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A.D. 1 Peter and John are, for their preaching and working mi-
racles, committed to prison, but delivered by an angel.
33 They are again apprehended, but saved by the prudent 21-42.
advice of Gamaliel.
34 The number of believers increasing at Jerusalem, the Acts. vi.
apostles ordain seven deacons, who should distribute the 1-8.
alms of the church to the widows and poorer sort of
Stephen, one of these deacons, having, in argument, 9-15.
confounded some Jews who disputed with bim, is by them
falsely accused of blasphemy.
Stephen being brought before the Sanhedrim, justifies Acts vii.
himself, and charges upon them the murder of Jesus the
Messiah, in consequence of which he is cast out of the city,
and stoned to death; but dies praying for his murderers.
A great persecution of the church at Jerusalem follows Acts viii.
the death of the first martyr, Stephen.
Philip, another of the deacons, preaching in Samaria, 5-13.
and working miracles, converteth many. Sinnun Magus, see-
ing the miracles wrought by Philip, professes alsu tu believe,
and is baptized.
The apostles at Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had re- 14-17.
ceived the faith, send thither Peter and John to confirm,
and to enlarge the church.
Simon (above named) seeing that the apostles, by prayer 18-25.
and imposition of hands, conferred the Holy Ghost upon be-
lievers, offers them money, that he might receive the same
puwer; but is sharply reproved by Peter.
35 The apostles return to Jerusalem; but an angel sends 26-40.
Philip to teach and baptize the Ethiopian eunuch, then
upon a journey; after which he is carried by the Spirit to
Azotus, or Ashdod.
§ V. THE LIFE OF ST. PAUL FROM IIIS CONVERSION,
WITH SOME PARTICULARS OF OTHER APOSTLES.
Saul, a violent persecutor of all who call on the name of
Jesus, and who consented to the death of Stephen, goes to
Damascus, with authority from the Sanhedrim to bring all
the disciples in those parts, bound unto Jerusalem. On the
way, however, he is miraculously converted by a heavenly
vision; and is, three days afterwards, baptized by Ananias
at Damascus, where he preaches the gospel with great bold-
ness, to the astonishment of all who knew him.
Pilate is removed from his government, after ten years' conti-
nuance.- Mr. Benson.
The Emperor Tiberius dies, and is succeeded by Caius Caligula.
Saul having preached some time at Damascus, the Jews
lay wait to kill him; but he escaping thence by the aid of
his friends, comes to Jerusalem, where he meets Peter and
A.D. | James, the brother of our Lord, and abides with them fifteen
days. Here he disputes boldly with the Grecians (or those
38 Jews who used the Greek tongue), many of whom consult
how they might kill him. The brethren finding this, for-
ward him to his own country, Tarsus; from whence he
travels into Syria and Silesia.
Peter visits the churches of Judea, Galilee, Samaria, &c.
At Lydda, he cureth Eneas of the palsy; and, at Juppa,
raises Tabitha to life.
41 At Cesarea, Cornelius, a Roman centurion, is directed
by an angel to Peter, now at Joppa, who had been prepared
for his invitation; and going to his house, preaches to a
great company there assembled, upon whom the Holy Ghost
descending, Peter immediately baptizeth them,
On his return to Jerusalem, Peter is accused by those of Acts xi.
the circumcision, for conversing with the Gentiles; but on 1-18.
declaring to them the vision he had seen, and how God had
been pleased to bless his preaching to Cornelius and his com.
pany, they glorified God for granting repentance and sal-
vation unto the Gentiles.
43 The believers who, after the martyrdom of Stephen, were 19-30.
dispersed through Phenice and Cyprus, come now to An.
tioch, and preach the gospel to the Greeks there, having
hitherto preached only to the Jews. The church at Jerusa-
lem hearing this, send Barnabas, who calling for Saul at
Tarsus, takes him with him to Antioch, where they continue
a year; multitudes are converted to the Christian faith, the
professors of which are here first called Christians.
44 Herod Agrippa beheads James, the brother of John, and Acts xii.
imprisons Peter; but the latter is delivered by an angel.
This same Herod, not long after, addressing an oration to
the people of Cesarea, sume of them cry out, “ It is the
voice of a god, and not of a man;" upon which an angel of
the Lord instantly smites him, and he is eaten of worms,
and dies miserably.
45 Barnabas and Saul sent forth to preach the gospel in Se- Acts xii.
leucia, Cyprus, and other places. At Paphos, they preach
to Sergius Paulus, the governor; but Elymas the sorcerer
withstanding them, and endeavouring to turn them from
the faith, is suddenly struck blind by a divine judgment.
From this time, Saul is always called by his new name-
Paul preaches at Antioch; the Gentiles believe, but the 14-52.
Jews blaspheme, wherenpon he turns unto the Gentiles.
46 At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas are persecuted, and, to
avoid stoning, fly to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia,
where the ignorant heathen, seeing a miracle which Paul
wrought, took him and his companion for Jupiter and Mer-
cury, and were with difficulty restrained from sacrificing
Soon after, howerer, sume wicked Jews frum Antioch and 19-28
Iconium, excite the multitude against them, and Paul is 2 Cor. xi.25.
actually stoned by them, and carried out of the eity as
A.D. dead; his friends, however, gathering round him, he re-
covers, and departs the next day with Barnabas to Derbe,
and thence to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, &c.
Certain Judaizing Christians come from Judea to An-
tioch, and teach that the Gentiles ought to be circumcised,
and observe the law of Moses: these Paul and Barnabas
oppose, and a council being held by the apostles and others
at Jerusalem, to determine this controversy, the decrees of
the Synod are sent to the churches.
Paul and Barnabas intending to visit the churches, differ 36-41.
as to the choice of their companion, in consequence of which
they separate; Barnabas and Mark, therefore, go to Cyprus,
and Paul and Silas into Syria and Silicia.
Paul coming to Derbe, there finds Timothy, whom he Acts xvi.
causes to be circumcised, and takes with him. He is, by a
vision, admonished to go into Macedonia; when coming to
Philippi, a chief city of that province, he converts Lydia
and her family; but casting out of a certain female slave,
in that city, a spirit of divination, her master brings Paul
and Silas before the magistrates, who cause them to be im-
prisoned. At midnight, however, they are released by mi.
racle ; the Jailer is converted and baptized, with his whole
family. Next day, the magistrates hearing of these extraor.
dinary events, request Paul and Silas peaceably to depart
the city, to which, accordingly, they agree.
54 From Philippi, Paul takes his journey to Thessalonica, Aets xvii.
where he preaches three Sabbaths successively in a Jewish
synagogue, with some success, but is persecuted by Jason
and his rabble.
Leaving Thessalonica, he comes to Berea, where his
hearers are commended for searching the Scriptures. Soon
after, he arrives at Athens, and preaches to them that UN- 16-34.
KNOWN God whom they ignorantly worshipped. After dis-
puting with the philosophers, and converting Dionysius the
Areopagite, he passes on to Corinth.
At Corinth, Paul meets with Aquila and Priscilla, who Acts xviii.
had been banished from Rome by a decree of Claudius; 1-11.
also with one Justus, whose house adjoined the synagogue.
He continues with them about a year and a half.
In the latter part of this year, Nero succeeds to Claudius as Em-
peror of Rome. Lardner.
Paul being accused by the Jews, is brought before Gallio, 12-17.
Pro-consul of Achaia, who refuseth to be judge in a con-
troversy about religion, and drives them from his judgment
seat in apparent rage.
Paul departs from Corinth, and passeth to Ephesus; thence 18-23.
he sets out for Jerusalem, that he may attend the ast.
Landing at Cesarea, goes down to Antioch, and comes into
the regions of Galatia and Phrygia, confirming the disciples
in all thuse places.
The character and success of the eloquent Apollos.
A.D. Paul returns to Ephesus, according to his promise, and Acts sis.
some of John's disciples are baptized in the name of Jesus ;
58 afterwards Paul disputes daily in the school of one Tyran-
nus, and continues preaching there, and in the neighbouring
parts, for some time.
59 At Ephesus, one Demetrius, a maker of silver shrines for
Diana, jealous of his gain, raises a tumult against Paul,
which is judiciously appeased by the town-clerk, advising
them to “ do nothing rashly.”
Paul leaving Ephesus, comes into Macedonia, and gathers Acts xx.
a contribution for the relief of the poor saints, which he throughout.
meant to carry with him to Jerusalem; but, hearing that the
Jews laid wait for him, changes his purpose, and returns
unto Macedonia by the way he came. From Miletus he
sends for the elders of Ephesus, and delivers to them a very
Paul persists in his design of visiting Jerusalem, notwith-Acts xsi.
standing all the persuasions of his Christian friends; de-
claring his perfect readiness to become a martyr for the
cause of Christ. He goes, therefore, and the Jews raise a 15-40.
tumult against him, and would have torn him in pieces, but
for the captain of the Roman guard, who rescues him, and,
as a Roman, allows him the privilege of self-defence.
Paul addresses his countrymen in the Hebrew language, Acts xxii.
and gives an account of his former manner of life, and his
Next, “ the chief priests and council being summoned,” Acts xxiii
Paul pleads his cause before them, which occasions a dis-
sension among the Jewish sects, and a plot is laid to kill
The chief captain understanding this, sends him under 17-35.
guard by night to Felix, the governor at Cesarea.
62 Five days after, Ananias and the Jews come to accuse Acts xxir.
Paul before Felix; and. Tertullus, the oratur, pleads against
him. He is detained in prison till Felix, about two years
afterwards, is succeeded by Festus, when he leaves Paul
still in prison, to please the Jews.
On the arrival of Festus, the Jews come again to Cesarea,
and accuse Paul before Festus. Paul defends himself, and
appeals to Cesar—at that time Nero.
King Agrippa coming to visit Festus at Cesarea, Paul Acts xxvi.
again defends himself before Agrippa, who is “ almost per-
suaded to be a Christian."
Paul, however, having appealed to Cesar, is sent to Acts xxvii.
Rome: but, by the way, he suffers shipwreck, and the
vessel is dashed to pieces, but Paul and all the crew are
63 The island on which they are cast proves to be Melita, or Acts xxviii.
Malta, where Paul and his companions experience great
kindness during the three months of their continuance; and
from thence, in another vessel, they sail loward Rome, and
there safe arrive.
A.D. At Rome, Paul is suffered to dwell, under the care of a | Acts xxviii.
soldier, in his own hired house, where he freely and effec-
63 to tually preached, both to Jews and Gentiles.
We have here omitted the date of St. Paul's Epistles, as given
in our Bible Index, and at the end of each Epistle, because
Dr. Paley, in his Hore Paulina, has shown many of them to be
false, and others doubtful; and because we have given, in our
Introductiou to St. Paul's Epistles (p. 469), a table of the dates,
as collected by Mr. Horne, from the best authorities, in his Cri-
tical Introduction, &c. See also our Exposition of the last verses
of the Book of Acts.
67 Here ends the Book of the Acts, which is the last historical
book of the New Testament. Both St. Peter and Paul are confi- His.Eccles.
dently said to have suffered martyrdom in the latter end of Nero's 1. ii. c. 24.
reign, who died in A.D. 68. See our Expos. of 2 Tim. iv.
The dates of the Epistles of James, Peter, and Johu, we have
noticed also in our Intro:luction to the Catholic Epistles, p. 730.
The dates of the gospels have been considered in the Introduc-
tion to each. It is probable they were all written between A.D. 60
and 65, except that of John, which some place even after the book
70 This year Jerusalem (according to Christ's prophecy) is besieged, Mat. xxiv,
taken, sacked, and burnt by Titus, when 1,100,000 Jews miserably 1-28,
perished, and 97,000 were taken prisoners, besides an innumerable
multitude that, in other parts of Judea, either killed themselves,
or perished through famine, banishment, and other miseries.
of the apostle John we have little or nothing recorded after the Acts ix, 1,
conversion of St. Paul, except in his own Epistles and the Book of &c.
the Revelation. Our authorities for dating this book in A.D. 96,
will be seen in our Introduction to it, p. 784, 5.
ANALYSIS OF THE APOCALYPSE, OR REVELATION.
96 To complete the series of divine providences, we subjoin
an Analysis of this last Book of the sacred Canon, whose
predictions bring us to the end of time, and of the world.
The three first chapters (after a short introduction) con-
tain distinct Epistles to the seven apostolic churches of Asia.
The fourth and fifth contain introductory visions of the throne
of God, and of the book sealed with seven seals.
The inspired author then proceeds to the opening of the
seven seals distinctly; the first, beginning from the extraor-
34 dinary effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and
extending through the apostolic age. The three next (viz.
2, 3, 4) allude to the dreadful wars and contests between
70 the Jews and Romans, the destruction of Jerusalem, and
the direful effects of famine, pestilence, and captivity, which
followed, in the second and third centuries.
270 The opening of the fifth seal, represents the awful scenes
of Pagan persecution, under which the souls of the martyrs
were now groaning, till the time of Constantine.
304 The sixth seal evidently describes the fall of Paganism,
to with the end of the dragon's persecutions under that form,
323 and the legal establishment of Christianity.
The seventh seal produces a solemn pause, and a short
interval of peace, after which seven angels with trumpets
are brought forward.