« AnteriorContinuar »
man' forbid water (l), that these should not be bap
tized, which have received the holy Ghost, as well as 48 we? And he commanded them to be baptized in
the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
1 AND the apostles and brethren that
were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles had also received the 2 word of God. And when Peter was come up to
Jerusalemn, they that were of the circumcision con3 tended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to ren 4 uncircumcised (a), and didst eat with them. Eut
Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and 5 expounded (b) it by order unto them, saying, I was
in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain veffel defcend, as it had been a
great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners 6 and it came even to me. Upon the which when I
had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and faw four
footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creepng ing things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice $ saying unto me, Arise, Peter ; fray, and ear. But I
faid, Not fo, Lord: for nothing common or unclean
(1) Water baptifin, you see, is neceffary, even after receiving the holy Ghost.
(a) The Christians who had been converted from Judaism, tooka upon them to call St. Peter to account.
But would they have dared to do this, and to contend with him, had be then been acknowledged for supreme head of the church, and infallible judge of controverhes? That doctrine was certainly unknown in thole days. Nor doth St. Peter's conduct countenance fuch an opinion; for instead of filencing them by his authority, he patiently pleads his cause before them, and convinceth their underIlanding by his reasoning,
Observe the mischief of narrow prejudices in matters of religion. Men who are blinded with partiality to their own feet, are apt to condemn others for the moftimocent and laudable actions. (6) Regularly expounded the several particulars.
9 hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the
voice answered me again from heaven, What God 10 hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
And this was done three times : and all were drawn up again ni into heaven. And behold, immediately there were
three men already come unto the house where I was, 12 fent from Cesarea unto me. And the Spirit bade me
go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover, thefe fix
brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the 13 man's house (c); And he shewed us how he had
seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto
him, send men to soppa, and call for Simon, whole 14 surname is Peter: Who shall tell thee words, where15 by thou and all thy houfe shall be saved. And as I
began to speak, the holy Ghoit fell on them, as on 16 us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word
of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized
with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the holy 17 Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like
gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Je
sus Christ, what was I that I could withstand God? 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace,
and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the
Gentiles granted repentance unto life (d). 19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the
persecution that arofe about Stephen, travelled as far
as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the 20 word to none but unto the Jews only (e). And
some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene,
which when ihey were come to Antioch, spake unto 21 the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the
hand of the Lord (f) was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
(c) See Chap. X. 23•
Without requiring them to keep the law of Moses. (e) See Chan. vii. 4. (1) The hand of the Lord is the power of working miracles.
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent
forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch: 23 Who when he came, and had feen the grace of
God (g), was glad, and exhorted them all, that with
purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24. For he was a good man, and full of the holy Gholi,
and of faith : and much people was added unto the 25 Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to 26 feek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought
him unto Antioch (h). And it came to pass, that a whole year they alleinbled themselves with the church, and taught much people; and the discipies were
called Christians frit in Antioch. 27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem 28 unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them na
med Agabus, and signified by the Spirit, that there should be great dearth throughout all tħe world (i):
which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cefar. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his abi
lity, determined to send relief unto the brethren which 30 dwelt in Judea. Which also they did, and sent it
the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul (k).
(9) How gracious God had been to them.
(h) Hence it appears that the church of Antioch was not founded by St. Peter, for he remained at Jerusalem, but by Paul and Baro nabas.
(i) See Luke ii. 1.
(k) This was St. Paul's second journey to Jerusalem, about eight years after his conversion,
ed forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John (b) with the 3 sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he
proceeded further, to take Peter also. (Then were 4 the days of unleavened bread) (c). And when he
had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (!) of soldiers to keep
him, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the 5 people. Peter therefore was kept in prison (e), but
prayer was made without ceasing of the church un6 to God for him. And when Herod would have
brought him forth, the fame night Peter was sleep
ing between two foldiers, bound with two chains (f), many and the keepers before the door kept the prifon. And
behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light thined in the prison: and he fmote Peter on
the fide, and raised him up, faging, Arife up quickly. 8 And his chains fell from his hands. And the angel
faid unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy fan
dals: And so he did. And he faith unto him, Caft 9thy garment about thee (), and follow me. And he
(a) Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great.
(6) He was one of the sons of Zebedee, and thus did he drink of the bitter cup of martyrdom, as our blessed Lord foretold. Matt. xx. 22. Mark x. 38.
(c) The days of unleavened bread were the Passover. Luke xxii. 1. The season which we now call Easter.
(d) A quaternion is a band of four; so that the prison guard conlisted of fixteen soldiers.
(c) Peter was kept in prison till after the Passover, leit the people might have then begged for his release, according to their ufualprivilege. Matt. xxvii. 15.
(f) Fastened by a chain to a soldier on each side.
(g) The loose upper garment, or cloak, which they wore when: they went out, but not within daorsa.
went out and followed him, and wist not that it was
true which was done by the angel: but thought he 10 saw a vision.
When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to thein of his own accord : and they went out, and passed on through
one ftreet, and forthwith the angel departed from 21 him. And when Peter was come to himself, he faid,
Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of He
rod, and from all the expectation of the people of the 12 Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he
came to the house of Mary the mother of John,
whose furname was Mark, where many were gather13
ed together, praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named
And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told 15
how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed
that it was even fo. Then said they, It is his angel (b). 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had
opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But he beckoning unto them with the hand to hold
their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew
these things unto James (i), and to the brethren. And 18 he departed, and went into another place. Now as
foon as it was day, there was no small ftir among 19
the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had fought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they hould be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Cefarea, and there abode.
(k) His apparition; concluding Peter to have been put to death in the prison.
(i) This James was the son of Alpheus, and bishop of Jerusalem.