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And Paul is)
CHAP. XXVIII. (taken for å yod. 3 And when Paul had gathered a harm come to him, they changed their bundle of sticks, and laid them on the minds, and said that he was a god. fire, there camé a viper out of the heat, 7 In the same quarters were posand fastened on his hand.
sessions of the chief man of the island, 4 And when the barbarians saw the whose name was Publius; who revenomous beast hang on his hand, ceived us, and lodged us three days they said among themselves, No doubt courteously. this man is a murderer, whom, though 8 And it came to pass, that the fahe hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance ther of Publius lay sick of a fever and suffereth not to live.
of a bloody flux: to whom Paul en5 And he shook off the beast into tered in, and prayed, and laid his the fire, and felt no harm.
hands on him, and healed him. 6 Howbeit they looked when he 9 So when this was done, others should have swollen, or fallen down also, which had diseases in the island, dead suddenly: but after they had came, and were healed : looked a great while, and saw no 10 Who also honoured us with
EXPOSITION. cutting away their boat, and leaving it to to suffer them to escape. A like practice the winds and waves. It may seem strange, (we shudder to relate it) long obtained, that, after assuring them that none should and, we fear, is not yet extinct among perish in this shipwreck, the apostle Europeans in the African slave trade, who should afterwards insist on retaining in the drown the wretched Negroes by dozens and ship the mariners, as absolutely necessary by scores, when they have more than they to that eud. But, as Mr. Scott remarks, know what to do with. "If the end was absolutely decreed, the Providence, however, had determined means of attaining it were so decreed like otherwise; and though the centurion exwise ; aud the case is the same in things presses no horror or surprise at the proof still higher importance." Nothing can posal, yet his partiality to Paul and his be more inconsistent with Scripture, or companions determined him to save the with Christian pbilosopby, than to suppose whole; and therefore ordered that all who that the end is to be attained without could swim should cast themselves first into means : this is the rock on which enthu the sea; and the rest, sume on boards (or siasts have often split.
planks), and some on broken pieces of the The soldiers seem to have acted on prin. ship: and so it came to pass that they all ciples ag base and selfish as those of the escaped safe to land." Practical writers sailors; for whereas the latter were for de have considered this as no unfit emblem serting the vessel, and leaving the rest to of the manner in which some Christians shist for themselves, the soldiers were for escape spiritual shipwreck : tossed about murdering the prisoners to prevent their by a tempestuous world, their lives are escape, though Paul bad assured them full of trouble and peril, and their deaths that all should get safe to land. The pro- perhaps embittered with auxiety and pain; posal, however, on the part of the sol- yet, casting themselves on the mercy of diers, seem to disclose the awful secret, God, through Christ, for his sake they are that such was the state of morals, even all saved at last. Happy those who land among the Romaus, that it was their prac on the celestial shore, with smiling skies, tice rather to murder their prisoners, and under a gale of holy and heavenly conthough uncondemned, than by any means solations.
NOTES. of this island, according to Bochart, were originally by heaven to punish the most enormous crimes. See à colony of Phenicians, or Carthaginians, and Dr. Harris's Nat. Hist, of Script. had still their ancient language in use, which, Ver. 4. Beast-Rather animal, or creature. though mixed with some Greek and Latin words, Ver. 6, Said that he was a yod.-But it seems an Was unintelligible to the Greeks, who called all bar- unlucky conjecture of Grotius, and Dr. Whitby, that barians whose language was unintelligible. Orient. they took him for Hercules, since he was a man of
small stature, and weak bodily frame. We should Ver. 3. A viper--The most venomous and fatal of rather have guessed Apollo, or Mercury, as in chap, au serpents, and tbought by the ancients to be sent xiv, 12.
Lit No. 1459.
(to Rome, many honours; and when we de- 14 Where we found brethren, and parted, they laded us with such things were desired to tarry with them seven as were necessary.
days: and so we went toward Rome. 11 And after three months we de- 15 And from thence, when the bre. parted in a ship of Alexandria, which thren heard of us, they came to meet had wintered in the isle, whose sign us as far as Appii forum, and The was Castor and Pollux.
. three taverns : whom when Paul saw, 12 And landing at Syracuse, we he thanked God, and took courage. tarried there three days.
16 And when we came to Rome, 13 And from thence we fetched a the centurion delivered the prisoners to compass, and came to Rhegium: and the captain of the guard: but Paul after one day the south wind blew, was suffered to dwell by himself with a and we came the next day to Puteoli: soldier that kept him. (E)
taining elegant buildings and curiosities of (E) Ver. 1-16. Paul's shipwreck at art, as well as nature. To this we would Melita, and arrival at Rome. It has been reply, that the term barbarous was applied generally considered that this Melita was by the Greeks to all who spoke languages the well-knowo isle of Malta, in the Medi- which themselves did not understand; and terranean Sea; but, a few years since, the these were evidently not barbariaus in convery learned and ingenious Jacob Bryant duct or behaviour. If we compare with opposed this idea, and strenuously con- this the case of a vessel wrecked on the tended, that the Melita here named must coast of Cornwall, only in the last century, intend, not Malta, but Meleda, a smaller and the treatment which the crew would island in the Adriatic Gulf, or Gulf of Ve, then and there have met with, we fear pice; and Mr. Prebendary Townsend has it would furnish a much stronger argument presented his objections and arguments in that Britons were then barbarians, than å manner so forcible, tbat we were about this history does, that the Maltese were so adopting it, till we met with a letter from eighteen centuries before ; for we read Mr. Daniel Temple, one of the agents of here of no wreckers flocking to the shore to the “ Church Missionary Society," who plunder. As to the argument from ripers has lately left the island, after residing being found there, that the country was there more than two years. His letter, not yet cleared from wood, we believe that which we have subjoined in the Notes, was these animals are not even yet extinct in addressed to a clergyman in the vicinity of England; but the history before us preBoston (North America), and appeared in sents one viper only, and that was thought different American papers, from one of so extraordinary, that they concluded it which we extract it. This has fully inclined must be a visitation from heaven to punish us to the former opiuion, that Melita was murder. The people, though heatheps, Malta.
were not savages, but, on the contrary, Several objections, however, have been displayed that kindness and hospitality raised against the tradition, that St. Paul's which would have disgraced the inhabiMelita is Malta, some of wbich are oh- tants of no part of either Italy or Greece. viated in our Notes. That which is chiefly When the strangers landed ihey made a insisted on seems to be, that the inhabi- fire to warın them, and, as Paul expresses tants of Malta were at this time far from it, “ shewed no little kindness.” They being “barbarians," as here called, Malta were afterwards, at least Paul and bis being not only a place of trade, but con- companions, received into the house of
NOTES-Chap. XXVII, Con. Ver. 11. Whose sign-i.e. the name of the vessel, ther place was far from Rome, but the Three Tawhich was generally dedicated to some deity.
verns nearest. See Supp. to Caltaet's Dict. in ApVer. 12. Syracuse —A famous city on the eastern pii. and Orient. Lit. No. 1461. **** coast of Sicily.
Ver. 16. The captain of the guard.-Doddr." the Ver. 15. Appii Forum, and the Three Taverns, prefect (or captain) of the pretorian band. To The former was a market in the Appian Way, both drell by himself, Doddr. " to dwell apart from which received their names from the Appian family; the other prisoners, in a house of his own." and probably a fish-market, like Billingsgate, from With a soldieri.e. chained to one. See Note on its being chiefly inhabited by watermen; as "The chap. xxvi. 29. Three Taverns,' by publicans or innkeepers. Nei.
Paul arrives at Rome,] CHAP. XXVIII. [and preaches ihere.
17.1 And it came to pass, that after what thou thinkest: for as concerning three days Paul called the chief of the this sect, we know that every where it Jews together : and when they were is spoken against. come together, he said unto them, Men 23 And when they had appointed and brethren, though I have committed him a day, there came many to him nothing against the people, or customs into his lodging; to whom he exof our fathers, yet was I delivered pri- pounded and testified the kingdom of soner from Jerusalem into the hands of God, persuading them concerning Jethe Romans :
sus, both out of the law of Moses, and 18 Who, when they had examined out of the prophets, from morning me, would have let me go, because till evening. there was no cause of death in me. 24 And some believed the things
19 But when the Jews spake against which were spoken, and some believed it, I was constrained to appeal unto not. Cesar; not that I had ought to accuse 25 And when they agreed not among my nation of.
themselves, they departed, after that 20 For this cause therefore have I Paul had spoken one word, Well spake called for you, to see you, and to speak the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet with you : because that for the hope unto our fathers, of Israel I am bound with this chain. 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and
21 And they said unto him, We say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall neither received letters out of Judea not understand; and seeing ye shall concerning thee, neither any of the see, and not perceive: brethren that came shewed or spake 2 7 For the heart of this people is any harm of thee.
waxed gross, and their ears are dull of 22 But we desire to hear of thee hearing, and their eyes have they
EXPOSITION. Publius, the chief man on the island; and is well when our Christian intercourse hag when Paul had cured him of a fever, this the liappy effect to excite cur gratitude tobrought other sick persons to him with va- ward God, and to animate us in our Christo rious disorders, and they discovered more ian warfare. gratitude and good sense than the apostle Paul having arrived at Rome, accompaseems to have met with elsewhere." Who nied by his Christian friends, the centurion, honoured us(saith be) with many honours, who had treated him with the greatest kindand when we departed they laded us with dess through all his journey, now surrensuch things as were necessary,"
dered bim and his fellow-prisoners to the Here Paul and his companions, as also captain of the guard; doubtless, not withthe centurion and his company, stopped out a recommendation to his kind attenthree months, and then sailed towards tions. Indeed, such was the conduct and Rome in the ship Castor and Pollux (or the behaviour of the apostle, and such the sign Gemini in the Zodiac). By the way, gracious protection of bis heavenly Mashowever, they stopped three days at Syra- ter, that wherever he went he appears to cuse, and seven at Puteoli. From hence have found a friend. In the present inthey went on as far as Appii Forum and stance, Paul was suffered to dwell in his the Three Taverns (a place so called), own hired house, under the care of a single where sundry brethren ‘met them from soldier, and all his friends were allowed to Rome; “ whom, when Paul saw, he visit him. thanked God and took courage :" and it
NOTES. Ver. 25. Well spake the Holy Ghost, &c.-This xi. 8; yet in such variety of expression, as plainly Passage from essage from Isa, vi. 9, 10, is quoted in the New proves the apostles did not confine themselves ex
bent oftener than any other--six times; actly either to the words of the original (Hebrew) wamely, in each of the Gospels, here, and in chap. or the Greek version,
Paul suffered to preach] THE ACTS. (in his own hired house. closed ; lest they should see with their words, the Jews departed, and had eyes, and hear with their ears, and un- great reasoning among themselves. derstand with their heart, and should 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years be converted, and I should heal them. in his own hired house, and received
28 Be it known therefore unto you, all that came in unto him, that the salvation of God is sent unto 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, the Gentiles, and that they will hear and teaching those things which conit.
cera the Lord Jesus Christ, with all con. 29 And when he had said these fidence, no man forbidding him, (F)
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXVIII. Continued. (F) Ver. 17–31. Paul appeals to the Lord had applied to them of Jerusalem, Jews, and afterwards to the Gentiles.- about thirty years before_" The heart of Paul's object was one only, wherever he this people is waxed gross," &c. (see Matt. might go. It was to proclaim Jesus as the xiii. 14, 15); and in consequence confined. Messiah and Saviour of the world, both to his chief attention to the Gentiles. Thus Jews and Gentiles. Accordingly, he no Paul dwelt two years in his own bired! sooner arrives at Rome, than he calls to house, preaching with all confidence, no gether his countrymen, tells them the man forbidding him. reason of his coming thither, and the true Paul's arrival in Rome is dated in our ground of his being persecuted by his bre- Bible chronology, in A. D. 63, and by ibren-" For the hope of Israel I am bound others two years earlier ; but his Epistle to with this chain!" exhibiting the chain the Romans is supposed to have been writwhich bound him to a Roman soldier. ten in 57 or 58; and even then we hear This expression, “ the hope of Israel," may that their faith was spoken of throughout be applied both to the person of the Mes the world, so that the gospel must have siah, who was truly “ the hope of Israel,” been planted in the capital of the Roman and to the doctrine of the resurrection of the Empire at a very early period, though by dead, and especially of Christ, which was whom is not recorded. On Paul's apo the hope for which he had repeatedly been proaching the city, we find a deputation “ called in question." .
from the Church went out to meet and welHis brethren expressed a readiness to come bim, by whom he was much encouhear him; and accordingly, on an ap- raged and refreshed. While here (as we pointed day, came to him at his lodging, shall presently see), beside constant preachwhen he « testified to them the kingdom ing, both to Jews and Gentiles, he appears of God," that is, of the Messiah ; " per- to have written bis Epistles to the Ephesuading them concerning Jesus, both out sians, Philippians, and Colossians; proof the law of Moses, and out of the pro- bably that to the Hebrews, and more cerphets, from muroing until evening." And tainly that to Philemon. His second to the consequence was, as generally has Timothy was also written from Rome, but been found, some believed, and others be at a later period, and but just before his lieved not. To the latter he applied the death. same Scripture (Isaiah vi. 9) that our
NOTES-Chap. XXVIII. Con.
Ver. 30. In his own hired house." Dr. Lardner proves from Ulpian, that the Proconsul was to judge whether a person under accusation was to be thrown into prison, or delivered to a soldier to keep, or committed to streties, or trusted on his parole of honour. Cred. book i. ch. 10. It appears from hence, that the persecution of Christians at Rome was not then begun; and perhaps Paul's friends in Nero's family (Pbil. iv. 22) used their interest with the Emperor to procure him this liberty. Dodar. We shall presently notice, that much of l'aul's
time was also occupied in corresponding, and at the end of two years, it is highly probable he was sel at liberty. Whether he went again into the East, is doubtful; but Clement of Rome (in his first Epistle) expressly says, that he preached in the West to its utmost bounds, which must include Spain : ad Theodoret adds, that he went to the Islands of the Sea, of which Britain is understood to be one: and there is the best authority to believe that, after this, he returned to Rome, and there suffered martyrden, as we shall have farther occasion to observe.
THE EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL.
HAVING gone through the historical books of the New Testament, what remain (except the last, which is of a peculiar character) are Epistolary; and by far the larger part of these were written by the Apostles to the Gentiles. They are of two kinds, either to Churches, or to individuals who were fellow-labourers in the Gospel. The Epistles, especially Paul's, being addressed to persons or societies already initiated into the principles of Christianity, enter more deeply into the distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel, and the controversies which in that early age were raised thereon, and particularly by Jewish converts, who were extremely loth to relax their prejudices in favour of the Jewish institutions.
Much has been said for and against St. Paul's style. Dr. Macknight, who objects to some of the strong language of the learned Beza, still admits that it contains beauties of the highest character, and passages to which it would be difficult to find any of superior merit among the most admired classical writers of Greece and Rome. He refers to—"The greatest part of his Epistle to the Ephesians, concerning which Grotius had said, that it expresses the grand matters of wbich it treats in words more sublime than are to be found in any human tongue :--His speech to the inhabitants of Lystra (Acts xiv.), in which the justest sentiments concerning the Deity are expressed in such a beautiful simplicity of language as must strike every reader of taste Ver. 15–17) :-His oration to the Athenian magistrates and philosophers assembled in the Areopagus, wherein he describes the character of the true God, and the worship that is due to him, in the most elegant language, and with the most exquisite address (ch. xvii.) :-His charge tu the elders of Ephesus, which is tender and pathetic in the highest degree (chap. xx.) :-His different defences before the Roman governors, Felix and Festus, King Agrippa and Bernice, the tribunes and great ladies of Cesarea, who were all struck with admiration at the Apostle's eloquence (ch. xxv. and xxvi.) :-His description of the engagement between the flesh and the spirit, with the issue of that conflict (Rom. vii.) :-The whole of the eighth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, in which both the sentiments and the language, especially towards the close, are transcendently sublime :—The 15th chapter of bis First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he treats of the resurrection of the dead, in a discourse of considerable length, adorned with the greatest variety of rhetorical figures, expressed in words aptly chosen and beautifully placed ; so that in no language is there to be found a passage of equal length more lively, more harmonious, or more sublime :-The last four chapters of bis Second Epistle to the Corinthians, which are full of the most delicate ironies on the false teacher, who had set himself up at Corinth as the Apostle's rival, and on the faction who doated on that impostor:- 1 Tim. vi. 6-12; a passage admirable both for the grandeur of the sentiment and for the elegance of the language :-The whole 11th