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ST. PAUL IS MADE AN APOSTLE.
Period for preaching the Gospel to the idolatrous Gentiles, and
St. Paul's first Apostolical Journey.
ACTS xiii. 1, 2, 3,
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain i V. Æ. 45.
prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was A 101, Cherod's called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen", which had foster-brother. been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they 2
ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid 3 their hands on them, they sent them away'.
THEIR APPOINTMENT TO THE
ON THE OCCASION OF ST. PAUL AND BARNABAS RECEIVING
The learned and judicious Hooker (a) has conjectured that Barnabas and Saul were now set apart for their apostleship, to supply the vacancies in the original number, one having been killed by Herod, the other appointed bishop of Jerusalem. Dr. Hales (6) approves this opinion. It is much to be regretted that the seventh book of the Ecclesiastical Polity is one of those which we cannot be certain received the last corrections of their author, or indeed were certainly written by him. The conjecture, however, is that of one who had carefully studied the Scripture narrative, and is by no means improbable.
As St. Paul and Barnabas had been already peculiarly set apart to their high office, we cannot attribute their authority to the prophets and teachers in the Church at Antioch, who here officiated by an especial command of God, through the Holy Spirit. St. Paul expressly declares that he was not an apostle by man. We are assured, too, in another passage of Scripture, that " without all doubt the less is blessed of the greater :" if St. Paul, therefore, had derived his commission as the apostle of the Gentiles from the Church at Antioch, the prophets who set him apart must have been either superior or equal to him. They were not superior, for the apostles are always ranked above any other class of ministers in the Christian Church-if they were equal, they must have been elevated themselves to the rank of apostles, as a learned divine has attempted to prove (c).
The apostles were, in one sense of the word, each of them apostles to the whole world: but inasmuch as each took his peculiar department, he might be called the apostle of that district or division of their Lord's vineyard. Thus we are assured that the twelve took each of them his province, and ecclesiastical history gives us the name of their several districts. It is not improbable that, when the Holy Spirit had separated them for the apostolic office in general, St. Paul and Barnabas consented to become the apostles of the Church at Antioch in particular. That Church had lately bestowed an honourable title upon the followers of Christ. It was the principal society, which did not consist of merely Jewish converts, and as St. Paul was set apart as the apostle of the Gentiles, it does not appear unreasonable to suppose that he would be willing to add to his influence the sanction of this venerable Church. The Church of Christ was at this time truly Catholic. It formed, as it ought ever to have done, and as it will again at the coming period of its promised prosperity, one great society. It was united through all its congregations under the authority of its superior pastors, who assembled in council to decide upon any matter in which all were interested. There was no supremacy either of St. Peter, or any other of the apostles, and no schism or heresy among its people. The condescending of St. Paul to become the apostle of the Church at Antioch, so far as it might be useful to the Catholic Church to act with their sanction, does not imply that their authority was superior to his. His object may have been to obtain in those places which were under the influence of Antioch, a better or an easier introduction, than he would have otherwise
(@) Hooker's Eccles. Polity, lib. vii. sec. 4. p. 337. (b) Hales's Anal. of Chronol. vol. ii. pt. 2. p. 1083. (c) Scott's Christian Life, pt. 2. ch. vii. p. 491. folio edit. Joseph. Antiq. lib. 15. c. 10. sec. 5. Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 685, and vol. i. 288-2008. ap. Biscoe on the Acts.
§ 2. Saul, in company with Barnabas, commences his first Apostolical J. P. 4758.
V. Æ. 45.
ACTs xiii. former part of ver. 4.
in Cyprus, where Sergius Paulus (whose name was assuned by Saul) is
ACTs xiii. latter part of ver. 4—13.
Salainis, were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the syna
gogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. 6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they
found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name 7 was Bar-jesus: which was with the deputy' of the country,
experienced. This consideration appears to solve that great difficulty which many have experienced, in reconciling the apostolic commission of St. Paul by the Holy Spirit, with his being set apart by ecclesiastical officers of an inferior description.
Among the prophets who were now in the Church at Antioch, we read of one Manaen.
“There is an account in Josephus of one Manaen (says Dr. Briscoe) an Essene, who foretold concerning Herod the Great, that he should be a king, whilst he was yet a boy at school: and when it actually came to pass that he was king, being sent for by Herod, and asked how long he should reign, whether ten years ? he answered, Yes.-Twenty years ? Yes; thirty years. Upon which Herod gave him his right hand, and from that time held in great esteem such who were of the sect of Essenes. Mr. Zachutus, a Jewish writer, says, that this Manaen was vice-president of the Sanbedrim under Hillel, and that Shammai succeeded him; that he went off into Herod's family and service with fourscore eminent men; that he uttered many prophecies, foretold to Herod when he was yet very young, that he should come to reign ; and when he did reign, being sent for, foretold that he should reign above thirty years. The Talmudists also say, " That Manaen went out, and Shammai succeeded him. But whither went Manaen? Abai says, he went into the service of the king, and with him went fourscore pair of disciples, clothed all in silk.” It is very probable that a son of this Manaen, or some nephew, or other kinsman to whom he gave his name, was educated in the family of Herod the Great. The young Manaen might be of the same age, and have the same preceptors and tutors as had Herod Antipas, one of the sons of Herod the Great, and for that reason be said to be brought up with him in particular. This Herod Antipas was, after his father's death, tetrarch of Galilee, and is the person who put John the Baptist to death. Josephus says, of the first named Manaen, that he was reputed a man of an excellent life. The Talmudists tell us, that when he left the vice-presidentship of the Sanhedrim to go into Herod's service, he went into all manner of wickedness. May they not have fixed this infamy upon him from his having shown some mark of esteem for Christ and his followers ? or from the younger Manaen's becoming a Christian ?
· Sergius Paulus was the first convert of the idolatrous Gentiles. He was a magistrate ; and, by his conversion and influence, the preaching of St. Paul would probably excite still greater attention. The conversion of a magistrate as the first-fruits of the idolatrous world, may be intended to show to us that the Divine Author of Christianity appeals in a more especial manner to those who are vested with authority and power, to embrace his religion, and to sanction and protect it to the utmost.
"It is observable here (says Bishop Marsh), that the evangelist Luke, relating these transactions of Paul in Cyprus, gives to Sergius Paulus, the Roman governor of that island, the Greek title of 'Avbúnatos, which was applied only to those governors of provinces who were invested with proconsular dignity. And on the supposition that Cyprus was not a province of this description, it has been inferred, that the title given to Sergius Paulus in the Acts of the Apostles, was a title that did not properly belong to him.
"A passage, indeed, has been quoted from Dion Cassius, who, speaking of the governors of Cyprus, and some other Roman provinces, applies to them the same title which is applied to Sergius 102
ST. PAUL GOES FROM CYPRUS TO PERGA.
J. P. 4758. Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and
sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, Paphos.
seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, 9
From Cyprus to Perga in Pamphylia.
ACTS xiii. 13. Perga.
Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia : and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. $ 5. From Perga to Antioch in Pisidia-St.Paul, according to his custom,
first preaches to the Jews—They are driven out of Antioch. J. P. 4759.
ACTS xiii. 14-51.
V. Æ. 46.
Paulus. But as Dion Cassius is speaking of several Roman provinces at the same time, one of which was certainly governed by a proconsul, it has been supposed that, for the sake of brevity, he used one term for all of them, whether it applied to all of them or not. That Cyprus, however, ought not to be excepted, and that the title which he employed, as well as St. Luke, really did belong to the Roman governors of Cyprus, appears from the inscription on a coin belonging to Cyprus itself, and struck in the very age in which Sergius Paulus was governor of that island. It was struck in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, whose head and name are on the face of it: and in the reign of Claudius Cæsar St. Paul visited Cyprus. It was a coin belonging to the people of that island, as appears from the word KYIIPIQN on the reverse : and, though not struck while Sergius Paulus himself was governor, it was struck, as appears from the inscription on the reverse, in the time of Proclus, who was next to Sergius Paulus in the government of that island. And on this coin the same title, ANOYNI ATO, is given to Proclus, which is given by St. Luke to Sergius Paulus (a)." That Cyprus was a proconsulate, is also evident from an ancient inscription of Caligula's reign (the predecessor of Claudius), in which Aquius Scaura is called the proconsul of Cyprus (6).
3 The word Elymas is derived, by Pfeiffer, from the Arabic Beby, sciens, sapiens. See his Dubia vexata, p. 943. Loesneri observ. ad Nov. Testam. e Philone Alexand. p. 204, and Kuinoel.
* It is uncertain on what account the name of Paul is used by St. Luke through the remainder of his narrative, instead of Saul (c). Some have supposed that Paul was the Roman name, given him from his birth, with his Jewish patronymic, Saul. Others, that it was a token of his humility: the word "Saul” meaning " beloved," or "desirable ;” and “ Paul” denoting“ weak,” or “ little." Others, and it is the most general opinion, that the name Paul was assumed by the apostle in memory of the conversion of the proconsul Sergius Paulus : A primo ecclesiæ spolio proconsule Sergio Paulo victoriæ svæ trophæa retulit, erexitque vexillum ut Paulo, ex Saulo vocaretur (d). Others, that it was assumed as a name more pleasing to the ears of his audiences among the Gentiles.
(a) Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part V. pp. 85, 86. An engraving of the above noticed coin may be seen in Havercamp's edition of the Thesaurus Morellianus, in the plate belonging to p. 106. (6) Gruteri Corpus Inscriptionum, tom. I. pars ii. p. 360. no. 3. edit. Grævii, Amst. 1707. (c) See on this point Witsii Melet. Leidens. p. 47.
(d) Jerome, lib. i. ap. Kuinoel in lib. Hist. N. T. comment. vol. iv. p. 457. 9. v.
ST. PAUL-AT ANTIOCH IN PISIDIA.
in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day', ), P. 4759. 15 and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the Pro- V. Æ. 46.
phets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye Antioch, in
S ON THE OFFICERS AND MODES OF WORSHIP IN THE SYNAGOGUES. The learned Mr. Biscoe (a) observes, that St. Paul, as a Jewish doctor, or teacher, was privileged to teach in the synagogues. We cannot sufficiently admire the manner in which the providence of God ordained that every thing should contribute to the success of the new religion. The whole world was under one government, the protection of which ensured the common safety of the Jews and Christians under their own laws. When the Jews persecuted the Christians, the Romans did not interfere ; because they considered at first the Christians as a Jewish sect, and probably as very little better than criminals. The divisions between them must have been soon observed by the idolatrous Gentiles, and would naturally excite their curiosity and attention. The Jews had hitherto been united among themselves, and had met with no opposition from their own nation, in the public profession of their religion, till the Christians proclaimed to them, and to the world, the advent of the long promised Messiah-the abolition of the Mosaic law, and the establishment of a more perfect dispensation, in which all mankind were alike interested. These novel and important truths, together with the miracle which the apostle had so lately wrought, were sufficient to secure to him the regard and consideration of the heathen, and convince them at least of his superiority and power. For God “ordereth all things according to the counsel of his own will."
Lightfoot, Vitringa, Grotius, Selden, and many others, have endeavoured to prove from this, and other passages, that the ministers, and the modes of worship, in the primitive Christian Churches, were derived from, and were entirely assimilated to, the officers and services in the Jewish synagogues. As the first places of worship among the Christians were either the temple, the synagogues, or the trepqa, or upper rooms, so frequently mentioned in the Acts, it is by no means improbable that many of their customs would be derived from their former faith and worship ; but it cannot be proved that the Christian Church was the mere transcript of that which preceded it. We bave abundant reason to believe, that the modes of worship among the early Christians were, in many respects, totally dissimilar to those of the synagogue.
The learned Joseph Mede (6), as I have shown above, has defended the opinion at great length, that there were Churches, lekinoiat, properly so called, even in the apostolic age. He considers this word to mean Churches, or places for worship, from its opposition to oikiai, their own houses. See 1 Cor. xi. 22.
The 'Tepqov, or cænaculum, on Mount Sion, where the apostles are said to have assembled when the cloven tongues descended upon them, was afterwards enclosed. When it is considered to what a great variety of purposes the “ upper rooms,” mentioned so often in the Acts of the Apostles, were applied, it appears that the opinion of Mede is most probably correct, that these were the places at first set apart for holy meetings; and, in process of time, as the multitude of believers increased, some wealthy or devout Christian gave his whole house or mansion, while he lived, if he could do so, or bequeathed it at his death, to the saints, to be set apart for religious uses. After this, as the Church increased, structures were built for regular worship.
Mede quotes a passage from Philo, to prove that the Essenes at Alexandria, who were probably the first Christians at that place, assembled for worship in sacred places, called Eeuveia. He reasons also from St. Paul's salutations to the Churches in the houses of various believers.
These remarks on the places where the early Christians met, will at least prove that there was nothing so peculiarly sacred in the synagogue, that they should confine themselves to its walls, or be fettered by its institutions.
The Jews were required to erect synagogues wherever ten men, free and of full age, yoon 32 73173), could assemble for worship, whether it was in the towns or villages : but in the city they were always required to be men of leisure, that is, of competence and respectability, bubua nowy. Vitringa and Lightfoot (c) differ on the qualifications of these ten men ; but their opinions on this
(@) Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. 271. (6) Mede's Works, book 2, p. 319. Treatises concerning Churches; that is, appropriate places for Christian Worship, both in and ever since the Apostles' times. See also p. 323, fol. edit. Erant autem illa privata in epqa, loca a Judæis semper sacris usibus destinata, saltem ex quo Daniel Propheta ascendisse in cenaculum ad orandum diceretur: και αι θυρίδες ανεωγμέναι αυτω εν τοις υπερώοις κατέναντι Ιερουσαλήμ. ut et Sara hlia Raguelis dicitur descendisse εκ του υπερώου, ubi oraverat. Unde Judæi sapientes suos appellabant igen gya filios cænaculi. In eo celebrabant Pascha, Marc. xiv. 15.
Et ipse sobis demonstrabit úvúyatov,conaculum grande stratum. In eo corpora mortuorum lavata prius reponebant, ut de Dorcade legimus, Act. ix. 37. Quam cum lavissent, posuerunt eam in conaculo. Unde et Petrum venientem dicuntur adduxisse in cænaculum. Quare Apostoli ab ascensione Domini reversi Hierosolyma, åvéßno av eis Tò imeppov, ubi erant perseverantes unanimiter in oratione, et supplicatione, Act. i. 13. Pearson. Lectiones in Acta Apostol. p. 31. (c) Lightfoot supposes that these ten men were thus divided :--Three were the upxiourbreyou, who had the principal management of the synagogue; one was the fin, the episcopus, or bishop of the synagogue; three were deacons, who managed the poor. The eighth he will not so confidently affirın, but he 104
ST. PAUL PREACHES TO THE JEWS
J. P. 4759. men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the
Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his 16
46, people, say on.
point do not affect the conclusion, that there is no custom similar to this in the Christian Church ; for in the Gospel it is expressly declared, “ Where two or three are met together in His name, He is there in the midst of them."
The consecration of the synagogues, it is true, was made by prayer-prayer also is used in the consecration of the Christian Churches. But this resemblance is too general to entitle us to assert that the Christians, in consecrating their places of worship, paid exclusive regard to the service of the synagogue.
The accounts of the ancient Churches given by Eusebius, further prove to us that the early Christians had regard to the model, or ground plan of the temple at Jerusalem, rather than to the synagogue. With the exception of the pulpit, which was common to both, the difference was remarkable. The synagogue was surrounded and filled with benches, all looking to the veil, which inclosed the ark, or chest, where the sacred books were deposited. The uppermost seats of the synagogues fronted the people, and on them were seated the rulers of the synagogue, the rabbis, and the principal men. The Christian Churches, on the contrary, were divided into three parts. 1. The Narthex, or anti-temple, where the penitents and catechumens stood ; 2. The Naos, or temple, where the communicants had their respective places; and, 3. The Bema, or sanctuary, where the clergy stood to officiate (d). Should this description be correct, it demonstrates that the Christians rejected the innovation of the synagogues, and restored the purer temple model.
In the synagogues were laid up not only the sacred books, and the box for alms, but lights for burning, trumpets and horns for proclaiming fasts, sabbaths, &c. &c. None of which things were admitted into the Christian Churches.
But while we assert that these customs were excluded, we cannot but acknowledge that there is a similarity in some instances, which perhaps could not be avoided, as the early worshippers of Christ had been so long under the jurisdiction of the Jewish discipline. But these customs must not be, as they too often are, mistaken for institutions ; for in many instances we find them condemned by the inspired writers. Thus St. James, chap. ii. 3. declaims against the precedency which was allowed to the rich; who probably took the upper seats which were granted to the Jewish rulers in the synagogue, &c. &c.
St. James was the apostle of the circumcision ; the places of worship, therefore, in his district, would be more likely than others to be conducted on the model of the synagogne.
The persons in the synagogue, who were invested with office and dignity, were first the rnt, ndon the ruler of the synagogue, the ápxlovváywyos of the Gospels. There were several of these in one synagogue. They directed its internal economy (e), gave permission to strangers to preach, and were respectable for age, or influence; and decided inferior causes.
These offices we find were all divided in the Christian Church. Its civil concerns were managed by the deacons, as is implied in the purposes for which they were originally set apart. So likewise no Christian minister could ever give another person permission to preach, unless he had been previously ordained to that office.
It is singular to observe how often Vitringa is compelled to acknowledge that his parallel between the ministers of the synagogue, and the first Christian ministers, entirely fails (f). The ruler of the synagogue wore a Sudarium; Vitringa confesses that he is ignorant, whether the Christian minister was ever known to wear it also (g). His attempts to prove its use in the Christian Churches, seem to me to be quite unsuccessful. Again, the ruler of the synagogue was sometimes called the pastor of the congregation ; but he who in this capacity had the power of inflicting stripes, and other corporal punishments, was not exactly such a shepherd as Christ would desire to instruct believes was the 793718, the interpreter. The ninth and tenth were united with another of the congregation, and were the triumvirate which governed the rest. But see on these points Vitringa, Archisynagogus, p. 22, &c. &c. and Petit's Observations, p. 25. Moderatoribus Synagogorum, minus recte annumerantur, D502 novy, decem otiosi, &c. &c. tales autem non erant, nisi in urbibus majoribus. Iken. Antiq. Hebraicæ, pt. 1. cap. ix. de Synagogis, sec. 9. (d) Bingham's Eccles. Antiq. vol. iii. book 8. chap. 3. (e) yn rug by. The ruler of the synagogue is he, by whose voice the business of the synagogue is settled. R. Salomon in Annot. ad Sotæc ap. vii. sec. 7. ap. Vitringa Archisynagogus, p. 78. (Ecclesia tamen Christiana primæva, hunc titulum synagogæ reliquit Præpositos suos non vocavit, ápxovras tñs ekkingias; sed potius presbyteros, episcopos, pastores, ductores ; idque ob hanc manifestam rationem, quia ecclesia novi farderis nul. lam fert úpxiv, nullum imperium. De Synag. Vetere, lib. iii. pars 1. p. 610. Præter hunc titulum, alius quidem quantum mihi constat, in scriptis N. T. non reperitur, qui directe ad præfecturam synagogæ respicit. Vitringa de Archisyn. ap. De Synag. Vetere, lib. iii. pars 1. cap. i. p. 611. Syrus interpres Tous upxrouvayúrovs, apud Lucam vertit per inv237 XvUP; presbyteros Synagogæ. I have, however, shown that there is no analogy whatever between these and the Christian minister. Vitringa De Synag. Vet. lib. iii. pars 8. cap. i. p. 614. (9) Episcopi vero an in primis ecclesiis, pro åpxlouvaqorwv more, sudar ia ayitarint, ego equidem fateor me ignorare, &c. &c. For the meaning of the phrase "sudaria agitarint," I must refer the reader to the treatise itself.
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