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corpse. Thus, when Tabitha died, it is said, that they washed her body and laid it in an upper chamber, Acts ix. 37. This rite was common both to the Greeks and Romans, in whose writings it is frequently mentioned. In Egypt it is still the custom to wash the dead body sereral times with rain water.--Horne's Introduction, vol, iii. page 502.
X.15. “Call not thou common." The original is do not thou pollute, or make common. The passage, therefore, according to the present received rendering, forms a good comment on those passages where an action is said to be done, when it is only declared, permitted, or foretold that it shall be done.-See the following passages : Lev. xii. 3. Ezek. xiii. 22. Gen. xli. 13. Jer. iv. 10. Ezek. xiii. 19. Jer. i. 10. Ezek. xx. 25. 26. Hos. vi. 5. Matt. xv. 11. Matt. xvi. 19. John xx. 23. Matt. vi. 13. The reader will do well to bear in mind that, although in most translations, many circumstances peculiar to an original are frequently disregarded or differently turned to suit the genius of the language into which it is translated, yet the translators of the English Bible have not generally observed this; and consequently the mere English reader often finds himself puzzled. Such however, have this comfortable reflection, that instances of this nature are generally critical, or speculative, and do not, therefore, intrinsicly concern the salvation of the soul. XII.-4.
-4. “Four quaternions of soldiers.” Namely, sixteen, consisting of four in each party, who were to relieve each other by turns.-Ostervald.
XII.-6. Bound with two chains.” See an account of this at the remarks on Acts xxi. 33.
XII.-10. “Iron gate." Among different ways of securing their gates, one was by plating them over with thick iron. Pitts tells us that Algiers has five gates, and some of these have two, others three gates within them, some of them plated over with thick iron. After this mapner the place
where St. Peter was imprisoned seems to have been secured. When they were past the first and second ward, they came unto the iron gale, &c.—See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i. page 341.
XII. 19. &c. “ And he went down from Judæa to Cesarea, and there abode.” “He went to the city Cesarea. Here he celebrated shows in honor of Cæsar. On the second day of the shows, early in the morning, he came into the theatre, dressed in a robe of silver, of most curious workmanship. The rays of the rising sun reflected from such a splendid garb, gave him a majestic and awful appearance. They called him a god, and entreated him to be propitious unto them, saying ; hitherto we have respected you as a man but now we acknowledge you to be more than mortal. He neither reproved these persons, nor rejected the impias flattery. Immediately after this, he was seized with pains in his bowels, extremely violent at the very first. He was carried therefore with all haste to his palace. These pairs continually tormenting him, he expired in five days' time."Josephus, Antiq. lib. xix. c. viii. sect. 2.
XIII.- -15. “The rulers of the synagogue sent unt them.” In foreign countries where places of worship wer established, when strangers, who were Jews, arrived at su towns and went to offer their devotions, it was usual for t presidents of the synagogue, after the appointed portion out the law and the prophets was read, to send a servant to ther and in a very respectful manner to request that if they coul impart any thing that might contribute to the religious i struction and edification of the audience, they would deliri it.-Horne's Introduction, vol. iii. page 248. XIII.-48. As
many as were ordained to eternal li believed.” If we attend to the original, together with ti context and scope of the sacred historian, who is relating t effects or consequences of the preaching of the gospel to t
Gentiles, the verse would read thus: As many as were disposed for eternal life, believed.-See Horne, vol. ii. page 689.-See also Acts xx. 13.
XIV.ll. “ The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men."
a common notion among the heathens, that the gods often appeared in the form of men : hence we find Cicero endeavouring to prove that the gods must be of human shape, because they never appeared in any ather form.-Ostervald.
XIV.-21. “Had taught many." The original is, had made many disciples.
XIV.-27. Opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." In the Ottoman empire, at this day, when a call or new levy of Janisaries is made, it is said to be the opening of a door for Janisaries.-See Ostervald. Cicero says, amicitiæ fores. aperiuntur.
XV, -20. And from fornication.” As this chapter pertains to things of a ceremonial nature, the above expression may refer to some offence of that kind. At Hebrews xii. 16. Esau is called a fornicator, probably, because he took wives from among the Canaanitish women. As to the things strangled and blood,” together with other circumstances frequently named in scripture, it may be observed generally, that many things were forbidden under the Jewish economy, not because they were of themselves wrong, but because they might prove so in their consequences.
XV.-39. “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other.” We learn from Col. iv. 10, 11. that Paul was reconciled to Barnabas, and speaks of him in terms of comfort. XVI.-l. “ But his father was a Greek.”
The law, says Grotius, forbade the Jewish males to marry with a woman not subject to the law, but forbade not a Jewess to marry with a Gentile, as Esther did with Ahasuerus.
XVI. -13. “And on the sabbath we went out of the city. by a river-side, where prayer was wont to be made." The Jewish proseuchæ were places of prayer, in some circumstances similar to, in others different from, their synagogues: the latter were generally in cities, and were covered places, whereas for the most part the proseuchæ were out of the cities on the banks of rivers, having no covering, except perhaps, the shade of some trees, or covered galleries. Their vicinity to water was for the convenience of those frequent washings and ablutions which were introduced among them.-Burder's 0. Customs, vol. i. p. 342. In allusion to these proseuche or prayer-houses, Juvenal says, Sat. iii. 1. 296 :
in qua te quæro proseucha ?
The following extract is from Josephus, Antiq. Jud. L. xiv. c. X. s. 23. concerning the decree of the city of Halicarnassus permitting the Jews to erect oratories : “We have decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do, may celebrate their sabbaths and perform their holy offices's according to the Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchæ at the sea-side according to the customs of their forefathers:;' and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private persona hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be applied to the uses of the city.” XVII.
"Athens." This city was the most celes! brated for learning of any in the world. It was situated on a gulf of the Aegean sea, which comes up to the isthmus of the Peloponnese, or Morea, in the district of Greece called Attica, and was the parent of that dialect, which is esteemed the pu-? rest and finest Greek. Cicero calls it the fountain, whence civility, learning, religion, and laws, were derived to other nations.--Ostervald.
XVII.-18. “A setter forth of strange gods.” By the law of Athens no foreign god was to be admitted till approved
and licensed by the Areopagus, which had the sole power in religious matters.
XVII.-23. "I found an altar with this inscription, — TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” Diogenes Laertius, who wrote about the year 210, in his history of Epimenides, who is supposed to have flourished nearly 600 years before Christ, relates of him the following story ;--that being invited to Athens for the purpose, he delivered the city from a pestilence in this manner: '“Taking several sheep, some black, others white, he had them up to the Areopagus, and then let them go where they would, and gave orders to those who followed them, wherever any of them should lie down, to sacrifice it to the god to whom it belonged; and so the plague ceased. Hence," says the historian," it has come to pass, that, to this present time, may be found in the boroughs of the Athenians anonymous altars: a memorial of the expiation then made.” These altars, it may be presumed, were called anonymous, because there was not the name of any particular deity inscribed upon them. Pausanias, who wrote about the end of the second century, in his description of Athens, having mentioned an altar of Jupiter Olympius, adds, “And nigh unto it is an altar of unknown gods.” And in another place, speaks “ of altars of gods called unknown." -See Paley's Evid. of Christianity.
XVII.-25. “Neither is worshipped with men's hands.” Rather, is served. This refers to a foolish notion among the heathens, that the gods fed on the fumes of sacrifices.Ostervald.
XVII. -28. For we are also his offspring.” This is a part of a verse from the Phænomena of Aratus, who was a Cilician poet, the countryman of Paul. The passage was originally spoken of Jupiter, and is dexterously applied to the true God by Paul, who draws a very conclusive inference from it.-Valpy's Greek Testament.
XVII.-30. “God winked at.” More correctly, overlooked.