Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Acts

504

He takes notice of the traitor's miserable end; . SECT. was the reward of bis iniquity : For bis con- and falling headlong, Il science would not suffer him to keep it; but he me

him on boon it. but he he burst asunder in the

midst, and all his threw it down, as you know, in the temple, and bowels gushed out. 1. 18. then going away he hanged himself. (Mat.

xxvii. 5.) But that which should have support-
ed the weight of his body breaking, he could
not fully execute his horrid design; and falling
down on his face, he burst asunder in the middle,
and all his bowels were in a miserable manner
poured out upon the ground; so that he expired
in the utmost agonies both of body and mind,

to the horror of all that beheld bim. 19 (And by the way, this was a fact so public and 19 And it was notorious, that it was known to all the inhabitants known unto all the

dwellers at Jerusalem ; of Jerusalem 3, who could not but take notice of insomucha

notice. O insomuch as that field such an extraordinary circumstance; so that that is called, in their profield which was so purchased is to this day called per tongue, Aceldama,

that is to say, The in their language, which is the Syriac dialect, field of Aceldama, that is, The field of blood, as being bought with money which was, in more senses than one, the price of blood ; having been the cursed hire for which Judas sold the blood of

his master, and in effect his own.) 20 Now, said Peter to the disciples, I observed 20 For it is written to you, that the scripture speaks something of

in of in the book of Psalms,

ure speaks soucis Let his habitation be this remarkable event; for it is written in the desolate, and let no book of Psalms, (Psal. Ixix. 25.) “ Let his habi- man dwell therein : tation be desolate, and let no man inhabit it :" and, His bishopric let,

another take.
and again, (Psal. cix. 3.) “ Let another take
(that is, another shall take and discharge) his
office.'The former of these clauses is already
awfully verified, as he is become such a spec.

tacle

foot thinks, he was strangled in the air by yeyopere should be rendered, not falling
the Devil, and thrown down headlong in headlong, but falling down on his face, see
this field; and so might be said to possess it, proved by Raphelius, (er Polyb. p. 103,
and occasioned its being called the field of & seq.) and Elsner,' (Obsero. Vol. I.
blood. (Hor. Heb. on Mat. xxvii. 5, and p. 358, 359)
in loc.)

& It was known to all the inhabitants of f Falling down on his face, he burst Jerusalem.] Aringhius in his Rom. Sub. asunder, &c.] Thus Maftuew's account is terran. p. 436.) mentions a funeral inreconciled with Luke's above. (See noted scription" dug up in the Via Nomentana, on Mat. xxvii. 5.) I find the learned by which it appears, that the fate of Judas Casaubon has taken the same method; became a proverbial form of cursing. nor can I see any reason to recede from The reader will perceive, that with many this interpretation, on the most attentive of the best critics I take this verse to be a review of the various solutions proposed parenthesis, to be considered, not as the by Mr. Biscoe; (Boyle's Lect. p. 637- words of Peter, but of the historian; which 644.) But, were I to change it, I should effectually answers the objection from the prefer to any other that of Limborch; fact baving happened but a few days before that some Jew, who would have con- the speech was delivered. This also accealed the suicide, cut Judas down, and counts for his calling the Syriac, wbich was threw him into some pit or valley, where spoken by the Jews at that time, their he was afterwards found lying on his face, language, for spy ban is the Syriac with his bowels gushed oul.--That ngnuns dialect.

One

And advises that another apostle should be chosen in his room. 505

tacle of horror, that men will detest the very sect.

place where he lived ; and the other must be 21. Wherefore of now accomplished. It is necessary therefore, Acts these men which have that of the even who have conversed;

i that of the men who have conversed intimately 1.21. companied with us, all the time that the Lord with us, and have attended during all the time Jesus went in and out in which the Lord Jesus was going in and coming among us,

out among us, and so can testify of all he did · 22 Beginning from and said, Beginning from the baptism of John, 22 the baptism of John, when he first entered on his ministry, even to unto that same day the dau in which he was taken up from us into that he was taken up from us, must one be heaven, one of these should be chosen to the aposordained to be a wit- tolic office, to be made a witness with ush of ness with us of his re- that great and fundamental fact, his resurrection surrection.

from the dead, upon wbich the proof of bis

being the Messiah so evidently rests. 23 And they ap- The apostle had no sooner spoke, but imme- 23 pointed to: Joseph diately the whole assembly assent d to the reacalled Barsabas, who was sirnamed 'Tustus sonableness of this proposal; and accordingly and Matthias. they set up two men; the one, Joseph called

Barsabasi, who was also surnamed Justus, on
account of the remarkable openness and inte-
grity of his temper; and the other, a person of
no less eminent note for his piety, who was

called Matthias. 24 And they pray. And they prayed with great solemnity,answer- 24 ed, and said, Thou, ohle to the importance of the occasio Lord, which knowest

a: able to the importance of the occasion, saying,
the hearts of all men, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all, and
shew whether of these perfectly discernest every secret sentiment of the
two thou hast chosen,
st chosen, soul, and all the future circumstances of life!

we humbly intreat thee to shew, which of these
two, whom we esteem thy faithful servants, thou

hast chosen to be advanced to this distinguished 25 That he may honour; That he may take part of this mi-25

mi- nistry, and share with thine other servants in the Distry and apostleship, from which Judas by apostleship, from which Judas is fallen by shis] transgression fell, that transgression to his eternal ruin ; that he might he might go to his own go to his own placek, to that miserable world, place.

which

take part of

h One of these should be made a witness Manuscript reads Barnabas; but Dr. Benwith us.] They might reasonably and mo- son seems to have assigned solid reasons for destly conclude, that it was fit the number concluding, this was not Barnabas the Cy. of apostles wbich Christ first chose should prian, (Acts iv. 36.) of whom we read be kept up, perhaps in allusion to the twelve so often in this history, whose name was tribes of Israel. But it is impossible, as also Joses, or Joseph, (which are both the well as quite unnecessary, that we should same) but rather the Joseph mentioned at this distance of time be able to assign a Mat. xxvii. 56. aud Mark vi. 3, the son of reason, why the two that are afterwards Cleopas or Alpheus, and brother to at least mentioned, and no more, were proposed two of the apostles, James the Less, and as candidates. Perhaps a longer and more Jude. intimate acquaintance with our Lord mightk To his own place.] Oecumenius, Hamentiile them to a preference on this oc- mond, and Le Cene, seem to interpret this casion.

phrase very unnaturally, when they explain i Joseph called Barsabas.] The Cambridge it of a successor going into the place of Judas.

That

308 Reflections on the end of Judas, and choice of another apostle.
SECT, which in thy righteous judgment is appointed
ii.

for the reception of such heinous offenders,

for the rond Acts and the due punishment of such enormous

les crinand after and the 10t, that he

26

And after this prayer they gave out their lots, 26 And they gave for each'; and the lót fell upon Matthias, on the lot fell upon Mate

forth their lots; and which they concluded, that he was the person thias, and he was num. whom God had appointed : And the rest of the bered with the eleves apostles accordingly gave him the right hand of apost.es. fellowship, so that for the future he was numbered with the eleven apostles m, and made the twelfth of that venerable society of men.

IMPROVEMENT.

Ver. It was wisely and well determined by the apostles, to spend 13, 14 this interval of time in devotion and in Christian converse ; for

never have we more reason to expect the communication of the Holy Spirit of God to us, than when we are sbaring our time between

the one and the other, so far as Providence affords us leisure 15 from our secular affairs. With their devotions they properly

joined a care for the future edification of the church, and there. fore chose another apostle, to complete the number which our Lord

had appointed. 25 It is dreadful to think how the vacancy happened, and by what

a horrible transgression it was, that one of the sacred society fell

from his office. The band of God's righteous vengeance was · 17, 19 heavy upon bim, and brought him in a few hours to public in.

famy and irrecoverable destruction. So that his example, dreadful as it is, shews us at once that no dignity of office can secure men from sin, and that when they break through the solemn bonds of a remarkably high and cminent profession, tiiey must expect a · punishment proportionably signal.

Riches

That idley Tomoy signifies a place proper and Luke i. 9.) might lead them to this turn suitable for such a wretch, and therefore by of thought. Grotius has shewn in his God's righteous judgment appointed for him, note here, that such a designation to sacred many writers have shewn, and particularly offices prevailed also among some pagan Dr. Benson, in his History of the first nations. Planting of Christianity, p. 23. (Compare m Matthias- was numbered with the Mat. xxvi. 24. John vi, 70, 71, and xvii. eleven apostles. Though Nathaniel and

Matthias both signify the gift of God, I i They gave out their lots.] This was, no cannot think, that this will prove them, doubt, most impartially adjusted, though (as some have supposed) the same person. we know not in what particular method. Nor can I sce, that the question of the The honour God has conferred on inqui- right of choosing church-officers can receive ries by lot, (Josh. vii. 14, 15. 1 Sam. x. 20, much light from so singular a story, in 21.) and the custom of fixing the officers of which so peculiar an act of God was ek the priests in the temple, while in waiting pected. where, by lot, (1 Cbron, xxiv. 5, 7. and

12.),

11.

The disciples assemble on the day of Pentecost. 507 Riches profit not in the day of wrath : (Prov. xi. 4.) The time Sect. is swiftly approaching, when ill-gotten gain will prove a burthen and a terror, and the wages of unrighteousness will appear as the price of an Aceldama, a field of blood ; even in that dreadful day 18 when impenitent sinners go to their own place; to those abodes of 25 misery, which are so properly prepared for them, and so justly assigned to them ; assigned especially to those whose biisiness (like that of Judas) it was, to preach repentance unto others, to shew them their transgression, and to warn them of their danger and who were more especially obliged to have inforced their admonitions and their precepts, by the peculiar lustre of their own examples.

But the badness of the man, who in some instances may be ad. vanced to bear the most sacred office, is not to be interpreted to the disgrace of that office itself. The apostles were careful to keep up 21--22 the honour of theirs, by seeking out a more proper person, who might do his part towards taking away the reproach wbich Judas had brought upon it, and might approve himself a worthy wit-22 ness of the resurrection of Jesus, on the knowledge of which depended the salvation of millions. After all, they refer the matter to the determination of Providence, to which they make a very instructive appeal. Let us always remember the universal and intimate inspection of the Divine Being. Thou Lord, knowest 24 the hearts of all! All their treachery, and all their integrity, is manifest in thy sight : And, in persons of equal sincerity, thou discernest what renders one more fit than another, for this or that situation and service! Let it be our desire to follow Providence ourselves ; and let us pray, that God will set over all his churches pastors after his own heart, who may feed them with knowledge and understanding. (Jer. jii. 15.)

The lot is cast into the lap; but, casual as the determination 26 may seem, the whole disposal thereof is from the Lord. (Prov. xvi. 33) Let us own his hand in the determination of every circumstance which befalls us, and especially in those by which any solemn and important trust may be committed to us : And may the consideration of it be an additional engagement upon us, to discharge it with becoming diligence and entire fidelity!

SECT. III.

The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on the day of Pente

cost, with the former part of the speech which Peter made to the multitude on that great occasion. Acts II. 1.-21.

SECT

Acts II. 1.

Acts II. 1. AND when the day THE disciples of Jesus, after the choice of of Pentecost was

fully . Matthias, employed their time in devotion, • Vol. VII. 3 S

and

Acts
II. 1.

iii.

508 The Spirit in the form of cloven tongues descends upon them. SECT. and continued the same course of religious fully come, they were

we all with one accord in exercises as before, for several succeeding days. a

one place. Acts

ts And when the day of Pentecosta was completely II. 1. arrived “, that is, when the morning of the fif

tieth day after the passover was come, it being then the first day of the week, the apostles with the rest of the hundred and twenty disciples were together; and they were all assembled with the most unanimous affection in the same place, in the upper room which was mentioned 2 before, where they had used to meet. And ? And suddenly on a sudden there was a very extraordinary and there came a sound

from heaveri, as of a surprising sound from heaven as of a rushing vio- rushing mighty mind. lent wind, which shook the very place, and came and it filled all the with such a mighty force, that it filled all the house where they were

sitting. 3 house where they were sitting. And there appear."

ming. hu mere appeal 3 And there aped to them at the same time a number of di- pcared unto them vided tongues, made as it were of fire, i. e. cloren tongues, like

bright

a The day of Pentecost.] It has often been cannot signify, that the day was ended, but observed, that, as our Lord was crucified at that it was fully come, Compare Luke i. 57. one of the great Jewish feasts, it was fit that ii. 21. and see Beza in loc. he should be glorified at another. And this c Diorded tongues as of fire. This wonof Pentecost was chosen with peculiar pro- derful appearance in the form of fire, might priety, as next succeeding that of the puss- be intended to signify the quickening and over, at which Christ suffered: and also, as purifying influences of the Spirit, as well as to it was celebrated in commemoration of the illustrate John the Baptist's prediction, that giving the law from mount Sinai on that Christ should baptize with the Holy Ghost and day, (Exod. xix. 1, 11.) and as the first with fire. (Mat. iii. ll, and Luke iii. 16.) fruits were then offered and anointed, But I will not venture to affirm with Mr. (Exod. xxiii. 16, and Lev. xxiii. 17.) To Fleming, (Christol. Vol. I. p. 324,) and these answered the fuller discovery of the Elsner, Obsero. Vol. I. p. 361,) that it Gospel on this occasion, and the anointing was to signify, that the Shekinah (which the first fruits of the Christian church by the appeared in a glorious flame, surrounded effusion of the Spirit: as Brennius has well with a cloud,) was now passed from the observed. (See also Miscell Sacra. Essay I. Jews to the disciples of Jesus. Tbe Jews p. 113-115.) The solemnity of the (as Wolfius tells us,) have a tale among feast, the generalexpectation of the Messiah them, relating to the appearance of some that prevailed among them, and the length flashes of fire, which fell on an assembly of of the days, as it was about the middle of their doctors, while they were studying the summer, would, no doubt, bring great num- law; which probably was invented, to star, bers to Jerusalem at that time, who, when or imitate this important history. Bas they returned home, and reported this (Erercit. p. 67) thinks, each tongue appeargreat event, would naturally make way for ed complete, and that they are said to be di. greater regard to the apostles, when they vided, on account of the distribution that was came to the places where these people made of one to each person. But it seems, dwelt.

that the division of each might aptly repreb W'as completely arrived.] The first day sent the variety of languages, with which of unleavened bread, that is, the fifteenth each person was endowed; and some bave of Nisan, began this year on Friday even. thought that the form of the mitres worn by ing; and this was the day on which they bishops, (according to the Roman ritcal,) were to offer the wave sheaf : and from bears soine allusion to the supposed form of the morrow after that day, that is, from the these cloven tongues. It is observed by Saturday evening, they were to count seven Dr. Lightfoot and others, that as the diri weeks, or forty-nine days, which would sion of tongues at Babel once introduced bring the fiftielh, that is, the day of Pente. confusion, and was the means of casting of cost, then to begin on Saturday evening ; the Gentiles from the knowledge of the true so that on the Lord's day morning, it might Gud; so now there was a remedy provided properly be said to be fully come. See Lev. by the gift of tongues at Zion, to bring the xxiii. 15, 16. The word ruunampove sat Gentiles out of darkness into light, and to de

« FöregåendeFortsätt »