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Paul and Barnabas] CHAP. XV.
[differ and divide. 34 And Judas and Silas, being pro- 37 And Barnabas determined to phets also themselves, exhorted the take with them John, whose surname brethren with many words, and con- was Mark. firmed them.
38 But Paul thought not good to 33 And after they had tarried there take him with them, who departed a space, they were let go in peace from from them from Pamphylia, and went the brethren unto the apostles.
not with them to the work. 34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas 39 And the contention was so sharp to abide there still.
between them, that they departed asun35 Paul also and Barnabas conti der one from the other: and so Barnued in Antioch, teaching and preach- nabas twok Mark, and sailed unto ing the word of the Lord, with many Cyprus; others also.
40 And Paul chose Silas, and de36 And some days after Paul said parted, being recommended by the unto Barnabas, Let us go again and brethren unto the grace of God. visit our brethren in every city where 41 And he went through Syria and we have preached the word of the Cilicia, confirming the churches. (G) Lord, and see how they do.
EXPOSITION. (G) Ver. 22-41. The decree of the of idolatrous feasts, in which the meats Apostles, formed on the suggestion of St. had been so offered. To these, no doubt, James, sent to Antioch.-Though James Christians were frequently invited, and claimed no superiority, it is evident that often probably with the view of ensnaring he presided ; and it is much to the honour them: we, in this age (Paganisin being of his wisdom and prudence, that his sug- abolished), are not under the same temptagestions in the council were so unani- tions; but it deserves to be considered, Trously adopted. On the decree itself, we whether the attendance of Christians at offer the following observations. 1. The convivial feasts, where “ Jolly Bacchus" introduction severely censures those who, and “ Glorious Apollo” are invoked and without a divine coinmand, attempt to in- eulogized in song, does not involve controduce laws and regulations into the duct very similar to that here prohibited. church of God: especially when those laws Meats hung up in the shambles, or preare of a nature to i suhvert the faith,” and sented for food, without any notification trouble the consciences of believers, as of having been so offered, we are else
as the case here, when these men at, where directed to eat, asking no questions. tempted to lay the yoke of the Mosaic law (1 Cor. x. 25.)-2. As to refraiwing “ from upon the necks of the Gentiles.-2. What blood and from things strangled," so far relates to the question of circumcision itself, as this is merely a repetition of the preis only negatively expressed : “ It seemed cept given to Noah, we consider it binding good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay on Gentiles, as well as Jews. (See Expoupop you no greater burden than" is spe- sition and Notes on Gen. ix. 1-7.) But cified in the articles following, neither of farther than that, we consider it binding which mention circumcision; consequently only in cases wherein our liberty, as Genthat is ueither enjoined nor forbidden.- tiles, might hurt the minds of conscien3. The articles named are stated to be tious Jews.-3. “ Things strangled and “ necessary”-that is, things to be neces- blood,” are understood to comprehend all sarily refrained from. Not, indeed, all creatures killed for food without dischargequally so; for which reason it may be ing the blood from them; but perhaps the proper to examine them distinctly.
origival precept to Noah did not go so far .... To abstain from “ meats offered to (see our Exposition above referred to), and idols," knowing them to have been so of- farther than that weut we Gentiles are not lered; and more especially from partaking bound, otherwise than may be necessary
NOTES. 37. Barnabas determined.-flam. « coun. Ver. 39. The contention was so sharp.-The Gr. Selled." Doddr. “ advised."
word is a medical term-a paroxysm of anger,
Paul takes with]
apostles and elders which were at JeCHAP. XVI.
5 And so were the churches estaTHEN came he to Derbe and Lys- blished in the faith, and increased in
tra : and, behold, a certain discie number daily. ple was there, named Timotheus, the 6 Now when they had gone throughson of a certain woman, which was a out Phrygia and the region of Galatia, Jewess, and believed; but his father and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost was a Greek :
to preach the word in Asia, 2 Which was well reported of by After they were come to Mysia, the brethren that were at Lystra and they assayed to go into Bithynia: but Iconium.
the Spirit suffered them not. 3 Him would Paul have to go furth 8 And they passing by Mysia came with him; and took and circumcised down to Troas. him because of the Jews which were 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in in those quarters : for they knew all the night; There stood a man of Ma. that his father was a Greek.
cedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come 4 And as they went through the over into Macedonia, and help us. cities, they delivered them the decrees 10 And after he had seen the ri. for to keep, that were ordained of the siun, immediately we endeavonred to
EXPOSITION—Chap. XV. Continued. to avoid hurting the consciences of our spired persons ; on which account we may weaker brethren. (Rom. xiv. 15-20; the more admire the mild and gentle terms 1 Cor. viii. 8–13; X. 28.)-4. Fornication : with which the apostolic epistle conthis is, in all cases, a crime against the cludes :- Not, “ If any man dispute our moral law; but the prohibition seems to authority let him be Anathema;" but, be here given with particular reference “ From wbich (namely, the things here to the licentious and abominable rites prohibited) if ye keep yourselves, ye shall practised in Pagan temples, where the do well." ' worst crimes made part of their religious A dissension, however, soon arose beservices.
tween Paul and Barnabas. They had With this definitive decree, Paul and agreed to revisit the churches they had alBarnabas were dismissed, to return back ready established among the Gentiles; but to the church at Antioch, accompanied hy they differed as to the most suitable person Judas, surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, both to take with them. Barnabas determined 6 prophets," or inspired men, who con to take with him his relation, John Mark; firmed the testimony of the apostles, and but Paul, offended with his conduct in deexhorted the brethren to resist the doctrine serting them before, refused; and thus of the Judaizing teachers. Thus was har. they divided, Barnabas went to his pative mony restored to the church, and the com country with his relation above named, mon cause of Christianity advanced and but Paul travelled through Syria and Ciprospered.
licia, accompanied by Silas, who had This has been usually called the first come with them from Jerusalem, Paul's Christian Council, and so it was; but it farther labours and sufferings form the was also unique, as consisting chiefly (if chief subject of the remaining chapters of not entirely) of the apostles and other in this book.
NOTES. CHAP. XVI. Ver. 1. Timotheus-In English Doddr. disapproves the tranposition. Timothy, to whom Paul afterwards addressed two Ver. 7. But the Spirit of Jesus suffered then e pistles.
mot.-Doddr. says, * So many ancient versions, Ver. 3. They knew all that his father was a readings, and citations, add the words (of Jesus, Greek-And consequently that he was uncircum that I thought myself not only authorised, but cised, which would be an insurmountable barrier obliged, at least to insert them thus, and perhaps to his usefulness among the Jews.
might well have omitted the crotchets. Even The Ver. 4 and 6. And they went, &c.-Mr. Townsend, improved (Unitarian) version” inserts them; and on the authority of Lord Barrington and other cri. adds, these words are introduced into the text on tics, places these verses at the end of chap. XV.; but the most approved authorities." See Griesbach.
CHAP. XVI. [Paul and Silas scourged. go into Macedonia, assuredly gather- 17 The same followed Paul and us, ing that the Lord had called us for to and cried, saying, These men are the preach the Gospel unto them.
servants of the most high God, which 11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we shew unto us the way of salvation. came with a straight course to Samo- 18 And this did she many days. thracia, and the next day to Neapolis; But Paul, being grieved, turned and
12 And from thence to Philippi, said to the spirit, I command thee in which is the chief city of that part of the name of Jesus Christ to come out Macedonia, and a colony: and we of her. And he came vut the same were in that city abiding certain days. hour.
13 And on the sabbath we went out 19 And when her masters saw that of the city by a river side, where prayer the hope of their gains was gone, they was wont to be made; and we sat caught Paul and Silas, and drew them down, and spake unto the women into the market-place unto the rulers, which resorted thither.
20 And brought them to the magis14 And a certain woman named trates, saying, These men, being Jews, Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city do exceedingly trouble our city, of Thyatira, which worshipped God, 21 And teach customs, which are heard us : whose heart the Lord not lawful for us to receive, neither to opened, that she attended untu the observe, being Romans. things which were spuken of Paul. 22 And the multitude rose up tuge
15 And when she was baptized, and ther against them: and the magistrates her household, she besought us, say- rent off their clothes, and commanded ing, If ye have judged me to be faith- to beat them. ful to the Lord, come into my house, 23 And when they had laid many and abide there. And she constrained stripes upon them, they cast them into us.
prison, charging the jailor to keep 16 And it came to pass, as we went them safely: to prayer, a certain damsel possessed 24 Whu, having received such a with a spirit of divination metus, charge, thrust them into the inner which brought her masters much gain prison, and made their feet fast in the by soothsaying:
mothy at Lystra, is so well pleased with (H) Ver. 1-24. Paul circumcises Tin him, that he is anxious to introduce him mothy-converts Lydia-casts out a demon, into the Christian ministry under his imand is imprisoned.-Paul meeting with Ti- mediate sanction. As his mother was a
NOTES. Ver. 12. Thechief city.-Marg. " The first city.” Archbishop Potter says, " There were but few that Doddr." a city of the first part of Macedonia," pretended to inspiration but raged after this manner, which was divided into four parts_" and a Roman foaming and yelling, and making a strange, terrible Colony."
noise ; sometimes gnasbing their teeth, shivering Ver. 13. Where prayer was wont to be made. and trembling, with a thousand antic motions." Doddr." Where, according to custom, was an ora Grecinn Antiq, book ii. ch. 12. tory." See Exposition on Luke vi. 12. Lardner quotes Josephus for such a custom among the Jews,
The Hebrews called such an one “ Mistress of the Tolerated by the Roman laws. Cred. vol. i. 225, 6.
Ob” (or Aub.) See 1 Sam. xxviii., Exposition Ver. 16. A spirit of divination.-Marg. “ of Py
and Note on ver. 7; with which the reader may leon," or Apollo. Virgil thus describes a Pythoness :
compare Job xxxii. 18—20, and Notes. The virgin cries_The God! behold the God!
Ibid. By soothsaying.- Doddr. “ prophecying.” And straight her visage and her colour change,
See Gr. Sharp's Case of Saul, p. 27, Note. Her hair's dishe vellid, and her heaving breast,
Ver. 19. Market-place.-Marge“ Court.” See And labouring heart, are swollen with sacred rage; Note on chap. xvii. 17. Larger she seems. her voice po mortal sound, As the inspiring God, Dear and more near,
Ver. 22. Commanded to beat them.-Doddridge, Seizes her soul.” "Eneid. vi. 46. " Commanded them to be beaten with rods."
Paul and Silas]
[imprisoned. 25 [ And at midnight Paul and 26 And suddenly there was a great Silas prayed, and sang praises untu earthquake, so that the foundations of God: and the prisoners heard them. the prison were shaken: and immedi
EXPOSITION-Chap. XVI. Continued. Christian Jewess (though married to a language of St. Luke in any but the Greek), be thought it necessary for him literal manner. My reason shall always to be circumcised, as otherwise the Jews submit to Scripture; and I cannot wrest would hold no conversation with him. the words of this scripture to any other This done, Paul proceeds in his journey meaning thau the usual one, that an evil as far as Troas, near the ruins of ancient spirit had influence over the mind and body Troy, on the shore of the Ægean Sea. of this person, enabling her to utter oraWhile there, he saw in a night vision a cular responses." (Townsend's N. Test Macedonian, who invited his assistance. Arr. vol. ii. 203.) This he considered as a call in providence Dr. Doddridge remarks, “ The manner to go and preach the gospel in that coun- in which Luke relates the story, plainly try: accordingly, “ We," says the histo- implies, that he thought it a real possession, rian Luke, “ came with a straight course and that Paul took it himself in that view. to Samothracia-to Neapolis—to Philippi;” Nor can I apprehend that her behaviour, and at the latter place he continued for or bis, or that of her masters afterwards, certain days, during which the following can be accounted for without allowing it to events occurred. But before we proceed, have been the case." it may be proper to observe, that this is Mr. Scott, taking the same side, rethe first time St. Luke jutroduces himself marks" Had this damsel's divination as the companion of St. Paul, and that in been a mere juggle between her and her the most modest and indirect manner. masters, the command of the apostle could
Paul and Silas, accoin panied by Luke not have detected it, or prevented them and Timothy, on the first sabbath after from carrying on the deception. .... (But) their arrival, repair to a public Oratory, The owners of this damsel, being sensible or place of prayer, where the pious Jews that no farther lucre could be made by her met for devotional purposes, especially the [especially if she was converted to Christfemales, of whom the far greater part of ianity), and that her value, if offered for the congregation usually consisted. Among sale, was greatly diminished, were exceedthose who now attended was one Lydia, a ingly exasperated by their loss : and when Jewish proselyte, “ whose heart the Lord they had seized on Paul and Silas, and acopened," so that she attended untu Paul's cused them before the Magistrates as disdiscourses, and received Christian bap- turbers of the peace, and teachers of untism, with all her housebold. One day, lawful customs; the multitude, also, being however, as they were going to their devo- enraged at the loss of their prophetess, tions, they were accosted in the way by joined in the tumultuous accusation. a female slave, who was a demoniac, and Whereas, had the apostle satisfactorily depossessed a spirit of Python, or divination, tected an artful impostor (as some suplike that of the Pythic oracle, whereby she pose ber], they who had been convinced brought her masters (or owners) great of the cheat, would have been enraged at gain. Seeing the apostle and his compa- those who duped them of their money, and nions daily passing that way, she con- not at him who had undeceived them." stantly accosted them, and followed them The supposition of others, that the girl for many days together, crying, “These was deranged, appears to us, however, neimen are servants of the most Hig! God, ther improbable nor inconsistent with her which show unto us the way of salvation." being a demoniac; for, as we have repeat
On the subject of demoniacs, and the edly remarked (on Matt. iv, 12-25, aud reality of possessions, we have already Notes; vii. 28, Note), insanity and posgiven our opinion freely, and are happy to session appear to us to have beeu fre. find our sentiments coincide with those of quently connected, not only in ancient Mr. Prebendary Townsend, in his late times, but, in some instances, to the prework. He says, “ If it appeared to me to sent day. Nor is it a valid objection that, be warrantıd by the sacred text, I would had the girl been mad, the people would willingly ini'erpret this passage with Mi. surely not have regarded her oracles; this chaelis .... and many others; and believe can never rationally be pleaded, while the that the damsel at Philippi was either an oracles of poor Brothers, and the unhappy impostor, a ventriloquist, insane, diseased Johanna Southcott, sliall be recollected. with melancholy, or overpowered with her It is too true, as a popular preacher once wa fancies : but I cannot render the plain said, “ People can believe any thing but
The jailor and his]
(house converted, ately all the doors were opened, and Sirs, what must I do to be saved ? every one's bands were loosed.
31 And they said, Believe on the 27 And the keeper of the prison Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be awaking out of his sleep, and seeing saved, and thy house. the prison doors open, he drew out his 32 And they spake unto him the sword, and would have killed himself, word of the Lord, and to all that were supposing that the prisoners had been in his house. filed :
33 And he took them the same hour 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, of the night, and washed their stripes; saying, Do thyself no harm : for we and was baptized, he and all his, are all here.
straightway. 29 Then he called for a light, and 34 And when he had brought them sprang in, and came trembling, and into his house, he set meat before them, fell down before Paul and Silas, and rejoiced, believing in God with all
30 And brought them out, and said, his house. (I)
EXPOSITION. the gospel :"_and this was well said at the (I) Ver. 25–34. Paul and Silas delimoment,when thousands had just been paid, vered, and the jailor converted.--Paul and by the higher circles of society, to see a Silas appear to have been the only persons man jump into a quart bottle!!
here sent to prison; at least, Luke says But to return to the poor slave of Phi- nothing of either himself or Timothy being lippi: that she bore witness to the truth, is committed with them. Let us now, for a no objection to the fact of her being pos moment, glance into the dungeon where sessed, since demons repeatedly witnessed Paul and Silas lie, their backs smarting to the divine character of our Saviour as from the rods wherewith they had been " the Holy One of God." (Mark i. 24; scourged, and their legs and feet galled Luke iv. 34.) From what motive the girl, and excoriated with the stocks. Let us or the demon, thus bore witness to the listen to their groans. Groans? No; they truth, is not for us to enquire; but it are occupied in prayer and singing! reseeins to have given Paul much uneasi joicing that they were counted worthy to ness; partly, perhaps, lest the people suffer thus for Him who had so lately died should suppose there might be a league for them-and the other “ prisoners heard between them. Why he did not work the them.” Strange, indeed, must it appear miracle in the first instance, is another to them, to hear these men, brought in circumstance not within our province to scourged, and with a bitter outcry against ascertain.
them as criminals of the deepest guilt, The first effect, however, was to raise a and likely to be sent to speedy execution, persecution against the apostles : but it is and yet singing as if they expected not observable, that the charge brought against an acquittal only, but a triumph! Great, thern is not that of ejecting the demon, indeed, must be that grace which can for that would have established their make men happy in prison and in torture ! power of working miracles; but the intro- But, in the midst of this scene of tranduction of a new religion, which required quil happiness, lo! a sound from heaventhe sanction of the state. (Compare chap. the prison is shaken to its foundation ; all xvii. 18.) At this the magistrates were so the doors are opened and the fetters broken. incensed, that, instead of calmly en- The jailor, suddenly awaking, sees, by the quiring into the circumstances, they flew glimmer of his midnight lamp, his chaminto a rage, and ordered them to be ber door is open, and the doors leading to scourged, contrary to their own laws; the different dungeons of the prison; he and then committed them to prison, wbich kuows that his life must answer for the was rendered the more terrible by the escape of his prisoners, and therefore, in charge given to the jailor, to keep them the first paroxysm of distress, he draws safely, in consequence of which they his sword with the design to stab bimself. were thrust into the dungeon and the Paul, who was set at liberty, and probably stocks. How safely they were kept, we hearing something from the jailor which sliall see in the following part of the led him to fear his design of suicide, now chapter.
cries out aloud, “Do thyself no harm, for