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i.

Acts

498 Orders them to wait for the Spirit at Jerusalem.
SECT. to stay no longer with them, and they knew of rusalem, but wait for

no immediate business which they had there; ther, which, saith he,

but ordered them to wait there for the accom- ye have heard of me. 1. 4. plishment of that promise of the Father, to send

the Spirit which (said he',] you have so often,
and so lately heard from me. (See John xiv. 26.
5 Xv, 26. xvi. 7. and Luke xxiv. 49.) For John 5 For John truly
indeed baptized with water only, when he was

baptized with water;

but ye shall be bap-
sent to call men to repentance; but, as he then fized with the Holy
declared, (Mat. iii. 11,) there is a nobler bap- Ghost, not many days

hence.
tism you may expect from me; and to prepare
and furnish you for the great work to which I
have commissioned you, of preaching repen.
tance and remission of sins in my name, you
shall be baptized with an abundant effusion of
the Iloly Spirit, far beyond what you have ever
vet received: And this, I assure you, shall be
done within these few days; which proved by

the event to be but ten.
6 But now, as the appointed time was come for

6 When they there.

fore were come toge.
bis returning to the Father, Jesus withdrew with ther, they asked of
his apostles from the city, and led them out, as him, saying, Lord wilt
was observed before, unto the mount of Olives, thou at this time restore
as far as to the boundaries of Bethany. (See Israel?

again the kingdom te
Luke sxiv. 50) They therefore being
come together, full of expectation that he bad
brought them thither with a view to some
remarkable transaction, asked him, saying,
Lord, wilt thou at this time break the Roman
yoke from our necks, and after all this confu.
sion restore the kingdom to the ungrateful people
of Isruels, who have been thus shamefully

abusing

rusalem, or perhaps accompanied them & Restore the kingdom to Israel.) They
thillier, and spent his last days on earth seem to have expected, that, when the
there; doing this last honour to the place, Spirit was in so extraordinary a manner
where God had chosen to dwell, and where poured out, and the world, according to
the most solemn ordinances of his worship Christ's prediction, (John xvi. 8.) con-
were administered.

vinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judá-
i Said he.] These words, though omit- ment, the whole nation of the Jews would
ted in the original, are plainly implied. own him for the Messiah, and so not only
Raphelius (er Xen. p. 146, 147.) has pro- shake off its subjection to the Romans, but
duced many examples of such a chanze in itself rise to very extensive, and perhaps
the person speaking in the best Greek wri universal dominion. The word coxc6150

Many others ocear in the sacred avenç intimates the shattered and weakened authors. Compare Luke v. 14. Acts xvii, stnte, in which Israel now was.

And I S. xxii. 22. Gen. xxvi. 7. Deut. ï. 13, cannot but think, our Lord's answer may See also Psal. ii. 3, 6. and xci. 14. And I intimate, it should at length be restored, the rather mention it, as it inay account though it immediately, or with all the cirfor many prophecies of Christ in the Old cumstances they imagined ; which conTestament, where he is introduced as speakin cession seems the most satisfactory answer ing on a sudden, in an abrupt manner; to Rabbi Isaac's objection against Christiwhich is not so usual, especially in modern anity, from his mistaken sense of these and zoestern Writers.

words. Chissuck Emunah, Part II. p. 59.

ters.

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499.

i.

He checks their curiosity about a temporal kingdom.

abusing and crucifying thee? Is the empire of sect.
the Messiah immediately to be erected ? and
wilt thou begin it from Jerusalem ; a place Acts
that, of all upon the face of the earth, seems to 1. 6.
be the least worthy of such a distinguished ho-

nour ? thing And he said unto

But he, waving a direct answer to this curi-7 them, it is not for you ous question, and leaving it to the Spirit, which the seasons, which the was shortly to be given, to rectify the mistaken Father hath puc ia his notions on which they proceeded in it, only said own power.

to them, Cease your inquiries at present on this
head: since it is not convenient for you now to
know those times or seasons in which

many re-
markable prophecies concerning my kingdom
shall be fulfilled : For the Father has reserved
them in his own power, under his own direction
and disposal, and hath not expressly determined
them in those predictions which certify the events
themselves. And he hath taken this precau-
tion, on purpose that the minds of his people
might be kept in an humble, dependent, re-
signed frame : It will therefore be your wisdom
always to cultivate such a temper, applying
yourselves diligently to the duties of your of-

fice, and lea: ing all events to be determined by
8 But ye shall te his infinite wisdom and goodness. But for the 8
ceive power after that
the Holy Ghost is present let it suffice you to be told, that ere
come upon you ; and long, though I say not exactly when, you
ye shall be witnesses shall receive an extraordinary power of the Holy
unto me, both in Jeru- Spirit coming upon you ; and in consequence of
and in Samaria, and that, shall be abundantly qualified to be my
unto the uttermost part witnesses both in the city of Jerusalem, and in
of the earth.

all the land of Judea ; and not only so, but in
Samaria too, though you have never yet ad-
dressed yourselves to the Samaritans in any
former mission, (see Mat. x. 5. and compare
Acts viii. 5, 14, 25.) and even to the remotest
parts of the earth; the barbarous nations of
which you shall visit, with a success which
shall gloriously illustrate my Father's promise,

giving me the heathen for mine inheri-
tance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for

my possession.” (See Psalm ii. 8.) spoken these things, hands and blessed them ; (Luke xxiv. 50.) and

And having said these things, he lifted up his 9
while they beheld, be
was taken up, and a while they beheld him with great earnestness,
cloud received bim out and high expectation of some extraordinary
of their sight.

event consequent on this solemn preparation, he
was lifted up from the ground in a miraculous
manner, and rose gradually higher and higher,

till at length a bright cloud, conducted by the
Vol. VII,

3 R

ministry

of "

9 And when he had

SECT.

i.

as he

500 Having blessed thein, ascends to heaven in their sight,

ministry of angels, who joyfully attended their

returning Lord, received him out of their sight, Acts

and they saw him no more. I. 10. This inarvellous event was so astonishing to

10 And while they

looked stedfastly to-
the apostles, that they continued with their eyes wards heaven,
fixed the way that he was gone : And while they went up, behold, two
were stedfastly looking up to heaven, after him, men stood by them in

wbite apparel ;
as he went on in his triumphant ascent, behold,
two angels, in the form of men, in white anú

shining raiment, came and stood near them ;
11 Who also spake to them, and said, Ye men of 11 Which also said,
Galilee, why do ye stand thus gazing up to hea- Ye men of Galilee,

why stand ye gazing ven, with so much surprize and amazement ?

up into heaven? This
This Jesus, who is now taken up from you into same Jesus, which is
heaven, is gone to that world from whence he taken up from you into
came, and in which he is to make his final in like manner as ye
abode : Nevertheless there will be a time, have seen him go into
when he shall visit your earth once more, and heaven.
so come in a visible form, riding on a cloud as
his triumphant chariot, and attended by angelic
guards, in the same manner as you have now
beheld him going into heaven : Depart there-
fore in peace, and pursue the interest of bis
kingdom, with a firm assurance that his cause
shall prosper amidst all opposition, and that
while you are engaged in the service of this
ascended triumphant Lord, you can never be

losers by your lidelity and your zeal.
12 Then were the hearts of the apostles filled

12 Then returned

they unto Jerusalem, with joy by what they had seen and heard ; and from the mount called having worshipped their ascended Lord, (Luke Olivet, which is from xxiv. 52.) they returned to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem a sabbaththe mount called Olivet, which is but a sabbath day's journey. day's journey, or about a mile distant from Jerusalem". And there they employed themselves in a daily course of public and private devotion ; rejoicing in what they had seen, and firmly believing some extraordinary event was at hand, whereby they should be more fully qualified for the great work assigned them; which, whatever the hazard of it might be, they were firmly determined to undertake and prosecute.

IMPROVE

b A sabbath-day's journey from Jerusa. in his Sermons at Boyle's Lecture, p. 391 lem.] For the extent of a sabbath-day's —394. An elaborate and valuable work ; journey, see Luike xxiv. 52. note c. The by referring to which I shall have an opeasiest manner of reconciling this text portunity of saving myself and the reader with Luke xxiv. 50. and John xi. 18. may a great deal of trouble in these notes ; be seen in the note on the former of those which therefore I gladly take this opporpassages, &Cct. cciii.

And tunity of making my acknowledgment to it is with pleasure that I see it confirmed the worthy author. and illustrated by the learned Mr. Biscoe,

for

note a.

Rejiections on the apostles' return from mount Olivet to Jerusalem. 501

IMPROVEMENT.

SECT.

1

2,9

If we have ever seriously considered the contents of this excellent history on which we are now entering, we must surely see abundant reason to adore that gracious Providence which hath

Ver. transmitted it to us, to confirm our faith, and animate our hope in the gospel. The account of our Lord's ascension, with which it begins, relates to a fact of so great importance, that we may well bear the repetition of what we have read concerning it in the former history.

We see the apostles still dreaming of a temporal kingdom to be 6 restored to Israel: So hard is it for the best of men to be entirely crucified to the world, even by the cross of Christ ! (Gal. vi. 24.) Our Lord docs not set himself at large, to combat that error ; 7. nor is it necessary that we should be eagerly solicitous on the like occasions, where mistakes do not affect men's characters, or their eternal state. Prudently does he direct thein to wave the indulgence of their curiosity. Let us learn to moderate ours, and refer times and seasons to him who hath reserved them in his own power. Let a sense of the perfect wisdom and goodness of the Divine Being silence and compose us, amidst all the darkness which veils our prospects of futurity.

With the apostles let us look up after an ascending Saviour, and 10 send our wishes and our souls to heaven ; where he now is, and where he must remain, till that important day in which he shall descend to the final judgment. Behold, he then cometh in the 11 clouds, and every eye shall see him! (Rev. i. 7.) May we view bim to our joy, and not to our terror ! and lift up our heads with a serenity and chearfulness, becoming those who see the approach of their complete redemption ! (Luke xxi. 28.) In the mean time, may

his cause and service be ever dear to us! and while he is attending to our concerns in the world above, may we with grateful and joyful alacrity, pursue that wbich he graciously condescends to own as his interest here

upon

earth.

SECT. II.

The apostles being returned to Jerusalem, and assembled with the

rest of the disciples, Matthias is chosen to succeed Judas in the apostolic office. Acts I. 13. to the end.

Acts I. 13. А

ND when they

SECT

ii.

Acts I. 13. were come in, they NOT the apostles being returned from the

mount of Olives to Jerusalem, immediately after the ascension of Christ, as was ob- Acts

3 R2

went

I. 13,

served

11.

Acts

das

cord

502 The apostles and other disciples meet in an upper chamber. Sect. served in the conclusion of the former section ; went up into an upper when they were entered into the city) they pre- both Peter, and James

, sently retired for devotion, and went up into an and John, and Andrew, 1. 13. upper room, where they usually held their Philip, and Thomas,

assemblies. And as this was the place where the Bartholomew and Matapostles commonly abode, all the eleven were of Alpheus, and sithere, both Peter, and James, and John and mon Zelotes, and Ju

the brother of Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and

James.
Matthew, James, (the son] of Alpheus, and Simon
the Zealot, and Judas, or Jude, (the brother] of
James b. But Judas the traitor was now dead,
as was observed towards the close of the pre-
ceding history : (sect. cxciii.) and the vacancy
occasioned by his death gave

rise

to that
important business to wbich they quickly pro-

ceeded.
14 These all unanimously persevered in prayer and

14 These all con

tinued with one acsupplication, with great intenseness and ardor of

in prayer and soul, together with the pious women, who were supplication, with the formerly mentioned as attending the cross of women, and Mary the their Lord,and particularly Mary, so celebrated mother of Jesus, and

with his brethren.
as the mother of Jesus : and also with his bre-
thren and near kinsmen after the flesh, of whom
there were some other besides the apostles
whose prejudices, though once strong, were

now happily worn off. (Compare John vii. 5.)
15 And in these days, while they were waiting 15

15 And in those for the promise of the spirit Peter rising up in days Peter stood up in the midst of a full assembly of the disciples, spake ples, and said, (the

the midst of the disci. as follows: Now the number of persons o that number of the names were met together in that place, was about an together were about hundred and twenty; the greater part of the five

an hundred and twen. hundred to whom Christ had appeared, (1 Cor. xv. 6.) continuing in Galilee, during this interval between the feast of the passover and that

of pentecost. And he said, 16 () ye men that hear me this day, [and] whom 16 Men and breI regard as my brethren, in the bonds of reli

thren, gion,

ty.)

on

a Into an upper room.] I can see no Acts xx. 8.) See Bos. Exercit. p. 64, & sufficient reason for saying, as many have seq. done, that this was in the temple. (Com

'b The brother of James.] The exprespare noted,

Like xxiv. . 53.) sion in the original is ambiguous, and may Epiphanius says, it was on mount Sion, signify either son or brother : But Jude and that a Christian Church was afterwards himself expressly determines it, that he erected on the spot of ground on which it was his brother, in ver. 1. of his epistle. stood. (Sec Hammond in loc.) Perhaps c Number of persons.] It is literally the they might the rather choose it, as giving number of names; but it is well known some advantage for looking to the temple that ovopuice often signifies persons ; (See But it is plain from many other passares, Rev. iii. 4. xi. 13. and Raphel

. er Polyda that upper rooms were often large, and hit p. 297.) And it best suits the English lanfor containing a considerable number of guage, to render it so. peisous. (Compare Marks siy. 15, and

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