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authority, in the following animated expostulations and apology, breathing all the vehemence of Demosthenes' oratory, and all the closeness of his reasoning, 1 Cor. ix. 1-23.
"Am not I an Apostle? Am not I a freeman? Have not I seen JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD? Are not ye my work in THE LORD, [as a Christian Church?] Supposing I am not an Apostle to others, [the Jews,] yet surely I am to you, [Gentiles:] for ye are the seal, or ratification of my Apostleship in THE LORD," ver. 1, But, though I preach the Gospel, I have no reason for boasting therein; for a necessity of doing so, is imposed on me [by CHRIST himself, equally with the Apostles of the circumcision, Acts iv. 20;] yea, a woe is due to me, unless I preach the Gospel," ver. 16.— "Though a freeman in respect of all, [and even a Roman citizen by birth, of no mean city, Tarsus, Acts xxi. 39,] yet made I myself a slave to all, to gain the more [converts,] ver. 19. To the Jews I became as a Jew, to gain Jews, [by complying with their ceremonies 'under the law,' as in the circumcision of Timothy, Acts xvi. 3, and the legal performance of his own vow, Acts xxi. 26,] to the Gentiles, not under the law, as not under the law myself, (not being exempt, however, from the law of obedience to GOD, but rather under the law to CHRIST,) to gain them that are not under the law. To the weak, [or scrupulous,] I became as weak, to gain the weak; to all men I became all things; that by all means, I might save some. And this I still do, for the sake of THE GOSPEL; that I may become a joint partaker of its inestimable blessings, along with my converts," (Dan. xii. 3, 2 Tim. iv. 8,) ver. 20-23.
This is a fair specimen of the Apostle's energetic mode of reasoning; extremely diffusive and digressive, and yet extremely concise and elliptical, as may appear from comparing the digressions here omitted, and the ellipses here supplied, with the difficult and involved original, in order to exhibit the chain of his argument, unbroken, in succession. His digressions from the main argument, form a subsidiary argument, designed to prove the Apostle's disinterestedness, that he sought their gain, not his own, in the true spirit of charity; which also may be thus represented, supplying ellipses.
"My apology to my examiners is this:
"1. Have not we, Barnabas and I, the Apostles of the uncircumcision, a right to eat and drink, &c. or to a maintenance
for ourselves and our families, (if we have such,) as well as the other Apostles of the circumcision, even James and Jude, THE LORD's brothers, and Peter? Or have not we an equal right not to work, unless we also be maintained by our flocks? ver. 3-7.
"2. Is this my doctrine only, or is it not warranted by THE LAW? Thou shalt not muzzle the ox, &c. Doth GOD take care of oxen, and not of his Apostles? If we have sown to you spiritual goods, is it a great matter that we reap your temporal goods?
-But God himself ordained, that the priests that serve at the altar, should partake of the sacrifices of the altar; and even so, that the Apostles who preach the Gospel, should live by the Gospel, ver. 8-14.
"3. If your Judaizing teachers, or false apostles, partake of this right to your goods, [and even devour you, 2 Cor. xi. 20,] shall not we rather, your faithful pastors? But how different is our conduct from theirs? We have not used this right, but rather endure all privations, not to give any hindrance to the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, by affording a pretext to impute our labours for your sake to mercenary motives. I, in particular, have used none of your goods. But I wrote not thus to claim them in my own case: for I would much rather die, than that any one should render void my boasting in my own disinterestedness," ver. 12-15.
By thus interweaving his apology with the main argument, the Apostle embarrassed both, to ordinary readers. But how natural was it for a generous mind, feeling indignation at an unfounded charge, with all the warmth of conscious innocence, to bring forward a refutation of it, in the foreground, which, on cooler consideration, deserved to be thrown into the back ground, as distinct, and of inferior moment. But what he lost in method he gained in force, oppressing his opponents with an accumulation of interrogations, not giving them time to breathe *.
And the "pillars of the Mother Church," or leading Apostles of the circumcision, James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, Peter and John, did allow his and Barnabas' claim as Apostles of the
Virgil thus represents a veteran pugilist overpowering his younger antagonist, with a shower of blows, as thick as hail.
Nec mora, nec requies: quam multá grandine nimbi
Culminibus crepitant, sic densis ictibus, Heros,
Creber, utráque manu, pulsat, versatque Darela. En. v. 458.
uncircumcision, and gave them the right hand of fellowship, at their second visit to Jerusalem, as he asserted to the Galatians, ii. 7-9.
FIRST MISSION OF BARNABAS AND SAUL.
Having discharged their commission, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem to Antioch, taking with them Mark, the nephew of Barnabas, (afterwards the Evangelist,) as an assistant iu their approaching mission to the Gentiles, which took place soon after, by the solemn and express appointment of the HOLY SPIRIT, to the leaders of the Church of Antioch, namely, the prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon, surnamed Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manahen, who had been bred up with Herod the Tetrarch of Galilee, and Saul, the youngest, or last appointed, Acts xii. 25, xiii. 1.
"Separate unto me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have now called them."
Then the leaders, having fasted and prayed, [TO The Lord,] and having laid their hands upon them, (commending them to his grace,) dismissed them, after they had been first chosen Apostles by THE HOLY SPIRIT himself, ver. 2-4.
Thus the election of these two supernumerary Apostles, in the room of James the elder, who was slain, and James, THE LORD's brother, who was appointed resident Bishop at Jerusalem, in order to complete the original number of the twelve itinerant Apostles, as observed before; was equally valid with the election of Matthias; and even distinguished above it, by the more immediate appointment of the HOLY SPIRIT himself, signifying his pleasure by declaration, not by lot. We may date this election, A.D. 45, with the Bible chronology.
Under HIS guidance immediately, they went down to the sea-port of Seleucia, fifteen miles below Antioch, (Karnov,) near the mouth of the river Orontes; whence they sailed to Cyprus, the native country of Barnabas, and preached the word of GOD at Salamis, the nighest port to Syria, at first in the Jewish Synagogues, according to their custom. Thence they crossed the island to Paphos, the capital, at the western end, where the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, resided. He also, like Cornelius, sent for the Apostles, desirous to hear the word of GOD. But a Jewish false prophet, Barjesus, surnamed Elymas, in Arabic, or Magus, "the Magian," opposed them, and
sought to pervert the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, full of the HOLY SPIRIT, struck the Magian with blindness, for a season, as a punishment for his wicked interference. This astonishing judgment, confirming the doctrine of THE LORD, converted the proconsul to the faith, ver. 4—12.
This signal miracle, resembling Peter's in the case of Ananias and Supphira, proved that Saul was not a whit inferior to the chief Apostles of the circumcision. And henceforth, in the course of the history, he takes the lead of Barnabas, although junior to him. He here, also, dropped his Jewish name, Saul, and in future adopted his Roman, Paul, as likely to gain him more respect with the Gentiles, ver. 9-13.
From Paphos, " Paul and his party" sailed to Perga, a town of Pamphylia, where Mark separated from them, and returned to Jerusalem, probably through dislike of the fatigues and dangers of the mission, ver. 13.
From Perga they proceeded to Antioch, in Pisidia. Here the Apostles, as usual, went into the Jewish Synagogue, on the sabbath day, and sat down in the seat of the doctors: and when called upon by the rulers of the Synagogue to speak a word of exhortation, or preach to the people, after the reading of the Law and the Prophets was over, Paul made that excellent speech to the Jews and religious proselytes, which is the counterpart of Peter's, at Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost.
1. Beginning with their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, he recounts GOD's providential care of their nation, from their settlement in Canaan till the reign of David, ver. 16-22.
2. That CHRIST was foretold to come of David's seed, as a SAVIOUR, implied in the name JESUS, ver. 23.
3. That John the Baptist testified his actual coming, and his high dignity. That the Jews, through ignorance, rejected and crucified him; but that God raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption like David, his ancestor; whose prophecies respecting Christ, (Psalm ii. 7, xvi. 10,) he explains, as Peter had done before, ver. 24-37.
4. He states the doctrine of justification by faith; that through Him every believer was justified, or saved from the punishment of all those sins, from which they could not be justified by the LAW OF MOSES," ver. 38, 39. This forms the basis of his argument in the three Epistles to the Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews.
He warns them of the judgments foretold to be inflicted on the unbelieving nation of the Jews, (Isa. xxviii. 14, Heb. i. 5,) ver. 40, 41.
Here they had much greater success with the proselytes and with the Gentiles, than with the Jews; who filled with enry, or false zeal, contradicted Paul's arguments, and blasphemed CHRIST. Whereupon Paul and Barnabas, speaking freely, said, "It was necessary that the word of GOD should be first spoken to you; but since ye reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn ourselves to the Gentiles," (as enjoined by prophecy, Isa. xlix. 6, xlii. 6.) When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced, and glorified THE WORD OF THE LORD, and as many as were well disposed*, or prepared for eternal life, believed. And though the Jewish zealots stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their borders, (for which the Apostles gave them up to the judgment of GOD, by the ceremony of shaking off the dust of their feet against them, according to our Lord's injunction, Matt. x. 14,) yet GOD did not desert the Church now planted in Pisidia, for the disciples were filled with joy and with THE HOLY SPIRIT, ver. 42—52.
The Bible chronology dates this departure from Antioch in Pisidia, the same year, A.D. 45. But it is probable that they made some stay there, because the word of THE LORD was spread throughout the whole country, ver. 49, and the considerable progress of the Gospel, at length excited the envy of the Jews to counteract it. We may, therefore, with more propriety, date it A.D. 46, a year later.
After their expulsion the Apostles went to Iconium, a town of Lycaonia, bordering on Pisidia, where, according to their stated custom, they first preached the Gospel in the Jewish Synagogue. And a great multitude of Jews and Greeks believed, in consequence of their freedom of speech, and the signs and wonders wrought by their hands, during a considerable stay there. This success, as before, provoked the infidel Jews to prejudice the minds of the Gentiles against the brethren, as
TeTayμEvoL is unnecessarily rendered in a prædestinarian sense, "ordained,” in the English Bible. It is evidently contrasted with the obduracy of the Jews; anWGAVTO —ἑαυτους ουκ αξίους εκριναν—which is represented as their own act and deed. Luke uses the compound, diarerayμevoc, in the sense of disposed, Acts xx. 13. See Mede's Works, p. 21; Whitby, Dodd, Wetstein, Parkhurst, Gilpin, &c.