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The advice of Gamaliel is

THE ACTS.

agreed to by the council.

30

A. D. cir. 30.

cir. CCII. 2.

cir. CCII.2.

A. M.cir. 4084. themselves : who was slain ; and all, counsel or this work be of men, it will A. M.cir. 1034. An. Olymp. as many as * obeyed him, were scat- come to nought:

An. Olymp. tered, and brought to nought.

39 · But if it be of God, ye cannot 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in overthrow it ; lest haply ye be found even to the days of the taxing, and drew away much fight against God. people after him : he also perished ; and all, 40 And to him they agreed : and when they even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. had o called the apostles, and beaten them,

38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from they commanded that they should not speak in these men, and let them alone : "for if this the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Or, believod. Prov. 21. 80. Isai. 8. 10. Matt. 15. 13.-_ Luke

21.15. 1 Cor. 1. 25.

a Ch. 7.51. & 9.5. & 23.9. ch. 4. 18. Matt. 10. 17. & 23. 34.

Mark 13. 9.

doubt well known, and there were no doubts formed on it and not his blessing. He whose name is prostituted by it, by the Jewish council. We see plainly the end for which it will vindicate his injured honour, and avenge himself. was produced ; and we see that it answered this end most Verse 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it] amply; and certainly we have no farther concern with Because his counsel cannot fail ; and his work cannot be Gamaliel or his story.

counteracted. If he be determined that this doctrine shall Boasting himself to be somebody] Asywv Elvai TIVE ÉQUTOY, prevail, it is vain for us to attempt to suppress it. saying that he was a great personage, i. e. according to the Lest haply ye be foundto fight against God.) MyTOTE XQ! supposition of Bp. Pearce, setting himself up to be King of QE9LK YOu eupe bryte. Some have thought that they saw a paral. the Jews, see the preceding note. After łautor himself, layar lel to these words in the speech of Diomede, when seeing great one, is added by several very respectable MSS. and Murs associated with Hector, oppose the Grecians, he judged Versions.

farther opposition vain, and desired his troops to retire from Verse 37. Judas of Galilee] Concerning Judas of Galilee the battle. Rabbi Abraham in Jucasin, fol. 139. writes thus, “ In this Τω δ' αιει παρα εις γε θεων, ος λοιγον αμυνει: time there were three sects : for besides the Pharisees and Και νυν οι παρα κεινος Αρης, βρoτα ανδρι εοικως. Sadducees, Judas of Galilee began another sect, which Αλλα προς Τρωας τετραμμενοι αιεν οπισσω was called Essenes. They caused the Jews to rebel against Εικετε, μηδε Θεοις μενεαινεμεν ιφι μαχεσθαι. the Romans, by asserting that they should not obey strangers;

Iliad. lib. v. 603. nor call any one Lord (or Governor), but the holy blessed Protected always by some power divine ; God above.” Rabbi Abraham makes a mistake here, the And Mars attends this moment at his side Essenes existed long before the days of Judas of Galilee ;

In form a man.

Ye therefore still retire, but it is very possible that he might have been one of that But facing still your foes : nor battle wage sect. Josephus mentions the insurrection made by Judas of Ilowever fierce, yet fruitless, with the Gods. Galilee, Ant. lib. xviii. cap. 1. and says it was when Cyrenius

CowPER. was governor of Syria, see the note on Luke ii. 2. Bp. Pearce Verse 40. To him they agreed] That is, not to slay the supposes that there were two atoy paour taxations or enroll- | apostles, nor to attempt any farther to imprison them; but ments; and that the one mentioned here, took place ten years their malevolence could not be thus easily satisfied; and after that mentioned in Luke ii. He observes also in con- therefore they beat them, probably gave each of them thirtyformity with the note on the preceding verse, that the Judas nine stripes ; and having commanded them not to speak in the mentioned here, was not only different from that Judas or name of Jesus, they let them go. It was of Jesus they were Theudas spoken of before, but that his pretence for rebellion afraid : not of the apostles. They plainly saw, that if the was different, the former wished to have the empire of Judea; doctrine of Christ was preached, it must prevail : and if it the latter only maintained that it was base and sinful to obey prevailed, they must come to nought. It was a wise saying a heuthen governor.

of the Popish Bishops in the time of Queen Mary : If we do Verse 38. Refrain from these men] Do not molest them, not put down this PRINTING, it will put us down. They leave them to God : for if this counsel and work be of man | laboured to put down the printing, but they could not ; and it will come to nought, like the rebellion of Theudas, and under God the printing, by exposing the wickedness of their that of Judas of Galilee : for whatever pretends to be done doctrine and practices, and especially by multiplying copies in the name of God, but is not of him, will bave his curse of the New Testament, did most effectually put them down.

The daily employment of

CHAP, VI.

the primitive disciples.

A.M.cir. 1034.
A. D. cir. 30.

A. D. cir. 30.

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41 I And they departed from the 42 And daily in the temple and in A. M. cir. 4034 An. Olymp. presence of the council, ` rejoicing | every house, they ceased not to An. Olymp. cir. Ccil. 2.

that they were counted worthy to teach and preach Jesus Christ. suffer shame for his name.

cir. CCII.2.

* Matt. 5. 12. Rom. 5. 3. 2 Cor. 12. 10. Phil. 1. 29. Hebr. 10. 31.

James 1. 2. 1 Pet. 4. 13, 16.-~ch. 2. 46.ch. 4. 20, 29.

Verse 41. Rejoicing that they were counted worthy, &c.] anity, should in this respect also, copy their conduct: nor The whole verse may be read thus : But they departed rejoic can any man be considered to have any religion, let his sentiing from the presence of the sanhedrin, because they were ments be what they may, who does not attend on the public deemed worthy to be dishonoured on account of THE NAME. roorship of his Maker. The word autou his, is omitted by ABCD. several others; They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus.] Far from Erpen's Syriac, and the Coptic. The name, probably by this desisting, they became more zealous, yea, incessant in their time, distinguished both the author of salvation and the work. They took advantage of the public assemblies in the sacred system of doctrine which the apostles preached. To temple, as well as of all private opportunities to teach all the rejoice in persecution, and triumph in the midst of pain, I truths of their holy religion ; and to preach, proclaim Jesus shame, disgrace, and various threatened deaths, is the privi as the only Messiah, that he who was crucified, rose from lege of the New Testament. Nothing of this kind as far as the dead, and was exalted a Prince and a Saviour at the right I can recollect, appears even in the choicest saints, under the hand of God. How little must these men have regarded their Old Testament dispensation. Some of them fretted and lives, who in the midst of such danger could pursue a line of mourned, and sometimes even murmured; some merely pos conduct which to all human views, must terminate in their sessed their souls in patience; Christians exulted and triumphed ruin. They loved their Master, they loved his work, they in the God of their salvation. This is no mean proof of the loved their thankless country-men, they loved their present additional light and evidence which the New Testament dis- || wages, persecution and stripes : and hated nothing but their pensation affords.

own lives! These men were proper persons to be employed Verse 42. Daily in the temple] That is, at the hours of in converting the world. Preachers of the gospel, look at morning and evening prayer ; for they felt it their duty to those men, and learn at once your duty, your employment, worship God in public, and to help others to make a profit and your interest. Live and preach like apostles, and God able use of the practice. Every man that professes Christi will crown your labours with similar success.

CHAPTER VI. The Hellenistic Jews complain against the Hebrews, that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration, 1.

To remedy the evil complained of, the apostles appoint seven deacons to superintend the temporal affairs of the church, 2–6. The progress of the word of God in Jerusalem, 7. Stephen one of the deacons, becomes very eminent, and confounds various Jews of the Synagogues of the Libertines, &c. 8—10. They suborn false witnesses against him, lo get him put to death, 11-14. He appears before the council with an angelic

countenance, 15. A.M.cir. 4035.

ND in those days, when the of the "Grecians against the Hebrews, A. M.cir. 4035. A. D. cir. 31. An. Olymp. number of the disciples was

was because their widows were neglected An. Olymp. cir. CCII. 3.

multiplied, there arose a murmuring ||° in the daily ministration.

A

A. D. cir. 31.

cir. CCII. 3.

• Ch. 2. 41. & 4. 4. & 5. 14. ver. 7.

» Ch. 9. 29. & 11. 20ch. 4. 35.

NOTES ON CHAP. VI.

probably in general, knew no other. They are distinguished Verse 1. A murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews] here from those called Hebrews, by which we are to underThose who are here termed Grecians, 'Erazviotas, or Hel- stand native Jews, who spoke what was then termed, the lenists, were Jews who sojourned now at Jerusalem, but Hebrew language, a sort of Chaldaio-syriac. lived in countries where the Greek language was spoken, and

It has been remarked that Greek words ending in ioTMS,

The twelve apostles counsel the

THE ACTS.

disciples to choose seven deacons.

A. D. cir. 31.

ye out

A. M. cir. 403. 2 Then the twelve called the multi- | 3 Wherefore, brethren, blook
An. Olymp. tude of the disciples unto them, and among you seven men of honest re-

said, 'It is not reason that we should port, full of the Holy Ghost and wisleave the word of God, and serve tables. dom, whom we may appoint over this business.

A.M.cir. 4035.

A. D. cir. 31. An. Olymp cir. CCII. 3.

cir. CCII.3.

a Exod. 18. 17.

► Deut. 1. 13. ch. 1. 21. & 16. 2. 1 Tim. 3. 7.

imply inferiority. 'Exayves Hellenes, was distinguished from day of service; and then there would be a superintendent for Enota: the former imply pure Greeks, nalive Greeks, these widows, &c. for each day of the week. who spoke the Greek tongue in its purity : and the latter, Of honest report] Maptupouuerous, persons to whose characJews or others sojourning among the Greeks, but who spoke ter there is authentic testimony, well known, and accredited. the Greek language according to the Hebrew idiom. Pytha Full of the Holy Ghost] Saved into the Spirit of the goras divided his disciples into two classes ; those who were gospel dispensation; and made partakers of that Holy Ghost capable of entering into the spirit and mystery of his doctrine by which the soul is sanctified, and endued with those graces be called Mugayopenon, Pythagoreans : those who were of a which constitute the mind that was in Christ. different cast, he termed Ilu Gayopiotal, Pythagorists, the And wisdom Prudence, discretion and economy; for former were eminent and worthy of their master; the latter mere piety and uprightness could not be sufficient, where so only so so. The same distinction is made between those called many must be pleased, and where frugality, impartiality, and ATTIVOUS, and ATTIXIOTAS Attics and Atticists ; the pure and liberality, must ever walk hand in hand. less pure Greeks, as between those called Enamas and Exay Whom we may appoint] Instead of XZTACTYOWusy we may VOTAS, Hellenes and Hellenists, pure Greeks and Græcising | appoint, xatarTTO QUEy we shall appoint, is the reading of Jews. See Jamblicus De Vit. Pyth. cap. 18. and Schottgen | ABCDE. and several others. It makes however, very little on this place.

difference in the sense. The cause of the murmuring mentioned here seems to have

Verse 4. We will give ourselves continually to prayer] been this : When all the disciples had put their property into II pooxaptepro oplev we will steadfastly and invariably attend, a common stock, it was intended that out of it, each should we will carefully keep our hearts to this work. The word is have his quantum of supply. The foreign or Hellenistic Jews very emphatic. began to be jealous, that their widows were neglected in the To prayer-See this defined Matt. vi. 5. Even apostles, daily ministration, that they either had not their proportion, could not live without prayer ; they had no independent graces; or were not duly served; the Palestine Jews being partial to what they had, could not be retained without an increase ; those of their own country. This shews that the community and for this increase they must make prayer and supplication, of goods could never have been designed to become general. depending continually on their God. Indeed it was no ordinance of God; and in any. 'state of Ministry of the reord. Alarovie TOU 2o you, the deaconship society, must be in general, impracticable. The apostles of the word. The continual proclamation of the Gospel of hearing of this murmuring, came to the resolution mentioned their Lord, and to make this effectual to the souls of the below.

hearers, they must continue in prayer : a minister who does Verse 2. It is not reason] Oux aÇECTOV EOTI, it is not not pray much, studies in vain. pleasing, proper or fitting, that we should leave the word The office of deacon dianoros, came to the Christian from God, that we should give up ourselves, or confide to others, the Jewish church. Every Synagogue had at least three the doctrine of salvation which God has commanded us to deacons, which were called dioins parnasim, from 0373 preach unto the people.

parnes, to feed, nourish, support, govern. The ona parnas And serve tables.] Become providers of daily bread for or deacon, was a sort of judge in the Synagogue : and in your widows and poor : others can do this, to whom our each, doctrine and wisdom were required, that they might be important office is not intrusted.

able to discern and give right judgment in things, both sacred Verse 3. Wherefore-look ye out among you seven men] and civil. The pin chazan, and unw shamash, were also a Choose persons in whom ye can all confide, who will dis- | sort of deacons. The first was the priest's deputy; and the tribute the provisions impartially, and in due time; and let || last was in some cases, the deputy of this deputy, or the subthese persons be the objects of the choice both of the Hebrews deacon. In the New Testament the apostles are called deacons, and Hellenists, that all cause of murmuring and discontent 2 Cor. vi. 4. Eph. iii. 7. Coloss. i. 23. see also 2 Cor. xi. 15. may be done away. Though seven was a sacred number among Christ himself the shepherd and bishop of souls, is called the the Jews, yet there does not appear to be any mystery in deacon of the circumcision, neyw de Xpictoy Iycoux Olaxorox tended here. Probably the seven men were to take each his yeyevrogas nepiTouns. Rom. xv. 8. As the word implies to

The qualifications and

CHAP. VI.

names of those deacons.

A. D. cir. 31.

A. D. cir. 31.

cir. CCII. 3.

cir. CCII. 3.

A.M.cir. 4035. A But we

4 But we will give ourselves con- Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, A. M. cir. 4035. An. Olymp. tinually to prayer, and to the ministry and Parmenas, and " Nicolas a pro An. Olymp. of the word.

selyte of Antioch: 5 I And the saying pleased the whole multi 6 Whom they set before the apostles : and tude : and they chose Stephen, a man full of when they had prayed, they laid their hands faith and of the Holy Ghost, and · Philip, and on them.

• Ch. 2. 42.

25 ch. 11. 24.

Le ch. 8. 5. 26. & 21.8.- Rev. 2.6, 15.
. ch. 1. 24.

i Ch. 8. 17. & 9. 17. & 13. 3. 1 Tim. 4. 14. & 5. 22.

2 Tim. 1. 6.

minister or serre, it was variously applied, and pointed out all who had principally the care of the women ; and visited and those who were employed in helping the bodies or souls of men;' ministered to them in those circumstances in which it would whether apostles, bishops, or those whom we call deacons have been improper for a deacon to attend. They also assisted Some remark, that there were two orders of deacons: 1.A.QXONOo in preparing the female candidates for baptism. TTS TEATEErs, deacons of the TABLE, whose business it was to At present, the office for which the seven deacons were take care of the alms collected in the church, and distribute 'appointed, is, in the church of England, filled by the them among the poor, widows, &c. 2. Alaxovot TOU doyou, church-wardens and overseers of the poor: in other churches deacons of the WORD, whose business it was to preach and and religious societies, by elders, stewards, &c. chosen by variously instruct the people. It seems that after the persecu. the people, and appointed by the minister. tion raised against the apostolic church, in consequence of Verse 5. Stephen, a man full of faith and of the lloly Ghost] which they became dispersed, the deaconship of tables ceased, A person every way properly fitted for his work, and thus as did also the community of goods ; and Philip who was one qualified to be the first martyr of the Christian church. of these deacons, who at first served tables, betook himself Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch] A heathen Greek, who entirely to preaching of the word, see chap. viii. 4, &c. In had not only believed in the God of Israel, but had also rethe primitive church, it is sufficiently evident that the deaconsceived circumcision; and consequently, was a proselyte of gave the bread and wine in the Eucharist to the believers in the covenant : for had he been only a proselyte of the gate, the church ; and carried it to those who were absent. Just.' the Jews could not have associated with him. On the word Mar. Apol. ii. p. 162. they also preached, and in some cases proselyte, see the note on Exod. xii. 43. As this is the only administered baptism. See Suicer on the words Alexovos, proselyte mentioned here, we may presume that all the rest Κηρυσσω, and Βαπτισμα. But it appears they did the two were native Jews. From this Nicolas, it is supposed that last by the special authority of the bishop. In the ancient the sect called Nicolaitans, mentioned Rev. ii. 6, 15. derived Roman church, and in the Romish church, the number of their origin. Dr. Lightfoot doubts this, and rather inclines seven deacons, in imitation of those appointed by the apostles, to derive the name " from 852043 nicola, let us eat together; was kept up; and in the council of Neocæsaræa it was decreed those brutes encouraging each other to eat meats offered to that this number should never be exceeded, even in the largest idols, like those in Isai. xxii. 13. who said, let us eat flesh cities; vide Concil. Neocæsar. Canon. xiv. Other churches and drink wine, &c.” Both Irenæus and Epiphanius derive varied this number; and the church of Constantinople had this sect from Nicolas the deacon.. Clemens Alexandrinus not less than one hundred. Deacons were ordained by the gives this Nicolas a good character, even while he allows bishops, by imposition of hands. None was ordained deacon that the sect who taught the community of wives, pretended till he was twenty-five years of age, and we find that it was to derive their origin from him. See on Rev. ii. 6. lawful for them to have wives. See Suicer under the word Verse 6. And when they had prayed] Instead of xai and, Alaxoros, and see the note on Matt. xx. 26.

the Codex Bezæ reads Otives who, referring the act of praying In the church of England, (the purest and nearest to the to the apostles, which removes a sort of ambiguity. The apostolic model in doctrine and discipline of all national apostles prayed for these persons, that they might in every churches) a deacon receives ordination by the imposition of respect be qualified for their office, and be made successful the hands of a bishop, in consequence of which he can preach,' in it. And when they had done this, they laid their hands assist in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and in general upon them; and by this rite, appointed them to their office. perform any sacred office except consecrating the elements, So then, it plainl« appears that the choice of the church was and pronouncing the absolution. No person in this church not sufficient : not did the church think it sufficient ; but as can be ordained deacon, till he be twenty-three years of age, they knew their own members best, the apostles directed unless by dispensation from the Abp. of Canterbury. There them, ver. 3. to choose those persons whom they deemed best were deaconesses both in the apostolic and primitive churchqualified according to the criterion laid down by the apostles

The word of God increases,

THE ACTS.

and several priests are converted.

b

A. D. cir. 31.

A.M.cic. 4035. 7 1 And the word of God in- | greatly; and a great company

of A.M.cir. 4035. A. D. cir. 31. An. Olymp. creased ; and the number of the the priests were obedient to the An. Olymp.

disciples multiplied in Jerusalem | faith.

cir. CCII. 3.

cir. CCII. 3.

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men,

themselves, that they should be of honest report, and full of members in a church, presume to authorize such a person, the Holy Ghost and wisdom. Let us examine the process of though in every way qualified to preach the gospel ; for even this business. 1. There was an evident necessity that there the 120 primitive disciples did not arrogate this to themselves. should be more helpers in this blessed work. 2. The apostles | 7. Let the person be brought to those, to whom God has called the disciples together, that they might consider of this given authority in the church ; and let them, after most sonecessity, and provide for it, ver. 3. 3. They directed the lemnly invoking God, lay their hands upon him, according disciples to choose out, from among themselves, such persons to the primitive and apostolic plan, and thus devote him to as they judged the most proper for the work. 4. They gave the work of the ministry. 8. Let such an one from that them the criterion, by which their choice should be directed ; 1 moment consider himself the property of God and his church, not any man, not every man, not their nearest relative, or and devote all his time, talents, and powers, to convert sinbest beloved friend; but such as were of honest report, whose ners, and build up believers in their most holy faith. public character was known to be unblemished ; and men, || 9. And let the church of God consider such a person as lewho were full of the Holy Ghost, the influence of which gitimately and divinely sent; and receive him as the ambaswould keep all right within, and direct their hearts into all sador of Christ. truth; and who were known to be men of prudence Verse 7. The word of God increased] By such preachers and economy, for not every good and pious man may be pro- as the apostles and these deacons, no wonder the doctrine of per for such a work. 5. Seven persons being chosen by the God increased, became widely diffused and generally known; disciples according to this criterion, are presented to the in consequence of which, the number of the disciples must apostles for their approbation and confirmation. 6. The be greatly multiplied : for God will ever bless his own word, apostles, receiving them from the hands of the church, con when ministered by those whom he has qualified to prosecrated them to God by prayer, imploring his blessing on claim it. them and their labour. 7. When this was done, they laid A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.] their hands upon them in the presence of the disciples, and This was one of the greatest miracles wrought by the grace thus appointed them to this sacred and important work; for of Christ : that persons so intent on the destruction of it is evident they did not get their commission merely to Christ, his apostles, and his doctrine, should at last espouse serre tables, but to proclaim, in connexion with and under that doctrine, is astonishing; and that they who had withthe direction of the apostles, the word of life. Let no man stood the evidence of the miracles of Christ, should have say, that any of the things here enumerated was unnecessary; yielded to the doctrine of his death and resilrrection, is and let no church pretend or affect to do without them. worthy of note. And from this we may learn, that it is not 1. No preacher or minister should be provided till there is a by miracles that sinners are to be converted unto God, but place for him to labour in, and necessity for his labour. 2. by the preaching of Christ dying for their offences, and rising Let none be imposed upon the church of Christ, who is not again for their justification. of that church; well known and fully approved by that Instead of 'Iepewy priests, a few MSS. and the Syriac, read branch of it with which he was connected. 3. Let none be loudawwJews ; for the copyists seem to be struck here with sent to publish salvation from sin, and the necessity of a two difficulties. 1. That such persons as these priests could koly life, whose moral character cannot bear the strictest be converted. 2. That the word ox nos company, or multiscrutiny among his neighbours and acquaintance. 4. Let tude, could with propriety be applied to this class, which none, however moral, or well reported of, be sent to con must have been inconsiderable in their numbers, when comvert souls, who has not the most solid reason to believe that pared with the rest of the Jews. To preserve the ancient he is moved thereto by the Holy Ghosts 5. Let those who reading, which is undoubtedly genuine, some have altered have the power to appoint, see that the person be a man of the text by conjecture ; and by putting a comma after oxiosa wisdom, i. e. sound understanding ; for a mitling or a block- || and a xzı before twv iepewy, make the text read thus : And head, however upright, will never make a Christian minis- | a great multitude, and some of the priests, were obedient to ter: and that he be a man of prudence, knowing how to di- || the faith. This conjecture is unnecessary, as there is no such rect his own concerns, and those of the church of God, with difliculty here, as to require so desperate an expedient, which discretion. 6. Let no private person, nor number of private is not recommended by the evidence of a single MS. or Ver

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