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ness in the delivery of his defence. Thou art mind of Festus, than any thing that Paul could beside thyself.-Thou art deranged; thou art in- say in self-defence. The same reply, “ I am not sane. The reasons why Festus thought Paul | mad,” can be made by all Christians to the charge mad were, probably, (1.) His great earnestness of derangement which the world brings against and excitement on the subject. (2.) His laying them. They have come, like the prodigal, such stress on the gospel of the despised Jesus (Luke xv. 17,) to their right mird ; and by of Nazareth, as if it were a matter of infinite beginning to act as if there were a God and moment. Festus despised it; and he regarded Saviour, as if they were to die, as if there were if as proof of derangement that so much im- a boundless eternity before them, they are conportance was attached to it. (3.) Festus re- ducting according to the dictates of reason. garded, probably, the whole story of the vision And as Paul appealed to Agrippa, who was not that Paul said had appeared to him, as the effect a Christian, for the reasonableness and soberness of an inflamed and excited imagination; and as of his own views and conduct, so may all Christhe proof of delirium. This is not an uncom- tians appeal even to sinners themselves, as witmon charge against those who are Christians, | nesses that they are acting as immortal beings and especially when they evince any unusual should act. All men know that if there is an zeal. Sinners regard them as under the influ- | eternity, it is right to prepare for it; if there is a ence of delirium and fanaticism; as terrified by God, it is proper to serve him ; if a Saviour died imaginary and superstitious fears; or as mis- for us, we should love him ; if a hell, we should guided by fanatical leaders. Husbands often thus avoid it; if a heaven, we should seek it. And think their wives deranged, and parents their even when they charge us with folly and derangechildren, and wicked men the ministers of the ment, we may turn at once upon them, and appeal gospel. The gay think it proof of derangement to their own consciences, and ask them if all that others are serious, and anxious and prayer- | our anxieties, and prayers, and efforts, and selfful; the rich, that others are willing to part with | denials, are not right? One of the best ways of their property to do goud; the ambitious and convicting sinners is, to appeal to them just as worldly, that others are willing to leave their | Paul did to Agrippa. When so appealed to, they country and home, to go among the Gentiles to will usually acknowledge the force of the apspend their lives in making known the unsearch- | peal; and will admit that all the solicitude of able riches of Christ. The really sober, and Christians for their salvation is according to the
rational part of the world—they who fear God dictates of reason. Most noble Festus.—This || and keep his commandments ; who believe that was the usual title of the Roman governor.
eternity is before them, and who strive to live for Comp. xxiv. 3. Of truth.--In accordance with | it--are thus charged with insanity by those who the predictions of Moses and the prophets; and
are really deluded, and who are thus living lives the facts which have occurred in the death and i of madness and folly. The tenants of a mad- resurrection of the Messiah. In proof of this he
house often think all others deranged but them- | appeals to Agrippa. (Ver. 26, 27.) Truth here selves; but there is no madness so great, no deli- stands opposed to delusion, imposture, and fraud. rium so awful, as to neglect the eternal interest | And soberness.- Soberness (owo poovin, wisdom) of the soul for the sake of the poor pleasures stands opposed here to madness, or derangement,
and honours which this life can give. Much | and denotes sanity of mind. The words which | learning.--It is probable that Festus was ac- | I speak are those of a sane man, conscious of what
quainted with the fact that Paul had been well | he is saying, and impressed with its truth. They instructed, and was a learned man. Paul had | were the words also of a man who, under the not, while before him, manifested particularly his charge of derangement, evinced the most perfect learning. But Festus, acquainted in some way | self-possession, and command of his feelings; and with the fact that he was well educated, sup- / who uttered sentiments deep, impressive, and posed that his brain had been turned, and that worthy of the attention of mankind. the effect of it was seen by the devotion to a fanatical form of religion. The tendency of VER. 26. For the king knoweth of these things, long continued and intense application to pro before whom also I speak freely : for I am duce mental derangement, is every where known. Doth make thee mad.-Impels, drives, or excites
persuaded that none of these things are hidden thee (TEPITPÉTEL) to madness.
from him ; for this thing was not done in a
corner. VER. 25. But he said, I am not mad, most noble
For the king.- King Agrippa. Knoweth.-He Festus; but speak forth the words of truth had been many years in that region, and the and soberness.
fame of Jesus and of Paul's conversion were
probably well known to him. These things.I am not mad. I am not deranged. There | The things pertaining to the early persecutions are few more happy turns than that which Paul of Christians; the spread of the gospel; and the gives to this accusation of Festus. He might remarkable conversion of Paul. Though Agrippa have appealed to the course of his argument; he might not have been fully informed respecting might have dwelt on the importance of the sub- these things, yet he had an acquaintance with
Ject, and continued to reason ; but he makes an Moses and the prophets; he knew the Jewish ex1: appeal at once to Agrippa, and brings him in for | pectation respecting the Messiah ; and he could a witness that he was not deranged. This would not be ignorant respecting the remarkable pub.
far more likely to make an impression on the lic events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, and of
his having been put to death by order of Pontius Ver. 28. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost Pilate on the cross. I speak freely.--I speak
I thou' persuadest me to be a Christian. openly, boldly. I use no disguise; and I speak
e James i, 23, 24. the more confidently before him, because, from his situation, he must be acquainted with the Then Agrippa said unto "Paul.-He could not truth of what I say. Truth is always bold and deny that he believed the prophets. He could free; and it is an evidence of honesty when a not deny that the argument was a strong one, man is willing to declare every thing without re- | that they had been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazaserve before those who are qualified to detect reth. He could not deny that the evidence of him if he is an impostor. Such evidence of the miraculous interposition of God in the truth and honesty was given by Paul. For I am | conversion of Paul was overwhelming. And persuuded.--I am convinced; I doubt not that he instead, therefore, of charging him, as Festus had is well acquainted with these things. Are hidden done, with derangement, he candidly and honestly from him.---- That he is unacquainted with them. avows the impression which the proof had made For this thing.–The thing to which Paul had on his mind. Almost.--Except a very little. mainly referred in this defence, his own conver 'Ev óliyw. Thou hast nearly convinced me that sion to the Christian religion. Was not done in Christianity is true, and persuaded me to em: ! a corner.- Did not occur secretly and obscurely; brace it. The arguments of Paul had been so but was public, and was of such a character as to rational; the appeal which he made to his belief attract attention. The conversion of a leading of the prophets had been so irresistible, that he persecutor, such as Paul had been, and in the | had been nearly convinced of the truth of Chris. manner in which that conversion had taken tianity. We are to remember, (1.) That Agrippa place, could not but attract attention and remark. was a Jew, and that he would look on this whole And although the Jews would endeavour as subject in a different manner from the Roman much as possible to conceal it, yet Paul might Festus. (2.) That Agrippa does not appear to presume that it could not be entirely unknown have partaken of the violent passions and preju. to Agrippa.
dices of the Jews who had accused Paul. (3.) His character, as given by Josephus, is that of a
mild, candid, and ingenuous man. He had no VER. 27. King Agrippa, believest thou the pro
particular hostility to Christians; he knew that phets ? I know that thou believest.
they were not justly charged with sedition and
crime; and he saw the conclusion to which a King Agrippa.- This bland personal address belief of the prophets inevitably tended. Yet, as is an instance of Paul's happy manner of appeal. / in thousands of other cases, he was not quite He does it to bring in the testimony of Agrippa' persuaded to be a Christian. What was included to meet the charge of Festus that he was derang- | in the “almost ;" what prevented his being quite ed. Believest thou the prophets ?-_. The prophecies persuaded, we know not. It may have been that respecting the character, the sufferings, and the the evidence was not so clear to his mind as he death of the Messiah. I know that thou believest. I would profess to desire; or that he was not will. -Agrippa was a Jew; and, as such, he of course ing to give up his sins; or that he was too proud believed the prophets. Perhaps, too, from what to rank himself with the followers of Jesus of Paul knew of his personal character, he might | Nazareth ; or that, like Felix, he was willing to confidently affirm that he professed to be a be defer it to a more convenient season. There is liever. Instead, therefore, of waiting for his an every reason to believe that he was never quite swer, Paul anticipates it, and says that he knows persuaded to embrace the Lord Jesus ; and that hat Agrippa professes to believe all these pro- | he was never nearer the kingdom of heaven than phecies respecting the Messiah. His design is at this moment. It was the crisis, the turning evident. It is, (1.) To meet the charge of de- point in Agrippa's life, and in his eternal destiny: rangement, and to bring in the testimony of and, like thousands of others, he neglected or Agrippa, who well understood the subject, to the refused to allow the full conviction of the truth importance and the truth of what he was saying on his mind and died in his sins. Thou persuad(2.) To press on the conscience of his royal | est me.- Thou dost convince me of the truth of! hearer the evidence of the Christian religion, and the Christian religion, and persuadest me to em. to secure if possible his conversion. “Since thou | brace it. To be a Christian. On the name believest the prophecies, and since I have shown Christian, see Note, chap. xi. 26. On this deep that they are fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, that ly interesting case, we may observe, (1.) That he corresponds in person, character, and work there are many in the same situation as Agrippa with the prophets, it follows that his religion is -many who are almost, but not altogether, pertrue.” Paul lost no opportunity of pressing the suaded to be Christians. They are found among truth on every class of men. He had such a | (a) Those who have been religiously educated; conviction of the truth of Christianity, that he (1) Those who are convinced by argument of was deterred by no rank, station, or office; by the truth of Christianity ; (c) Those whose con- | no fear of the rich, the great, and the learned ; sciences are awakened, and who feel their guilt, but every where urged the evidence of that reli and the necessity of some better portion than this gion as indisputable. In this lay the secret of world can furnish. (2.) Such persons are deno small part of his success. A man who really terred from being altogether Christians by the believes the truth will be ready to defend it. Å following, among other causes. (a) By the love man who truly loves religion will not be asham of sin-the love of sin in general, or some par ed of it any where.
ticular sin which they are not willing to abandon.
(6) The fear of shame, persecution, or contempt, Christian ; and he desired, therefore, that they if they become Christians. (c) By the tempta- would give themselves, as he had done, entirely tions of the world-its cares, vanities, and al- and altogether to the service of the Lord Jesus lurements—which are often prosecuted most Christ. Except these bonds. — These chains. strongly in just this state of mind. (d) The This is an exceedingly happy and touching aplove of office, the pride of rank and power, as peal. Probably Paul, when he said this, lifted in the case of Agrippa. (e) A disposition, like up his arm with the chain attached to it. Felix, to delay to a more favourable time the His wish was, that they might be partakers of work of religion, until life has wasted away, and the pure joys which religion had conferred on death approaches, and it is too late ; and the un. him; that in all other respects they might parhappy man dies almost a Christian. (3.) This take of the effects of the gospel, except those state of mind is one of peculiar interest, and pe- chains. Those he did not wish them to bear. culiar danger. It is not one of safety; and it is The persecutions, and unjust trials, and confinenot one that implies any certainty that the “ al ments which he had been called to suffer in the most Christian," will ever be saved. There is no cause, he did not desire them to endure. True reason to believe that Agrippa ever became fully Christians wish others to partake of the full persuaded to become a Christian. To be almost blessings of religion. The trials which they persuaded to do a thing which we ought to do, themselves experience from without in unjust and yet not to do it, is the very position of guilt persecutions, ridicule, and slander, they do not and danger. And it is no wonder that many are wish them to endure. The trials which they brought to this point-the turning point, the themselves experience from an evil beart, from crisis of life--and then lose their anxiety, and die corrupt passions, and from temptations, they do in their sins. May the God of grace keep us not wish others to experience. But even with from resting in being almost persuaded to be these, religion confers infinitely more pure joy Christians! And may everyone who shall than the world can give; and even though others read this account of Agrippa be admonished by should be called to experience severe trials for his convictions, and be alarmed by the fact that their religion ; still, Christians wish that all he then paused, and that his convictions there should partake of the pure consolations which ended! And may every one resolve by the help Christianity alone can furnish in this world and of God to forsake every thing that prevents his the world to come. becoming an entire believer, and without delay embrace the Son of God as his Saviour!
VER. 30. And when he had thus spoken, the
king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, VER. 29. And Paul said, I would • to God that
and they that sat with them : not only thou, but also all that hear me this
31. And when they were gone aside, they day, were both almost, and altogether such as
talked between themselves, saying, This man I am, except these bonds.
doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. e I Cor. vii. 7.
This man doeth nothing worthy of death. This I would to God.-I pray to God; I earnestly I was the conclusion to which they had come, afdesire it of God. This shows, (1.) Paul's in- | ter hearing all that the Jews had to allege against tense desire that Agrippa, and all who heard him. It was the result of the whole investiga. him, might be saved. (2.) His steady and con tion; and we have, therefore, the concurring tesstant belief that none but God could incline them tiinony of Claudius Lysias, chap. xxiii. 29, of to become altogether Christians. Hence he ex Felix, (chap. xxiv.,) of Festus, (cbap. xxv. 26, pressed it as the object which he earnestly sought 27,) and of Agrippa, to his innocence. More of God, that they might be true believers. Paul | honourable and satisfactory testimony of his inknew well that there was nothing that would nocence Paul could not have desired. It was a overcome the reluctance of the human heart to full acquittal from all the charges against him; be an entire Christian but the grace and mercy | and though he was to be sent to Rome, yet he of God. He hath addressed to them the con went there with every favourable circumstance vincing arguments of religion ; and he now of being acquitted there also.
breathed forth his earnest prayer to God that |: these arguments might be effectual. So prays | VER. 32. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This every faithful minister of the cross. All that
man might have been set at liberty, if he had hear me.-Festus, and the military and civil ofiicers who had been assembled to hear his defence.
not appealed unto Cesar. (Chap. xxv. 23.) Were both almost, and altoge Then said Agrippa unto Festus, &c.—This is || ther, &c.-Paul had no higher wish for them than a full declaration of the conviction of Agrippa,
that they might have the faith and consolations that Paul was innocent. It is an instance also which he had himself enjoyed. He had so firm where boldness and fidelity will be attended with a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and had happy results. Paul had concealed nothing of experienced so much of its consolations and sup-| the truth. He had made a bold and faithful apports amidst all bis persecutions and trials, that peal (ver. 27) to Agrippa himself for the truth his highest desire for them was, that they might of what he was saying. By this appeal, Agrippa experience the same inexpressibly pure and holy had not been offended. It had only served to consolations. He well knew that there was nei impress him more with the innocence of Paul. ther happiness nor safety in being almost a It is an instance which shows us that religion may be commended to the consciences and rea coasts of Asia ; one Aristarchus, a Macedo- ||| son of princes, and kings, and judges, so that nian of Thessalonica, being with us. they will see its truth. It is an instance which shows us that the most bold and faithful appeais
Ó Chap. xix. 29. may be made by the ministers of religion to their hearers, for the truth of what they are say
A ship of Adramyttium.--A maritime town of ing. And it is a full proof that the most faith- Mysia, in Asia Minor, opposite to the island of || ful appeals, if respectful, may be made without
Lesbos. This was a ship which had been built offending men, and with the certainty that they
there, or which sailed from that port, but which will feel and admit their force. All preachers
was then in the port of Cæsarea. It is evident should be as faithful as Paul ; and whatever may
from ver. 6, that this ship was not expected to be the rank and character of their auditors, they
sail to Italy, but that the centurion expected to should never doubt that they have truth and God
find some other vessel into which he could put on their side, and that their message, when most
the prisoners to take them to Rome. We launckbold and faithful, will commend itself to the con
ed. - We loosed from our anchorage; or we get sciences of men.
sail. See chap. xiii. 13. By the coasts of Asia.
-Of Asia Minor. Probably the owners of the ship designed to make a coasting voyage along the southern part of Asia Minor, and to engage
in traffic with the maritime towns and cities. CHAPTER XXVII.
One Aristarchus, a Macedonian.-This man is
mentioned as Paul's companion in travel, in chap Ver. 1. And when it was determined that we
xix. 29. He afterwards attended him to Mace
donia, and returned with him to Asia. (Chap. should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul a
xx. 4.) He now appears to have attended him, and certain other prisoners unto one named not as a prisoner, but as a voluntary companion, Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. choosing to share with him his dangers, and to
enjoy the benefit of his society and friendship a Chap. xxv. 12, 25.
He went with him to Rome, and was a fellow.
prisoner with him there, (Col. iv. 10;) and is men. And when it was determined.- By Festus, (chap.
tioned (epistle to Philemon, 24) as Paul's fellowxxv. 12,) and when the time was come when it
labourer. It was, doubtless, a great comfort to was convenient to send him. That we should | Paul to have with him two such valuable friends sail. The use of the term “we” here shows
as Luke and Aristarchus; and it was an instance that the author of this book, Luke, was with
of great affection for him that they were not Paul. He had been the companion of Paul, and
ashamed of his bonds, but were willing to share though he had not been accused, yet it was re
his dangers, and to expose themselves to peril for solved that he should still accompany him. Whe
the sake of accompanying him to Rome. ther he went at his own expense, or whether he was sent at the expense of the Roman govern VER. 3. And the next day we touched at Sidon. ment, does not appear. There is a difference of reading here in the ancient versions. The Syriac
And Julius courteously centreated Paul, and ! reads it, “ And thus Festus determined that he
gave him liberty to go unto his friends to re[Paul] should be sent to Cesar in Italy," &c. fresh himself. The Latin Vulgate and the Arabic also read “he" instead of “we.” But the Greek manu
c chap. xxiv. 23; xxviii, 16. scripts are uniform ; and the correct reading is,
We touched at Sidon.-Note, Matt. xi. 21. It' doubtless, that which is in our version. Into
was north of Cæsarea. And Julius courteously Italy.—The country still bearing the same name,
entreated Paul.- Treated him kindly, or humane. !! of which Rome was the capital. And certain
ly. And gave him liberty, &c.— The same thing other prisoners.-Who were probably also sent to
| bad been done by Felix. (Chap. xxiv. 23.) Rome for a trial before the emperor. Dr. Lard
Unto his friends.-In Sidon. Paul had frequently ner has proved that it was common to send pri
| travelled in that direction in going to and returnsoners from Judea and other provinces to Rome.
ing from Jerusalem, and it is not improbable, Credibility, Part 1, chap. x. $ 10, pp. 248, 249.
therefore, that he had friends in all the principal A centurion.-A commander of a hundred men.
cities. To refresh himself.—To enjoy the benefit Of Augustus' band.-For the meaning of the word “band," see Note, Matt. xxvii. 27. Acts
of their kind care, to make his present situation x. 1. It was a division in the Roman army, con
and his voyage as comfortable as possible. It is sisting of from four to six hundred men. It was
probable that they would furnish him with many called “ Augustus' band" in honour of the Ro- |
supplies which were needful to make his long and man emperor Augustus, (Note, chap. xxv. 21,)
perilous voyage comfortable. and was probably distinguished in some way for
VER. 4. And when we had launched from thence, the care in enlisting or selecting them. The Augustine cohort or band is mentioned by Sue we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds tonius in his Life of Nero, 20.
Wc sailed under Cyprus.-For an account of VER. 2. And entering into a ship of Adramyt- Cyprus, see Note, chap. iv. 36. By sailing “an
tium, we launched, meaning to sail by the der Cyprus,” is meant that they sailed along its
coasts; they kept near to it; they thus endea
VER. 8. And, hardly passing it, came unto a place voured to break off the violent winds. Instead of steering a direct course in the open sea, which
which is called The fair havens ; nigh wherewould have exposed them to violent opposing
unto was the city of Lasea. winds, they kept near this large island, so that it
And, hardly passing it.-Scarcely being able was between them and the westerly winds. The
to pass by it without being wrecked. Being force of the wind was thus broken, and the voy
almost driven on it. They passed round the east age rendered less difficult and dangerous. They
end of the island, because they had been unable went between Cyprus and Asia Minor, leaving Cyprns to the left. Had it not been for the strong
to sail directly forward between the island and
the main land. The fair havens.—This was on western winds, they would have left it on the
the south-eastern part of the island of Crete. It right. The winds were contrary.—Were from the
was probably not so much a harbour as an open West, or south-west, which thus prevented their
kind of road, which afforded good anchorage for Il pursuing a direct course. See the map.
a time. It is called by Stephen, the geographer,
“the fair shore." Ver. 5. And when we had sailed over the sea
of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, | VER. 9. Now when much time was spent, and a city of Lycia.
when sailing was now dangerous, because the The sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia.—The sea
fast was now already past, Paul admonished which lies off the coast from these two regions. For their situation, see the map, and Notes, Acts
e The fast was on the 10th day of the 7th month. vi. 9, and xiii. 13. We came to Myra, a city of
Lev. xxiii. 27, 29. Lycia.-Lycia was a province in the south-western part of Asia Minor, baving Phrygia and Pisidia When much time was spent.-In sailing along on the north, the Mediterranean on the south, | the coast of Asia; in contending with the contrary Pamphylia on the east, and Caria on the west. winds. It is evident, that when they started,
they had hoped to reach Italy before the dangerVER. 6. And there the centurion found a ship of ous time of navigating the Mediterranean should Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us
arrive. But they had been detained and embar
rassed contrary to their expectation, so that they therein.
were now sailing in the most dangerous and A ship of Alexandria.- A ship belonging to
tempestuous time of the year. Because the fast Alexandria. Alexandria was in Egypt, and was
was now already past.- By “the fast” here, is founded by Alexander the Great. It appears
evidently intended the fast which occurred among from ver. 38, that the ship was laden with wheat.
the Jews on the great day of atonement. That It is well known that great quantities of wheat
was the tenth of the month Tisri, which answers were imported from Egypt to Rome; and it ap
to a part of September and part of October. It
was therefore the time of the autumnal equinox, pears that this was one of the large ships which were employed for that purpose. Why the ship
and when the navigation of the Mediterranean was on the coast of Asia Minor is not known.
was esteemed to be particularly dangerous, from
the storms which usually occurred about that But it is probable that it had been driven out of
time. The ancients regarded this as a dangerous its way by adverse winds or tempests.
time to navigate the Mediterranean. See the
proofs in Kuinoel on this place. Paul admonished VER. 7. And when we had sailed slowly many them.-Paul exhorted, entreated, or persuaded
days, and scarce were come over-against them. He was somewhat accustomed to the Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed | navigation of that sea ; and endeavoured to per
suade them not to risk the danger of sailing at under Crete, over-against Salmone;
that season of the year. d or, Candy.
VER. 10. And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive Had sailed slowly. By reason of the prevalence of the western winds. (Ver. 4.)
that this voyage will be with 8 hurt and
Over-against Cnidus.- This was a city standing on a promon
much damage, not only of the lading and ship, tory of the same name in Asia Minor, in the part but also of our lives. of the province of Cana called Doris, and a little north-west of the island of Rhodes. The wind not s 2 Kings v. 9, 10. Dan. ii. 20. Amos iii. 7.
gor, injury. suffering us.—The wind repelling us in that direction; not permitting us to hold on a direct course, Sirs.-Greek, “ Men.” I perceive.--It is not We were driven off near to Crete. We sailed un- certain that Paul understood this by direct inder Crete.-See ver. 4. We lay along near to spiration. He might have perceived it from Crete, so as to break the violence of the wind. his own knowledge of the danger of navigation For the situation of Crete, see Note, chap. ii. 11. at the autumnal equinox, and from what he saw Over-against Salmone.- Near to Salmone. This of the ship as unfitted to a dangerous navigation, was the name of the promontory which formed But there is nothing that should prevent our bethe eastern extremity of the island of Crete. lieving also that he was guided to this conclusion
by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Comp.