« PoprzedniaDalej »
The people of Lystra suppose Paul and
Barnabas to be Mercury and Jupiter.
A. D. cir. 46.
A.M.cir.4050. down to us * in the likeness of men. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which A.M.cir.4050.
12 And they called Barnabas, Ju- was before their city, brought oxen cir. CCVI. 2. piter ; and Paul, Mercurius, because and garlands unto the gates, "and cir. CCV1. 2. he was the chief speaker.
would have done sacrifice with the people.
such visitations; and so are Homer, Virgil, and other poets. form; and Jupiter was accustomed to take Mercury with The angels visiting Abraham, Jacob, Lot, &c. might have him on such expeditions. Jupiter was the supreme god of been the foundation on which most of those heathen fictions the heathens : and Mercury was by them considered the god were built.
of eloquence. And the ancient fable from which I have The following passage in Homer, will cast some light upon quoted so largely above, represents Jupiter and Mercury the point:
coming to this very region where they were entertained by Και τε Θεοι ξεινοισιν εoικoτες αλλοδαποισι. . Lycaon, from whom the Lycaonians derived their name. Παντοιοι τελεβοντες, επιςρφωσι ποληας,
See the whole fable in the first book of Ovid's MetamorΑνθρωπων υβριν τε και ευνομιην εφορωντες. .
phoses. Hom. Odyss. xvii. ver. 485. As the ancients usually represented Jupiter as rather an For, in similitude of strangers oft,
aged man, large, noble, and majestic; and Mercury young, The gods who can with ease all shapes assume,
light, and active: the conjecture of Chrysostom is very proRepair to populous cities, where they mark
bable, that Barnabas was a large, noble, well made
and Th' outrageous and the righteous deeds of men. probably in years; and St. Paul, young, active, and eloquent;
Cowper. on which account, they termed the former Jupiter; and the Ovid had a similar notion, where he represents Jupiter com- latter Mercury. That Mercury was eloquent and powerful ing down to visit the earth, which seems to be copied from in his words, is allowed by the heathens; and the very epithet Genesis, xviii. 20, 21. And the Lord said, Because the cry of that is applied here to Paul, ru ó siyoull EVOS TOU do you, Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is grie- he was the chief or leader of the discourse, was applied to vous, I will go down now, and see whether they have done al- Mercury. So Jamblichus de Myster. Init. Okos Ó Twy nowywa, together according to the cry of it, which is come unto me: Mysuwy 'Epurs. And Macrobius, Sat. i. 8. Scimus Merand if not, I will know.
curium vocis et sermonis potentem. We know that Mercury Contigerat nostras infamia temporis aures :
is powerful both in his ooice and eloquence. With the LycaQuam cupiens falsam, summo delabor Olympo.
onians, the actions of these apostles proved them to be gods: Et deus humanâ lustro sub imagine terras.
and the different parts they took, appeared to them to fix Longa mora est, quantum noxæ sit ubique repertum, their character so, that one was judged to be Jupiter, and the Enumerare: minor fuit ipsa infamia vero.
other Mercury. Metam. lib. i. ver. 211.
Verse 13. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before The clamours of this vile degen’rate age,
their city] There is a meaning here, which ordinary readers The cries of orphans, and the oppressor's rage, will not readily apprehend. Many cities were put under the Had reach'd the stars: " I will descend,' said I, protection of a particular deity; and the image of that deity In hope to prove this loud complaint a lie.
placed at the entrance, to signify that he was the guarrlian and Disguised in human shape, I travelled round
protector. To this St. Luke, every where as accurate as he is The world, and more than what I heard, I found. circumstantial, refers. Lystra, it appears, was under the guardi.
DRYDEN. anship of Jupiter Propuleius, AbOS TIPOTUARIOu, which St. Luke It was a settled belief among the Egyptians, that their gods translates, Tou A10S TOU ONTOS TT CO TYS TONEws, the Jupiter, that sometimes in the likeness of men, and sometimes in that of was before the city, which is another term for Jupiter Custos, animals which they held sacred, descended to the earth, and or Jupiter the guardian. All these deities, according to the travelled through different provinces, to punish, reward, and attributes they sustained, had their peculiar priests, rites, protect. The Hindoo Avatars, or incarnations of their gods, and sacrifices : and each a peculiar service and priest for the prove how generally this opinion had prevailed. We need office he bore; so that Jupiter Brontes, Jupiter the Thunnot wonder to find it in Lycaonia.
derer, had a different service from Jupiter Custos, Jove the Verse 12. They called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, guardian. Hence we can see with what accuracy St. Luke Mercurius] The heathens supposed that Jupiter and Mer- / wrote: the person who was going to offer them sacrifices was cury were the gods who most frequently assumed the human ll the priest of Jupiter Custos, under whose guardianship the The priest of Jupiter prepares
to offer them sacrifices.
A. M.cir. 4050.
A. M.cir. 4050.14 Which, when the apostles, Bar- | 15 And
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye An. Olymp. nabas and Paul, heard of, they rent these things? We also are men of An. Olymp.
their clothes, and ran in among the like passions with you, and preach cir. Ccvi. 2. people, crying out,
unto you that ye should turn from these vani
cir. CCVI. 2.
a Matt. 26. 65.- ch. 10. 26.- Jam. 5. 17. Rev. 19. 10.
« 1 Sam. 12. 21. 1 Kings 16. 13. Jer. 14. 22. Amos 2. 4. 1 Cor. 8. 4.
-fovet ignibus aras, city of Lystra was; and whom the priest supposed had visited the city in a human form; and Barnabas, probably for the Muneribus deos implet : feriuntque secures reasons already assigned, he imagined, was the person ; and
Colla torosa boum vinctorum cornua vittis.
Ibid. lib. vii. ver. 427. as Mercury the god of eloquence, was the general attendant of Jupiter, the people and the priest supposed that Paul who
Rich curling fumes of incense feast the skies, had a powerful commanding eloquence, was that God, also A hecatomb of voted victims dies, disguised. A beautiful figure of such an image of Jupiter, With gilded horns, and garlands on their head, as, I suppose, stood before the gate of Lystra, still remains;
In all the pomp of death to th'altar led. and a fine engraving of it may be seen in Gruter's Inscrip
Tate. tions, Vol. I. p. xx. Jupiter is represented naked, sitting on VIRGIL also refers to the same rites and circumstances : a curule or consular chair; in his right hand he holds his Sæpe in honore deúm medio stans hostia ad aram, thunder, and a long staff in his left: at his right, stands the Lanea dum niveâ circumdatur infula vittà, eagle prepared for flight; and above, the winged cap and ca- Inter cunctantes cecidit moribunda ministros. duceus of Mercury. On the base is the inscription IUPPITER
Virg. Geor. lib. iii. ver. 486. Custos Domus Aug. Jupiter, the guardian of the house of The victim ox that was for altars prest, Augustus. As the preserver or guardian of towns he was Trimm'd with white ribbons, and with garlands drest, generally stiled Jupiter Custos, Serenus, and Servator. His Sunk of himself without the god's command, name JUPITER, i. e. juvans pater, the helping father; en
Preventing the slow sacrificer's hand. titled him, in those days of darkness, to general regard. On
DRYDEN. this false god, who long engrossed the worship of even the Many similar examples may be seen in Wetstein and others. most enlightened nations on the earth, much may be seen in Verse 15. We also are men of like passions with you] Lactantius, Divinar. Institution. lib. i. In the Antiquité expli- This saying of the apostles', has been most strangely perquée of Montfaucon: and various inscriptions relative to his verted. A pious commentator taking the word passion in its character as guardian, &c. may be seen in Gruter, as above. vulgar and most improper sense, (a bad temper, an evil pro
Oren und garlands] That is, oxen adorned with flowers, pensity;) and supposing that these holy men wished to contheir horns gilded, and neck bound about with fillets, as was fess that they also had many sinful infirmities, and wrong the custom in sacrificial rites. They also crowned the gods | tempers; endeavours to illustrate this sense of the word, by themselves, the priests, and gates of the temples with flowers. I appealing to the contention of Paul and Barnabas, &c. &c. Of this method of adorning the victims there are numerous but the expression means no more than, “ we are truly huexamples in the Greek and Latin writers. A few may suffice. man beings, with the same powers and appetites as your own; Thus Ovid.
need food and raiment as you do; and are all mortal like Victima labe curens, et præstantissima forma
yourselves.” Sistitur ante arus ; et vittis præsignis et auro.
That ye should turn from these vanities] That is, from Ovid. Met. lib. xv. ver. 130. these idols, and false gods. How often false gods and idoThe fairest victim must the powers appease,
latry are termed vanity in the Scriptures, no careful reader of So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please :
the Bible needs to be told. What a bold saying was this in A purple fillet his broad brow adorns
the presence of a heathen mob, intent on performing an act With flow'ry garlands, crown, and gilded horns. of their superstitious worship, in which they no doubt
DRYDEN. thought, the safety of the state was concerned. The ancient Iluic Anius niveis circumdata tempora vittis
fable related by Ovid, Metam. lib. i. ver. 211–239.* to which Conculiens, et tristis ait.
reference has already been made, will cast some light on the Ibid. lib. xiii. rer. 643.
conduct of the Lystrians in this case. The following is its The royal prophet shook his hoary head,
substance : “ Jupiter having been informed of the great deWith fillets bound; and sighing, thus he said generacy of mankind, was determined himself to survey the
CALCOTT. earth. Coming to this province (Lycaonia) disguised in hu.
A. D. cir. 46.
The apostles with difficulty restrain THE ACTS.
them from offering sacrifice.
A.M.cir. 4050. A. M. cir.4050. ties * unto the living God, which from heaven, and fruitful seasons, A. D. cir. 46.
made heaven, and earth, and the sea, filling our hearts with food and glad- An. Olymp. cir. CCVI.2. and all things that are therein :
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to 18 And with these sayings scarce restrained walk in their own ways.
they the people, that they had not done sacrifice 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without unto them. witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain 19 I 'And there came thither certain Jews
air, CCVI. 2.
a 1 Thes. 1. 9. Gen, 1.1. Ps. 33. 6. & 146. 6. Rev. 14. 7.-- Ps.
81. 12. ch. 17. 30. 1 Pet. 4. 3. ch. 17. 27. Rom. 1. 20.
• Lev. 26. 4. Deut. 11. 14. & 98. 12. Job 5. 10. Ps. 63. 10. & 68.9. &
147.8. Jer. 14. 22. Matt. 5. 45. ch. 13. 45.
man shape, he took up his residence at the palace of Lycaon, grounds; and fruitful seasons as the result; 50 that grass then king of that country: giving a sign of his godhead, the grew for the cattle, and corn for the service of mun. p.ople worship him : Lycaon sneers, doubts his divinity, and Filling our hearts with food] Giving as much food as is determined to put it to the trial. Some ambassadors from could reasonably be wished, so that gladness, or general hapthe Molossian state, having just arrived, he slew one of them, piness, was the result. Such was the gracious provision made boiled part of his ilesh, and roasted the rest, and set it before for man at all times, that the æconomy and bounty of the Jupiter: the god indignant at the insult, burnt the palace, Divine Being were equally evidenced by it. He never gives and turned the impious king into a wolf.” From his time, less than is necessary; nor more than is sufficient. or rather from this fable, the whole province was called Ly- nomy forbids men to waste; by giving them in general no cuonia. The simple people now seeing such proofs of super- profusion. His bounty forbids them to want by giving as natural power in the miracles wrought by Barnabas and much as is sufficient for all the natural wants of his creatures. Paul, thought that Jupiter had again visited them; and fear-By not giving too much, he prevents luxury, and riot: by ing lest they should meet with his indignation, should they giving enough, he prevents discontent and misery. Thus he neglect duly to honour him ; they brought oxen and garlands, | does mankind good, by causing his rain to descend upon the and would have offered them sacrifice, had they not been pre- just and the unjust; and his sun to shine upon the evil and vented by the apostles themselves. This circumstance will the good. Thus he is said not to have left himself without account for their whole conduct; and shews the reason why witness: for his providential dealings are the witnesses of his Jupiter was the tutelar god of the place. As therefore the being, his wisdom and his bounty: and thus, the invisible people took them for gods, it was necessary for the apostles things of God, even his eternal power and Godhead, were to shew that they were but men; and this is the whole that clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, is meant by the MonoTabes av WT01, men of like passions, fel- Rom. i. 20. Therefore those who continued to worship low mortals, in the text, which has been so pitifully mistaken stocks and stones, were without excuse. These were great and by some, and abused by others.
striking truths ; and into what detuil the apostlcs now went, The living God] Widely different from those stocks and we cannot say ; but it is likely that they spoke much more stones, which were objects of their worship.
than is here related ; as the next verse states that, with all Which made heaven and earth] And as all things these sayings, they found it difficult to prevent the people were made by his power, so all subsist by his providence; || from offering them sacrifice. and to him alone, all worship, honour, and glory are
Verse 19. There came thither certain Jews from Antidue.
och] Those were no doubt, the same who had raised up perVerse 16. Who in times past suffered all nations, &c.] secution against Paul and Barnabas at Iconium and Antioch The words, Tayta ta korn, which we here translate, all na- before: they followed the apostles with implacable malice; tions, should be rendered, all the Gentiles, merely to distin- and what they could not do themselves, they endeavoured to guish them from the Jewish people, who having a revelation, do by others, whose minds they first perverted, and then irriwere not left to walk in their own ways; but the heathenstated to deeds of fell purpose. who had not a revelation, were suffered to form their creed, And having stoned Paul] Alas ! of what real worth is poand mode of worship, according to their own caprice. pular fame! How uncertain, and how unworthy to be counted!
Verse 17. He left not himself without witness] Though These poor heathens acted just like the people of Malta, he gave the Gentiles no revelation of his will, yet he con- | chap. xxviii. 4–6. When the viper fastened on the hand of tinued to govern them by his gracious Providence; doing Paul, they concluded he was a murderer: when they found them good in general; giving them rain to fertilize their II it did him no damage, they changed their minds, and said he
Paul is stoned at Lystra ;
and is miraculously restored.
A. D. cir. 46.
An. Olymp. cir. CCVI. 2.
cir. CCVI. %.
A. M.cir, 4050. from Antioch and Iconium, who per-|| to that city, and “had taught many, A.1. Cir. 46.
stoned Paul, drew him out of the Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about exlorting them to continue in the faith; and him, he rose up, and came into the city: and that we must through much tribulation enter the next day he departed with Barnabas to into the kingdom of God. Derbe.
23 And when they had 'ordained tliem elders 21 [ And when they had preached the gospel in every church, and had prayed with fasting,
! Cor. 11. 25. 2 Tim. 3. 11. Matt. 28. 19. Gr. had made
many disciples. đ ch. 01. 23. & 13. 43.
• Matt. 10. 38. & 16. 24. Luke 22. 28, 29. Rom. 8. 17. 2 Tim. 2. 11, 12.
& 3. 12. Tit. 1. 5.
was a god!
When the Lycaonians saw the miracles that cept, in order that they might be confirmed and established Paul did, they said he was the god Mercury: when the per- i in the truth. Though it was a great and important thing to secuting Jews came, they persuaded them that he was an im- have their heads, their understanding properly informed; yet postor: and then they endeavoured to stone him to death! if the heart was not disciplined, information in the under.
Supposing he had been dead.] They did not leave stoning standing would be of little avail; therefore they confirmed him, till they had the fullest evidence that he was dead: and the souls of the disciples. As there must be some particular $0, most probably, he was.
standard of truth, to which they might continually resort, Verse 20. The disciples stood round about him] No that their faith might stand in the power of God, it was nedoubt in earnest prayer, entreating the author of life that cessary that they should have such a system of doctrine as his soul might again return to its battered tenement.
they knew came from God. These doctrines were those He rose up] Miraculously restored not only to life, but which contained all the essential principles of Christianity, to perfect soundness ; so that he was able to walk into the and this was called the Faith: and as they must have city, that his persecutors might see the mighty power of God sound principles, in order that they might have righteous in his restoration; and the faith of the young converts be practices ; so it was necessary that they should continue in confirmed in the truth and goodness of God. It is strange that faith, that it might produce that obedience, without that neither the young converts at Lystra, nor Barnabas, were which, even faith itself, however excellent, must be useless involved in this persecution! It seems to have had Paul alone, and dead. for its object; and when they thought they had dispatched Again, as the spirit of the world, would be ever opposed to him, they did not think of injuring the rest.
the spirit of Christ, so they must make up their minds to exVerse 21. Preached the gospel to that city] Derbe, a pect persecution and tribulation in various forms; and there. city in the same province. See on ver. 6.
fore had need of confirmed souls, and strong faith, that when They returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium] Behold the trials came, they might meet them with becoming fortitude; courage of these Christian men! They counted not their and stand unmoved in the cloudy and dark day. And as the lives dear to them, and returned to do their Master's work mind must faint under trouble, that sees no prospect of its in the very places in which they had been so grievously per- termination, and no conviction of its use ; it was necessary secuted ; and, where one of them had been apparently stoned that they should keep in view the kingdom of God, of which to death! The man who knows he is God's ambassador, and they were subjects; and to which, through their adoption inthat his life depends on his fidelity to his Master, knows he to the heavenly family, they had a dirine right. Hence from has nothing but his God to fear.
the apostles' teaching, they not only learned that they should Verse 22. Confirming the souls of the disciples] The meet with tribulation, much tribulation ; yet for their encouword disciple signifies literally a scholar. The church of ragement, they were also informed, that these were the very Christ was a school, in which Christ himself was chief master; means which God would use to bring them into his own and bis apostles, subordinate teachers. All the converts were kingdom: so that if they had tribulation in the tay, they had disciples or scholars, who came to this school to be instructed a heaven of eternal glory as the end, to which they were conin the knowledge of themselves and of their God. Of theirtinually to direct their views. duty to Him; to the church; to society, and to themselves. Verse 23. When they had ordained them elders) Elder After having been initiated in the principles of the heavenly seems to be here, the name of an office. These were all doctrine; they needed line upon live, and precept upon pre- || young or new converts, and yet among them, the apostles
The apostles travel through different
provinces, preaching the word.
A. D. cir. 46. Av. Olymp. cir. CCVI. 2.
A. M. cir. 4050. they `commended them to the Lord,|| Perga, they went down into Attalia : A. M.cir. 4030 on whom they believed.
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, An. Olymp. 24 And after they had pass- * from whence they had been reed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pam-commended to the grace of God for the work phylia.
which they fulfilled. 25 And when they had preached the word in 27 And when they were come, and had ga
a Ch. 1. 26. & 11. 26.
Ch. 13. 1, 3.-och, 15. 10.
constitute elders. They appointed persons the most experi- || was thought to be equally necessary: the church agreeing in onced, and the most advanced in the divine life, to watch the election of the person; and the rulers of the church apover and instruct the rest. But what is the meaning of the
But what is the meaning of the pointing by imposition of hands, the person thus elected. word ZEICOTOVY,CANTES, which we translate ordained? The
See the note on chap. vi. 6. word ordain we use in an ecclesiastical sense, and signify by And had prayed with fasting] This was to implore it, the appointment of a person to an office in the church, by God's special assistance; as they well knew, that with. the imposition of the hands, of those who are rulers in that out his influence, even their appointment, could avail nochurch. But XELPOTOVIA signifies the holding up, or stretching thing. out the hand, as approving of the choice of any person to a Commended them to the Lord] To his especial care and particular work: whereas Zeicosola signifies the imposition protection. of hands.“ Zonaras gives the proper meaning of the word Verse 24. Passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamin the text, in his Scholia upon the first canon of the apostles, phylia.] See the note on chap. xiii. 13. Νυν μεν χειροτονία καλειται, κ. τ. λ. Nowadays, a course Verse 25. They went down into Attalia] This was a of
prayers and invocation on the Holy Spirit, when one is ini- sea-port town in Pamphylia. Thus we find the apostles tratiated into the priesthood, and receives consecration, is called velled from Derbe to Lystra; from Lystra to Iconium; from ZEICOTOrta cheirotonia, so termed because the bishop extends | Iconium to Antioch of Pisidia; from Antioch to Perga in his hand over him whom he blesses, when he is chosen into Pamphylia ; and from Perga to Attalia : and it appears that holy orders. Anciently, the choice or suffrage was called they travelled over three provinces of Asia Minor, Pamphylia, cheirotonia ; for, when it was lawful for the multitude in their Lycaonia, and Pisidia. See Calmet, and see the Map. cities to choose their priests or bishops, they met together, Verse 26. And thence sailed to Antioch] This was Anand some chose one man, some another; but that it might tioch in Syria; and to reach which by sea, they were obliged appear whose suffrage won; they say the electors did use ex- to coast a part of the Mediterranean sea, steering between TEIVELY TAS Xelpas, to stretch forth their hands, and by their Cyprus and Cilicia ; though they might have gone the whole hands so stretched forth, or up, they were numbered who journey by land. chose the one, and who the other : and him who was elected Whence they had been recommended—for the work which by the most suffrages, they placed in the high priesthood. they fulfilled.] The Reader will recollect, that it was from And from hence was the name Cheirotonin taken, which the this Antioch they had been sent to preach the gospel to the fathers of the councils are found to have used, calling their heathen in Asia Minor, see chap. xiii. 1, 2. And that they suffrage cheirotonia. St. Paul, 2 Cor. viii. 19. intimates that fulfilled that work; see in the same chapter, ver. 48. and the St. Luke was thus appointed to travel with him, XEIPOTOVYdels circumstantial account of their travels and preaching given in UTO TW2 eura noiwy, who was chosen of the churches. Ignatius, this chapter. in his epistle to the Philadelphians, uses the same term TSPETTOY Verse 27. Had gathered the church together] The church εςιν υμιν ως εκκλησια Θεου χειροτονησαι επισκoπoν, Je ought by which they had been sent on this very important and sucas a church of God, to chuse your bishop.” Much more on cessful mission. this subject may be seen in Sir Norton Knatchbull, who con- They rehearsed all that God had done with them] Not tends that cheirotoniu implies simply uppointment, or election, what they had done themselves; but what God made them but not what he calls, ordination by the imposition of hands. the instruments of working. I believe the simple truth to be this, that in ancient times the And hore he hull opened the door of faith] How God by people chose by the cheirotonia (listing up of hands) their his providence and grace had made a way for preaching Christ spiritual pastor ; and the rulers of the church, whether apos- || crucified among the heathen: and how the heathen had retles or others, appointed that person to his office, by the chei- ceived that gospel, which through faith in Christ Jesus, was able rothesia or imposition of hands : and perhaps each of these to save their souls.