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Julian Peo 29 For I know this, that after my departing, shall Miletus. riod, 4771. grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak; and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him ;
38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
St. Paul, together with St. Luke, the Writer of the Book
ACTS xxi. 1-3.
2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
Julian Pe- .3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on Coos and riod, 4771. the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre : Rhodes,
Patara, 58. ' for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
ACTs xxi. 4–6.
5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way: and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city ; and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.
ACTS xxi. 7.
Evangelist-Agabus prophecies the near Imprisonment
Acts xxi. 8-14.
9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
32 By the Spirit they apprised St. Paul of his danger, if he went up to Jerusalem.
Inlion Pe 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they Cesarea.
to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound
14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased,
ACTS xxi. 15-26.
16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Cesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James ; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord ; and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe ; and they are all zealous of the law :
21. And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22. What is it therefore ? the multitude must needs
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have
Julian Pe. 26 Then Paul took the men ; and the next day, puri- Jerusalem. riod, 4771. fying himself with them, entered into the temple, to sigalgar Æra, nify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until
that an offering should be offered for every one of them 33.
33 Witsius, in his life of St. Paul, chap. x. has endeavoured to shew the prudence, innocence, aud wisdom of the apostle's conduct on this occasion.
St. Paul was accused of having exhorted the Jews to forsake the law of Moses, and forbidden them to circumcise their sons. In this charge there was a mixture of truth and falsehood-St. Paul did not exhort the Jews to forsake the substance of the Mosaic law, nor did he expressly enjoin them to relinquish even the ceremonial part. But it must, however, be confessed, that in his argu. ments addressed to the Gentile converts, in which he describes the rites and ceremonies of the law as mere shadows of better things to come, the inference might fairly be drawn, that be did not consider these rites and ceremonies as any longer binding to the Jews themselves.
Why, then, did the apostles at Jerusalem, who knew all this as well as St. Paul, intreat bim to purify himself, sbave his head, and bind himself by a row? Why did St. Paul himself comply with their request? A modern scholar, of considerable literary attainments, but whose name Witsius does not mention, so strongly felt the difficulty attending this question, that he was induced to doubt, in toto, the divine authority of the Christian religion.
Witsius, however, is of opinion, that the conduct of the elders on this occasion, as well as that of St. Paul himself, was fully justified by existing circumstances. The great mass of the Jews were at that time so bigoted in favour of the ceremonial law, that the full light of the Gospel was too strong for their eyes to bear at once. The temple was standing, and they were daily spectators of the sacrifices there offered up. St. Paul, whose maxim it was to “become all things to gain all men," adopted a prudent but innocent artifice-this was a fit occasion; for employing the wisdom of the serpent.
Gilpin, Paley, &c. have blamed James and the presbytery of Jerusalem, for giving this advice, and St. Paul for following it; as sacrificing the truth of the Gospel to the prejudices of the Jewish zealots: for why, say they, should St. Paul offer propitiatory sacrifices (as in this case, Num. vi. 14.) inasmuch as by respecting the type he shewed disrespect to the antitype, Christ This surely was not an indifferent matter, and his submitting thereto savoured of unjustifiable compliance, and a temporizing spirit.' But this censure seems to be unfounded, for-i. The apostles bad no scruple of conscience in conforming to the Jewish rites. St. Paul celebrated the feast of Pentecost now, and the passover at his fourth visit to Jerusalem (Acts xviii. 21). And yet this highest Jewish rite was virtually superseded, when“ Christ our passover” was sacrificed on the cross, according to St. Paul's own doctrine (1 Cor. v. 7, 8). And the apostolic decree did not prohibit the Jewish ritual to the zealots; it only exempted the Gentile Christians from it, as unnecessary to salvation.
2. The doctrine of St. Paul was perfectly conformable to the apostolic decree, and to the Gospel ; he maintained the insufticiency of all rites, whether of the circumcision" or the “uncircumcision;" whether of Jews or Christians, without a “ new creation," or regeneration of th• inward man; without an operative " faith” in Christ,“ productive of love" to man (Gal. y..
Jerusalein. riod, 4771. ValgarÆra, St. Paul is apprehended by the chief Captain of the Tem58.
ple, in consequence of a Mob, occasioned by some of the
ACTS xxi. 27-36.
28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man
29 (For they had seen before with him, in the city,
31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came
32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains ; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was that he was borne of the soldiers, for the violence of the people.
36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him!
6. vi. 15.) without " circumcision" of the heart in spirit, not in
3. Were not the apostles and St. Paul, on that occasion, under
See Witsjus de vita Pauli, cap. X.-Melet, Leiden. p. 109, &c. and Hales's Anal, of Chronol. vol. ii. p. 1242.