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“how with the infirm, and how they acted in the “ doubtful and controversial cases of the church *.” Beza considered this book, “as containing what “may be styled the principal public annals and com“mentaries according to which the administration “ of the christian church was at first directed, and “ to which it is to be recalled +.” “It is indeed, “ the most momentous part of the sacred history “ itself: for Moses and the Prophets referred to “ the coming of the Messiah: and, the Messiah, “ when he came, referred to the pouring out and mi“nistry of the Spirit; as the last and best dispensation “ which God would ever grant to mankind t.” Where, then, shall we look for information concerning “the principles which operated in producing the “great effects of those times,” but into this book? The instructions the Apostles communicated, the prinples they taught, were essential to the accomplishment of the mission, on which they were sent: and must form a no less essential part of the history of their Acts. These principles, accordingly, are not touched in an occasional way merely; they form a large proportion of this book: they make, at times,

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[* Cradock's “Apostolical History.” Preface.]

[+ Hic liber complectatur, veluti, publicos præcipue commentarios et annales, ad quos et initio dirigi, et nunc revocari totius Ecclesiae Christianae administrationem, opertuit, Bezae Annotationes |

[f Benson's History of the Planting of the Christian Religion, vol. Preface, page 5.] the

the chief part of whole chapters: as chapters i, iii, vii, x, xiii, xvii, xx, xxiv, and xxvi. It would be absurd to suppose, that a history of the method of propagating the christian religion, should not contain a view of what was said as well as of what was done by the Apostles; of their doctrine as well as their actions. And who will venture to say, that the sacred historian in the relation, that he has given of the steps, which the Apostles took to convert the world from error, ignorance and vice, hath omitted any principle, or hath left out any doctrine, essential to this end, and of actual efficacy in securing it Though such principles are not on every occasion repeated, if they are, on some occasions, detailed ; should not that satisfy us, concerning their nature and extent To charge Luke with omitting, in his account of the preaching of the Apostles, any essential principles, would invalidate the authority, and, to a great degree, the utility of his history. Nay: if he be supposed to have written under the direction of the divine spirit, to charge him with such omissions would be in fact a charge against God himself, and a much more heinous offence in the opinion of serious christians, than to exclude some chapters from the sacred text, because on enquiry there offers evidence of their being interpolations. To this book, therefore, on every ground of reason and propriety, may the appeal be made concerning “the principles,

“ the

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“ the publication of which preceded the conversions “ in the primitive age".”] x The first sermon, so wonderfully successful, as to bring over to the christian faith about three thousand, was that of Peter on the day of Pentecost, Acts, ii. [This discourse was addressed to “Jews, devout “men, assembled at Jerusalem, from every nation “under heaven:” who were astonished to hear the Apostles, after they were filled with the Holy Spirit, speak in the tongue of every country, where they were respectively born. To reconcile them to this singular phaenomenon, and to account for it, the Apostle refers them to the prophecy of Joel, ch. ii. 28, &c. predicting the effusion of the Spirit on persons of different sexes and ages, and, at the same time foretelling the awful judgments of God in the dissolution of the Jewish state, and yet affording the

[* The addition of the long preceding paragraph is in consequence of the following passage in Mr. Fuller's “Socinianism Indefensible.” “ Dr Toulmin proceeds on the supposition that the history of the “Acts of the Apostles is in itself, independant of the other parts of the sacred writings, a complete account of the substance of, at least, what the Apostles preached, and that it ascertains those principles the publication of which preceded the conversions in the primitive age. But why should he suppose this 2 The book professes to be a History of the Acts of the Apostles. As to the Principles which “ operated in producing the great effects of those times, they are occasionally touched; but that not being the professed object of the “sacred writer, it is but occasionally, He does not always relate even the substance of what the Apostles preached.” Page 42, 43.]

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hope of salvation to the devout; saying, “It shall “come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the “ name of the Lord shall be saved.” In the original, that is in the Hebrew, from whence the passage is a quotation, it is, “whosoever shall call on the name “ of JEHov AH shall be saved.” The clause is evidently introduced casually, as part of the prophecy, and not on account of its peculiar and appropriate application to the character of Jesus. For, though the Apostle immediately preaches Jesus of Nazareth, he does not take up this clause and apply it to him; but confines his application of the prophecy to that event, which had raised wonder. See v. 23*.]

Let

[* Mr. Fu L L E R contends, that the Apostles taught the proper deity as well as the humanity of Christ ; and exhibited him as “the “Lord on whose name sinners were to call for salvation.” Acts, ii. 21, comp. ch. ix. 14. xxii. 16. Rom. x. 12. and 1. Cor. i. 2. The force of Mr. Fuller's assertion turns upon two points: one is, that Christ is the person meant in the passages to which he refers; the other is, that “to call upon the name of Christ,” in the most natural and obvious, if not necessary, sense, signifies addressing him by prayer. His 'application of the first and third texts to Christ is founded on the ambiguity of the term Kvgo; in Greek, which may refer to Jesus, or to God the Father: but there is no such" uncertainty in the Hebrew, from which these texts are a quotation. The meaning of the term Jehov AH is one, precise and definite, limited to that Being, who under the Old Testament was denominated the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ; and under the New, the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Acts. iii. 13, 15, ch. v. 30, 31. It is admitted, that Christ is meant in the second and fourth texts, to which Mr. Fuller refers; but it by no means follows, that

Let us go over the discourse, and see what were the

doctrines taught in it. They were these; that “Jesus “ of

that “calling on his name,” means invoking him by prayer. The learned Dr Hammond, a Trinitarian, understood the phrase as signifying, being called by the name of Christ. I will quote his words. “Call upon the name of Jesus Christ, trixaxtic8al signifies to be sur“named, Matt. x. 3. Luke xxii. 3. Acts. i. 23, and iv. 36, in many “ places: and so in a passive, not active signification. Agreeable to “this, twixaxsovo avour, Inca Xolos is to be called by the name of 7esus “Christ, as an agnomen, or supernomination, which notes the special “relation we have to him; as the spouse of that husband whose “name is, called upon her. Isai. iv. 1. (which is the direct literas “notion of saxa) staffa, here) or as the servant to that master, by “whose name he is called also; and so in waxaaffa, oyoo.c. Xelça is but “a periphrasis of Christians and no more.” Hammond in 1. Cor. 1. 2. as quoted by Mr. Christie, p. 241—2, in his “Discourses upon “the Divine Unity.” This, it is known to, and acknowledged by * good critics, is no forced interpretation, no uncommon construction of the phrase. It is no violation of the genius and import of the Greek text. But to explain the phrase, as signifying to fray to Christ, is a violation of the simplicity of the directions for religious worship laid down by Christ, who never taught his disciples to pray to himself, but to our Father who is in heaven: to whom he himself prayed. It is a violation of all propriety and consistency of ideas concerning the character of Christ: for, if he doth hear our prayers, and can and doth by his own power, relieve our wants, to what purpose is he our mediator P On what grounds are we to pray to God the Father in his name 2 The sense which Mr. Fuller would affix to the term, would make Christ at once the medium and the object of worship. It would introduce two objects of prayer. It would contradict the express direction of Christ. John xvi. 23. “ In that day,” i. e. after the comforter is sent “ye shall ask Me Not H1N c. Verily, verily I say unto you; “whatsoever ye shall ask T H E FAT H E R in my name, he will give “it you.” In interpreting the language of scripture it is to be conside rod

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