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arraigned before the emperor; but when it was, or from the close of this book, every thing becomes what was the decision, or why he was at last set at once so involved in obscurity and uncertainty? at liberty, are all involved in impenetrable ob- | Instead, however, of pouring forth the sigh of un- || scurity. In his own hired house. -- In a house availing regret that the sacred historian has car. which he was permitted to hire, and occupy as ried us no farther onward, we should rather speak his own. Probably in this he was assisted by the language of praise that he has given, by the the kindness of his Roman friends. And received inspiration of the Holy Ghost, a history of the all, &c.—Received all hospitably and kindly who church for thirty years after the ascension of the ; came to him to show him kindness, or to listen to Saviour; that he has recorded the accounts of his instructions. It is evident, from this, that he the first great revivals of religion ; that he has ,, was still a prisoner, and was not permitted to go presented us the examples of the early missionary at large.
zeal ; that he has informed us how the early
Christians endured persecution and toil; that be VER. 31. Preaching the kingdom of God, and has conducted us from land to land, and from
teaching those things which concern the Lord city to city, showing us every where how the Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man for
gospel was propagated, until we are led to the
seat of the Roman power, and see the great bidding him.
apostle of Christianity there proclaiming, in that a Chap. iv. 31. Eph. vi. 19.
mighty capital of the world, the name of Jesus as
the Saviour of men. Perhaps there could be do'' Preaching the kingdom of God.-Note, chap. more appropriate close to the book of the inspired XX. 25. With all confidence. -Openly and boldly, history, than thus to have conducted the apostle without any one to hinder him. It is known, of the Gentiles, and to have recorded the spread also, that Paul was not unsuccessful even when a | of Christianity, to the capital of the Roman prisoner at Rome. Several persons were con- | world, and to leave the priucipal agent in the verted by his preaching, even in the court of the establishment of the Christian religion in that i emperor. The things which had happened to seat of intelligence, and influence, and power. || him, he says, (Phil. i. 12-14,) had fallen out It is the conducting of Christianity to the sery rather to the furtherance of the gospel, so that height of its earthly victories; and having shown his bonds in Christ were manifested in all the its power in the provinces of the empire, it was!, palace, and in all other places; and many bre- proper for the inspired author of this ecclesias- i thren in the Lord, says he, waxing confident by | tical history to close the account with the record, my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word of its achievements in the capital. without fear. In this situation he was remem Why Luke closed his history here is not known.' bered with deep interest by the church at Phi- | It may have been that he was not afterwards the lippi, who sent Epaphroditus to him with a con- companion of Paul; or that he might have been tribution to supply his wants. Of their kindness himself removed by death. It is agreed on all : he speaks in terms of the tenderest gratitude in hands, that he did not attend Paul in his subse Phil. ii. 25; iv. 18. During his confinement, quent travels; and we should infer from the conalso, he was the means of the conversion of One- clusion of this book, that he did not survive the simus, a runaway slave of Philemon, of Colosse, apostle, as it is almost incredible, if he did, that in Phrygia, (Philem. 10;) whom he sent back to he did not mention his release and death. It is his master, with a letter to himself, and with an the uniform account of antiquity, that Luke, after epistle to the church at that place. See epistle the transactions with which the Acts of the to the Colossians iv. 8, 9, 18. During this im- Apostles closes, passed over into Achaia, where prisonment, he wrote, according to Lardner, the he lived a year or two, and there died at the age following epistles, in the following order and of eighty-four years. time, viz. :
Every thing in regard to the apostle Paul,
after the account with which Luke closes this Ephesians, April, A. D. . .
book, is involved in doubt and uncertainty. By! 2 Timothy, May : :
what means he was set at liberty is not known: Philippians, before the end of Colossians
and there is a great contradiction of statements . .
in regard to his subsequent travels, and even the Philemon Hebrews, spring of . .
time of his death. It is generally agreed, indeed, that he was set at liberty in the year of our
Lord 63. After this, some of the fathers assert, Here closes the inspired account of the propa that he travelled over Italy, and passed into gation of Christianity, of the organization of the Spain. But this account is involved in great! Christian church, and of the toils and persecu- | uncertainty. Lardner, who has examined all the tions of the apostle Paul. Who can but be deeply statements with care, and than whom no one is affected when he comes to the conclusion of this better qualified to pronounce an opinion on these inspired book of revivals, and of the history of subjects, gives the following account of the sub-! the spread of the Christian religion, and of the sequent life of Paul. (Works, rol, v. 3314-336. account of that wonderful man--the apostle | Ed. Lond. 1829.) He supposes that, after his Paul? Who can help heaving the sigh of re- release, he went from Rome to Jerusalem as gret, th
orian did not carry soon as possible; that he then went to Epheforward the history of Paul till his death, and sus, and from thence to Laodice, and Colosse: that henceforward, in the history of the church, and that he returned to Rome by Troas, Philippi, we want this faithful, inspired guide ; and that, and Corinth. The reason why he returned to
t. this in
Rome, Lardner supposes, was, that he regarded in the cause of the Lord Jesus, that his spirit that city as opening before him the widest and rested in the bosom of his Saviour and his God. most important field of labour ; and that, there. Wherever he died, his spirit, we doubt not, is in fore, he proposed there to spend the remainder heaven. And where that body rested at last, of his life.
which he laboured “to keep under,” and which In the year of our Lord 64, a dreadful fire he sought to bring "into subjection,” (1 Cor. ix. happened at Rome, which continued for six or 27,) and which was to him so much the source of seven days. It was generally supposed that the conflict, and of sin, (Rom. vii. 5, 23,) is a matter city had been set on fire by order of the emperor of little consequence. It will be watched and Nero. In order to divert the attention of the guarded by the eye of that Saviour whom he people from this charge against himself, he ac- served, and will be raised up to eternal life. In cused the Christians of having been the authors his own inimitable language, it was sown in corof the conflagration, and excited against them a ruption, it shall be raised in incorruption; it was most furious and bloody persecution. In this sown in dishonour, it shall be raised in glory ; it persecution, it is generally supposed that Paul was sown in weakness, it shall be raised in and Peter suffered death; the former by being power; it was sown a natural body, it shall be beheaded, and the latter by crucifixion. Paul is raised a spiritual body. (1 Cor. xv. 42–44.)
supposed to have been beheaded rather than cru- | And in regard to him, and to all other saints, | cified, because he was a Roman citizen, and be- when that corruptible shall have put on incor
cause it was unlawful to put a Roman citizen toruption, and that mortal shall have put on imdeath on a cross. Lardner thinks that this oc- mortality, then shall be brought to pass the say. curred in the year 65. Where Paul was beheaded | ing that is written, death is swallowed up in vicis not certainly known. It is generally supposed tory. (1 Cor. xv. 54.) To Paul, now, what are to have occurred at a place called the Salvian all his sorrows, and persecutions, and toils, in the Waters, about three miles from Rome, and that cause of his Master? What but a source of he was buried in the Ostian Way, where a mag- | thanksgiving, that he was permitted thus to lanificent church was afterwards built. But of this hour to spread the gospel through the world? there is no absolute certainty.
So may we live-imitating his life of zeal, and It is far more important and interesting for us self-denial, and faithfulness, that when he rises to be assured, from the character which he from the dead we may participate with him in i evinced, and from the proofs of his zeal and toil the glories of the resurrection of the just.
- origin of....
................................ 210, 277
....... 144, 157
Easter, improper use of the term......
Jerusalem, situation of.........
Cappadocia, situation of............
- worshipped by Stephen...
Macedonia, situation of........
Sadducees, account of the.............
Three Taverns, situation of...................................
gift of ............................
Pamphylia, situation of........