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Paul arrives at Rome,] CHAP. XXVIII. (and preaches there.
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 27 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 has when Paul had cured him of a fever, this the liappy effect to excite our gratitude to: brought other sick persons to him with va- ward God, and to animate us in our Christrious 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 ness through all his journey, now surrensuch things as were necessary;"
dered him and his fellow-prisoners to the Here Paul and his companions, as also captain of the guard; doubtless, not withthe centurion and his compauy, 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 thence 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
" 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 Isa. vi. 9, 10, is quoted in the New proves the apostles did not confine themselves exTestament oftener than any other six times; actly either to the words of the original (Hebrew), Damely, 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 con
cert the Lord Jesus Christ, with all con29 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 be 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 do Paul dwelt two years in bis own hired 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 ihren-" 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 expressiou, “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 10 Jews and Gentiles, he appears of God," that is, of the Messiah ; per- to have written his Epistles to the Epbesuading 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 cer phets, from muraing 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 time was also occupied in correspondiog; and at the proves from Ulpian, that the Proconsul was to judge end of two years, it is highly probable he was set st whether a person under accusation was to be thrown liberty. Wbether he went again into the East, 19 into prison, or delivered to a soldier to keep, or doubtíul; but Clement of Rome (in bis first Episile) committed to sureties, or trusted on his parole of expressly says, that he preached in the West to its honour. Cred. book' i. ch. 10. It appears from utmost bounds, which must include Spain : and hence, that the persecution of Christians at Rome Theodoret adds, that he went to the Islands of the was not then begun; and perhaps Paul's friends Sea, of which Britain understood to be one: and Nero's family (Phil. iv. 22) used their interest with there is the best anthority to beliere that, after this, the Emperor to procure him this liberty. Doddr. he returned to Rome, and there suffered martyrdoa, We shall presently notice, that much of Paul's 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 bas 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, conceroing 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 (Acis 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 to the elders of Ephesus, which is tender and pathetic in the highest degree (chap. xx.) :—His different defences before the Roman governors, Felix and Pestus, 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 bis Epistle to the Romans, in which both the sentiments and the language, especially towards the close, are transcendently sublime :—The 15th chapter of his 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 his 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
Paul suffered to preach]
THE ACTS. [in his own hired closed ; lest they should see with their words, the Jews departed, : eyes, and hear with their ears, and un- great reasoning among thems derstand with their heart, and should 30 And Paul dwelt two w be converted, and I should heal them. in his own hired house, an
28 Be it known therefore unto you, all that came in unto him, that the salvation of God is sent unto 31 Preaching the king the Gentiles, and that they will hear and teaching those thing it.
cern the Lord Jesus Chris 29 And when he had said these fidence, no man forbidd
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXVIII. Continued. (F) Ver. 17–31. Paul appeals to the Lord had applied to th Jews, and afterwards to the Gentiles.- about thirty years befor Paul's object was one only, wherever he this people is waxed gr might go. It was to proclaim Jesus as the xiii. 14, 15); and in c Messiah and Saviour of the world, both to his chief attention to Jews and Gentiles. Accordingly, he no Paul dwelt two year sooner arrives at Rome, than he calls to- house, preaching wi gether his countrymen, tells them the man forbidding him reason of his coming thither, and the true Paul's arrival in ground of his being persecuted by his bre- Bible chronology, ihren—" For the hope of Israel I am bound others two years ea with this chain!" 'exhibiting the chain the Romans is sup' which bound him to a Roman soldier. ten in 57 or 58; This expression, “the hope of Israel," may that their faith w be applied both to the person of the Mes- the world, so th siah, who was truly “ the hope of Israel," been planted in and to the doctrine of the resurrection of the Empire at a ver dead, and especially of Christ, which was whom is not the hope for which he had repeatedly been proaching the “ called in question."
from the Churc His brethren expressed a readiness to come him, by hear him ; and accordingly, on an ap- raged and refr pointed day, came to him at his lodging, shall presenti when he « testified to them the kingdom ing, both to of God," that is, of the Messiah ;
to have writ suading them concerning Jesus, both out sians, Phili of the law of Moses, and out of the pro- bably that phets, from morning until evening." And tainly that the consequence was, as generally bas "Timothy w been found, some believed, and others be- at a later lieved not. To the latter he applied the death. same Scripture (Isaiah vi. 9) that our