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A VIPER FASTENS ON ST. PAUL'S HAND-CHAP. XIV. 447 Julian Pe. laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, Cesarer. riod, 4771. and fastened on his hand. Vulgarfra,“ 60.

4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast

been a convert to Christianity. He certainly speaks inaccu.
rately in one instance, representing himself and his companions
to have swam all the night, which, without a miracle at least,
could not have been literally effected ; another difficulty, and
perhaps the greatest, is, that St. Paul expressly says, that they
escaped all safe to land, and that when they escaped they knew
that the island was called Melita, which seems to imply, that
they all reached the same island. It is possible, however, that
the apostle, by the word “ all,” refers to the immediate antece-
dent in the verse, speaking distinctly of those who followed the
first division.

The integrity of the miracle, and the declarations of St. Paul,
that there should be no loss of any man's life, and that not an
hair should fall from the head of any of them, are equally esta-
blished, whether the whole crew reached the land, or some only,
wbile others were taken up into a ship. If Josephus was one
of the bretbren whom the apostle found at Puteoli, he might
have been delayed on his voyage from Melita, or detained at
Puteoli by Aliturus, till St. Paul arrived there; if the circum-
stances should not be thought to be satisfactorily reconciled,
there are still so many concurrences, that the accounts must at
least be allowed to bear a very remarkable resemblance to each
other, if uot to refer to the same event ; for lot it be considered
that in both accounts the prisoners are represented to have
been put into bonds by Felix, upon a trifling occasion, and in
both to have appealed to Cesar. "In both relations, men of ex-
traordinary piety and excellence are exposed to shipwreck in
the Adriatic in the same year; and in both they wonderfully
escape: by a remarkable providence, in both histories they
arrive at Puteoli; and in both instances the prisoners are, by an
unexpected indulgence in some degree, set at liberty, in conse-
quence it should seem of interest made with the emperor.-
Johan. Fred. Wandalinus considers Malta, in the Mediterra-
nean, as the scene of St. Paul's shipwreck, p. 773, in a disserta-
tion, in the 13tb vol. of the Critici Sacri.

9 Mr. Bryant fully proves that the people of Malta, in the Mediterranean, could not be justly called “barbarous." On this point the testimony of Diodorus Siculus (see Note 8), is decisive. Mr. Bryant, after some extracts on the magnificence of the temples at Malta, goes on to contrast the description of the African Malta, given by the classical writers, with the brief but forcible account of the Adriatic Melite in the New Testament. The island is situated in the Adriatic Gulf, near the river Naró, in the province of the Nestiæans, an Illyrian people. What is the character of these Illyrians? barbarous beyond measure ; so that they are seldom mentioned without this denomination. Thucydides, speaking of Epidamnus, says, it was “ in the neighbourhood of the Taulantii, a barbarous set of people, Illyrians.” (Hist. lib. i.) Polybius says, that in his time they did not seem so much to have feuds and quarrels with any particular nation, as to be at war with all the world.” (Hist. lib. ii. p. 100. Edit. Casaub. Item excerptae Legatines, sect. cxxv.) Diodorus seldom mentions them, but he terms them barbarians. Speaking of the Lacedæmonians giving them a remarkable check, he says, (lib. xiv. p. 464. Edit. Stephan.) 78 Tolle Spao's etavoav ros Bapßapes. One Illyrian nation was called the Dardanians; of whom Nicolaus Da


Julian Pe- hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt Cesarea. riod, 4773. this man is a murderer, whom though he bath escaped VulgarÆra.

* the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.

8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody flux : to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed :

10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and

mascenus (Evvaywyn tapadośwy n3wv,) mentions an odd rule,
which, I believe, no other body politic imposed upon itself:
- they were washed three times only during their life-when
they were borp--when they married-when they died-TOUS
εν τω βιω λεονται μονον, όταν γενωνται, και επι γαμοις, και
TEREUT WVTEC. Strabo speaks of the country as naturally good,
but neglected and barren, “ on account of the savage dispo-
sition of the inhabitants, and the national turn to plunder."
They are represented as rude in their habits; their bodies dis-
figured with marks and scarifications, by way of (Strabo, vol. i.
p. 484. Edit. Amstel. 1707.) ornament; not given to traffic, and
ignorant of the use of money. (Schol. in Dionys. Ilspiny. ad vers.
97.) They are described as extending to the Danube north,
and eastward to Macedonia and Thrace ; comprehending a vil-
lanous brotherhood under different denominations. (Liv. lib. x.
cap. 2.) Illyrii Liburnique et Istri, gentes feræ. Such were the
Scordisci, a nation bent on ruin; who are said to have made a
beautiful country for seven days journey a desert. Add to
these the Bessi, so supreme in villainy, that the bandilti looked
up to lhem, and called them, by way of eminence," the thieves."
(Strabo, vol. i. p. 490. Edit. Amstel. 1707.) In short, it is
notorious that all the tract of Illyria, from the city Lissus
north west, was termed Illvorg Bappapurn ; partly on account
of the ferocity of the inhabitants, and partly to distinguish it
from tbc Hellcnic, where the Greeks had made their settle-
ments. It is observable, that the islands upon this coast were
noted for a desperate race of freebooters: and, what is most to
the purpose, Melite and Corcyra particularly swarmed with
pirates. They so far aggrieved the Romans by their repeated
outrages, that (Appian. de Bello Illyrico.) Augustus ordered
the island to be sacked, and the inhabitants to be put to the
sword. This in great measure was executed. So that, when
the apostle arrived in these parts, the island must have been
very much thinned, and the remainder of the people well dis-

Julian Pe- when we departed, they laded us with such things as Cesarea. riod, 4773. were necessary. Vulgar Æra,

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After three Months they sail to Rome.

ACTs xxviii. 11, to part of ver. 14.
11 And after three months we departed in a ship of
Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign
was Castor and Pollux ".

. 12 And landing at Syracuse ", we tarried there three

13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to
Rhegium : and after one day the south wind blew, and
we came the next day to Puteoli:

14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days;

10 It was the custom with the ancient Greeks and Romans, to place the image or picture of the Deity, to whose care and protection they committed the ship, at the stern, and to place the sign, by the name of which the ship was called, at the head (a). It is a dispute among learned men, whether the tutelar Deity were not also sometimes the sign, and for that reason placed both at head and stern. There are undeniable instances in an. cient authors, wherein some of the heathen deities are placed at the head. And it is not very likely, that such ships should have other deities at the stern, to whose tutelage they were committed. or this sort is the ship which carried Paul to Italy. It had Castor and Pollux, two beathen deities, at the head, and doubtless, if any, bad the same also at the stern, as the tutelar gods, protectors, and patrons of the ship, these being esteemed deities peculiarly favourable to mariners.

(a) Vid. Hammond in loc. Virg. Æneid. I 10. v. 157. 166. et 171.
Ovid. de Trist. Eleg. 9. v. 1, 2. Perf. Sat. 6. v. 30.

11 An argument has been brought in favour of the opinion,
that the island here in question was the island of Malta, “ from
St. Paul's calling at Syracuse, in his way to Rhegium ; which is
so far out of the track, that no example can be produced in
the history of navigation, of any ship going so far out of ber
course, except it was driven by a violent tempest.” This argu-
ment tends principally to shew, that a very incorrect idea has
been formed of the relative situation of these places. The ship
which carried St. Paul from the Adriatic Sea to Rbegium, would
not deviate from its course more than half a day's sail by touch-
ing at Syracuse, and the delay so occasioned would probably be
but a few hours more than it would have been, bad they pro-
ceeded to Syracuse in their way to the Straits of Messina, froin
Malta, as the map will shew. Besides, the master of the ship
migbt have, and probably had, some business at Syracuse, which
had origiuated at Alexandria, from which place it must havu
been originally intended the ship should commence ber voyage
to Puteoli ; and in this course the calling at Syracuse would
have been the smallest deviation possible.


Julian Pe.

Cesares. riod, 4773. Valgar Æra, St. Paul arrives at Rome, and is kindly received by the 60.

Acts xxviii. part of ver. 14–17.
14 And so we went toward Rome.

15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us,
they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and the
Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God,
and took courage.

16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard : but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him ".

St. Paul summons the Jews at Rome, to explain to them the

causes of his Imprisonment.

ACTS xxviii, 17—30.
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul
called the chief of the Jews together : and when they were
come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren,
though I have committed nothing against the people, or
customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from
Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans :

18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let
me go, because there was no cause of death in me.

19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cesar: not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to

12 Dr. Lardner has shewn that this mode of custody was in use amongst the Romans, and that whenever it was adopted, the prisoner was bound to the soldier by a single chain: in reference to which, St. Paul, Acts xxviii. 20. tells the Jews, whom he had assembled, “ For this cause, therefore, have I called for you to see you, and to speak with you, because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain,'' Triv alvolv TávTnV Tepíxeluar, It is in exact conformity, therefore, with the truth of St. Paul's situation at the time, that be declares of himself, Eph. vi. 20.

peobévu tv ünvoel. And the exactness is the more remarkable, as à vous, a chain, is uo where used in the singular pumber to express any other kind of custody. When the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together, the word was deguol (bonds) Acts xxvi. 29. When the prisoner was confined between two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, (Acts xii. 6.) two chains were employed; and it is said upon his miraculous deliverance, tbat the is chains" (ahvonic, in the plural) “ fell from bis hands."-Paley's Horæ Paulinæ.

Jolian Pe- see you, and to speak with you : because that for the hope Cesarea. riod, 4773. of Israel I am bound with this chain. Vulgar Æra, 60.

21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came, shewed or spake any harm of thee.

22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest : for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging ; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening,

24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word ; Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esajas the prophet unto our fathers,

26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed ; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

St. Paul writes his Epistle to the Ephesians', to establish

13 The epistles which follow in this chapter of the arrangement, were written by St. Paul during his imprisonment at Rome. This will appear from the allusions which are repeatedly made by him to that event. In this Epistle to the Ephesians we meet with—“ I Paul the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you Gentiles," chap. iii. 1..“ I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you," chap. iv. 1.-" For which I am an ambassador in bonds," chap. vi. 20; and we know that Tychicus, by whom the epistle was probably sent, chap. vi. 21. as the subscription affirms, was with him during his first imprisonment. As St. Paul does not speak of the probability of his release, we may conclude, with Dr. Lardner, Bishop Tomline, Mr. Horne, &c. that it was written in the early part of his imprisonment.

Many learned men have doubted whether this epistle was sent to the Church at Ephesus. They think that the proper direction is, The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans; and suppose it

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