & 22. 21. & 26. 17, 18.

Rom. 11. 11.

Verse 24. Some believed, &c.] His message was there contentious about the truth and authenticity of the relic treated as his gospel is to the present day; some believe, and gion of Christ, infallibly end in the triumph and extension of are converted; others, continue in obstinate unbelief, and that religion. perish. Could the Jews then have credited the spiritual Verse 30. Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired nature of the Messiah's kingdom, they would have found house] As a state-prisoner, he might have had an apartment little difficulty to receive Jesus Christ as the MESSIANI. in the common prison : but peculiar favour was shewed him;

Multitudes of those, now called Christians, can more easily | and he was permitted to dwell alone, with the soldier that credit Jesus as the Messiah, than believe the spiritual nature guarded him, ver. 16. Finding now an opportunity of preachof his kingdom. The cross is the great stumbling-block; | ing the gospel, he hired a house for the purpose, and paid for millions expect Jesus and his kingdom, who cannot be per- | it, St. Chrysostom observes, by the fruits of his own labour. suaded that the cross is the way to the crown.

Here he received ah that came unto him, and preached the Verse 25. Agreed not among themselves] It seems that gospel with glorious success; so that his bonds became the a controversy arose between the Jews themselves, in conse means of spreading the truth, and he became celebrated eren quence of some believing, and others disbelieving ; and the in the palace of Nero, Phil. i. 12, 13. and we find that two parties contested together : and, in respect to the un- there were several saints, even in Cæsar's household, Phil.ir. believing party, the apostle quoted the following passage 22. which were, no doubt, the fruits of the apostle's ministry. from Isai. vi. 9.

It is said, that during his two years' residence here, he beVerse 26. Hearing ye shall hear, &c.] See the notes on came acquainted with Seneca the philosopher, between whom Matt. xiii. 14. and John xii. 39, 40.

and the apostle, an epistolary correspondence took place. Verse 28. The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles] | In an ancient MS. of Seneca's epistles, in my own possession, Si. Paul had spoken to this effect twice before, chap. xiii. 46. these letters are extant, and are in number fourteen, and have and chap. xviii. 6. where, see the notes ; but here, he uses a a prologue to them, written by St. Jerom. That they are firmer toue, being out of the Jewish territories, and under very ancient cannot be doubted ; but learned men have long the protection of the emperor. By the salvation of God, all ago agreed that they are neither worthy of Paul nor of Seneca. the blessings of the kingilom of Christ are intended. This While he was in captivity, the church at Philippi, to which salvation God could have sent unto the Gentiles, independ- | he was exceedingly dear, sent him some pecuniary assistance ently of the Jewish disobedience ; but He waited till they had by the hands of their minister Epaphroditus, who, it appears, rejected it, and then reprobated them, and elected the Gen- risked his life in the service of the apostle; and was taken riles. Thus the elect became reprobale, and the reprobate elect. with a dangerous malady. When he got well, he returned

They will hear it.] That is, they will obey it; for amgueix, to Philippi, and, it is supposed, carried with him that Epistle signifies not only to hear, but also to obey.

which is still extant; and from it wo learn, that Timothy Verse 29. And had great reasoning umong themselves.] I was then at Rome with Paul, and that he had the prospect of The believers contending with the unbelievers; and thus we being shortly delivered from his captivity. See Phil. i. 12, 13. may suppose that the cause of truth gained ground. For, ll ii. 25. is. 15, 16, 18, &c.

He continues two years at Home,

CHAP. XXVIII.

preaching the fingdoni ng God.

A. D. cir. 65.

A. M cir. 4069. own hired house, and received all that cern the Lord Jesus Christ, with A. N.cr. 109

.1. D. rir. 63. An. Olymp. came in unto him,

all confidence, ono man forbidding An. Og nip. 31 · Preaching the kingdom of him. God, and teaching those things which con

cir. CCXI. 1.

cir. CCXI. 1.

• Ch. 4. 31. Eph. 6. 19.

- Ch. 16. 18. 2 Tim. 9. 8, 9.

Verse 31. Preaching the kingdom of God.] Shewing the That the apostle visited many places after this, suffered much spiritual nature of the true church, under the reign of the in the great cause of Christianity, and preached the gospel of Messiah. For an explanation of this phrase, see the note on Jesus with amazing success, are generally believed. How lie Matt. iii. 2.

came to be liberated we are not told ; but it is likely that, Those things which concern the Lord.] The Redeemer of having been kept in this sort of confinement for about two the world was to be represented as the Lord; as JESUS; years, and none appearing against him, he was released by and as the Christ. As the Lord, ó Kuplos, the sole poten- | the imperial order. tate, upholding all things by the word of his power, goveris. Concerning the time, place, and manner of his death, we bare ing the world and the church ; having all things under his little certainty. It is commonly believed that, wlien a general control; and all his enemies under his feet; in short, the persecution was raised against the Christians by Nero, about maker and upholder of all things; and the judge of all men. A. D. 64. under pretence that they had set Rome on fire, that As Jesus—the Saviour; he who saves, delivers, and pre- | both St. Paul and St, Peter then sealed the truth with their serves : and especially he who saves his people from their blood; the latter being crucified with his head downward; sins. For the explanation of the word Jesus, see the note the former boing beheaded, either in A. D. 64 or 65. and on John i. 17. As Christthe same as Messiah ; both signi- || was buried in the Via Ostia. EUSEBIUS, Ilisi, Eccles. lib. ji. fying the Anointed; he who was appointed by the Lord to cap. 25. intimates, that the tombs of these two apostles, with this great and glorious work ; who had the Spirit without their inscriptions, were extant in his time; and quotes as his measure, and who unoints, communicates the gifts and graces authority, a holy man of the name of Caius, who wrote of that Spirit to all true believers. St. Paul taught the against the sect of the Cataphrygians, who has asserted this things which concerned or belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ. as from his personal knowledge. See Eusebius, by Reading He proved him to be the Messiah foretold by the prophets, vol.i. p. 83; and see Dr. Lardner, in his life of this apostle, and expected by the Jews; he spoke of what he does as the who examines this account with his usual perspicuity and Lord, what he does as Jesus, and what he does as Christ. candour. Other writers have been more particular concern. These contain the sum and substance of all that is called the ing his death : they say that it was not by the command of Gospel of Christ. Yet, the things which concern the Lord Nero that he was martyred, but by that of the pra fects of Jesus Christ, necessarily include the whole account of his the city, Nero being then absent: that he was beheaded at incarnation, preaching in Judea ; miracles, persecutions, pas- Aquæ Salviæ, about threo miles from Rome, on Feb. 22. sion, death, burial, resurrection, uscension, intercession, and that he could not be crucified as Peter was, because he was a his sending down the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit.freeman of the city of Rome. But there is great uncertainty These were the subjects on which the apostle preached for on these subjects; so that we cannot positively rely on any two whole years, during his imprisonment at Rome.

account that even the ancients have transmitted to us conWith all confulence.] Ilappy,ales, liberty of speech; per cerning the death of this apostle; and much less on the acsect freedom to say all he pleased, and when he pleased. He counts given by the moderns; and least of all, on those which had the fullest toleration from the Roman government to are to be found in the Martyrologists. Whether Paul ever preach as he pleased, and what he pleased ; and the un- returned after this to Rome, has not yet been satisfactorily believing Jews had no power to prevent him.

prored. It is probable that he did, and suffered death there, It is supposed, that it was during this residence at Rome as stated above : but still we have no certainty. that he converted Onesimus, and sent him back to his master Philemon, with the Epistle which is still extant. And it is There are several subscriptions to this book in diferent from ver. 23 and 24, of that Epistle, that we learn that Paul Munuscripts : these are the principal.-- The Acts of the had then with him Epaphras, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Apostles-- The Acts of the Holy Apostles-- The end of the and Luke.

Acts of the lloly Apostles, written by Luke the evangelist, Here St. Luke's account of Paul's travels and sufferings and fellow-traveller of the illustrious apostle Paul-By the ends : and, it is probable, that this history was written holy apostle and evangelist Luke, &c. &c. soon after the end of the two years, mentioned in ver. 30. The l'ersions are not less various in their subscriptious:

General observations on the

THE ACTS.

book of the Acts of the Apostles.

The end of the Acts, that is, the History of the Holy for a man to have published a history of such things so early Apostles. SYRIAC.

as St. Luke wrote, (that is, while some of the apostles, and Under the auspices, and help of God, the book of the Acts many other persons were alive, who were concerned in the of the pure Apostles is finished; whom we humbly supplicate transactions which he has recorded,) if his account had not to obtain us mercy by all their prayers.--- Amen. And may been punctually true, could have been only to have exposed praise be ascribed to God, the Lord of the universe. ARABIC. himself to an easy confutation and certain infamy.

This (book) of the Acts of the Apostles, which has been “ As, therefore, the Acts of the Apostles are, in themselves, by many translated into the Roman tongue is translated from consistent and uniform, the incidental things agreeable to the the Roman and Greek tongue into the Æthiopic.Æthiopic. best ancient historians which have come down to us; and the

On the nature and importance of the Acts of the Apostles, main facts supported and confirmed by the other books of see what is said in the Preface to this Book. To which may the New Testament, and by the unanimous testimony of so be added the following observations, taken from the conclu- many of the ancient fathers, we may, I think, very fairly, sion of Dr. Dodd's Commentary.

and with great justness, conclude that, if any history of “ The plainness and simplicity of the narration are strong former times deserves credit, the Acts of the Apostles ought circumstances in its favour; the writer appears to have been to be received and credited ; and, if the history of the Acts very honest and impartial, and to have set down, very fairly, of the Apostles be true, Christianity cannot be false : for a the objections which were made to Christianity, both by doctrine, so good in itself, and attended with so many mira. Jews and Heathens, and the reflections which enemies cast culous and Divine testimonies, has all the possible marks of a upon it, and upon the first preachers of it. He has like-true revelation.” wise, with a just and honest freedom, mentioned the weak On St. Paul's character and conduct, see the Observations nesses, faults, and prejudices, both of the apostles and their at the end of chap. ix. where the subject is particularly converts. There is a great and remarkable harmony between considered. the occasional hints dispersed up and down in St. Paul's The Book of the Acts is not only a llistory of the Church, Epistles, and the facts recorded in this history ; insomuch, as the most ancient and most impartial, as it is the most authentic that, it is generally acknowledged, that the history of the extant; but it is also a History of God's Grace and ProActs is the best clưe to guide us in the studying of the vidence. The manner in which he has exerted himself in Epistles written by that apostle. The other parts of the favour of Christianity, and of the persons who were originally New Testament do likewise agree with this history, and give employed to disseminate its doctrines, shew us the highest great confirmation to it; for the doctrines and principles | marks of the Divine approbation. Had not that cause been are every where uniformly the same; the conclusions of the of God, could he have so signally interposed in its behalf? Gospels contain brief account of those things which are would he have wrought such a series of miracles for its promore particularly related in the beginning of the Acts. And pagation and support? And would all its genuine professor there are frequent intimations in other parts of the Gospels, have submitted to sustain the loss of all things, had not his that such an effusion of the Spirit was expected; and that, | own Spirit, by its consolations in their hearts, given them to with a view to the very design which the apostles and pri- | feel that his favour was better than life? initive Christians are said to have carried on, by virtue of That the hardships suffered by the primitive Apostles and that extraordinary effusion which Christ poured out upon his Christians were great, the facts themselves related in this Book, disciples after his ascension : and, finally, the Epistles of the sufficiently declare : that their consolation and happiness were other apostles, as well as those of St. Paul, plainly suppose abundant, the cheerful manner in which they met and sustained such things to have happened as are related in the Acts of the those hardships, demonstrates. Ile who cordially embraced Apostles ; so that the history of the Acts is one of the most Christianity, found himself so loser by it; if he lost earthly important parts of the sacred history, for neither the Gospels good in consequence, it was infinitely over-balanced by the nor Epistles could have been so clearly understood without spiritual good which he received. Paul himself, who suffered it; but by the help of it the whole scheme of the Christian most, had this compensated by superabounding happiness. revelation is set before us in an easy and manifest view. Wherever the gospel comes, it finds nothing but darkness, silt,

“ Even the incidental things mentioned by St. Luke are and misery; wherever it is received, it communicates light, so exactly agreeable to all the accounts which remain of the holiness, and felicity. Reader, magnify thy God and Saviour, he:t ancient historians, among the Jews and heathens, that who hath called thee to such a state of salvation. Should no person who had forged such a history, in later ages, I thou neglect it, how grievous must thy punishment be! Not could have had that external confirmation, but would have only receive its doctrines as a system of wisdom and goodbetrayed himself by alluding to some customs or opinionsness; but receive them as motives of conduct; and as a rule since sprung up; or by misrepresenting some circumstance, or of life: and shew thy conscientious belief of them, by holding using some phrase or expression not then in use. The plea the truth in righteousness; and thus adorn these doctrines of of forgery, therefore, in later ages, cannot be allowed ; and, Il God thy Saviour, in all things.-- Ancn.

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