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20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his ha- Jerusalem. riod, 4742. bitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and, Vulgar Æra, 29. His bishopric let another take'.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among
22 Beginning from the baptism of John unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed and said, Thou, Lord, which
The word ravλic (habitation,) in this passage corresponds with the Hebrew, which signifies the house appointed for the Shepherd who is commissioned to take charge of the fold. Hence it is rendered in the authorized translation by a secondary meaning: the original sense of the word, however, would have better expressed the idea of the office and authority which Judas had abdicated, The first part of the verse is quoted by St. Peter from Ps. lxii. 26. and in the Alexandrine version we find the same word, γενηθήτω ή ἔπαυλις αὐτῶν ἠρημωμένη καὶ ἐν τοῖς σκηνώμασιν αὐτῶν μὴ ἔξω ὁ κατοικῶν. Hesychius ἔπαυλις-μάνδρα βοῶν, ἤ οἴκημα, ἤ ἀυλὴ, ἣ ςρατοπεδια, καὶ ἡ ποιμενική αὐλή.
The word ETIOкоTV, therefore, ought to be so interpreted, as to correspond with the former part of the verse: it implies an office in which the possessor exercises authority, and control over those subject to his charge.
That our blessed Redeemer was here addressed in the words "Thou, Lord, who searchest the heart," may be inferred from the fact, that St. Peter had used the term " Lord," (ver. 21, 22.) immediately before this invocation, when he assuredly spoke of the Messiah. In the election of Presbyters afterwards, in the several Churches, the Apostles commended them" unto the Lord, in whom they had believed." (Acts xiv. 23.) That Lord was unquestionably Christ, In the Apocalypse, xi. 23. our Saviour expressly and formally assumed the title-"All the Churches shall know, that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts." Upon this passage of Scripture alone we should be justified in offering up our prayers to Christ, as our God, and our Lord," as our only Mediator and our only Saviour.
The divinity of Christ appears to me to rest upon this solid and unchangeable foundation; that the inspired writers seem throughout the whole of their pages to take it for granted. They are only anxious to prove Jesus of Nazareth to be the expected Messiah, which title implies his divinity; and this point being gained, they consider it as a truth which required no additional argument. Whenever the course of their reasoning led them to touch upon the subject of the real nature of the Messiah, their very inspiration seems to be insufficient to clothe in adequate language their exalted ideas of His glory. When they attempt to describe Him, it is in the same words as they use when they speak of the Supreme Being. When they address Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of the Prophets, the same humble adoration is observed as when they worship God the Father Almighty. The truth of this mode of representing the argument will appear from the following very brief statement of the as
Julian Pe- knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two Jerusalem. riod, 4742. Valgar Æra,
thou hast chosen,
criptions of glory which are alike applied to the Father Al-
The comparison may be illustrated by the following table, given us in a late learned and elaborate work.
To God. 1. Ευλογια,
Evλoyia. Blessing, the utterance of gra
The seven principal perfections are attributed to each. The eighth thanksgiving is given to God, and not to Christ; yet there is evidently nothing in this ascription more peculiarly divine than in the preceding, and the same is applied to Christ, in other words, the most full and expressive that can be conceived. The remaining two are attributed to Christ, and not to God; a plain proof that the inspired writer was under no apprehension that he might be dishonouring the Father, while ascribing infinite possessions and supreme empire to the Son.
On comparison with another passage, we find the very same notation of worthiness, or dignity attached to the Father and to the Saviour; in the one case it is, Worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive the glory and the honour and the power; and the other, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessings. See Smith's Messiah, vol. ii, part ii. p. 565.
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostle- Jerusalem. ship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place".
26 And they gave forth their lots: and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
6 Εἰς τὸν τόπον τὸν ἴδιον. If we are right in interpreting the
The Alcx. MS. reads duralov, instead of idov, which would
Many passages from the Apostolic Fathers are quoted by Whitby, Benson, and Kuinoel, to prove that this expression was used by them also in this sense. Ἐπεὶ οὖν τέλος τὰ πράγματα ἔχει, ἐπίκειται τὰ δύο, ὁμε ὅ τε θάνατος, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ, καὶ ἕκαςος εἰς τὸν ἴδιον τόπον μέλλει χωρεῖν, quia igitur res finem habent, incumbunt duo simul, mors, et vita, et unusquisque in proprium locum iturus est.-Ignatius in ep. ad Magnes. c. 5. and Clemens Rom. ep. 1. ad Corinth. p. 24. ed Wottoni.-Polycarp in ep. ad Philip. c. 9.-Epist. Barnab. sect. 19. After such evidence we may agree with Dr. Doddridge, that the interpretation of Hammond, Le Clerc, and Ecumenius, is very unnatural, when they explain it of a successor going into the place of Judas.
7 The sins of man and their evil designs occasioned the confusion of tongues; the redemption of man brought with it the revocation of that judgment, in the wonderful gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are recorded in this section. In the formor instance men were leagued together for the purpose of propagating a false religion, but were miraculously frustrated in their plans by the interposition of Almighty God, who rendered them suddenly unintelligible to each other: in the latter case, when the true religion was to be delivered to the world, and its appointed ministers were assembled, in obedience to a divine command, at Jerusalem, the sentence of condemnation was revoked: the Holy Spirit descended in testimony of the divine truth; and by a miraculous diffusion of tongues, empowered the meek and lowly of the earth to communicate the glad tidings of salvation 9 See note, p. 20.
See note, p. 19.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of Jerusalem.
"to every nation under heaven." The same miracle that first
The previous conduct of the Apostles during the last trying
Nor were the other disciples in any way more distinguished for their courage and firmness. By one Christ was betrayed, and by all deserted and abandoned; yet these were the men ordained of God to "go into all the world, and to preach the Gospel to every creature." But God's strength was to be made perfect in weakness, and the ordinary and extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost descended to supply all the natural
Julian Period, 4742. Vulgar Era,
a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where Jerusalem. they were sitting,
deficiencies of the chosen followers of Christ. As men they were
Under the different titles ascribed to the Holy Ghost, they were qualified and prepared to undertake the great work to which they were devoted. "The Comforter" administered to their fearful and pusillanimous nature supernatural strength, fortitude, perseverance, and consolation-" As the Spirit of truth," he illuminated their dark and uncultivated minds, and gave repaired energy to their slow comprehensions, teaching them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance." As "the witness" he was continually with them, renewing their corrupt heart and affections, and disposing them to holiness and purity of life. He endowed them with spiritual gifts, with the word of wisdom, of knowledge, and of faith, and worked with them, to confirm their word with signs following." (Mark xvi. 20.) These signs may be considered as the more visible extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, and were, if we may be allowed to say so, necessary to distinguish the divine wisdom and knowledge of the apostles, from human acquirements, and from human superiority. In Judea only, their low origin and neglected education would either be known or believed; in other countries some further testimony was requisite to confirm their important declarations, than that which had wrought such a miraculous change on them at the day of Pentecost. For this purpose, therefore, the "gifts of healing and working of miracles" were added to the word of wisdom and knowledge. They possessed the power of restoring the dead to life, and by a word consigned the living to the grave (Acts iii. 9, 10, &c.) their very shadows had virtue in them, and the sick were recovered from handkerchiefs that had only touched their persons. Thus was the Gospel established as far as related to the human nature and actions of Christ, by the testimony of man: but to his Godhead by the "testimony of God," (1 Cor. ii. 1.) and by "the demonstration of the Spirit and power." The former was demonstrated by holiness of life, by unrepining martyrdom and patient suffering; the other by miracle and inspiration.
These were the great credentials of our faith, and the hallowed evidences on which our holy religion rests. When, however, the Church through these means was established, and the canon of Scripture, through divine knowledge and prophecy, was completed, the necessity for inspiration and miracle gradually ceased. "But," observes Mr. Nolan, "from these lively oracles, the Spirit still speaks the same language which it dictated to the prophets, or the evangelists, while the sacred text still perpetuates the remembrance of those miracles which were openly wrought by the apostle and saint, to evince the divinity of our religion. To those who still require inspiration and miracles as evidences of its truth, the word of revelation lies open; and the religion which it details affords the most convincing proofs of supernatural intervention; prophecy, of itself, sufficiently proclaims the source from whence it sprang; and Christianity exhibits in its establishment a standing miracle." In