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lalim Pe of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus : for, behold, he Damascus. nod, 4748. praveth.
were made the means of grace: for the impression was never
With respect to the cross of Constantine, I subjoin the cri-
Julian Pe- 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias Damascas. riod, 4748. nomine in and nutrine Vulgar Æra,
coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might 35.
receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel :
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way
praise of Constantine, and celebrates his victory over Maxen-
(a) Habet regeneratio suos gradus. Primus gradus est contritio
66 The word sy was commonly used by the Jews to denote either man or woman. St. Peter calls the woman the weaker vessel. St. Paul, alluding to the preachers of the Gospel, observes, “ We have this treasure in earthen vessels." Schoetgen quotes the book Zohar on Exod. on Ruth ii. 9.
0177 o 712x7 popoty 71308 76 “ the just are bere understood, who are called the instruments or vossels of the Lord.”Schoetgen. Hor, Heb. vol. i. p. 446.
Julian Pe- as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive Damasoas.
18. thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Sugar Bra,"
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales ; and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
ACTS ix. 20—30.
67 St. Paul, in Gal. i. 16, 17. speaking of his conversion, writes, “ Immediately I conferred not with fresh and blood, but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” Pearson argues from this, that he did not preach in the syvagogues at Damascus till after the three years which he passed in Arabia. Michaolis, on the contrary, would connect ver. 20 with 19, on account of the word evóéws, which word by Dr. Wells, is referred to the return of St. Paul to Damascus. He thinks the passages are to be paraphrased thus:-After he bad received meat, he was strengthened.” Presently after which, (according to Gal. i. 16.) be went into Arabia, and having been there instructed in the Gospel, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, (Gal. i. 12.) be returned again to Damascus. “ Then,” or “now," was St. Paul certain days with the disciples at Damascus, and straightway (namely, after his return out of Arabia,) he preached Christ in the synagogues (a).
Schleusner is of opinion that the word ovubibalwv is to be understood before this clauso. See on the full meaning of this word Kuinoel. Scbleusner, &c.
Biscoe sufficiently shews that St. Paul as a rabbi, or authorized teacher of the people, was privileged to preach in all synagogues, wherever he went.
št Luke has not noticed this journey, and as St. Paul bas merely mentioned it in his Epistle to the Galatians, without relating any thing that he then did, we cannot speak of it with any degree of certainty. St. Jerome has determined that the apostle did not exercise any ministerial function, and he supposes that by a dispensation, unknown to us, or by an express command of God, he remained silent. (Gal. i. 12.)(b). It is very likely that it was in this retreat that be acquired by the reading of the sacred writings, and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the knowledge that be afterwards displayed. It is further to be observed, that there had been in Arabia Petrea, where St. Paul had retired, a sect of.“ Jewish Christians," which Epiphanius calls Sampseans(c). They adhered-in all things to the Jews. There were some of them who abstained from eat. ing the “ forbidden animals." This was a sect of Essoans (d), who had embraced Christianity, but who appeared to bave only the name of Christians; they studied the law of Moses, and were remarkablo for their hospitality and simplicity of life and magaers.
Jnlian Pe. 21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is Damascus.
' in Jerụsalem, and came hither for that intent, that he
22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and con-
23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him :
24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him.
25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem 69, he assayed
68 In 2 Cor. xi. 32. St. Paul mentions as the cause of tbis stra-
Damascus in Syria had been reduced into a Roman province by Pompey the Great, after the war with Mithridates. A difficulty therefore arises how could Aretas, King of Arabia, be in possession of Damascus, and appoint an ethnarch. In tbe last year of Tiberius, Aretas bad waged war with, and defeated Herod Antipas, for the injury he had done to his wife, the daughter of Aretas. Herod, enraged at his defeat, appealed to Tiberius, who commanded Vitellius, the Governor of Syria, to attack Aretas, and send him dead or alive to Tiberius. Vitellius prepared to obey, but marched his troops back to their winter quarters, on receiving intelligence, while he was at Jerusalem, of the death of the Emperor. At this interyal Aretas made an irruption into Syria, and took Damascus, and kept possession of it for some time.
69 The war between Hcrod and Aretas, the little communica-
The commentators suppose that St. Paul, during his present
(a) Hales' Anal. Chron. vol. ii. part ii. p. 1190.
Iulian Pe- to join himself to the disciples : but they were all afraid Damascus. ried, 4751. Era of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Cesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
Lydda, where he cures Eneas, and raises Dorcas from
ACTS ix. 32. to the end.
151 to all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt Vulgar Æra, at Lydda. 33 to 40.
33 And there he found a certain man named Eneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
34 And Peter said unto him, Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole ; arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
35 And all that dwelt in Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas : this woman was full of good works and alms-deeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died : whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper-chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose, and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper-chamber : and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body, said, Tabitha,