« AnteriorContinua »
principal Parts of which it consists, viz. the miraculous Abilities conferred upon the Apostles and primitive Disciples; their preaching of this Religion first to the Jewish Land; and then the Progress they made in it thro' several large Tracts of the Gentile World; you will, I hope, attain the proper Advantages of this Divine History, for building yourselves up in your most Holy Faith, in these following Conclusions and Observations.
First, That these miraculous Endowments of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and first Chriftians, are an ample and compleat Confirmation of the Truth of the Gospel History, and Religion.
Secondly, That tho' we have left us in this Book, an Account chiefly of the Travels of but two Apostles, viz. St. Peter and St. Paul (and but a brief and short Abstract of them neither) yet the indefatigable Labours, Sufferings, and Pains we find them to have taken, are a sufficient Intimation and Assurance of the same Industry and Application of all the other Apostles, that were difpersed into other Parts of the World, for demonîtrating and establishing the Christian Religion.
Thirdly, That the historical Accounts we have of the Travels, Miracles, and successes of the rest of the Apostles from the best Ecclesiastical Writers, tho' they be not of the same Divine Authority with those of this Book, nor all of equal Credibility ; yet, in the main, have a great Degree of historical and probable Truth. And,
Lastly, That whatever the depraved and miserable Estate of Ignorance and Error, of the far major Part of the World may now be, yet the Divine Goodness and Providence was not at first wanting in bestowing on them all the Means of true and saving Religion by his Gospel.
С НА Р. І.
THE * former "THE
2. HE Gospel which I A. D. 33. treatise have I
Luke wrote some made, o Theophilus, Time ago (for your Instruction, of + all that Jesus be most excellent Theophilus) congan both to do and tains an historical Account of the teach.
2. Until the day in Life, Doctrine, and Religion of which he was taken Jesus Christ the Messiah and Saup, after that he, thro' viour of Mankind; in which I the I holy Ghost, had
was as full and particular + as I given commandments thought needful for the Instructo the apostles whom tion of any Christian Convert : he had chosen ; Beginning from the Birth and Preaching of John the Baptist, his Forerunner, sent to prepare the Minds of Men for the Reception of his Religion ; and ending at the Day of his Ascension, when he was taken up into Heaven by the Power of the same # Holy Spirit that conducted him thro' the whole Course
* Ver. 1. The former Treatis-Tdy angalov nógov; or, the former Part, viz. St. Luke's Gospel, and this of the Acts, seeming to have been but two parts of one and the same Book, and probably publish'd together. See Appendix to the Paraphrase on i Tim. in Imitation of Mr. Lock's Manner, by a moft learned anonymous Author.
+ Ibid. Tirei rántwv must be thus limited ; see Joh. xxi. 25.
1 Ver. 2." He through tbe Holy Ghof - It being not by Expositors clearly determined, to which Part of the Sentence 2
A. D. 33. of bis Ministry, and in the Choice, Management,
and Direction of his twelve Apostles, who were to be the Witnefles of what he had done and taught, and the chief Ministers of his Kingdom.
3. To whom also 3. To which twelve Apostles he Thewed himself a- (as I there related, Luke xxiv.) he live after his passion dhewed himself alive immediately by many infallible after his Resurrection, convincing proofs, being seen of them of the Truth and Reality them forty days, and of it by many the most undeniaspeaking of the things ble Proofs, and continued Depertaining to the king
monstrations for forty Days togedom of God.
ther, by eating, and drinking, and discoursing with them in his wonted familiar Manner, about the Nature, Excellency, and Success of his Religion and Doctrine, which they were to preach and propagate to Mankind.
4. And being af 4 & 5. At the last of which sembled together with Times of his Meeting and Con
commanded versation with them, being the them that they should very Day * on which he ascended, not depart from Jeru. he order'd them not to begin this salem, but wait for the promise of the great Work of preaching the GofFather, which, faisb pel immediately, but to stay at be, ye have heard of Jerusalem, till he should send
down upon them those Gifts of 5. For + John truly the Spirit, which God had long baptized with water'; before promised to his Church, but ye shall be bap. Foel ii. 28. and which (faid he) tized with the holy you have heard me several Times Gholt,
these Words are to be connected, i. e. Whether Christ is said to have been taken up by the Holy Gholl, or to have chosen and commanded his Apostles by the Holy Ghof; I have therefore expressed both Meanings in the Paraphrase. But indeed avaampesis dra being not so good Greek as conduc des I take the latter to be the true Senre, and the Conitruction of the Words seem to determine it so.
* As some of our belt Commentators think, though it be not absolutely certain.
+ "Oto being rendered by that, connects the Sense of the two Verles. Or, it may be no Reference to any particular
Ghoft, not many days speak of, and engage to fulfil up- A. D. 33. + hence.
on you my Apostles, in Words to this Effect, viz. That * as John the Baptift made and received his Disciples by the significant Ceremony of plunging them in Water, so you shall be confecrated to my Ministry and Apostleship in a Manner much more solemn and excellent, by a most plentiful and miraculous Effufion of the Holy Spirit, to qualify you for so great a Work; and this I will perform about tent Days hence.
6.When they there- 6. Jesus saw the greater Occafore were come toge- fion of giving this Order, and rether, they asked of peating this special Promise to his him, saying, Lord, Apostles, from the common Prewilt thou at this time judice and false Notions they still restore again the king had, of the temporal and secular dom to Israel?
Grandeur of his Kingdom ; or at least that his Kingdom was now presently to come ; which they express’d too plainly (some of them at least) by asking him, whether, after his Resurrection and Ascent into Heaven, he intended to gather the Jewish Nation from their Dispersion, and raise it into a victorious and powerful State ; as they expected the Messiah would do ?
7. And he said un- 7 & 8. To which Jesus gave to them, It is not for them this proper and seasonable you to know the times Reply.
There are, indeed, great or the seasons which and large Things spoken by the the Father hath put Prophets, concerning the Restoin his own power.
ration and flourishing Eftate of the Jewish Church, || under the Messiah; but the particular Time and Manner, in which God shall please to accomplish these, is one of those Secrets which he
former Speech, but a general Recapitulation of former Promises now renewed ; and then our Trandation stands good.
* See the foregoing Note. + Viz. At Pentecost, which was ten Days after Christ's Ascension.
Ver. 6. Refore the Kingdom to Ifrael. See Luke xxii. 29, 30. I appoint unto you a Kingdom, &c.
| Sce Dan. vii. 13,14.
A. D. 33. 8. But ye shall re
8. But ye shall re- has reserv'd to himself, Deut. xxix.
29. In the mean Time, let this
Evidences of the Truth of my
Religion, shall conquer the Preju-
9. These are some of the last
these words that Jesus spoke to his things, while they Disciples upon Earth, which as beheld, he was taken soon as he had ended, and given up, and a cloud re
them his folemn Blessing, Luke ceived him out of xxiv. 50. there appeared from their fight.
Heaven a Cloud of Glory, with a Retinue of the Holy Angels, which took him up from the Ground before their Eyes, and gradually mounted him out of their Sight.
10. And while they 10 & 11. To which I now looked stedfastly to add another remarkable Cirward heaven, as he cumstance, That while the Difwent up, behold two ciples were beholding his glomen stood by them in rious Ascent, with the utwhite apparel; most Amazement and Concern to be parted from him (and, perhaps, with some Hopes that he would soon return to them again) two of the Angels that attended him, came down near to them in human Form, in bright and glitter
* Ver. 8. Antrat durauir, Ye Mall receive Power. The Word Power seems here to be emphatical, as respecting the Disciples Notion of having temporal Power under Christ. —Ye fhall receive Power indeed of a much more excellent Kind.
+ "Ews égalo e gñs. Sce Ver. I. and Luke xxiv. 47, 48, 49.