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paid them home by turning to the gentiles: then the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women; and (most likely by their means) the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them as you have heard. Then the apostles proceeded to such an extremity as we "little ones" may shudder to think of:-for they "shook off the dust of their feet against them;" (confirming, as it were, the curse of Adam (Gen. iii. 19) in this instance) according to their instructions, (Matt. x. 14,) and the power delegated to them. (John xx. 23.) A shocking issue for the persecuting Jews and their honourable adherents, albeit "the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost." (Acts xiii. 51, 52.)

§ 2. In the accidents of the Kingdom, which to preach sincerely is a part of my duty and delight, those of the apostles are recorded by the name of Acts only, though their sufferings are as wonderful as their actions in a private view. And if their record had been the principal object of their historian, he might accordingly have entitled his work The Accidents of the Apostles, including both sorts, that is both active and passive. But, speaking as the historian of the Kingdom, and not as the biographer of the apostles, he distinguishes very properly. What the apostles suffered was imputed to their private account, what they did to the account of the Kingdom, being the Accidents of the Kingdom and the Acts of the apostles. Of such acts or accidents one instance has just been considered in THE FIRST VISITATION, as it may be called, of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch: where the former especially was conspicuous for his eloquence, the effects of which on one occasion have been shortly detailed. He had been struggling for the Kingdom of God at Antioch, and between two parties in that important city-like an expert swimmer between contending billows: and had the good fortune to escape at last with some valuables for his master-a few straggling souls that he had gleaned in the



place being washed away with his partner, but not drowned. For which they might both thank divine Providence, and say with the Psalmist, "If the Lord himself had not been on our side-if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us; they had swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased at us. Yea, the waters had drowned us; and the stream had gone over our soul; the deep waters of the proud had gone even over our soul. But praised be the Lord: who hath not given us over for a prey unto their teeth. Our soul is escaped even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler: the snare is broken, and we are delivered." (Ps. cxxiv. 1, &c.) Let us now consider the light in which this act or accident should be regarded, especially with reference to the parties engaged in it; being 1, the persecuting; 2, the persecuted, with any further improvement that may occur to us, on the doctrine before proposed.

1. If the Jews had been alone of the persecuting side, the whole transaction might have been considered as a single affair between the two apostles and their countrymen at Antioch; in which the gentiles were not concerned any farther than to receive perhaps a transient commendation of their good fortune in being happily unacquainted with these horrid contentions. They had all come running together after St. Paul's first discourse to them: some led on by curiosity from the report of those who had heard him once; some, that they might be able to say, they had heard him twice; and some few perhaps, because they thought they could never hear him often enough: these few being as many as were ordained to eternal life; (Acts xiii. 48;) but still not few enough for the envying Jews: who therefore bestirred themselves, and had the address as well as misfortune, to gain over the chief men and women of this gentile city, and to effect by their means the illnatured part which they could not effect by themselves: when the contest assumed a new aspect; being tripartite,

instead of a single affair as it seemed at first: and now there are two opposition parties, or parties on the persecuting side, to be considered.

1, The Jews first; as principal instruments on this obstinate occasion; in which the malignant spirit would seem to preponderate against the Spirit of love, and his ministers against the ministers of grace and truth. But they who have considered the strength of the parties will be likely to doubt whether it could have happened after this manner in the conclusion or issue. Some, forgetting that among others many of the Jews also followed Paul and Barnabas, may be apt to cry shame on the whole sort of them for shewing so little regard to their countrymen and the doctrine they preached, both of which might have been dearer to them, they think; magnifying at the same time perhaps the liberality and discernment of the gentiles at Antioch in perceiving the importance of the doctrine, and in receiving the same for its own sake, without minding the persons, or the people either of the preachers, a people not very acceptable to Greeks or Syrians. They will have no doubt of the Jews being principals in this mad persecution: so that the exclamation "Why do the heathen, &c.?" in the second Psalm will be rather applicable to these wayward believers. It will seem to them, that on the part of the Jews there was no principle or motive but perverseness or ignorance in this transaction,

-a fatal blindness to their real interests, and a shameful propensity to oppose as far as they might the best interests of others. The ministers of grace and truth had been sent to their doors, offering to them the Kingdom of Heaven, or of God, in the first place, as God's elect; and pressing them to accept it:-they turn a deaf ear to this heavenly embassage, having set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face, (Ezek. xiv. 3,) so that the truth could not come nigh them: Christ crucified by their nation, and his own, in the person of Jesus; raised again by God-not

coming from Heaven for the occasion, nor sending an angel down for that, as he did once to strengthen him in his fiery trial, but living in him, and through life, and with him in death; then passing as it were from lowest to highest-from hell to Heaven, and by God likewise "exalted with his right hand, to be a prince and a Saviour for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins;" (Acts v. 31;) with a spiritual, universal and eternal Kingdom branching from his throne in every direction through Heaven and earth,—spiritual as seated in the heart, universal as adapted to every form of government-“ whether they be thrones or principalities, or powers," and eternal as founded in the nature of things-not variable by circumstances, like the kingdoms of the earth-with "a multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds and people, and tongues," (Rev. vii. 9,) assimilated under one dominion, united in one common interest and degree of importance, and no respect to name or complexion, to artificial distinctions or natural endowments-doctrines like these will be thought too high and heavenly, too kind and benevolent, too liberal and refined to meet the sordid conceptions of Jews; the bare mention of such a Kingdom or dominion were superfluous,—its serious proposal, an insult which they would all reject accordingly, "putting it from them, and judging themselves unworthy of everlasting life," (Acts xiii. 46,) as the apostles told some of them :-some may think in their haste, and perhaps LITTLE CHARITY, allJews alike; forgetting what I have before stated, some may condemn the whole race of Israel, the object of God's delight, in this manner for the fault of the gross majority.

And certainly the Jews of that period were no longer in general the people that they had been in the days of their independence, or while they served the Lord only. For we are all creatures of circumstances, or rather of our own performances: and so with respect to that nation; when they forsook the Lord Jehovah, and began

to pass from one yoke to another, as the world changed its tyrants, the sublime spirit which they drew from his forsook them likewise, and their feelings degenerated until they were sunk even below the common level of mankind. And, as a proof of such their fallen condition, this high born, and higher bearing-race of Israel, could now, at the period we are considering, and years before, be more pleased and flattered to see their own countryman,-nay, their long expected Messiah, the Hope of Israel, abandoned, disgraced, and crucified, with all that followed or belonged to him, than that their own nation should be by his means the honour and blessing to every other for which the God of their fathers designed them, when he said successively to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. xxii. 18; xxvi. 4; xxviii. 14.) But were there none of the descendants of Israel, none of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had the grace to receive and acknowledge their Redeemer when so powerfully proposed to them? I am happy to observe and repeat for the honour of Israel, that there were found at this time among the Jews as well as among the gentiles at Antioch, some who still clave to the Lord with their affections, A REMNANT OF TRUE ISRAELITES: and such I hope and trust in Christ, there always will be found as a bar to corruption. For "except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." (Isai. i. 9.) So we read that as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts xiii. 48.)

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Now there are two several ways, or two sorts of ordination, to eternal life, and only two ways in all the world, whether above or below, in Heaven or in earth: which two may be called the Old and the New, answering to the Old and New Testament, or the Old and New Testament to them--and are often adverted to by St. Paul, especially in the third chapter of his epistle to the

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