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glory of every talent, or power, or gift, which thou mayest have bestowed upon me, and I praise thy name for all the providential mercies with which thou hast blessed me. Guard

me, I beseech thee, from the effect of flattery from without, and of self-conceit within ; and grant that my whole life may give glory to the name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. AMEN.

TWENTY-THIRD PORTION.
The first christian mission to the Gentiles.

PLACE.-Antioch.Paphos in Cyprus.
TIME.From Summer, A.D. 43, to Spring, A.D. 44.

May God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, give me the Holy Spirit, that I may

understand this portion of His Holy Word, and profit by it.

AMEN.

THE SCRIPTURE. Acts, chap. XII, verses 24, 25; and XIII. 1—12. 24,25 But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and

Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry

[or, charge), and took with them Jobu, whose surname was Mark. 13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets

and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius

of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the 2 tetrarch, [or Herod's fosterbrother,) and Saul. As they ministered

to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, “ Separate me Barnabas 3 and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” And when they

had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them 4 away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto 5 Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were

at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the 6 Jews : and they had also John to their minister. And when they had

gone through tbe isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false 7 prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus : which was with the deputy

of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barna8 bas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the

sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking 9 to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called 10 Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, “ O full

of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord ? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be 11 blind, not seeing the sun for a season.” And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, be- 12 lieved, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

EXPLANATION. While the wrath of God was displayed upon the enemy of his people, as was seen in the last portion, the word of his truth prospered, in adding many souls to the church. Barnabas and Saul, who had been sent from Antioch with the collection for the poor Jews, having fulfilled their commission, returned to Antioch; and they were accompanied by John Mark, the person at whose house in Jerusalem the christians had assembled.

There were at this time several persons, eminent for their wisdom and spiritual gifts, who were exercising the ministry of the gospel amongst the christians at Antioch. Barnabas was one of these, and a person named Simeon, who was also called Niger, or black. Another, Lucius, of Cyrene in Africa; also Manaen, the foster brother of that Herod who had murdered John the Baptist; Saul too had taken up his residence with the church in Antioch. While these were engaged in the services of their ministry, and upon the occasion of a fast-day, it pleased the Lord to communicate to them his will; in what manner is not stated, but the Holy Ghost commanded them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for a particular work, to which he himself had appointed them. This work was the beginning of a regular and systematic mission to the Gentiles. It was now fourteen years since, at the descent of the Holy Ghost, the gospel had been preached to the Jews at Jerusalem : it was seven years since, after the martyrdom of Stephen, it had been carried amongst the Samaritans, and to the Hellenist Jews beyond the limits of Palestine : three years had elapsed since, by the evident manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the gospel had been opened to the Gentiles, by the conversion of the Roman, Cornelius. And it was now the purpose of God, that the great commission which the Lord Jesus had given to his apostles to

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preach the gospel in all the world, should begin to be executed.

In obedience to the express command of God, the ministers of the church at Antioch, having prepared themselves by special prayer and fasting, solemnly devoted the two chosen missionaries to their great office; this they did by the imposition of hands; and when Barnabas and Saul were thus consecrated to the work, they were sent forth by the church.

Under this direct commission by the Holy Ghost, the two missionaries proceeded first to the seaport of Seleucia, about fifteen miles from Antioch, near the mouth of the river on which that city was built. John Mark, whom they had brought from Jerusalem, accompanied them on their missionary journey. Here they took ship and sailed to the island of Cyprus, which lay immediately opposite in the Mediterranean, and landed at Salamis, which was the nearest port. The gospel had been preached to the Jews in this island, by some of the christians who had been driven from Jerusalem by the persecution after Stephen's death (Acts xi. 1); and Barnabas and Saul, acting upon the same principle as those who had gone before them, preached in the synagogues of the Jews, before they went to the Gentiles.

From Salamis they went all across the island from east to west, preaching the gospel from place to place until they came to Paphos, the chief city, where the Roman governor resided. There was a Jew here, named Barjesus, (or the son of Joshua), who exercised magic arts, and was a false teacher. The proconsul, or Roman governor, whose name was Sergius Paulus, was an intelligent man,

who
appears

to have been aware of the folly of the heathen idolatry. He had received Bar-jesus into his house to converse with him on the subject of his teaching; and when he heard of the arrival of Barnabas and Saul, he sent for them, in order that he might learn what they had to teach as the word of God.

When the magician Elymas, (as he was also called, from an Arabic word which described him as belonging to the Magi) found that the missionaries were preaching before the proconsul, he endeavoured to contradict and oppose

of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord ? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be 11 blind, not seeing the sun for a season.” And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness ; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, be- 12 lieved, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

EXPLANATION. While the wrath of God was displayed upon the enemy of his people, as was seen in the last portion, the word of his truth prospered, in adding many souls to the church. Barnabas and Saul, who had been sent from Antioch with the collection for the poor Jews, having fulfilled their commission, returned to Antioch; and they were accompanied by John Mark, the person at whose house in Jerusalem the christians had assembled.

There were at this time several persons, eminent for their wisdom and spiritual gifts, who were exercising the ministry of the gospel amongst the christians at Antioch. Barnabas was one of these, and a person named Simeon, who was also called Niger, or black. Another, Lucius, of Cyrene in Africa; also Manaen, the foster brother of that Herod who had murdered John the Baptist; Saul too had taken up his residence with the church in Antioch. While these were engaged in the services of their ministry, and upon the occasion of a fast-day, it pleased the Lord to communicate to them his will; in what manner is not stated, but the Holy Ghost commanded them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for a particular work, to which he himself had appointed them. This work was the beginning of a regular and systematic mission to the Gentiles. It was now fourteen years since, at the descent of the Holy Ghost, the gospel had been preached to the Jews at Jerusalem : it was seven years since, after the martyrdom of Stephen, it had been carried amongst the Samaritans, and to the Hellenist Jews beyond the limits of Palestine : three years had elapsed since, by the evident manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the gospel had been opened to the Gentiles, by the conversion of the Roman, Cornelius. And it was now the purpose of God, that the great commission which the Lord Jesus had given to his apostles to preach the gospel in all the world, should begin to be executed.

In obedience to the express command of God, the ministers of the church at Antioch, having prepared themselves by special prayer and fasting, solemnly devoted the two chosen missionaries to their great office; this they did by the imposition of hands; and when Barnabas and Saul were thus consecrated to the work, they were sent forth by the church.

Under this direct commission by the Holy Ghost, the two missionaries proceeded first to the seaport of Seleucia, about fifteen miles from Antioch, near the mouth of the river on which that city was built. John Mark, whom they had brought from Jerusalem, accompanied them on their missionary journey. Here they took ship and sailed to the island of Cyprus, which lay immediately opposite in the Mediterranean, and landed at Salamis, which was the nearest port.

The gospel had been preached to the Jews in this island, by some of the christians who had been driven from Jerusalem by the persecution after Stephen's death (Acts xi. 1); and Barnabas and Saul, acting upon the same principle as those who had gone before them, preached in the synagogues of the Jews, before they went to the Gentiles.

From Salamis they went all across the island from east to west, preaching the gospel from place to place until they came to Paphos, the chief city, where the Roman governor resided. There was a Jew here, named Barjesus, (or the son of Joshua), who exercised magic arts, and was a false teacher. The proconsul, or Roman governor, whose name was Sergius Paulus, was an intelligent man, who appears to have been aware of the folly of the heathen idolatry. He had received Bar-jesus into his house to converse with him on the subject of his teaching; and when he heard of the arrival of Barnabas and Saul, he sent for them, in order that he might learn what they had to teach as the word of God.

When the magician Elymas, (as he was also called, from an Arabic word which described him as belonging to the Magi) found that the missionaries were preaching before the proconsul, he endeavoured to contradict and oppose

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