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Peter is instructed by

CHAP. X.

a remarkable vision.

.

A. D. cir. 41.

ci. CCV.1.

A. D.cir. 41. great sheet knit at the four corners, 17 I Now while Peter doubted in A. M. cir. 4015.
An. Olymp. and let down to the earth :

himself what this vision which he

An. Olymp. 12 Wherein were all manner of had seen should mean, behold, the

behold, the cir. ccv. 1. four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, men which were sent from Cornelius had made and creeping things, and fowls of the air. enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Pe-the gate, ter; kill, and eat.

18 And called, and asked whether Simon, 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord ; ' for I have which surnamed Peter, were lodged never eaten any thing that is common or un-| there? clean.

19 While Peter thought on the vision, the 15 And the voice spake unto him again the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek second time, What God hath cleansed, that thee. call not thou common.

20 · Arise, therefore, and get thee down, and 16 This was done thrice : and the vessel was go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent received up again into heaven.

them.

was

: Lev. 11.4. & 20.25. Deut. 14.3,7. Ezek. 4. 14.

Matt. 15. 11. ver. 28.

Rom. 14.14, 17, 20. 1 Cor. 10.25. 1 Tim. 4.4. Tit. 1.15.—ch.11.12 ch.15.7.

Verse 12. All manner of four-footed beasts, &c.] Every | crifice is prepared : go and offer it to God, and let thy soul
species of quadrupeds, whether wild or domestic; all reptiles, feed on the fruits of his mercy and goodness, in thus shewing
and all fowls. Consequently, both the clean and unclean were his gracious design of saving both Jews and Gentiles by Christ
present in this visionary representation : those that the Jewish crucified.”
law allowed to be sacrificed to God, or proper for food ; as Verse 14. Common or unclean.] By common, xoivov, what-
well as those which that law had prohibited in both cases : ever was in general use among the Gentiles, is to be under-
such as the beasts, that do not chew the cud ; fish, which stood; by axalaptov, unclean, every thing that was forbidden
have no scales ; fowls of prey, and such others as are speci. || by the Mosaic law. However, the one word may be con-
fied in Ler. xi. where see the notes.

sidered as explanatory of the other. The Rabbins them-
Verse 13. Rise, Peter; kill and eat.] ugoy nai caye, sa-selves, and many of the primitive Fathers, believed that by
crifice and eat. Though this verb is sometimes used to sig- the unclean animals forbidden by the law, the Gentiles were
nify the slaying of animals for food; yet, as the proper no meant.
tion is to slay for the purpose of sacrifice, it appears to me

Verse 15. What God hath cleansed] God, who made at to be better to preserve that meaning here. Animals that first the distinction between Jews and Gentiles, has a right were offered in sacrifice, were considered as given to God; || to remove it, whenever and by whatever means he pleases : and when he received the life, the ilesh was given to those he, therefore, who made the distinction for wise purposes, who offered the sacrifice that they might feed upon it: and between the clean and the unclean, now pronounces all to every sacrifice had in it the nature of a covenant ; and cove be clean. He had authority to do the first; he has authority nants were usually made by eating together on the flesh of to do the last. God has purposed that the Gentiles shall the sacrifice offered on the occasion; God being supposed to have the gospel preached to them : what he therefore has be invisibly present with them, and partaking of the feast.cleansed, “ that, call not thou common.The Jews and Gentiles are certainly represented by the clean Verse 16. This was done thrice] For the greater cerand unclean animals in this large vessel : these, by the mi- tainty, and to make the deeper impression on the apostle's nistry of the gospel, were to be offered up a spiritual sacri- | mind. fice to God. Peter was to be a prime instrument in this And the vessel was received up again into heaven.] Both work; he was to offer them to God, and rejoice in the work | Jews and Gentiles came equally from God; and to him, of his hands. The spirit of the heavenly direction seems to both, by the preaching of the gospel, shall again return. be this : “ The middle wall of partition is now to be pulled

Verse 17. While Peter doubtedthe mennstood before down; the Jews aud Gentiles are called to become one flock, || the gate] In all this we find an admirable display of the under one shepherd and bishop of souls. Thou, Peter, shalt æconomy of Providence. Cornelius prays and has a vision open the door of faith to the Gentiles, and be also the mi which prepares him to receive instruction from Peter: Peter nister of the circumcision. Rise up; already a blessed sa prays, and has a vision which prepares and disposes him to

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The servants of Cornelius

THE ACTS.

come to Joppa :

A.M. cir. 4045.
A. D. cir. 41.

A. D. cir.41.

cir. CCV.1.

21 Then Peter went down to the 23 Then called he them in, and A.M.cir.1045. An. Olymp. men which were sent unto him from lodged them. And on the morrow

An. Olymp. Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he Peter went away with them, and cir.ccv. 1. whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. are come ?

24 And the morrow after they entered into 22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a Cæsarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and just man, and one that feareth God, and of good had called together his kinsmen and near report among all the nation of the Jews, was friends. warned from God by a holy angel, to send 25 I And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius for thee into his house; and to hear words of met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipthee.

ped him.

• Ver. 1, 2, &c. ch. 22. 12.

• Ver. 45. ch. 11. 12.

give instruction to Cornelius. While he is in doubts and per the simple relation which they had received from their masplexity what the full meaning of the vision might be, the ter. For the character of Cornelius, see the comment on messengers, who had been dispatched under the guidance of verse 2. an especial Providence, came to the door; and the Holy Spi To hear words of thee.] But of what kind they could not rit gives him information that his doubts should be all cleared as yet tell. up, by accompanying the men who were now enquiring for Verse 23. Then called he them in, &c.] They had alhim. How exactly does every thing in the conduct of Pro- ready walked a long journey in a short time, and needed revidence occur: and how completely is every thing adapted to freshment; and it was thought expedient that they should rest time, place, and occasion! all is in weight, measure, and

that night with Simon the tanner. number. Those simple occurrences, which men snatch at,

Certain brethren from Joppa] They were six in number, and press into the service of their own wishes, and call them as we learn from chap. xi. 12. It was necessary that there providential openings, may, indeed, be links of a providential should be several witnesses of the important transactions chain, in reference to some other matter; but unless they be which were about to take place; as on no slight evidence, found to speak the same language in all their parts, occur. would even the converted Jews believe, that repentance unto rence corresponding with occurrence; they are not to be life, and the Holy Spirit, should be granted to the Gentiles. construed as indications of the Divine will in reference to the Verse 24. His kinsmen and near friends.] Euryavels, claimants. Many persons, through these misapprehensions, his relatives, and avayxaious ginous, his necessary friends; miscarrying, have been led to charge God foolishly for the but the Syriac makes avaynalous an epithet, as well as cuyo unsuccessful issue of some business in which their passions, YEVELS,

and thus the passage may be read, his kinsmen, his donot his providence, prompted them to engage.

mestics, and his friends. It appears that he had collected the Verse 21. Which were sent unto him from Cornelius] whole circle of his intimate acquaintance, that they also This clause is wanting in almost every MS of worth; and in might profit by a revelation which he expected to come imalmost all the Versions.

mediately from heaven: and these amounted to many per. Behold, I am he whom ye seek] A sudden unexpected sons; see ver. 27. speech, like the address of Æneas to Dido; when the cloud Verse 25. Fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.] As in which he was involved, suddenly dissipated, and he ap- Peter's coming was announced by an angel, Cornelius might peared with the exclamation,

have supposed that Peter himself was an angel, and of a supe.

rior order; seeing he came to announce what the first angel was coram quem quæritis, adsum!

not employed to declare: it was probably, in consequence of Æn. lib. i. 595.

this thought, that he prostrated himself before Peter, offering What is the cause wherefore ye are come?] He still did him the highest act of civil respect; for there was nothing in not know the full import of the vision; but being informed the act, as performe I by Cornelius, which belonged to the wor. by the Holy Spirit, that three men were seeking him, and ship of the true God. Prostrations to superiors were comthat he should go with them, without scruple, he instantly mon in all Asiatic countries. The Codex Bezæ, and the lat. obeyed; and finding them at the door, desired to know why ter Syriac, in the margin, read this verse differently from all they sought him?

other MSS. and Versions; thus, But as Peter drezo nigh to Verse 22. Cornelius the centurion, &c.] They give him | Cæsared, one of the servants ran before, and told that he was

Peter accompanies

CHAP. X.

them to Cæsarea.

A.M. cir. 4045.
A. D. cir. 41.
An. Olymp.
cir. CCV, 1.

a

man.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, stood before me in bright clothing, A. M.cir. 1045Stand up; I myself also am a 31 And said, Cornelius, 'thy prayer An. Olymp.

is heard, and thine alms are had in cir.ccv. 1. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and remembrance in the sight of God. found many that were come together.

32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither 28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side ; to keep company, or come unto one of another who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. nation ; but God hath shewed me that I should 33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and not call any man common or unclean.

thou hast well done that thou art come. Now 29 Therefore came I unto you without gain- therefore are we all here present before God, saying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask there to hear all things that are commanded thee of fore, for what intent ye have sent for me? God.

30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was 34 [ Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter I prayed in my house, and, behold, 'a man, of persons :

* Ch. 14. 14, 15. Rev. 19. 10. & 22. 9. _ John 4.9. & 18. 28. cb. 11. 3. Gal. 2. 12, 14.- ch. 15. 8,9. Ephes. 3. 6.ch. 1. 10. Matt. 28. 3. Mark 16.5. Luke 24. 4.

* Ver. 4, &c. Dan. 10. 12. Hebr. 6. 10. - Deut. 10. 17. 2 Chron. 19. 7. Job 34. 19. Rom. 2. 11. Gal. 2. 6. Eph. 6. 9. Col. 3. 25. 1 Pet. 1. 17.

come: then Cornelius leaped up, and met him, and falling at ing; not that he had fasted four days together, as some suphis feet, he worshipped him. This is a very remarkable ad-, pose; for even if he did fast four days consecutively, he ate dition, and relates circumstances that we may naturally sup one meal on each day. It is however necessary to remark pose did actually take place.

that the word 27,5€uwv, fusting, is wanting in ABC. one other; Verse 26. I myself also um a man.] “ I am not an an- the Coptic, Æthiopic, Armenian, and l'ulgate : but it has gel; I am come to you simply on the part of God, to deliver not been omitted in any edition of the Greek Testament. to you the doctrine of eternal life.”

Verse 31. Thy prayer is heard] See the note on ver. 4. Verse 27. And as he talked with him] Cornelius had Cornelius prayed, fasted, and gave alms. It was in this way, met Peter at some short distance from his house, and they he looked for salvation; not to purchase it; a thought of this conversed together, till they went in.

kind does not appear to have entered into his mind; but Verse 28. Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing, &c.] these were the means he used to get his soul brought to the He addressed the whole company, among whom it appears, knowledge of the truth. The Reader must recollect, that in there were persons well acquainted with Jewish customs; the case of Cornelius, there was no open vision; he used the probably some of them were Jewish proselytes.

light and power which God had already given;, and behold But God hath shewed me, &c.] He now began to under- how mightily God increased his gifts! He that hath, i. e. that stand the import of the vision which he saw at Joppa. A uses what he has, shall receive ; and no man can expect any Gentile is not to be avoided, because he is a Gentile; God is increase of light or life, who does not improve the grace now taking down the partition wall which separated them already given. from the Jews.

Verse 33. Are we all here present before God] Instead Verse 29. I ask--for what intent ye have sent for me?] of before God, the Codex Bezæ, Syriac, Æthiopic, ArmePeter had been informed of this by the servants of Cornelius, || nian, and Vulgate, read before tuse. The people were all ver. 22. but as all the company might not have been informed waiting for the preacher, and every heart was filed with exof the circumstances, he, as it were, invites him to tell his pectation; they waited as before God, from whose messenger story afresh, that his friends, &c. might be the better pre- they were about to hear the words of life. pared to receive the truth, which he was about to dispense, in Verse 34. God is no respecter of persons] lle does not obedience to his divine commission.

esteem a Jew, because he is a Jew; nor does he detest a Verse 30. Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour] || Gentile, because he is a Gentile. It was a long and deeply It was then about three o'clock in the afternoon ; and it ap- rooted opinion among the Jews, that God never would expears that Cornelius had continued his fasts from three tend his favour to the Gentiles; and that the descendants of o'clock the preceding day to three o'clock the day follow- Il Jacob only, should enjoy his peculiar favour and benediction.

Peter preaches to Cornelius

THE ACTS.

and his company.

A.M.cir.4045.
A. D. cir. 41.

A. D. cir.41.

35 But in every nation, he that 36 The word which God sent unto the A.M.cir.4045 An. Olymp. feareth him, and worketh righteous- children of Israel, preaching peace An. Olymp. ness, is accepted with him.

by Jesus Christ : (he is Lord of all :)

ci. Cc7.1.

cir. Cc7.1.

• Ch. 15. 9. Rom. 2. 13, 27. & 3. 22, 29. & 10. 12, 13. 1 Cor. 12. 13. Gal. 3. 28. Eph. 2. 13, 18. & 3. 6. - Isai. 57. 19. Eph. 2. 14, 16, 17.

Col. 1. 2.- Matt. 28. 18. Rom. 10. 12. 1 Cor. 15. 27. Eph. 1. 20, 22. 1 Pet. 3. 22. Rev. 17. 14. & 19. 16.

Of this opinion was St. Peter, previously to the heavenly vi- neither believe in Jesus Christ, attend to his gospel, nor use sion mentioned in this chapter. He was now convinced that his ordinances ; for, if they fear God and work righteousGod wus no respecter of persons ; that as all must stand be- ness, they shall be infallibly accepted with him. Let such fore his judgment seat, to be judged according to the deeds know, that if they had been born, and still were living in a done in the body; so, no one nation or people, or individual, land where the light of the gospel had never shone, and were could expect to find a more favourable decision than another, there, conscientiously following the glimmering ray of cæles. who was precisely in the same moral state: for the phrase tial light which God had granted; they might, with some show respect of persons, is used in reference to unjust decisions in of reason, speak in this way ; but as they are born, and live a court of justice, where through favour, or interest, or bribe, under the gospel of Jesus Christ, God, the just Judge, will a culprit is acquitted ; and a righteous or innocent person con- require that they fear him, and work righteousness, ACCORDdemned. See Lev. xix. 15. Deut. i. 16, 17. and xvi. 19. ing to the light afforded by that very GOSPEL. The since. And as there is no iniquity (decisions contrary to equity) with rity, watching, praying, fasting, and alms-giving of Cornelius, God, so he could not shut out the pious prayers, sincere fast- will not be sufficient for them who, as it may be justly ing, and benevolent alms-giving of Cornelius ; because the said, live in splendors of Christianity. In such a state, God very spring whence they proceeded was his own grace and requires that a man shall love him with all his heart, soul, mercy. Therefore he could not receive even a Jew into his mind, and strength ; and his neighbour as himself. In the face favour (in preference to such a person,) who had either abused of such a requisition as this, how will the poor heuthen virtue his grace, or made a less godly use of it than this Gentile had of one, born in the pule of Christianity, appear? and if God done.

requires all this, will not a man need all the grace that has been Verse 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, dic.] brought to light by the revelation of Jesus Christ, to enable In every nation he, who according to his light and privileges, him to do it? fears God, worships him alone, (for this is the true meaning of Verse 36. The word which God sent, &c.] Few verses the word,) and worketh righteousness, abstains from all evil, in the New Testament have perplexed critics and divines gives to all their due, injures neither the body, soul, nor re more than this. The ancient copyists seem also to have been putation of his neighbour, is accepted with him. It is not puzzled with it; as the great variety in the different MSS. therefore the nation, kindred, profession, mode or form of sufficiently prove. A foreign critic makes a good sense by worship, that the just God regards; but the character, the connecting this with the preceding verse thus, In every nation state of heart, and the moral deportment. For what are pro- he that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted fessions, &c. in the sight of that God who trieth spirits, with him, according to that doctrine which God sent unto the and by whom actions are weighed! He looks for the grace he children of Israel, by which he published peace (i. e. reconcihas given, the advantages he has afforded, and the improve-liation between Jews and Gentiles) by Jesus Christ who is ment of all these. Let it be observed farther, that no man Lord of all : and because Lord of all, both of Jews and can be accepted with this just God, who does not live up to Gentiles, therefore he must be impartial; and because imthe advantages of the state in which Providence has placed partial, or, no respecter of persons, therefore, in every nahim: why was Cornelius accepted with God, while thousands tion, whether Judea, Greece, or Italy, he that feareth God, of his countrymen were passed by? Because he did not re and worketh righteousness, is accepterl with him. ceive the grace of God in vain : he watched, fasted, prayed, I believe Toy joyou, the word, in this verse, should be transand gave alms, which they did not. Had he not done so, || lated, that doctrine; and probably popa, which we translate would he have been accepted ? certainly not : because it that word, in verse 37, should be omitted, as it is in the Cowould then appear, that he had received the grace of God in dex Bezæ, and its Itala Version : and if oy which is in ver. 36. vain, and had not been a worker together with him. Many be even left out, as it is in ABC. Coptic and Vulgute, the irreligious men, in order to get rid of the duties and obliga- whole may be literally read thus. As to the doctrine sent to tions of Christianity, quote this verse in their own favour, the children of Israel, preaching the glad tidings of peace while they reject all the gospel besides; and roundly assert, | (Euayyen Quevos Elpinoyy) by Jesus Christ, he is Lord of all, as they think on the authority of this text, that they need || ye know what was done (To yeyoperov,) through all Judea,

Peter proclaims the miracles,

CHAP. X

death, and resurrection of Christ.

cir. CGV. 2.

A. M. cit. 4046. 37 That word; I say, ye know,' which he did both in the land of the A. M.cir. 2016.

An. Olymp. which was published throughout all Jews, and in Jerusalem; ` whom they An. Olymp. ci. CCV9.

Jadea, and began from Galilee, af- slew and hanged on a tree: ter the baptism which Johin preached';

40 Him 'God raised up the third day, and 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth shewed him openly'; with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went 41 5 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses about doing good, and healing all that were op- chosen before of God, even to us, who did pressed of the devil; for God was with him. cat and drink with him after he rose from the 39 Anda we are witnesses of all things dead.

Luke 4, 14.-Luke 4. 18. ch. 2. 22. & 4. 27. Heb. 1.9.- John

3. 2. L4 ch. 2. 32.

Ch. 5. 30.-och. 2. 21.--- John 14. 17, 22. ch. 13. 31.- Luke

21. 30, 43. John 21. 13.

beginning after the baptisın which John preached. Jesus, icho into the desart, and remained there forty days. 2. He then was from Nazareth, tchom God unginted with the Holy Ghost returned to the Baptist who was exercising his ministry at that and with mighty, power, (europees) went about doing good, and time at Bethany, or Bethabara ; and there he made certain healing all that were tyrunnicully oppressed (xataQUYISEVOLLE | disciples, viz. Andrew, Bartholomew, Peter, and Philip. 3. Youn) by the devil, for God was with him. Critics have pro- Thence he went to the marriage at Cana in Galilee, where posed a great variety of modes, by which they suppose these he wrought his first miracle. 4. And afterwards he went to Terses may be rendered intelligible; and the learned Reader Capernaum in the same country, by the sea of Galilee, where may see many in Jolfius, Kypke, Rosenmuller and others. he wrought many others. This was the manner in which Kypke contends that the word Kuçiqi, Lord, is to be unders Christ manifested himself; and these are the facts, of which stood adjectively, aud ought to be referred to 1070s, and the Peter presumes they had a perfect knowledge ; because they 36th verse will then stand thus, The word which he sent to had been for a long time notorious through all the land. the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, thut Verse 38. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth] Here the word has authority over all. This amounts nearly to the apostle refers to Christ as the promised Messiah; for as Messame sense with the expositions given above; and all pro- siah signifies the anointed one, and Christ has the same signi. claim this truth, which the apostle laboured to establish, fication in Greek; and the Messiah, according to the prophets, namely, that God intended the salvation of all men by Jesus and the expectation of the Jews, was to work miracles, Peter Christ; and therefore proclaimed reconciliation to all, hy him proclaims Jesus as the Messiah ; and refers to the miracles who is Lord, maker, preserver, redeemer, and julge of all. which he wrought, as the proof of it. This delicate, but forAnd of this the apostle was now more convinced, by the late cible allusion is lost by most readers, vision; and his mission from him who is Lord of all, to Cor Verse 39, IVe are witnesses of all] In this speech St. nelius a heathen, was a full illustration of the heavenly truth: Peter may refer not only to the twelve apostles, but to the for the very meeting of Peter, once a prejudiced Jew; and six brethren whom he had brought with him. Cornelius, once an unenlightened Gentile, was a sort of first Whom they slew] As the truth of the resurrection must

ut of this general enclatonaproof that Jesus depend the reality of the death of Christ, it was necessary was Lord of all.

that this should be stated, and shewn to rest on the most inVerse 37. That word-ye know] This account of Jesus dubitable evidence. of Nazareth, ye cannot be unacquainted with; because it has Verse 40. Ilim God raised up the third day] He lay been proclaimed throughout all Judea and Galilee, from the long enough under the power of death, to prove that he was time that John began to preach, Ye have heard how he was dead; and not too, long, lest it should be supposed that his anointed with the Holy Ghost, and of the miracles which he disciples had time sufficient to have practised some deceit or performed; how he went about doing good, and healing all imposture : and to prevent this, the Jews took care to have the kinds of dæmoniacs, and by these mighty and beneficent acts, tomb well guarded, during the whole time which he lay there. giving the fullest proof that God was with him. This was Verse Al. Not to all the people] In the order of divine the exordium ofPeter's course thuhe begins from Providence, the public were to be onger instructed by what they knew, to teach them what they did not know, Jesus Christ personally : but it was necessary that those who

St. Peter does not intimate that any miracle was wrought were to preach redemption in his name, should be thoroughly by Christ, previously to his being baptized by John. Begin- furnished to this good and great work; therefore, the time ning at Galilee. Let us review, the mode of Christ's mani- he spent on earth, after his resurrection, was devoted to the festation, 1. After he had been baptized by John, he went il instruction of his disciples.

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