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Dissertation on Acts xv. 28, 29. concerning THE ACTS.

the unlawfulness of eating blood.

which hath nothing to do with the distinction of creatures, / whole church of God for the first 300 years after Christ; clean and unclean, taken away at that time?

and by all the churches of the East to this day : churches “ But to cut this dispute short, I shall only observe, that allowed to be more extensive, and not more corrupt, than the

very command to St. Peter in that vision, is so far from that which vaunts itself catholic and infallible. And will any taking away the prohibition of blood given to Noah, that it man after this dare to vilify this command ? Will any man clearly establishes it. The words are these: Rise, Peter ; | in his senses pronounce a precept so given, so repeated, and kill and eat. Now the Greek word Jusov, which is here so ratified by God himself, unmeaning and unimportant ? translated kill, does in the original signify to sacrifice : and Can we imagine, that it was asserted by the most learned the plain sense of the command is this, that Peter should men of the early ages of Christianity, without knowledge ? slay those creatures, as creatures were wont to be slain for | Or obeyed by the most holy, even unto death, without consacrifice, that is, that he should first draw away the blood, and science? Or reverenced by the whole church of God, withthen eat them. And no man that pretends to any knowledge | out reason? And shall we, after all this, contemn this in the Greek tongue will say, that this word has or can have command, because light libertines revile, and insolents despise any other meaning in this place; and therefore the very com it? or, at best, because some learned men have given very mand, which takes away the distinction of creatures, clean weak and ungrounded, very unlearned reasons, for believing and unclean, is so far from taking away the prohibition of it repealed ? reasons which I have now sufficiently refuted blood, that it establishes it.

and exposed. And shall such reasons and such authorities “ Besides, I desire it may be observed, that this command weigh against God, and the inspirations of his Holy Spirit ? to St. Peter was given in the forty-first year from our Sa- Against the apostles and apologists, and martyrs, and the viour's birth ; or, in other words, in the year of our Lord whole church of God, for the three first and purest ages of 41; and the decree of the apostles at Jerusalem was in the the Christian æra? Let others glory in their Christian liberty year of our Lord 52, i. e. the prohibition of blood was es as they like best : but, perhaps, to some of these we may tablished eleven years after the distinction of meats, clean say with St. Paul, Your glorying is not good ; know ye not, and unclean, was taken away. Ill-fated decree! to be again that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? repealed, so many years before it was made !

If mine be an error, it must be owned at the same time “ Thus have I defended a divine revelation and command; that it is an error on the sure side : it is innocent : it is an a command of easy, unexpensive observance ; preventive of error infinitely better authorized, and nearer allied to relicruelty, luxury, and many other evils; and conducive to gion, virtue, and humanity, than its contrary! for, (not to much good ! manifestly contributing to the healthfulness and mention the precepts of apostles, the opinions of fathers, simplicity, and, in consequence of both these, to the ele- and the decrees of councils) if I err, I err with the most gance and delicacy of food.

men, (not heathen,) and with the best! with the whole “A command, in its nature negative and absolute, as that Christian world of the best ages! and the whole eastern of the forbidden fruit.

world to this day. I err on the side of humanity and “ A command, given by God himself to Noah, repeated health ; and a religious gratitude to the Author and Giver of to Moses, and ratified by the apostles of Jesus Christ; given life, for every creature slain for my support! I err, in opimmediately after the flood, when the world, as it were, ' position to a practice manifestly brutal and savage; a pracbegan anew; and the only one given on that great occasion : | tice, which human nature ahhors; a savage practice! which repeated with awful solemnity to that people, whom God over-ran the West, together with the Goths and Vanseparated from the rest of mankind, to be holy to himself : dals: a practice, introduced by Scythian barbarity, and esrepeated, with dreadful denunciations of divine vengeance, tablished by popery! established, with other works of darkboth against the Jew and the stranger that should dare to ness, in the ages of error and ignorance, and their necessary transgress it; and ratified by the most solemn and sacred consequences, immorality and irreligion. council that ever was assembled upon earth, acting under the 6 But though all this be demonstrably true, yet am I sufimmediate influence of the Spirit of God! transmitted from ficiently sensible, that I have all this time been speaking in that sacred assembly to the several churches of the neigh- | a great measure to appetite, which hath no ears; and to prebouring nations, by the hands of no meaner messengers than judice, which hath no eyes : to perverseness, incapable of two bishops and two apostles; asserted by the best writers attention; and to pride, incapable of conviction : and a in so and most philosophic spirits of their age, the Christian apo- far from being able to bring some men to reason, that I am logists; and sealed with the blood of the best men, the myself, perhaps, become the object of their pity for attempt. Christian martyrs ! confirmed by the unanimous sentences of ing it; that I have been feeding the raillery of libertines, and fathers, emperors, and councils : and one of these as low as the scoffs of infidels; that even dullness will droll on this the sixth century. Reverenced (in conformity to the prac occasion, and stupidity break stale jests. Alas! who is so tice and principles even of Jews and Mahometans) by the ignorant as not to know, that the scorner, foe to every vire

Paul associates with himself

CHAP. XVI.

Timothy, a young convert.

.

tue and excellence in life! must, in that very character, be occasion. I write from the dictates of a good conscience ; it the sworn enemy of every part of religion ! of that religion is theirs to see if they reproach not from the influence of an by which every virtue lives, and is esteemed in the world. evil : I write from the clearest conviction; let them beware Who is so ignorant as not to know that this meanest deno- that they rail not from corruption. This I will say without mination of men subsists upon earth, like the meanest species scruple, I reason from the light of an humble, an honest, of insects : by teazing and tainting to the utmost of their and a diligent enquiry ; and, if they ridicule, they ridicule malignant might, and then feeding where they have infected : | from the depth of a lazy and a conceited ignorance. How but, God be praised, their impotence affects nothing but in- far that ignorance will acquit them at the great day of acfirmity; and the slightest fence is security against them. I count God only knows.” Delaney's Revelation Examined Some difference, I hope, will be allowed between us on this llwith Cundor. Vol. II. p. 18, &c.

CHAPTER XVI.

Paal coming to Derbe and Lystra, meets with Timothy, the son of a Jewess by a Greek father, whom he circumcises, and takes with him, into his work, 1–3. As they pass through the different cities, they deliver the apostles' decrees to the churches ; and they are established in the faith, und daily increase in numbers, 4–5. They travel through Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia and to Troas, 6–8, Where Paul has a vision, relative to his preaching in Macedonia, 9, 10. Leaving Trons, he sails to Samothracia and Neapolis, and comes to Philippi in Macedonia, 11, 12. Lydia, a seller of purple, receives the apostles' teaching ; and she and her family are baptized, 13—15. A young woman, with a spirit of dirination, dispossessed by St. Paul, 16—18. Her masters finding their gain by her soothsaying gone, make an attack upon Paul and Silas, drag them before the magistrates, who command them to be beaten, thrust into the closest prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, 19—24. Paul and Silas singing praises at midnight, the prison doors are miraculously opened, and all the bonds of the prisoners loosed, 25, 26. The keeper being alarmed, supposing that the prisoners were fled, is about to kill himself, but is prevented by Paul, 27, 28. lle enquires the way of salvation, believes, and he and his whole family are baptised, 29—34. The next morning the magistrates order the apostles to be dismissed, 35, 36. Paul pleads his privilege as a Roman, and accuses the magistrates of injustice, who, being alarmed, come themselves to the prison, deliver them, and beg them to depart from the city, 37–39. They leave the prison, enter into the house of Lydia, comfort the brethren, and depart, 40.

WHEN came he to · Derbe and || a Jewess, and believed ; but his father A. M.cir.4057. An. Olymp. Lystra : and, behold, a certain was a Greek,

An. Olymp. cir. CCVIII.1. disciple was there, named Timo 2 Which "was well reported of by theus, the son of a certain woman, which was the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

A.M.cir. 4057.
A. D. cir. 59.

TE

A. D. cir. 53.

cir.CCVIII.1.

* Ch. 14. 6.

_bch. 19. 22. Rom. 16. 21. I Cor. 4. 17. Phil. 2. 19.

1 Thes, 3. 2. 1 Tim. 1. 2. 2 Tim. 1. 2.2 Tim. 1. 5. ch. 6. 3.

NOTES ON CHAP. XVI.

doubt, have circumcised his son ; but the son being without Verse 1. A certain disciple] Bishop Pearce would read it, is a proof that the father was so too. Some MSS. state the latter part of this verse, and the beginning of the next that Timothy's mother was now a widow, but this does not thus-a certain disciple named Timotheus, (the son of a cer appear to be well founded. lain Jewish woman that believed, but of a father who was a Verse 2. Which was well reported of ] These words are Greek) who was well reported of by the brethren, &c. spoken of Timothy, and not of his father. At this time

This Timothy was the same person to whom St. Paul wrote Timothy must have been very young ; for, several years after, those two noble epistles which are still extant. His mother's when appointed to superintend the church at Crete, he apname was Eunice, as we learn from 2 Tim. i. 5. What his

pears to have been then so young, that there was a danger of father's name was we know not; he was either a mere heuthen, its operating to the prejudice of his ministry; 1 Tim. iv. 12. or, at most, only a proselyte of the gate, who never submitted | Let no man despise thy youth. He had a very early religious to circumcision : had he submitted to this rite, he would, no education from his godly mother Eunice, and his not less

Paul and Timothy deliver the apostolic

THE ACTS.

decrees to the different churches.

A.M.cir. 1037.
A. D. cir. 53.

A.M.cir. 4057.
A.D.cir. 53.

An. Olymp. cir.CCVIII. 1.

3 Him would Paul have to go forth'| 5 And so were the churches esAn Olymp. with him ; and · took and circum- tablished in the faith, and increased cir.CCVIII.l. cised him because of the Jews which in number daily. were in those quarters : for they know all that 6 Now wlien they had gone throughout Phrygia his father was a Greek,

and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of 4 And as they went through the cities, they the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, delivered them the decrees for to keep, that 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed were ordained of the apostles and elders which to go into Bithynia ; but the Spirit suffered were at Jerusalem.

them not.

a 1 Cor. 9. 20. Gal. 2. 3. Scc Gal. 5. 2.

v Ch. 15. 28, 29.

cb. 15. 14.

pious grandmother Loïs; and, from his religious instruc- properly and deliberately made, relative to any important tions, was well prepared for the work to which God now point ; and which, in reference to that point, has the force called him.

of law. Our term dogma, which we often abuse, is the Verse 3. Took and circumcised him] For this simple Greek word in English letters. reason, that the Jews would neither have heard him preach, Verse 5. And so zeere the churches established] The disnor would have any connection with him, had he been other-putations at Antioch, relative to circumcision, had no doubt wise. Besides, St. Paul himself could have had no access spread far and wide among other churches ; and unto the Jews, in any place, had they known that he associated hinged many. The decrees of the apostles came in good with a person who was uncircumcised : they would have con time, and prevented farther mischief: the people, saved sidered both to be unclean. The circumcision of Timothy from uncertainty, became established in the faith; and the was a merely prudential regulation; one rendered impe-church had a daily accession of converted souls. riously necessary by the circumstances in which they were Verse 6. Were forbidden of the Iloly Ghost to preach the then placed ; and as it was done merely in reference to this, word in Asia] The Asia mentioned here could not be Timothy was laid under no necessity to observe the Mosaic Asia Minor, in general; for Galatia, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lyritual; nor could it prejudice bis spiritual state, because he caonia and Pamphylia, were provinces of it; and in these did not do it in order to seek justification by the law ; for the apostles preached; but it was what is called Proconsular this he had before, through the faith of Christ. In Gal. ii.' Asia, which included only Ionia, Æolia and Lydia. The 3— 5. we read that Paul refused to circumcise Tilus, who apostles were not suffered to visit these places at this time ; was a Greek, and his parents Gentiles, notwithstanding the but they afterwards went thither, and preached the gospel intreaties of some zealous Judaizing Christians; as their ob with success; for it was in this Proconsular Asia that the ject was to bring him under the yoke of the laro : here, the seven churches were situated. God chose to send his sercase was widely different, and the necessity of the measure vants to another place, where he saw that the word would be indisputable.

affectionately received; and probably those in Proconsular Verse 1. They delivered them the decrecs for to keep] || Asia were not, as yet, sufficiently prepared to receive and T 507279,7% **PALSYO UTI TWY AT0597.we. Bishop Pearce profit by it. contends that Ta ôcy1970, the decrees, is a gloss which was

Verse 7. After they were come to Mysia] They passed not in the test originally ; and that the 70. KEMSIŲEvd, the through Phrygia into Mysia, which lay between Bithynia on judgments or determinations of the apostles, was all that the north, Phrygia on the east, Æolia on the south, and the was originally written here. Ile supports his opinion by a re Mediterranean on the west. ference to the word 2.piyw, I julge ; used by James, chap. xv. But the Spirit suffered them not.] God saw that that was 19. whence the whole decision, as it referred--1. to the in. not the most proper time to preach the word at Bithynia; expediency of circumcising the Gentiles; and, 2. to the ne as he willed them to go immediately to Macedonia, the cessity of observing the four precepts laid down, was called people there being ripe for the word of life. Instead of 72. 7.2%¢ap.Evd, the things that were judged, or decided on ; το πνευμα, the Spirit merely και το πνευμα Ιησου, the Spirit of the judgments of the apostolic council. Instead of xercipere, Jesus, is the reading of ABCDE. several others, with the Syriac has a word that answers to yeypaupera, the decrees both the Syriac, the Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Vulgate, thul zere written. The word Acqu.sg from @sxeu, to think Itala, and several of the Fathers. The reading is undoubt. proper, determine, decree signifies an ordinance, or decree ediy genuine, and should be immediately restored to the text.

Paul; by a vision,

CHAP. XVI.

is invited to go to Macedonia.

A. D. cir. 53.

An. Olymp. cir.CCVIII.).

A.M.cir. 4057.

8 And they passing by Mysia " came called us for to preach the gospel unto A. M.Cor. 1057. A.D.cir.53. An. Olymp. down to Troas.

them. cir.CCVIII.1.

9 I And a vision appeared to Paul 11 Therefore loosing from Troas, in the night ; There stood a man of Macedo- we came with a straight course to Samothracia, nia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into and the next day to Neapolis. Macedonia, and help us.

12 And from thence to Philippi, which is 10 And after he had seen the vision, imme- :' the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and diately we endeavoured to go into Mace-'a colony : and we were in that city abiding cerdonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord bad tain days.

a 2 Cor. 2. 12. 2 Tim. 4. 13. ch. 10. 30.

C9 Cor. 2. 13.

.- Phil. 1. 1.- Or, the first.

This was a

Verse 8. Came down to Trous.] The Trouil, or part of Verse 11. Loosing from Troas] Setting sail from this Phrygia Minor, in which the celebrated city of Troy was place-formerly situated. This city was first built by Durdunus, IT'ith a straight course to Samothraciu]

This was all who was its king, and from whom it was called Durduniit; ! island of the Ægean sea, contiguous to Thrace, and hence from Tros, his grandson, it was called Tretja, or Troy: and called Samothracia, or the Thracian Samos. It is about from his son Ilus, it was called Ilium. It has been long so twenty miles in circumference, and is now called Samancompletely destroyed, that no ascertainable vestige of it re- druchi by the Turks, who are its present masters. mains; insomuch that some have even doubted of its ex And the next day to Neapolis.] There were many cities istence. Those who contend for the reality of the history of this name; but this was a sea-port town of Macedonia, a of Troy, suppose it to have stood on the site of the modern few miles eastward of Philippi. Neupolis signifies the new city. village Bounarbachi, about twelve miles from the sea, on an Verse 12. And from thence to Philippi] eminence, at the termination of a spacious plain.

town of Macedonia, in the territory of the Edones, on the Verse 9. A vision appeared to Paul in the night] Whether confines of 'Thrace, situated on the side of a steep eminence. this was in a dream, or whether a representation made to the It took its name from Philip II. king of Macedon. It is senses of the apostle, we cannot tell. A man of Macedonia famous for two battles fought between the imperial army appeared to him, and made this simple communication, Come commanded by Octavianus, afterwards Augustus, and Mark ocer lo Macedonia, and help us.

Antony; and the republican army commanded by Brutus Some suppose that the guardian angel of Macedonia ap- and Cassius, in which these were successful: and a second peared to St. Paul in a human shape; others, that it was between Octavianus and Antony, on the one part, and Brua divine communication, made to his imagination in a dream. 'tus on the other. In this battle the republican troops were

Verse 10. He endeavoured to go into Vacedonia] This | cut to pieces, after which, Brutus killed himself. It was to the is the first place that the historian St. Luke refers to him. church in this city that St. Paul wrote the epistle that still self: ve endeavourei, &c. And, from this, it has been sup- goes under their name. This place is still in being, though posed, that he joined the company of Paul, for the first time, much decayed; and is the see of an archbishop. at Troas.

The chief city of that part of Macedonia] This passage Assuredly gathering] EWISCHTEs, drawing an inference has greatly puzzled both critics and commentators. It is from the vision that had appeared.

well known that when Paulus Emilius had conquered MaThat the Lord had called us for to preach] That is, they cedonia, he divided it into four part-, LEFT, and that he called inferred that they were called to preach the gospel in Mace the country that lay between the rivers Strymon and Nesdonia, from what the vision had said, come orer, and help sus, the first part, and made Amphipolis its chief city, or me. us; the help meaning, preach to us the gospel. Instead of tropolis; Philippi, therefore, was not its chief city. But į Kupigs the Lord, meaning Jrsus, several MSS. such as Bishop Pearce has, with great show of reason, argued that, , ABCE. several others with the Coptic, Tulgue, Theophy- though Amphipolis was made the chief city of it by Paulus lact and Jerome, have s Osos God. Though this stands on Emilius, yet Philippi might have been the chief city in the very reputable authority, yet the former scems to be the day's

days of St. Paul, which was two hundred and twenty years better reading; for it was the Spirit of Jesus, ver. 7. that after the division by P. Emilius. Besides, as it was at would not suffer them to go into Bithynia, because he had this place that Augustus gained that victory which put designed that they should immediately preach the gospel in him in possession of the whole Roman empire, might not Macedonia.

i he have given to it that dignity which was before enjoyed by

Lydia and her family receive

THE ACTS.

the Gospel, and are baptized.

Á.M.cir. 4057.
A. D. cir. 53

A. D. cir. 53.

cir.CCVIII.1.

cir.CCVIII.1.

13 And on the * sabbath we went 15 And when she was baptized, and A M. cir.4057. An. Olymp. out of the city by a river side, where her household, she besought us, say- An. Olymp.

prayer was wont to be made; and ing, If ye have judged me to be faithwe sat down, and spake unto the women which ful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide resorted thither.

there. And she constrained us.

16 I And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which a certain damsel “possessed with a spirit of worshipped God, heard us : whose heart the divination met us, which brought her masters Lord opened, that she attended unto the things 'much gain by soothsaying: which were spoken of Paul.

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried,

14 1 And a certain woman named Lydia, a 16

a Gr. sabbath-day.Luke 24. 45. -c Gen. 19.3. & 33. 11. Judg.

19. 21.

Luke 24. 29. Hebr. 13. 2.—__1 Sam. 28.7.--. Or, of Python.ch.

19. 24.

Amphipolis ? This is the most rational way of solving this worshipper of God, she was prepared to receive the heavenly difficulty; and thereupon I shall not trouble the reader with truths spoken by Paul and his companions ; and, as she was the different modes that have been proposed to alter and faithful to the grace she had received, so God gave her more amend the Greek text.

grace, and gave her now a divine conviction that what was And a colony] That is a colony of Rome ; for it ap- spoken by Paul was true; and therefore she attended unto the pears that a colony was planted here by Julius Cæsar, and things ; she believed them and received them as the doc. afterwards enlarged by Augustus : the people, therefore, trines of God; and in this faith she was joined by her whole were considered as'freemen of Rome, and from this, call family; and in it they were all baptized. themselves Romans, ver. 21. The Jewish definition of xu35p Verse 15. If ye have judged me to be faithful to the kolonia (for they have the Latin word in Hebrew letters, as Lord] The meaning seems to be this: If my present reSt. Luke has it here kom.wela in Greek letters) is, a free city, ception of the gospel of Christ, be a proof to you that I which does not pay tribute.

have been faithful to the Lord, in the light previously imVerse 13. By a river side, where prayer was wont to be parted ; and that I am as likely to be faithful to this new made] Ou EvouICETO TI COGEUXY Eival, where it was said there was grace, as I have been to that already received ; and, cona proseucha. The proseucha was a place of prayer, or a sequently, not likely by light, or fickle conduct, to bring place used for worship, where there was no synagogue. It any discredit on this divine work; come into my house and was a large building uncovered, with seats, as in an amphi- | abide there. It is wrong to suppose that this woman had theatre. Buildings of this sort the Jews had by the sea not received a measure of the light of God before this time. side, and by the sides of rivers. See this subject considered And she constrained us.] She used such entreaties and at large in the note on Luke vi. 12. It appears that the persuasions, that at last they consented to lodge there. apostles had heard from some of the Gentiles, or from some Verse 16. As we went to prayer] Eis TO GODEUXTY into the of the Jews themselves, that there was a place of prayer by proseucha: see on ver. 13. and on Luke vi. 12. The artithe river side; and they went out in quest of it, knowing, cle tyy, is added here by ABCE. ; several others, Origen and that as it was the Sabbath, they should find some Jews there. Theophylact : this makes the place more emphatic, and seems

Spake unto the women] Probably this was before the to determine the above meaning of TT poreuxq to be right, time of their public worship; and while they are waiting for not the act of prayer or praying to God, but the place, the the assembling of the people in general : and Paul improved oratory, in which these proselytes assembled for the purthe opportunity to speak concerning Christ and salvation, to pose of praying, reading the law and the prophets, and such the women that resorted thither.

like exercises of devotion. It appears that the apostles Verse 14. Lydia, a seller of purple] She probably had spent some time here; as it is evident from this, and the folher name from the province of Lylia, in which the city of lowing verses, that they often resorted to this place to preach Thyatira was situated. The Lydian women have been cele.

the gospel. brated for their beautiful purple manufactures.

Possessed with a spirit of divination] EXOUCAU TIVEULA TVWhich worshipped God] That is, she was a proselyte to Owros, having a spirit of Python, or of Apollo. Pytho was, the Jewish religion; as were probably all the women that according to fable, a huge serpent, that had an oracle at resorted hither.

Mount Parnassus, famous for.predicting future events; that Whose heart the Lord opened] As she was a sincere | Apollo slew this serpent, and hence he was called Pythius,

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