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riod, 4771. Vulgar Æra, 58.
14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Corinth. Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
St. Paul again admonishes them to avoid Divisions, and
the Persons that cause them; for they serve not Christ
by preaching his Doctrine, being only anxious for
worldly Gain; and not having spiritual Gifts, they by
good Words and fair Speeches deceive, or pervert the
Hearts of the unsuspecting Christian Converts-He re-
joices in their present Obedience, and exhorts them to
continue to discern and to practise that which is good,
and to be pure or simple respecting evil; that is, avoid-
ing all false Doctrines, or Examples-He foretels the
speedy Destruction of the Agents of Satan, who intro-
duce Divisions in the Church, and concludes with his
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which
cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which
ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
ROM. xvi. 21, to the end.
The Apostle, in a Postscript, sends the Salutations of se-
veral Persons who were with him-He sums up all, by
ascribing Glory to God, who alone has power to establish
in the true Faith of Christ, without the Law of Moses,
which before was a Mystery, kept secret, (although the
calling of the Gentiles was predicted) but is now made
manifest by the Commandment revealed to St. Paul by
the everlasting God, that all Nations by his preaching
might have the Knowledge of the Obedience of Faith, that
they might believe and obey-To God, who is only wise,
to Him be Glory for ever.
21 Timotheus my work-fellow, and Lucius, and Jason,
and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
EUTYCHUS RAISED TO LIFE-CHAP. XIII.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Corinth.
23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you Amen.
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, (according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began ;
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith ;)
27 To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever.
From Macedonia St. Paul proceeds to Troas, where he raises
Eutychus to life.
ACTS XX. 6-12.
6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Troas.
unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five
days; where we abode seven days.
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disci-
ples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto
them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his
speech until midnight.
8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
9 And there sat in the window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him, said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted 29.
29 One of the objections of the opponents of Christianity may be removed, by considering the account of this miracle at Troas. It has been frequently said that the Evangelists published their Gospels some years after the events they relate had taken place: and if their narratives had been written at the time, or immediately after, their histories would have been more credible. The
ACTS XX. 13, 14.
From Troas to Assos and Mitylene.
13 And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, Assos and there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, Mitylene. minding himself to go on foot.
14 And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.
ACTS XX. part of ver. 15.
From Mitylene to Chios.
sailed thence, and came the next day over Chios.
ACTS XX. part of ver. 15.
From Chios to Samos, and Trogyllium.
15 And the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried Samos and at Trogyllium.
ACTS XX. part of ver. 15, to the end.
From Trogyllium to Miletus; where St. Paul meets, and
takes his farewell of the Elders of the Church at Ephe-
15 And the next day we came to Miletus.
proof they require is afforded in this passage, and in the remain-
der of the book of the Acts. St. Luke speaks of himself as the
companion of St. Paul. He was an eye-witness of the miracu
lous events he has recorded, and he wrote and published them
in Asia, immediately after he had left St. Paul, among the very
persons in whose presence this miracle had been wrought. St.
Luke was probably present among the congregation when
Eutychus was raised to life, an event which took place at
Troas in 58. He heard the prophecy of Agabus, at Cæsarea, in
the same year he saw the miracle at Melite, two years after, in
the year 60-he was with St. Paul during his two years impri-
sonment at Rome, and he published his Gospel immediately
after, in the year 63, in Asia. He could not have completed his
narrative sooner. No avoidable delay whatever appears to have
elapsed; the earliest possible invitation to the objectors and
enemies of Christianity was made; and neither Jew nor Gen-
tile, in spite of their prejudices or hatred against the Gospel,
ventured to assert that the miracles he recorded were not true,
or that the narrative itself was a forgery.
See for the time of the publication of St. Luke's Gospel, Dr.
Lardner's Supplement to his Credibillty, vol. iii. p. 187, 188, and
Julian Period, 4771. Vulgar Æra,
THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS ARE SENT FOR.
16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, be- Miletus. cause he would not spend the time in Asia; for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church "0.
30 Two things are observable in this passage. The power or
control of one Christian teacher over others, is distinctly men-
tioned, and the general body of Christians over whom the seve-
ral presbyters presided in their separate congregations, are
called by the collective term " the Church." We infer, there-
fore, that the power over the Church at Ephesus did not rest
with St. Peter, as the universal bishop-and, that several con-
gregations unitedly form one Church, and this Church, as re-
presented by its elders, submitted to the authority and influence
of a teacher, who did not hold the pastoral charge over one con-
gregation. Such are the precedents for Church government,
given us in Scripture; and as the laws of God or man continue
to possess their authority so long as the necessity continues
which caused their first enactment-and the necessity of a go-
vernment over the various societies of Christians in different
nations, is still great and evident-I am unable to discover on
what account the precedents of Scripture, which are the laws of
Christ and his apostles, are to be rejected at present. Some
parts of Scripture direct our conduct as individuals; but God
is the Lord of kingdoms, societies, and churches, as well as of
individuals; and the happiness of communities, as well as of in-
dividuals, would as certainly be preserved by their obedience to
the laws of our Saviour.
Dr. Hammond was of opinion that the apostles first appointed
in every church bishops and deacons only, and that the bishops
were to ordain presbyters for the several congregations, as
might be required. This opinion, however, does not appear to
be well founded. It is controverted by Whitby, and ridiculed
by Scott. It must be observed here, that the persons for whom
St. Paul sent to Miletus, are called in verse 17 elders, peσCUTE-
pove THC ¿KKλŋoiás, and in verse 28 overseers, or bishops, vμaç-
ZOETO ETLOKOTOVç, from whence it has been very naturally infer-
red, that the name bishop originally significd the same as pres-
byter. This cannot indeed be doubted; but all inferences
deduced therefrom, which clash with other passages of Scrip-
ture, must be rejected. If we infer from this that there was no
authority or superintendence in the churches, we contradict
the evidence of Scripture, and of the primitive churches, as well
as the testimony of our reason, which must convince us that
every society must be governed by some laws, and their admi-
nistrators. Identity of names by no means proves identity of
office. This will be evident if we consider the manner in which
the same epithets are given to the same persons in Scripture,
where their offices, ranks, &c. are evidently distinct. Thus
Christ is called, Isai. ix. 6. □, Prince of Peace; and
Michael, who is by many supposed to be Christ, is called (Dan.
xii. 1.) the
; and yet the kings of Persia and Grecia
are each of them called by the same name.
The same word is attributed to the captain of an army (1
Sam. xii. 9.); to the ruler of a city (2 Chron. xviii. 25.); to the
chief ruler of the tribes (1 Chron. xxvii. 22.); to the chief of the
Levites (1 Chron. xv. 16. 27.); to the prince of the sanctuary (1
Chron. xxiv. 5). So likewise the term wx, a head or chief per-
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto Miletas. riod, 4771. them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, Vulgar Æra, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befel me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befal me there :
23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned counsel of God.
to declare unto you all the
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God", which he hath purchased with his own blood.
son, is spoken of God (2 Chron. xiii. 12.); of King Jehoshaphat
(1 Chron. xx. 27.); of Jehojadah, the high priest (2 Chron.
xxiv. 6.); of other priests; of a chief man of a tribe; of a judge
of Israel; of the chief door-keeper of the temple; of a chief
captain. The same difference of meaning is to be found in the
words Najid, Prince, and Nasi, ruler or prelate. "By all which
it appeareth evidently that the same term may be used of men,
much differing in place and degree, and having an imparity in
their callings."-See the last tract in the Bibliotheca Scripto-
rum of Dr. Hickes, p. 418. See also Bingham's Eccles. Antiq.
and Archbishop Potter's Church Government; and others on
the words presbyter, bishop, and elder.
31 The Alexandrian manuscripts, and some others, read “the
church of the Lord;" but Michaelis is clear, that Oɛou is the
true reading, on the principle that the reading which might
occasion a correction, is more probably right, than that which
is likely to arise from one. Now" his blood," that is, "the
blood of God," is an extraordinary expression, if not in the real
text; but had that been xvpíov, it is inconceivable how any one
should alter it into Θεοῦ.
Instead of which there are several different readings—kupiov,