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But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses to me even in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth. And, having said these things, while they were beholding, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And, while they were looking steadfastly toward heaven as he went, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this very Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Then they returned unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, being a sabbath day's journey.* And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, wbere abode Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.t
And in those days, Peter, standing up in the midst of the disciples, said, (the number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, who became guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. (Now this man purchased a
* Sabbath day's journey.--About two miles.
+ Brethren.--All near collateral relations, were called by the Jews, brethren.
field * with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known unto all the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.) For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his office let another take. Wherefore, of these men, who have gone along with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, until the day when he was taken
us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resur
urrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And, praying, they said, Thou Lord, who art a discerner of the hearts of all men, show which of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots ; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
[The apostle Paul thus applies a passage in Ps. lxvii.t to the ascension of our Lord to heaven, and reasons upon it in his epistle to the Ephesians-Eph. iv.]
But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore, he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now, that he ascended, what is it but that he also first
* Judas, as we are informed in Mat. xxvii. 3—8, threw down the thirty pieces of silver, which he had received as the reward of his treachery, before the priests in the temple, and therefore could not literally purchase a field with them. But Judas in effect bought that field, because he gave the money by which it was bought.
+ Douay, Ps. lxvii.
descended * into the lower parts of the earth." He that descended, is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the artifice of men, by [their] craftinėss forming concealed plans of deceit ; but [that] speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things which have respect to him who is the head, even Christ.
[The apostle Paul then speaks of the entrance of Christ into heaven, after having offered himself a sacrifice for sin.Hebrews ix. 24–28.]
For Christ is not entered into the holy [places] made with hands, the emblems of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Nor yet (was it necessary] that he should offer himself often, as the High Priest entereth into the holy [place] every year with the blood of others. For then he must have suffered
* The tenor of this argument is, that the inspired psalmist could refer to no one but the Messiah, who first descended to the earth in human nature, and then, after his resurrection, ascended up to heaven, from whence, according to his promise, he sent down the different gifts of the Spirit enumerated in † Lower parts of the earth.- Some understand by this
But the phrase seems to denote merely the earth itself, called the lower parts, as opposed to the “highest heavens, from which Christ came, and to which he returned.
# Made with hands.-Alluding to the tabernacle constructed under the direction of Moses.
§ Of others.--Not his own, but the blood of the animals which were killed for sacrifice, according to the law given to the Jews, as recorded in the Old Testament.
often from the founding of the world; but now once at the conclusion of the ages,t he hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And, as it is appointed to men once to die, and, after this, the judgment; so also Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and to them that wait for him shall he appear the second time withouts sin, unto salvation.
[The same apostle writes thus also of the ascension of Christ to heaven, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. i. 15—23.]
Wherefore, I also, hearing of your faith that is in the Lord Jesus, and of your love towards all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers : that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being so enlightened, that you may see what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints ; || and what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe, (which is] according to the working of the might of his power which he exerted in Christ, (when] having raised him from the dead, he set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name [of authority and dignity] that is
* But now.—i. e. As things now are, according to the arrangements actually made.
† Ages, or dispensations. In the latter days or last of the dispensations.
f Without sin.-i. e. Without suffering for our sins, or without a sin-offering: In him was no sin.
ç Hope of his calling.–i. e. Hope to which he has called or invited you, namely, by his doctrines and promises.
11 What is the riches, 8c.--A Hebrew forın of expression, siguifying, how rich and glorious is the inheritance wbich he has provided for the saints.
named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and to put all things under his feet, and appointed him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who filleth all in all.
WORDS, &c. TO BE EXPLAINED IN LESSON 1.
QUESTIONS ON LESSON I.
What was the object of the former treatise made by the author of this book ?
How long did Jesus eontinue to appear from time to tinie to his disciples ?
What direction did he give to them when he gathered them together? What question did they put to him ? What answer did he make to that questiou ? What happened to him while he was talking with them ? Who spoke to them while they were looking up after him ? What did they say
? Where did they go after this ?
How far was Jerusalem from the place where Christ ascended ?
Where did the disciples assemble in Jerusalem ? How many were together ? What did Peter advise them to do? What did he say had become of Judas ? How did he propose that the new apostle should be qualified ?
Whom did the disciples appoint to be submitted to God?
How is he employed there?