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took place, on mount Tabor. Again he went to Capernaum: so that the people in this place frequently enjoyed the privilege of Christ's personal preaching, and yet believed not on him. A few days after, he left Galileefor the last time-he entered Samaria, but altering his course, he visited Jericho, was entertained by Zaccheus, gave sight to blind Bartimeus, and arrived at Bethany-on Sunday, he went to Jerusalem-on Monday was the miracle of the fig-tree: and he also drove out of the temple the money changers and traffickers-Tuesday, he delivered several discourses-Wednesday, uttered the prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple-delivered some parables to his disciples, and supped at the house of Simon. Thursday, he ate the passover with his disciples-Friday, was crucified.




THIS history of the labors, journies and sufferings of the holy apostles is universally attributed to Luke, who wrote the gospel which bears his name. It was written soon after his gospel, and addressed to a Christian convert of distinction, who seems to have been desirous of knowing the history both of Christ and of the apostles. Luke accompanied St. Paul in part of his travels, when engaged in preaching the gospel to the heathen world: And from his acquaintance with the other apostles, was able to give a correct account of the events which took place soon after the ascension of our Lord, and before the conversion of Paul from Judaism to Christianity. This history may be considered a continuation of his gospel, and was probably written in the year 64 or 65. It embraces a period of about thirty-six years; and closes with Paul's first visit to Rome, where he remained as a prisoner for the space of two years. After this, St. Paul travelled through a great part of Greece, and again visited Rome, where he was put to death. But Luke has given no relation of this journey, and proba bly did not accompany the apostle during this period.

We learn from this history the manner in which Christianity was propagated in the world. For several years, the apostles remained in Judea, preaching the doctrines of the gospel to their own countrymen only, as they were directed by Christ. Fifty days after his resurrection, when the disciples were collected together for the purpose of religious intercourse and prayer, they were endued with gifts and powers of the divine spirit, by which they were qualified to perform miracles, and to speak languages which they had never studied. And this was according to the declarations of our Lord himself, as well as to the predictions of ancient prophets. For he had assured his apos

tles that he would impart to them the holy spirit, to guide and assist them in the great work of establishing Christianity in the world.

We might summarily account for the prevalence of the gospel, by considering that it was the cause of God, and that it received divine aid and support. But in accomplishing his moral purposes, the Deity usually operates by means of human agency. In this instance, the apostles were made instruments of spreading the gospel through the nations of the earth. They were endued with both knowledge and power from on high. In addressing the Jews, they refer to the predictions contained in their sacred books; and speak of Jesus of Nazareth as the great prophet whom their nation had long expected. They insist that he is the MESSIAH, of whom Moses, David and other inspired men had written, and whose coming had long been anticipated by their pious ancestors. The Gentiles they addressed in a different manner, as being involved in the grossest errors, respecting the character of God and the terms of acceptance with him. To both Jews and heathens, they declared the doctrine of a future life, and of a resurrection to an incorruptible existence, on the authority of their divine Master, who rose from the tomb himself, and thus gave full proof that all mankind will be rai-ed from the sleep of death. They taught a sublime system of morals, such as the world had never known: They declared the great fundamental article of all true religion and true philosophy, that there is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and moral Governor of men: that all the gods of the heathen were false and imaginary deities: and that GOD was propitious and gracious, requiring all men to repent, and offering them pardon and favor by Jesus, the Messiah, whom he had constituted the spiritual Prince and Savior of the moral world. To give authority to these doctrines, and to prove that they were commissioned from heaven to teach them, they were enabled to perform miracles, and to speak languages which they had never learned. As might have been expected, the effect was great and extensive. Men of fair and honest minds, whatever had been their errors and prejudices of education, embraced the doctrines of the gospel : and within forty years from the death of Christ, who had been crucified as a malefactor, immense multitudes in all parts of the

civilized world were numbered among the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth; of those some of the greatest philosophers of the age.

At the feast of Pentecost, soon after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, where the apostles were endowed with miraculous power, there were visiting at Jerusalem devout Jews from almost every part of the world then civilized. These must have communicated something of a knowledge of the gospel on their return to the several countries they inhabited. And the apostles afterwards travelled into various parts of Italy, Greece, Persia, India, Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, &c. for the sole purpose of teaching the truths of our holy religion. Peter and Paul, attended by Luke and Mark, preached at Rome, and in other cities of italy. St.Paul also went through the different states of Greece more than once, accompanied by Luke, Barnabas, Silas, or Timothy. Some have supposed that he was in Spain, and even in Britain. But there is no authentie account that he was ever in either of these countries, though it was, at one time, his determination to have visited Spain. He was also in Arabia soon after his conversion. There too, probably he testified of Christ; though one object of his returning into that country, might have been private meditation. The apostle John is also supposed to have visited Rome; as he certainly did many cities and countries of Greece, teaching the history, and declaring the doctrines of his divine Master. Matthew taught in Ethiopia and in Parthia; Thomas, in Persia; Bartholomew, in the western parts of India. Andrew is supposed to have preached to the Seythians and others bordering on the north of Greece in Europe. Philip, after travelling through various parts of Judea and making disciples, is said to have gone into Phrygia, and other states of Greece in the western parts of Asia. And Jude, the brother of James, known also by the name of Libbeus and Thaddeus, preached the gospel in Mesopotamia, an extensive country, north of Judea and Syria, and eastward of Greece in Asia.

The greater portion of this book is but a history of thei labors and preaching of the apostle Paul. He was a pow erful instrument in the hands of providence, for spreading the knowledge of the glorious gospel. He was naturally ardent, zealous and persevering. He was born of Jewish

parents, and educated in the religion of his fathers with great care and strictness. In Tarsus, a Grecian city, the place of his birth and early education, he must have enjoyed great advantages for aequiring human knowledge. Greece had then been long celebrated for its academies and instructors. Great progress had been made in various branches of literature and science; particularly in philology, in rhetoric and oratory. To excel as a disputant and as a public speaker, was the highest praise. St. Paul, no doubt, had accustomed himself to these exercises. He was an eloquent man and a logician; and considering the place of his birth and family, was probably acquainted with the peculiar tenets of the various sects of philosophers, whose systems were then received. Under the instruction of Ggmaliel, a learned Jewish rabbi of Jerusalem, he was perfectly taught the customs, rites and doctrines of the Mosaic law, and became versed in all the traditions and fanciful opinions of the Hebrew school. This man, thus endowed, and thus qualified, God saw fit, in his infinite wisdom and grace, to select as an apostle and missionary in the cause of Christianity-the cause of moral truth and of virtue to this our benighted, degenerate world. God was pleased to reveal to him his Son, Jesus Christ; and to make him instrumental, through the influence of the gospel and of his Holy Spirit, "of turning men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might thus receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified." The apostle was not disobedient to the heavenly direction; but testified to the Jews first, and also to the heathens, that Jesus Christ was the long-expected Messiah, the SENT of God, who had come to enlighten and bless the world. Much of the history of the apostolie services and journies of this wonderful man is given by Luke in the following book. Nor can it be perused, we think, by a serious and candid mind, without perceiving marks of that infinite wisdom and power, which worketh all things according to its own most gracious and incomprehensible purposes; overruling the weakness, the folly, the prejudices, and even the wickedness of men, for the instruction and improvement of his great moral family on the earth. These remarks we will close with some quotations from early Christian writers, relative to this book of the Acts of the

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