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Peter shews that all the prophets

THE ACTS.

prophesied of Christ.

A. M. cir. 40:6. 42 And he commanded us to preach || him, shall receive remission of sins. A. M. cir. 4016.

An. Olymp. unto the people, and to testify that 44 [ While Peter yet spake these An. Olymp. çir. CCV. 2. it is he which was ordained of God to words, the Holy Ghost fell on all cir. CCV. 2. be the Judge of quick and dead.

them which heard the word. 43 - To him give all the prophets witness, that 45 5 And they of the circumcision which bethrough his name,

whosoever believeth in lieved were astonished, as many as came with

2 Matt. 28. 19, 20. ch. 1.8. John 5. 22, 27. ch. 17.31.---- Rom. 14. 9, 19. 2 Cor. 5. 10. 2 Tim. 4. 1. 1 Pet. 4. 5.- Isai. 53. ll. Jer. 91. 34. Dan. 9. 24.

Mic. 7. 18. Zech. 13. 1. Mal. 4. 2. ch. 26. 22 ch. 15. 9. & 26. 18. Rom. 10. 11. Gal. 3. 22.ch. 4. 31. & 8.15, 16, 17. & 11. 15.

-& ver. 23.

Witnesses chosen before of God] That is, God chose from our ancient mother tongue, the Saxon cpican, to live, such men to attest this fact, as were every way best qualified hence cpic and cpica, life, and cpice, grass : and from this our to give evidence on the subject; persons who were always to quicks, quick-set-hedges, fences made of living thorns, &c. be found; who might at all times be confronted with those, By quick and dead, we are to understand, 1. all that had if any

such should offer themselves, who could pretend to lived from the foundation of the world, till that time; and prove that there was any imposture in this case; and persons, all that were then alive. 2. All that should be found alive who, from the very circumstances in which they were placed, at the day of judgment, as well as all that had died previously. must appear to have an absolute conviction of the truth of all Verse 43. To him give all the prophets witness] See they attested. The first preachers of the gospel must be the Isai. ix. 6. lii. 7. liii. 5, 6. lix. 20. Jer. xxxi. 34. Dan. ix. witnesses of its facts: and these first preachers must be put | 24. Mic. vii. 18, &c. and Zech. xiii. 1. As Jesus Christ in such circumstances as to demonstrate, not only that they was the sum and substance of the law, and the Mosaic dishad no secular end in view, nor indeed could have any; but pensation; so all the prophets bore testimony, either directly also that, they should be able to evince that they had the or indirectly to him; and indeed without him and the salvafullest conviction of the reality of the eternal world, and of tion he has promised, there is scarcely any meaning in the their Master's existence in glory there; as they carried their Mosaic æconomy, nor in most of the allusions of the prophets. lives continually in their hands, and regarded them not, so Remission of sins.] The phrase açetin ajapiwy, means that they might fulfil the ministry which they had received simply the taking away of sins; and this does not refer to from their Lord, and finish their course with joy.

the guilt of sin, merely; but also to its power, nature, and But why was not Christ, after his resurrection, shewn to all consequences. All that is implied in pardon of sin, destructhe people ? 1. Because it was impossible that such a thing tion of its tyranny, and purification from its pollution, is here could be done without mob and tumult. Let it only be an intended : and it is wrong to restrict such operations of mercy, nounced " Here is the man who was dead three days, and to pardon alone. who is risen from the dead!” what confusion would be the Verse 44. While Peter yet spake] It is not very likely consequence of such an exposure ! Some would say, This is that the words recorded by St. Luke are all that the apostle he; others, He is like him, and so on; and the valid testi- spoke on this occasion : but while he continued to discourse mony must be lost in the confusion and multitude. 2. God with them on this subject, the Holy Ghost fell on all them chose such witnesses, whose testimony should be unimpeach-that heard the word; and his descent was known by their beable; the men who knew him best, and who by their depo- ing enabled to speak with different kinds of tongues. In sitions in proof of the fact, should evidently risk their lives; what manner this gift was bestowed, we cannot tell; proand, 3. as multitudes are never called to witness any fact, || bably it was in the same way in which it had been given on but a feto selected from the rest, whose knowledge is most, the day of Pentecost; for as they spake with tongues, which accurate, and whose veracity is unquestionable; therefore, was the effect of the descent of the Spirit, as flaming tongues God shewed not Christ risen from the dead, to all the people, on the heads of the disciples, on the day of Pentecost ; it is but to witnesses chosen by himself, and they were such as per-| very likely that the same appearance now took place. fectly knew him before, and who ate and drank with him af. Verse 45. They of the circumcision-were astonished] ter his resurrection; and consequently had the fullest proof Because it was a maxim with them, that the Shechinah or diand conviction of the truth of this fact.

vine influence could not be revealed to any person who dwelt Verse 42. And he commanded us to preach] By thus beyond the precincts of the promised land. Nor did any of assuring them that Jesus Christ was appointed to judge the them believe that the Divine Spirit could be communicated to world, he at once shewed them the necessity of subjection to any Gentile. It is no wonder, therefore, that they were him, that they might stand in the day of his appearing. amazed when they saw the Spirit of God so liberally given, as

The Judge of quick and dead. The word quick we retain it was on this occasion.

The Holy Ghost falls on the Gentiles ;

CHAP. X.

and they are baptized.

cir. CCV. 2.

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A. M. cir. 4046. Peter, because that on the Gentiles' should not be baptized, which have 4. M.cir: 4046. An. Olymp. also was poured out the gift of the received the Holy Ghost, as well as An. Olymp. Holy Ghost.

we? 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, 48 · And he commanded them to be baptized and magnify God. Then answered Peter, d in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they 47 Can any man forbid water, that these him to tarry certain days.

* Ch. 11. 18. Gal. 3. 14.

ch. 11. 17. & 15.8, 9. Rom. 10. 12.

o1 Cor. 1. 17.

- ch. 2. 38. & 8. 16.

Verse 46. And magnify God.] They had got new hearts where we learn this truth, which is indispensably necessary as well as new longues ; and having believed with the heart for all to know, who desire to acknowledge God in all their unto righteousness, their tongues made confession unto salva-| ways, that “there is nothing which concerns their present or tion; and God was magnified for the mercy which he had eternal welfare in which God does not interest himself.” imparted.

We often, to our great spiritual detriment, lose sight of this Verse 47. Can any man forbid water] These had evi- truth; because we think that the MAJESTY of God is too dently received the Holy Ghost, and consequently were be great to be occupied with those common occurrences by come members of the mystical body of Christ; and yet St.' which we are often much affected, in things which relate not Peter requires that they shall receive baptism by water, that only to our present, but also to our eternal interests. This is they might become members of the Christian church. In impossible ; for God is our father, and being every where preother cases, they received baptism first, and the Spirit after-sent, he sees our state, and his eye affects his heart. wards, by the imposition of hands : see chap. xix. 4-6. 2. Let the Reader examine the chain of providence, (comwhere the disciples who had received only the baptism of posed indeed of very minute links), brought to light in the John, were baptized again with water in the name of the conversion of Cornelius, the instruction of Peter, and openLord Jesus; and after even this, the apostles prayed, and ing the door of faith to the Gentiles, and he will be convinced laid their hands on them, before they were made partakers of that “God has sway every where, and that all things serve the Holy Ghost. So we find that Jesus Christ had his water the purposes of his will.” We have already seen how partibaptism, as well as John: and that even he who gave the cularly, both by gracious and providential workings, God baptism of the Holy Ghost, required the administration of prepared the mind of Cornelius to receive instruction; and water baptism also. Therefore the baptism of the Spirit did the mind of Peter to give it; so that the receiver and giver not supersede the baptism by water; nor indeed can it; as were equally ready to be workers together with God. This baptism, as well as the supper of our Lord were intended is a general economy. He who feels his want may rest asnot only to be means of grace; but standing irrefragable sured, that even then, God has made the necessary provision proofs of the truth of Christianity.

for his supply ; and that the very sense of the want, is a proof Verse 48. To be baptized in the name of the Lord.] That that the provision is already made. Why then should we is, in the name of Jesus Christ; which implied their taking lose time in deploring wretchedness, for the removal of upon them the public profession of Christianity; and believing which God has made the necessary preparations? Mourning on Christ Jesus as their saviour and sovereigo; for as they over our miseries, will never supply the lack of faith in were baptized in his name, they professed thereby to be his Christ; and very seldom tends even to humble the heart. disciples and followers.

3. As the eye of God is ever upon us, he knows our trials Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.] They felt the as well as our wants; and here also, he makes the necessary necessity of farther instruction, and prayed him to continue provision for our support. We may be called to suffer, but his ministry a little longer among them; and to this he no his grace will be sufficient for us; and as our troubles increase, doubt consented. This was, properly speaking, the com- ' so shall the means of our support. And even these trials and mencement of the Christian church, as composed of Jews temptations will be pressed into our service, for all things and Gentiles, partaking of the same baptism, united under work together for good to them that love God, Rom. viii. 28. the same Head, made partakers of the same Spirit; and as

s- 4. We must beware neither to despise outward rites in resociated in the same aggregate body. Now was the middle ligion, or to rest in them. Most people do either the one or wall of partition broken down, and the Gentiles admitted to the other. God gives us outward helps, because he knows we the same privileges with the Jews.

need them. But do we not sometimes imagine ourselves to

be above that, which, because of our scantiness of grace, is 1. God is wonderful in all his works, whether they be really above us. We certainly may over-rate ourselves, and works of creation, providence, or grace. Every thing pro- under-rate God's bounties. He who is taught by the Spirit of claims his power, his wisdom, and his goodness. Every God will be saved from both.

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A.M.cir. 4046.
A. D. cir. 12.

A

A. D. cir. 49.

cir. CCV.2.

cir. CCV. 9.

CHAPTER XI. Peter returns to Jerusalem, and is accused of having associated with the Gentiles, 1-3. Ile defends himself, by

relating at large the whole business concerning Cornelius, 4—17. His defence is accepted, and the whole church glorifies God for haring granted unto the Gentiles repentance unto life, 18. An account of the proceedings of those who were scatlered abroad by the persecution that was raised about Stephen ; and how they had spread the gospel among the circumcision, in Phænice, Cyprus, and Antioch, 19–21. The church at Jerusalem, hearing of this, sends Barnabas to confirm them in the faith, 22, 23. Ilis character, 24. He goes to Tarsus, to seek Saul ; whom he brings to Antioch, where the disciples are first called CHRISTIANS, 25, 26. Certain prophets foretel the dearth which afterwards took place in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, 27, 28. The disciples send relief to their poor brethren in Judea, by the hands of Barnabas and Saul, 29, 30.

ND the apostles and brethren 6 Upon the which when I had fas- A.M.cir.4046. An. Olymp.

that were in Judea lieard that tened mine eyes, I considered, and An. Olymp.

the Gentiles had also received the saw four-footed beasts of the earth, word of God.

and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, l of the air. * they that were of the circumcision contended 7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, with him,

Peter ; slay and eat. 3 Saying,

b Thou wentest in to men uncir 8 But I said, Not so, Lord : for nothing comcumcised, and didst eat with them.

mon or unclean hath at any time entered into 4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the be- | my mouth. ginning, and expounded it " by order unto them, 9 But the voice answered me again from heasaying,

ven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou 5 ° I was in the city of Joppa praying: and common. in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel de 10 And this was done three times : and all scend, as it had been a great sheet, let down were drawn up again into heaven. from heaven by four corners ; and it came even 11 And, behold, immediately there were three to me :

men already come unto the house where I

· Ch. 10. 45. Gal. 2. 12:

1 ch. 10. 28.

Gal. 2. 12.

à Luke 1. 3.

ch. 10. 9, &c.

NOTES ON CHAP. XI.

Verse 3. Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised] . In a Verse 1. And the apostles and brethren that were in Judeu] || Jew, this was no small offence; and as they did not know According to Calmet, Judea is here put in opposition to the reason of St. Peter's conduct; it is no wonder they should Cæsarea, which, though situated in Palestine, passed for a call him to account for it; as they considered it to be a posiGreek city, being principally inhabited by Pagans, Greeks, || tive transgression of the law and the customs of the Jews. or Syrians.

There is a remarkable addition here in the Codei Bezæ, which Verse 2. Contended with him] A manifest proof this, that

it will be well to notice. The second verse of the chapter the primitive church at Jerusalem (and no church can ever begins thus : deserve this name but the Jerusalem church) had no conception Now Peter, had a desire for a considerable time to go to of St. Peter's supremacy, or of his being prince of the apostles. | Jerusalem; and having spoken to the brethren, and confirmed He is now called to account for his conduct, which they judged | them, speaking largely, he taught them through the countries, to be reprehensible; and which they would not have attempted (i. e. as he passed to Jerusalem,) and us he met them, he spoke to do, had they believed him to be Christ's vicur upon earth, || to them of the grace of God. But the brethren who were of and the infallible head of the church. But this absurd the circumcision disputed with him, saying, &c. dream is every where refuted in the New Testament.

Verse 4. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the begins

He vindicates his conduct;

CHAP. XI.

and his vindication is accepted.

A. D. cir. 42.

A.M.cir. 4046.
A. D. cir. 42.
An. Olymp.
cir. CcV..

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was, sent from Cæsarea' unto me. Lord, how that he said, John in- A.M.cir. 4046.

12 And the spirit bade me go with deed baptized with water ; but 'ye An. Olymp.

them, nothing doubting. Moreover, shall be baptized with the Holy these six brethren accompanied me, and we Ghost. entered into the man's house.

17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the 13 And he shewed us how he had seen an like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the angel in his house, which stood and said unto Lord Jesus Christ ; "what was I, that I could him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, withstand God? whose surname is Peter ;

18 When they heard these things, they held 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then and all thy house shall be saved.

hath God, also to the Gentiles, granted repent15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost ance unto life. fell on them, as on us at the beginning: 19 I Now they which were scattered abroad 16 Then remembered I the word :of the upon the persecution that arose about Stephen

* John 16. 13. ch. 10. 19. & 15. 7.- ch. 10. 23. Le ch. 10. 30.

& ch. 2. 4. Matt. 3. 11. John 1. 26, 33. ch. 1.5. & 19. 4.

e Isai. 14. 3. Joel 2. 28. & 3. 18. - ch. 15. 8, 9.--. ch. 10. 47.

#Rom. 10. 12, 13. & 15. 9, 16.ch. 8. 1.

ning, and expounded it by order] Eğeribeto AUTOIS nabełns. Spirit, and its various gifts and graces, in the same way, and This is the very style of St. Luke : see his Gospel, chap. i. in the same measure in which he gave them to us Jews. ver. 3. To remove their prejudice, and to give them the What was I, that I could withstand God? It was not I who fullest reasons for his conduct, he thought it best to give them called them to salvation : it was God; and the thing is proved a simple relation of the whole affair ; which he does, as we to be from God alone, for none other could dispense the have seen in the preceding chapter, with a few additional Holy Spirit. circumstances here : see the notes before.

Verse 18. They held their peace) Their prejudices were Verse 12. These six brethren] Probably pointing to them, confounded ; they considered the subject, and saw that it being present, as proper persons to confirm the truth of what

was from God : then they glorified him, because they saw he was delivering.

that he had granted unto the Gentiles repentance unto life. Verse 14. Thou und all thy house shall be saved.] This is As the word ustavola, which we translate repentance, signifies an additional circumstance : before, it was said, chap. X. 6. literally a change of mind, it may be here referred to a change Peter shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do; and in ver. 33. of religious views, &c. And as repentance signifies a change who when he cometh shall speak unto thee.. Bat in Peter's re of life and conduct from evil to good, so the word ustavo lation, the matter is more explicitly declared, he shall tell may be used here to signify a change from a false religion to thee words, whereby thou and thy house shall be saved. He the true one; from idolatry, to the worship of the true God. shall announce to you all, the doctrine of salvation.

Rosenmuller thinks, that in several cases, where it is spoken Verse 16. Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.] of the Jews, it signifies their change from a contempt of the These words are very remarkable. The words of our Lord, Messiah, to reverence for him, and the consequent embracas quoted chap. i. 5. to which St. Peter refers here, have been ing of the Christian religion. supposed by many to be referred to the apostles alone ; but The Christians, who were present, were all satisfied with here it is evident, that St. Peter believed they were a pro- St. Peter's account and apology; but it does not appear that mise made to all Christians, i. e..to all, whether Jews or all were ultimately satisfied, as we know there were serious Gentiles, who should believe on Jesus Christ. Therefore, disputes in the church afterwards on this very subject. See when he saw that the Holy Ghost fell upon those Gentiles, chap. xv. 5, &c. where Christian believers, from among the he considered it a fulfilment of our Lord's promise, ye, that Pharisees, insisted that it was necessary to circumcise the is, all that will believe on me, shall be baptized with the Holy converted Gentiles, and cause them to keep the law of Moses.' Ghostnot many duys hence, i.e. in a short time this Spirit This opinion was carried much farther in the church at Jerushall be given, which is to abide with you for ever. Hencei salem afterwards, as may be seen at large in chap. xxi. we learn, that the promise of the Holy Spirit is given to the Verse 19. The persecution that arose about Stephen] That whole body of Christians ; to all that believe on Christ as is, those who were obliged to flee from Jerusalem, at the dying for their sins, and rising for their justification. time of that persecution in which Stephen lost his life. See

Verse 17. God gave them the like gift, &c.] Viz. the Holy I chap. viii. 1.

Account of the travels of other

THE ACTS.

disciples, who convert many.

A. D. cir. 42. An. Olymp.. cir. CcV.2.

cir. CCV.2.

A.M.cir: 1046. travelled as far as Phænice, and Cy- | 21 And the hand of the Lord was A.M.cir. 4046. An. Olymp. prus, and Antioch, preaching the with them: and a great number be

word to none but unto the Jews only. lieved, and turned unto the Lord. 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus | 22 1 Then tidings of these things A. M. cir. 1017. and Cyrene, which, when they were come to came unto the ears of the church which An. Olymp. Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching was in Jerusalem : and they sent forth cir. CCV. 3. the Lord Jesus.

Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch:

d

a Ch. 6. 1. & 9. 29.- Luke 1. 66. ch. 2. 47.

. Ch. 9. 35.

ch. 9. 27.

Phænice] Phænicia, a country between Galilee and Syria, Christian faith to the heathen. It is worthy of remark, that along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, including Tyre, the Jews generally called all nations of the world Greeks; Sidon, &c. It is often mentioned as a part of Syria. See as the Asiatics, to the present day, call all the nations of chap. xxi. 2, 3.

Europe, Franks. Cyprus] An island of the Mediterranean Sea, over against Verse 21. The hand of the Lord was with them] By the Syria. See on chap. iv. 36.

hand, arm, and finger of God, in the scripture, different Antioch] A city of Syria, built by Antiochus Seleucus, displays or exertions of his power are intended. Here it near the river Orontes; at that time one of the most cele- | means, that the energy of God accompanied them, and apbrated cities of the East. For the situation of all these, seeplied their preaching to the souls of all attentive hearers. the Map accompanying this Book.

Without this accompanying influence, even an apostle could do Unto the Jews only.] For they knew nothing of the vision no good: and can inferior men hope to be able to convince and of St. Peter; and did not believe that God would open the convert sinners without this ? Ministers of the word of God, door of faith to the Gentiles. The next verse informs us, so called, who dispute the necessity, and deny the being of that there were others who were better instructed. See this influence, shew thereby, that they are intruders into below.

God's heritage; that they are not sent by him; and shall not Verse 20. Men of-Cyrene] The metropolis of the Cy- profit the people at all. renaica, a country of Africa, bounded on the East by Mar A great number believed] That Jesus was the Christ; and marica, on the West by the Regio Syrtica, on the North by that he had died for their offences, and risen again for their the Mediterranean, and on the South by the Sahara. Cyrene justification. Because the apostles preached the truth ; and is now called Cairoan. This city, according to Eusebius, the hand of God was with them, therefore, a great number was built in the 37th Olympiad, about 630 years before believed, and turned unto the Lord, becoming his disciples, Christ. In consequence of a revolt of its inhabitants, it was and taking him for their portion. destroyed by the Romans; but they afterwards rebuilt it. Verse 22. The church which was in Jerusalem] This was It was for a long time subject to the Arabs; but is now in the original, the mother church of Christianity ; not the the hands of the Turks.

church of Rome; there were Christian churches founded in Spake unto the Grecians] 'Exinusas, the Hellenists. Who many places, which exist to the present day, before Rome these were we have already seen, Acts vi. and ix. 29. viz. heard the gospel of the kingdom. A Christian church means Jews living in Greek cities, and speaking the Greek language. a company of believers in Christ Jesus, united for the purBut instead of ‘Exayisas Grecians, 'Ernyas Greeks, is the poses of Christian fellowship, and edification in righteousness. reading of AD*. Syriac, all the Arabic, Coptic, Æthiopic, They sent forth Barnabas] It seems then, that the church Vulgate, some copies of the Itala; Eusebius, Chrysostom, | collectively had power to commission and send forth any

of Theophylact and Ecumenius. On this evidence, Griesbach | its own members, whom it saw God had qualified for a parhas admitted it into the text; and few critics entertain any ticular work. There must have been, even at that time, an doubt of the genuineness of the reading. This intimates, | acknowledged superiority of some members of the church that besides preaching the gospel to the Hellenistic Jews, some beyond others. The apostles held the first rank: the deacons of them preached it to the heathen Greeks ; for were we to (probably the same as those called prophets, as being next adopt the common reading, it would be a sort of actum chosen,) the second: and perhaps those called evangelists, agere ; for it is certain that the Hellenistic Jews had already simply preachers of the truth, the third rank. Those who received the gospel. See chap. vi. l. And it is likely that knew most of God and sacred things ; who were most zeathese Cyprians and Cyrenians had heard of Peter's mission lous, most holy, and most useful, undoubtedly had the preto Cæsarea ; and they followed his example, by offering the ll eminence.

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