Page images
PDF
EPUB

phet's view, but takes it in its strictest, clearest, and most pardoned ; for she hath received of the Lord's hands important sense, and applies it according to the original double for all her sins.' The people in Babylon being design and principal intention of the prophet.”

thus assured that they were to be brought back to Judea, 10. The sixth allegorical or typical person mentioned “ the first thought," as B. Lowth observes, “ which in scripture is the prophet Jonah, whose preservation in would occur to the captives, would be the difficulty and the belly of the whale during three days and three danger of their passing through the deserts of Arabia, nights, and his being after that vomited up alive, Christ where the nearest way from Babylon to Jerusalem lay.” himself declares was a type of his own continuance in Wherefore the prophets in Babylon, to remove the fears the grave, and of his subsequent resurrection from the of the people, were ordered to assure them, that by dead: Mattxü. 39. An evil and adulterous genera- whatever road they should return, it would be made tion seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given commodious for their safe passage. And this assurance to it but the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40. For as the prophets would give them in language taken from Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's the custom of the eastern princes, who, when they were belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three about to march with their armies through difficult roads, nights in the heart of the earth.' Farther, by saying, sent pioneers before them to widen the narrow passes, to Luke xi. 30. · As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so fill up the hollows, to level the heights, and to smooth shall also the Son of man be to this generation, our the rough ways through which they were to march Ver. Lord insinuated, that as the miraculous preservation of 3. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare Jonah in the whale's belly, when related to the Nine- ye the way of the Lord ; make straight in the desert an vites, induced them to give credit to the message which highway for our God. 4. Every valley shall be exalted, he brought to them from God, so Christ's resurrection and every mountain and bill shall be made low, and the from the dead, preached to mankind by his apostles, crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places would induce many to believe on him as the Son of God: plain.' By these images the prophets intimated, that wherefore, in both these particulars, Jonah was a type of God was to march from Babylon at the head of his peoChrist.

ple, to protect them during their journey and to bring them 11. Having said thus much concerning persons, who safely into Judea. These things are more plainly expressin their natural characters, and actions, and fortunes, are ed, Isa. lii. 12. Ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by declared to have been types of future persons and events, flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of it remains to speak of events happening to the ancient Israel will be your rere-ward.” church and people of God, which by the circumstances But although this whole prophecy, in its first and liwherewith they were accompanied, are shewed to have teral meaning, evidently related to the deliverance of the been typical of greater events than were to happen to the Jews from Babylon, the application of the above cited people of God under the gospel dispensation. Now passage to the preaching of John Baptist by the evangelist concerning these I have two observations to make. The Matthew, and by our Lord himself, sheweth plainly, first is, that the things respecting the ancient people of that the prophecies concerning the deliverance of the God, which prefigured the greater things to happen to people of God from the Babylonish captivity, had a sethe people of God under the gospel dispensation, were in cond and higher meaning, of which the literal sense was some instances foretold before they happened to the an the sign. By foretelling the deliverance of the Jews cient people. My second observation is, that the pre- from Babylon, these prophecies foretold the deliverance diction of these figurative events were also predictions of of mankind from the infinitely worse bondage of sin. the events which they prefigured. Of this double sense Moreover, the command to the prophets in Babylon to of prophecy various instances might be given : Suffice comfort God's people, by announcing that their sins were it, however, to mention one instance only: namely, the pardoned, and that they were soon to be brought back deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, to their own land, was a command to the ministers of the and their restoration to the land of Canaan. These, gospel in every age to comfort penitent believers, by though natural events, prefigured the much greater and assuring them that their sins shall be pardoned, and that more important deliverance of mankind from the capti- Christ will bring them safely into the heavenly country, vity of sin, and their introduction into the heavenly Ca- (of which the restoration of the Jews to Canaan was an naan. For, in the writings of the evangelists, passages enblem and pledge), because he hath successfully reof the prophecies which foretold the deliverance from moved all obstacles out of their way. The preparation Babylon are applied to that greater deliverance. For of the way of the Lord among the Jews by the preaching example, Isa. xl. 2. 3. is said by Matthew, chap. iii. 3. of John Baptist, was fitly expressed by the voice of one and by our Lord himself, Matt. xi. 10. to have been crying in the wilderness. For, as Lowth observes on fulfilled by John Baptist's preaching in the wilderness Isaiah, p. 188. “ The Jewish church, to which John was of Judea. Yet these verses, in their first and literal mean sent to announce the coming of Messiah, was at that ing, evidently relate to the return of the Jews from time in a barren and desert condition ; unfit, without reBabylon : for Isaiah, in the end of chap. xxxix. having formation, for the reception of her king. It was in this foretold that all the riches of his palaces, which Hezekiah desert country, destitute at that time of all religious cultihad from pride shewn to the messengers of the king of vation, in true piety and good works unfruitful, that John Babylon, should be carried away to Babylon, and that was sent to prepare the way of the Lord by preaching rehis sons should be carried thither captives, and made pentance." eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon, the prophet Many other examples of prophecies might be mentioned in his xlth chapter migitated the severity of that predic. in which the return of the Jews from Babylon was foretion, by foretelling, that whilst the Jews were oppressed told, and of which passages are applied, by the writers of with the miseries of their captivity, God would order his the New Testament, to the redemption of mankind from prophets who were among them to comfort his people, the bondage of sin. But the one explained above may by assuring them that their captivity would at length suffice as a proof of what is called the double sense of come to an end; because, considering their sufferings as prophecy, in which the obvious literal sense exhibits a sea sufficient punishment for their sins as a nation, he cond and higher meaning ; so that these prophecies, prowould pardon and restore them to their own land, ver. 2. perly speaking, are true allegories. "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, Thus it appears, that the high figurative expressions in that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is the Jewish scriptures, which are so offensive to modern

ears and to minute philosophers, were occasioned by the with allegorical prophecy; for surely it made no differpoverty of the first language of mankind : that the bold- ence whether the allegory was formed on the qualities est of these figures were derived from the ancient picture- and actions of a symbol, or on the qualities and actions writing: that the symbols used in that kind of writing of a real person. In the symbolical or instituted allegave rise to the dark Egyptian allegory, which was held gory, it was shewed to be an allegory by the particulars in great estimation at the time the scriptures were writ- of which it was composed; but in the natural allegory, ten ; and that, in the early ages, mankind, whether bar- the characters and events of which it was composed do barous or civilized, were accustomed to express their not shew it to be an allegory : wherefore, before these sentiments and feelings by significant actions as well as are considered by us as allegories, or prefigurations of by significant sounds. These things considered, it can- future persons and events, we ought to be assured by not be matter either of surprise or of blame, that the some one or other of the prophets or inspired persons Jewish prophets exhorted the people and foretold future who afterwards arose, that they are allegories, otherwise events in such figurative language as to us moderns ap- they ought not to be considered as such.-By this rule, pears extravagant; or that they delivered their exhorta- the futility of those allegorical meanings which some of tions and predictions in dark allegories, formed on the the ancient fathers put on many passages of scripture qualities and circumstances of the symbols by which the will clearly appear; and the humour of finding mystical persons and nations, concerning whom they prophesied, senses in the sacred oracles, which some of the modern were denoted in picture-writing : or even that, on extra. commentators have too much indulged, will be effectually ordinary occasions, they foretold things future by what repressed. may be called a drama continued through a great length Upon the whole, the observation suggested in the beof time, in which they spake and acted things which ginning of this Essay may now be repeated with some excited the wonder of the spectators, and led them to confidence ; namely, That the high figurative language inquire what the prophets meant by them, and, when by which the Jewish scriptures are so strongly marked, explained, could not but make a strong impression upon together with the allegorical and typical senses with which their imagination. These things were all done suitably they abound, and the extraordinary things done by the to the genius and manners of the times, and were easily Jewish prophets, instead of being instances of absurdity, understood by the people for whose instruction they were and signs of imposture, are proofs of their antiquity and intended. And with respect to the persons who, in the authenticity; and even strong presumptions of the divine scriptures, are said in their natural characters and actions original of the revelation contained in these venerable to have been types of future persons and events, that writings. method of foretelling things future was of the same kind

THE

LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL,

BY WHOM THE GENTILES WERE CONVERTED,

ACCOMPANIED WITH

PROOFS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

I OFFER to the Public the history of the Apostle Paul, of extraordinary services, Acts xx. 28. His being a Rocomposed from materials furnished, partly by himself in man in the right of his father, is not the only circumhis epistles, and partly by the evangelist Luke in his book stance which shews that Saul was well born : the care of the Acts. And I do this in the persuasion, that the and expense bestowed on his education, is a proof that better we are acquainted with Paul's character and ac- his family was in opulent circumstances. tions, the more will we be disposed to acknowledge his As Saul hath termed himself an Hebrew of the Heauthority as an apostle, and to respect his writings as the brews, we may presume that the language of his family oracles of God. This, however, is not the only advan was what they then called the Hebrew. Yet having pass. tage to be derived from the knowledge of Paul's history: ed the first years of his life in Tarsus, a Greek city, it is It will establish us in the faith, by showing us in what reasonable to believe that he spake the Greek languago manner the gospel was preached at the first, both to the also, and was even taught to read it. But as to his edu. Jews and to the Gentiles; what success it met with in cation in the Greek literature I am not so certain. In the different countries where it was preached ; what suf- his sermons and writings there are traces from wbich it ferings the first preachers and the first believers endured may be gathered, that he had a general knowledge of for the sake of the gospel; and how amply it was con- the learning, the religion, the manners, and the customs firmed by the Lord, who gave testimony to the word of of the Greeks, and that he had read some of their best his grace, by the signs and wonders which he granted to authors. But whether he got that knowledge at Tarsus, be wrought by the hands of the apostles, in all the coun- in his younger years, may be doubted. He did not retries where they preached. To these advantages we may main there the time that was requisite for acquiring it, add, the use which the knowledge of Paul's history will and at Jerusalem, where he received the greatest part of be of in helping us to understand his writings, which his education, he had no opportunity of studying the make so considerable a part of the canon of scripture. Greek learning. I am therefore of opinion, that Saul's

knowledge of the Greek rhetoric and philosophy was Chap. I.Paul's Birth and Education ; his Persecution entitle him to the appellation of learned in these matters.

not acquired in Tarsus. Neither was it such as could of the Disciples of Christ ; and his Conversion.

But it was a general knowledge only, acquired by conPaul was a Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin, rightly versing with the Greeks in the different countries where descended from Abraham, the founder of the Israelitish he preached the gospel. In any other manner he cannation; in which respect he was superior to those Jews not well be supposed to have got that knowledge; bewhose parents had been converted from heathenism. Ac- cause, however capable he might be of such studies, he cording to the manner of his people, he was circumcised had no leisure, after he became an apostle, to prosecute on the eighth day after his birth, and bad an Hebrew them. Besides the greatest proficiency in the rhetoric name given him, being called Saul ; but afterward he took and philosophy of the Greeks would have been of no use the name of Paulus or Paul, in compliment to Sergius to him in the discharge of the apostolic office. For Paulus the proconsul of Cyprus, whom he converted in Christ. sent him and the other apostles to preach the his first journey among the Gentiles, Acts xiii. 7,8. Tar- gospel, not with the wisdom of words,' lest the conver. sus, the place of Saul's nativity, though not a city of sion of the world might have been attributed to the cloJudea, did honour to such Jews as were born there ; quence, knowledge, and superior abilities of the preachers, for it was the metropolis of Cilicia, and, as a place of and not to the power of God which accompanied their education, it excelled Athens and Alexandria, and all the preaching. other Greek cities where there were schools of philoso But though Saul was no proficient in the rhetoric and phy and of the polite arts. So Strabo tells us, lib. xiv. philosophy of the Greeks, he was thoroughly instructed Saul therefore had reason to boast even of the place of in the learning of the Jews. For as soon as the years of his birth, Acts xxi. 39. •I am a man which am a Jew his childhood were over, his parents sent him to Jerusalem, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city.'

to study under Gamaliel, the most celebrated doctor of his Saul's father was a Roman,* (Acts xxii. 28.), which in time, and who, for his great knowledge and virtue, 'was the provinces was a distinction highly honourable, as it had in reputation among all the people,' Acts v. 34. entitled those who possessed it to many valuable privi. According to Josephus, Ant. xx. the learning of the Jews leges and immunities. For which reason it was either consisted in the knowledge of their own laws and religion, purchased with money, or it was bestowed as the reward as contained in their sacred writings. The doctors,

therefore, employed themselves in explaining these writ..Many of the Jews enjoyed the

right of citizenship; nay, some ings to the studious youth, founding their interpretations of them were Roman knights, as we learn from Josephus, who, in describing the injustice and cruelty of Felix's government, men.

upon traditions pretended to be handed down from Modong his having crucified some Jews who were Roman knights. ses and the prophets. It is true, the doctors in some

instances perverted the meaning of the scriptures; and calling himself Christ the Son of the Blessed, this zealous by their traditions made void the commandments of God. young man may have been present. So that, having But in general the true sense of the scriptures seems to often seen Jesus, he could know whether he who apo have been preserved among the Jews by these tradition- peared to him on the road to Damascus, was really the ary explications, as may be understood from the follow- person whom the rulers at Jerusalem had put to death, ing well known facts :- 1. The apostles, especially Paul, or only an impostor who personated him. However, if in reasoning with the Jews, always proved the doctrines any one calls this conjecture in question, I will not disof the gospel by quotations out of the writings of Moses pute it with him. and the prophets. But these quotations would have been What we certainly know from the sacred history is, no proofs at all of the gospel doctrines, at least to the that when Christ's resurrection from the dead was pubJews, unless the sense put upon them by the apostles, lished in Jerusalem, the rulers were greatly offended which was their real meaning, had been the sense gene- with the preachers of that miracle; and the rather, berally put upon them by the Jews.-2. It was owing to cause they urged it as a proof that Jesus, whom God the knowledge which they had of the true meaning had raised from the dead, was the Christ, and that he of the writings of Moses and the prophets, that soine had been put to death unjustly.-- Wherefore the rulers of the more learned Jews believed on Jesus : Such stirred up some of the most zealous members of the as Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and that great foreign synagogues in Jerusalem (Proofs and Illustracompany of the priests who were obedient to the faith, tions, No. I.) to oppose them. And these zealots hapActs vi. 7.-3. Gamaliel, Saul's master, from his great pening to hear Stephen, one of the seven deacons, preach, knowledge of the scriptures, seems to have thought disputed with him. But, Acts vi. 10. • They were not well of the apostles, and of their doctrines, as is plain able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he from the counsel which he gave to his brethren of the spake. 11. Then they suborned men, which said,' in Sanhedrim, Acts v. 38. * And now, I say unto you, the hearing of the multitude before whom they disputed, Refrain from these men, and let them alone ; for and in private to the elders and scribes, We have heard if this counsel, or this work, be of men, it will come him speak blaspheinous words against Moses and God. to nought. 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot over 12. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and throw it, lest haply ye be found even to fight against the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and God.:—How perfectly Saul was educated in the know. brought him to the council. 13. And set up false witnessledge of the law of the Fathers, we learn from himself, es, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphe. Acts xxii. 3. • Born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up mous words against this holy place and the law. 14. For in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth,' whom to the perfect inanner of the law of the fathers; and was ye put to death as a deceiver, 'shall destroy this place, zealous towards God, as ye all are this day. And of his and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.' proficiency in that kind of learning he says, Gal. i. 14. While the witnesses thus bare testimony against Stephen, . And profited in Judaism above many my equals in 15. • All that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.' It traditions of the fathers.'

seems his face shone with a glory like that which beamed Saul's parents completed his education, by having him from Moses's face when he came down from the mount. taught the art of tent-making, Acts xviii. 3. In this they This miraculous testimony from God the council beheld followed the manners of the Jews, with whom it was cus all the while Stephen spake in his own defence; and from tomary to teach the youth of the highest birth some me it they might have concluded, that the things which he chanical employment, whereby, in cases of necessity, they spake were agreeable to God. Nevertheless, when they might maintain themselves without being burdensome to heard them, being cut to the heart, they ‘gnashed on him others. The benefit which Saul derived from this branch with their teeth' through rage. But Stephen was miraof his education while he preached the gospel, will be seen culously supported by a sight of the glory of God, and afterwards.

of Jesus standing on the right hand of God ;' and being In what year of his age Saul came to Jerusalem, and exceedingly affected with the sight, he told it to the counhow long he continued under the tuition of Gamaliel, is cil. But they slopped their ears, as afraid to hear things not known : But from his saying, that he spent his blasphemous, and ran upon him with one accord, and youth among his own nation at Jerusalem,' Acts xxvi. 4. cast him out of the city, and stoned him to death, calling it may be conjectured that he came thither carly in life. upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, (for he now saw him), And secir.g, in his epistle to Philemon, which is thought receive my spirit.' to have been written A. D. 62, he calls himself Paul the In executions of this kind, it was usual for those who aged, we cannot be much mistaken in supposing that he had borne witness against the criminal to cast the first was then about 60 years old; and that when our Lord And for that purpose they put off their upper began his public ministry he was in the 26th* year of garments, and gave them to be kept by persons equally

Wherefore, having finished his studies, we may hearty in the prosecution with themselves. At the stonfuppose that he then professed himself a Pharisee; of ing of Stephen, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet which sect also his father was, Acts xxiii. 6.--Farther, of our Saul; by which he is pointed out as consenting seeing our Lord, in the course of his ministry, attracted to the condemnation and punishment of that blessed the attention of the whole Jewish nation, it is probable martyr, Acts xxii. 20. Saul's zeal for the institutions of his fathers prompted Stephen, in his defence, having boldly asserted before him to join such of his sect as followed Jesus with an the council that Jesus was the Just One, or Christ; and intention to find matter of accusation against him. And that they were his betrayers and murderers ; also, having when he was tried, condemned, and put to death, for called them a stiff-necked and uncircumcised generation,

whose fathers persecuted the prophets, and slew them * Seeing the Vulgar æra, according to the opinion of the inost which shewed before of the coming of the Just One, and learned chronologers, cominenced at least two years after the birth who by no means observed the law of which they preof Christ, the year 62 of that computation, in which the epistle to Philemon is supposed to have been written, was really the Gith year

tended to be so zealous; all the council were enraged, from the birth of Christ. Wherefore, it Paul was then ti0 years old, and carried on the persecution against the church, after sequence, when our Lord began his ministry in the 30th year of terly to extirpate the whole sect. Acts viii. 1. 'And at be must have been four years younger than our Lord; and by con: Stephen's death, with the utmost severity, intending uthis age, Baul was 26 complete.

stone,

his age.

that time there was a great persecution against the church for thee to accomplish thy malicious designs against me. that was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad, In the account which Saul gave of this conversation to the preachers and the chief brethren were scattered abroad, Agrippa, he says, that after speaking the words last menthroughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except tioned, Jesus ordered him to rise and stand upon his feet. the apostles.'—One of the main instruments in this per- Acts xxvi. 15. 'I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16. secution was our Saul; 3. Who made bavock of the But rise and stand upon thy feet.' Jesus intended that church, entering into every house' where the disciples Saul should see him, and be convinced that the person assembled for the worship of God, and haling men and who now spake to him was Jesus of Nazareth, whom the women, committed them to prison.' It seems the chief priests had crucified at Jerusalem; and that he was really priests had given him a commission to search them out, risen from the dead, as his disciples affirmed. We must and imprison them, that they might be punished. So he therefore believe, that, in obedience to this order, Saul tells us himself, Acts xxvi. 10. Which thing I also did arose from the earth, and with his bodily eyes beheld at Jerusalem ; and many of the saints did I shut up in Jesus standing in the way before him, (No. III.) But prison, having received authority from the chief priests.' being unable to bear the dazzling splendour of his appear. -The same thing he affirmed in the hearing of the mul- ance, he fell to the earth a second time; or, he may have titude, Acts xxii. 4. 'I persecuted this way unto death, put himself into that posture, as worshipping Jesus, whom binding and delivering into prison both men and women.' he now knew to be Christ the Son of God, Acts ix. 20. The Jews were now at liberty to put the disciples to While in this humble posture, Acts ix. 6. “ be, trembling death, because, between the removal of Pontius Pilate and and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to the accession of Herod Agrippa, in the second year of do?'. By professing a willingness to do whatever Jesus the Emperor Claudius, who gave him all the dominions should command him, Saul declared that he had now of his grandfather Herod the Great, there was no Procu- altered his opinion of Jesus of Nazareth, and had laid rator in Judea to restrain their intemperate zeal.

aside his enmity against his disciples.—Luke has related In employing Saul as the instrument of their malice none of the things which on this occasion Jesus said to against the saints, the rulers did not make a wrong choice. Saul, except that he was to go into the city, and there For though he had received abundance of Jewish litera. it should be told him what he was to do; so that, from ture from bis master Gamaliel, he had acquired nothing his account of the matter, we could not have understood of his moderation ; but executed his commission with that Saul at this time was made an apostle by Christ, and such severity, that the disciples were forced to take shelter commissioned to preach to the Gentiles. But Saul himin foreign cities. But even there they did not long re- self hath supplied that defect; for he told Agrippa, that main in safety; for, Acts ix. 1. Saul, yet breathing out when Jesus ordered him to rise and stand upon his feet, threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the he added, Acts xxvi. 16. “I have appeared unto thee for Lord, went unto the high-priest; 2. And desired of him this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, both letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, that if he found of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things any of this way, whether they were men or women, he in the which I will appear unto thee; 17. Delivering might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. It seems the thee from the people of the Jews, and from the Gentiles, synagogues in foreign parts had a jurisdiction over their unto whom I now send thee, 18. To open their eyes, own members, (No. II.), in the exercise of which they and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the werc sometimes directed, as on this occasion, by the high- power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgivepriest and council at Jerusalem. At this time there were ness of sins, and inheritance among them which are several synagogues in Damascus ; so that it was full of sanctified by faith which is in me.' Having thus spoken, Jews; and many of them had embraced the gospel. he added, as Luke informs us, Acts ix. 6. • Arise and Wherefore, although Damascus was at a great distance go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must from Jerusalem, Saul resolved to go thither with his new do. 7. And the men which journeyed with him stood commission from the high-priest; and, being joined by speechless, (AXXUPTES Mes tus pavas) hearing indeed his assistants equally bigoted and furious with himself

, the voice, but seeing no man." They heard Saul's voice, news of their coming reached Damascus before they ar. but did not see the person to whom he spake. 8.' And rived, and greatly terrified the saints, Acts ix. 14. 21. Saul arose from the earth ; and when his eyes were open

But when this company of persecutors, full of wrath ed, he saw no man.' Saul having looked steadfastly on against the disciples, drew nigh to the city, the Lord Jesus, before he fell to the ground the second time, was Jesus appeared to Saul from heaven, surrounded with a struck blind by the brightness of his appearance. So light inexpressibly resplendent, which was seen also by he says, Acts xxii

. 11. When I could not see for the Saul's companions : Acts ix. 3. • And as he journeyed glory of that light.' But his companions, lying all the he came near Damascus, and suddenly there shined while with their faces towards the earth, did not see round him a light from heaven.' Saul himself, giving an Jesus ; so that their eye-sight remaining, Acts ix. 8. account of this circumstance to Agrippa, says, Acts xxvi. 'they led Saul by the hand, and brought him to Da. 13. • At mid-day, 0 king, I saw in the way a light from mascus,' to the house of one Judas, ver. 11. with whom heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round it seems they were acquainted. Here Saul abode three about me and them which joumeyed with me.' Luke days absolutely blind, without either eating or drinking, proceeds thus : 4. • And he fell to the earth. But ver. 9.-If Saul's companions, by what had happened Baul himself, in relating this circumstance, says, Acts and by what he told them, were induced to alter their xxvi. 14. • And when we were all fallen to the earth ;'— faith concerning Jesus of Nazareth, they would remain they all fell prostrate, from fear or reverence, supposing with Saul, to assist and comfort him in his disconsolate the supernatural light which they saw to be an indication state : But if they continued in their former persuasion, of the appearance of some divine person ;-'I heard a

'Hearing indeed bis voice, but seeing no man.'—This transla: voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew

tion removes the difficulty arising from Saul's account of the matter tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?' By to the council, Acts xxii. 9. And they that were with me raw in speaking thus, Jesus declared that he considered what.

deed the light, and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of him

that spake to me. Or this supposition may be removed by translat. ever was done to his people as done to himself. Acts ix. ing ouxe nxove av, 'they understood not the voice of him that spake 5. “And he said, Who art thou, Lord ? And the Lord

OVLIV is used 1 Cor. xv. 2.- The ne thing happ said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: It is hard for people that stood by heard the voice, but not understanding what

when a voice came to our Lord from the Father, John xii. 29. the thee to kick against the pricks. Thou wilt find it hard was spoken, said it Thundered.

me;' so

« PreviousContinue »