Page images

A. He found some Persons who were baptized 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, Aets xix. 1-..

56 Q. How did he perform the rest of his MiniAtry 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, ver. 8-12.

.57 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 Multitude of People were raised' against Paul, so that he was in danger of his Life, ver. 24-29.

58 Q. How did he escape here? A. The TownClerk finding such a rude Tumult, with soft Words composed and quieted them, and bid De metrius go fairly to Law, if any Man had injured him, ver. 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, A&ts. xx. I-6. . . :.''!;!

[. . 59 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, Aits xx. 6-9.

60 Q. How was the young Man recovered? A. Paul fell on him and embraced him, and brought him alive before them, ver. 10-12. .

61 Q. What Exhortation did Paul give at Miletus? A. He sent to Ephesus, and called the El. ders of the Church, made a most affectionate Discourse to them ; bid them, Take beed to themselves and to the Church of God, which he had purchased with his own Blood; warned them of grievcus Wolves that should enter into the Flock, encouraged them to persevere in Faith and Holi. ness, and recommended them to God and the Word of his Grace, ver. 1735.

62 Q. Whither did Paul travel next ? A. He haftened to Jerusalem by many Journeys and Voyages, travelling through several Cities, though he was difswaded from it by many Disciples, and was particularly told by Agabus, a Chriftian Prophet, that he should be bound at Jerufalem, and delivered into the Hands of the Gentiles; Aets xx. 16. and -xxi. I-IS. iiii. . . . · 63 Q. In what manner did Agabus deliver this · Prophecy? A. He bound his own Hands and Feet with Paul's Girdle, and said, Thus faith the Holy Spirit, so shall the Jews at Jerufalem bind the Man that owns this Girdle, ver. 11. . - 64 Q. What was the noble Speech and Refolution of Paul on this Occafion?: A. When the Brethren wept at the Thoughts of his Sufferings, he answered, “What mean ye to weep and to break my 66 Heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, “ but to die at 7erufalem for the Name of the Lord 166. Jefus,” Acts xxi. 12, 13.

65 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.

66 Q. What Advice did the Elders at Jerusalem give him? A. They advised him to fhave and pu. sify himself by an Offering after the manner of the Jews who had the Vow of the Nazarite upon them, Numb. vi, that he might not be suspected of disobeying the Jewish Law, either by the believing or unbelieving Jews, who were all zealous for it, ver. 20–25.

Note, This Compliance of St. Paul being recommend. ed to him by one Apostle, (viz.) James, and by the

Elders at Jerusalem, Acts xxi. 18, 20, &c. and being · put in practice by himself, who was, perhaps, the chief

of the Apostles, we cannot reasonably suppose it finful or blame-worthy, especially since the Scripture passes no Censure on it ; and yet muft we not say the religious · Ceremonies of the Jerus, and particularly all the Sin. offerings, (such as this was, Numb. vi. 14.) were abolished by the great Sacrifice of Christ, and the Introduction of Christianity by the Holy Ghost at Pentecoft.

In order therefore to vindicate this. Practice of St. ; Paul, we may consider the Jewisle 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, may we not · fuppose that St. Paul might comply with thefe Practices as a part of the national Jewiss Laws, rather than as


religious 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 suppofe, that from the Death of Chrif, which was the substantial Sacrifice, these Shadows so far vanished that they ceased to be neceffary, but were left, for a Season, as indifferent things to the Jewis, which, as the Apostle expresses, Heb. viii. 13 were decaying and waxing old, and ready to vanish away? 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, lett 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 Jewels, 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 Gentilé, and had nothing to do with the Jewish Law, Gal. ii. 3. And the same Apostle being a few, for the same Reason might comply with the Jewish Rites of shaving his Head, and facrificing, as things left indifferent to the Jews, for a Season, by the Will of God, in compliance with the Weakness of Man. .67 Q. Did this piece of Compliance fecure Paul from the Persecution of the Jews ? 1. The unbelieving Jews had such a rooted Hatred against him for his Žeal and Success in preaching up Chriftianity, 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, ver. 27–40.

68 Q. What Défence 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 Chrif, his being 'ftruck down to the Ground on the Road, and ca)led from Heaven by Jesus Christ, and also of his Vifion of Chrif in the Temple, sending him 10 preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, Acts xxii, 1–21.

69 Q. Hou did the Jew's bear this Speech? A. When he spake of being sent to the Gentiles, they lift up their Voices and faid, Away with such a Fellow from the Earth, for it is not fit he mould live, ver. 22. igo 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, ver. 24-30.

71 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 Cbrit from the Dead, and our Resurrection by him, were some of the greatest Articles of the Christian Faith, and that which Paul preached, Aets xxiii. 6, 7. . 72 Q. What Effect had this upon the Council? 1. 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, ver. 9, 10.

. !!!! 73 Q. What particular Encouragement had Paul from Heaven under these Sufferings? A. It was this Night that the Lord Fejus appeared to him and said, Be of good cheer, Paul, for as thou hast


[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »