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A VIPER FASTENS ON ST. PAUL'S HAND-CHAP. XIV.
Julian Pe- laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, Cesarea. riod, 4771. and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians' saw the venomous beast
been a convert to Christianity. He certainly speaks inaccu-
The integrity of the miracle, and the declarations of St. Paul,
9 Mr. Bryant fully proves that the people of Malta, in the Mediterranean, could not be justly called "barbarous." On this point the testimony of Diodorus Siculus (see Note 8), is decisive. Mr. Bryant, after some extracts on the magnificence of the temples at Malta, goes on to contrast the description of the African Malta, given by the classical writers, with the brief but forcible account of the Adriatic Melite in the New Testament. The island is situated in the Adriatic Gulf, near the river Naro, in the province of the Nesticans, an Illyrian people. What is the character of these Illyrians? barbarous beyond measure; so that they are seldom mentioned without this denomination. Thucydides, speaking of Epidamnus, says, it was "in the neighbourhood of the Taulantii, a barbarous set of people, Illyrians." (Hist. lib. i.) Polybius says, that in his time they did not seem so much to have feuds and quarrels with any particular nation, as to be at war with all the world." (Hist. lib. ii. p. 100. Edit. Casaub. Item excerptæ Legatines, sect. cxxv.) Diodorus seldom mentions them, but he terms them barbarians. Speaking of the Lacedæmonians giving them a remarkable check, he says, (lib. xiv. p. 464. Edit. Stephan.) τε πολλα θρασες επαυσαν τες βαρβαρες. One Illyrian nation was called the Dardanians; of whom Nicolaus Da
Julian Pe- hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt Cesarea. riod, 4773. this man is a murderer, whom though he hath escaped
the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.
9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and
mascenus (Evvaɣwyn πapadokwv newv,) mentions an odd rule,
ST. PAUL'S VOYAGE TO ROME-CHAP. XIV.
Julian Pe- when we departed, they laded us with such things as Cesarea. riod, 4773. were necessary. VulgarÆra, 60.
After three Months they sail to Rome.
ACTS XXviii. 11, to part of ver. 14.
11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux "0.
12 And landing at Syracuse ", we tarried there three days.
13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli :
14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days;
10 It was the custom with the ancient Greeks and Romans, to place the image or picture of the Deity, to whose care and protection they committed the ship, at the stern, and to place the sign, by the name of which the ship was called, at the head (a). It is a dispute among learned men, whether the tutelar Deity were not also sometimes the sign, and for that reason placed both at head and stern. There are undeniable instances in ancient authors, wherein some of the heathen deities are placed at the head. And it is not very likely, that such ships should have other deities at the stern, to whose tutelage they were committed. Of this sort is the ship which carried Paul to Italy. It had Castor and Pollux, two heathen deities, at the head, and doubtless, if any, had the same also at the stern, as the tutelar gods, protectors, and patrons of the ship, these being esteemed deities peculiarly favourable to mariners.
(a) Vid. Hammond in loc. Virg. Æneid. 1. 10. v. 157. 166. et 171. Ovid. de Trist. Eleg. 9. v. 1, 2. Perf. Sat. 6. v. 30.
"An argument has been brought in favour of the opinion, that the island here in question was the island of Malta, "from St. Paul's calling at Syracuse, in his way to Rhegium; which is so far out of the track, that no example can be produced in the history of navigation, of any ship going so far out of her course, except it was driven by a violent tempest." This argument tends principally to shew, that a very incorrect idea has been formed of the relative situation of these places. The ship which carried St. Paul from the Adriatic Sea to Rhegium, would not deviate from its course more than half a day's sail by touching at Syracuse, and the delay so occasioned would probably be but a few hours more than it would have been, had they proceeded to Syracuse in their way to the Straits of Messina, from Malta, as the map will shew. Besides, the master of the ship might have, and probably had, some business at Syracuse, which had originated at Alexandria, from which place it must have been originally intended the ship should commence ber voyage to Puteoli; and in this course the calling at Syracuse would have been the smallest deviation possible.
Julian Period, 4773.
Valgar Era, St. Paul arrives at Rome, and is kindly received by the
ACTS XXviii. part of ver. 14-17.
14 And so we went toward Rome.
15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and the Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier that kept him 12.
St. Paul summons the Jews at Rome, to explain to them the
ACTS XXViii. 17-30.
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans:
18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cesar: not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to
12 Dr. Lardner has shewn that this mode of custody was in use amongst the Romans, and that whenever it was adopted, the prisoner was bound to the soldier by a single chain: in reference to which, St. Paul, Acts xxviii. 20. tells the Jews, whom he had assembled, "For this cause, therefore, have I called for you to see you, and to speak with you, because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain,” τὴν ἅλυσιν τάυτην περίκειμαι, It is in exact conformity, therefore, with the truth of St. Paul's situation at the time, that he declares of himself, Eph. vi. 20. πρεσβέυω ἐν ἅλύσει. And the exactness is the more remarkable, as aλvoic, a chain, is no where used in the singular number to express any other kind of custody. When the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together, the word was deoμo (bonds) Acts xxvi. 29. When the prisoner was confined between two soldiers, as in the case of Peter, (Acts xii. 6.) two chains were employed; and it is said upon his miraculous deliverance, that the "chains" (avoc, in the plural)" fell from his hands."-Paley's Hore Paulinæ.
ST. PAUL SUMMONS THE JEWS AT ROME.
Jalian Pe- see you, and to speak with you because that for the hope Cesarea. riod, 4773. of Israel I am bound with this chain. Vulgar Era,
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came, shewed or spake any harm of thee.
22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word; Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation
St. Paul writes his Epistle to the Ephesians", to establish
13 The epistles which follow in this chapter of the arrangement, were written by St. Paul during his imprisonment at Rome. This will appear from the allusions which are repeatedly made by him to that event. In this Epistle to the Ephesians we meet with- "I Paul the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you Gentiles," chap. iii. 1.-" I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you," chap. iv. 1.-" For which I am an ambassador in bonds," chap. vi. 20; and we know that Tychicus, by whom the epistle was probably sent, chap. vi. 21. as the subscription affirms, was with him during his first imprisonment. As St. Paul does not speak of the probability of his release, we may conclude, with Dr. Lardner, Bishop Tomline, Mr. Horne, &c. that it was written in the early part of his imprisonment.
Many learned men have doubted whether this epistle was sent to the Church at Ephesus. They think that the proper direction is, The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans; and suppose it