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The jailer converted, &c.
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 32 saved, and thy household." And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that 33 were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes: and was immediately baptized, he and all his 34 household. And when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them, and rejoiced with all his household, believing in God.
And when it was day, the magistrates sent 36 the officers, saying, "Let those men go." And the jailer told these words to Paul, "The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XVI. 1. The blessed apostle Paul exemplified in his own spirit and practice, the precepts which he gave to others. In great condescension he became all things to all men; to the Jews as a Jew, so far as he could lawfully, that he might gain them to Christ. With this design he circumcised Timothy, whom he took for his attendant, that he might give no unnecessary offence. And we cannot but admire the amiable conduct of this young man, who submitted to this painful rite, and to the observance of other Jewish customs, with a view to usefulness in the church. From such a man much was to be expected, nor did Timothy disappoint the hopes which his early piety, and meek and submissive temper, had raised. He served as a son with the apostle in the gospel. O may our youth, and especially those devoting themselves to the ministry, possess the same humble, self-denying spirit, and the same zeal in the cause of Jesus.
2. We learn how sovereign God is in affording the means of grace, and in what various methods he works on the hearts of different persons. The apostles were prevented visiting some places, and directly sent to others. How thankful should we be that the word of salvation has been sent to us. Wherever they went and laboured God bore testimony to the word of his grace, and some were called to the knowledge of his Son, and to faith in him. Lydia was called by a gentle influence, descending upon her like dew from heaven; her heart was opened and melted under the word, and she was enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus. In the calling and conversion of the jailer, the Lord came in the whirlwind, the tempest, and the fire. Hardened by his
these servants of the most high God declare to us the way of salvation.' This testimony had been so often given, and by such a person, that it must have been generally known; and it is reasonable to think, that now his personal crimes, and his intention of self-murder, were brought to his recollection, and under a deep sense of his danger, he put the important question.
31. Believe on the, &c. Give full credit to the testimony which we bear to Jesus as the only Saviour, and commit yourself to him for safety and happiness. Nothing less than this can be implied in this direction and answer to his interesting question.And thy household. On his believing they would be favoured with the means of religious instruction, and the opportunity of attending upon them. The Apostle and Silas immediately began to instruct him, and explain to him and all his house, the nature of the gospel which they preached.
The apostles are released. depart, and go in peace." But Paul said to 37 them, "They have beaten us publicly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they send us away privately? No, truly; but let them come themselves and bring us out." And the officers told these 38 words to the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they 39 came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered 40 into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
civil calling, and inured to inflict stripes and to contemplate the miseries of others without sympathy, it was necessary that the terrors of God should be set in array before him. His soul, as well as his house, was shaken with an earthquake, and the foundations as it were laid bare. Convinced of his extreme danger, he falls down before Paul and Silas, and was ready to receive directions from these men, whom he had so lately treated with great severity. Now he regarded them as the messengers of heaven, who could show to him the way of salva tion. What hath God wrought? What a glorious triumph of grace when such sinners are renewed and saved!
3. In the conduct of Paul and Silas while in prison and during the wonders of this night, we behold what support a good conscience and a good cause can impart, even amidst the greatest sufferings. Paul and Silas could not only pray, but sing praises to God in prison. And it soon appeared that their prayers and praises came up in remembrance before God; and in the conversion of the jailer, new matter of praise was afforded to them. Unconcerned for themselves they were anxious to lead him to Christ; and with plainness, wisdom and zeal, they preached the gospel, and administered the initiatory ordinance of it. Well might the jailer rejoice with all his household; for salvation had come to his house. Soon was this new convert relieved from all his difficulties by an order to release his holy prisoners. They had suffered as christians, but they maintained their civil rights as men; and by their conduct they teach us to appeal to the law for protection, against outrageous violence and oppression.
33. Washed their stripes. In order to afford some relief from their pain. This shows that even the apostles had not power to heal themselves or others, when they pleased, but only when God suggested to them, that such a miracle should be wrought.—Was baptized, &c. There is no proof they went to a river to perform this rite; but there is reason to conclude that it was performed in the prison, from the next verse; and it requires many gratuitous suppositions to support the inference that it was performed by immersion.
34. He rejoiced with all, &c. It is well known that xavoix embraces the whole, children as well as servants and slaves. See Sept. Exod. i. 1, where it is confined to children, and some of them very young. While the jailer rejoiced domestically or with his family, the act of believing is ascribed to him only.
35-40. Let those men go. They perhaps thought that one night's con
Paul goeth to Athens.
Then the brethren immediately sent away 10 Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalo- 11 nica, because they received the word with all readiness of mind, searching the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Wherefore many 12 of them believed; also of honourable women, who were Gentiles, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica knew that 13 the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came thither also, stirring up the multi- ́ tudes. And then the brethren immediately sent 14 away Paul to go towards the sea; but Silas and Timothy abode there still. And those who 15 conducted Paul brought him to Athens: and having received a command unto Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
But the Jews [who believed not, moved with envy,] took unto them some wicked men of the meaner sort, and gathered a multitude and raised a tumult in the city, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the people.
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, 16 his spirit within him was greatly moved, when he beheld the city full of idols. He therefore 17 discoursed in the synagogue with the Jews, and with those who worshipped God, and in the
6 And when they found them not, they drag-market-place daily with those with whom he
ged Jason and some of the brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, "These that have turned the world upside down are come 7 hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and all these act contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus." And they alarmed the people and the 9 rulers of the city, who heard these things. And And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the others, they let them go.
met. Then certain philosophers of the Epicu- 18
They visit Thessalonica, &c.
A. D. 53. Paul preacheth at Thessalonica; some believe, others persecute him; he is sent to Berea, where the Jews of Thessalonica follow him; the brethren conduct him to Athens where he preacheth to them the true God, who made all things.
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, 2 where was a synagogue of the Jews, And Paul, as his custom was, went in unto them, and on three sabbaths discoursed to them out of the 3 scriptures, Explaining them and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen from the dead; and that, " this Jesus, whom I preach 4 unto you, is the Christ." And some of them believed, and joined themselves to Paul and Silas; and of the Gentiles who worshipped God, a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
finement was punishment sufficient.- Uncondemned. This was a direct violation of the Porcian law, (See Cic. Or. pro Rabirio. c. iv. ;) and hence the magistrates fearing the consequence of their injustice, came and intreated them to depart.
CHAP. XVII, 2. Three sabbaths, &c. He must have continued much longer there; and most probably spent the rest of the time in teaching the Gentiles. See Payley's Horse Paulinæ.
3. Explaining them, &c. In the manner he had done at Antioch. Ch. xiii. 16, &c.
5-7. But the Jews, &c. Thus we see how the gospel of peace hath occasioned disturbance. They who receive it not, are ever ready to take up arms against it, and to charge on it the very disturbance which they themselves make.- -Turned the, &c. They had effected a considerable change; many had been enlightened, and turned to God; but these meant that the apostles violated the peace of society, and set up another king, in rebellion
against Cæsar. Perhaps they thought, that by calling and owning Jesus as their Lord, they did in effect make him a king.
11. Were more noble, &c. Of a better and more generous disposition, as it is explained in what follows; for they acted in a more rational and becoming manner.
14. Towards the sea. See Schleus, in w; 16. Bost and Raphelius have proved that towards,' and not, 'as it were to the sea,' is the true rendering.
16. Full of idols. This is the exact sense of the text; and how true it was we learn from several historians. Pansanias affirms, "that there was no place where so many idols or images were to be seen;" and Petronius says, "that it was more easy to find a god at Athens than a man."
17. Market-place. This was in Greece, as well as in Judea, the place of general resort for business and discourse.
18. Epicureans-Stoics, &c. These were celebrated philosophical sects among the Greeks. The former denied a providence and a future state, and
Paul's discourse before
things to our ears: we desire therefore to know 21 what these things mean." (Now all the Athenians and foreigners who dwelt among them spent their time in nothing else, but either in telling or hearing some new thing.)
the judges of the Areopagus.
Then Paul stood in the midst of the court of Areopagus, and said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive in all places that ye are much ad23 dicted to the worship of demons. For as I For as I passed by, and beheld the objects of your worship, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD." Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto 24 you. The God who made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Nor is he served by the hands of men, as if he
needed any thing; since he giveth to all life, 26 and breath, and all things; And hath made
of one blood all 'nations of men, to dwell on the face of the whole earth, and hath determined their appointed times, and the bounds of their 27 habitation; That they might seek God," if
considered pleasure the chief good. The latter were fatalists, and held that virtue was the chief good, that all viees were equal, that pain was no evil, &c. —Foreign demons. The gods of the heathen were deified men, and when Paul preached Jesus and the Anastasis, they took the latter term to signify some deity, and not a resurrection of the dead.
And when they heard of the resurrection of 32 the dead, some scoffed; and others said, “We will hear thee again of this matter." Then 33 Paul departed from among them. But some 34 men joined themselves to him, and believed; among whom was Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Griesb. others, Lord.
27. REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XVII. 1. We see that persecuted the preachers of it. How dreadful are the effects of prejudice cution did not damp the ardour of 'Paul's zeal; but though cruelly and unbelief! Under the influence of these principles, they had killed treated at Philippi he hastened to Thessalonica and Berea, to preach the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and now persecuted the aposJesus as the Christ. But the Jews instead of receiving the gospel tles; not pleasing God, and being contrary to all men, forbidding with thankfulness, and yielding obedience unto it, opposed and perse- them to preach to the Gentiles that they might be saved. Thus they
19. To the court of Areopagus. This was the highest court of justice at Athens, and had especially the cognizance of whatever respected religion. Before this court Socrates had been tried and condemned. The members of it were called Areopagites, as verse 34.
21. Now the Athenians, &c. This remark of Luke is supported by the testimony of Demosthenes, Thucydides, and others.
22. Addicted to the worship, &e. This gives, I apprehend, the real sense of the original term; and it must be evident that the design of the apostle was not to irritate, but to induce the people to listen to him with attention. come renders, 'ye are somewhat too religious;' and in his margin, 'too prone to the worship of demons.' Doddridge, 'exceedingly addicted to the worship of invisible powers.'
23. The objects of your, &c. For the sense given to orbacμara, see Pearce. The term implies their statues, altars, &c.—An altar with, &c. When any calamity was supposed to be averted by sacrifice to some unknown god, altar was erected to such unknown god. See Lårdner, vol. 4. 4to. p. 171-176, for the occasion of such altars, &c.
24-27. The God who made, &c. As he is the Creator of all things, his
nature is such that he is not confined and limited to temples "made by mén; nor does the service which he requires, consist in the labour of men's hands in making of altars, statues, &c. Nor does he need the offerings which men ignorantly present, since it is he that giveth to all life, &c.—Of one blood, &c. They all spring from one common head ; and the rise, duration of nations, means of knowledge, &c. are appointed to all people, that they might seek God, &c. See Gen. x. 1, &c.- -If possibly they by searching, &c. I adopt the metaphorical sense of the verb daw. See Mintert. As a blind man searches out his way by feeling, hence the verb was naturally transferred to the act of searching, scrutinizing. The apostle struck at the basis of Epicureanism, and the fine spun theories of their most esteemed philosophers.
29. Wherefore being the, &c. Having quoted this passage of Aratus, he argues from it. As God, who made us' intelligent beings, must be of a New-nature far superior to us, we ought not to think that the Deity is like, &c.
30. The times of this, &c. I suppose Paul refers to the times which had elapsed, and during which God had not directly interposed to prevent the ignorance and errors of the heathen world, but had suffered men to follow their own opinions and ways. This, I think, is what the apostle means, by 'overlooking,' &c. The gospel is designed for a universal remedy of ignorance and idolatry; and God by it commandeth men every where to repent, and enforces this by the appearance and work of the Saviour, whom he hath appointed judge of the world.
32. Some scoffed, &c. At this new doctrine, and especially at the resur
Paul visits Corinth,
A. D. 54. Paul laboureth and preacheth at Corinth; by a vision he is encouraged; he is accused before Gallio, but dismssed; he visits different
churches; Apollos, instructed by Aquilla and Pricilla preacheth Christ with success.
1 AFTER these things Paul departed from A2 thens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquilla, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart 3 from Rome:) and went unto them: And because he was of the same occupation, he abode with them, and worked: (for by their occupation 4 they were tent-makers.) And he discoursed in the synagogue every sabbath, and endeavoured 5 to persuade the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timothy had come from Mace donia, Paul was zealously affected in spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 And when they opposed themselves, and re
filled up the measure of their iniquities, until wrath came upon them to the uttermost, and avenged at once the blood of Christ and of his ministers, whom they had slaughtered. They had showed no pity nor mercy; and they received no pity nor mercy, in the day of their visi tation. Let their punishment be a warning to all, to avoid the sins and impenitence which occasioned it.
2. Let us admire the spirit, candour, and conduct of the Bereans. Among them the apostle met with a most candid reception. They showed a true dignity of spirit; for they searched the scripture daily to see whether the things the apostle preached were as he represented them; and being fully satisfied from examination of the truth and divine authority of the gospel, they received it with all readiness of mind. Every faithful and judicious minister will be desirous, that his hearers should follow their example, and not yield a blind and implicit subjection to what he preaches, but to try it by the unerring standard of the holy scriptures. If our doctrines are not founded on revealed truth, they deserve no regard; but if they are,
rection of the dead; and others of the Areopagites with more dignity said, they would hear him again. God, however, gave such testimony to the word of his grace that many believed.
CHAP. XVII. 2. Because Claudius, &c. Suetonius, in the life of Claudius Cæsar, says, "He expelled the Jews from Rome, who were continually raising disturbances, Chresto being their leader." I consider Christ to be meaut by this historian; and it is probable, that the factious unbelieving Jews, raising disturbances on account of the Christians, caused them to be banished from Rome.
and preaches to the Gentiles.
proached, he shook his raiment, and said to them, "Your blood is upón your own heads; I am pure; henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." And he departed thence, and entered 7 into a certain man's house, named Justus, a Gentile, who worshipped God, whose house was adjoining to the synagogue. And Crispus, 8 the chief ruler of a synagogue, believed on the Lord with his whole household; and many of the Corinthians on hearing believed, and were baptized. Then the Lord spoke to Paul in the 9 night by a vision, "Fear not, but speak, and be not silent: For I am with thee, and no man 10 shall lay hands on thee to hurt thee: for I have many people in this city." And he continued 11 there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Now when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, 12 the Jews rose with one consent against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat, Saying, 13
3. Tentmakers. In the Talmud every father is commanded to teach his son a trade, &c. Such a custom was founded in the knowledge of human nature, and would tend to remind them of the sin of idleness, and prevent those early habits of extravagance and dissipation into which the youth of the rich and great too often fall. One of these rabbies is sirbamed the shoemaker, VOL. III. PART XXI. G G
let them be received with all cordiality, and even with joy, as the truths of God.
3. Need we be surprized at the feelings of the apostle, when he entered Athens, famed for her arts, her wisdom and her civil institu tions, but sunk in the grossest idolatry? What christian can behold a polite and learned city, abandoned to trifling speculations, and degraded by the lowest superstition, and not feel his spirit moved with compassion? The sight of this produced in Paul the most generous ardour, to impart to them the knowledge of the true God, and of the way of salvation by Christ; and though his generous efforts were treated by many with contempt, yet some through grace embraced the truth, and became the disciples of Jesus. How well adapted was Paul's discourse, to make known the true and only living God, the maker of heaven and earth? The statement also of a future judgment was calculated to alarm their fears, and to lead them to repentance. May these weighty and solemn truths ever be duly regarded and improved, that we may stand in the day of judgment.
another the baker, &c. See Doddridge's note. Tents of skins or silk were much used in those countries.
4. Endeavoured to persuade. The verb unquestionably has this sense here. It does not express the effect, but the attempt of the apostle.
6. Shook his raiment. See Luke x. 11. Neh. v. 13. By this action Paul testified that as a teacher he would have no further intercourse with them. Your blood, &c. Your destruction is owing to yourselves. See 1 Kings ii. 32. Ezek. xxxiii. 5.
7. Named Justus. He is distinguished from the Jews, and of course was a Gentile proselyte. We also learn that those called Greeks, verse 4, were in fact Jews who spoke the Greek language.—Synagogue. There were more than one synagogue at Corinth, see verse 17; but the one referred to was probably that in which Paul had preached.
9, 10. Fear not, &c. This was a kind and gracious assurance, and could 233
The Jews accuse Paul.
Apollos comes to Corinth. "This person persuadeth men to worship God || sailed from Eqhesus. And when he had landed 22 14 contrary to the law." And when Paul was about at Cesarea, and gone up, and saluted the to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If church, he went down to Antioch. And after 23 it were a matter of injustice or wicked mischief, he had spent some time there, he departed, O ye Jews, I might reasonably bear with you: and went over all the country of Galatia and 15 But if it be a question of doctrines and names, Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disand of your law, look ye to it; for I will not be ciples. 16 judge of such matters." And he drove them 17 from the judgment-seat. Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of a synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat. judgment-seat. But Gallio cared for none of these things.
And Paul after remaining there still many days, bade farewell to the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Pricilla and Aquilla; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: 19 for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and discoursed to the Jews. 20 And when they desired him to abide with them 21 for a longer time, he consented not; But bade them farewell, saying, "I must by all means keep the approaching feast in Jerusalem: but I will return unto you, if God will." And he
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XVIII. 1. We learn that Paul's success aroused the zeal and passions of his unbelieving brethren to oppose the gospel; but he received the assurance that their efforts would be vain. How amiable was his spirit, as well as that of his two friends Priscilla and Aquilla. We find them, while endeavouring to propagate the gospel, maintaining themselves by the labour of their own hands. Their situation and circumstances rendered this at that period necessary. Paul had a right to look for support to his converts, as he himself states in his Epistle to the church of Corinth, 1 Cor. ix. 114; but he did not insist on this right, lest his enemies should have some ground to charge him with preaching the Gospel from mercenary motives. He was influenced in this by a generous concern to advance his Redeemer's cause; being persuaded that his fidelity to Christ would be more apparent, and his labours might thereby become more successful. May all ministers of the word act
not fail to inspire Paul with courage, and animate him to holy diligence in the work of the ministry.
12-16.. When Gallio, &c. He was brother to the philosopher Seneca, and was a man of a mild disposition. This conduct showed that he despised the Jews, and would not interfere in questions respecting their law -Of || doctrines. Of religious doctrines, whether true or false; and of names, as whether Jesus be the Christ, &c.
17. All the Greeks, &c. The Alex. ms. and Vulg. Copt. and Arab. versions have not the word Greeks, and Pearce would omit it. If it be genuine, it must signify Gentiles, who, provoked at the Jews for accusing Paul because
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at 24 Alexandria, an eloquent man, and able in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was 25 instructed in the doctrine of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught exactly the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak 26 boldly in the synagogue; whom when Aquilla and Priscilla had heard, they took unto them, and explained to him the doctrine of God more perfectly. And when he desired to pass 27 into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; who, when he had come, helped those much who through grace had believed. For he earnestly confuted the 28 Jews, and that publicly, proving by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
from the same noble motives, and assuredly their labours shall not be in vain in the Lord.
2. We learn how God raises up men for the work of the ministry. Happy was it for the churches that God raised up such a hopeful labourer as Apollos. He was fervent and zealous, eloquent and able in the scriptures of the Old Testament; and what he knew he was ready to communicate to others. He was also humble and unassuming; and what he did not know he was willing to learn from those who could instruct him. Having only become acquainted with the doctrine of John the baptist, he could only like him preach the doctrine of repentance; but Aquilla and Priscilla taught him the great facts of the gospel, which he believed. Thus may aged christians be ready to teach and encourage their younger brethren: and may all that enter on the work of the ministry be as teachable as Apollos, and like him, they will be commended and become growingly useful.
he preached to them, took Sosthenes, a ruler of a synagogue, and beat him. -Gallio cared, &c. He did not interfere so as to punish them for this breach of the peace.
18. Cenchrea. This was the sea-port of Corinth.- -Had a vow. Probably that of a Nazarite. The Nazarite was to shave his head at the temple; but as many Jews lived at a distance from it, the strictness of the law was dispensed with. Why St. Paul acted thus, see Ch. xvi. 3, and 1 Cor. ix. 20.
21. Keep this feast, &c. The feast of the passover, at which Paul hoped to meet many of his christian brethren, to convince many unbelievers.
22. Saluted the church, &c. From Cesarea Paul went to Jerusalem, stayed during the passover, and then departed to visit the churches which he