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But we

widows were neglected in the daily ministration (6). 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples

unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should 3 leave the word of God, and serve tables. Where

fore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of

honest report, full of the holy Ghost and wisdom, 4 whom we may appoint over this business.

will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the 5 ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the

whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man 'full of faith and of the holy Ghost, and Philip, and

Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parme6 nas, and Nicolas, a profelyte of Antioch (c): Whom

they set before the apostles: and when they had pray7 ed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of

God increased; and the number of the disciples mul

tiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of 8 the priests were obedient to the faith (l). And Ste

phen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and

miracles among the people. 9

Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines (e), and Cy

renians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia, 10 and of Afia, disputing with Stephen.

were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by JI which he spake (f). Then they suborned men

which said, 'We have heard him speak blasphemous

And they

(6) Because their widows did not receive a due share in the distribution of the common stock.

() See Matt. xxiii. 15.

(d) A great number even of the priests, those inveterate enemies. and persecutors of our Lord, were converted and became christians.

(e) By Libertines we are not to understand disorderly persons (as the word is now.commonly used) but the fons of slaves who had obtained the freedom of the city of Rome.

f) Observe here the effect of the promise made, Matt. X. 20. Luke xxi. 15.

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35 forth a little space, And said unto them, Ye men

of Israel, take heed to yourselves, what ye intend to 36 do as touching these men. For before these days

rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be some body, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves : who was flain, and all, as many

as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to 37 nought (?). After this man rose up Judas of Galilee,

in the days of the taxing (m), and drew away niuch

people after him: he also perished, and all, even as 38 many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I

say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them

alone : for if this counsel, or this work be of men, it 39 will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye can

not overthrow it; left haply ye be found even to 40 fight against God. And to him they agreed: and

when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the

name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 And they departed from the presence of the coun

cil, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suf42 fer shame for his name (n). And daily in the temple,

and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

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TAN

ND in those days, when the number of the dif

ciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews (a), because their

(2) See Fohn v. 43:
(m) Probably the same taxing that is spoken of Luke ii. 1.
(n) On his account. In testimony of their belief in him.

(a) The Hebrews here meant were Jews, natives of Judea, converted to christianity. The Grecians were likewise Jews converted 10 christianity, but from other countries; and for their use the fcriptures had been translated from Hebrew into Greek, which was become the general language of the world.

But we

widows were neglected in the daily ministration (b). 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples

unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should 3 leave the word of God, and serve tables. Where

fore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of

honest report, full of the holy Ghost and wisdom, 4 whom we may appoint over this business.

will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the 5 ministry of the word.

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man 'full of faith and of the holy Ghost, and Philip, and

Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parme6 nas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch (c): Whom

they set before the apostles: and when they had pray7 ed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of

God increased; and the number of the disciples mul

tiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of 8 the priests were obedient to the faith (d). And Ste

phen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and

miracles among the people. 9

Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines (e), and Cy

renians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia, 10 and of Afia, difputing with Stephen.

were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by JI which he spake (F). Then they suborned men

which faid, 'We have heard him speak blasphemous

And they

(b) Because their widows did not receive a due fhare in the distribution of the common flock.

(C) See Matt. xxiii. 15. (d; A great number even of the priests, those inveterate enemies and persecutors of our Lord, were converted and became christians.

(e) By Libertines we are not to understand disorderly persons (as the word is now.commonly used) but the fons of laves who had obtained the freedom of the city of Rome.

(f) Observe here the effect of the promise made, Matt. x. 20. Luke xxi. 15.

12 words

12 words against Moses, and against God. And they

stirred up the people, and the elders, and the fcribes,

and came upon him, and caught him, and brought 13 him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which

said, This man ceareth not to speak blafphemous 14 words against this holy place and the law. For we

have heard him say, That this Jesus of Nazareth

shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs 15 which Mofes delivered us. And all that fat in the

council, looking stedfastly on him (8), fa'w his face as it had been the face of an angel.

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2

1 THEN said the high priest, Are these things fo? And

he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken (a): The God of glory appeared unto our father Abra

ham, when he was in Mesopotamia (6), before he 3 dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out

of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into 4

the land which I shall Mew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he

(8) It pleased God to give his eyes and countenance a supernatural brightness, which commanded extraordinary attention and refpect.

(a) St. Stephen was charged with declaring that the temple was to be defroyed, and the Jewish ceremonies and customs were to be laid aside to make way for the religion of Christ. This charge he admiis io be true, and for his justification appeals to several inStances of the Jewish hiflory, which prove that God did not confine bis favour to any particular place, nor intend the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moles io be perpetual.

The glorious God vouchsafed to favour Abraham with a divine intercourle and revelation, even when he dwelt among idolaters; for in every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteoulness, is accepted with bim. Chap. x. 35.,

(6) In that part of Mesopotamia, which is elsewhere called Ur of the Chaldeans,

removed

removed him into this land wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no not so

much as to set his foot on (c): yet he promised that

he would give it to him for a poffeffion, and to his 6 feed after him, when as yet he had no child. And

God spake on this wise, that his feed should sojourn in a strange land, and that they fhould bring them

into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred 7 years. And the nation to whom they shall be in

bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall 8 they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he

gave him the covenant of circumcision (d): and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth

day: and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begot the 9 twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs moved with

envy, fold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with 10 him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions,

and gave him favour and wisdom in the fight of

Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor II over Egypt, and all his house. Now there came a

dearth over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and

great affliction; and our fathers found no fuítenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, 13 he sent out our fathers first (e). And at the second

time Jofeph was made known to his brethren ; and

Jofeph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14. Then fent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to

him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen fouls. 15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he and

(c) The promises of God, though not fulfilled in the manner they are understood at first, will be made good in due time. See Matt. xxii. 32.

(d) It was not circumcifion that recommended Abraham to the divine favour, but the faith which he had before he was circumcised. (Ron. iv. 11.). Why then may not true faith be as acceptable for the future without circumcision, as it was before circumcision was appointed ? (e) First; that is at the firft time.

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