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which relate to controverted doctrines, the author hath Apostles, and in the writings of the fathers, he hath enmentioned in his notes ; but without examining their deavoured to settle the date of the epistle, and to explain authenticity, because of these matters the unlearned are no the state of the churches, and the character of the persons judges ; and, with respect to the learned, they may con to whom it was sent, together with the errors which it sult Mill, Wetstein, and others, who have made large was written to correct. collections of the various readings, and may judge for In the new translation, the common division of the text themselves.
into chapters and verses is retained, because the Scriptures In the larger edition of this work, the author, following have long been quoted according to that division. But, Origen's plan, hath set the common English version op- to remedy the inconveniences which that division hath ocposite to his new translation, that the reader may seo in casioned, by breaking the text, sometimes even in the what particulars they differ. And having placed the Greek middle of a sentence, the author hath prefixed to each text in a column between the two translations, the learned, chapter what he hath termed a View and Nlustration. by comparing them with the original, can easily judge to In these, the principal matters contained in the chapters which version the preference is due.
are set forth at greater length than could be done in the
commentary ; the arguments used by the inspired writers Sect. IV.–Of the Prefaces, the Illustrations prefixed for proving their positions are distinguished, their relation to the Chapters, and the Notes.
to these positions is pointed out, and the conclusion drawn
from them is shown to be just. Also because St. Paul, in It is well known that the epistles to particular churches particular, hath omitted sometimes the major proposition were written, either to correct certain irregularities into of his argument, sometimes the minor, and often the conwhich they have fallen, or to confute the errors of false clusion itself, (see Gal. iii. 20.), the author, in his illusteachers, who endeavoured to seduce them. It is equally trations, hath endeavoured to complete these unfinished well known, that the epistles to particular persons were reasonings. He hath also marked the apostle's digreswritten to direct them in the discharge of the offices as- sions, mentioned the purposes for which they are introsigned to them, and to support them under the evils to duced, and apprized the reader when he returns to his which they were exposed, while faithfully executing these main subject. Lastly, in these views, care hath been offices. Wherefore the knowledge of the state of the taken to show how the apostle's reasonings may be apchurches, and of the characters of the persons to whom plied, for defending the Jewish and Christian revelations the epistles were addressed, and of the erroneous doc- against the cavils of infidels. trines which prevailed in the first age, must be of great Opposite to the new translation, the author hath placed use in studying the epistles. To give the reader some an interpretation, in which the translated words of the idea of these matters, the author has prefixed a preface to text are inserted, for the most part, without any alteration; each epistle, in which, from the hints given in the epistle because, in general, they express the inspired writer's itself, and from particulars mentioned in the Acts of the meaning with more energy than it is possible to do by
any words of human invention. This interpretation the lished his Greek New Testament. This industrious person, obsery. author has called a commentary, rather than a paraphrase, ing that most of the various readings found in the ancient MSS. were wanting in the printed editions, enriched his copy with
because it is commonly made, not by expressing the Wechelius's readings, and those of the Clermont Ms., and of that meaning of the text in other words, but by supplying the of Thuanus, which contains the whole New Testament except things that are necessary for showing the scope and conthan 400 years old, and of a Ms. of his own, still more ancient. All nexion of the reasoning, or by mentioning particulars these readings he placed at the foot of the pages of his own rai which the apostles have omitted, because they were well tion. But when he had proceeded half-way, having received, from known to the persons to whom they wrote, but which, at a learned friend, readings excerpted from Froben's, the Complu; this distance of time, being unknown to ordinary readers, tensian, and other approved copies, he placed thein at the end of his Greek Testament, together with some from Isaac Casaubon's must be suggested to them. These additions, being pronotes on the gospels, and from the Hervagean edition. us, that he proposed afterwards to add the readings of the Alex: perly short notes intermixed with the text, for the purpose andrian Ms. and of the MS. of the Gospels and Acts, which was of explanation, are all printed in Roman characters, that Beza's; but he died in the year his New Testament came abroad. the reader may distinguish them from the text, which is About seventeen years after his death, it was reprinted, but without the readings which he intended to have added.
printed in Italics. Besides the above-mentioned, there were several other Greek As a translator of the Scriptures, the author thought Testaments, with various readings, published, of whichi Mill hath himself bound to give the true literal version of every given an account; but being of less importance, it is needless to
Farther, as the text of the New Testament passage, according to the best of his judgment, without was settled before the Ale xandrian Ms. was brought into Europe, regarding whether it favoured or opposed his own partiand before Walton published his Polyglot, it is not necessary hero to describe either the one or the other. Mill hath given a full account
cular opinions, or any of the schemes of doctrine which of both in his Prolegomena, from whence most of the above-men
have divided the Christian world. Yet, as an interpreter, tioned particulars concerning the editions of the Greek Bible are he hath taken the liberty, in his commentary, to submit Mill, in his own noble edition of the Greek New Testament, be.
to his readers, though not always with the same assurance, sides a prodigious collection of readings, from Mss., hath noted all what in his opinion is the meaning of the passage. There the varieties which he found in the quotations from the New Tes are, indeed, some texts which he hath not ventured to ex. tunent, made by the ancient Christian writers.-- The text in lsis edition difers, in a few instances, from that which is commonly used; plain, because, though all agree in the translation of them, and in his notes, he hath proposed more alterations, chiotly on the their meaning hath been much disputed. But in the authority of the Vulgate version. Concerning these, the reader
notes he hath shown how the contending parties explain may consult Whitby's Examen, where it is shown that they are neither so well supported by MSS, as the common readings, nor them for supporting their particular tenets; and hath give so good a sense of the passages. For which reasons they are fairly represented the arguments by which they justify by no means to be admitted,
their own interpretations, without concealing any thing From the manner in which the text of the Greck New Testa. ment in common use was ascertained, every attentive reader must that seemed to be of importance on either side. And be sensible, that the learned men who employed thrinselves in that if, on some occasions, he hath leaned towards the inter
And as they were many in number, and of different senti pretation of a disputed text, given by one of the partics, ments with respect to the controverted doctrines of Christianity, the reader must not conclude that he holds the opinion no reading could be admitted from prejudice, or any particular which that interpretation is advanced to support; for the greatest number of the most ancient and best Mss. Therefore, he will find that, in explaining other texts, he hath given is the present text is not precisely the same with that which was interpretations which favour the contrary doctrine. In written by the inspired penmen, it approaches so very near to it, both cases, his only motive for approving these interprethat it well deserves to be regarded as the infallible rule of our faith and manners. See Prel. Ess. II. at the end.
tations was, that he judged them the true meaning of
mention them here.
the passages. The balancing of these seemingly opposite ed in interpreting the Scriptures, not by one sect only, passages against each other, and the application of them but by all the different sects of Christians in their turn. for the purpose of supporting a particular doctrine, or It remains, that some account be now given of the scheme of doctrine, not falling within the author's plan, matters contained in the notes. In the first place, then, he hath left it, for the most part, to theologians, with this when the author introduces the interpretations of former opinion, that the only foundation on which the doctrines commentators, he commonly mentions in the notes the of revelation can be securely built is the Scriptures, proofs by which they support their interpretations; hopunderstood in their plain grammatical meaning. And ing they may be of use, even to the learned, by bringing therefore, in all cases where opposite doctrines have been things to their remembrance which otherwise, perhaps, founded, not on one or two, but on a number of texts, they might not have recollected. In the second place, according to their unconstrained meaning, the one class as the Christian revelation is founded on the Jewish, and of texts ought not, by forced criticism, to be turned from is the completion of it, the apostles, in explaining the their plain grammatical meaning, to make them accord doctrines of the gospel, have not only used the language with the scheme of doctrine built on the other class. of the Jewish Scriptures, but have frequently quoted or For it will be found, that these seemingly inconsistent alluded to particular passages in them. Wherefore, that texts speak of persons and things of whose existence we ordinary readers may understand the Scripture phraseare not able to judge. So that the things said concern- ology, which, in many particulars, is very different from ing them in the Scriptures, which appear inconsistent, the language of the European nations, and discern the may all be true, though we are not able to reconcile them propriety of the apostle's reasoning, the author, in his with each other. And as, in natural religion, there are notes, hath explained the peculiarities of that phraseology, facts discovered to us, by reason and experience, from and hath transcribed the passages of the Old Testament which seeiningly contradictory conclusions may be drawn, at full length, of which a few words only are quoted, or both of which we must believe though we are not able which are alluded to indirectly, that the reader, who is to reconcile them, why may not the seemingly inconsis- supposed by the apostles to be well acquainted with the tent facts made known in the Scriptures be received as Scriptures, having the whole passage under his eye, may true, upon the testimony of God, though we cannot re be sensible of the justness of the reasoning. In the third concile them with each other? Wherefore it is no ob- place, as the manners, opinions, proverbs, and remarkable jection to the plain grammatical interpretation of the sayings, not only of the Jewish prophets and wise men, Scriptures, that it gives them the appearance of inconsis- but of the sages of other ancient nations, are mentioned or tency. If that appearance is in the Scriptures them- alluded to by the sacred writers, these also are explained selves, why should it be concealed, either in the transla- in the notes ; that what is only a proverb, or an allusion tion or in the interpretation ? A translator or an inter- to some known fact or saying, may not be interpreted preter of the sacred oracles will certainly show, not only as a doctrine or prediction, contrary to the intention of greater honesty and candour, but will even come nearer the sacred writers. Examples of this kind of allusion to the truth, when he suffers their real aspect to remain, are, Matt. ii. 45. X. 39. ; Luke xxiii. 31. In the fourth than if, for the purpose of establishing particular doc- place, as often as an uncommon interpretation is given trines, or for reducing every thing in revelation to the of any passage, the author, in the notes, hath endeavourmeasure of human conceptions, he attends only to one ed to support it, by its agreement with the context, and class of texts, and, by forced criticism, turns all the ope with the apostle's design in writing ; by parallel passages; posite texts from their plain grammatical meaning to ar- by criticisms on the language, especially those containtificial senses which they do not admit without much ed in Essay IV.; by the established rules of interpretastraining: a practice* which hath been too much follow- tion; hy arguments drawn frorn common sense ; and
sometimes by the opinion of former commentators, both Strained criticisms, for the purpose of establishing particular ancient and modern, whose judgment is justly respected doctrines, the reader will find in Beza's notes on Rom. i. 4. spiritum sanctitatis,--and on ver. 17.—and on Rom. iii
. 31. --but particularly by the learned. In many instances, however, for the on Rom. iv. 3. where, to prevent us from thinking that faith is count sake of brevity, neither the translation, nor the interpreed to believers for righteousness, Beza affirms that the phrase, tation, though uncommon, is supported by any particu* Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteous. ness,' is an hypallage, for righteousness was counted to Abraham by faith ;' and strongly contends, that that righteousness was 'the ofthe law,' namely, to perfect obedience, 'might be fulfilled in us.' righteousness of Christ ;' contrary to all the rules of grammar, and By this translation Beža meant to establish his favourite doctrine, to the plain sense both or Moses and Paul's words, which declare, as that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers in such a expressly as it is possible for words to declare, that the thing count. manner, that all which the law required from them is fulfilled in ed to Abrahain was his believing God.' See also his notes on Roin. them, so that they become thereby perfectly righteous.-Rom. xi. ix throughout.
32. Tous 3 *VT45, omnes illos; and in his note he says, electos videThe following passages Beza has mistranslated, from his too great licet, de quibus disseruit.- Titus ii. 11. Nlu xit autem gratia Dei saattachment to his own opinions. Acts xiv. 33. (%#POTOVMOLYTES : lutifera (= *(*) quibusris hominibus. Here all men are converted *57965 SETEUTEOUS) cumque ipsi per suffragia creassent per sin. into some men, lesi, from the just grammatical translation, any argugulas ecclesics presbyteros. According to this translation, Paul and ment should be drawn favour of universal redemption. See also Barnabas ordained persons elders, whom the churches chose by his translation of 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2.4. ; 2 Pet. ini. 3.--Heb. x. 38. Justus their suffrages. But as the word ZepOTOKOŁYT!must be construed, autem er fide ririt. Sed si quis se subdu rerit, non est gratum hot with the churches, but with Paul and Barnabas, if it be translated anima met'. In this passage, by adding the word quis, any one, per suffragia creassent, it will imply, that the elders were made by which is not in the texi, and lıy mistranslating the clause, oux sudori ihe suffrages, not of the churches, but of Paul and Barnabas; which YUMMLU EV HUT", Beza hath hidden from his readers that God supis absurd. The common translation of the passage is more just; for
poses a just inan may draw back, and thereby lose his favour, lest, 245 T Ovo signifies to nominate or appoint simply.-See Acts x. 41. from that supposition, an argument might be drawn against the per: -Rom. ii. 7. Tons seov, *x*' va ore Ostringou ryesov, 552v *** TOUR severance of the saints. 231 7038€Fixy Surovcov: lis quidem qui secundem patientem erpec
Examples of strained criticism might be produced from Calvin, tationem, quærunt boni operis glorium, &c. Here, by translating Grotius, Hammond, Limborch, Locke, Taylor, and other famed 07640X, patientem erpectationem, and by separating it from teyou commentators. But the above are all quoted from Beza, because ayn55, and joining !egou sy ruou with a stav, contrary to all rules, most of the Calvinist divines since his tinie, who have translated and Beza has represented believers as seeking the glory, honour and interpreted the apostolical epistles, and among the rest our English immortality of a good work. This forced construction and absurd translators, have followed liini too implicitly. For example, by cotranslation, he has adopted, not to remove any difficulty, but to pre. pying Beza, as be copied the Vulgate, our translators have rendered vent, as it would seem, his readers, from supposing that persere their version in the following passages, unintelligible :- 2 Cor. iv. 3. rance in good works is necessary to the obtaining of glory, honour, 'It is hid to them ibat are lost. 4. In whom the god of this world
hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.' But what idea and immortality.-Rom. v. 16. To jev gap xpof* IVOS: Num rea. tus quidem esl es una offensa: "For the guilt indeed is of one canany reader form of Satan's blinding the minds of them who be. offence, to condemnation.' By this translation, Beza makes the lieve not, in other persons who are lost ?-2 Cur. v. 2. Desiring to apostle affirm, that all Adam's posterity are actually guilty of his first be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. 4. Not for transgression; and, on that account, are liable to eternal death. But that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon.' But 'to be clothed that doctrine is not taught in this passage; for I know no text in upon with a house,' is a jumble of metaphors, which no ordinary which pora signifies (reatus) guill.-Rom. viii. 4. (ivu To 81***00 € * reader can understand. See also Rom. i. 17 ; 1 Cor. vii. 36.; Heb. Tou vopov : Ut jus illud legis compleatur in nobis.) "That that right ix. 15.
lar proof; because it was supposed, that, to the learned, posed, nor even from the decrees of councils, whether both would clearly appear from the original itself; and general or particular, that the genuine doctrines of the to the unlearned from their giving a better sense of the gospel are to be learned, the study of these writings is the passages than that found in the common versions and most profitable work in which any man can be employed, paraphrases. In the fifth place, instead of entering into especially if he be a teacher of religion ; and the right theological controversies, the author, judging it more for understanding of them is the best of all acquisitions, the reader's profit, hath in the notes shown how the im- The person, therefore, who puts it in the power of others portant sentiments contained in the word of God may be to attain their true meaning, whether it be by faithfully improved for forming men's tempers and manners. translating them into a known language, or by rightly Lastly, In the notes, the author hath displayed the beau- interpreting them, where they have been misunderstood, ties of some of the finest passages, by remarks on the sen- performs a work most acceptable to God, and does the liments and language.
greatest possible service to the world. In this persuaAll the different parts of the author's plan, above de- sions, the author having spent the greatest part of his life scribed, being necessary to the right explanation of the in the study of the Scriptures, now offers to the public apostolical epistles, the due execution of them hath swelled his translation and interpretation of the apostolical episthis work to a great bulk. Yet no one who knows how tles; because, notwithstanding all the light which hath many volumes have been written by critics and commen- been thrown on that part of the word of God by modern tators, for elucidating a single Greek and Latin classic, critics and commentators, many obscurities and errors, can be offended with the size of this performance. For, both in the translation and interpretation of these invahowever profitable the right interpretation of the writings luable compositions, still remain, which the friends of of the celebrated authors of Greece and Rome may be, revelation, who are qualified for the undertaking, should to those who take a delight in polite literature, it is a endeavour to correct. The author flatters himself, that, matter of small importance, in comparison with the right by rectifying the translation in many places, and by otlerinterpretation of the oracles of God, by which the faith ing interpretations different from those commonly given, and morals of mankind are to be regulated. However, he hath successfully removed some of the former diffithat this publication might not be needlessly swelled, the culties; and makes no doubt, but, by the diligence and author hath, to the best of his judgment, shunned every skill of those who shall succeed him, the difficulties which thing trifling. And that the same remarks might not be remain will, in time, receive a satisfactory solution. (See repeated, he hath, as often as it was necessary, referred Essay I. at the end.) The prejudice, therefore, which the reader to the places of the work where they are to be is taken up by many in the prese age, that such writfound. When the interpretations and remarks of otherings on the Scriptures as may yet be published can concommentators are introduced, such only are mentioned tain nothing of moment but what hath been advanced as are accompanied with some degree of probability. And before, is groundless, and of most pernicious consequence, both in giving his own interpretations and the interpre- as it puts a stop to all farther inquiry. The Scriptures tations of others, the author hath studied brevity. With being not yet fully understood, they ought to be dilithe same view, he hath endeavoured, in general, to ex. gently searched, that the treasures of divine knowledge, clude from his style, tautology, synonymous epithets, and which lie hid in them, may be brought to light. What circumlocution. And, that what he hath written may be the author hath said or insinuated in this preface, conunderstood at the first reading, he hath all along aimed cerning the things he hath done for the explanation of at simplicity, perspicuity, and precision in his style.- the apostolical epistles, hath been said, perhaps, with too Many Greek words, it is true, and phrases, are intro- much confidence. But as he is perfectly sensible that duced, especially in the notes. But these being placed his opinion of his own work will have no influence on as parentheses, to shew that the sense of the sentences the judgment of the public, the things which he hath said where they occur is complete without them, they can oc can only be meant to draw the attention of the learned, casion no difficulty to any reader. They are inserted to whom it belongs to determine, whether he bath exefor the sake of persons skilled in the Greek, to whom cuted the several parts of his plan in the manner proposed the author appeals for the justness of his critical remarks. by him; and whether his discoveries, if he hath made any, And although the unlearned cannot judge of such mat- ought to be approved and received, or disapproved and ters, he hopes it will be some proof, even to them, that rejected. To their examination, therefore, he submits his remarks are well founded, if the alterations in the the whole, and waits for their decision with respect. In translation, and in the interpretation which they are de- the mean time, he commits his performance to God, in signed to support, make the Scriptures more plain to them whose hand all things are ; with fervent prayers that he than they were before, and if they afford a clearer view of would be pleased to make it subservient to his own glory, the sentiments and reasonings of the inspired writers. and to the good of his church. And if, in any degree,
To conclude ; As it is ultimately from the Scriptures, it contributes to promote these great ends, he will rest and not from creeds and systems, by whomsoever com- contented, as having received an ample reward.
beit, when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you Oj the commission given by Christ to his Apostles ; and into all truth. From this it is evident, that while on
earth Jesus did not declare the whole doctrines of the of the power by which he fitted them for executing that commission ; and of the nature and authority of their gospel, but left them to be revealed by the Holy Ghost, writings.
to the persons who, after his departure, were to make
them known to the world. In this method of revealing The Lord Jesus before his death spake in this manner the gospel, there was both dignity and propriety. For to his apostles-John xvi. 12. 'I have yet many things to the Son of God came from heaven, not to make the gossay to you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13. How- pel revelation, but to be the subject of it by doing and
suffering all that was necessary to procure the salvation the following promises :—John xiv. 16. I will pray the of mankind.
Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he But, although it was not our Lord's intention to make may abide with you for ever. 17. Even the Spirit of a complete revelation of the gospel in person, he occa truth; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 26. sionally delivered many of its doctrines and precepts in The comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Fathe hearing of his followers, that, when the persons com ther will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, missioned by him to preach the gospel in its full extent and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I executed their commission, the world, by observing the have said unto you: And, John xvi. 13. • will guide perfect conformity of their doctrine with his, might en you into all truth : Besides bringing to your rementertain no doubt of their authority and inspiration, in brance the things I have said to you, he will give you the those farther discoveries which they made concerning the knowledge of the whole gospel scheme. And, because matters of which Christ himself had spoken nothing. many of the doctrines of the gospel were darkly revealed,
The Son of God, in prosecution of the purpose for and many of the particulars of Christ's life were in diverso which he took on him the human nature, came to John manners foretold in the writings of Moses and the proat Jordan, and was baptized. To this rite he submitted, phets, Jesus opened the understanding' of his apostles, not as it was the baptism of repentance, for he was per * that they might understand the Scriptures;' Luke xxiv. fectly free from sin, but as it prefigured his dying and 15. rising again from the dead, and because he was, on that Having in this manner educated and prepared the occasion, to be declared God's beloved son by a voice twelve, Jesus, before his ascension, declared to them the from Heaven, and by the descent of the Holy Ghost purpose for which he had called them to attend him during upon him, in the view of the multitudes who were as his ministry, and explained to them their duty as apostles. sembled at John's baptism.
Acts i. 8. Ye shall be witnesses unto me in JerusaHaving received these miraculous attestations, Jesus lem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utbegan his ministry ; and from that time forth showed him- termost parts of the earth.' Then gave them their comself to Israel as their long-expected deliverer, and, in the mission in the following words: Mark xvi, 15. “Gio hearing of the people, spake many discourses, in which ye, therefore, and teach all nations. He that believeth he corrected the errors of the Jewish teachers, and ex- and is baptized shall be saved : But he that believeth plained many of the doctrines and precepts of true reli- not shall be damned.' And that the things which they gion. And while he thus employed himself, he cone should teach might gain entire credit, in addition to what firmed his doctrine, and proved himself to be the Son of he had promised formerly, (Luke xxi. 15. “Behold I God, by working great miracles in all parts of Judea, will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adand even in Jerusalem itself. But the chiefs of the Jews, versaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist), he now envying his reputation with the people, laid hold on him, told them, Luke xxiv. 29. Behold I send the promise and condemning him for calling himself the Son of God, of my Father upon you. But tarry ye in the city of Jeconstrained Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, to put rusalem, until ye be endowed with power from on high.' him to death. But whilst the Jews, with wicked hands, And added, Mark xvi. 17. “These signs shall follow crucified Jesus, his death, by the sovereign appointment them that believe : In my name shall they cast out devils ; of God, became an atonement for the sin of the world. they shall speak with new tongues. 18. They shall take And, to wipe away the stain which the Jews endeavoured up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall to fix on Jesus as a deceiver, by putting him to death, not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick, and God raised him from the dead on the third day, accord- they shall recover. 19. So, then, after the Lord had ing to Christ's own prediction, and thereby declared him, spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and in the most illustrious manner, his son. After his re sat on the right hand of God.' Such was the commissurrection, Jesus showed himself alive to many witnesses ; sion which Christ gave to his apostles, and such the superand, having remained on earth forty days, a sufficient natural powers which he promised to bestow on them, to time to prove the truth of his resurrection, he ascended fit them for executing it with success. into heaven, in the presence of his disciples, who were But one of the apostles, Judas by name, having fallen assured, by the attending angels, that he would return from his office by transgression, the eleven judged it nefrom heaven in like manner as they had seen him go cessary to supply his place; and for that purpose chose away ; namely, at the end of the world.
Matthias by lot. In this, however, they acted not by the
direction of the Holy Ghost, for he was not yet given to I. The illustrious display just now described, which them, but merely by the dictates of human prudence, Jesus made on earth of his glory as the Son of God, by which on that occasion seems to have carried them too his virtues, his miracles, his sufferings, his resurrection, far. No man, nor body of men whatever, could, by and his ascension, was intended, not solely for the people their designation, conser an office, whose authority bound before whom it was exhibited, but for all mankind. And, the consciences of all men, and whose duties could not therefore, that the knowledge of it might not be confined be performed without the gifts of inspiration and mirato the Jews, but spread through the whole world, and cles. To ordain an apostle belonged to Christ alone, continued in it to the end, Jesus, in the beginning of his who, with the appointment, could also give the supernaministry, chose twelve of his disciples, and ordained them tural powers necessary to the function. Some time, thereto be with him, that they might hear all that he should fore, after the election of Matthias, Jesus himself seems speak, and see all that he should do for the salvation of to have superseded it, by appointing another to be his mankind; and that, as eyewitnesses of these things, they apostle and witness in the place of Judas. In the choice might report them to the world, with every circumstance of this new apostle, Jesus had a view to the conversion of of credibility. These witnesses Jesus named apostles, or the Gentiles; which, of all the services allotted to the persons sent forth by him, and appointed them to bear apostles, was the most dangerous and difficult. For the that name always, that when they published his history, person engaged in that work had to contend with the bare witness to his resurrection, and preached salvation to heathen priests, whose office and gains being annihilated them who believed, all might be sensible that they acted by the spreading of the gospel, it was to be expected that by commission and authority from him. And, to pre- they would oppose its preachers with an extreme rage. vent any error that might arise in the execution of this Ho had to contend, likewise, with the unbelieving Jews office, from the failure of their memory, he made them living in the heathen countries, who would not fail to
inflame the idolatrous multitude against any one who of preaching the gospel to all nations. These, by their should preach salvation to the Gentiles, without requiring commission and illumination, being authorized to direct them to obey the law of Moses. The philosophers too the religious faith and practice of mankind, it was of great were to be encountered, who, no doubt, after their man- importance to the world to know, with certainty, who ner, would endeavour to overthrow the gospel by argu- they were to whom that bigh honour belonged. 'To give ment; whilst the magistrates and priests laboured to de us, therefore, full assurance in this matter, three of the stroy it, by persccuting its preachers and abettors. The writers of our Lord's history, by the direction of the difficulty and danger of preaching to the Gentiles being Spirit, have not only recorded his election of the twelve 80 great, the person who engaged in it certainly needed an to the apostolic office, but each hath given a separate cauncommon strength of mind, a great degree of religious talogue of their names and designations. zcal, a courage superior to every danger, and a patience of It is to be remarked, however, that notwithstanding labour and suffering not to be exhausted, together with the highest measures of inspiration and miraculous powers much prudence, to enable him to avoid giving just offence were bestowed on the apostles, they did not all possess to unbelievers. Besides these natural talents, education these gifts in an equal degree. This we learn from Peter, and literature were necessary in the person who attempted one of the number, who tells us, 2 Peter iii. 15. that to convert the Gentiles, that he might acquit himself with Paul wrote his epistles according to the wisdom given propriety, when called before kings and magistrates and to him.' This Paul likewise has insinuated by calling men of learning. All these talents and advantages Saul Peter, James, and John, pillars, Gal. ii. 9. and chief of Tarsus possessed in an eminent degree; and being a apostles, 2 Cor. xi. 5; xü. 11. Add, that if all the violent persecutor of the Christians, his testimony to the apostles possessed the gifts of inspiration and miracles in resurrection of Jesus would have the greater weight when an equal degree, it will be difficult to understand how it he became a preacher of the gospel. Him, therefore, the has happened that only six of the twelve have written the Lord Jesus determined to make his apostle in the room revelations which were made to them, and that, while the of Judas; and for that purpose he appeared to him from preaching and miracles of those who are called chief heaven, as he journeyed to Damascus to persecute his apostles are recorded by Luke in his history of the Acts, disciples. And having convinced him of the truth of his nothing is said of the preaching and miracles of the rest ; resurrection, by thus appearing to him in person, be com which is the more remarkable, as the miracles and preachmissioned him to preach his resurrection to the Gentiles, to- ing of some of the inferior ministers of the word, such gether with the doctrines of the gospel, which were to be as Stephen and Philip, are there particularly related. made known to him afterwards by revelation ; saying to The apostles, it would seem, had different parts assigned him, Acts xxvi. 16. 'I have appeared to thee for this pure to them by Christ, and were qualified, each for his own puse, to make thee a minister and a witness, both of these work, by such a measure of illumination and miraculous things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the power as was requisite to it. May we not therefore supwhich I will appear unto thee; 17. Delivering thee from pose, that the work allotted to the apostles who have left the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send nothing in writing concerning our religion, was to bear thee; 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from witness to that display which their master made of his darkness,' &c. Such was the commission which Jesus in own character as the Son of God, by bis miracles and person gave to Saul of Tarsus, who afterwards was called resurrection; and to publish to the world those revelaPaul; so that, although he had not attended Jesus during tions of the gospel doctrine which were made to them in his ministry, he was, in respect both of his election to the common with the other apostles ? So that, being favoured office, and of his fitness for it, rightly numbered with the with no peculiar revelation which merited to be commitapostles.
ted to writing, they discharged the apostolical office both II. The apostles being ordered to tarry in Jerusalem, honourably and usefully, when they employed themselves till they were endowed with power from on high, they in testifying to the world Christ's resurrection, together obeyed their master's command ; and on the tenth day with the things they had heard him speak, and seen him after his ascension, which was the day of Pentecost, hap. do, while they attended on him; especially if, as tradition pening to be assembled in one place, with other disciples, informs us, they sealed their testimony concerning these to the number of about a hundred and twenty ; Acts ii. matters with their blood. 2. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a The apostles having received their commission to mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where preach the gospel to all nations, and being furnished with they were sitting. 3. And there appeared unto them inspiration and miraculous powers for that purpose, went cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of forth and published the things which concern the Lord them : 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, Jesus, first in Judea, and afterwards among the Gentiles ; and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave and, by the miracles which they wrought, persuaded great them utterance.' The Spirit manifested his presence with multitudes, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles, to bethe disciples, by enabling them to speak fluently a variety lieve the gospel, and openly to profess themselves Christ's of foreign languages, of which, till then, they were utterly disciples, notwithstanding by so doing they exposed themignorant. By this, his first gift, the Holy Ghost pre- selves to sufferings and to death. It is evident, therefore, pared our Lord's witnesses to preach his sufferings and that the world is indebted to the apostles for the complete resurrection to all nations, agreeably to their commission, knowledge of the gospel scheme. Yet that praise is due without being obliged to wait till they learnt to speak the only to them in a subordinate degree ; for the Spirit, who languages of the nations to whom they were sent. By revealed the gospel to the apostles, and enabled them to this gift, likewise, the disciples were enabled immediately confirm it by miracles, received the whole from Christ. to publish those farther revelations of the gospel doctrine He therefore is the light of the world, and the Spirit who which the Spirit was afterwards to make to them, accord- inspired the apostles shone on them with a light borrowing to Christ's promise.
ed from him. So Christ himself hath told us, John xvi. Although, on the memorable occasion above mentioned, 13. When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide all the hundred and twenty disciples were filled with the you into all truth ; for he shall not speak of himself
, but Holy Ghost, his gifts were bestowed more abundantly on whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak, and he will the apostles, who had accompanied Jesus during his mi- shew you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me; nistry on earth. and who were made his witnesses, for the for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. purpose of testifying his sufferings and resurrection, and 15. All things that the Father hath are mine; there