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might have life through his namė; föreseeing these blasphe- the design and arrangement of John's Gospel, it will be mous notions that divide the Lord, so far as it is in their necessary to take a brief review of the tenets of Cerinthus, power." Now, if Irenæus here meant to say, that John in opposition to which the evangelist purposely wrote it. only foresaw the errors, which were propagated by Cerinthus This will not only reflect considerable light on particular and the Gnostics, it must appear very extraordinary that he passages, but make the whole appear a complete work, should say, in the passage above quoted, that John wrote regular, clear, and conclusive. against the errors which had been propagated by Cerinthus. Cerinthus was by birth a Jew, who lived at the close of But the contradiction is only apparent; for providens, the the first century: having studied literature and philosophy expression of Irenæus, does not signify, “ foreseeing," but at Alexandria, he attempted at length to form a new and guarding against. The latter passage, therefore, when pro- singular system of doctrine and discipline, by a monstrous perly explained, does not confute but confirm the former. combination of the doctrines of Jesus Christ with the opinions Besides, as Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, speaks of and errors of the Jews and Gnostics. From the latter he Gnostic errors, it is evident that they must have been propa- borrowed their

Pleroma or fulness, their ons or spirits, their gated long before John wrote his Gospel.

Demiurgus or creator of the visible world, &c. and so modi2. The second argument, relied upon by those learned fied and tempered these fictions as to give them an air of men who dissent from the common opinion, is, that the early Judaism, which must have considerably favoured the progress fathers, in their catalogues of heretics, for the most part place of his heresy. He taught that the most high God was utterly Cerinthus after Carpocrates, who unquestionably lived and unknown before the appearance of Christ, and dwelt in a taught in the second century. This circumstance would cer- remote heaven called MAHPOMA (Pleroma) with the chief tainly possess considerable weight, if it appeared that the spirits or Æons—That this supreme God first generated an early fathers had paid due attention to the regular order of only begotten son, MONOTENEZ, who again begat the word, time in their enumeration of heretics : but, instead of this, morog, which was inferior to the first-born. That CHRIST we know the fact to be, that the names of heretics are set was a still lower æon, though far superior to some others down by Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement, and others, at ran- That there were two higher æons, distinct from Christ; one dom, and without paying any regard to the times in which called Z2H, or Life, and the other one, or the Light That they lived. “But even if Irenæus had not asserted that St. from the æons again proceeded inferior orders of spirits, and John wrote liis Gospel against the Gnostics, and particularly particularly one Demiurgus, who created this visible world out against Cerinthus, the contents of the Gospel itself would of eternal matter_That this Demiurgus was ignorant of the lead to this conclusion. The speeches of Christ, which John supreme God, and much lower than the Æons, which were has recorded, are selected with a totally different view from wholly invisible–That he was, however, the peculiar God that of the three first evangelists, who have given such as are and protector of the Israelites, and sent Moses to them; of a moral nature; whereas those which are given by John whose laws were to be of perpetual obligation—That Jesus are chiefly dogmatical, and relate to Christ's divinity, the was a mere man of the most illustrious sanctity and justice, doctrine of the Holy Ghost, the supernatural assistance to the real son of Joseph and Mary-That the Æon Christ de be communicated to the apostles, and other subjects of a like scended upon him in the form of a dove when he was bapimport. In the very choice of his expressions, such as tized, revealed to him the unknown father, and empowered * light,' 'I fe, &c. he had in view the philosophy of the him to work miracles—That the Æon, LIGHT, entered John Gnostics, who used or rather abused these terms. That the the Baptist in the same manner, and therefore that John was first fourteen verses of John's Gospel are merely historical, in some respects preferable to Christ-That Jesus, after his and contain only a short account of Christ's history before union with Christ, opposed himself with vigour to the God his appearance on earth, is a supposition devoid of all proba-of the Jews, at whose instigation he was seized and crucified bility. On the contrary, it is evident that they are purely by the Hebrew chiefs, and that when Jesus was taken capdoctrinal, and that they were introduced with a polemical tive, and came to suffer, Christ ascended up on high, so that view, in order to confute errors, which prevailed at that time the man Jesus alone was subject to the pains of an ignominirespecting the person of Jesus Christ. Unless John had an ous death-That Christ will one day return upon earth, and, adversary to combat who made particular use of the words renewing his former union with the man Jesus, will reign in light,' and · life,' he would not have thought it necessary Palestine a thousand years, during which his disciples will after having described the Creator of all things, to add, that enjoy the most exquisite sensual delights.4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men, or to assert Bearing these dogmas in mind, we shall find that Saint that John the Baptist was not that light. The very meaning John's Gospel is divided into three parts; viz. of the word · light,' would be extremely dubious, unless it PART I. contains Doctrines laid down in Opposition to those of were determined by its particular application in the oriental Gnosis. For withont the supposition, that John had to com

Cerinthus. (John i. 1–18.) bat with an adversary who used this word in a particular

The doctrines laid down in the first part, as contra-positions sense, it might be applied to any divine instructor, who by to the tenets of Cerinthus, may be reduced to the following his doctrines enlightened mankind. Further, the positions heads, in which the evangelist asserts, contained in the first fourteen verses are antitheses to posi- 1. That Christ is the Logos or Word of God. tions maintained by the Gnostics, who used the words acgas,

2. That the Logos and Monogenes are not distinct beings, but one and

the same person. (i. 14.) {wn, pai, uovogens, iranpeu ?, &c. as technical terms of their

3. That Christ or the Logos is not an inferior Æon, but God. (i. 1.) philosophy. Lastly, the speeches of Christ, which St. John 4. That he perfectly knew the supreme God, being always with him has selected, are such as confirm the positions laid down in

in the Pleroma. (i. 18.) the first chapter of his Gospel; and therefore we must con

5. That he is not to be distinguished from the Demiurgus; for he is the

creator of the whole world. (i. 3, 10.) clude that his principal object throughout the whole of his 6. That life and light are not particular and separate spirits, but the Gospel was to confute the errors of the Gnostics."'2

saine with the Logos and Christ. (i. 4.7–9 17.) And, therefore, that

Christ, the Logos, Life, Light, the Only-Begotten, are not distinct In addition to the preceding arguments and proofs, there is Æons, but one and the same divine person. one circumstance highly worthy of remark, which greatly 7. That no particular Æon entered into John the Baptist by the name strengthens the testimony of Irenæus, as to the object of John of Light, to communicate to him a superior knowledge of the divine

will (1. 8.); but that he was a mere man, and, though inspired, much ia writing his Gospel; viz. that he delivered it within a cen

inferior to Jesus, being only the forerunner of himn. (i. 6. 8. 15.) tury after that Gospel was written. Now, as Irenæus was a 8. That the supreme God was not entirely unknown before the time disciple of Polycarp, who was personally acquainted with of Christ, for men had received such lights on this head, under the

various dispensations through which they passed, that it was their the evangelist, he consequently had the best means of pro- own fault if they remained ignorant. (i. 9, 10.) curing information on this subject. The evidence of a credible 9. That the Jews were not the peculiar people of an inferior God, such writer of the second century, uncontradicted by contemporary writers, or by those who lived in the following century, is pp. 248, 279. Tittmanni Meletemata Sacra in Evangelium Johannis, pp surely preferable to the conjectures offered by critics of the 14-2. Kuinöel, Comment. in Hist. Libros Nov. Test. vol. iii. pp. 13 eighteenth or nineteenth century. In order to understand * Mosheim's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 337–347. Dr. Lardner's Works

8vo. vol. ix. pp. 325-327.; 4to. vol.

iv. pp. 567-569. Dr. Owen's Observa 1 Quemadmodum Joannes Domini discipulus confirmat, dicens, "Hæc tions on the Four Gospels, pp. 88–92. To this learned writer we are chiefly Lutein scripta sunt, ut credatis quoniam Jesus est filius Dei, et ut creden- indebted for the preceding observations. The sentiments of Basilides, of les, vitam eternam habeatis in nomine ejus; providens has blasphemas Alexandria (who

was nearly contemporary with Cerinthus), concerning the regulas, quæ dividunt Dominum quantum ex ipsis attinet. Advers. Hæres. Logos, were not very unlike the tenets of that hæresiarch." Mr. Townsend lib. iii. c. 16.

has given an abstract of them in his New Testament, arranged in chrono. 2 Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 280.

logical order, &c. vol. i. pp. 19–21. 2 Lampe, Prolegom. in Johannis Evangelium, vol. i. p. 179. et seq. Bud- Unus et idem ostenditur Logos et Monogenes, et Zoe et Phos, et Soter fleus de Ecclesia Apostolica, p. 412. et seq. Mosheim's Commentaries on et Christus filius Dei, et hic idem incarnatus pro nobis. Iren. lib. i. c the Affairs of Christians, vol. 1. pp. 337 338. note. Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. i. $ 20.

et seq.

as the Demiurgus: but of Christ himself, the only begotten Son of what our Saviour had taught. (xi. 1–44.) Observe particu10. That in the fulness of time the Son of God took upon him human Secr. 14. A brief account of the different effects which this

larly ver. 41, 42. pature, and became man. (i. 14.) 11. That he abolished the law of Moses, which was only the shadow

miracle produced on the minds of the Jews; so different, that of good things to come, and in its stead introduced the substance, or the very things signified by it. (i. 17.)

though it won upon many of the people, it exasperated most And lastly,

of the priests. (xi. 45–57. xii. 1-11.) 12. That the Jew has no more right

in this divine person, and the pri. Sect. 15. Christ rides in triumph to Jerusalem, and is provileges conferred through him, than the Gentile;' for whoever be. lieves in him, becomes thereby a child of God, and is entitled by that claimed king of Israel. The Greeks, who may be considered adoption to a glorious inheritance. (i. 12, 13.)"

as the first fruits of the Gentiles, apply to him and are admitted. These propositions being settled, the Evangelist proceeds in

He addresses them in terms suitable to the occasion, and his Part II. To deliver the Proofs of these Doctrines in an Histori- Sect. 16. Some intimation being now given, that the Gentiles

doctrine is confirmed by a voice from heaven. (xii. 12—36.) cal Manner (i. 19.—xx. 29.), as being all expressed or plainly

were to be admitted into the Christian church, Jesus institutes implied in the Discourses and Transactions of Jesus Christ,

the law of hospitality, and delivers to his disciples a new which may conveniently be divided into eighteen Sections:

commandment, that they should love one another as brethren, viz.

without distinction, and as members of the same church. (xiii

. Sect. 1. John the Baptist himself confesses to the Jewish priests, 1-35.)

that he is much inferior to Jesus, refers his own disciples to him, Secr. 17. Christ informs his disciples, in a long discourse, that who acknowledge him to be the Messiah, and are confirmed a perpetual and intimate union with him, their head, is indisin this faith by the miracle of water converted into wine, at pensably necessary to salvation ; and that, after his departure, Cana in Galilee. (i. 19.–ii. 11.)

he would send down the Holy Spirit, who should guide them SECT. 2. Jesus conducts himself aí Jerusalem as the lord of the into all truth, and enable them to fulfil his commandments.

temple (ii. 12—25.), reveals himself to Nicodemus as the only (xiv.-xvi.) begotten Son of God; shows the design of his coming into the Secr. 18. After this, Jesus recommends his disciples, and all

world, and the necessity of believing in him, (iii. 1—21.) who should in future ages believe in him, to the Father, in a Sect. 3. An additional testimony of John the Baptist to the pathetic and memorable prayer; and at the same time testifies,

superiority of Christ, and the excellency of his ordinances. that not one of his apostles was lost, but Judas Iscariot. (xvii. (iii. 22–36.)

1-26.) As this prayer was favourably heard, and the aposSECT. 4. Jesus visits the Samaritans, declares himself to be the tles were afterwards endowed with extraordinary powers, it

Christ, and foretells the abolition of the Levitical worship. afforded an argument against Cerinthus of the divine authority (iv. 1—42.)

of the doctrines they taught. Sect. 5. By a second miracle, (the curing of a nobleman's dying Sect. 19. Contains a particular account of our Saviour's passion,

child,) Christ demonstrates his divine mission in his own adapted to prove that he did not die as a mere man (xviii. 1. country, where it was most disputed. (iv. 43–54.)

xix. 42.); and also of his resurrection, in opposition to those Sect. 6. As a further proof of the future abrogation of the cere- who denied that he was risen. (xx. 1—29.) monial law, Jesus works a miracle on the Sabbath, by healing

Si. The apprehension of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. (xviii. an impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, and vindicates his 1-11.) conduct : declares himself to be the Son of God, and exhibits

$ il. llis mock trial before the high-priest, in the house of Caiaphas,

and Peter's denial of hin there. (xviii. 12—27.) various evidences of his mission. (v. 1–47.)

S iii. The accusation of Christ before Pilate the Roman governor, who Sect. 7. To show that he was the end of the law, Jesus substi- having in vain attempted to rescue him from the envy of the Jews, tutes himself in the room of the legal sacrifices; and commands

scourged him, and delivered hiin to be crucified. (xviii. 28–40. xix.

1-16. former part of the verse.) the people, who were used to feast on some of those sacrifices, S iv. Narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (xix. 16. Jatter part to eat his flesh and drink his blood. And to convince them of the verse, to v. 37.) that he was truly the bread of life, he miraculously feeds above

$ v. The burial of Christ by Joseph of Arimathea. (xix. 38–42.)

svi. The resurrection (xx: 1-10.), and Christ's appearances, first to five thousand of them with five barley loaves. The people Mary (11-18.), and, secondly, to the disciples on the same day. being disposed by this miracle to make him a king, Jesus dis

(19-23.) claims all temporal views. (vi. 1–71.)

s vii. Christ's appearance eight days after to his disciples, Thomas

being present. (24-29.) Sect. 8. Jesus reproves the ambition of his kinsmen : and going Part III. contains an Account of the Person of the Writer of

up to Jerusalem at the feast of tabernacles, promises the assistance of the Holy Spirit to all true believers. (vii, 1–53.)

this Gospel, and of his design in writing it. (xx. 30, 31. Sect. 9. He declares himself to be the light of the world ; re

xxi.) proves the Jews for rejecting him; promises immortality to Sect. 1. Comprises a declaration of the end which Saint John his followers; and speaks of his own existence as prior to that

had in view in composing his Gospel; viz. that his readers of Abraham. (viii. 12—59.)

might be convinced that Jesus is THE Christ the Son of God Sect. 10. A woman taken in adultery is brought to Jesus, who (xx. 31.); and consequently that the tenets and notions of

avoids giving judgment in her case, and turns the consciences Cerinthus were altogether false and heretical. In this section of his enemies on themselves. (viii. 1–11.)

is related Christ's appearance to his disciples at the sea of Sect. 11. In proof of his being the light of the world, he restores Tiberias, and his discourse to the apostle Peter. (xxi. 81–19.)

a blind man to sight, and warns the Jews of that judicial Sect. 2. Relates to the evangelist John himself; Christ checks darkness under which they were soon to be sealed up, for per- Peter's curiosity concerning his death. (xxi. 20—23.) The verting so basely those means of knowledge, which were gra

conclusion. (24, 25.) ciously offered to them. (ix. 1–41.)

This section seems to have been added, as a confutation of the opinion Sect. 12. After this he represents himself as the door of the

entertained by some, that Saint John was not to die an opinion

which might have weakened his authority, if he had suffered it to sheepfold, and tells the Pharisees, who called themselves the

pass unrefuted. shepherds of the people, that they “who entered not by the

Besides refuting the errors of Cerinthus and his followers, door into the sheepfold, but climbed up some other way,” Michaelis is of opinion that John also had in view to confute whatever character they might assume, were in reality no bet- the erroneous tenets of the Sabeans, a sect which claimed ter than thieves and robbers. A reflection which the Chris- John the Baptist for its founder. He has adduced a variety tians of those days could hardly avoid applying to Cerinthus of terms and phrases, which he has applied to the explanaand other hæresiarchs. Then follows a description of a good tion of the first fourteen verses of John's Gospel in such a shepherd and a hireling, which may be regarded as a kind of manner as renders his conjecture not improbable. Perhaps test, by which to judge of the different conduct of the apostles we shall not greatly err if we conclude with Rosenm ller,

and heretics, &c. (x. 1–42.) Sect. 13. Jesus performs a signal miracle, by restoring Lazarus + Washing the feet (as we have seen in the early part of this volume) was to life, after he had been dead four days, in the presence of ler, who was to be hospitably received (Gen. xviii, 4. xix. 2. xlii.

21.).

commonly, in the eastern countries, the first kindness shown to a travela large number of people ; which was attended with this pecu- whence it came to be used for hospitality in general. (1 Tim. v. 10.) When liar circumstance, that it was wrought after an express invo- our Saviour therefore washed the feet of his disciples, and taught them to cation of God, that he would apply it to the confirmation of as if he had instituted and established the law of hospitality among all his that John had both these classes of heretics in view, and contents of this book — VII. Observations on its style. that he wrote to confute their respective tenets. Yet, though VIII. On the importance of this book, as an evidence for he composed his Gospel principally with this design, he did the truth of Christianity. not wholly confine himself to it; but took occasion to impart correct views of the nature and offices of Jesus Christ and last of the historical books of the New Testament, and

future followers. Now, as strangers are the objects of this law, and not

persons who live in the same community, it was indeed, in the strictest 1 Origen. Philocal. c. i. p. 17. ed. Spencer.

sense, a new commandment to them, who thought it their duty "to avoid * See a critical examination of this miracle, supra, Vol. 1. pp. 104, 105. those of another nation." (Aets x. 28.) ; Ibid. pp. 105, 106.

• Michaelis, vol. iii. pp. 285-302.

1.'The book of the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES forms the fifth ceded to, it will reconcile the various cpinions of learned connects the Gospel with the Epistles ; being a useful postmen concerning the real scope of John's Gospel.

script to the former, and a proper introduction to the latter. VI. It is obvious to every attentive reader of this Gospel, on this account it has been generally placed after the four that John studiously omits to notice those passages in our Gospels, though (as Michaelis has remarked) in several anLord's history and teaching, which had been related at cient manuscripts and versions it is very frequently placed length by the other evangelists, or if he mentions them at after the Epistles of Saint Paul, because it is necessary to he gives his testimony that their narratives are faithful and noticed in the critical editions of the New Testament. Thus, all, it is in a very cursory manner. By pursuing this method the right understanding

of them.

Various Titles have been given to this book which are true, and at the same time leaves himself room to enlarge in the Codex Bezæ, or Cambridge manuscript, it is called the Gospel history. This confirms the unanimous declarations of ancient writers, that the first three Gospels were IPAFEIE TON Anog roANN, the Acts or Transactions of the history. In the account of our Saviour's passion, death, and Acts of the Holy Apostles,

which title is also adopted by most written and published before John composed his evangelical Apostles

. In the Codex Alexandrinus, and many other manu

scripts, it is entitled ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΓΙΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ, the resurrection, all the four Gospels coincide in many particu- of the Greek and Latin' fathers. The first of these various lars; though here John has several things peculiar to himself. In his Gospel, many things recorded by the other titles is that which is adopted in the printed editions, and in evangelists are omitted. He has given no account of our

all modern versions; but by whom it was prefixed, it is now Saviour's nativity, nor of his baptism by John. He takes impossible to ascertain. In the Syriac version, according to no notice of our Saviour's temptation in the wilderness ; nor the edition in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, the title is : “ l'he of the call or names of the iwelve apostles; nor of 'their Book of the Acts, that is, of the History of the Blessed mission during the ministry of Christ; nor of his para- _in the Arabic version it is, " The beginning of the Book

Apostles, composed by my holy lord Luke the Evangelist :" bles, or other discourses recorded by the first three evangelists; nor of his journeys; nor of any of his predictions of the Acts of the [holy) Apostles;”—and in the Ethiopic concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which are related version, “The Acts of the Apostles, the transactions of the by them; nor has John repeated any of Christ's miracles ministers, that

is, the History of the holy Apostles.” This recorded by them, except that of feeding five thousand peo-Peter and Saint Paul, and of the history of the Christian

book contains great part of the lives and transactions of Saint ple, which was probably repeated for the sake of the discourse to which it gave birth. But, on the other hand, John church; commencing at the ascension of our Saviour, and mentions several incidents, which the other evangelists have being continued down to Saint Paul's arrival at Rome, after not noticed. Thus, he gives an account of our Lord's cleans- his appeal to Cæsar, comprising a period of about thirty ing the temple at the first passover, when he went to Jeru- years. salem; but all the other evangelists give a similar account

II. That Saint Luke was the author of the Acts of the of his cleansing the temple at his last passover. These two Apostles, as well as of the Gospel which bears his name, is acts, however, are widely different. He relates the acts of evident both from the introduction, and from the unanimous Christ before the imprisonment of John the Baptist; the testimonies of the early Christians. Both are inscribed to wedding at Cana; the cure of the man who had been blind Theophilus; and in the very first verse of the Acts there is of Judas against the woman who anointed our Lord with critics have conjectured that Saint Luke wrote the Gospels from his birth; the resurrection of Lazarus; the indignation a reference made to his Gospel, which he calls the former

On this account, Dr. Benson and some other ointment; the visit of the Greeks to Jesus; his washing

the and Acts in one book, and divided it into two parts. From feet of his disciples; and his consolatory discourse to them the frequent use of the first person plural, it is clear that he previously to his passion. John's Gospel also contains more plain and frequent assurances than those occurring in the was present at most of the transactions he relates. He apother Gospels, that Jesus is not only a prophet and messen-pears to have accompanied Saint Paul from Troas to Philippi; ger of God, but also that he is the Messiah, the Son of God: he also attended him to Jerusalem, and afterwards to Rome, and asserts his pre-existence and Deity in the clearest and where he remained two years, during that apostle's

first most distinct terms..

confinement. Accordingly we find Saint Luke particularly VII. Salmasius, Grotius, Bolten, and other critics have mentioned in two of the epistles written by Saint

Paul, from imagined that John did not write his Gospel originally in Rome, during that confinement. As the book of Acts is Greek, but in the Syriac language. This hypothesis, how- continued to the end of the second year of Saint Paul's imever, is contradicted by the unanimous consent of Christian prisonment, it could not have been written before the year 63 ; antiquity, which affirms that he wrote it in Greek. In addi- and, as the death of that apostle is not mentioned, it is protion to the observations already offered, respecting the original is supposed

to have happened

A. D. 65. For these reasons,

bable that the book was composed before that event, which Hebraisms occurring in this Gospel clearly prove that it was Tomline, and the generality of critics, assign the date of this originally

written by a Jew. His style is pronounced by book to the year 63. Michaelis; to be better and more fluent than that of the other evangelists; and he ascribes this excellence to the facility

III. To the genuineness and authenticity of this book, the and taste in the Greek language, which the apostle seems to early. Christian fathers bear unanimous testimony. Not to have acquired from his song residence at Ephesus. His mention the attestations of the apostolic fathers, in the first narrative is characterized by singular perspicuity, and by the century, which have been collected by Mr. Jones, Drs. Benmost unaffected simplicity and benevolence. There are few son and Lardner, we may remark that Irenæus and Tertulpassages in Holy Writ more deeply affecting than this evan- lian,in the second ceniury, both ascribed the Acts of the gelist's narrative of the resurrection of Lazarus.

Apostles to Saint Luke. And their evidence is corroborated by that of Origen, Jerome, Augustine, Eusebius, and all

subsequent ecclesiastical writers. Further, Chrysostom and SECTION VI.

other fathers inform us, that this book was annually read in

the churches, every day between the festivals of Easter and ON THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

Pentecost or Whitsuntide.10 The Valentinians, indeed, as 1. Title.—II. Author and date.III. Genuineness and authen- well as the Marcionites, Severians, and some Manicheans, ticity.—IV. Scope.-V. Chronology.-VI. Analysis of the Col. iv. 14. Philem. 24.

& Jones on the Canon, vol. iii. pp. 129-136. Dr. Benson's Hist. of the Michaelis, vol. iii. pp. 303–315. On the decisive testimony of Saint First Planting of Christianity, vol. li. pp. 325-330. 2d edit. Dr. Lardner's John's Gospel to the Divinity of our Saviour, see Bishop Bloomfield's "Five Works, Index, voce Acts of the Apostles. Lectures, delivered on the Fridays during Lent, 1823."--London, 1823, Lardner, Svo. vol. ii. pp. 162, 163. ; 4to. vol. i. p. 368. Benson, vol. ii. 2 See Vol. I. pp. 193, 194. supra.

8 Lardner, 8vo. vol. ii. pp. 261, 262.; 4to. vol. I. p. 452. Benson, vol. ii. p. 331. 3 Introd. vol. ili part i. p. 316.

3 Benson, vol. ii. pp. 321–324. Lardner, 8vo. vol. vi. pp. 145–147. ; 4to .* Campbell on the Gospels, vol. ii. pp. 192—195. Kuinöel, Comm. in Hist. vol. iii. pp. 206, 207. Lib. Nov. Test. vol. iii. p. 33. et seq. Pritii, Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 203- 10 Benson, vol. il. p. 332. Lardner, 8vo. vol. v. pp. 133, 134. ; 4to. vol. ti. 226. Viser, Herm. Sacr. Nov. Test. pars í. p. 340. pars ii. pp. 263-268.

12.no.

p. 330.

p. 605.

rejected the Acts of the Apostles, not from historical reasons, V. The Acts of the Apostles, Michaelis observes, were but because they militated against their opinions; for the evidently written with a tolerably strict attention to chronoGnostics (of which sect the Valentinians and Marcionites logical order ; though Saint Luke has not affixed a date to any were a branch) affirmed that the God of the Old Testament one of the facts recorded by him. There are, however, sevewas different from the God of the New Testament: and that ral parts of this book, in which ecclesiastical history is comanother Christ, different from our Saviour, was promised. bined with political facts, the dates of which are known : The Severians and Encratites strenuously insisted upon ab- and these Michaelis has endeavoured to determine, because stinence from certain articles of food; whereas, in the book the chronology will not only contribute to illustrate the Acts of Acts, the promiscuous use of food is allowed. Lastly, of the Apostles, but also will assist us in fixing the year when Manes wished himself to be taken for "the Comforter," who many of Saint Paul's Epistles were written. Taking for had been promised by Christ to his apostles; but in the Acts granted, therefore, that this book commences with the year it is related that the Comforter that had been so promised | 33, of the Christian æra (in which calculation he follows was the Holy Spirit, who had been sent. The reasons, Archbishop Usher), he has given us the following series therefore, why the book was rejected by the above-mentioned of dates :sects, were not historical, but doctrinal; because the narrative of the sacred historian contradicted their dogmas; and as at ch. xi. 29, 30.; for what happened between the first Pentecost

1. “ The First epoch, after the commencement of the book, is their errors were detected and refuted by contemporary wri- after Christ's ascension and this period is without any marks of ters,' the unqualified and unsupported assertions of these chronology. But at ch. xi. 29, 30. we have a date ; for the heretics are so far from impugning the veracity and genu- famine which took place in the time of Claudius Cæsar, and ineness of the Acts of the Apostles, that on the contrary, which induced the disciples at Antioch to send relief to their they afford a decisive and collateral testimony in favour of brethren in Judæa, happened in the fourth year of Claudius's the book,

IV. Saint Luke does not appear to have intended to write reign, that is, in the year 44 of the Christian æra. a complete ecclesiastical history of the Christian church, to death the apostle St. James ; and about that time Saint Paul

2. “ Second epoch. Herod Agrippa dies soon after he had put during the first thirty years after our Saviour's ascension, nor even of Saint Paul's life during that period; for he has and Saint Barnabas return from Jerusalem to Antioch. (ch. xii. almost wholly omitted what passed among the Jews after the 21—25.). This is still in the year 44. conversion of that apostle, and is totally silent concerning the

3. Third epoch. (ch. xviii. 2.) Shortly after the banishment spread of Christianity in the East and in Egypt, as well as of the Jews from Italy by Claudius Cæsar, Saint Paul arrives at the foundation of the church of Christ at Rome, Saint Paul's Corinth. Commentators affix the date of 54 to this event ; but journey into Arabia, and many other topics, though the la- it is uncertain, for Suetonius, the only historian who has noticed bours and sufferings of the other apostles could not but have this banishment of the Jews, mentions it without date. afforded the most interesting materials, had it fallen within 4. “Fourth epoch. Saint Paul comes to Jerusalem, where he is his design to have composed an entire history of the church. imprisoned by the Jews, not long after the disturbances which

If we carefully examine the Acts of the Apostles, we shall were excited by the Egyptian. (ch. xxi. 37–39.) This imperceive that Saint Luke had two objects in view :-1. To prisonment of Saint Paul happened in the year 60, for it was relate in what manner the gifts of the Holy Spirit were com- two years before Felix quitted his government of Judæa. (ch. municated on the day of Pentecost, and the subsequent mira- xxiii

. 26. xxiv. 27.) cles performed by the apostles, by which the truth of Chris- 5. Fifth epoch. Two years after the commencement of Saint tianity was confirmed. An authentic account of this matter Paul's imprisonment, Festus is appointed governer of Judæa, was absolutely necessary, because Christ had often assured his 1. n. 62. (ch. xxiv. 27. xxv. 1.) disciples that they should receive the Holy Spirit. Unbe- From this period the chronology of the Acts of the Apostles is lievers, therefore, whether Jews or Heathens, might have clear. Saint Paul is sent prisoner to Rome in the autumn of the made objections to our religion if it had not been shown that same year in which Festus arrived in Judæa : he suffers shipChrist's declarations were really fulfilled.-2. To deliver wreck, passes the winter in Malta, and arrives in Rome in the such accounts as proved the claim of the Gentiles to admis- following year, that is, in 63. (ch. xxvi. xxvii. xxviii.). sion into the Church of Christ,-a claim. disputed by the “ The Acts of the Apostles close with the end of the second Jews, especially at the time when Saint Luke wrote the Acts year of Saint Paul's imprisonment in Rome : consequently in the of the Apostles. And it was this very circumstance which year 65. (ch. xxviii. 30.)" excited the hatred of the Jews against Saint Paul, and occasioned his imprisonment in Rome, with which Saint Luke

It is difficult to determine the date of the events that hapcloses his history. Hence we see the reason why he relates pened between the epochs 33 and 34, and between 44 and 60, (ch. viii.) the conversion of the Samaritans, and (ch. x. xi.) especially the time of Saint Paul's conversion and of the the story of Cornelius, whom Saint Peter (to whose authority these transactions A. D. 35, others in 38. But, though we the adversaries of Saint Paul had appealed in favour of cir- cannot attain to absolute certainty, a probable conjecture may cumcision2) baptized, though he was not of the circumcision. be formed. Thus, Michaelis remarks, Saint Stephen hardlý Hence also Saint Luke relates the determination of the first suffered martyrdom before Pilate was recalled from the gocouncil in Jerusalem relative to the Levitical law: and for the same reason he is more diffuse in his account of Saint Paul's vernment of Judæa; because, under that procurator, the Jews conversion, and Saint Paul's preaching the Gospel to the had not the power of inflicting capital punishments. Now, Gentiles, than on any other subject. It is true that the whole according to Usher, the year in which Pilate was recalled, relation, which Saint Luke has given (ch. xii.), has no con- was the thirty-sixth of the

Christianæra : Saint Stephen's

marnection with the conversion of the Gentiles: but during the tyrdom, therefore, probably happened after 36. – If this be period to which that chapter relates, Saint Paul himself was after 36, and therefore 35 is too early a date. But how long present at Jerusalem (see Acts zi. 30. xii. 25.), and it is pro- after 36, whether in 38, cannot be determined. bable, for that reason, that Saint Luke has introduced it. But there is, 3. A third opinion which Michaelis thinks not ranged between 33 and 36, Michaelis cannot determine: for

In what manner the chapters iii. iv. v. vi. are to be ardevoid of probability, viz. that Saint Luke might design to what chronologers have said is mere conjecture, and not calrecord only those facts, which he had either seen himself or culation. The same uncertainty prevails in respect to ch. had heard from eye-witnesses.3 1 Irenæus adversus Hæreses, lib. iii. c. 12. Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. lib. one must be placed before the other after 36.

viii. and x.: for we can affirm nothing more, than that the

We are likei. c. 21. Augustine epist. 251. et contra Faustum, lib. xix. c. 31.

wise in the dark with respect to ch. xiii. xiv. and several nion that Saint Luke designed his book to be only a concise specimen or to a period at least six years prior to the fourth epoch, or the

: Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. pp. 327–331. Dr. Benson, however, is of opi: other chapters. Of ch. xvi. we may assert, that it belongs of describing the nanner in which the Jews, proselytes of the gate, or year 60; for a year and a half at Corinth, three years at devout Gentiles, and the idolatrous Gentiles, were

respectively converted. Ephesus, and the time spent on several journeys, can hardly be ten se this learned author divides the book into three parts or books, viz, pressed into a smaller compass than that of six years. To ch. among the Jews only, from A. D. 33. to A. D. 41. including chapter ii. to x 2 xvi., therefore, the latest date which can be assigned is 54 : and The second comprises an account of the spreading of Christianity among it is not improbable that it should be dated still earlier. 4 the devout Gentiles, together with its farther progress among the Jews, A. D. 41. to A. D 44. (Acts x.-xiii.) 3. And the third part comprehends the 4 Michaelis, vol. iii. part. i. pp. 336–338. The chronology of the Acts of diffusion of Christianity among the idolatrous Gentiles, together with its the Apostles is discussed at considerable length in Hug's Introduction to further progress ainong the two preceding classes of persons, A. D. 44. to New Test. vol. ii. pp. 312—334., and (so far as concerns the travels and 1. D. 63. (Acts xiii.- xxviii.) Benson's llist of the First Planting of Chris writings of Saint Paul) by the reviewer of that work in the British Critic tianity, vol. i. pp. 22–24.

for April 1828, pp. 261-317.

. See Galat. ii. 6-21.

VI. The Acts of the Apostles, as they appear in our co-other books of the New Testament, particularly in the pies, may be divided into three principal parts; viz. speeches delivered by Saint Paul at Athens, and before the Part I. contains the Rise and Progress of the Mother Church Roman governors. It is further worthy of remark, that Saint at Jerusulem from the Time of our Saviour's Ascension to the he has introduced as speaking. Thus the speeches and disfirst Jewish Persecution. (ch. i.-viii.)

courses of St. Peter are recorded with simplicity, and are Sect. 1. The transactions before and after Jesus Christ's destitute of all those ornaments which usually occar in the ascension into heaven. (i.)

orations of the Greeks and Romans. Nearly similar are the Sect. 2. The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles at the speeches of Saint Paul, which were addressed to the Jews,

feast of Pentecost, and Peter's discourse to the people in while those delivered by the same apostle before a heathen consequence of it. (ii.)

audience are widely different. Thus, in his discourse deliSect. 3. A lame man 'healed by Peter and John-Peter's vered at Antioch in Pisidia, he commences with a long peridiscourse to the people-Events that befel the apostles in phrasis, which would not have been either instructive or enconsequence of that miracle. (iii. iv.)

tertaining in any other place than a Jewish synagogue. On Secr. 4. The death of Ananias and 'Sapphira-Miracles of the contrary, the speech of the martyr Stephen (Acts vii.) is

the apostles,—who are scourged and dismissed. (v.) altogether of a different description. It is a learned but Sect. 5. The institution of deacons-the discourse and mar- unpremeditated discourse, pronounced by a person totally un

tyrdom of Stephen,--and the first Jewish persecution. (vi. acquainted with the art of oratory; and though he certainly vii. viii. 1–4.)

had a particular object in view, to which the several parts of Part II. comprises the Dispersion of the Disciples-the Pro- object, because his materials are not regularly disposed.

his discourse were directed, yet it is difficult to discover this pagation of Christianity among the Samaritansthe. Con- Lastly, Saint Paul's discourses before assemblies that were version of Saint Paul, and the Foundation of a Christian accustomed to Grecian oratory, are totally different

from any Church at Antioch. (viii. 5.-xii.)

of the preceding. Though not adorned with the flowers of Sect. 1. The planting of the church at Samaria. (viii. 5—25.) rhetoric, the language is pointed and energetic, and the maSeot. 2. The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. (viii. terials are judiciously selected and arranged, as is manifest 26–40.)

in his speech delivered at Athens (Acts xvii. 22–31.), and Sect. 3. The conversion, baptism, and first preaching of in his two defences of himself before the Roman governors Saint Paul. (ix.)

of Judæa. (xxiv. xxvi.) Dr. Benson and Michaelis, howSect. 4. Account of two miracles performed by Peter, and ever, are both of opinion, that Saint Luke has given abstracts

the conversion of Cornelius and his family. (x. xi, 1–18.) only, and not the whole, of Saint Paul's speeches; for in his Sect. 5. The first Gentile church founded at Antioch. (xí. speech before Felix, he must certainly have said more than is 19—30.)

recorded by Saint Luke (xxiv. 12, 13.); unless we suppose Sect. 6. The apostle James put to death by Herod Agrippa,- that Saint Paul merely denied the charge which had been relation of his miserable death. (xii.)

laid against him, without confuting it. Michaelis adds, that Part III. describes the Conversion of the more remote Gentiles, abstracts : and that, if he has not retained the very words of

in his opinion Saint Luke has shown great judgment in these by Burnabas and Paul, and, after their Separation, by Paul Saint Paul, he has adopted such as were well suited to the and his Associates

, anong whom wus Luke himself during polished audiences before which the apostle spoke. the luller Purt of Paul's Labours (xii.—xxviii.)

VIII. The Acts of the Apostles afford abundant levidence Sect. 1. The planting of several churches in the isle of of the truth and divine original of the Christian religion ;

Cyprus, at Perga in Pamphylia, Antioch in Pisidia, Ico- for we learn from this book, that the Gospel was not indebted nium, Lystra, and Derbe-The return of Saint Paul to for its success to deceit or fraud, but that it was wholly the Antioch. (xiii. xiv.)

result of the mighty power of God, and of the excellence SECT. 2. Discussion of the question by the apostles at Jeru- and efficacy of the saving truths which it contains. The

salem concerning the necessity of circumcision, and of general and particular doetrines, comprised in the Acts of the observing the law—Their letter to the churches on this Apostles, are perfectly in unison with the glorious truths resubject. xv. 1-35.)

vealed in the Gospels, and illustrated in the Apostolic Epise Secr. 3. Paul's second departure from Antioch—He preaches tles; and are admirably suited to the state of the persons,

the Gospel in various countries, particularly at Philippi in whether Jews or Gentiles, to whom they were addressed. Macedonia—the conversion of the Philippiar gaoler. (xv. And the evidence which the apostles gave of their doctrines, 36—41. xvi.)

in their appeals to prophecies and miracles, and the various Seer. 4. The journeys and apostolical labours of Paul and gifts of the Spirit, were so numerous and so strong, and at

his associates at Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens-His the same time so admirably adapted to every class of persons, masterly apology before the court of the Areopagites. (xvii.) that the truth of the religion which they attest cannot be Secr. 5. Paul's journey to Corinth, and thence to Antioch. reasonably disputed. (xviii, 1–22.)

Further, the history itself is credible. It was written by a sect. 6. Paul's third departure from Antioch-Consequences which he relates, and who was both able and disposed to

person who was acquainted with the various circumstances of his preaching at Ephesus. (xviii. 23—28. xix.) Sect. 7. The labours of Paul in Greece and Asia Minor, and Luke was a companion of the apostles;

he was himself an

give a faithful narrative of every thing that occurred. Saint his journey towards Jerusalem. (xx.) Secr. 8. The persecution of Paul at Jerusalem—He is sent cerned in many of the incidents he has recorded. In the

eye and ear witness of the facts, and was personally con.. a prisoner to Cæsarea. (xxi.—xxiii. 1—30.)

history itself there are no inconsistencies or contradictions ; Secr. 9. Paul's arrival at Cæsarea—the charges of the Jews the miraculous facts related in it are neither impossible,

against him-His desence before Felix-Appeal to Cæsar— when we consider the almighty power of God to which they His defence before Agrippa, at whose request his cause was are ascribed; nor improbable, when we consider the grand reheard. (xxiii. 31–35. xxiv.-xxvi.)

design and occasion on account of which they were performSuct. 10. Narrative of Paul's voyage from Cæsarea—His ed. The plainness and simplicity of the narratiye are also

shipwreck on the isle of Malta–His voyage thence to Rome, strong circumstances in its favour. The writer appears to where he preaches the Gospel to the Jews, and resides for have been very honest and impartial, and to have set down two years. (xxvii. xxviii.)

fairly the objections which were made to Christianity both In perusing the Acts of the Apostles, it will be desirable by Jews and Heathens, and the reflections which were cast constantly to refer to the accompanying map of their respect- upon it, as well as upon its first preachers. He has, likeive journeys, particularly those of Saint Paul. In con- wise, with a just and ingenuous freedom; mentioned the structing this map, the accurate geographer D'Anville has weaknesses, faults, and prejudices, both of the apostles and principally been followed; the courses of the several winds of their converts. The occasional hints, which are dispersed ihat usually blow in the Levant or Mediterranean sea, to- through the epistles of Saint Paul, harmonize with the facts gether with their ancient names, are inserted from Dr. Shaw.1 related in the history of the Acts of the Apostles; so that

VII. The narrative of the Acts of the Apostles is per- this history is the best guide we can have in studying the spicuous and noble. Though it is not entirely free from epistles. The other parts of the New Testament are in Hebraisms, it is in general much purer than that of most 2 Acts xiii. 16–41.

: Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. pp. 331---335. Benson's History of the First · Travels in Barbary, vol. ii. p. 131. 3d edit,

Planting of Christianity, vol. il. p. 258.

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