Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

From thence he went to Lystra, where having caused a man, born a cripple, to walk and leap, the spectators would have worshipped him and his companion Barnabas, saying, They were gods come down from Heaven. Yet all this honour ended in his being cast out of the city, stoned, and left for dead. Soon after this, he returned to the devoted city of Antioch. And here, the fathers tell us, he was joined by his convert Thela. A very proper asylum, no doubt, for the preservation of her virginity; where could k be so safe as in the hands of a faint? Reputation—But what have female adventurers to do with reputation? Luke, or Paul himself tells us, that here, in this devoted place he confirmed the fouls of the disciples, and exhorted them to continue in the faith. The faint was scourged again at Thyatira for tampering with the women. Practising the same next at Thessalonica, the same reward was prepared for him, but he was secreted by his friend Jason, and sent from thence by night to Berea. From Berea he soon absconded likewise; bajng, it seems, more obnoxious than his companions Silas and Timotheus. His next adventure was at Athens; and here he made a most egregious blunder: Athens—the scat of philosophy and learning !—it was unfortunate. In that city was an altar, thus inscribed—To the Gods of Europe, Alia, and of Afric: To the unknown

and and foreign Gods—Judge the astonishment of the people, When they saw the faint mounted upon Mars's Hill, and heard him thus declaim—

* Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things

* ye are too superstitious: for as I passed by and 1 beheld your devotions: I found an altar with 'this inscription"*—To the unknown God—Whom 'therefore ye igriorantly worship, him declare I 'unto you, &c." Acts, eh; xvii. They very justly might, and perhaps did retort upon hiiri the charge of ignorance, but their politeness Or curiosity suffered him to proceed; which he does Very cautiously* condescending to describe God> in the language of their own poets. It is here that he said God the Father shade the world, and all things therein. That in times of ignorance* God winked at their idolatry: but that now he commanded men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man Whom he hath ordained: whereof lie hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. At this, some mocked: others said, we will hear thee again of this matter. Irritated at the former, and inattentive to the latter (who probably spoke ironically) he, in disgust, retired from that celebrated city, to which he never returned. At Corinth he met with better success; here he found a brother craft, Aquila, a Jew, expelled with his wife Priscilla from

S Rom.9. Rome. With these he worked at his trade of tent-making and preaching alternately for the space of eighteen months. The Jews complained of him to the Roman Deputy, who treated both parties with contempt. Paul then (having shorn his head in consequence of a vow) sailed to Ephesus, where he leaves his companions Aquila and Priscilla, who had so much benefited by his instructions, that meeting with a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures, who taught in the synagogue the baptism of John; they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Thus qualified, by the tent-maker and the tent-maker's wife, he passed into Achaia, where he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, (hewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ, Acts, ch. xviii. St. Paul, after having travelled over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia, returned tb Ephesus, where finding certain disciples, he said unto them—Have ye yet received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him—We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (By this answer it doth not appear that they had profited much by the instructions of Aquila, Priscilla, or their pu-, pil, the eloquent and mighty Apollos.) They however were now baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul had laid his hands

upon

u.pon them, the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues, and prdphesied. And all the men were about twelve. After this, he preached in their synagogue three months to so little purpose, that he quitted it entirely, and for the space of two years disputed daily in the school of one Tyrannus. We are then told God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; so that from his body were brought unto the sick, handkerchiefs, or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. But the Jew exorcists, whom he calls vagabonds, endeavouring to dispossess evil spirits, in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preached: seven of them, the sons of Sceva a chief priest., received this answer—Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? They found, to their cost, that the devil was in the man ;. or, which amounts to much the fame, that he was the devil of a man; for we are fold that he leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they (the seven stout brothers) fled out of that house naked and wounded. We are then told— this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephefus; and fear fell on them all. Under this fear we may suppose it was, that many of them which used curious arts, brought their books together and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them; and they found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. Were

S 2 theythey conjurers who did this? Displeased perhaps at feeing their books so far outdone by Paul's handkerchiefs and aprons-, they in anger exhibitc.l this Auto De Fe. The faint, in his preachings at Ephesus, had, I apprehend, said nothing disrespectful of the great goddess Diana, or of her iaiage which sell down from Jupiter: but he attacked the small silver shrines- (little images of Diana) saying—they be no gods which are made with hands. The silversmiths finding their trade injured, or likely to be so, by this doctrine, headed by Drmetrhis, raised a tumult, in which the general cry was—Great is Diana of the Ephesians. Some of Paul's companions were caught; but he himself, not chusing to abide the mode of triaf recommended by the Town Clerk,, escaped into Macedonia. After a variety of visits; he, in his way to Jerusalem, arrived at Miletus, about fifty miles from Ephesus, whither he durst nor return; nor had he candour enough to acknowledge it, but fays—He had determined to fail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time io Asia, for he hasted if it were possible for him tob^ at Jerusalem the clay of Pentecost. He how.ever sends for his disciples from Ephesus to Miletus; where he reminds them of their obligations to him, foretells their misfortunes (no very difficult matter) and bids them a last adieu. After this he visited Tyre, Pcolomais, and Cæsaria, where, at the house of Philip (one of the seven

Deacons

« AnteriorContinuar »