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A. M. 4047, guards once perceiving it, carried him quite out; whereupon he went directly to the

&c. or 5454. Ann. Dom.

43, &c.

house of Mary †, the mother of John, sirnamed Mark, where several disciples were met together, and sending up their prayers to heaven for his deliverance. As he stood knocking without, a maid of the house named Rhoda, perceiving that it was his voice, ran in and acquainted the company that Peter was at the door; but when she persisted in the thing, they concluded rather that it must have been his angel +2, until, being let in, he related to them the whole manner of his miraculous escape; and having ordered them to acquaint James and the other brethren with this good news, he withdrew himself to a place of more retirement and security.

In the morning, as soon as it was day, the soldiers, missing their prisoner, were in the utmost confusion, and Agrippa, finding himself disappointed in his wicked design, commanded the keepers to be put to death, as supposing them accessary to St Peter's escape, and so departed from Jerusalem to Cæsarea *. While he was here, the ambassadors of Tyre and Sidon, relying on the interest they had with Blastus, the lord high chamberlain, came to solicit an accommodation of some difference that had lately happened between their states and the king, and that the rather, because in this time of scarcity their country was in a great measure dependant on the king's dominions for its support. Agrippa, though highly displeased with them, appointed them a day of audience; and being dressed in his royal robes, and seated on his throne, made such an oration, as the flattering multitude called "the speech of a god, and not of a man," which he, with a secret pride and vanity, assuming to himself, was, that moment, struck by an angel with a "mortification in his bowels *2," of which, in a short time, he died.

keepers, on each side one, while two others stood
guard at the prison-door, is very plain from the text
in this place; but that some of these soldiers, con-
verted to the Christian faith, should mark and take
away these chains, and give them to the bishop of
Jerusalem; and that they should be kept, as a trea-
sure, not only through all the Jewish wars, but about
four hundred years after, till Juvenal, bishop of Je-
rusalem, gave them to Eudoxia, wife to Theodosius
the Younger, who gave one of them to the church of
St Peter in Constantinople, and sent the other to
Rome, is a legend, that smells too rank of superstition
to deserve the least credit. Whitby's Annotations.

This house stood upon Mount Sion, and, according to Epiphanius, having escaped the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, it was afterwards turned into a famous church, (called the church of Sion) which endured for several ages. Calmet's Commentary and Dictionary.

That the word "yyees, or angel, signifies not only a celestial spirit, but also a messenger sent from one to another, we allow is manifest from several passages in Scripture; but that it cannot, in this place, denote a common messenger, is evident for this feason, viz. That the damsel could know St Peter no otherwise than either by his voice or face, which the company might believe his angel was capable of imitating; whereas St Peter could not but know that no messenger from the prison (had he been allowed to send one) was able to do this: And therefore, since it was a vulgar opinion among the Jews, that good men had their tutelar angels, or at least that angels were sent down from heaven about their affairs, they by this angel might understand, either erroneously

a guardian angel attending on him, or, agreeably to Scripture, an angel sent down from heaven to acquaint them with something relating to him, in answer to their prayers. Hammond's and Whitby's Annotations.

*Josephus, who gives us an account both of this journey, and the occasion of it, informs us, that "he went down to the city of Cæsarea to perform the solemnities and the games which were there celebrated every Olympiad to the honour of Cæsar, and that the nobles and governors of Syria repaired to that city for the same purpose." Antiq. lib. xix. c. 7.

The inhabitants of the countries of Tyre and Sidon, which were very narrow and pent up by the sea, took little pains in the cultivation of their ground. Their whole businesss and employment was commerce; and therefore they were beholden to Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, (which were all at this time under Agrippa's jurisdiction) for most of the common necessaries of life, as appears from 1 Kings v. 9. 11. and Ezekiel xxvii. 17. Calmet's Commentary.

In testimony of the truth of this piece of Sacred History, Josephus relates the manner of this king's death, and what was esteemed the occasion of it, in the following terms:-" Upon the second day of the festival Agrippa went early in the morning to the theatre, in a silver stuff, so wonderfully rich and curious, that the beams of the rising sun striking upon it, peoples eyes were dazzled with the reflec tion, and as the sparkling of the light seemed to have something divine in it, it moved the spectators, at the same time, both with veneration and dread. Hereupon a crew of fawning parasites cried him up

About the time of the death of Agrippa, Saul and Barnabas, having disposed of From Acts. i. their contributions to the Christians in Jerusalem and Judea, returned back to the city 10. to the end. of Antioch, and brought with them Mark † ; but they had not long been there before God, by some particular inspiration, gave them to understand, that he had appointed them to carry his word into other places: Whereupon the church that was at Antioch betook themselves to fasting and prayer; and Simeon ‡, Lucius +2, and Manaen +3, men endued with a spirit of prophecy, laid their hands †4 on them, and so sent them away to preach wherever the Holy Ghost should require them to go. When therefore they had departed from Antioch, they first came to Seleucia †ʻ,

for a god, and beseeched him in form to forgive them the sins of their ignorance, when they took him only for flesh and blood like another man, but they were now convinced (they said) of an excellency in his nature more than human.' This impious flattery passed upon him without either check or repulse: But while he was in the vanity of this contemplation, lifting up his eyes, he saw an owl in the air over his head, sitting upon a rope, which he found soon after to be the presage of mischief to him, as it had been before of good luck: For he fell immediately into violent gripes and torments in his bowels, and in this agony, directing his speech to his friends about him, • Look ye (says he) your god is now condemned to die; and by this fatal necessity I am about to prove all my flatterers to be a company of profligate liars, and to convince the world, by dying, that I am not immortal ;—but God's will be done.'-With these words his pain increased upon him, so that he was forced to remove into his palace; and as it continued without any manner of abatement, at the end of five days it carried him off, in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and the seventh of his reign." Antiq. lib. xix. c. 7. Josephus indeed does not say, that he was "eaten up of worms," but he tells us, that he had terrible pains in his guts, which, in the space of five days, might breed worms in him, as he confesses they did in his grandfather. Whitby's Annotations.

This person, who is sometimes called John Mark, and at other times simply Mark, or John, is very improperly confounded with the evangelist St Mark. He was the cousin and disciple of Barnabas, and the son of a Christian woman, whose name was Mary, who had an house at Jerusalem, where the faithful and the apostles generally met. What part he bore in the propagation of the Gospel the Acts of the Apostles inform us. Notwithstanding the difference between St Paul and Barnabas, which arose concerning him, St Paul speaks advantageously of him in his epistle to the Colossians, chap. iv. 10. in that to Philemon, ver. 24. and in his second to Timothy, chap. iv. 11. The Greeks give him the title of an apostle, and say that the sick were cured mere ly by his shadow. Some make him the bishop of Biblis in Phoenicia; but others, with more probability, report, that he died at Ephesus; but as to the time or manner of his death we are utterly in the dark. Calmet's Commentary.

This Simeon, who is sirnamed Niger, is supposed by some to be the same with Simon the Cyrenean, who bore our Saviour's cross; but for this opinion

there is no other proof than the similitude of names, which in this case is far from being exact, since St Luke always calls Simon the Cyrenean by the name of Simon, but Simon Niger by the name of Simeon. Calmet's Commentary.

+ This Lucius is said by some to have been one of our Lord's seventy disciples, and to have been by the apostles constituted the first bishop of Cyrene; but of these, and some other pretended passages of his life and death, we have no manner of certainty. Calmet's Commentary.

+3 This Manean must needs have been a person of a considerable family and distinction, because we find that he was brought up with Herod Antipas the tetrarch, who put John the Baptist to death; and yet we are told that he was one of the seventy disciples, and suffered martyrdom at Antioch, but when, or in what manner, we have no information. Calmet's Commentary.

+ Some have imagined, that this imposition of hands was a solemn ordination of Paul and Barnabas to be bishops in the Christian church; but besides the incongruity of an apostle's being ordained bishop by those of an inferior order, as prophets and teachers were, Acts xiii. 1. St Paul declares for himself, that he "was an apostle, not of men, neither by men, but by Jesus Christ," Gal. i. 1. And as the apostleship comprehends in it all ecclesiastical power, this laying on of hands was not designed to give them any episcopal authority, as is pretended, but merely to

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recommend them to the grace of God for the work which they were to fulfil," Acts xiv. 26. as being a ceremony that attended prayer and benediction, and other solemn actions as well as ordination. Thus the children of Israel laid their hands on the Levites when they were separated to the service of Aaron and his sons, Numb. vii. 10. and thus our Blessed Saviour, when the children were brought to him, put his hands upon them and blessed them," Matth. xix. 15. So that this imposition of hands upon Paul and Barnabas was precatory, not consecratory, designed to implore the blessing of heaven upon their mission to the Gentiles, and not to ordain or confirm them bishops of the church of Christ. Miscell. Sac. vol. ii.

This city lay on the west, or rather a little north-west of Antioch, upon the Mediterranean Sea, and was so named from the founder of it, Seleucus, who was reputed to be the greatest builder in the world; for he is said to have founded nine cities called by his own name: sixteen in memory of his father Antiochus; six by the name of Laodice his mother;

A. M. 4049, &c. or 5156.

Ann. Dom.

45, &c.

from whence they took shipping for Cyprus, and in the city of Salamis † first began their ministerial office. Here they preached in the synagogues, and employed Mark, who was of their company, in several offices of the church, which they could not attend themselves. From Salamis they crossed the island unto Paphos †2, where the proconsul, or governor of the place, (who at that time was Sergius Paulus) had his residence; a man of great wisdom and prudence, but unhappily seduced by a Jewish sorcerer, named Bar-jesus. Upon their preaching there, the governor, being informed of something extraordinary, sent to the apostles to hear their doctrine. But the sorcerer warmly opposed this, and used all possible methods to hinder his conversion; which when Saul perceived, he, in the governor's presence, having sharply rebuked him, denounced a judgment of blindness upon him; which being immediately inflicted, convinced the proconsul, and converted him to the faith; and from this event (as some imagine) our apostle had the sirname of Paul + given him.

From the isle of Cyprus St Paul and his company sailed to Perga in Pamphylia †, where Mark, not greatly liking this itinerant course of life, took his leave of the apostles, and returned to Jerusalem. At Perga they made no stay, but proceeded directly to Antioch in Pisidia †, where, going into the synagogue, and being courteously invited to make a comment or discourse (as the custom then was) upon the lessons out of the law and the prophets, that were just before read in the congregation, St Paul took this opportunity, in a long discourse, to shew, "That Jesus was the true Messiah foretold by the prophets, and declared by John the Baptist; that though he was

and three in honour of Apamia his first wife; besides
many others of great note in Greece and Asia, either
new built, or beautified and repaired by him. Wells's
Geography of the New Testament.

This was once a famous city in the isle of Cy. prus, opposite to Seleucia, on the Syrian coast; and as it was the first place where the Gospel was preached, it was, in the primitive times, made the See of the primate or metropolitan of the whole island. In the reign of the emperor Trajan it was destroyed by the Jews, and rebuilt; but after that, being, in the year 64, sacked, and razed to the ground by the Sara. cens, it never recovered its former splendour, though out of its ruins is said to have arisen Famagusta, which was the chief place of the isle, when the Turks took it from the Venetians, in the year 1570. Wells's Geography of the New Testament.

This was another city of Cyprus, lying on the western (as Salamis did on the eastern) tract of the island, where Venus (who from hence took the name of Paphia) had her most ancient and celebrated temple. and where the Roman proconsul, at this time, had his seat of residence. Wells's Geography of the New Testament.

+3 It is very observable, that all along before this passage of the apostle's life, St Luke calls him by the name of Saul, but ever after by that of Paul; which makes some imagine, that he assumed that name to himself, in memory of his converting of Sergius Paulus; just as the ancient Roman generals were wont to adopt the names of the provinces which they conquered. St Austin more than once asserts, that he took it out of a principle of humility, by a small variation changing his former name, whereby a proud, haughty king of Israel was called, into that of Paulus, which signifies little; and that, in conformity to this,

he calls himself ixaxıctóregos, Eph. iii. 8. « less than the least of the apostles." But the most rational account of the matter seems to be that of Origen, viz. that he being of Jewish parentage, and born in Tarsus, a Roman city, had at his circumcision two names given him, Saul, a Jewish, and Paul, a Roman name, and that when he preached to the Jews, he was called by his Jewish, and when to the Gentiles (as he did chiefly after this time), by his Roman name Calmet's Commentary, and Hammond's and Whitby's Annotations.

+ Pamphylia is a province of Asia Minor, which gives the name to that part of the Mediterranean Sea which washes its coasts, Acts xxvii. 5. To the south it is bounded by the Mediterranean; and to the north by Pisidia, having Lycia to the west, and Cilicia to the east: And as for Perga, a city of this province, it is memorable among the heathens for the temple of Diana, who was thence called Diana Pergæa, and for the solemn festivals, which, in honour of her, were there annually observed. Wells's Geography of the New Testament.

+ Pisidia is a small province in Asia Minor, bounded on the south by Pamphylia, and on the north by Galatia; having Lycaonia to the east, and Phrygia to the west. Its inhabitants are commended by Livy for their skill in war above other Asiatics, lib. xxxviii. c. 18. and its chief city was Antioch, built by Seleucus, in honour of his father Antiochus, and, to distinguish it from others of the same name, usually called Antiochia Pisidiæ. Whitby's Alphabetical Table, and Wells's Geography of the New Testament.

+ What the sevice of the synagogue was, particularly as to the reading of the law and the prophets, and expounding thereupon, we had occasion to ex plain before, vol. ii. p. 572.

10. to the end.

barbarously treated, and crucified, and slain by the Jews, yet this was no more than From Acts. i. what the same prophets had foretold would happen to the Messiah; that God's raising him from the dead, according to the predictions relating to the Messiah, and, after his resurrection, shewing him to multitudes of witnesses then alive, and ready to attest the truth of it, were the highest demonstrations of his being the Son of God; and that therefore, since forgiveness of sins, and justification (which could not be attained by the law of Moses) were now tendered to them by their believing in Jesus, it nearly concerned them, as a matter of the last importance, "not to neglect so great sal


This the congregation heard with great attention; and as they were going out of the synagogue, the Gentiles desired of St Paul to speak again to them upon the same subject on the following Sabbath; and several Jews and proselytes who believed, waited upon Paul and Barnabas for farther instruction. The next Sabbath, the whole city flocked to the synagogue to hear the apostle's discourse; which when the unbelieving Jews saw, such was their envy and despite, that they not only opposed themselves with blasphemy against what St Paul preached, but, perceiving the progress which the Gospel made, not in that city only, but in all the neighbouring country, they applied themselves to some female † proselytes of distinction, who, by their interest with the principal men of the city, forced the apostles to depart to Iconium †2; and after some stay there (their malice pursuing them thither likewise), caused them to hasten to Lystra; where they continued for some time, preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of that city, and to the people of the parts adjacent.

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At Lystra there was a man named Æneas, lame from his birth, whom St Paul perceiving, by his diligent attention to his preaching, that he had faith to be healed, immediately cured. This so amazed and transported the standers by, that, acknowledgeing a Divine power in the miracle, they took them for two gods, * disguised in human shape; calling Paul, || as chief speaker, Mercury; and Barnabas, perhaps for his gravity, or majestic looks, Jupiter. The priest of Jupiter therefore, as soon as he was acquaint

Women, who being originally Gentiles, had embraced the Jewish religion; and of converts of this kind it is generally observed, that their zeal and superstition is usually blinder, and their attention to reason, in matters of religion, weaker, than what belongs to the other sex, insomuch, that some ecclesiastical writers have made it their remark, that there never was any heresy or schism in the Christian church, but what was either begun or fomented by women of wealth and distinction. Calmet's Commentary.

This was the chief city of Lycaonia, a small province of Asia Minor, lying to the east, or north-east rather, of Pisidia; and adjoining southward to Pamphylia and Cilicia. This city is said by Strabo to have been well built, and situated in the richest part of the province. It was once a place of such strength and consequence, that the Turkish kings of the Lesser Asia, when they were most distressed by the western Christians, made it the seat of their empire, and at present it is in so considerable a condition as to be the residence of a Turkish bashaw. The other two cities of this province are Lystra and Derbe; but of them we meet with nothing remarkable, except what the sacred story relates. Wells's Geography of the New Testament.

That this was a common notion of the heathens is evident, not only from that passage in Homer,

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-Summo delabor Olympo,

Et Deus humaná lustro sub imagine terras,
but even from the testimony of their philosophers;
and therefore we find Cicero endeavouring to prove
that the gods must be of human shape, because they
never appeared in any other form. De Nat. Deorum.
Calmet's Commentary, and Whitby's Annotations.

The account which St Paul's enemies gave of
him is this," His letters are weighty and powerful,
but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech con-
temptible," 2 Cor. x. 10. His discourses, indeed,
were not formed upon the plan of the Greek orators.
The vain ornaments which they were so fond of, as
tending only to impair the strength and majesty of
the truths which he taught, were by him held in great
contempt; for "his speech and his preaching was not
with enticing words of man's wisdom, but with de-
monstration of the Spirit and power," 1 Cor. ii. 4.
St Jerom, who finds some fault with his style, as to
its harshness, and want of purity, does nevertheless
declare, that, when he reads him, every word seems
like a clap of thunder, in Catal. Scrip. Eccles. And
St Chrysostom, in his book de Sacerdotio, makes

A. M. 4050, &c. or 5457.

Ann. Dom. 46, &c.

ed with the matter, brought oxen, all adorned with garlands, to the door of the house where Paul and Barnabas were, in order to sacrifice to them. But when the apostles saw what they were going to do, they rent their clothes, and running in among the people, cried aloud, "That they were mistaken in their object of their worship; that, notwithstanding the miracle they had wrought, they were no more than men; and that the chief end of their preaching was to turn them from these idolatrous practices, to the worship of the only true God, who, by his Almighty power, had made heaven and earth, and, by his kind Providence, given them all the blessings they enjoyed." But, with all these arguments, it was as much as they could do to restrain them from sacrificing.

It was not long however before they turned to the other extreme; for some Jews, who had pursued the apostles from Antioch and Iconium, so far instigated the giddy multitude against them, that they took Paul, whom just before they would have adored, and stoned him, and then drew him out of the city, supposing him to be dead: but when the disciples came (probably to inter his body), he rose up, and went into the city for that night; but the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe; where having preached the Gospel, and converted many to the faith, they thence returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch; in which places, having confirmed the new converts in the belief and profession of Christianity, and, with fasting, and prayer, and imposition of hands, ordained presbyters in every church, they recommended them to the special protection of God, and so took their leave.

From Antioch they passed through Pisidia, and thence came to Pamphylia; and, having preached to the people at Perga, they went down to Attalia †, and from thnce returned by sea to Antioch in Syria, whence they had set out about three years before upon this holy expedition. Here they assembled the church together †, and, having given an account of their success, what miracles God had wrought by their hands, and what a large door of faith he, by by their ministry had opened to the Gentiles, they suspended their journeyings for the present, and for some considerable time took up their abode among the disciples of this place.

While they continued here, some persons, coming from Judea, pretended to teach,

mention of the great admiration which his epistles had
gained him, both among Jews and Gentiles; no won-
der then that the people of Lystra, upon hearing his
strong and unaffected eloquence, should take him for
Mercury, who (according to the heathen notion) was
the constant companion of Jupiter, the teacher of men,
and the interpreter of the gods. Calmet's Commentary.
* These Griμμata, which may be rendered crowns, or
garlands, some think, were to be put upon the heads
of Paul and Barnabas, according to the heathen cus-
tom of crowning their gods; but it seems more likely,
that they were to adorn the head and neck of the ox,
or heifer, that was to be sacrificed; for so we read in

Victima labe carens, et præstantissima formâ
Sistitur ante aras, vittis præsignis, et auro.

Met. lib. xv.
+ Attalia, which takes its name from king Attalus
its founder, and, with a small variation, is still called
Statalia, is a city of Pamphylia, which stands upon a
fair bay, and is so commodiously seated for trade,
that the Turks have preserved it from ruin, and, at
this day, are very careful to keep its fortifications and
castle in repair. Wells's Geography of the New

+ St Luke gives us no manner of an account of what passed in the church from St Paul's returning to Antioch in Syria, which was in the 46th, to his deputation to the council at Jerusalem, which was in the 51st year of Christ. How he spent this intermediate time we cannot tell; but sure we are, that his zeal for the Christian cause would not permit him to be idle; and therefore we may suppose, that this was the opportu nity he took to preach the Gospel, not only through the provinces adjacent to Antioch, but through seve ral other places, "where Christ had not been named, that he might not build upon another man's founda tion," Rom. xv. 20. Himself, in his second epistle to the Corinthians, acquaints us with many journeyings, and labours, and stripes, and imprisonments, that are not recorded in the book of Acts; particularly he tells us, that five times he had been scourged by the Jews, and three times beaten with rods by the Romans; that thrice he had suffered shipwreck, and a day and a night had been in the deep, tossed to and fro in the sea, upon some plank or broken piece of the ship, 2 Cor. xi. 23, &c. and a properer time for these sad events to befal him, we cannot assign, than where the Sacred History has made a vacancy in his life. Calmet's Commentary.

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