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النشر الإلكتروني

The Conversion of St. Paul. near Damascus

;

and suddenly

there shined round about him a The Collect.

light from heaven : 4. and he O God, who through the preach- fell to the earth, and heard a voice ing of the blessed Apostle Saint saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why Paul hast caused the light of the

persecutest thou me?” 5. And Gospel to shine throughout the he said, “Who art thou, Lord?” world; Grant, we beseech thee,

and the (e) Lord said, “I am Jesus that we having his wonderful con- “ whom thou persecutest: it is version in remembrance, may shew “ hard for thee to kick against forth our thankfulness unto thee

“ the pricks.” 6. And he tremfor the same, by following the

bling and astonished, said, “ Lord, holy doctrine which he taught, " what wilt thou have me to do ?” through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the (e) Lord said unto him, Amen.

“ Arise, and go into the city, and

“ it shall be told thee what thou For the Epistle. Acts ix. 1. (a)

“ must do.” 7. And the men which And Saul, yet breathing out journeyed with him stood speechthreatenings (6) and slaughter less, hearing a voice (9), but seeagainst the disciples of the (c) Lord, ing no man. 8. And Saul arose went unto the high priest, 2. and from the earth; and when his desired of him letters to Damas- eyes were opened, he saw no man: cus to the synagogues, that if he but they led him by the hand, found any of (d) this way, whether and brought him into Damascus. they were men or women, he might 9. And he was three days withbring them bound unto Jerusalem. out sight, and neither did eat nor 3. And as he journeyed, he came

drink. 10. And there was (2) Lord Lyttleton, in an admirable dis- severely persecuted, and that it could not Cission on the conversion and conduct of be desirable, as to worldy views, to emSt. Paul, considers it of itself sufficient to brace Christianity : what then could have satisfy any reasonable mind of the truth of induced the apostles to persevere themthe Christian religion. St. Paul must have selves, and to bring over others, but the known, to a certainty, whether what is certain knowledge that they had seen our here stated really did happen to him, and

Saviour after his crucifixion, and that they whether he really received the spiritual had assurances in which they could not communications, and possessed the super

have been mistaken or deceived, that Jesus natural powers elsewhere mentioned : and was the Messiah; and what could have he could have had no temporal views, be- worked upon any one to turn to this percause his profession was decidedly against suasion, but the conviction, from seeing his worldly interest. What he went through what the apostles did, that God was with and endured for the Christian cause (See them? post, 79. 80. 2 Cor. xi. 23. to 27.) is strong (c) “ The Lord,” të Kupie. proof that he was no impostor. St. Luke, (d) v. 2.“ Any of this way," i. e.“ Chriswbo wrote the Acts, was with St. Paul the tian converts." greatest part of twelve years, from A. D. (e) v. 5. 6. “The Lord,” • Kupíos. 46, to A.D. 58, so that his account of (g) v. 7. A voice,” or “the voice," the conversion may be depended upon as Ins parñswith the article. In Acts xxii. correct. The conversion is supposed to 9. St. Paul says, “they heard not the have occurred A. D. 35. two years after « voice,” την δε φωνήν εκ ήκουσαν: they might the Crucifixion.

hear the voice, and yet not distinguish (b) v. 1. “ Threatenings and slaughter." what was said. This shews that the first converts were

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certain disciple at Damascus, | eyes as it had been scales; and named Ananias : and to him said he received sight forthwith, and the(h) Lord in a vision,“Ananias." arose, and was baptized. 19. And And he said, “Behold, I am when he had received meat, he “ here, Lord.” 11. And the (h) was strengthened. Then was Saul « Lord said unto him, “ Arise,

Arise, certain days with the disciples “and go into the street which is which were at Damascus. 20. And “ called Straight, and inquire in straightway he preached Christ in - the house of Judas for one called the synagogues, “ that he is the “ Saul of Tarsus : for, behold he

“ Son (1) of God.” 21. But all “ prayeth, 12. and hath seen in that heard him were amazed, and “ a vision a man named Ananias said, “Is not this he that de“ coming in, and putting his hand “stroyed them which called on “ on him, that he might receive “ this name in Jerusalem, and “his sight.” 13. Then Ananias “ came hither for that intent, that answered, “Lord, I have heard

“ he might bring them bound unto by many of this man, how much

“ the chief priests?" 22. But Saul “ evil he hath done to thy saints increased the more in strength, “ at Jerusalem : 14. and here and confounded the Jews which “ he hath authority from the chief dwelt at Damascus, proving that “ priests to bind all that call on this is very Christ.

thy name.” 15. But the (h) Lord said unto him, “Go thy

The Gospel. Matt. xix. 27. way: for he is a chosen vessel | Peter answered and said unto “unto me, to bear my name be- Jesus, “Behold we have forsaken “ fore the Gentiles, and kings, " all and followed thee: what shall « and the children of Israel : we have therefore ?" 28. And “ 16. for I will shew him how Jesus said unto them, “ “ great things he must suffer for «say unto you,

“say unto you, That ye which “ my name's sake."

17. And

“ have followed me, in the reAnanias went his way, and en- “ generation, when the Son of tered into the () house; and “ man shall sit in the throne of putting his hands on him, said, “his (1) glory, ye also shall sit « Brother Saul, the (1) Lord, even “ upon twelve thrones, judging “ Jesus, that appeared unto thee “ the twelve tribes of Israel. “ in the way as thou camest, hath 29. And every one that hath “ sent me, that thou mightest “ forsaken houses, or brethren, or “ receive thy sight, and be filled “ sisters, or father, or mother, or “ with the Holy Ghost.” 18. And “ wife, or children, or lands, for immediately there fell from his

“ my name's sake, shall receive (1) v. 11. 15. 17.“ The Lord,” Kupios. rendered. Our Saviour there speaks of com

(i) v. 17. “ the house," i. e. " of Judas," | ing in his own glory, and his Father's, and mentioned v. 11.

that of the holy angels, τη δόξη αυτό, και το (k) v. 20. “ The Son of God," • vrbs to Toátpos, &c. And would he thus have spoken Ain, with the articles - a transcendent title!

of his own glory, and have named the Father Sec ante, 41. note on John xx. 31.

between himself and the holy angels, had (l) v. 28. “his," rather“ his own," he not been conscious of, and meant to 86Ens aurt. The same expression occurs,

intimate, his own equality with the Father? Luke ix. 26. where it is necessarily so

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"an hundred-fold, and shall in- ordinance (n) of God: and they “ herit everlasting life. 30. But that resist shall receive to them

many that are first shall be selves damnation. 3. For rulers “ last; and the last shall be first." are not a terror to good works,

but to the evil. Wilt (o) thou

then not be afraid of the power ? Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. Do that which is good, and thou

shalt have praise of the (p) same: The Collect.

4. for he is the minister of God O God, who knowest us to be to thee for good. But if thou set in the midst of so many and do that which is evil, be afraid ; great dangers, that by reason of for he beareth not the sword the frailty of our nature we can- in vain : for he is the minister of not always stand upright; Grant God, a revenger to execute (9) to us such strength and protection, wrath upon him that doeth evil. as may support us in all dangers, 5. Wherefore ye must needs be and carry us through all tempt- subject, not only for wrath (r), but ations, through Jesus Christ our also for conscience sake. 6. For, Lord. Amen.

for this (s) cause pay you (0)

tribute also: for they are God's The Epistle. Rom. xiii. 1.

ministers, attending continually Let (m) every soul be subject upon this (u) very thing. 7. Renunto the higher powers. For there der therefore to all their dues ; is no power but of God: the tribute to whom (x) tribute is powers that be are ordained of due; custom to whom custom; God. 2. Whosoever therefore fear to whom fear; honour to resisteth the power, resisteth the whom honour.

(m) v. 1. “Let, &c.” The apostles were “ that which is good, and instead of punishanxious to satisfy their converts that their “ment, it shall give thee praise, for it is spiritual subjection to Christ did not ex- " the minister of God to thee for good, it empt them from temporal subjection to “ thou actest right, for punishment if thou the established government under which “ doest evil." they lived. A contrary doctrine would (p) v. 3." The same," i. e. “ the power.” have had a tendency to set all established

(9) v. 4. “Wrath," i.e. “punishment.” governments against them, and would

(r).v.5. "For wrath, &c." “ Not only have answered no spiritual end: Thus St. “ to avoid the punishment of man, but Paul directs Titus " to put the converts in “ from a sense that it is part of your duty " mind to be subject to principalities and

" to God.” "powers, and to obey magistrates. Tit. (6) v. 6. “ For this cause," i. e. “be* iii

. l.;" and St. Peter exhorts them, (1 Pet. cause they are God's ministers." ii . 13.) " to submit to every ordinance of (t) “ Pay you," i.e. "you are to pay, " man for the Lord's sake (i. e. as matter

" it is

your duty.” of duty) " whether it be to the king, as (u) “ This very thing," i. e. “the pu“ supreme, or uoto governors, as unto o nishment of evil-doers, and the praise of " them that are sent by him for the punish- “ them that do well.” "ment of evil doers, and for the praise of (x) v. 7. “ Tribute, &c.” So our Saviour "them that do well.” See post,

told the Pharisees, “ to render unto Cæsar on 1 Pet. ii. 13.

“ the things which are Cæsar's, and unto (x) v. 2. “ Ordinance," i. e. “ appoint- . “ God the things which are God's, Matt. ment."

“ xxii. 15. 17. 21. – Mark xii. 13, &c. (o) v. 3. “Wilt, &c." i.e. “ if

you

wish “ Luke xx. 20, &c." to avoid being in fear of the power do

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وو

The Gospel. Matt. viii. 23. (y)

there was a good way off from And when he was entered into a them an herd of many swine feedship, his disciples followed him. ing. 31. So the devils besought 24. And, behold, there arose a him, saying, “ If thou cast us out, great tempest in the sea, insomuch “ suffer us to go away into the that the ship was covered with

“ herd of swine.”

32. And he the waves : but he was asleep.

said unto them, 66 Go.” And 25. And his disciples came to him, when they were come out, they and awoke him, saying, “Lord(:), went into the herd of swine: and save us: we perish.” 26. And behold, the whole herd of (c) he saith unto them, Why are swine ran violently down a steep “ye fearful, Oye of little faith ?" place into the sea, and perished Then he arose and rebuked the in the waters: 33. And they that winds and the sea; and there kept them fled, and went their a great calm.

27. But the men ways into the (d) city, and told marvelled, saying, “What manner every thing, and what was be“ of man is this, thateven the winds fallen to the possessed of the " and the sea obey (a) him?” devils. 34. And, behold, the 28. And when he was come to

whole city came out to meet the other side, into the country of Jesus : and when they saw him, the Gergesenes, there met him they (e) besought him that he two possessed with devils, coming would depart out of their coasts. out of the (6) tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29. And, behold,

The PRESENTATION OF Christ IN THE they cried out, saying, “ What

TEMPLE, commonly called The Puri

fication of the Virgin Mary. “ have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art

The Collect. “ thou come hither to torment Almighty and everliving God, “ us before the time?" 30. And we humbly beseech thy Majesty,

(y) The miracles here stated were per- and that the effect was produced by his haps before the call of St. Matthew, so own power. The inference would be that that the testimony is not, as in many he had the power of God: and he does other instances, that of an eye-witness. nothing to prevent that inference. The St. Matthew's call is not mentioned till consequence is, he meant it to be drawn. the next chapter; and his statement im- Graves's Trinity, p. 71. See Matt. xiv. 24. plies that it was after these events, though (6) v. 28. “ The tombs,” which were not long after them. His association, in the wildest and most unfrequented however, almost immediately after their situations, amidst rocks and mountains. occurrence, with those disciples in whose Middl. presence they occurred, when they would (c) v. 32. “ Swine." If these were kept naturally be topics of conversation and by Jews, it was a breach of their law : astonishment, gives his statement great if by Gentiles, but in the country of the credit.

Jews, it was a snare to them, (z) v. 25. “ Lord," Kupie, applying to (d) v. 33. “ The city," i. e. “ of the him for what nothing but divine power “ Gergesenes." could effect.

(e) v. 34. “Besought him, &c." St. (a) v. 27. “ Obey him?” So that he Mark and St. Luke assign fear as their must have indicated by his manne that

reason for this request, Luke viii. 37. the command proceeded from himself, Mark v, 15.

that as thy only-begotten Son was For the Epistle. Mal. iii. 1. (g)
this day presented in the temple
in substance of our flesh; so we

BEHOLD, I will send (h) my may be presented unto thee with “ messenger, and he shall prepure and clean hearts, by the “ pare the way before me (i): same thy Son Jesus Christ our “ and the Lord (k), whom (1) ye Lord. Amen.

“ seek, shall suddenly come to

(g) Malachi prophesied about 430 years seed. This promise was renewed, in nearly before our Saviour's time.

the same words, to Isaac, Gen, xxvi. 4. (k) v. l. “ Messenger.” John the Bap- and to Jacob, xxviii. 14. Before Jacob tist was this messenger : and he prepared died, he called his sons together, that he the way before our Saviour (that is, pre- might tell them what should befal them pared men's hearts for his reception,) by (and their posterity) in the last days; and preaching “repentance, for the kingdom unto Judah he said, “ the sceptre shall " of heaven is at hand." See Matt. iii. “ not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver

“ from there would be such a messenger, (Isaiah come ; and to him shall the gathering of xl. 3.) “ The voice of him that crieth in “ the people be. Gen. xl. 10." This raised “ the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the belief that the Deliverer should be of " the Lord, make straight in the desert a the tribe of Judah, and that that tribe "highway for our God.” See post, should have some degree of power until In Bp. Chandler's Defence of Christianity, his coming. By “ Shiloh" is certainly and Dr. Trapp's Second Discourse, the meant the Messiah ; and the intimation, passage in Malachi is well commented " that unto him should the gathering of upon and explained.

“ the people be,” agrees with the cha(i) v. l. “ Me." And yet it was before racter before given him, that in him should Christ, and for him, that the way was to all the nations of the earth be blessed, be prepared : Christ therefore is the and corresponds with the title by which speaker here, and to him is here applied he is called in a subsequent prophecy, the expression at the end of the verse, Hagg. ii. 7. “ the desire of all nations. " The Lord (Hebr. Jehovah) of Hosts.” Daniel speaks of the Messiah, and the Bellarm. lib. 1. De Christo, c. 4. p. 283. time of his coming, with great particu.

(6) “ The Lord.” Hebr. not Jehovah, larity, seventy weeks are determined but Adon. See note on Ps. ii. 4.

upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, (?) " Whom ye seek,” “ the Messenger “ to finish the transgression and to make " of the covenant, whom ye delight in.' an end of sin, and to make reconciliation These expressions import, that even at “ for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting this time the coming of the Messiah was “ righteousness, and to seal up the vian object to which they looked forward ; “sion and prophecy, and to anoint the and the repeated prophecies from time to “ most holy: Know therefore, and undertime delivered with a view to that event, “ stand, that from the going forth of the were admirably calculated to keep alive commandment to restore and to build Jein them that expectation. Immediately “ rusalem unto the Messiah the prince shall after the fall, they had an intimation that « be seven weeks, and three score and " the seed of the woman should bruise the “ two weeks : Dan. ix. 24.” A week, in pro" serpent's head;" and this, though inde- phetic language, means seven years, a day finite, might raise in them á hope that at for a year, as Gen. xxix. 27.

Lev. xxv.8. some time or other there would be a de- Ezek. iv. 4-6. The commandment here liverer, to give them the opportunity of referred to, “ to restore and to build Jeru. regaining what by the fall they had for- “ salem,” is probably, either one in the feited, the chance of eternal life. God seventh or one in the twentieth year of afterwards promised to Abraham, that in Artaxerxes Longiinanus. See Ezra vii. and " him and his seed should all the families Nehein.ii. The seventh year of Artaxerxes

or nations of the earth be blessed. was exactly 490 years, or seventy weeks of " Gen. xii. 3. xxii, 18." This might induce years, before the crucifixion, and in that a belief that the Deliverer would be of his year Artaxerxes made a decree to allow all

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