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41. Q. Where was the next remarkable place of their ministry? A. They were invited to Macedonia by a vision, and they went to Philippi, a chief city of that country, and preached there with some success; Verses 9-15.
Note, Here it is probable that Luke, who wrote the Acts of the Apostles, became a companion of Paul, because, from this time, he uses the word "we" in his history.
42. Q. What'miracle was wrought there? A. They cast a devil out of a certain young woman, who brought much gain to her masters, by foretelling things to come; Verses 16-18.
43. Q. How did her masters bear it when they saw their gains were gone? A. They brought Paul and Silas to the magistrates, and charged them with teaching strange customs; whereupon they were beaten and imprisoned, and their feet made fast in the stocks; Verses 19-24.
44. Q. How were they released thence? A. At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God; the prison was shaken with an earthquake, the doors opened, their bands were loosed; upon which the jailor awaking, was going to kill himself, supposing the prisoners had been fled; Verses 25-27.
45. Q. How was this self-murder prevented? A. Paul and Silas shewed themselves as his prisoners, preached the gospel to him, upon which he believed, and he and his house were baptized; Verses 28-34.
46. Q. But did the magistrates then dismiss them? A. Yes, they desired them to depart when they knew they were Romans, because they had beaten and imprisoned them uncondemned; Verses 35-40.
47. Q. What trials did they meet with at Thessalonica? A. Many Greeks and Jews were converted there; but the unbelieving Jews there rose up against them, and almost in every city where they came; and they went next to Berea ; Acts xvii. 1-10.
48. Q. What was the wise and generous conduct of the Bereans? A. They, that is, the Jews of Berea, searched the scriptures daily, to find whether Paul and Silas taught the truth: and by this practice many of them were led to believe in Christ; Verses 10-13.
49. Q. In what manner did Paul preach when he came to Athens? A. He disputed with the Jews in their synagogues, with the devout persons, and with the heathen philosophers in the market-place, and on Mars'-hill he took occasion to preach the true God to the people from an altar he found inscribed, "To the unknown God;" Verses 16―30.
50. Q. But did he not also preach Jesus Christ and the gospel? A. Yes, by preaching natural religion first, he led them by degrees to the doctrine of Christ, and assured them, that Jesus Christ was appointed to be the Judge of the world,
and that God had raised him from the dead, as a sure token of it; Verses 30, 31.
51. Q. What employment had Paul at Corinth? A. He there met with Aquila, a believing Jew, with his wife Priscilla, and wrought with him at his trade, for they were both tent-nakers; but he preached in the Jewish synagogue every sabbath ; Verses 1-4.
52. Q. What effect had this preaching there? A. He continued here by orders received from Christ in a vision a year and six months, and some Jews and many Gentiles believed, and were baptized; Verses 5-11.
53. Q. What persecution did he meet with there? A. The Jews brought him to Gallio the deputy-governor, but he wisely refused to take cognizance of any of their controversies about religion, unless they could have charged him with some wickedness or injustice; Verses 12-16.
Note, First, Though Paul found such great and remarkable success in his ministry among the Corinthians, yet by the means of some false brethren, and some ambitious pretenders to apostleship, there were such factions and contentions raised in this church, that cost him much sorrow of heart; and this was increased by the irregular lives and immoral practices of some of his couverts there, which occasioned his writing two large and excellent epistles to them. Secondly, Is it thought most probable that Paul who went from Corinth to Cenchrea and to Ephesus, left Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus, where they instructed Apollos, a fervent preacher, a disciple of John baptist, in the gospel of Christ; but that Paul himself went to Jerusalem to the feast, and returned to Ephesus again before Aquila went thence, and before his great success at Ephesus began, which is related in the very next chapter, viz. the nineteenth.
54. Q. When Paul came to Ephesus, what remarkable occurrences did he meet with there? A. He found some persons who were baptised only unto John's baptism, and he preached Jesus Christ to them, and they believed, and were baptized in the name of Christ; and when Paul laid his hands on them, they received the Holy Ghost, and spake with tongues ; Acts xix. 1-7.
55. Q. How did he perform the rest of his ministry there? A. Three months he preached the gospel in the Jewish synagogue, but when the Jews were hardened against him, he taught the same gospel in the school of one Tyrannus for near two years, and healed many diseases, and cast out evil spirits; Verses 8-12.
56. Q. Was he not persecuted by the heathens in this place? A. When Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines for the goddess Diana, whose famous temple stood at Ephesus, found that the worship of the goddess declined through Paul's
preaching he stirred up the men of his trade, and by them a inultitude of people were raised against Paul, so that he was in !danger of his life; Verses 24-29.
57. Q. How did he escape here? A. The town-clerk finding such a rude tumult, with soft words composed and quieted them, and bid Demetrius go fairly to law, if any man had injured him; Verses 29-41. The uproar being thus composed, Paul took his leave of the disciples, and after several short journeys and labours in the gospel, in those parts, he came to Troas; Acts xx. 1-6.
58. Q. Was there any thing of importance fell out in the seven days while Paul tarried at Troas? A. Paul preached, and broke bread on the first day of the week, and continuing his speech till midnight, a young man named Eutychus slept and fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead; Acts XX. 6-9.
59. Q. How was the young man recovered? A. Paul fell on him and embraced him, and brought him alive before them; Verses 10-12.
60. Q. What exhortation did Paul give at Miletus? A. He sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church, made a most affectionate discourse to them; bid them, "Take heed to themselves and to the church of God, which he had purchased with his own blood;" warned them of grievous wolves that should enter into the flock, encouraged them to persevere in faith and holiness, and recommended them to God and the word of his grace; Verses 17-35.
61. Q. Whither did Paul travel next? A. He hastened to Jerusalem by many journeys and voyages, travelling through several cities, though he was dissuaded from it by many disciples and was particularly told by Agabus, a christian prophet, that he should be bound at Jerusalem, and delivered into the hands of the Gentiles; Acts xx. 16. and xxi. 1-15.
62. Q. In what manner did Agabus deliver this prophecy? A. He bound his own hands and feet with Paul's girdle, and said, "Thus saith the Holy Spirit, so shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle; Verse 11.
63. Q. What was the noble speech and resolution of Paul on this occasion? A. When the brethren wept at the thoughts of his sufferings, he answered, "What mean ye to weep and break my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus;" Acts xxi. 12, 13.
64. Q. What was the first thing he did when he came to Jerusalem? A. He went to James the apostle, and to the elders, and declared what God had wrought by his ministry among the Gentiles; Acts xxi. 17-20.
Note, Here he now published freely to the whole church
his success among idolaters, which he had communicated only before privately, and to a few; Gal. ii. 2.
65. Q. What advice did the elders at Jerusalem give him? A. They advised him to shave and purify himself by an offering after the manner of the Jews who had the vow of the Nazarite upon them; Numb. vi. 2—12. that he might not be suspected of disobeying the Jewish law, either by the believing or unbelieving 'Jews, who were all zealous for it; Verses 20-25.
Note, This compliance of St. Paul being recommended to him by one apostle, viz. James, and by the elders at Jerusalem; Acts xxi. 18, 20-26. and being put in practice by himself, who was, perhaps, the chief of the apostles, we cannot reasonably suppose it sinful or blame-worthy, especially since the scripture passes no censure on it; and yet must we not say the religious ceremonies of the Jews, and particularly all the sin-offerings, such as this was; Num. vi. 14. were abolished by the great sacrifice of Christ, and the introduction of christianity by the Holy Ghost at Pentecost?
In order therefore to vindicate this practice of St. Paul, we may consider the Jewish ceremonies under a two-fold aspect, 1. As they were part of their national laws, under God as their king; and, 2. As part of their religious worship paid to him, as their God. Now the Jewish state being not yet destroyed, inay we not suppose that St. Paul might comply with these prac tices as a part of the national Jewish laws, rather than as religious worship, for he every where declared the Gentiles to be free from them?
Or, if we consider these ceremonies only in their religious design, may we not suppose, that from the death of Christ, which was the substantial sacrifice, these shadows so far vanished, that they ceased to be necessary, but were left, for a season, as indifferent things to the Jews, which, as the apostle expresses; Heb. viii. 13. were decaying and waxing old, and ready to vanish way? May we not suppose the divine indulgence of them for a season, because of the weakness of mankind, who cannot easily bear an universal change of their ancient customs all at once and for this reason, lest the Jews should take too great offence, St. Paul took Timothy and circumcised him, in order to make him a preacher, since his mother was a Jewess; Acts xvi. 1, 3. this being a lawful thing to him, though not necessary.At the same time, he would not have Titus circumcised because he was a Gentile, and had nothing to do with the Jewish law; Gal. ii. 3. And the same apostle being a Jew, for the same reason, might comply with the Jewish rites of shaving his head, and sacrificing, as things left indifferent to the Jews for a season, by the will of God, in compliance with the weakness of man.
66. Q. Did this piece of compliance secure Paul from the persecution of the Jews? A. The unbelieving Jews had such a
rooted hatred against him, for his zeal and success in preaching up christianity, that they seized him under pretence of his having brought Greeks into the temple, though it was not true; and they were ready to tear him to pieces till the chief captain rescued him, and gave him leave to give an account of himself to the multitude; Verses 27-40.
67. Q. What defence did Paul then make? A. He gave them the history of his being a Jew by birth, and brought up at the feet of Gamaliel in Jerusalem, of his former zeal against Christ, his being struck down to the ground on the road, and called to from heaven by Jesus Christ, and also of his vision of Christ in the temple, sending him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles; Acts xxii. 1—21.
68. Q. How did the Jews bear this speech? A. When he spake of being sent to the Gentiles, they lifted up their voices, and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit he should live;" Verse 22.
69. Q. How was he secured from their rage? A. The chief captain again seized him, and brought him into the castle, and the next day he ordered the chief priests and the council to appear, that Paul might give an account of himself to them; Verses 24-30.
70. Q. How did Paul plead his own cause here before the council? A. He found one part was Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, and the other part Pharisees who believed it; and therefore he artfully, and yet truly declared, "It is for the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am called in question:" For indeed the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and our resurrection by him, were some of the greatest articles of the christian faith, and that which Paul preached; Acts xxiii. 6, 7.
71. Q. What effect had this upon the council? A. They fell into contention among themselves, and the Pharisees said, "they found no evil in him :" and again the chief captain secured him in the castle; Verses 9, 10.
72. Q. What particular encouragement had Paul from heaven under these sufferings? A. It was this night that the Lord Jesus appeared to him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul, for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome;" Acts xxiii. 11.
73. Q. What was the next danger he was exposed to? A. More than forty Jews had bound themselves under a great curse, not to eat, till they had killed Paul, and therefore they persuaded the chief priests and elders, to desire that he might, once again, be brought before them? Verses 12-15.
74. Q. By what means did the providence of God secure Paul from this conspiracy? A. Claudius Lysias, the chief cap❤ tain, having private notice of this conspiracy from Paul's nephew, sent him to Cesarea to Felix the governor of Judea, by night, with a guard of almost five hundred men; Verses 16-35.