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Julian Pe- of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and say- Joppa and riod, 4753. ing unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is
(d) Ant. l. 14. vii. ap. Lardner, vol. v. p. 501. (e) poboúμevoi scil.
πроσηAUTо, ii. 10. Proselytes. This name was given also to those
ἄνδρες εὐσεβεῖς, x. 2. 7.
φοβούμενοι τὸν θεὸν, x. 2. xiii. 16. 26.
σεbоμévoι πρоońλUTOL, xiii. 43. worshipping proselytes.
σεβομένοι τὸν Θεὸν, xviii. 7.
πробεрXÓμεVOL T☎ Oɛ@, ii. xi. 5. ad Deum accedentes. This is the name proselyte, a little changed.-Macknight Ep. vol. vi. p. 311. (ƒ) Hale's Analysis of Chronol. vol. ii. part ii. 1198. (g) De Jure Nat. et Gent. lib. ii. ap. Witsii Ægyptiaca, lib. iii. cap. xiv. sect. 9. Summa demum est, actus omnimodos, qui viciniorum gentium idololatriam ejusve ritus omnino saperent, aut imitari viderentur, tametsi idoli cultus procul abesset, ex Jure interveniente, non vero communi seu naturali, Proselytis domicilii, ut ex civili Israelitis, interdictos. (h) Egypt. lib. iii. cap. xiv. sect. ix. p. 226, &c. (i) On the Laws of Moses, vol. iii. p. 64. (k) Observ. Sacræ, vol. ii. p. 47. (1) In the Critici Sacri. (m) Calmet. Art. Proselyte-PTY and an. (n) Lightfoot, Harm. of the N. T. vol. i. p. 286. (o) Whitby, Hammond, &c. &c. (p) Danzius, in his treatise Cura Hebræorum in conquirendis Proselytis, apud Meuschen Nov. Test. ex Talmude, p. 668. (4) Schoetgen Hora Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 454. Quamvis Judæi (says Schoetgen,) de proselytis non tam bene sentirent, prout ex scriptis eorundum hinc inde constat, Deus tamen eosdem charos habuit et præclara sæpe de iisdem testatus est. Ratio ejus rei est, quod Israelitæ multa et maxima miracula Dei viderant, et tamen fidem ipsis habere nolebant: proselyti contra, qui ipsi miraculorum divinorum testes non erant, et eis tamen fidem adhibere non detrectarunt. Hinc illa nomina quibus in his actis insigniuntur: dicuntur enim evλabeîç, c. ii. 5. viii. 2. σɛbóμevo; c. xiii. 43. 50. xvi. 14. PoboúμevoL TOY Dɛòv, b. x. 2. xii. 16. 26. Ipsi tamen Judæi nonnunquam claro veritatis lumine convicti veritatem quoque ducta sacrarum litterarum confessi sunt: quorum pertinet locus in Bammidbar Rabba, sect. viii. fol. 196. 4. ast verba Psalm cxlvi. 9. Dominus custodit peregrinos: Multus est Deus in custodia ipsorum ne a se recedant. Grati Deo sunt proselyti nam Scriptura eosdem sæpenumero Israelitis æquiparat, q. d. Jesa 41. 8. Et vos Israel servus meus et Jacob, &c. De Israelitis dicitur, quod Deus illos amet Malach. i. 2. Dilexi vos, dicit dominus: idem de proselytis, Deuter. x. 18. Et amat proselytum, ut det ipsi panem et vestes. (r) Vol. x. p. 155. sect. 14. (s) Graves on the Pentateuch, vol. i. p. 237.
ARE RECEIVED INTO THE CHURCH-CHAP. X.
Julian Pe- by the sea-side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to Joppa and riod, 4753. do. Vulgar Æra, about 40.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten : but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 2,
2 In that admirable collection of tracts which compose the thirteenth volume of the Critici Sacri, the reader will find a dissertation on the vision of St. Peter by Bernard Duysing. The whole of this discussion is well worthy of perusal. After examining many critical points, he gives the following explanation of the principal circumstances of the apostle's vision.
The word σKεvoç, vessel, which corresponds with the Hebrew , denotes every kind of vessel, and it is interpreted therefore by the word o0óvn, sheet, or any thing woven from flax. Camerarius would render the werd 60óvn by Mappa, a table napkin-Daniel Heinsius, by a shepherd's bag, or sack, in which they were accustomed to put food, platters, or trenchers, and other things.
The sheet was full of four-footed and wild beasts, creeping things, or reptiles, and fowls of the air. Duysing is of opinion that every thing which is included in these various descriptions, were unclean and he strongly objects to the opinion of Hammond, that the clean and the unclean were here blended together. St. Peter was commanded from the animals before him to slay, and sacrifice and eat. If they had been mingled together, as Hammond supposes, the apostle might have selected a proper victim, and his answer would not have been correct. If it be said the clean animals were rendered unclean by contact, the Levitical law (Lev. xi.) teaches us that it was the dead body, and not the living body, that rendered unclean what was otherwise pure. The whole object of the vision was to enforce on the mind of the apostle a new doctrine, which related to the Gentiles only, and not the Jews and Gentiles together.
It was a type of the Christian Church, separated from the world, which included every kind of people.
It was bound at the four corners, signifying that the whole world should be received into the universal Church of Christ; and it corresponded with the four horns of the altar, and the oxen that supported the brazen sca, which were turned to the four quarters of the heavens.
It was not without design that the sheet descended from heaven, in the same manner, as the new Jerusalem is represented in the Apocalypse. The Church, though it exists in the world, is not of the world; it is of celestial origin. It is a kingdom which is opposed to the kingdoms of this world, which are uniformly described as wild beasts rising out of the earth, or out of the sea, aspiring to attain to heaven. Like its remarkable type the tower of Babel, which inverts the natural order of things, the
Julian Pe- 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel de- Joppa and scending unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth :
riod, 4753. Vulgar Era,
false Church has its foundation on earth, and in vain attempts
The drawing back of the sheet to heaven was designed to
The vision of St. Peter is considered in the same manner by Jones of Nayland. This act of grace, he observes, in the divine economy, was signified to St. Peter, by a new license to feed upon unclean beasts. Peter could not have entered the house of Cornelius according to the Mosaic law, which he had always observed, because it commanded the Jews to keep themselves separate from heathens in their conversation; as in their diet, they abstained from unclean beasts. But when God had mercy upon all, and the Jew and Gentile became one fold in Christ Jesus, then this distinction was set aside Mr. Jones thus explains the vision :--The living creatures of all kinds which were presented to St. Peter, were the people of all nations; the linen sheet which contained them, signified their sanctification by the Gospel; and it was knit at four corners, to shew that they were gathered together from the four quarters of the world, and brought into the Church. He further observes-The heathens were taken into the Church on condition that they should put off their savage manners, as the unclean creatures had before put off their natures, and became tame, when they were admitted into the ark of Noah, a figure of the Church. This change was again to happen under the Gospel; and the prophet foretells the conversion of the heathens under the figure of a miraculous reformation of manners in wild beasts. See Isaiah xi. 6. The moral or spirit of this law is as much in force as ever.
Commentators generally translate the words θύσον καὶ φάγε, (v. 13.) sacrifice and eat, rather than kill and eat. Adam Clarke observes-Though this verb is sometimes used to signify the slaying of animals for food, yet, as the proper notion is to slay for the purpose of sacrifice, it appears to be better to preserve that meaning here. Animals that were offered in sacrifice were considered as given to God: and when he received the life, the flesh was given to those who offered the sacrifice, that they might feed upon it: and every sacrifice had in it the nature of a covenant, and covenants were usually made by eating together on the flesh of the sacrifice offered on the occasion; God being supposed to be invisibly present with them, and partaking of the feast. The spirit of the heavenly direction seems to be this: "The middle wall of partition is now to be pulled down; the Jews and Gentiles are called to become one flock, under one shepherd and bishop of souls. Thou, Peter, shalt open the door of faith to the Gentiles, and be also the minister of the circumcision. Rise up; already a blessed sacrifice is prepared: go and offer it to God, and let thy soul feed on the fruits of his
PETER VISITS CORNELIUS-CHAP. X.
12 Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of Joppa and riod, 4753. the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls Cæsarea.
Vulgar Æra, about 40.
of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
St. Peter visits Cornelius, a Roman Centurion.
ACTS X. 17-33.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this Caesarea. vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked, whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodging there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he seek what is the cause wherefore ye have
22 And they said, Cornelius the Centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel, to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the morrow after, they entered into Cesarea.
mercy and goodness, in thus shewing his gracious design of
Duysing thus defines the trance or extasy which St. Peter fell
Julian Pe- And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together Cæsareariod, 4753. his kinsmen and near friends..
Vulgar Era, about 40.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for. I ask, therefore, for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting, until this hour: and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house; and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter: he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner, by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee: and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
St. Peter first declares Christ to be the Saviour of all, even
ACTS X. 34-43.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
There is no name given under heaven, by which men can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ. This is the truth which has been confirmed by miracles, prophecy, and other most incontrovertible evidence. So amply has this truth been demonstrated, that no speculations, or theories of our reason which clash with it, can be received; however plausible, the arguments on which they may rest. Without this belief our religion is degraded into a fine system of morality, and one half of the Scripture is useless and unmeaning.