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same night Peter was sleeping between two soldics, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
And, benold the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals: and so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision.
When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street, and forthwith the angel departed from him.
And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand ot Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together, praying.
And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
And they said unto her, Thou art mad. Burshe constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, If is bis angel.
But Peter continued knocking: ahd when they ha'd •pened the door, and saw him, they were; astonished.
But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to'hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought hirn out of the prison. And he said, Go, shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers what was become of Peter.'''
And when Herod had sought for him, and found hint not, tie examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he Went down from Judea to Cesarea, and there abode.
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him; ani having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because' their country Was nourished by" the king's country.
And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, stt upon a throne, and made an oration unto them.
And the people gave a shout, saying, It is tne voice of a god, and not of a man.
And immediately the angel of the Loro smote him, because he gave not God the glory: arid he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
But the word of God grew arid multiplied.
And Bamahas and Saul returned frorri Jerusalem, when' they had fulfilled their- ministry, and' took with them/ John, whose surname was Mark.
ANNOTATIONS .*»•« REFLECTIONS. * After the death of John the Baptist, Herod Antipat, who had caused him to be beheaded, was engaged, in a
*' Acts xii.
Q 2 war
war with Aretas king of Petrea, whose daughter he had divorced, that he might be at liberty to marry Herodias his brother Philip's wife. Herod was very unsuccessful in his wars, and at length having, by the advice of He. rodias offended the emperor, he was deprived of his dominions, and banished to Lyons, in Gaul, where he passed the rest of his days in poverty and obscurity.
At the period of sacred history we are now consider, ing, Herod Agrippa was tetrarch of Galilee, and had also the government of Judea, on which account he resided principally at Jerusalem. He was nephew to He. rod Antipas, and. brother to Herodias; he was a cruel and tyrannical prince, and abused the authority with which he was invested by the Roman emperor; for he persecuted the Christians. Herod's motive for committing such barbarous actions as are here related, was to ingratiate himself with the Jews. - ,
The execution of James shewed the Apostles that all their miraculous power did not secure them from dying by the sword of their enemies ;. and gave them an opportunity of testifying their courage in pursuing their ministry *.
This wonderful deliverance of Peter shewed, that the Lord had not forsaken his church, though he had suffered so valuable a member of it as James to be cut off. James was, during our Lord's abode on earth, high in his favour; and he soon dismissed him from this mortal life, to receive him into his presence in heaven.
Herod being disappointed in his cruel attempt to destroy Peter, departed from Jerusalem, in order to celebrate games there in honour of Cxsar. The Tyrians and
•. •.--.•...' .1 ,- '••:.- .r i' '::
• This was James the L«s, as- he Is called, the kinsman of oW
Lo&o, and author of the Epistle which bears his name.
Sidonians had given him some offence, for which he determined to take revenge, and threatened to make war upon them; but as they were a trading people, and not able to subsist without a constant supply of provisions from Judea, they resolved to avoid it if possible; and in order to accommodate matters, they made interest with the king's chamberlain, who prevailed on Herod to listen to their proposals. To make the transaction as solemn as possible, Herod appointed a day when a grand assembly was held, and being seated in a public theatre, upon a stately throne, clothed in a magnificent robe richly wrought with silver, he made an oration to them, in which he boasted of his clemency and condescension in admitting them to favour, when he could so easily have subdued them by force. But how soon was the scene changed! He was obliged to quit the place in extreme torture, a vast number of worms bred in his bowels, and shortly after he died a miserable object, sunk as much below the common state of human nature, as his flatterers had attempted to raise him above it. But the Gospel flourished and increased, and the number * of believers was considerably multiplied. Thus the opposition of its enemies, instead of extirpating Christianity) promoted it.
A learned author is of opinion, that Herod, in assuming the title of King of Judea, was guilty of high treason against the Messiah ; and this arrogance, joined to his pride and cruelty, rendered him more deserving of the terrible death he suffered. It is also supposed, that his flatterers meant to draw a comparison between him and the Glory Of The Lord, which used to appear on the Mercy-seat.
The miserable end of Herod cannot fait of suggesting . proper reflections to our minds on the vanity of earthly Q 3 greatness,
greatness, and the fatal effects of pride and vain-glory, which corrupt the hearts of those who indulge thera, and provoke the just anger of God.
BARNABAS AND SAUL PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE
'GENTILES. ELYMASTHB SORCERER SMITTEN WITH
From Acts, Chap, xiii.
Barna B As and Saul having faithfully discharged their trust, by carrying the alms of the disciples at Antioch to those of Jerusalem, returned back to Antioch, taking with them John, whose surname was Mark. This was not Mark the Evangelist, but the nephew of Barnabas, and sori of Mary, at whose house the disciples assembled tc; pray for Peter.
Shortly after their arrival, Barnabas and Saul were, by the immediate direction of the Holy Spirit, solemnly separated from the rest of the Apostles, for the peculiar purpose of preaching to the Gentiles; and departed from Antioch by the direction, and under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They first went to SelenciaJ a considerable port in ihe Mediterranean sea. Next they sailed to the island of Cyprus, and having made a progress through it, came to Paphos, which lay on the western coast. At this place they met with a Jew, who was a magician and false prophet. His name was Barjqnas, or, when translated into the Greek language, Elyrnas. This person was with Sergius Paulus the Roman