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Lydia converted.]

CHAP. XVI.

[Paul and Silas scourged. go into Macedonia, assuredly gather- 17 The same followed Paul and us, ing that the Lurd 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 lovsing 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 out the same were in that city abiding certain days. hour.

13 And on the sabbath we went vut 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 unto 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 intu

prison, charging the jailor to keep 16 And it came to pass, as we went them safely: to prayer, a certain damsel possessed 24 Who, 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:

stocks. (H)

us.

EXPOSITION.
CHAP. XVI.

mothy at Lystra, is so well pleased with (H) Ver. 1-24. Paul circumcises Tin him, that he 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. The chief city.-Marg." The first city.” Archbishop Potter says, " There were bat few that Daddr." a city of the first part of Macedonia," pretended to inspiration but raged after this manner, which was divided into four parts—" and a Román 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

The Hebrews called such an ope“ Mistress of the quotes Josephas for such a custom among the Jews, tolerated by the Roman laws. Cred. vol. i. 225, 6.

Ob(or Aub.) See 1 Sam. xxviii., Exposition Per. 16. A spirit of divinution.-Marg. " of Py

and Note on ver. 7; with which the reader may thon," 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 dishevell'd, and her heaving breast, Ver. 19. Markel-place.-Marg. “ Court.” See And labouring heart, are swollen with sacred rage ; Note on chap. xvii. 17. Larger she seems, her voice no mortal sound, As the inspiring God, near 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]
THE ACTS.

[imprisoned. 25 [ And at midnight Paul and 26 And suddenly there was a great Silas prayed, and sang praises uuto 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), he 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 o: 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 introduces 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, accompanied 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 Lier 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 ber housebold. One day, lawsul 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 divinatiou, tected an artful impostor [as some sup: like that of the Pythic oracle, whereby she pose her], 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 derauged, appears to us, bowever, neimen are servants of the most High God, ther improbable nor inconsistent with her wbich 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, and reality of possessions, we have already Notes ; viii. 28, Note), insanity and pos. given our opinion freely, and are happy to session appear to. us to have beeu frefind our sentiments coincide with those of quently connected, not only in ancient Mr. Prebendary Townsend, in his late times, but, in sonie instances, to the prework. He says, “ If it appeared to me to sent day. Nor is it a valid objection that, be warrantı :d by the sacred text, I would had the girl been mad, the people would willingly inierpret this passage with Mic surely not have regarded her oracles; this chaelis .... and many others; and believe can never rationally be pleaded, while ihe that the damsel at Philippi was either an oracles of poor Brothers, and the unhappy impostor, a ventriloquist, insare, diseased Johanna Southcott, shall be recollected. with melancholy, or overpowered with her It is too true, as a popular preacher once own fancies; but I cannot render the plain said, “ People can believe any thing but

The jailor and his]

CHAP. XVI.

(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. fied:

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 (1) 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 sivging! reseems 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, them 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 heaven the sanction of the state. (Compare clap. 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, which 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 paroxysın of distress, he draws safely, in consequence of which they bis sword with the design to stab himself. 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 shall 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

Paul and Silas)

THE ACTS. [liberated from prison. 35 And when it was day, the prison; and now du they thrust us out magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, privily? hay verily; but let them come Let those men go.

themselves and fetch us out. 36 And the keeper of the prison 38 And the serjeants told these told this saying to Paul, The magis- words unto the magistrates : and they trates have sent to let you go: now feared, when they heard that they therefore depart, and go in peace. were Rumans.

37 But Paul said unto them, They 39 And they came and besought have beaten us openly uncondemned, them, and brought them out, and debeing Romans, and have cast us into sired them to depart out of the city.

EXPOSITION-Chap. XVI. Continued. we are all here.” The hand of self-murder tive, we beg leave to offer a caution agaiust was now arrested, when calling for lights à sin unhappily much upon the increase to examine the prison, and leaving the care in this country. Suicide, the crime conof the other prisoners probably to his at templated by the jailor, is a sin both against tendants, he sprang trembling into the the gospel and the law. The sixth comdungeon where Paul and Silas were, aud mand as strongly opposes this as any other perceiving they had been the subjects of a species of murder : for God, who only can signal miracle in their liberation from con- give life, has alone the power to dispose of finement, he fell at their feet, and cried, it. As to the gospel, that teaches us that * Şirs, what must I do to be saved ?" death is only the path to judgment and a

Whether the jailor bad heard of a day of future state, on which it is madness to future judgment, and thought this extra- rush without being summoned or prepared. ordinary commotion was a prelude to it; or We hope there are but few Bible-readers whether a reflection on his own severe treat- in danger from this crime, but the writer ment of these extraordinary men now filled has known some; and one case in partihim with alarm, we cannot say; but in- cular that it may be useful to record. A stances bave occurred, not few nor distant, pious and amiable divine of the last cenin which a sudden conviction of guilt has tury, at no great distance from town, led persons, under the influence of divine laboured under great depression of spirits. grace, to a true and effectual repentance, Being left a short time alone, bis 'razor as was no doubt the case with this bar- presented itself to him, and, by the sug. dened sinner-for such were the characters gestion of the enemy of souls, he seized generally selected for offices of this nature. it, and instantly cut his throat. His family Without any regard, however, to what he soon came about him, and he uttered these had been, these apostolic preachers pro- impressive words,-" The Lord bas left claim to him a free and full salvation me but one moment, and see what I have through the Lord Jesus Christ; and pot done !" The case (to the best of our reto himself only, but, as his family had collection) did not prove fatal; but the by this time gathered round him, to them words are monitory, and should place us also. “For they spake unto him the word un our guard against a temptation from of life, and to all that were in his house." which we have no desence, but confidence The “same hour of the might” he washed in God. Generally speaking, however, we their stripes, and did what he could to believe this crinic arises from the preheal them; immediately after which he and valence of infidelity. Fashionable writers “ all his were baptized straightway;" and, have argued against a future state, and when they all returned into the house, readers, of a gay and licentious conduct, " he set meat before them [his prisoners), have Aattered themselves that “death is and rejoiced, believing in God with all his an eternal sleep"-till at length they have house."

made the terrible experiment. Before we leave this part of our narra

NOTES-Chap. XVI. Con. Ver. 35. The Magistrates-i. e. the Prætors citizen: it is wickedness to scourge him.” The ilSent the verjeants- Beadles, or lictors. Doddr. legality of the proceeding of the magistrates was

Ver. 37. "They have beaten us, &c.--Cicero says, farther evident in their condemning and punishing * It is a transgression of the law to bind a Roman Paul unheard. See Lardner's Cred, vol. i. chap.10.

Paul preaches)
CHAP, XVII.

[at Thessalonica. 40 And they went out of the prison, 2 And Paul, as his manner was, and entered into the house of Lydia: went in unto them, and three sabbath and when they had seen the bre- days reasoned with them out of the thren, they comforted them, and de- Scriptures ; parted. (K)

3 Opening and alledging, that.

Christ must needs have suffered, and CHAP. XVII.

risen again from the dead; and that Now when they had passed through this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is

Amphipolis and Apollonia, they Christ. came to Thessalonica, where was a 4 And some of them believed, and synagogue of the Jews:

consorted with Paul and Silas; and

EXPOSITION. (K) Ver. 35 – 40. Paul refuses to be whatever claim they might have upon the released disgracefully. — The remaining girl's domestic services, they had certainly verses of this chapter show us iuto what no right to employ her to deceive the difficulties men in power often plunge people and render her unhappy, as the themselves by making their passions, and consequence must be; unless we are to Dot the laws, the rule of their conduct. believe that it is a good thing to be Whether the jailor or some other person possessed and controlled by an unclean had warned the magistrates of their illegal spirit. conduct, they were greatly alarmed when As to the plea of Paul and Silas, that they perceived that they had violated the they were Romans, there is no doubt but Ronan laws, wbich the imperial power it was true ; and, being so, it could not be generally protected by exemplary pupish- their duty, silently and tamely to give up ments. "Paul, they found, was a Roman, privileges, by the surrender of which and they had punished him unheard-and others might be injured, and the laws of that with scourgiog, both which exposed their country violated with impunity. themselves to punishment. It is probable Bring the case home to England, and suppose that Paul pleaded his privilege in the first an Englishman put upon his trial simply instance, but they were too much influ. for preaching ; and another Judge Jefferies enced by his accusers, the owners of the arise (which God forbid !), and wish to slave, to attend either to facts or rights. try him without empannelliug a jury, They first punished, and now they dare not would it be consistent with his duty to subjudge. Wishing to compromise the matter, mit, and resign his own and the liberties they therefore sent their serjeants, beadles, of his country, without a struggle or a or lictors, the men who harl scourged

them plea? Undoubtedly not : nor would it the day before, to order the jailor to release have been right in Paul and Silas to have them in a private manner : but such re- given up silently their Roman privileges. lease théy, and especially Paul, refused ac- They did not, however, refuse to be libecepting without a public acknowledgment rated, nor demand satisfaction for their of his having been unjustly treated. This imprisonment; much less threaten the may be thought somewbat inconsistent magistrates with the vengeance of the with our Lord's direction, to submit to higher powers. “When they suffered they injuries without resistance. These men, threatened not” (1 Peter ii. 23) : but immewowever, made no resistance : they, being diately on being brought forth, retired to innocent, suffered as evil doers; and, had the house of their amniable convert, Lydia, they privately withdrawn from prisou, it and “having seen the brethren," who proMould waturally have been supposed that bably assembled at her house, and engaged they had been guilty of some offence; with them in devotional exercises, and whereas, in ejecting the demon from the comforted them by an exhibition of divine girl, as already mentioned, they only saved truth, and of the Lord's merciful conduct the public from the deceptions of an evil toward them, they departed from their demon; and as it respects her owners, city, as they had been desired.

NOTES Ver. 40. Comforted them-i, e. by affectionate where the Roman Governor held his residence. exhortation. See Doddr.;

Ver. 3. Whom I.-Marg. " Whom (said he) I preach."

Ver. 4. Consorted-i. e. associated. Devout CHAP. XVII. Ver. 1. Thessalonica-A consi- Greeks or Grecians, proselyted to the Jewish rederabte city of Macedonia, near the Ægean sea, ligion.

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