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Julian Pe. of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and say- Joppa and riod, 4753. ing unto him, Cornelius.
Cæsarea. Vulgar Æra,
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and about 40.
said, What is it, Lord ? And he said unto him, Thy
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon,
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is
(d) Ant. I. 14. vü. ap. Lardner, vol. v. p. 501. (e) Poboúpevoi scil.
άνδρες ευλαβείς, ii. 5.
a poonauroi, ii. 10. Proselytes. This name was given also to those
άνδρες ευσεβείς, Χ. 2. 7.
a pocepxóuevou TÔ Osū, ii. xi. 5. ad Deum accedentes. This is the
ARE RECEIVED INTO THE CHURCH-CHAP. X.
ied, 4753. do.
tian Pe by the sea-side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to Joppa and
Cæsarea. iulgar Æra, boat 40.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour :
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten : but while they made ready, he fell into a trance ?,
: In that admirable collection of tracts which compose the thirteenth volume of the Critici Sacri, the reader will find a dissertation on the vision of St. Peter by Bernard Duysing. The wbole of this discussion is well worthy of perusal. After examining many critical points, he gives the following explana. tion of the principal circumstances of the apostle's vision.
The word okeŪos, vessel, wbich corresponds with the Hebrew 53, denotes every kind of vessel, and it is interpreted therefore by the word ó óvn, sheet, or any thing woven from flax. Camerarius would render the werd bóvn by Mappa, a table napkin-Daniel Heinsius, by a shepherd's bag, or sack, in which they were accustomed to put food, platters, or trenchers, and other things.
The sheet was full of four-footed and wild beasts, creeping things, or reptiles, and fowls of the air. Duysing is of opinion that every thing which is included in these
rious descriptions, were unclean : and be strongly objects to the opinion of Hammond, that the clean and the unclean were here blended together. St. Peter was commanded from the animals before bim to slay, and sacrifice and eat. If they had been mingled together, as Hammond supposes, the apostle might have selected a proper victim, and his answer would not have been correct. If it be said the clean animals were rendered unclean by con. tact, the Levitical law (Lev. xi.) teaches us that it was the dead body, and not the living body, that rendered unclean what was otherwise pure. The whole object of the vision was to enforce on the mind of the apostle a new doctrine, which related to the Gentiles only, and not the Jews and Gentiles together.
It was a type of the Christian Church, separated from the world, which included every kind of people.
It was bound at the four corners, signifying that the whole world should be received into the universal Church of Christ; and it corresponded with the four horns of the altar, and the oxen that supported the brazen sca, which were turned to the four quarters of the heavens.
It was not without desigo that the sheet descended from hea. ven, in the same manner, as the new Jerusalem is represented in the Apocalypse. The Church, though it exists in the world, is not of the world; it is of celestial origin. It is a kingdom which is opposed to the kingdoms of this world, wbich are uniformly described as wild beasts rising out of the earth, or out of the sea, aspiring to attain to heaven. Liko its remarkable type the tower of Babel, which inverts the natural order of things, the
Julian Pe- 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel de- Joppa and riod, 4763. scending unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at Vulgar Æra, about 40.
the four corners, and let down to the earth :
false Church has its foundation on earth, and in vain attempts
The drawing back of the sheet to heaven was designed to
The vision of St. Peter is considered in the same manner by Jones of Nayland. This act of grace, he observes, in the divine economy, was signified to St. Peter, by a new license to feed upon unolean beasts. Peter could not bave entered the house of Cornelius according to the Mosaic law, which he had always observed, because it commanded the Jews to keep themselves separate from beathens in their conversation; as in their diet, they abstained from unclean beasts. But when God bad mercy upon all, and the Jew and Gentile became one fold in Christ Jesus, then this distinction was set aside Mr. Jones thus ex. plains the vision :--The living creatures of all kinds which were presented to St. Peter, were the people of all nations; the linen, sbeet which contained them, signified their sanctification by the Gospel ; and it was knit at four corners, to shew that they were gatbered together from the four quarters of the world, and brought into the Church. He further observes-The heathens were taken into the Church on condition that they should put off their savage manners, as the unclean creatures bad before put off their natures, and became tame, when they were admite ted into the ark of Noah, a figare of the Church. This change was again to happen under the Gospel ; and the prophet foretells the conversion of the heathens under the figure of a miraculous reformation of manners in wild beasts. See Isaiah xi. 6. The moral or spirit of this law is as much in force as ever.
Commentators generally translate the words θύσον και φάγε, , (v. 13.) sacrifice and eat, rather than kill and eat. Adam Clarke observes-Though this verb is sometimes used to signify the slaying of animals for food, yet, as the proper potion is to slay for the purpose of sacrifice, it appears to be better to preserve that meaning hero. Animals that were offered in sacrifice were considered as given to God: and when he received the life, the flesh was given to those who offered the sacrifice, that they might feed upon it: and every sacrifice had in it the nature of a covenant, and covenants were usually made by eating together on the flesh of the sacrifice offered on the occasion ; God being supposed to be invisibly present with them, and partaking of the feast. The spirit of the heavenly direction seems to be this : “ The middle wall of partition is now to be pulled down; the Jews and Gentiles are called to become one flock, under one shepherd and bishop of souls. Thou, Peter, shalt open the door of faith to the Gentiles, and be also the minister of the circumcision. Rise up; already a blessed sacrifice is propared : go and offer to God, and let thy soul feed on the fruits of his
PETER VISITS CORNELIUS-CHAP. X.
Julian Pe- 12 Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of Joppa and riad, 4753. the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls
Cæsarea. about 40. of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
St. Peter visits Cornelius, a Roman Centurion.
ACTS X. 17-33. 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this Cæsarea. vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked, whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodging there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius ; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek : what is the cause wherefore ye have come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the Centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them.
24 And the morrow after, they entered into Cesarea. ·
mercy and goodness, in thus shewing his gracious design of
Duysing thus defines the trance or extasy which St. Peter fell
Julian Pe- And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together Cæsarea. riod, 4753. his kinsmen and near friends. Vulgar Æra, about 40. 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him,
and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for.
I ask, therefore, for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting, until this hour: and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house; and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.
81 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter : he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner, by the sea side : who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee: and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
of the Gentiles who believe in him.
ACTS X. 34–43.
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and work-
3 There is no name given under heaven, by which men can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ. This is the truth which has been confirmed by miracles, prophecy, and other most incontrovertible evidence. So amply has this truth been demonstrated, that no speculations, or theories of our reason wbich clash with it, can be received; however plausible, the arguments on which they may rest. Without this belief our religion is de graded into a fine system of morality, and one half of the Scripture is useless and un meaning.