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ye hen all say unto you ho will not n shall be

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The prophecy of Moses concerning Chri st. seet. Saviour should be raised up, and should at

" length be fixed in universal dominion, and the Acts like, God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy JIL 21. prophets from the beginning of time h. 22 For Moses, the first of these prophets whose 22 For Moses truly

said unto the Fathers, writings are come down to us, has in the plain

neprar A prophet sball the est terms, described him, when he said to the Lord your Gud raise fathers in his early days i, (Deut. xvii. 15, 18, up unto you, of your

cá brethren, like unto 19. “ Surely a prophet shall the Lord your God

" me; him shall ye hear in after times raise up unto you, out of the in all things whatsofamilies of your brethren, like unto me ; him ever be shall say unto

shall ye hear and hearken to in all things what- you. 23 soever he shall say unto you : And it shall come 23 And it shall

to pass (that every soul who will not hearken to come to pass, thet that prophet, and be obedient to him, shall be every

not hear that prophet, cut off from among the people without mercy , shall be destroyed from and be made an example of the severest punish- among the people. ment due to snch aggravated and ungrateful

ooded
24 rebellion.
those that w

24 Yea, and all the Yea, and those that succeeded

prophets from Samuel, Moses, even all the prophets from Samuel', and those that folios and those that follow after, as many as spoke any after, as many as bave thing largely concerning the future purposes

foretold of these days. and schemes of divine Providence, have also foretold these important days, which, by the singular favour of God to you, ye are now so

happy as to see. 25 Let us now, therefore, solemnly intreat you to 5 years the child. regard and improve these declarations in a be

coming

ul which will

spoken bave Lil ewise

ren

1 From the beginning of time. 1 See note b dreadful consequence of their infidelity, on Luke i. 70. Vol. VI. p. 47.

in the very words of Moses, their favourite i Moses said to the fathers.] This quota- prophet, out of a pretended zeal for whom tion from Deut. xviii. 15. & seg. docs in its they were ready to reject Christianily, and primary sense refer to the Messiah, as Di. to attempt its destruction, See above, Bullock and Mr. Jeff ry have excellently sect. 4. notc k. p. 519. shewn; he being, like Moses, not only a T All the prophets from Samuel.] As prophel, but a saviour, and a largiver too. Samuel is the earliest prophet next to MoOn this scripture does Limborch chicflyses, whose writings are come down to us, build in that noble controversy of his with and as the books which go under his name, Orubio, most justly called Amica Collatio and were probably begun by his pen, speak cum erudito Jude, which not only contains very expressly of the Messiah, 1 Sam. ii a variety of beautiful, and some of thein 10. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3--5 ) nothing can be very uncommon arguments, but is also more unnecesary, and hardly any thing on both sides so fine a model of a genteel more unnatural, tban to draw an argument and amicable mauner of debating the most from this passage to support the notion of momentous question, as it would have been Samuel's being the author of the Pentateuck much for the credit of their religion and of which many texts in the Old and New Testhemselves, if all other advocates for tament seem most directly to contradict. Christianity had followed. Justin Martyr's See Lord Barrington's Essay on Par.Dishen. Dialogue with Trypho is written with much sat. Appendir, No. ii. It would be trifling of the same decent spirit, though by no to argue from this expression of all the promeaus with equal compass and solidity of phets, that every one of them, and partthought.

larly Jouab and Obadiah, must have said k Shall be cut off from among the people.] somewhat of the Messiah. It is abundantly One cannot imagine a more masterly ad- sufficient, that it is true of the prophets in dress than tbis, to warn the Jews of the general.

m T. m To you first.) Accordingly the gospel SY TW amp *250*, &c. And I choose was (by the astonishing grace of our blessed it, because it is plain, (as Orobio with his Redeemer) every where offered first to the usual sagacity objects to Limborch,) that Jews. Had it becn otherwise, humanly Christ did not in fact turn every one of them speaking, many who were converted in fron their iniquitics, though it must be this method might have been exasperated allowed, that he took such steps as were and lost.

vii.

his son

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As children of the covenant, Jesus was first sent to them. 535 ren of the prophets, coming manner : for you have peculiar obli. Sect. and of the covenant motions to do it as wou are the child which God made with sa

gations to do it, as you are the children of the our fathers, saying prophets, and of the covenant which God constitu- A

Acts unto Abraham, And ted of old with our fathers, saying to Abraham III. 25. in thy seed shall all ,

again and again, (Gen. xii. 3. xviii. 18. xxii. the kindreds of the a earth be blessed. 18.) And in thy seed shall all the families of the

26 Unto you first earth be blessed.And accordingly this 26 God baving raised up Messiah who was promised as so extensive and him to bless you, in

in universal a blessing, has sprung from him ; and turning away every to you first “, God having raised up his child one of you from his Jesus, from the loins of this pious patriarch, iniquities.

has sent him with ample demonstrations of his
divine mission, lately in his own person, and
now by our ministry and the effusion of his
Spirit, to offer pardon and salvation to you, and
to bless you, every one of you turning from your
iniquities o; in which, though by profession you
are God's people, you have been so long in-
dulging yourselves; nor are the vilest and most
aggravated sinners among you excepted from
the grace of such an invitation. Let it there-
fore be your most solicitors care, that this
gracious message may not be addressed to you

in vain.

IMPROVEMENT.

HAPPY the minister whose beart is thus intent upon all oppor. Ver. tunities of doing good, as these holy apostles were! Happy that 12 faithful servant, who, like them, arrogates nothing to himself, but centres the praise of all in him who is the great source from whom every good and perfect gift proceeds! Happy the man who 13 is himself willing to be forgotten and overlooked, that God may be remembered and owned ! He, like this wise master builder, will lay 15 the foundation deep in a sense of sin, and will charge it with all its aggravations on the sinner, that he may thereby render the tidings of a Saviour welcome; which they can never be till this burden has been felt. Yet will he, like Peter, conduct the charge

with

verv proper for that purpose: and the verEvery one of you turning from your ini- sion seems farther preferable, as the apostle quities.] That is, All those of you that knew, that the Jews would in fact reject the turn from sin, shall be intitled to his bless gospel, and bring destruction on themselves sing. This, which is just equivalent to as a nation by that means, Beza's, seems a natural version of the words

vii,

536 The Priests and Sadducees lay hold on Peter and John. SECT. with tenderness and respect, and be cautious not to overload even

the greatest offender. Ver. We see the absolute necessity of repentance, which therefore is 19 to be solemnly charged upon the consciences of all who desire

that their sins may be blotted out of the book of God's remembrance, and that they may share in that refreshment which nothing but the sense of his pardoning love can afford. Blessed souls are they who have experienced it; for they may look upon all their

present comforts as the dawning of eternal glory; and having seen 20, 21 Christ with an eye of faith, and received that important cure,

which nothing but his powerful and gracious name can effect, may be assured that God will send him again to complete the work he has so graciously begun, and to reduce the seeming irregularities of the present state into everlasting harmony, order, and

beauty. 18 In the mean time, let us adore the wisdom of his providence,

and the fidelity of his grace, which has over-ruled the folly and

wickedness of men, to subserve his own holy purposes, and has 22 accomplished the promises so long since made of a prophet to be

raised up to Israel like Moses, and indeed gloriously superior

to him, both in the dignity of his character and office, and in the 26 great salvation he was sent to procure.—This salvation was first

offered to Israel, which had rendered itself so peculiarly unworthy 15 by killing the Prince of life. Let us rejoice that it is now pub

lished to us, and that God has condescended to send his Son to bless us sinners of the Gentiles, in turning us from our iniquities. Let us view this salvation in its true light, and remember that if we are not willing to turn from iniquity, from all iniquity, from those iniquities that have been peculiarly our own, it is impossible we should have any share in it.

u both in the dias sent to prored itself so

SECT. VIII.
The two apostles being seized by order of the Sanhedrim, and

examined by them, courageously declare their resolution of going
on to preach in the name of Jesus, notwithstanding their severest
threatnings. Acts IV. 1-22.

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Acts the mhe opportunihat Peter

and

the

Sadducees

Acts IV. 1.

Acts IV. 1. SECT. THUS it was that Peter and John improved AND

And Wohn improved AND as they spake

unto the people, viii. 1 the opportunity of addressing themselves to the priests and the

to the multitude, who had assembled in the temple captain of the temple, IV. 1. (as we have seen before) upon occasion of the ar

. can.e upon them, miraculous cure of the lame man ; and while they were thus speaking to the people, a considerable number of the priests came upon them;

and

viii.

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The number of believers increased about five thousand. 537

and with the priests there came the captain of the sect. temple, that is, the person who commanded the

guard of Levites then in waiting a ; and the Sad- A 2 Being grieved that ducees also joined with them: For this sect IV. 2. they taught the people, of men were greatly exasperated against the and preached through Jesus the resurrection apostles, being peculiarly grieved that they from the dead. taught the people in the name of that Jesus whom

they had so lately put to death, and especially
that they preached the doctrine of the resurrec.
tion from the dead, as exemplified and demon.
strated in the person of ] Jesus; whose recovered
life had so direct a tendency to overthrow the
whole system of the Sadducean tenets, which
denied every thing of that kind, yea even the
existence of the soul after death, and any future

account of the actions of life. (Compare Acts 3. And they laid xxiii. 8.) And therefore, that they might 3hands on them, and put them in hold un- prevent their preaching any more, they laid to the next day : for it violent hands upon Peter and John, and "seized was now even-tide. them as seditious persons, who were labouring

to incense the populace against the conduct of
their governors ; And thev committed them into
custody until the next day, that when the San-
hedriin met at the usual hour they might consult
what it was proper to do with them ; for it was
now late in the evening b, and was no fit season

to have them examined.
4 Howbeit many of But in the mean time, the disciples had the 4

he satisfaction to see, that the apostles had not la-
word, believed ; and sa
the number of the boured in vain ; for many of those, who had heard
men was about five the word preached by them, believed; and the
thousand.

number of the men became about five thousand,
including those who had been converted before,
and still attended on the instructions of the
apostles.

And

them which heard the

a The captain of the temple.] See note e many rere added to the church, it had deteron Luke xxii. 52, p. 358.

mined the sense to be, as he and others un6 It was not late in the evening 1 As derstand it: (Sec Lightioot and Whitby in Peter and John went up to the temple at loc.) But I think the use of the word three in the afternoon, this expression makes sammen here, (whereas » is used chap. i. it probable, some hours might be spent in 15.) favours the interpretation I have prepreaching to the people, and consequently, ferred. It is hardly to be thought, (unless that what we have in the former chapter is it were expre-sly asserted) that canother day only an abstract or specimen of the discour- should be so much more remarkable for its ses they held on this occasion; which I number of concerts, than that on which the suppose is generally the case, as to the Spirit descended. And, as for any arguspeeches recorded by the sacred historians, ment drawn from the probability of more as well as others.

than five thousand being converted in a your's c The number-became about five thousand, time, I must observe, that I see no proof at &c.) Dr. Benson concludes, that five thou all, that this event was a year, or eiena sand were converted on this occasion, besides month after the descent of the Spirit : nay, the three thousand mentioned before, (chap. I rather think it highly improbable the ii. 41.) Had it been said, as there, that so Sanhedrim should suffer the apostles to go on

so

pass on the morrow

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538 Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrim, and examined. SECT. And the next day there was a general assembly 5 And it came to viil of their rulers, and clders, and scribes, which

ch that their rulers, and constituted the Sanhedrim, who gathered toge- elders, and scribes, IV.5, 6. ther, and formed a court at Jerusalem: And 6 And Aunas the there was with them Annas, wbo had formerly high-priest, and Caia

phas, and John, and been the high priest, and Caiaphus also who Alexander, and as then bore that ofliced, and John, and Alexan- many as were of the dere, and as many as were of the high-priest's kindred of the high

priest, were gathered kindred', who came and joined the council together at Jerusalem. upon this occasion, 7. And having ordered the apostles to be brought 7 And when they before them, and set them ommand set them in the midst of the had set them in the in the midst of the

e midst, they asked, By assembly, (the place were criminals used to what power, or by what stand to be tried by their court,) they inquired name have ye done of them, saying, Declare to us truly, and with- this out reserve, what is the bottom of this affair? By what power, or in the authority of what nume, have you done this strange work, which has been wrought on the cripple now healed ? Is it by the art of medicine, or by magic? Or do you pretend to any prophetic mission, in attestation of which this is done?

Then

so long unquestioned in their public work; mentions him often, and tells us, among and to suppose they did not teach publiciy other things, that he adorned nine gates would be most absurd.

of the temple with plates of gold and d Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas.] silver. Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. v. cap. 5, As it seems evident, that Caiaphas was [al. vi. 6.] $ 3. the high-priest at this time, it may appear f As many as were of the high-priest's strange, that the title should be given to kindred.) Or as others render it, of the another, meiely to signify that he, that is, pontifical family. Dr. Hammond explains the Annas spoken of, was that Annas who this of the treenty-four members of the had once borne that office with great hu- Aaronic family, who presided orer the nour, and had now most of the authority, twenty-four courses: Others refer it to those, though bis son-in-law Caiaphas had the who were nearly related to Aonas and name.--I would submit it to examination, Caiaphas: But Grotius thinks that it ja. whether, placing a comma after Avyay, the cludes the kindred of those who had lately following words might not be joined, been in the office of high-priest, which TOY apylspeet nuKurday, and rendered the (he says) made them members of the Sari. high-priest also, that is, Caiophas ; though hedrim. Who were properly members of I confess the insertion of copulatites be- that council, it is extremely difficult to tween each name in the following clauses say; but I cannot think with a late learned does not favour such a version : and there- writer, (Mr. Biscoe, at Boyle's Lect. p. 79.) fore I rather incline to acquiesce in the that the presence of Alexander (though former solution ; for the illustration of statedly resident in Egypt) will prove, which, see Mr. Biscoe, at Boyle's Lect. that this was not properly the Sanhedrin, p. 6484659.

but an ertraordinary council occasionally e John and Alerander.] It is very evi- called, consisting of some who were, and dent, these were persons of great note among others who were not, of that court. It is the Jews at that time: and it is not impro- very evident, they act with authority as bable, that (as Dr. Lightfoot and others a court of judicature here, and the council, suppose) the former might be the celebrate expressly called Ewedstoy, again and again ed Rabban Jochannn Ben Zaccui, mention in the 5th chapter, (ver. 21, 27, 34, 41.) ed in the Talmud, the scholar of Hillel, and reser to the acts of this assembly as their that the latter might be the Alabarch, or own : (Compare chap. v. ver. 27, 28.) governor of the Jews at Alexandria, brother And the same word is likewise used bere to the famous Philo Judæus, and in great in this chapter, ver. 15. favour with Claudius Cæsar. Josephus

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