« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
IN THE CHURCH OF ANTIOCH-CHAP. XI.
Julian Pe- solf (d). Lord Barrington's opinion, therefore, though derived Antioch. riod, 4760. from other considerations, that a lower degree of prophecy is Valgar Æra, here understood, appears to be correct; as is likewise his ad
ditional remark, that in the word prophecy must be included
The persons who possessed these lesser gifts of prophecy, and
The word kubepvnoeg, says Lightfoot, is used by the LXX to translate bann, (Prov. i. 5. xi. 14. xx. 18. and xxiv. 6.) which word imports not the act, but the ability to govern; and the words ἀντιλήψεις and κυβερνήσεις, in 1 Cor. xii. 28, 29, 30. imply helps to interpret the languages, and sense of those who spake with tongues (y).
The speaking with tongues was the gift more commonly imparted than any other, as we read in the narrative of the conversion of Cornelius and his household. It was therefore of inferior estimation to those which were more rare. This consideration harmonizes with the rest of this perplexing division both of the miraculous gifts, and of those on whom they were conferred. The speakers with tongues were the assistants to the higher ministers, and were often of inferior degree; they possessed the ability to govern, and were thus prepared for the higher offices in the Church; they received the lower gift of prophecy, and the discerning of spirits.
The last of these miraculous gifts requires no discussion. It appears to refer to a further division, of a still lower and inferior miraculous endowment. The converts who were baptized with Cornelius spake with tongues. I should conclude, from this division of the miraculous gifts, not that every convert was able to speak every known language, but only a certain number: and, with respect to the interpreters here mentioned, we may conclude that they were persons who repeated to some of the people, in their own language, those addresses of the prophets which were spoken to another portion of the congregation, in their native tongue. As the Jews were every where dispersed, the congregations of the primitive Christians must have generally consisted, of the Israelites who spake the Aramaic or Syriac dialects, and of the natives of the countries where they sojourned. In commercial towns there would be frequently assemblies, composed of strangers from the most opposite quarters of the world, to whom these divisions of the miraculous gifts would be the most convincing of all arguments.
Whatever might have been the nature of the miraculous gifts which were imparted by the Spirit of God to the first teachers of the Gospel, it is certain they were all subject to the apostles, and the apostles to each other, in council. Their powers were not derived from the people, though they were imparted for the instruction of the poorest, and meanest, and most despised among them. They were accountable to God and to his apostles. The caprice of the multitude was not their rule of action: and while they sedulously laboured for the common benefit, they never derived their doctrines from those whom they were ordained to superintend and teach; nor did they allow their
Julian Period, 4760. Vulgar Æra, 49.
separate congregations to dictate to them as to the doctrines Antioch.
The flocks did not then choose their shepherds; the children
Such were the gifts, titles, and offices, by which the Christian Church was now united. It formed, at this time, wherever it was dispersed, one large society. The persons who presided over it (and no society can exist without some order or form of government,) derived their authority not from the people, but from God. These divinely appointed heads in the process of time ordained fit persons, who were generally known to and approved by the people, among whom they lived, to the office of teacher. If these teachers deviated from the form of sound words and the apostolic doctrine, they were responsible to the authority which had empowered and commissioned them to teach: and the apostles themselves, as in the instance of St. Peter, were controlled by their equals in power. Christ was the invisible head of the Church, and the supremacy of Peter, or of Rome, was unknown; all was rightly and efficiently organized for the building up in this evil world the outward and visible Church of Christ, by which the invisible and the spiritual Church, as in the days of Noah, might be conducted safely to the kingdom of Christ and God. Wicked and inconsistent Christians, as we learn from the Epistles, were members of the visible Church even in the apostolic age-it is so at present. God alone can separate the good from the bad at the last. It is our duty, while we are in the body, to continue to build up the visible Church; to establish and to insist upon external religion, the means of grace, the right administration of the sacraments, the purity, honour, and independence of the Christian priesthood; and to maintain," in spite of scorn," its scriptural government in the world. Thus by obedience to the example of the apostles of God, we may bring many millions of our forsaken brethren of mankind from among every nation under heaven, within the visible Church on earth, and lead them by the power of the Spirit of God to the spiritual Church above (ƒ).
(a) Lib. i. cap. cxi. p. 151.3. coronam sequuntur ordine
sapientia et intelligentia, quas ad caput referendas esse, res ipsa loquitur. Quis ignorat, binas hasce virtates Domino nostro Jesu Christo frequenter admodum attribui in Codice sacro? En verba Jesaiæ by
-et quiescet super ipsum spiritus Jehova: spi רוחיהוה רוח הכמה וכינה הכונה vel כינה solet jungi חכמה
ritus sapientiæ et intelligentiæ.
aut ny, ut et Paulus copiav kai povnow aut yvwow sæpe con-
est prudentia, opovnous. Dexteritas Judicandi et eligendi secun-
ST. PAUL'S SECOND JOURNEY-CHAP. XII.
St. Paul's second Apostolical Journey.
After remaining some time at Antioch, St. Paul proposes to
ACTS XV. 36.
36 And some days after, Paul said unto Barnabas, Antioch. ValgarÆra, Let us go again and visit our brethren, in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do'.
St. Paul separating from Barnabas, proceeds from Antioch
ACTS XV. 37. to the end. xvi. 4, 5.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, Syria and whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them,
Sephiroth Cabbalistarum. Observ. Sacr. lib. i. cap. iii.vol. i. p. 151, 152.
The principal reason which prompted St. Paul to com-
Julian Period, 4761. Vulgar Era,
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recom- Syria and Cilicia. mended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
ACTS xvi. 4, 5.
4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
St. Paul proceeds to Derbe, and Lystra in Iconium-
ACTS xvi. 1-6.
1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a Derbe and certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a Lystra. certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed: but his father was a Greek :
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him, because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
mity, which cannot be justified, though it admits of extenua-
3 It is probable that St. Paul went from Cilicia to Crete; and
The fourth and fifth verses of chap. xvi. are added to the end of chap. xv. on the authority of Lord Barrington, whose opinion is advocated by Dr. Paley and Dr. Clarke.-See Miscellanea Sacra, Paley's Hora Paulinæ, and Dr. Clarke's Commentary.
5 In order to judge rightly of Paul's conduct in this affair, which some have censured (as they do other things in Christianity), because they did not understand it, we must always recollect that he always openly avowed, "that the Gentiles were free from the yoke of the Mosaic ceremonies, and that the Jews were not to accept salvation by them:" and he also taught, that they were not in conscience obliged to observe them at all, except in cases where an omission of them would give offence. But because bis enemies represented him as teaching people to
Julian Period, 4761. Vulgar Æra,
TO GALATIA, TROAS, AND SAMOTHRACE-CHAP. XII.
They proceed from Iconium to Phrygia and Galatia.
ACTS xvi. 6.
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
From Galatia to Mysia, and Troas.
ACTS xvi. 7-10.
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go Mysia and into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia, came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
From Troas to Samothrace.
ACTS xvi. part of ver. 11.
11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a Samothrace. straight course to Samothracia".
despise the law of Moses, and even as blaspheming it, he there-
Much service would be rendered to the world by any stu