Page images
PDF
EPUB

with wives and children, till we were out of the city, and altars without the name of any God. But this deliverwe kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.'

ance being wrought by the true God, the apostle justly It is commonly said, that the difference between a pro- affirms, that they worshipped him by these altars, though seuche or oratory, and a synagogue, was this :— The syna- they knew him not. Dr. Wellwood, however, in the ingogue was a covered house, where the law was read, and troduction to his translation of the Banquet of Xenophon, prayers offered up to God, according to a set form, in says these altars were erected by Socrates, to express his name of the whole congregation : But the proseuche, or devotion to the one true God, of whom the Athenians had oratory, was a piece of ground enclosed with a wall, where no idea, and whose nature, he insinuated by this inscripindividuals prayed each by himself apart, as in the courts tion, was far above the reach of human comprehension. of the temple. The Jews built their synagogues and According to this account also of the Athenian altars, proseuchæs on the banks of rivers, or on the sea-shore, the apostle's interpretation of the inscription is still perbecause, according to the tradition of the fathers, they fectly just. were obliged to wash their hands before they prayed ; for which use they esteemed the rivers and sea-water by far No. XXII. Claudius had commanded all Jews to dethe fittest. See Joseph. Ant. xii. c. 2. Elsner.

part from Rome.—That the emperor Claudius banished

all the Jews from Rome, is testified by Suetonius in his No. XX. Then departed, leaving Luke at Philippi.- life of Claudius, c. 25. “ Judæos, impulsore Chresto, asThat Paul left Luke at Philippi, we know from the sidue tumultuantes, Roma expulit.” The origin of the phraseology of his history. For before that event Luke tumults which occasioned the banishment of the Jews carries on the narration in the following manner :-Acts from Rome, Suetonius, in the above passage, hath related xvi. 11. • Loosing from Troas, we came with a straight in such a manner, as to make his readers imagine Chrest course to Samothrace. 13. And, on the Sabbath-day, we or Christ was then in Rome, and that the tumults were went out of the city by a river-side. 16. And it came to owing to his instigation. But the true state of the fact pass as we went to prayer.' But after Paul and the rest seems to have been this :—The Jews, whose darling object departed from Philippi, Luke changes his style in this was to make proselytes to their religion, shewed the same manner,--Acts xvii. 1. Now when they had passed malicious disposition at Rome, which their brethren through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessa- shewed in the other great cities where the gospel was lonica.' Nor does he resume his former manner of writing, preached with success. Being extremely displeased with until, chap. xx. describing Paul's voyage to Syria, he thus the heathens for embracing the gospel, they published a writes : 5. "These going before, tarried for us at Troas. number of calumnies against the gospel itself, and against 6. And we sailed from Philippi after the days of un its abettors, by which they enraged the idolatrous multileavened bread, and came unto them to Troas, where we tude at Rome to such a degree, that they assisted the unabode seven days.' It is therefore more than probable, believing Jews in their tumultuous attacks upon the Christhat when Paul, Silas, and Timothy departed from Philip- tians. Wherefore the Jews being the ringleaders in these pi, after having gathered a church there, Luke remained tumults, the emperor, to preserve the peace of the city, with the new converts, until the apostle, in his way from found it necessary to banish all the Jews from Rome; Corinth to Syria the second time, came to Philippi and and among the rest such of them as had embraced the took him with them.

Christian faith. If the foregoing supposition is well founded, Luke must Claudius's edict against the Jews, according to the have remained several years at Philippi ; and if he was best chronologers, was published in the eleventh year the brother whose praise was in the gospel, mentioned of his reign; which year began January 24, a. v. 51. 2 Cor. viii. 18. he joined Paul on his coming into Mace- Now, supposing Claudius to have published his edict in donia, after the riot of Demetrius, and was sent by him the beginning of that year, he certainly would allow the to Corinth with Titus, who carried the apostle's second proscribed some months at least to settle their affairs, and letter to the Corinthians. And having executed that com take themselves away. Wherefore Aquila and Priscilla mission, he returned to Philippi, and gave him an account could not well leave Italy before the end of the spring of the success of that letter. And after the apostle set A. D. 51. Besides, their voyage to Corinth would take out for Corinth, Luke remained at Philippi till Paul re up some time; and, when they arrived, a month or two turned. For there he joined him in his second voyage to must have passed before they could settle themselves in Syria, as has been already observed.

such a manner as to be carrying on their business of

tent-making when Paul came to Corinth. His arrival, No. XXI. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him therefore, cannot be fixed sooner than the autumn of declare I to you.-Because Paul, on this occasion, told A. D. 51. the Athenians, that the true God was he whom they ig Having in this manner fixed one date in Paul's his. norantly worshipped under the title of the unknown God, tory, let us next consider, how it may be applied for de some learned men have ppose that the altar he termining the time of some important events connected speaks of was raised to the God of the Jews, concerning with his arrival at Corinth.-After the council of Jerusawhose power, in the destruction of the Egyptians and lem Paul came down to Antioch, where he abode Canaanites, the ancient Athenians had received some ob- several months; then departed with Titus to confirm scure reports : But because the Jews carefully concealed the churches of Cilicia, Galatia, and Phrygia. This his name, and had no image of him, the Athenians office he performed by delivering them the decrees of erected no statue to the God of the Jews, but worshipped the council to keep. And as he remained no longer in him under the appellation of The unknown God. Others any place than was necessary for that purpose, we may think this one of the altars which Diogenes Laertius suppose he finished his progress through the churches speaks of in Epimenide. For he relates, that by the in four or five months from his leaving Antioch: Then advice of Epimenides, the Athenians, when afflicted he went over to Macedonia, where, and Greece, he with a pestilence, brought a number of white and black preached indeed a considerable time, probably ten or sheep to Areopagus, and there let them go; appointing twelve months, before he came to Corinth. These, adda man to follow each, that where any of them lay down ed to the months he spent in Antioch after the council, it might be sacrificed (nz-Juscorts Josw) to the God to whom and in confirming the churches in Cilicia, Galatia, and sacrifices were due : after which the plague was staid. Phrygia, may have made in all a year and nine months. Hence, says he, there are among the Athenians various Wherefore, if these are counted backwards, from the

autumn of a. D. 51, when Paul arrived at Corinth, they Lord's resurrection, to observe the first day of the week in will bring us to the end of A. D. 49, or the beginning of honour of that event, by assembling thereon for the worA. 1.50, as the date of the council of Jerusalem. And ship of God, and for celebrating the Lord's Supper. Acseeing that council was held about 14 years after Paul's cordingly, Justin Martyr, who wrote forty-four years after conversion, (Gal. ii. 1.), perhaps 14 years wanting some the death of the apostle John, tells us, Apologet. ii. p. 98. months, his conversion will thus be fixed to the end of “On Sunday, all Christians in the city and country meet A. D. 36, or to the beginning of A. p. 37, a date which is together, because it is the day of our Lord's resurrection, likewise confirmed by the rest which the churches of and then we hear read to us the writings of the prophets Judea, Samaria, and Galilee enjoyed, through the publica- and apostles. This done, the president makes an oration tion of Caius's order to set up his statue in the temple to the assembly, to exhort them to imitate and do the of Jerusalem in the end of a. p. 39, or the beginning of things they hear : and then we all join in prayer ; A. D. 40, three years after Paul's conversion, as hath been and after that we celebrate the sacrament, and they shewn No. V.

that are willing and able give alms,” &c. Whitby's note

on Acts xx. 7. No. XXIII. Having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow.—This is thought to have been the vow No. XXV. Teaching all men everywhere against the of the Nazarite, whereby Paul, from the time he made people.-Lardner, Credib. vol. i. p. 553. observes, that the it, until he offered the sacrifices prescribed by the law, Jews in Judea considered it as their due to have parbound himself to abstain from wine and all fermented ticular regard paid to them by their countrymen in the liquors. See Numb. vi. 1-21. That this vow was in provinces, and by all the Gentiles who worshipped the use in Paul's days, is evident from what Josephus has true God, and who for that purpose assembled themrelated of Bernice, Bell. ii. c. 15, init. “ She was then selves with the Jews in their synagogues. And, in fact, (A. D. 66) at Jerusalem, performing a vow to God. For the Jews out of Judea, and all the proselytes, shewed it is customary for those who have been afflicted with great regard to the people of Jerusalem and of Judea, some distemper, or have laboured under any other dif- and were very ready to assist them in every difficulty. ficulty, to make a vow, thirty days before they offer sacri. Thus, the disciples at Antioch, when they heard that fice, to abstain from wine and shave the hair of their head.” there was to be a dearth in the land of Judea, Acts xi. By the law, the Nazarite was to shave his head at the door 29. 'every man, according to his ability, determined to of the tabernacle of the congregation. But as there were send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea.' a vast number of Jews in the Gentile countries, who And in this resolution, not the Jews hy birth alone, but lived at a great distance from Jerusalem, they were the just proselytes also, and even the religious proobliged to dispense with the exactness of many things re- selytes, joined: And having made a liberal collection, quired in the law. Lardner, vol. i. p. 461. has mentioned they sent it to the elders at Jerusalem by the hands of a passage of a Jewish book, quoted by Reland, which says, Barnabas and Saul. In like manner, when that famine " They who make the vow of the Nazarite out of the land actually happened, Helene, queen of Adiabene, and Izates of Israel, shall go into it to complete the vow."

her son, both of them proselytes to Judaism, concounts for Paul's concern to keep the next feast at Jeru- tributed largely for the relief of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Acts xviii. 21.

salem and of Judea, Joseph. Ant. xx. c. 2. $ 6. Also, The vow of the four brethren, mentioned Acts xxi. 23. when the apostles at Jerusalem agreed that Paul should is likewise thought to have been the vow of the Na- go among the Gentiles, they recommended it to him to zarite. There is a passage in Josephus, concerning He- remember the poor; which very thing he also made haste rod Agrippa, which shews that it was no unusual thing to do,' Gal. ii. 10. Wherefore, the collections which now for zealous men, who had it in their power, to bear Paul afterwards made, among all the churches of the the whole, or a part of the charges of the sacrifices which Gentiles, for the saints in Judea, was no novelty. It the Nazarites were obliged to offer at the expiration of had been often practised, and was founded in the best their vow.

The passage I refer to is Ant. xix. 6. initio, reason. For, as Paul writing to the Romans on this where, having told that Claudius made Herod king of subject observed, they were bound to do this both in all Judea, he adds, “ And he, as it was very likely for one justice and in gratitude :-Rom. xv. 27. They have to do who had bad so considerable an advancement, been pleased, verily, and their debtors they are. For, made all the expedition he could into his kingdom. if the Gentiles have partaken of their spiritual things, And coming to Jerusalem, he offered up sacrifices of they ought certainly to minister to them in carnal thanksgiving, and omitted nothing that was prescribed by things.' And considering, that in the persecution the the law ; for which reason he also ordered a good num brethren of Judea were often spoiled of their goods, ber of Nazarites to be shaved.” That was the common (Heb. x. 34.), these collections were the more necesphrase for completing the vow of the Nazarite, by offer. sary. ing the prescribed sacrifices; and therefore the brethren Such being the principles and the expectations of the at Jerusalem, when they advised Paul to assist the four Jews in Judea, no wonder that the bigots among them men in discharging their vow, did not say, Be at charges were enraged, when they heard that Paul, instead of enwith them that they make their offerings, but that they joining the converted Gentiles to observe the law of Moses, may shave their heads. An action of this kind being taught that they were entirely free from that law; for this extremely popular, and shewing great zeal for the law, was to break the tie by which the Jews held those heathens the brethren at Jerusalem very prudently advised Paul in subjection who had turned from idols to worship the to it, to shew that he did not contemn the institutions true God. And therefore the outcry of the Jews against of Moses. Besides, it was one of those popular actions Paul, though wholly unjust, was every word of it expresby which Agrippa recommended himself to the Jews sive and popular, especially at Jerusalem : • This is the when he took possession of the kingdom, as appears from man who teacheth all men everywhere against the people,' the foregoing quotation.

Acts xxi. 28. No. XXIV. On the first day of the week, when the No. XXVI. Tidings came to the chief captain of the disciples came together to break bread.From this pas- legion.—Xonnexao tus oreiques. The word ofugue is used sage, and from 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. John xx. 19. 26. it appears with considerable latitude. It signifies any gatherto have been the custom of the disciples, after our ing of soldiers, without determining their number :

This ac

hence it is applied to a legion. At other times, it sig. Egyptian who before these days made an insurrection,' nifies a much smaller number of soldiers. The other &c. The Tribune added that the followers of the Egypword, xixong xus, properly signifies the commander of a tian were Sicarii. Perhaps, besides the Sicarii, many of thousand men; but it is likewise used for a Roman this impostor's followers were Zealots, who were very military Tribune. Wherefore as there was always a forward in all the tumults against the Romans, Jose. legion stationed in Jerusalem, we may suppose that phus, indeed, has not told us what sort of people the Lysias was the eldest or first Tribune, and, by conse followers of the Egyptian were; only, hy relating the quence, that he was the commander of the garrison, and affair after giving an account of the Sicarii, he seems to was intrusted by the governor, Felix, with the power insinuate that they were mostly of that description. which the chief officer under him at Jerusalem usually In the other account which Josephus has given of this possessed. But the word xoniaexos is likewise used to affair, Bell. c. 13. he says, the Egyptian gathered signify the captain of the temple, John xviii. 12. who thirty thousand ; that, after bringing them round out of is thought to hạve been a Jewish ofticer. And Luke the wilderness up to the Mount of Olives, he intended speaks of Te+Tugas, the captains of the temple, Luke from thence to attack Jerusalem, and, beating the Roman xxiii. 52. These, I suppose, were the persons who pre- guards, to bring the people in subjection to him. But sided over the divisions of the priests and Levites em Felix, coming suddenly upon him with the Roman sol. ployed in different ministrations in the temple; but the diers, prevented the attack; and that all the people joined Zmirexos, or captain of the temple,-was he who had the with Felix in their own defence; so that, when they command of the whole.

came to engage, the Egyptian fled, followed only by a

few ; that the greatest part of those who were with him No. XXVII. Commanded him to be carried into the were either slain or taken prisoners; the rest of the mulcastle. This was the castle Antonia, which was built by titude being scattered. This account of the numbers John Hyrcanus, high-priest and prince of the Jews, on which followed the Egyptian being very different from a rock which stood at the angle of the northern and the former, no objection can be drawn from either against western porticos of the outer court of the temple. It the number mentioned by the Tribune. The truth is, was at first named Baris. But Herod the great re- Josephus needs more to be reconciled with himself, than built it, and raised it so high as to command the temple, Luke to be reconciled with bim ; for it should be reand afford a sight of what passed in the two outer courts. membered, that Luke is not answerable for the Tribune's On the side where it joined the porticos of the temple, numbers; all that was incumbent on him was, to relate there were stairs which reached to each portico, by which faithfully what he said. the soldiers descended to keep guard in several places of the porticos, especially during the great festivals, to sup No. XXIX. Felix the Governor.-Judea, though press any disorders which might happen. Further, to sometimes called a province, was properly a branch of render this fortress inaccessible, Herod faced the rock the province of Syria, as Lardner observes, Credib, vol. i. on which it stood with white polished marble; and have p. 161. Nevertheless it had a Roman governor residing completed the fortress, he named it Antonia, in bon- ing in it with supreme authority, which was a very unour of his friend Mark Antony. Afterward, when Ju common thing. The proper title of this governor was dea was made a Roman province, the Romans always Procurator ; a name that was given to the officer who kept a strong garrison in that castle. And at the festi- took care of the Emperor's revenue in the provinces bevals, when the people flocked to Jerusalem in great mul. longing to him; whereas, in the provinces belonging titudes, bodies of armed soldiers went down from this to the senate, that officer was named Quæstor. But castle, and watched in several places of the porticos of though the governors of Judea were properly procurators, the temple, to prevent tumults : for on such occasions, hey had, as was just now observed, the power of presi. more especially, the multitude was disposed to make dis- dents. Hence the sacred writers give to Pilate, Felix, turbances.

and Festus, the title of Governors ; which is a general

word, and very proper according to the usage of the best No. XXVIII. Leddest out into the wilderness four writers. thousand men (TO FIKA?!(w) of the Sicarii.—The men of whom the Tribune spake were named Sicarii, from the No. XXX. Felix was himself a great oppressor of small crooked swords or daggers (called by the Romans the nation.-Antonius Claudius Felix, with his brother Sicæ) which they carried under their garments. With Pallas, were freed-men of the Emperor Claudius, with these they committed horrible murders in Jerusalem whom Pallas being in high favour, he procured for his about this time : For their custom was to mix in the brother Felix the procuratorship of Judea. But in liis crowd at the great festivals, and to stab their enemies, government Felix shewed the meanness of his disposition even in the day-time; and to conceal their wickedness, and former condition, by exercising his power in the most they affected great indignation against the authors of the wanton acts of cruelty and oppression. So Tacitus tells slaughter. Nay, to such a pitch did they carry their us, Hist. lib. v. c. 9. “ Claudius, defunctis Regibus, aut cruelty, that they would kill any person whatever for ad modicum redactis, Judæam provinciam Equitibus hire. Thus Josephus, Ant. xx. 7. 5. tells us, that one Romanis, aut libertis permisit. E quibus Antonius Felix Dora, at the instigation of Felix the governor, hired some per omnem sævitiam ac libidinem, jus regium servili inof these miscreants, who murdered the high-priest Jona- genio exercuit, Drusilla, Cleopatræ et Antonii nepte than.—The same historian informs us, (ibid. c. 6.), that (grand-daughter) in matrimonium accepta ; ut ejusdem when Felix was procurator, a certain Egyptian came to Antonii, Felix progener, Claudius nepos esset.”-Felix Jerusalem, and pretending to be a prophet, persuaded married two ladies of the name of Drusilla.

The one the people to follow him to Mount Olivet, promising was the grand-daughter of Cleopatra and Antony. She that they should see the walls of Jerusalem fall down at is the lady of whom Tacitus speaks. The other was his command, and have a free entrance into the city over Drusilla, mentioned Acts xxiv. 24. where she is called a the ruins : but that Felix attacked them with an army, Jewess, to distinguish her from the Roman lady of that killed four hundred of them, and took two hundred cap.

This Drusilla was the daughter of Herod Agriptives ; and that the Egyptian himself, having fled, dis- pa, (whose death is related Acts xii. 23.), and the sister of appeared. This, it is thought, was the impostor of whom Herod Agrippa the younger, before whom Paul pleaded the Tribune spake, when he asked Paul if he was that his cause. He gave her to Azizus, king of the Emes,

name,

senes, on his consenting to embrace the Jewish religion. ducing the apostle, in the place of hearing, before him and But she did not remain long with him: For Felix hav. Bernice, and the Tribunes, and all the principal men of ing seen this most beautiful of women, as Josephus calls Cæsarea : so that the apostle had a new opportunity of her, (Ant. xx. 5.), became violently in love with her, and speaking in his own defence ; which he did to such good sent his friend Simon, a Jew of Cyprus, who possessed effect, that Agrippa declared, in the presence of the whole the magic art, to persuade her to leave Azizus and marry assembly, that he had done nothing worthy of death ; and him. This commission Simon executed so well, that that he might have been set at liberty, if he had not apDrusilla, to avoid the affronts put upon her by her sister pealed to Cæsar. Bernice, who envied her beauty, consented to marry Felix, Tacitus has spoken of Bernice's beauty, and of the though it was contrary to her religion.

court which she paid to Vespasian by her magnificent This Drusilla having expressed a desire to hear Paul presents, and of the love which his son Titus bare to her, preach, her husband Felix sent for him, and they heard Hist. lib. ii. c. 81. “ Nec minore animo Regina Berehim concerning the faith in Christ. On that occasion nice partes juvabat, florens ætate formaque, et seni quoFelix's conscience was awakened to such a degree by que Vespasiano, magnificentia munerum, grata.” And, Paul's sermon, that he tremblod. Nevertheless, he con- speaking of Vespasian's son Titus, the same - historian tinued his cruel and unjust practices all the time his go- says, Hist. lib. ii. c. 2. “Neque abhorrebat a Berenice vernment lasted, which was about the space of two years: juvenilis animus." Suetonius adds, that Titus promised for Nero, in the sixth year of his reign, recalled him. to marry her: For, after mentioning Titus's cruelty, he After Felix was recalled, some of the principal Jews fol- speaks of his lust, c. 7. “ Nec minus libido, propter exolowed him to Rome, and accused him to the Emperor, letorum et spadonum greges, propterque insignem regine who would have punished him, if it had not been for the Berenices amorem, cui etiam nuptias pollicitus ferebaprayers and entreaties of his brother Pallas, who then tur." Nevertheless, after he became Emperor, he, for possessed the favour of Nero, as he had formerly done reasons of state, dismissed Bernice, though with great that of Claudius.

regret : “ Berenicen ex urbe dimisit, invitus invitam."

Titus Vesp. c. 7. No. XXXI. He appealed from Festus to Cæsar.– That causes were by appeal removed from the courts in No. XXXIII. He called on all the Jews present to the provinces to Rome, is evident from Suetonius, who, bear witne88.--Bishop Lowth, in his note on Isa. liii. 8. in his life of Augustus, c. 33. says, “ Appellationes quot- tells us, “ It is said in the Mishna, that before any one annis urbanorum quidem litigatorum Prætori delegavit was punished for a capital crime, proclamation was made urbano, at provincialium, consularibus viris, quos singu- before the prisoner by the public crier, in these words : los cujusque provinciæ negotiis præposuisset.” And, Quicunque noverit aliquid de ejus innocentiâ, veniat et that Roman citizens, tried for their life in the provinces, doceat de eo. On which passage the Gemara of Babylon had a right to transfer their cause by appeal to Rome, is adds, “That before the death of Jesus this proclamation evident from Pliny, lib. x. epist. 97. Ad Trajanum : “ Et was made for forty days, but no defence could be found.' alii similis amentiæ, quos quia cives Romani erant, an On which words Lardner observes, . It is truly surprising notavi in urbem remittendos."

to see such falsehoods contrary to well-known facts,'

Testimonies, vol. i. p. 198. The report is certainly false ; No. XXXII. King Agrippa and his sister Bernice. but this false report is found on the supposition that - This is he who by Josephus is called King Agrippa the there was such a custom, and so far confirms the account younger. He was the son of that Herod Agrippa whose above given from the Mishna. The Mishna was comdeath is related Acts xii. 23. and the grandson of Aristo- posed in the middle of the second century : Lardner asbulus, (whom his father put to death), consequently the cribes it to the year of Christ 180, great-grandson of the first Herod, called Herod the “ Now it is plain, from the history of the Four EvanGreat, in whose reign our Lord was born.

gelists, that in the trial and condemnation of Jesus no Herod Agrippa the younger was in great favour with such rule was observed; (though, according to the acthe Emperor Claudius, who gave him the kingdom of count of the Mishna, it must have been in practice at his uncle Herod, king of Chalcis. But he afterwards that time); no proclamation was made for any person to took it from him, and gave him the tetrarchy of Philip, bear witness to the innocence and character of Jesus ; with Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Abilene, which formerly nor did any one voluntarily step forth to give his attestaLysanias possessed, Luke iii. 1. After this Nero gave tion to it. And our Saviour seems to refer to such a him a part of Galilee, with the cities Tiberias, Tarrichæa, custom, and to claim the benefit of it, by his answer to and Julias, beyond Jordan, with fourteen villages. the high-priest, when he asked him of his disciples and

Herod the younger was the last king of the Herod of his doctrine: 'I spake openly to the world ; I ever family: For he lived to see Jerusalem destroyed, and taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the the Jewish nation sold as slaves to any who would pur- Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. chase them. After that he went to Rome, where, as Dio Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me, what informs us,

he obtained prætorian honours, and lived in I have said unto them: Behold they know what I said ;' the palace with his sister Bernice. This is the lady men- John xviii. 20, 21. This therefore was one remarkable tioned in the Acts. She was first married to her uncle instance of hardship and injustice, among others predictHerod, king of Chalcis : but after his death, being talked ed by the prophet, which our Saviour underwent in his of as criminally familiar with her brother Agrippa, she trial and sufferings. married Polemon king of Cilicia, to quash that rumour. “ St. Paul likewise, in similar circumstances, standing But soon after, influenced more by lewd inclination than before the judgment-seat of Festus, seems to complain of by a regard to her reputation, she divorced Polemon, and the same unjust treatment—that no one was called, or returned to her brother; by which the rumour of their would appear, to vindicate his character: My manner unlawful commerce was again revived.

of life from my youth, which was at the first among my Agrippa and Bernice were living together when Festus own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews, which knew arrived in the province. They came therefore to Cæsarea, me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after to congratulate Festus upon his advancement to the pro- the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee;' Acts curatorship. On that occasion, Agrippa having express- xxvi. 4, 5.”—Thus far Lowth, ed a desire to hear Paul, Festus gratified him by pro

To comprehend the force and propriety of the above him, that Jesus said to him, “I have appeared to thee appeal to the Jews who were present at the apostle's de- for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness, fence before Agrippa, the full extent of his expression, both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those My manner of life, must be attended to and understood. things in which I will appear unto thee afterwards. 19. For the apostle did not mean only, that all the Jews knew Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to his education was at the first among his own nation at the heavenly vision; 20. But shewed first to them of Jerusalem, but likewise that they knew the other particu. Damascus, &c. that they should repent, and do works lars which he mentioned in the subsequent parts of his meet for repentance.” He added, ver. 22. That in his defence ; namely, that after the strictest sect of their discourses to the Jews and Gentiles, he said no other religion he lived a Pharisee,' ver. 5.— That he thought things than those which the prophets and Moses did say with himself that he ought to do many things contrary should come ; 23. That the Christ should suffer, and to the name of Jesus of Nazareth,' ver. 9. That he did should be the first who should rise from the dead, and these things in Jerusalem : That many of the saints he should shew light to the people, and to the Gentiles.'— shut up in prison, having received authority from the The apostle having given this account of his conversion chief priests so to do. And that when they were put to to Christianity, and of the doctrine which he taught after death, he gave his voice against them,' ver. 10. alluding he became a Christian, the one appeared so rational, and to bis behaviour at the stoning of Stephen. • That he the other so consonant to the writings of Moses and the punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled prophets, that Agrippa entertained a favourable opinion them to blaspheme Jesus; and that being exceedingly of Paul, and declared that he had done nothing worthy of mad against them, he persecuted them even to foreign death, or of bonds. cities,' ver. 11.-In particular, that he went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,' No. XXXIV. The island was called. Melitè.-Bryver. 12.—that if he found any of this way, whether ant, Observat. on Ancient History, contends, that this they were men or women, he might bring them bound island was not Malta, because Malta is not in the Adriato Jerusalem,' Acts ix. 2. namely, to be punished.-All tic Sea, notwithstanding Bochart endeavours to prove it these things the Jews, who were present at his defence to be so; but it was an island belonging to Dalmatia, before Agrippa in Cæsarea, well knew. He therefore called anciently Melitè, but is now called Mileet by the called on them in this public manner to attest the truth Sclavonians, and is subject to Ragusa. In support of of them, because they were clear proofs of his bitter en his opinion Bryant cites ancient authors, who, in enumity to the Christians; and demonstrated, that his for merating the Adriatic islands, mention Melitè very parsaking the party of the chief priests, and going over to ticularly, and say that it was twenty stadia distant from the Christians, whereby he subjected himself to the hatred Corcyra Melæna ; and among the rest Pliny, Nat. Hist. of the Jews, could be owing to nothing but to the ap- lib. iii. c. 26. who reckons it among the Adriatic islands, pearing of Jesus to him on the road to Damascus ; of and adds, “ Unde Catulos Melitæos appellari Callimawhich he gave Agrippa an account in the remaining part chus autor est.” of his speech, ver. 12–15. At the same time he told

« PreviousContinue »