« PreviousContinue »
jected the Gofpel, they would turn to the Gentiles, according to theCommand of the Lord,ver. 45-47. 28Q. Did the Gentiles receive the Gospel there? A. Many of them believed the Word of the Lord, which feems to be the first very remarkable Converfion of the idolatrous Gentiles: But the Jews prevailed fo far as to drive Paul and Barnabas out of their Coafts, who fhook off the Duft of their Feet against them, according to the Command of Chrift, ver. 48-51. Matt. x. 14.
29 Q. Whither did Barnabas and Paul travel next?
A. They went to Iconium, and preached the Gospel with fome Success there, both among the Jews and Gentiles; till being in Danger of stoning, they fled to Lyftra, Acts xiv. 1-6.
30 Q. What remarkable Occurrence fell out at Lyftra?
A. A Man that was born a Cripple, hearing Paul preach, was healed by Paul, and he leaped and walked, ver. 8-10.
31 Q. How did this Miracle affect the People? A. They fuppofed Barnabas and Paul to be two of their Gods, namely, Jupiter and Mercury, who were come down in the Likeness of Men; and Barnabas and Paul had much ado to hinder the People from offering Sacrifice to them, ver. 8-18.
32 Q. Did the People continue in this Mind? A. They were fo changeable, that by the Perfuafion of certain wicked Jews, they quickly ftoned Paul, and left him for dead, ver. 19.
33Q How did Paul efcape thence?
A. When his Enemies were gone, he rose up and went with Barnabas through many Cities where they had preached the Gofpel, to confirm the Disciples; and then they returned to Antioch in
Syria, from whence they had been sent forth, and recommended to the Grace of God, ver, 20—27.
34 Q. What new Troubles arofe, while they were at Antioch?
A. Some Jewish Chriftians coming from Judea, taught the Brethren that they could not be faved, unless they were circumcifed, and kept the Law of Mofes, Acts xv. 1.
35 Q How was this Controverfy determined? A. Paul and Barnabas were fent to Jerufalem to the Apoftles and Elders about this Question, v. 2. Note, It is probable that at this Time Paul told Peter,
James and John, of the Liberty of the Gospel, or the Freedom from all Jewish Ceremonies, which The preached to the Gentiles, Gal. ii. 1-9. and which he calls his Gospel, being eminently the Apoftle of the Gentiles, Gal. ii. 7-9. and 1Tim ii.7.
36 Q. How did the Apoftles and Elders decide it? A. First, Peter declared that the Gentiles had received the Gospel from his Mouth, as well as the Jews; and there was now no Difference between them, fince God had declared his Acceptance of them, by giving them the Holy Spirit, and that without Circumcifion. Secondly, Barnabas and Paul rehearfed what wondrous Succefs God had given to their Miniftry, among the Gentiles, and what Miracles were wrought among them : Then James delivered his Opinion, that fince the Gentiles had received the Gofpel, as it was foretold by the Prophets they should not be burdened with Circumcifion and other Jewish Ceremonies: Upon which, at laft, the Apoftles and Elders, and the whole Church, fent a Meffage to Antioch, and other Countries, that the Gentile Converts. were not bound by the Jewish Laws: Yet, by the Ditection of the Holy Spirit, they required them at
that Time to abstain from Meats offered to Idols, from eating Blood, from Things firangled, and from Fornication, ver. 6-30.
37 Q. Why were thefe few Things fo. particularly forbid to the Gentile Converts?
A. Some fuppofe thefe were the Things always forbidden to the Jewish Profelytes of the Gate. See Note on Qu. 20. And that it would have given too much Offence to the Jews, as well as to those Profelytes, if the Apoftles had not required the Gentile Converts to obferve thefe Rules, at leaft for the prefent Season.
Note, Fornication was a Thing always unlawful in itself, yet here other Things are joined with it which are not finful in their own Nature; because the eating of Blood, and Things offered to Idols, were frequently attended, with Fornication and Impurity among the Gentiles, at their idolatrous Feasts; and therefore this Sin of Fornication is exprefsly forbidden here,to put the Chriftians always in mind of the Unlawfulness of it; and more particularly, because fome profeffed Chriftians in that Age pretended it to be lawful, such as the Gnostics, Nicolaitans, &c. Abftinence from Things offered to Idols, feems to be but a temporary Command for particular Times and Pla ces; fince it is permitted in fome Cafes by the Apoftle, namely, where it gives no Offence, 1 Cor. x. 1931. And Abftinence from Blood, not being in itfelf unlawful, feems to ftand on the fame Foot: For it is plain, that the Reafon given against eating Blood is, because it was devoted to God to make Atonement for Sin, Lev. xvii. 10-14. And the Blood of Beafts flain for Food was to be poured out on the Ground, becaufe the Life or moft noble Part of the Creature, was contained in it; and was devoted to God, as a Sort of First-fruits, to fanctify the rest for the Eaters Ufe. But now, the Blood of Christ having made full Atonement for Sin, and all
all Sorts of Food under the New Teftament being
38Q What were the next Travels of Paul and Barnabas ?
A. They determined to vifit their Brethren in every City where they had preached the Gofpel; but they could not agree about taking John Mark for their Affiftant, because he had left them before in the Middle of their Work, ver. 36-38.
39 Q. How was this Contention ended between Barnabas and Paul? 1
A. Barnabas took Mark, and failed to Cyprus ; Paul chofe Silas (who had been sent with them from Jerufalem to Antioch) and went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the Churches, ver. 39-41.
40 Q. Where did Paul meet with Timothy? A. He was a young Difciple at Lyftra, the Son of a Jewish Woman, and Paul took him for their Companion in the Miniftry; and they travelled through many Parts of that Country which is now called the Leffer Afia, Acts xvi. 1—8 Note, Afia is a large Country, one Quarter of the World.
The Leffer Afia is the fame with Natolia, a fquare Country between the Euxine Sea and the Mediterranean. But the Afia which the Scripture fo frequently speaks of in the Acts, feems to be but a fmall Fart of this Leffer Afia, including only Phrygia, Myfia, Caria, and Lydia, which are washed on the Weft by the Egean Sea; and where the famous feven Churches were, Rev. i. 11.
41 Q. Where was the next remarkable Place of their Miniftry?
A. They were invited to Macedonia by a Vifion, and they went to Philippi, a chief City of that Country, and preached there with fome Succefs, vér. 9-15.
Note, Here it is probable that Luke, who wrote the A&ts of the Apoftles, became a Companion of Paul, because from this Time he uses the Word we in hisHistory. 42 Q. What Miracle was wrought here?
A. They caft a Devil out of a certain young Woman, who brought much Gain to her Masters by foretelling Things to come, ver. 16-18.
43 Q. How did her Masters bear it when they faw their Gains were gone?
A. They brought Paul and Silas to the Magiftrates, and charged them with teaching ftrange Customs; whereupon they were beaten and imprifoned, and their Feet made faft in the Stocks, ver. 19-24.
44 Q How were they releafed thence?
A At Midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and fang Praises to God; the Prifon was fhaken with an Earthquake, the Doors opened, their Bands were loofed; upon which the Goaler awaking, was going to kill himself, fuppofing the Prifoners had been fled, ver. 25—27.
45Q How was this Self murder prevented? A. Paul and Silas fhewed themselves as his Prifoners, preached the Gospel to him; upon which he believed, and he and his Houfe were baptized, ver. 28-34.
46 Q But did the Magiftrates then dismiss them? A. Yes; they defired them to depart when they knew they were Romans, because they had beaten and imprisoned them uncondemned, ver. 35-40. 47 Q. What Trials did they meet with at Theffalonica!