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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

anc.

I. Author, LUKE (see Intro. to Gospel). 1. Universal testmy. of antiq. (Iren., Clem. Alex., Tert., Euse., Jero., etc.). 2. Confirm. by inter. evidence. (1) The continuation of a former treatisethe Gospel (cf. Ac. i. 1; Lu. i. 3). (2) Dedicated to same person. (3) Similar peculiarities of diction, and turns of thought. 3. Name of Lu. annexed to this bk. in sev. anc. Gk. MSS.; and to old Syriac Ver. (sup. to have been made at close of 1st, or begin. of 2nd cent.). II. Title, Prob. adopted by Lu. himself (Wordsworth), certainly very

Thus Tert. refg. to this bk. as Acta Apostolorum, calls it Commentarium Lucæ. In these “ Actings of Apostles” (pážers’ATOOTólwv) “ two of the Apostles-Peter and Paul—are selected as specimens of the rest; and certain acts of theirs are chosen as specimens of their operations” (Wordsworth. But Alford is of opinion the title proceeded fr. the transcribers). III. Time, ab. A.D. 63. Could not have been writt. bef. Paul's two yrs'. imprison. at Rome (A.D. 61–63), bec. the hist. reaches down to that event; nor aft., bec. it does not speak of his release. IV. Place, Prob. ROME (Alford), though some say Achaia. V. Language, GREEK. “ Comparatively classical.” VI. Readers, Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles (Alford). VII. Design, the narration of: 1. The fulfilment of the prom. of the Father by descent of Holy Spirit; 2. The results of that outpouring, by the disper. of Gospel among Jews and Gentiles. This book “is rather a specimen of Church history than a professed history. As such, however, it is sufficient for every purpose of guidance and instruction; for, in the first place, fr, the marvellous results of the Pentecostal effusion, it illustrates the spiritual nature of the Christian Church; in the second place, it exhibits the universality of Christianity, Gentiles, as well as Jews, being gradually admitted to the full privileges of the Gospel ; and, in the third place, without any formal code on the subject, it exhibits, interspersed throughout, the leading principles wh. should govern the visible organisation of Christian societies” (Litton). VIII. Credibility, unquestionable, proved by1. Many undesigned coincidences betw. Acts and both Epss. of Paul, and Profane History. 2. From sev. particular circumstances recorded in the Acts. Thus (1) when Paul was sent fr. Cæsarea to Rome he was committed to the care of Julius, officer of Augustan Cohort (E£ßaorñs), i.e., a Roman Cohort wh. had the honour of bearing the name of the Emperor; now fr. Josephus (Wars, ii. 13. 7; 12. 5; Ant. 20, 6). we learn that the Rom. garrison at Cæsarea was composed chiefly of Syrians; but there happened to be then a small body of Rom. soldiers stationed there, who were disting. by the name of the Augustan (Eeßaotñ) Cohort (Ac. xxvii. 1). So (2) Sergius Paulus (Ac. xiii. 7), “ the deputy,” is designated by a Gk. title (ávovnátos), wh. was app. only to those govs. of provinces who were invested with proconsular dignity. Was Cyprus a prætorian prov.? (the appoint. to which belonged to the Emperor, and, therefore, govd. by a proprætor), or was it a consular prov. ? (having the appoint. vested in the Senate, and hence govd. by a proconsul). Once, Cyprus was prætorian; but acc. to Dion Cassius (liv. ; Sueton. Aug. 47) it was now proconsular : and he designates the govr. by the same title as Lu. in the Acts (Bp. Marsh's Lect. ii. 79—82). “The Acts of the Apos. is a portraiture of the church; it is an historical picture delineated by the Holy Ghost guiding the hand of the Evangelical painter St. Luke. It has, as its central figure, Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect Man. He is the source of all the life and beauty displayed in this heavenly landscape; and therefore, it will be remembered; the Apostles are careful to disclaim for themselves all independent power” (Wordsworth).

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(According to Horne.)
Part I.-Rise and progress of the Mother

Church at Jeras., fr. Ascension to first
Jewish persecution

................. i.-viii. Part II.-Dispersion of Disciples-Pro

pagation of Gos. among SamaritansConversion of Paul-Ch, at Antioch.

viii. 5-xii. Part III.-Labours of Paul, and Barna

bas, and others, among remote Gentiles

xiii.-xxviii. (According to Ayre.) Part I.-PETER- Gospel among the Jews. 1. Church in Jerusalem

i.-vii. 2. Church extension.....

viii-xii. Part II.-PAUL-Gospel among the Gentiles.

1. His ministry at large xiii.-xxii. 26. 2. His ministry in bonds...xxii. 27—xxviii.

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Manuscripts were first collected by Origen (A.D. 185—253) for his Hexapla. After inven. of printing, Erasmus was earliest collator of Greek MSS.; Kenni. cott, for his Heb. Bible, coll. 630; De Rossi, 734 more. Ab. 600 MSS. have been coll. for recent eds. of N. T. Most ancient MSS. at present in existence are (a) C. Alexandrinus, 4 vols. fol., in Brit. Mus., a present fr. Cyrillus Lucaris, Patriarch of Constantinople, to Chas. I.; he got it fr. Alexandria ; date ab. 4th or 5th cent. (b) C. Vaticanus, in Vatican Library, Rome; date prob. betw. 300 and 400 A.D.; one small 4to. vol. (c) C. Sinaiticus, disc. by Tischendorf in convent of St. Katherine on Mt. Sinai, A.D. 1844–1859, and presented by him to Alex. II. of Russia ; date ab. middle of 4th cent. All these MSS. are more or less imperfect.

CHAPTER THE FIRST.

A.D. 30.

name

for

sostom.

that

Introduction 1, 2. former, and since the dcts are brought down to A.D. 63, a A

modest the Gos. of Lu. was written bef. that time. treatise, word, a narra

his tive, history: Lu. refs. to his Gospel. Theophilus (ii. 8]. began Gospel.” — Chry- . . teach, began, i.e. while in person on the earth. Lu., in this

sequel of his Gos., proceeds to relate what this same Jesus, having b Wordsworth ascended into heaven, continues to do and to teach” by the Intro. to Acts.

power and ministration of the Holy Ghost.b until .. upc [for c Mk. xvi. 19, 20; notes on Ascension see i. 376; ii. 220]. after . . Apostles Lu. xxiv. 50, 51.

[i. 237—375; ii. 219]. d Ma. xxviii. 19;

The uniqueness of Christ's ministry on earth.-His ministry on Mk. xvi. 15; Lu. xxiv. 46–48. earth was :—I. Original and initiatory-1. Its originality; (1) His "In the Gospels works, (2) His teaching, (3) His life, were original; 2. Its initiathe Holy Spirit toriness. II. Resumed in person after His death. His personal has described the ministry after His passion was—1. An undoubted reality ; 2. Conbeginnings of that kingdom as

fined to His disciples : (1) Its grand object was the kingdom of inaugurated by God, (2) Its grand endeavour was to prepare them to become His Christ on earth. propagandists.The Ascension.—The Ascension is—I. A fact; In the Acts He II. An epoch ; III. A doctrine.s describes continuance and

Religious biographies.—Memoirs of pure minds, of noble lives, extension of of hearts warm with all the fervour and sunshine of the Gospel

kingdom, let us do homage to those young saints, those virgin confessors, through

those true soldiers of our Lord. It is no reproach to them that power of Christ exalted and glo- friends make merchandise of their devout letters, their pious rifled in heaven." sayings, and the secret life which they lived with God-or that an - Wordsworth.

unwise love beguiles its grief by making into talk, and throwing "In the Gospels irreverently open, the innermost sanctuary of their souls. They Christ did for us

are the greatest sufferers by the operation. Yet it is wonderful to in His humilia- perceive with what ease all features of human individuality can. tion; in the Acts, be obliterated from the record which professes to tell us how one what He did for and another, real men and women, people who left positive tion." Marlo- mortal footsteps in the soil they trod, and tangible good works

behind them, lived and died. It is by no means an overstrain of e Homilist. the fact to say that one might go on reading half-a-dozen such c. j. Vaughan,

memoirs at once, and, but for the difference of name, and perhaps

the distinction of here and there a personal pronoun, would be “ If you preach, quite unable to find out which was the young soldier in the midst and act not ac- of his regiment, and which the humble Sunday-school teacher cordingly, you dwelling at home. How this can be done, and by what extraorseem to propose dinary effort of skill it is possible to veil every glimmer of the possibility." natural man, and reduce so many diverse characters, circumChrysostom. stances, and dispositions, to one flat unrounded hieroglyph of g Chalmers. piety, seems of itself sufficiently remarkable. Yet it is done with

astonishing success and oft-repeated frequency.s Christ's last 3–5. showed . . alive,a that they might witness, fr. their command

own personal knowledge, to the reality of the Resurrection. a Mk. xvi.. 14 many .. proofs, as the various acts of a living person. He Lu. Aniv. 36 : Jo: breathed upon them, ate with them, spoke to them, walked among xxi . 1, '12, 14.; i them, etc. forty days, time enough to accustom them to His

presence, and remove every doubt of His Resurrection. assem.

rate.

D.D.

to

me an

Co. xv. 5.

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