1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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Acts 1:1 The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things, which Jesus began to do and to teach,

St. Luke, who was the author of this history, alludes, in this verse, to his gospel, which he calls his first discourse. In that he informs us, not only of the actions, but also the doctrines of our Saviour. These words, to do and to teach, are the abridgment of the whole gospel: here he gives us the Acts of the Apostles, that is, an history of their travels and preaching. In the beginning of this work he speaks of all the apostles, and what they did before their dispersion. As soon as he comes to the mention of St. Paul, he takes notice of no one else, but is entirely taken up with the narrative of his actions. He addresses his book to Theophilus, which signifies a friend of God, or one who loves God, as if he intended to dedicate it to all the faithful, who believed in, and loved God. But it is more probable that this was some distinct person, well known to St. Luke, and illustrious for his birth, because he gave him the title of kratiste, most excellent. [Luke 1:3.] (Calmet)
Acts 1:2 Until the day *on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up:

about the year A.D. 33. Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up. As the Scripture was written without distinction of verses, and without any stops, or commas, which were added afterwards) the construction, and joining of the words in this verse, is ambiguous. The question is, with what part of the verse these words, by the Holy Ghost, are to be joined. The sense might be, 1. that he was taken up by the Holy Ghost: but this is generally rejected. 2. That he gave his commandments by the Holy Ghost to his apostles; that is, says St. Chrysostom, that he gave them spiritual commands, that came from the Holy Ghost, or from his holy Spirit. 3. The most probable exposition seems to be, that he gave his special commandments to his apostles, or to those whom he chose to be his apostles, by the Holy Ghost, or by his holy and divine spirit. (Witham) --- The power to preach, to baptize, to remit sins, and generally the whole commission and charge of the government of his Church after him in his name, and with his authority; which government was given them, together with the Holy Ghost, to assist them therein for ever. (Bristow)
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God.

Appearing, etc. Why did he not appear to all, but only to his disciples? Because to many of them, who did not know the mystery, he would have seemed a phantom. For if the disciples themselves were diffident, and terrified, and required to touch him with their hands, how would others have been affected? But we know from their miracles, the truth of the resurrection, which is made evident to all succeeding generations. Perhaps the apostles did not perform miracles. How then was the world converted? This is a fact which cannot be denied, and that it should have been brought about by twelve poor illiterate fishermen, without miracles, would be the greatest of all miracles, far beyond the reach of all human means. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 1:chap. 1. on Acts.) --- "And speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God," as we read in the Greek, and in the Protestant version, that is, pertaining to the Church, which is the kingdom of God, ta peri tes basileias tou theou, which plainly makes for unwritten tradition. (Estius)
Acts 1:4 And eating with them, *he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, **which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth.

Luke 24:19.; John 14:26. --- ** Matthew 3:11.; Mark 1:8.; Luke 3:16.; John 1:26.
And eating with them.{ Ver. 4. sunalizomenos, A salis et mensae communione. Some copies sunaulizomenos.|} This is a literal translation from the vulgar Latin. But the Protestant translation from some Greek copies, would have it, And being assembled together, he commanded them, etc. Mr. Bois defends the Latin Vulgate and even by the authority of St. Chrysostom who doubtless understood the Greek text, as well as any one, and who takes the Greek word here to signify eating: for he observes that the apostles elsewhere prove Christ's resurrection by his eating and drinking with them. (Acts 10:4.[41.?]) St. Jerome also says, the derivation of the Greek word, is from eating salt together. (Witham)
Acts 1:5 For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Baptized with the Holy Ghost, that is, cleansed, and sanctified by the plentiful graces he shall pour upon you. (Witham)
Acts 1:6 They, therefore, who were come together, asked him, saying; Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel:

\f + \fr 1:6-7\ft Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? Some of them, as St. Chrysostom observes, had still their thoughts upon a temporal kingdom of the Messias. Christ, to divert them from such imaginations, tells them, their business is to be witnesses of his doctrine and miracles, particularly of his resurrection, even unto the utmost bounds of the earth, to all the nations of the world. (Witham)
Acts 1:7 But he said to them; It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power:

Acts 1:8 *But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, **and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:2. --- ** Luke 24:48.
Acts 1:9 And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight.

He was raised up. Raised himself up, and ascended, etc. (Witham)
Acts 1:10 And whilst they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments;

Behold two men, that is, two angels, stood by them in white apparel. (Witham)
Acts 1:11 Who also said; Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, so shall he come as you have seen him going into heaven.

So shall he come, as you have seen him going. This word going, says St. Chrysostom, sufficiently intimates, that he ascended by his own power: for so will he come by his own power to judge the world. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ shall come on the last day, in the same body, in the same majesty, to judge the living and the dead. This he had likewise promised, in more than one place of the gospel, speaking of the vengeance, which he will exercise on the city of Jerusalem. St. Jerome, St. Hilary, and many other ancients, have believed that the Son of God will appear again on Mount Olivet, and that all people shall be assembled to judgment. (St. Jerome, super Joel 3:2.; St. Hilary, super Matthew 24:32.) --- And that same body, which thus ascended to heaven, and which will thus descend, is given us in the blessed Sacrament. "O miracle! exclaims St. Chrysostom, He that sitteth with his Father above, is at the same time handled by men below. Jesus Christ ascending to heaven, both hath his flesh with him above, and hath left it with us below. Elias being taken up, left his disciple, Eliseus, his mantle and double spirit, but the Son of Man ascending, left his own flesh for us." (Lib. 3:de Sacerd. hom. 2. ad pop. Ant. hom. de divit. et paup.) --- Sulpicius Severus, and St. Paulinus, assure us, that the marks of the feet of our Saviour were imprinted in the place off which he rose to heaven; and St. Augustine informs us, that many in his time went to Judea, to venerate these sacred marks. Ven. Bede testifies the same in the eighth age [i.e. in the 8th century]. In the time of Constantine the great, the empress Helen built a church on the place. (Calmet)
Acts 1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem, from the mount that is called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, within a sabbath-day's journey.

Sabbath-day's journey. It cannot now be precisely determined what this distance was, but it is most probable, that it was about a mile. On particular occasions, it perhaps was allowed to exceed a little. (Calmet)
Acts 1:13 And when they had entered in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude, of James.

\f + \fr 1:13-14\ft Into an upper room, to be more retired in prayer. There they were persevering with one mind in prayer. These few words denote to us three dispositions to receive the Holy Ghost. 1. Prayer. 2. Perseverance in it. 3. To be of one mind, perfectly united in charity, and the love of one another. (Witham) --- This is the last mention that is made in Scripture of the blessed Virgin Mary. She lived the rest of her time with the Christians (as here she is particularly named and noted amongst them) and especially with St. John, the apostle, to whom our Lord recommended her. (St. John xix 26. 27.) She undoubtedly communicated to the evangelists many circumstances relative to the actions, words, and mysteries of her divine Son.
Acts 1:14 All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brethren.

Acts 1:15 In those days Peter, rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together, was about an hundred and twenty:)

Peter, rising up, etc. Peter, says St. Chrysostom{ Ver. 15. St. Chrysostom, om.g. tou chorou protos, etc.|} on this place, who was prince, or chief of the apostolical college, who had authority over them all, who by his place and dignity, might, without them, have chosen, and appointed a new apostle to succeed Judas, (Christ having said to him, confirm thy brethren,) etc. yet he consults them. (Witham) --- Here Peter acts and ordains in virtue of his supremacy, and the other apostles agree to his appointment.
Acts 1:16 Men, brethren, the Scripture must be fulfilled, *which the Holy Ghost foretold by the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus:

Psalm 40:10.; John 13:18.
Acts 1:17 Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

Acts 1:18 *And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out.

Matthew 27:7.
Possessed a field. Judas is here said to have done, what was done by others, with the thirty pieces of money, the reward of his iniquity. And being hanged, that is, as St. Matthew says, (chap. 27:5.) having hanged himself, he burst asunder. The Greek has it, falling headlong,{ Ver. 18. Suspensus crepuit medius, prenes genomenos.|} as perhaps he did, by the judgment of God, from the place or tree where he hanged himself. (Witham) --- Judas did not possess the potter's field, but he furnished the price to buy it, giving back the thirty pieces of silver. (Menochius) --- We often say in common, that we have done what happens in consequence of any action of ours, though it was not in our first intention. (Calmet)
Acts 1:19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the field is called in their tongue, Haceldama; that is, The field of blood.

Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms: *Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein: **and let another take his bishoprick.

Psalm 68:26. --- ** Psalm 108:8.
His bishoprick. The words were prophetically spoken in the Psalms, of the traitor Judas. (Witham) --- Let their habitation. In some manuscript copies, in both Greek and Syriac, we read his. In the Psalms, the text was written against the Jews, the persecutors of Christ in general; but in this place, Peter applies it to Judas in particular. (Estius, in a different place.)
Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us,

Came in, and went out among us. That is, conversed with us. (Witham)
Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection.

Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

Acts 1:24 And praying, they said; Thou, O Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew which of these two thou hast chosen,

Acts 1:25 To take the place of this ministry, and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.

To his own place of perdition, which he brought himself to. (Witham)
Acts 1:26 And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

And he gave them lots, which they might lawfully do, when they knew that both of them were fit, and every way qualified for the office. (Witham) --- Lots. This method of deciding the election of ministers by lots, is one of those extraordinary methods which was inspired by God; but can seldom or ever be imitated. Where both candidates appeared equally worthy, as in the present case, and human judgment cannot determine which is to be preferred, it cannot be said that it was wrong to decide it by lots. Thus were avoided any of the evil consequences which might have happened by one party being preferred before the other. St. Augustine observes, that in a doubtful case, where neither part is bad, to decide by lots is not in itself wrong. Sors enim non aliquid mali est, sed res est in dubitatione humana divinam indicans voluntatem. (In Psalm xxx.) (Haydock)
Acts 2:0 The disciples receive the Holy Ghost. Peter's sermon to the people. The piety of the first converts.

Acts 2:1 And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place:

Altogether in one{ Ver. 1. Pariter in eodem loco. omothumadon epi to auto, concorditer.|} place. The Greek signifies, were all of one mind. (Witham)
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

A sound, etc. Perhaps this was a kind of thunder, accompanied with a great wind, which filled with terror and awe the whole company, and disposed them to receive the gift of heaven with humility and fervour. This noise appears to have been heard over a great part of the city, and to have gathered together a great crowd, who came to learn the cause. This noise and wind were symbols of the divinity. It was thus also that formerly on Mount Sinai, thunder and lightning, the dark cloud, the smoking mountain, etc. marked the majesty of God. (Calmet) --- Jesus Christ, our Pasch, to answer perfectly the figure, was offered on the day of the great Jewish passover; so fifty days after, for accomplishing the like figure of the law given on Mount Sinai, He sent down the Holy Ghost on the day of their Pentecost, which meaneth fifty. But our feasts, as St. Augustine remarks, besides the remembrance of benefits past, contain great mysteries also of the life to come. (Ep. cxix. Acts 16.)
Acts 2:3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues, as it were of fire, and it sat upon each of them:

Tongues ... of fire. The Hebrews use the name tongue, for almost any thing pointed. Thus they say, a tongue of the earth, for a promontory. (Josue 15:5.[2.?]) A fiery tongue for a flame in shape of a tongue. (Isaias 5:24.) The expression, therefore, in this place, may mean noting more than sparks, or rather flames, which appeared above all who were in the house. --- Sed et Latinis quod extremum et acutum est lingua dicitur, quare scopulos summos et invios linguas dixit Caesar. (Pastorini) --- By the fiery tongues is signified the efficacy of the apostles' preaching, and the gift of tongues bestowed upon them. (Menochius)
Acts 2:4 *And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

Matthew 3:11.; Mark 1:8.; Luke 3:16.; John 7:39.; Acts 1:8.; Acts 11:16.; Acts 19:6.
Began to speak divers tongues. Perhaps the apostles spoke only their own tongue, and the miracle consisted in each one's understanding it as if they spoke it in his language. (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, orat. xliv.) --- But St. Augustine and most others, understand the text literally; though the apostles had not this gift on all occasions, nor on all subjects, and therefore sometimes stood in need of interpreters. See St. Augustine, in Psalm xvii.; Expos. 2.; and Serm. 188. --- The same Father observes, that the conversion of all nations to the Church, and their being united in one faith, all having one language or confession, is a perpetuation of the same miracle in the Church.
Acts 2:5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:6 And when this voice was made, the multitude came together, and was confounded in mind, because that every one heard them speaking in his own tongue.

Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying; Behold are not all these, who speak, Galileans?

Acts 2:8 And how have we every one heard our own tongue wherein we were born?

Acts 2:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Acts 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,

Acts 2:11 Jews also, and Proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:12 And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another; What meaneth this?

Acts 2:13 But others mocking, said; These men are full of new wine.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words.

But Peter standing up, etc. A wonderful change which the Holy Ghost, at his coming, in a moment wrought in the apostles, as we see in the person of St. Peter, who before, when questioned by a silly girl, denied his master, now he values not all the Sanhedrim of the Scribes, Pharisees, and magistrates; he boldly and publicly charges them with the murder of Jesus, their Lord, and their Christ. (ver. 36) (Witham) --- As the prince of the apostolic college, and head of the Church, under Jesus Christ, hence Peter speaks in the name of the other apostles also, gives an account of the miracle, and promulgates the evangelical law. (Menochius) --- Newly replenished with all knowledge and fortitude, and full of the holy Spirit, he here maketh his first sermon. (Bristow)
Acts 2:15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day:

About nine in the morning. On festival days, the Jews did not eat till the morning devotions were finished, about mid-day. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet, Joel;

Acts 2:17 *And it shall come to pass in the last days, (saith the Lord) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

Isaias 44:3.; Joel 2:28.
In the last days, or the latter days, meaning the time of the Messias, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, that is, all persons. See Joel 2:28. (Witham)
Acts 2:18 And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids, will I pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy:

Acts 2:19 And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke.

I will shew wonders, etc. These prodigies are commonly expounded of those that shall forerun the last day; or of the prognostics of the destruction of Jerusalem, which was a figure of the destruction of the world. (Witham) --- Blood, fire, etc. These prodigies were accomplished at our Saviour's death, or before the destruction of Jerusalem. We must not expect in these prophecies, where the descriptions are so grand, pathetic, and hyperbolical, to find that the accomplishment of them is literal, and precisely according to terms. The sun shall suffer an eclipse, the moon turn red, like blood, etc. (Calmet)
Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord cometh.

Acts 2:21 *And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.

Joel 2:32.; Romans 10:13.
Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus, of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you also know;

\f + \fr 2:22-23\ft Jesus, ... a man, who suffered as man, though he was both God and man. --- Delivered by the determinate decree, or counsel; to wit, by that eternal decree, that the Son of God should become man. He mentions this decree, and foreknowledge of God, to signify that Christ suffered not by chance, nor unwillingly, but what God, and he as God, had decreed. (Witham) --- By the determinate, etc. God delivered up his Son; and his Son delivered up himself, for the love of us, and for the sake of our salvation: and so Christ's being delivered up was holy, and was God's own determination. But they who betrayed and crucified him, did wickedly, following therein their own malice, and the instigation of the devil; not the will and determination of God, who was by no means the author of their wickedness; though he permitted it; because he could, and did draw out of it so great a good, viz. the salvation of man. (Challoner)
Acts 2:23 This same being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have crucified and put to death by the hands of wicked men:

Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be held by it.

Having loosed the sorrows{ Ver. 24. Solutis doloribus Inferni. lusas tas odinas adou, though in the common Greek copies, thanatou. See St. Chrysostom, hom vi.|} of hell, etc. In the ordinary Greek copies, of death. As to the sense of this place, 1. It is certain Christ suffered the pains and pangs of a violent death. 2. That his soul suffered no pains after death, nor in any place called hell. 3. We believe, as in the Apostles' Creed, that his blessed soul descended into hell, that is, to that place in the inferior parts of the earth, (Ephesians 4:9.) which we commonly call Limbus Patrum [Limbo of the Fathers], not to suffer, but to free the souls of the just from thence. --- As it was impossible he should be held there, either by death, or hell, his soul being always united to the divine person: and his rising again being foretold in the Psalms, in the words here cited. (Witham) --- Having overcome the grievous pains of death, and all the power of hell. (Challoner) --- Not that Jesus suffered any thing after his death; that was impossible. But these pains were loosed in his regard, because he was preserved from them, as the bird is preserved from the nets of the fowlers, which are broken before it is taken in them. (St. Augustine, ep. ad. Olimp. xcv.) --- Moreover he loosed others of those pains. (St. Augustine, lib. xii, Acts 13. de Gen. ad lit.)
Acts 2:25 For David saith concerning him; *I foresaw the Lord always before my face: because he is at my right hand, that I may not be moved:

Psalm 15:18.
Acts 2:26 For this my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover, my flesh also shall rest in hope:

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thy holy one to see corruption.

Thou wilt not leave{ Ver. 27. My soul in hell. Animam meam in Inferno, ten psuchen mou eis adou.|} my soul in hell. This is also the Protestant translation; and the manner in which Beza translates it, is both very false and ridiculous, thou shalt not leave my carcass in the grave. For allowing that the Latin and Greek word, which is here translated hell, may signify sometimes, the grave; yet no excuse can be made for putting carcass, where the Greek, as well as Latin, signifies the soul. And for the doctrine of Christ's descending into hell, even the learned Dr. Pearson on the Creed, observes with Catholics, that the article of the creed, wherein we say, he descended into hell, cannot be the same as to say, his body descended into the grave, because in the foregoing words we profess that he was dead and buried. (Witham) --- Beza plainly confesseth that he translateth the text thus: Thou shalt not leave my carcass in the grave, against the doctrine of purgatory, and Christ's descending into hell, although he alloweth, that most of the ancient Fathers were in that error. Thus opposing himself to plain Scripture and to the ancient Fathers, perverting the former, and contemning the latter, to overthrow an article of the apostles' creed. (He descended into hell. New Test. in 1556.)
Acts 2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

Acts 2:29 Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch, David, *that he died, and was buried: and his sepulchre is with us to this present day.

3 Kings 2:10.
Acts 2:30 Whereas, therefore, he was a prophet, and knew *that God had sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne,

Psalm 131:11.
Acts 2:31 Foreseeing he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, *for neither was he left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption.

Psalm 15:10.; Acts 13:35.
Foreseeing he (David) spoke of the resurrection of Christ. St. Peter shews them that the prophetical words of the Psalm, agree not to David in person, he being dead, and his body having remained in the grave, without rising from the dead. (Witham)
Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up again, whereof we are all witnesses.

Acts 2:33 Being exalted, therefore, by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear.

He hath poured forth this, which we see, and hear, by the effects, by the noise, as it were of thunder, by our speaking languages, etc. (Witham) --- It does not appear that the holy Spirit was visible to the multitude, whom St. Peter addressed. But they perceived sensible marks of his presence, in the great noise, which had called them together, and the divers tongues spoken by illiterate men, who had never studied. (Haydock)
Acts 2:34 For David did not ascend into heaven: but he himself said; *The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand,

Psalm 109:1.
Acts 2:35 Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know most assuredly, that God hath made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Acts 2:37 Now when they had heard these things they had compunction in their heart, and they said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles; What shall we do, men, brethren?

They had compunction in their heart, with sorrow for their sins, especially against their Messias. (Witham)
Acts 2:38 But Peter said to them; Do penance, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Be baptized: believing and making profession to believe, and hope for salvation, by the merits of Jesus Christ. Thus you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the grace of God, and perhaps those other gifts of speaking with tongues, working miracles, etc. (Witham) --- The gift of the Holy Ghost. That is, justifying grace, which is infused in our hearts by the laver of regeneration. The exterior gifts of the Holy Ghost, the gift of tongues, of miracles, prophecy, etc. were, in the beginning of the Church, more regularly the consequences of confirmation or imposition of hands. (Calmet)
Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

The promise is to you. The good tidings of salvation were first announced to the Jew, then to the Gentile; first to the domestics, then to the strangers, who are far off. It is rather singular, that St. Peter, after here so clearly shewing that the Gentiles are called to the faith, should afterwards have made such objections to go to baptize Cornelius, because he was a Gentile. This can only be reconciled, by supposing, he did not know distinctly the time nor the manner of their vocation. (Calmet)
Acts 2:40 And with a great many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying; Save yourselves from this perverse generation.

And with a great many other words did he testify and exhort them. St. Luke only gives an abridgment of those exhortations, which St. Peter, and the apostles frequently gave to all the people. St. Peter, as St. Chrysostom observes, and as we see in these Acts, was the mouth of all the rest. And on this first day of Pentecost, about three thousand were converted. (Witham)
Acts 2:41 They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:42 And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

In the communication of the breaking of bread, by which some understand their ordinary meals, and eating together; others, of the celestial bread of the holy Sacrament, tou artou, panis illius, scilicet Eucharistiae. The Eucharist is called both by St. Luke and St. Paul, the breaking of bread. (Menochius, in ver. 42. and 46.) --- In the Syriac, for artou, is a term that means Eucharist, both here and in Acts xx. as the learned Joannes Harlemius remarks in Indice Bibliorum. --- St. Luke also gives here some account of the manner of living of these first Christians. 1. They were together, united in perfect charity. 2. They were frequently in the temple, and praying together. 3. They had all possessions in common. 4. They went from house to house to convert souls, taking the food they found with joy, and simplicity of heart, their number daily increasing. 5. St. Luke says they were in favour, and esteemed by all the people. 6. The apostles did many prodigies and miracles, to confirm their doctrine, which struck others with great terror and horror for their past lives. (Witham)
Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was great fear in all.

Acts 2:44 And all they that believed were together, and had all things common.

This living in common is not a precept for all Christians, but a life of perfection and counsel, for such as are called to it by heaven. See St. Augustine in Psalm cxii. and ep. cix. the practice of which is a striking proof of the one true Church, which has come down from the apostles.
Acts 2:45 They sold their possessions and goods, and divided them to all, according as every one had need.

Acts 2:46 And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart:

In the temple. Although by the death of our Saviour, the ceremonies and sacrifices were abrogated, and the new alliance had succeeded to the old, still it was not in the design of God, that the faithful should separated themselves from the rest of the Jews, or entirely give up the observances of the law. They continued to observe them, as long as the utility of the Church required it, but they observed them not as Jews. Thus they avoided giving scandal to the weak, and driving them from submitting to the doctrines of the Church. They disposed them insensibly to a more pure and spiritual worship. (St. Chrysostom, in Act. hom. vii.) --- This was burying the synagogue with honour.
Acts 2:47 Praising God together, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added daily to their society such as should be saved.

More and more he added daily to the Church, as it is clearly expressed in the Greek, prosetithei te ekklesia, that we may see the visible propagation and increase of the same. We may here, and throughout the whole book, observe a visible society of men joined in Christ, which visible society may be traced through ecclesiastical history, down to our days, and which will continue, in virtue of Christ's promise, to the end of time, as the point of union, by which the true disciples of Jesus Christ are to be connected together in one body, and one spirit; "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Ephesians 4:5.) This book can shew the true Church ever visible, and ever speaking with authority to all that do not willingly shut their eyes, as plainly as the gospel doth shew the true Christ. "Every where the Church proclaims the truth; she is the candlestick, with the seven lamps (Exodus xxv.); bearing the light of Christ, eptamukos," says St. Irenaeus; which light nothing can obscure. Hence St. Chrysostom says, "sooner shall the sun be extinguished, than the Church be obscured;" eukolioteron ton elion sbesthenai, e ten ekklesian aphanisthenai.
Acts 3:0 The miracle upon the lame man, followed by the conversion of many.

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up to the temple at the ninth hour of prayer.

To the temple. Though the Jewish ceremonies were shortly to cease, yet it was not unlawful to follow them; and they went to the temple as a proper place for prayer. (Witham) --- The ninth hour, that is, about three in the afternoon. But we must here observe, that the Hebrews divided the light into twelve hours, and the dark into twelve hours; so that their hours would be of unequal length: longer in summer, shorter in winter. (Menochius) --- The custom of praying three times in the day, is ancient among the Jews. Daniel at Babylon opened his window on the side which looked towards the temple of Jerusalem, and three times a day bent his knees before the Lord. The ancient Fathers of the Church have strongly recommended this established custom of praying three times in the day, morning, noon, and evening. It is indeed not a precept, but a religious observation, to which she invites all her children. See St. Clement of Alexandria, Constit. lib. vii. Acts 24.; Tertullian, de Jejuniis, etc. --- In Catholic countries, the toll of a bell at morning, noon, and evening, announces the time for the recital of the Angelus Domini, a short prayer, in honour of the incarnation. At these moments, all, however employed, whether at labour in the field, or at home, all cease from their employment, till they have recited the prayer. The repetition of this, and similar practices, cannot be too strongly recommended to Catholics of the present day. They are of singular advantage in recalling the soul, which is too easily dissipated and distracted, to God, her first beginning, and her last end. (Haydock)
Acts 3:2 And a certain man who was lame from his mother's womb, was carried; whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called the Beautiful, that he might beg alms of them that went into the temple.

Acts 3:3 *He, when he had seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, begged to receive an alms.

about the year A.D. 33.
Acts 3:4 But Peter, with John, fixing his eyes upon him, said; Look upon us.

Look upon us. St. Peter said this to raise his attention and expectation, but the poor man thought of nothing but an alms. (Witham)
Acts 3:5 But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something from them.

Acts 3:6 But Peter said; Silver and gold I have none: but what I have, I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, rise up, and walk.

But what I have, I give thee. Though St. Luke told us, (chap. 2:43.) that the apostles did many miracles and prodigies, yet this is the first specified. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, (known by that name, though of Bethlehem) arise, and walk. In the name of Jesus, lately nailed to a cross. (Witham) --- This is not the shadow of a great name, magni nominis umbra, but the truth of what it signifies, a Saviour. Not without reason is this name in the Canticles compared to oil, in its three-fold properties, of affording light, food, and medicine. When preached, it enlightens; thought on, it feeds us; and called on, it assuages our grief. Whence has such a sudden light of faith spread over the world, but in preaching the name of Jesus? How did this light shine, and attract the eyes of all, when proceeding like lightning from the mouth of Peter, it strengthened the weakness of the lame man's feet, and enlightened the minds of many spiritually blind? Did he not then scatter fire, when he exclaimed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, arise and walk? This name is food too. Are you not refreshed, as often as you recall it to your mind? What is as powerful in consoling the mind? What so soon repairs our wearied senses, and gives new vigour to our strength; encourages virtues, cherishes chaste affections? All food is dry to me, if not seasoned with this oil; insipid, unless sprinkled with this salt. If you write, I relish it not, unless I read the name of Jesus. If your read, or speak, I take no pleasure in it, unless I hear the name of Jesus. Jesus is honey in the mouth, music to the ear, but ecstasy to the heart. This is also my medicine. Are you sad? let Jesus enter your heart, and thence ascend upon your tongue. And behold, at the rising of this star, every cloud will retire, and serenity return. Do you fall into a crime, or run on the brink of despair: call on this name of life, and you shall be restored to life, etc. (St. Bernard, Serm. xv. super Cant. propè medium.)
Acts 3:7 And having taken him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles became firm.

Acts 3:8 And he leaping up, stood, and walked: and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God.

Acts 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God.

Acts 3:10 And they knew him, that it was he who sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.

Acts 3:11 And as he held Peter and John, all the people, amazed, ran to them to the porch which is called Solomon's.

As he held Peter and John. That is, kept close by them, and with them, out of joy and gratitude. (Witham)
Acts 3:12 Which Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power, we had made this man to walk?

Peter seeing, made answer to the people. This is the second sermon, that is related, which, as St. Chrysostom, observes, was spoken publicly in the temple. --- Why look you upon us? St. Peter, at the beginning takes care to give the glory to God. (Witham)
Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son, Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released.

Who does not admire, in this second discourse of St. Peter, as well as in his first, the prudence and discretion, with which he blames the Jews? He reproaches them, but with such mildness, as not to offend them, and dispenses to them truths in proportion to their capacity to bear them; after the example of his master and Saviour, he sweetens the bitterness of the truth, by furnishing them with an excuse. They sinned through ignorance. (Calmet)
Acts 3:14 *But you denied the Holy and the Just one, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.

Matthew 27:20.; Mark 15:11.; Luke 23:18.; John 18:40.
\f + \fr 3:14-15\ft The just one, and the holy one, even the author of life you killed: he that is the just one promised, the Messias, the Son of God, and true God. (Witham)
Acts 3:15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

Acts 3:16 And his name, through the faith of his name, this man, hath made this man strong whom you have seen and known: and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.

Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as also your rulers.

You did it through ignorance, but such as could not excuse the chief of you. (Witham)
Acts 3:18 But those things, which God had foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

Acts 3:19 Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out:

Acts 3:20 That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ,

The times of refreshment. The time of eternal rest and happiness, etc. --- These words, you may be saved, must be understood, to make the sense complete. (Witham)
Acts 3:21 Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning of the world.

Whom heaven indeed must receive, as also in the Protestant translation not contain: nor can any argument be drawn from hence, that Christ's body cannot be truly at the same time in the holy Sacrament, especially after a different manner. The true sense of these words is, that heaven is the place of Christ's abode, till the day of judgment, and that it was in vain for them to think that he would come to take possession of any temporal kingdom. (Witham) --- The restitution of all things. Jesus remains in heaven, till his second coming to judge the living and the dead. That is the great day, when every thing shall be finally settled, and restored to its proper order. He shall avenge the injuries done to God; restore peace to the afflicted just men of the earth, and justice to their persecutors. He shall exalt his Church, and himself receive the homage of adoration, from every tribe of men. (Calmet) --- See 2 Peter 3:13. which text, together with what we read in this place, joins inseparably the last coming of Jesus Christ, with the universal re-establishment promised in both these passages, and completely excludes the Millennium, which some erroneously expect to take place between the accomplishment of the first and second of these events. See Bossuet's reflexions on the 20th chapter of the Apocalypse, where the errors of many Protestant writers, especially of Dodwell, are refuted. To shew that the error of the Millennium cannot be assigned as a general cause which impelled the primitive Christians to martyrdom, it will suffice to produce this decisive passage of St. Justin, who after Papias, was the first supporter of that system: speaking to Tryphon concerning this temporal kingdom, which Christ was to enjoy here below, in the re-established Jerusalem with the saints risen from the dead, for a thousand years, he says: "I have already confessed that many others, with myself, were of this opinion; ... but there are many others, and persons of sound faith, and exemplary conduct, who reject this opinion." (In dialog. cum Tryph. n. 84.) --- Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyprian, and Origen, lay down principles diametrically opposite to this system. It has also been expressly combated by Caius, and St. Denis of Alexandria, one of the greatest luminaries of the third century, as we learn from Eusebius, and St. Jerome.
Acts 3:22 For Moses indeed said; *A prophet shall the Lord, your God, raise up unto you out of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear, according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you.

Deuteronomy 18:15.
Moses said. He brings them this testimony of Moses concerning the Messias, to shew the punishment they deserve for not receiving him. (Witham)
Acts 3:23 And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Which will not hear that prophet. St. Peter's argument is this. If disobedience to the ordinances of God by the voice of Moses, was punishable with death, how much more severe will be the punishment of those, who refuse obedience to the doctrines of Jesus, to whom all the prophets bore testimony, and whom the apostles then preached. How different is this system of submission to the teaching of the prophets, and apostles, from that libertinism, which undermines the whole fabric of religion, by taking away from the Church the power of commanding, and from the disciple the necessity of obeying. By what wonderful and progressive shades of light was the prediction of this great prophet made to man! From the fall of Adam, it was predicted, that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head. Many ages after, God manifested that from Abraham's loins the Redeemer should spring, "in whom all nations should be blessed." The promise is renewed to Isaac, and that he is to spring from his son, but not from Esau, but from Jacob; and of the twelve sons of Jacob, the posterity of Juda is to have the privilege of bestowing a Messias to the world, and the token of its accomplishment is, "the failure of the sceptre in the posterity of Juda." After a long series of events, and of ages, an humble shepherd is chosen in the tribe of Juda: he is led to the throne; and to this man, David, it is repeated, that from him the Messias shall spring, and that his kingdom shall have no end. The oracle is so explicit in the psalms of that king, and in the writings of successive prophets, that it not only expresses the race, the tribe, the family, but also the character of the mother, the place of his birth, the precise period of the event, the ministry, the power, the dignity, the circumstances of his death, the change of the covenant, and conversion of the world. The particular prophecies, in their accomplishment, were a visible earnest to the Jews of the accomplishment of the prophecies relative to the Messias. Hence Pascal very justly remarks: "The prophets mingle particular prophecies with those of the Messias; that the prophecies regarding the Messias may not be without proof, and that the particular prophecies may not be without effect." (Pensées. xv.) --- These oracles, which during a period of four thousand years, have been delivered to the world, and which have been completely and visibly fulfilled, still exist in books, scrupulously preserved by the greatest enemies of Christ, and of his holy religion, and satisfactorily demonstrate Jesus Christ to be the great prophet, and the Christian religion to be the new covenant, which had been announced so many ages before, in so many different manners.
Acts 3:24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, that have spoken, have foretold these days.

Acts 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: *And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12:3.
\f + \fr 3:25-26\ft You are the children ... to you first God raising up his Son. He gives them encouragement, that not only the promise of sending the Messias was made to them, but that he came, and is to be preached to them: and that the blessings of his coming are first offered to them. (Witham)
Acts 3:26 To you first God, raising up his Son, sent him to bless you: that every one should convert himself from his wickedness.

Acts 4:0 Peter and John are apprehended. Their constancy. The Church is increased.

Acts 4:1 And *as they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,

about the year A.D. 33. The officer{ Ver. 1. An officer of the guard of the temple. Magistratus templi, strategos tou ierou.|} (of the guard) of the temple: literally, the magistrate of the temple. But this magistrate, by the Greek, was an officer over soldiers; we may presume, over those who were to guard the temple. (Witham)
Acts 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead:

The resurrection. This vexed particularly the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection: and they had great power among the Jews. (Witham)
Acts 4:3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody till the next day: for now it was evening.

Acts 4:4 But many of them, who had heard the word, believed: and the number of the men was made five thousand.

Five thousand. Not that hereby is meant the whole number of the believers, but five thousand, by this miracle and preaching, were added to those that believed before. (Witham) --- Here again we remark the visible increase of the Catholic Church, by the preaching of the word.
Acts 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and ancients, and Scribes, were gathered together in Jerusalem:

Their rulers, etc. The chief of them, and Annas, the high priest; perhaps he had lately succeeded Caiphas, high priest of the year before. (Witham)
Acts 4:6 And Annas, the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the priestly race.

Acts 4:7 And setting them in the midst, they asked; By what power, or in what name, have ye done this?

By what authority? Is it by your own authority, or that of some other, you have healed this lame man? They wished to know if it was a true miracle, or the effects of some secret magic or enchantment. The knowledge of this kind of affairs belonged to them. It was their duty to repress the attempts of false prophets, seducers, and magicians. But they might easily discover that the apostles were far removed from any thing of this kind. The simple narration of the fact was enough to acquit them. (Calmet)
Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them; Ye rulers of the people, and ancients, hear:

Acts 4:9 If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole,

Acts 4:10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you, whole.

Name of our Lord Jesus. From this, St. Chrysostom takes occasion to make several pathetic exhortations against swearing and profaning this adorable name. What profit do you propose to yourselves by abusing this name? Is it to gain credit to your discourse? So you will tell me; but, believe me, you are mistaken: if people saw you respected oaths, and were afraid to make free with them, then they would believe you. Not when you give them to understand that you undervalue them, by your frequent abuse of them. Break then so profane a custom. It will cost you neither money nor labour to do so: you are not required to part with any gratification for this purpose. Use only at the beginning a little diligence, and you will easily overcome so idle a practice. Wish, and it is done. (St. Chrysostom, super Act. sparsim.) (Haydock) --- Whom you crucified. St. Peter, without fear or apprehension, openly and boldly tells them of their heinous crime: that Christ is the head corner stone, which they had rejected, as Christ himself had told them, (Matthew 12:10.) and that there is no other name under heaven given to men to be saved by. (Witham)
Acts 4:11 *This is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders; which is become the head of the corner:

Psalm 117:22.; Isaias 28:16.; Matthew 21:42.; Mark 12:10.; Luke 20:17.; Romans 9:33.; 1 Peter 2:7.
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name, under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:13 Now they, seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, knowing that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered: and they knew them, that they had been with Jesus:

The constancy of Peter and John, surprised the council very much. They admired their knowledge of the Scriptures, seeing them men without learning or letters,{ Ver. 13. Sine literis, agrammateis. Idiotae, idiotai, plebeii.|} and (as they are called idiots) they could not find how to contradict the fact, the man that was healed, being there present. (Witham) --- Here, with the Jewish people, you may admire the constancy, wisdom, and learning of the apostles, after the coming of the Holy Ghost, who, before that event, were simple, unlettered, and timorous men. See ver. 19; and again, Acts 5:29.
Acts 4:14 Seeing also the man standing with them, who had been healed, they could say nothing against it.

Acts 4:15 But they commanded them to go aside out of the council: and they conferred among themselves,

Acts 4:16 Saying; What shall we do to these men? for a notable miracle, indeed, hath been done by them, it is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: it is manifest, and we cannot deny it.

What shall we do to these men? They were perplexed, says St. Chrysostom, and in greater fear than the apostles. They saw they could do nothing but threaten and charge them to speak no more of Jesus. (Witham)
Acts 4:17 But that it may be no further divulged among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak no more in this name to any man.

Acts 4:18 And calling them, they charged them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answering, said to them; If it be just in the sight of God, to hear you rather than God, judge ye.

But Peter and John stopped their mouths, by asking them, if it was reasonable for them to hearken to men rather than to God. For we, say they, (ver. 20.) cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Witham)
Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

We have seen and heard. From these words, St. Chrysostom makes some important remarks on the conduct of Christians. On returning from the theatre, or any public meeting, each can relate what he has seen and heard. This is the fruit they reap from attending at public places of amusement; and would to God it were merely pleasure unmixed with poison. But on returning from Church, where they have been for instruction, they remember nothing, speak of nothing they have seen or heard. All is silence. Not even a thought is turned on what has been performed. (Hom. X. in Act.) --- It is a curious fact, which the apologists for the innocence of modern plays would do well to attend to, that the theatre has always been avoided by the good and the virtuous of every age. When one of the ancient Fathers was exorcising a female demoniac, who had been possessed at the theatre, and bade the devil to depart; No, replied he, I had a right to take possession of her, for I found her in my own house. (Haydock)
Acts 4:21 But they, threatening them, sent them away, not finding how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified what had been done, in that which had come to pass.

Threatening them. Here commences the history of the first persecution of religious opinion, which the passions of men have continued, and swelled to such a frightful length. But on this, as on all other occasions, it has defeated its own purpose, by adding firmness and constancy to the persecuted. Truth is not to be overpowered by violence. In vain have the kings and princes of the earth risen up against the Lord, and against his Christ. --- When will men learn, that charity is the principle of conversion! --- That is an unheard-of kind of preaching, said the great Pope, St. Gregory, which exacts belief by stripes. He was on this occasion reprehending the false zeal of certain indiscreet Christians at Rome, who were for compelling the Jews to become converts. (Haydock) --- The amiable Fenelon, in a letter to Prince Charles, the son of our James the Second, says: "No human power can force the impenetrable intrenchments of the human mind. Compulsion never persuades---it only makes hypocrites. When kings interfere in matters of religion, they do not protect it; they enslave it. Give civil liberty to all; not by approving all religions, as indifferent, but, by permitting in others, what God permits."
Acts 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, in whom that miraculous cure had been wrought.

Acts 4:23 And being let go, they came to their own company, and related all that the chief priests and ancients had said to them.

Being let go, they came to their own{ Ver. 23. Ad suos, pros tous idious.|} company, relating with simplicity all that had happened.
Acts 4:24 Who, having heard it, with one accord lifted up their voice to God, and said; Lord, thou art he that didst make heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them:

With one accord. With one mind, as in the Greek, and with one voice, being inspired by the Holy Ghost, they fell to prayer. (Witham)
Acts 4:25 Who, in the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father, David, thy servant, hast said; *Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?

Psalm 2:1.
Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes assembled together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Acts 4:27 For of a truth there assembled together in this city, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel,

Acts 4:28 To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done.

Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant to thy servants, with all confidence to speak thy word,

Acts 4:30 By stretching forth thy hand to cures, and signs, and wonders, to be done by the name of thy holy Son, Jesus.

That thou stretch forth thy hand.{ Ver. 30. In eo quod extendas, en to ekteinein, by stretching forth, etc.|} Literally, in this that thou stretch forth thy hand to cures, etc. They pray to God, that he would continue to confirm their preaching by miracles. (Witham)
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were assembled: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with confidence.

The place was shaken. Much in the same manner, as at the first coming of the Holy Ghost. --- They were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Their hearts were inflamed and excited by a new motion of grace. (Witham)
Acts 4:32 And the multitude of the believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say, that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but all things were common to them.

All things were common. Happy would it be for society, if the rich of the present day were to imitate, in some degree, this charity of the first disciples, by distributing to those that want. Both would hereby become more happy; nor would the rich derive less pleasure from such actions, than the poor. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xi. in Acts.) --- That cold and fatal word, mine, and thine, which has caused so many misfortunes and wars, was banished from among them. (Id. hom. de St. Philogon.) --- Some take this to be the origin of a monastic life: but according to the Fathers, it is rather its progress and increase; for it began in the family of Jesus Christ. The apostles, indeed, may be said to institute here that common life, which they led under Christ, our Lord, and of which Peter speaks: behold, we have left all. This life, by St. Augustine and others, is called apostolic, and there among all, wives are particularly specified. Cajetan thinks no vow was required: St. Augustine is of a different sentiment. (Serm. X. de diversis et alibi.)
Acts 4:33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord: and great grace was in them all.

And great grace was in them all. All of them were present, were replenished with extraordinary graces of charity, zeal, etc. (Witham)
Acts 4:34 For neither was there any one among them that wanted. For as many as were owners of lands, or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things they sold,

Acts 4:35 And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.

Acts 4:36 And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is by interpretation the son of consolation) a Levite, a Cyprian born,

\f + \fr 4:36-37\ft Joseph ... surnamed Barnabas, the son of consolation, etc. He seems to be mentioned as the first that sold all he had, and brought the price, and laid it at the feet of the apostles. (Witham) --- There was at that time a great number of Jews established in this city. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the price, and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

Sold it, etc. It is probable, that the faithful of Palestine disposed of all their property, because they knew that presently Judea would be delivered up to its enemies, and they would be obliged to fly, to avoid the persecution of their countrymen, as well as of strangers. (St. Thomas Aquinas, ad Galatas. xi.) --- At the feet of the apostles, out of respect. Thus, the Sunamitess fell down and embraced Eliseus's feet. Many that asked favours of Christ, fell down at his feet, and Mary kissed his feet. Such are signs of reverence paid both to Christ, and to other sacred persons, prophets, apostles, popes. See in St. Jerome, how the people of Jerusalem flocked together to the venerable bishop Epiphanius, in Cyprus, presenting their children for his blessing, kissing his feet, plucking the hem of his garment, so that he could not move for the throng. (St. Jerome, Ep. lxi. Acts 4. contr. error. Jovin.)
Acts 5:0 The judgment of God upon Ananias and Saphira. The apostles are cast into prison.

Acts 5:1 But *a certain man, named Ananias, with Saphira, his wife, sold a field,

about the year A.D. 33. It is believed by many of the Fathers, that the resolution which the faithful made of selling their property, and laying the price at the feet of the apostles, implied a vow of reserving nothing for themselves, but giving all to the community; and that the crime of Ananias and Saphira consisted in the violation of this vow; on which account they regarded them as sacrilegious, and plunderers of sacred things. See St. Basil, Serm. I. de instit. Monac.; St. Cyprian, lib. 1:ad Quir. etc. --- For, without this supposition, we cannot, as Menochius justly remarks, account for the sudden and severe punishment inflicted on the offending parties.
Acts 5:2 And by fraud kept part of the price of the field, his wife being privy thereto, and bringing a certain part of it, laid it at the feet of the apostles.

By fraud kept part.{ Ver. 2. Defraudavit, enosphisato. Intervertit aliquid de pretio. St. Augustine, serm. xxvii. de verbis apostoli. Sacrilegii damnatur, et fraudis. See St. Chrysostom, hom xii. in Acta.|} Ananias, and his wife Saphira, had made a promise or vow, to put into the common stock the price of what they had to sell. When they had sold the field, they resolved by mutual consent to keep for their private use part of the money, and to bring in the rest, as if they had received no more. The whole price being promised, and by that means consecrated to God, St. Augustine calls it a sacrilegious fraud, and St. Chrysostom, a theft of what was already made sacred to God. (Witham)
Acts 5:3 But Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou shouldst lie to the Holy Ghost, and by fraud keep part of the price of the field?

Why hath Satan tempted thy heart?{ Ver. 3. Tentavit. In all Greek copies at present, eplerosen. But St. Epiphanius, Haer. lix. p. 500. reads epeirasen.|} The present Greek copies, filled thy heart. (Witham)
Acts 5:4 Whilst it remained, did it not remain to thee? and when it was sold, was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? Thou hast not lied to men, but to God.

Did it not remain to thee? That is, no one forced thee to make such a promise. --- And being sold, was it not in thy power, and at thy free disposal, before such a promise? but promises and vows must be kept. Thou hast not lied to men, but to God, by lying to the Holy Ghost. (Witham) --- Thou hast not lied to men, only and principally, but to God also; for he had also lied to Peter, and the other apostles. (Menochius) --- "If it displeased God," says St. Augustine, "to withdraw part of the money they had vowed to God, how is he angry, when chastity is vowed and not performed! ... let not such persons think to be condemned to corporal death, but to everlasting fire." (Serm. X. de diversis.) --- St. Gregory, on this same subject, says: "Ananias had vowed money to God, which afterwards, overcome by diabolical persuasion, he withdrew; but with what death he was punished, thou knowest. See, then, what judgment thou art to expect, for withdrawing, not money, but thyself, from Almighty God." (lib. 1:ep. 33.)
Acts 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words, fell down, and gave up the ghost. And great fear came upon all that heard it.

Ananias ... fell down and gave up the ghost. St. Augustine says,{ Ver. 5. See St. Augustine, lib. III. cont. Parmen. ch. I. p. 56. tom. 9. nov. Ed.|} this severe judgment was to strike a terror of such dissembling fraudulent dealings into the new Church. It was also to shew that St. Peter, and the apostles, had the gift of prophecy. (Witham) --- Origen thinks his death was occasioned by the sudden fright and shame, with which he was seized. Pliny relates a similar accident in the sudden death of Diodorus Dialecticus, lib. vii. cap. 53. --- Menochius and Cornelius a Lapide think, that God struck him interiorly, as Peter spoke. ... There are likewise different opinions among the Fathers, respecting the salvation of Ananias and Saphira. Some are of opinion, that as their fault was great, they died, and perished in their sin. but the ideas we are fond to cherish of the infinite mercy of God, would rather incline us to say, with St. Augustine, "I can believe that God spared them after this life, for his mercy is great. ... They were stricken with the scourge of death, that they might not be subject to eternal punishment." (St. Augustine, Serm. cxlviii. olim. 10. et in Parmen.) --- St. Benedict also, in the 57th chapter of his rule, insinuates, that their death was only corporal. (Haydock) --- It is not unreasonable, that the first violators of laws, should be punished with severity. It was thus that the Almighty treated Adam, the adorers of the golden calf, the first who broke the sabbath-day, etc. to prevent the effects of bad example. (Calmet)
Acts 5:6 And the young men, rising up, removed him, and carrying him out, buried him.

Acts 5:7 And it came to pass, about the space of three hours after, that his wife also not knowing what had happened, came in.

Not knowing. Because no one durst tell her; so much did they honour, fear, and obey St. Peter. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xii.) --- She came in; Peter did not call her, but waited, to afford her an opportunity of repenting. (oecumenius)
Acts 5:8 And Peter said to her: Tell me, woman, whether you sold the field for so much? And she said: Yea, for so much.

Yea, for so much. That is, for the same sum as Ananias mentioned. This the wife said, not knowing what had before happened to her husband. (Witham)
Acts 5:9 And Peter said unto her: Why have you agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of those, who have buried thy husband, are at the door, and they shall carry thee out.

Acts 5:10 Immediately she fell down before his feet, and gave up the ghost. And the young men coming in, found her dead; and carried her out, and buried her by her husband.

Acts 5:11 And there came great fear upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things.

Acts 5:12 And by the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were wrought among the people. And they were all, with one accord, in Solomon's porch.

Solomon's porch. This was outside of the temple, open to all, Jews and Gentiles, pure and impure. They assembled here, because it was a large place, where they could speak to many assembled. Had it been within the temple, the priests would have interrupted them, and not have wanted pretexts to silence them. (Calmet)
Acts 5:13 But of the rest, no one durst join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

Of the rest, no one durst join himself to them. That is, none of those that did not believe: yet the people praised them, and the number of the faithful increased. (Witham)
Acts 5:14 And the multitude of men and women, that believed in the Lord, was more increased,

Acts 5:15 Insomuch, that they brought out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow, at the least, might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities.

On ... couches, meaner beds for the poorer sort. --- That Peter's shadow, etc. Thus was partly fulfilled what Christ had foretold, (John 14:12.) that his disciples should do even greater miracles than he had done. (Witham) --- St. Ambrose compares with these miracles wrought by St. Peter's shadow, those which the linen cloths, that had touched the relics of the holy martyrs, also wrought. (Epis. liv.) Si inanis quaedam species vacuae imaginis habere potuit in se vim salutis, quanto plus de corpore meruerunt attrahere salubritatis sacris impressa membris vincula passionis? If the empty appearance of an unsubstantial shadow possessed the power of giving health, how much more efficacy must the chains of the martyrs have drawn from the holy members, which they bound? --- In appendice operum. (St. Augustine, serm. cciii.) --- St Augustine, speaking of the miracle performed by the saints now reigning in heaven, says: "If the shadow of Peter's body could afford help, how much more now the fulness of his power? And if then a certain little wind of him, passing by, did profit them that humbly asked, how much more the grace of him, now being permanent and remaining?" (Serm. xxxix. de sanctis.)
Acts 5:16 And there came also together, to Jerusalem, a multitude out of the neighbouring cities, bringing sick persons, and such as were troubled with unclean spirits: who were all healed.

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest, rising up, and all that were with him, (which is the heresy of the Sadducees) were filled with indignation.

Acts 5:18 And they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

Acts 5:19 But an Angel of the Lord, by night opening the doors of the prison, and leading them out, said:

Acts 5:20 Go, and, standing, speak in the temple, to the people, all the words of this life.

Acts 5:21 They having heard this, entered early in the morning into the temple, and taught. Now the high priest coming, and they that were with him, called together the council, and all the ancients of the children of Israel; and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Acts 5:22 But when the officers came, and having opened the prison, found them not, returning back, they told,

Acts 5:23 Saying; The prison indeed we found shut with all diligence, and the keepers standing before the doors: but opening it, we found no man within.

Acts 5:24 Now, when the magistrate of the temple, and the chief priests, heard these words, they were in doubt concerning them what this would come to.

Acts 5:25 But a man coming, told them: Behold, the men whom you put in prison, are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.

Acts 5:26 Then went the magistrate with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.

Then went the magistrate;{ Ver. 26. Magistratus, o strategos.|} which by the Greek was a military officer. But he did not bind them like prisoners, for fear of a tumult, but desired them to go along with them to the sanhedrim. (Witham) --- Without violence. They persuaded them to appear willingly before the sanhedrim, thinking, perhaps, moreover, that they could not bind them, whom the walls of the prison could not confine. The apostles here, and on all other occasions, shew the most astonishing examples of patience, constancy, and obedience to the laws of the country. (Menochius) --- O Jews! who do you shut your eyes against the light? why so blindly mad? You say the apostles took Christ from the tomb. Tell me, then, who stole the apostles from under your locks and bolts? Who conveyed them from your prison through the midst of your guards, without alarming them? Shall the evidence of the miracle serve only to make you the less open to conviction? (Ven. Bede; Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them,

Acts 5:28 Saying; Commanding, we commanded you, that you should not teach in this name: and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and you have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us.

Commanding, we commanded you. That is, charged you severely. --- You have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us. You will make us pass for guilty of the murder of the Messias. (Witham)
Acts 5:29 But Peter answering, and the apostles, said: We ought to obey God rather than men.

Peter answered boldly, We ought to obey God, rather than men. And withal adds, that God had raised from death Jesus, the Prince and Saviour of mankind, by whose merits all might find repentance, and forgiveness of their sins; that they were witnesses of his resurrection, etc. (Witham)
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers hath raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, hanging him upon a tree.

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.

Acts 5:32 And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to all that obey him.

Acts 5:33 When they had heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they thought to put them to death.

They were cut to the heart;{ Ver. 33. Dissecabantur. dieprionto; which Arias Montanus translates furebant.|} exasperated to fury and madness, and were for killing them. (Witham)
Acts 5:34 But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, by name Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while.

Gamaliel. He that had been St. Paul's master, according to St. Chrysostom, advised them to forbear, and do nothing rashly. [Ver. 38.] Meddle not with these men; literally, go from them.{ Ver. 34. [Ver. 38.] Discedite ab istis. apostete.|} For, saith he, if this be the work of men only, it will soon fall to nothing; but if it be from God, you cannot hinder it, and you will only make yourselves guilty, by resisting the designs of God. They consented to him, so far as not to put them to death; but they made them be scourged, which they rejoiced at; and they dismissed them with reiterated threats. (Witham) --- Gamaliel was the master of St. Paul, Barnabas, Stephen, and others, and favoured the Christians. St. Clement and Ven. Bede think he was then a Christian, but concealed his conversion at the instigation of the apostles, that he might have an opportunity of defending Christ in the council. He afterwards professed his faith publicly, and was canonized with is son Abibas. See Baronius, 3d of Aug. (Tirinus)
Acts 5:35 And he said to them; Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves, what you are about to do with these men.

Acts 5:36 For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be some body, whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined; who was slain: and all who believed him, were dispersed, and brought to nothing.

Acts 5:37 After this man rose up Judas, of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling, and drew away the people after him: he also perished: and all who adhered to him, were dispersed.

Acts 5:38 And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel, or this work be of men, it will come to nothing:

Acts 5:39 But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they agreed with him.

Time, and the evident success of Christ's Church, prove it to be of God. No violence of the Jews, no persecution of heathen princes, no attempts of domestic adversaries, heretics, schismatics, or evil livers, have been able to prevail against it. Men of superior abilities have made violent attacks against it; their memory, and that of their disciples, has either been buried and forgotten, or liveth only in malediction and infamy. Let, then, no Catholic be dispirited, because modern heresies continue; Arian and other heresies have continued much longer, have been more powerfully supported by temporal power, and yet have come to nothing. The Catholic religion was the first, and it will be the last religion.
Acts 5:40 And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them not to speak at all in the name of Jesus, and they dismissed them.

Acts 5:41 And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus.

Rejoicing. The joy of the apostles on the present occasion, is one of the greatest of miracles. Only the yoke of Jesus could make this sweet. But so the faithful servants of God have always found it. In tribulation, they abounded in inward peace and joy, which made them insensible of their exterior sufferings. (Haydock)
Acts 5:42 And they ceased not every day in the temple, and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.

Acts 6:0 The ordaining of the seven deacons. The zeal of Stephen.

Acts 6:1 And *in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

about the year A.D. 33. Of the Grecians against the Hebrews.{ Ver. 1. Graecorum, elleniston, not ellenon. See also (Acts 9:29.; Acts 11:20.) See Legh Critica Sacra.|} By the Grecians are many times understood the heathens or pagans, as Acts 14:1, 18:4., etc., but here by Grecians (which some translate Hellenists or Grecists) we may understand those new converted Christians, who had been Jews before, but who had been born in places where the Greek tongue was spoken; as by the Hebrews, we may understand those converted to the Christian faith, who were of the Jewish race, born, and bred in those places, where they spoke not Greek, but Syriac, which was then the language of the Jews. This difference is grounded on the Greek text. --- Their widows were neglected; that is, they seemed less regarded, or less favoured in the daily distributions, than such as were of the Jewish race, and spoke the language of the Jews, as it was then spoken in Palestine. (Witham) --- They were most probably both of Jewish origin, and received their different appellations according to the language they spoke. The former were also frequently called Hellenists. (Calmet) --- It is not certain in what the Greek widows were despised. Some imagine, that a preference was given to their rivals, in the distribution of offices, that they were appointed to the meaner charges, and oppressed with too much labour. But it is most natural to suppose, that the complaints regarded the alms that were distributed, and that the necessities of both parties were not supplied, without the appearance of partiality. (Menochius) --- For Acts 4:we read neither was there any one among them that wanted; and distribution was made to every man, according as he had need; and the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul. But nothing in human institutions is so good, as not to require occasional reform, owing either to the wickedness or negligence of man. (Estius, in different location)
Acts 6:2 Then the twelve calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reasonable that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

And serve tables. The apostles did not judge it proper for them to be so much employed in managing that common stock, out of which every one, as they stood in need, were supplied, as to meat, and all other necessities: this took up too much of their time, which might be better employed in preaching, etc. (Witham) --- Word of God. The most essential duty of an apostle and bishop, is to announce the word of God. St. Paul would not even baptize, lest it should be a prejudice to the performance of this great duty, for which he had been sent. Many think, that this ministry of the tables, here signifies, not only the distribution of corporal nourishment, but the dispensing of the holy Eucharist. As sacred and divine as was this latter duty, the apostles preferred before it, their obligation of preaching. (Calmet)
Acts 6:3 Therefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Look ye out among you seven men, and men of a good repute and character, full of the Holy Ghost. (Witham) --- Diverse circumstances prove, that they were chosen to be about the altar also. They were to be full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom: they received the imposition of the apostles' hands, and in them St. Paul requireth, in a manner, the same conditions as in bishops; all which would not have been necessary for any secular stewardship. See Acts 13:3. Immediately after their ordination, they preached, baptized, disputed, as we see in St. Stephen, etc. etc. Hence St. Ignatius: "it is ours to please by all means the deacons, who are for the ministry of Jesus Christ; for they are not servitors of meat and drink, but ministers of the Church of God. For what are deacons but imitators or followers of Christ, ministering to bishops, as Christ to his Father, and working unto him a clean and immaculate work, even as St. Stephen to St. James? (Ep. ad Tral.)
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.

By the names of these seven, it would appear, that they were all Greeks. The reason of this, most probably, is to silence more effectually all future murmurs, by giving to the aggrieved party protectors of their own nation. (Tirinus) --- The history of Stephen occurs hereafter. Philip, in the 8th chapter, is called an evangelist, that is, a preacher of the gospel. By Eusebius, Tertullian, and others, he is called an apostle, that is, an apostolic man. See Lives of the Saints, and Roman Martyrology, June 6. --- St. Jerome says, his [Philip's] tomb, and that of his four daughters, the prophetesses, were to be seen at Caesarea, in Palestine. (Ep. ad Eustoch.) --- Of the rest, except Nicolas, nothing certain is known: their acts have perished. Nicolas, as appears from the text, was a proselyte, first to Judaism, then to Christianity. St. Epiphanius, and many others, accuse him of being, by his incontinency, the author, or at least the occasion of the impure sects of Nicoalites and Gnostics. Clement of Alexandria, and St. Augustine, acquit him of this, and attribute the above heresies to an abuse of some expressions, which he uttered in his simplicity, and which were susceptible of a good and bad sense. See Baronius and Tillemont.
Acts 6:6 These they set before the apostles: and they, praying, imposed hands upon them.

And they, that is, the apostles, laid, or imposed hands upon them. These deacons, therefore, were designed and ordained for a sacred ministry, and not only to manage the common stock, and temporals of the faithful. This is proved, 1. By the qualifications required in such men, who were to be full of the Holy Ghost. 2. This is evident from their ecclesiastical functions mentioned in this book of the Acts, and in the epistles of St. Paul, and by the ancient Fathers. St. Stephen and St. Philip immediately preached the gospel, as we find in this, and the 8th chapter; they baptized those that were converted. In the first ages they assisted the bishops and priests at their divine office, and distributed the sacred chalice, or cup of the holy Eucharist. They succeeded as it were, the Levites of the old law. And in the chief Churches, the deacons, or the archdeacons in the first ages, had the chief administration of the ecclesiastical revenues, as we read of St. Laurence, at Rome. (Witham) --- Imposed hands upon them. Notwithstanding the opinions of some, that these deacons were only the dispensers of corporal food, and therefore very different from the ministers of the altar, who now bear that name, it must nevertheless be observed, that the most ancient Fathers, Sts. Justin, Irenaeus, etc., have acknowledged in them the two-fold character, and always style them the ministers of the mysteries of God. At the commencement of Christianity, the faithful generally received the holy Eucharist after a repast, which they took together, in imitation of our Saviour, who instituted the Sacrament after supper. Now the deacons, who presided over the first tables, after having distributed the corporeal food to the assembly, ministered also the food of life, which they received from the hand of the bishop. Thus were they ministers of both the common and sacred tables. Afterwards, they had assistants called sub-deacons, and as among the Gentile converts, there did not exist that community of goods, as at Jerusalem, their chief employment became to serve the bishop in the oblation of the holy sacrifice. (Calmet)
Acts 6:7 And the word of the Lord increased, and the number of the disciples was multiplied very much in Jerusalem: a great multitude also of the priests obeyed the faith.

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 6:9 But some of the synagogue, that is called of the Libertines, and of the Cyreneans, and of the Alexandrians, and of those that were of Cilicia, and Asia, rose up disputing with Stephen:

Called of the Libertines.{ Ver. 9. Libertinorum, Libertinon, which Greek word is taken from the Latin. St. Chrysostom, hom. xv. says, apeleutheroi outo kalountai, etc.|} That is, of the synagogue of those, whose fathers had been made slaves under Pompey, and the Romans, but who had again been restored to their liberty, and had been made free. There were other synagogues for the Jews of Cyrene, of Alexandria, etc. No doubt but St. Stephen had converted many of them; and the chiefs of the synagogues, not being able to dispute with him, or to answer the spirit of wisdom, which directed him, they suborned witnesses. (Witham)
Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit which spoke.

Acts 6:11 Then they suborned men to say, that they had heard him speaking words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.

Who should say, that they heard him speaking words of blasphemy against Moses, and against God, against the law and the temple: that Jesus would destroy the temple. These accusations were forged; for the apostles themselves still frequented the temple, and Jesus came to fulfil the law, as to its moral precepts. (Witham)
Acts 6:12 They stirred up therefore the people, and the ancients, and the Scribes: and running together they took him, and brought him to the council.

Acts 6:13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place, and the law.

It was true that Jesus would destroy the place, and change their traditions, yet they were false witnesses, because they deposed, that Stephen had made these assertions, which he had not, purposely to excite the Jews to rise up against him, and put him to death. Besides, had Stephen spoken what was advanced against him, they still would have been false witnesses, for the words were in fact words of truth, which these suborned men called, words of blasphemy. See ver. 11.
Acts 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus, of Nazareth, shall destroy this place, and shall change the traditions, which Moses delivered to us.

Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking intently upon him, saw his face as the face of an Angel.

Saw his face, as it were the face of an angel. All in the council, or sanhedrim, saw an extraordinary and charming brightness in the countenance of Stephen, which struck them with admiration and fear. (Witham) --- Angel. His face shone with a wonderful brightness, an emblem of his interior perfection. In this he was like Moses, whose countenance was so bright, that the Jews could not steadfastly behold it. By this the beholders had an opportunity of being converted, had they so wished, or were rendered inexcusable for their neglect. It is also a testimony of the great sanctity of the deacon. This same miracle is not recorded to have happened to any other but Moses, and our Lord at his transfiguration. (Denis the Carthusian) --- Although this appearance, in an inferior degree, has been not unfrequently observed in the constant and cheerful countenance of the martyrs before their persecutors, and of privileged saints, whilst they were happily employed in their intimate communications with heaven.
Acts 7:0 Stephen's speech before the council: his martyrdom.

Acts 7:1 Then *the high priest said: Are these things so?

about the year A.D. 33. Are these things so? The high priest speaks after this mild manner, being either terrified, or charmed with his angelical countenance. St. Stephen's design in this discourse, was to shew them, first, that he was falsely accused of speaking either against Moses, or the law, for which he shews so great a veneration. 2. He puts them in mind, that the true worship of God may subsist without a temple, as it did in the time of Abraham, and the patriarchs, before the law was given, or the temple built. 3. That as their forefathers had been rebellious to Moses, and disobedient to the prophets, whom they many times persecuted even to death, so they had lately resisted, persecuted, and crucified their Messias. (Witham)
Acts 7:2 He said: Ye men, brethren, and fathers, give ear. The God of glory appeared to our father, Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan,

Acts 7:3 And said to him: *Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I will shew thee.

Genesis 12:1.
Acts 7:4 Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, in which you now dwell.

Acts 7:5 And he gave him no inheritance in it, no not the pace of a foot: but he promised to give it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when he had no child.

Not the pace of a foot; not so much as a foot of land, that is, to dwell in, though he bought there a place to bury in. (Genesis 23:9.) (Witham)
Acts 7:6 And God said to him: *That his seed should sojourn in a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them ill for four hundred years:

Genesis 15:13.
For four hundred years, counting from the birth of Isaac, which was twenty-five years after the call and promises made to Abraham. It is certain the Israelites were not four hundred years in Egypt. (Witham) --- Four hundred. These words are taken from the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, in which Moses mentions the same number of years. This calculation is made from the entry of Abraham into Chanaan, to the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. Strictly, the Israelites did not remain in Egypt more than two hundred and fifteen years.
Acts 7:7 And the nation which they shall serve, I will judge, said the Lord: and after these things they shall go out, and shall serve me in this place.

The nation which they shall serve, I will judge. The meaning is, that God would afflict the Egyptians with divers plagues, or visible punishments, before they dismissed the Israelites. (Witham)
Acts 7:8 *And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: **and so he begot Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day: and ***Isaac, Jacob: ****and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs.

Genesis 17:10. --- ** Genesis 21:24. --- *** Genesis 25:25. --- **** Genesis 29:32.; Genesis 35:22.
The covenant, or the testament,{ Ver. 8. Testamentum, ten diatheken. See Hebrews 9:16.|} and alliance of circumcision, by which the Israelites should be known to be the elect people of God. (Witham) --- Literally, he gave them the alliance of circumcision; he made with him an alliance, of which circumcision was the seal. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 7:9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, *sold Joseph into Egypt: and God was with him.

Genesis 37:28.
Acts 7:10 And he delivered him out of all his tribulations: *and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, king of Egypt, and he appointed him governor over Egypt, and over all his house.

Genesis 41:37.
Gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao. Some understand divine graces, and gifts of prophecy, and the like: others, that he made him find favour in the sight of king Pharao, who appointed him to be governor of Egypt. (Witham)
Acts 7:11 Now there came a famine over all Egypt, and Chanaan, and great tribulation: and our fathers found no food.

Acts 7:12 *But when Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers first:

Genesis 42:2.
Acts 7:13 *And at the second time Joseph was known by his brethren, and his kindred was made known to Pharao.

Genesis 45:3.
Acts 7:14 And Joseph sending, called thither Jacob, his father, and all his kindred, seventy-five souls.

Acts 7:15 *So Jacob went down into Egypt; and **he died, and our fathers.

Genesis 46:5. --- ** Genesis 49:32.
Acts 7:16 And they were translated to Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, *which Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor the son of Sichem.

Genesis 23:16.; Genesis 50:5.; Genesis 50:13.; Josue 24:32.
Which Abraham bought ... of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem. This purchase made by Abraham must be different from the purchase of a field made afterwards by Jacob. (Genesis 33:19.) See a Lapide, the author of the Analysis, dissert. 23. P. Alleman, etc. (Witham) --- Abraham bought. There must be an error of the copyist in this verse. Either the word Abraham ought to be omitted, or changed into Jacob. For it is plain, from Genesis 33:19. that the latter bought the land from the sons of Hemor. The Hebrew says, he bought it for one hundred kesitha, which some translate pieces of silver; others, lambs. As for Abraham, and Jacob, they were buried in the cavern of Mambre, which Abraham had purchased from the children of Heth. (Genesis xxiii.) (Calmet) --- It is supposed that originally the name of Jacob was given, abridged JAB, and that the first letter having disappeared, the two remaining letters were taken by misprision, for the abridgment of the name of Abraham. Hemor was the father of Sichem, and here the Greek text simply calls him Hemor of Sichem. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 7:17 And when the time of the promise drew near, which God had promised to Abraham, *the people increased and were multiplied in Egypt,

Exodus 1:7.
Acts 7:18 Till another king arose in Egypt who knew not Joseph.

Acts 7:19 The same dealing craftily with our race, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept alive.

Dealing craftily, circumventing craftily, afflicting, and endeavouring to extirpate the race of the Israelites. (Witham)
Acts 7:20 *At the same time was Moses born, and he was acceptable to God, and he was nourished three months in his father's house.

Exodus 2:2.; Hebrews 11:23.
Moses ... was acceptable to God.{ Ver. 20. Gratus Deo, asteios to theo. Acceptable to God. It may also signify, beautiful in the sight of God, that is, in the style of the Scriptures, very beautiful.|} Greatly favoured both with gifts of nature and grace. Some expound it, was extremely fair or beautiful. (Witham)
Acts 7:21 But he being exposed, Pharao's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.

Philo believes that the princess feigned him to be her own child; Moses denied that he was, and would not take advantage of this adoption. (Hebrews 11:24.)
Acts 7:22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in his words, and in his deeds.

In words and in deeds. Moses was persuasive and powerful in reasoning; but had an impediment in his speech, as we know from Exodus 4:10.; Exodus 6:12. He possessed, moreover, strength, energy, and grandeur, in his discourse. Of this we have abundant proofs in his books. He is inimitable in narrating, as often as he writes laws, composes canticles, or makes harangues. He is simple, clear, sublime, vehement, concise, prolix, and rapid, in turns, as the nature of his subject requires. He was likewise powerful in work. All his conduct was wise, virtuous, enlightened, as well in affairs of policy, as in war. He was an able captain, before he put himself at the head of the Israelites. (Calmet) --- Josephus assures us that he became a great conqueror.
Acts 7:23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

Acts 7:24 *And having seen one suffer an injury, he defended him: and striking the Egyptian, he avenged him who suffered the injury.

Exodus 2:12.
Acts 7:25 And he thought that his brethren understood that God, by his hand, would save them: but they understood it not.

Acts 7:26 *And the next day he shewed himself to them when they were at strife: and would have reconciled them in peace, saying; Men, ye are brethren, why hurt ye one another?

Exodus 2:13.
Acts 7:27 But he that did the injury to his neighbour, thrust him away, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us?

Acts 7:28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian?

Acts 7:29 And Moses fled upon this word: and became a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

Moses fled upon this word; because he perceived the murder he had committed was become public, though he thought it to be secret. (Menochius) He fled, to avoid the anger of the king, into Madian, where during his sojourning, he had two sons of Sephora, whom he married there. (Bible de Vence) --- Moses of Moyses, in the Egyptian dialect, means, saved from water. He slew the Egyptian by particular inspiration of God, as a prelude to his delivering the people from oppression and bondage. (ver. 25. above) --- But such particular and extraordinary examples are not to be imitated. (Challoner) --- He was inspired to stand up, as the Egyptian law required, in defence of the innocent. (St. Thomas Aquinas, 2:2. q. 60.)
Acts 7:30 And when forty years were expired, *there appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai an Angel, in a flame of fire, in a bush.

Exodus 3:2.
In a flame of fire, in a bush.{ Ver. 30. In igne flammae rubi, en phlogi puros batou. In flamma ignis rubi.|} Literally, in the fire of a flame of the bush. The sense must be, that the bush seemed on fire, and in a flame, and yet was not consumed. (Witham)
Acts 7:31 And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to view it, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying;

Acts 7:32 I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses being terrified, durst not behold.

Acts 7:33 And the Lord said to him; Loose the shoes from off thy feet; for the place wherein thou standest, is holy ground.

Loose the shoes. This was a method of testifying respect among the eastern nations. The Mahometans do not wear their shoes in their mosques. The Jewish priests served in the temple with their shoes off. The angel who appeared to Josue ordered him also to take off his shoes. (Josue 5:16.) If the apparition of an angel, or of God himself, could make the place and ground holy so as to deserve external signs of respect, and veneration from Moses; how much more the corporal birth, abode, and miracles of the Son of God in Jewry, and the blessed Sacrament, must make that country, and all Catholic chapels and altars, holy? Is it not then the height of blindness to tax with superstition, the reverence Christians pay to things or places, rendered holy by the presence, or wonderful operations of God.
Acts 7:34 Seeing, I have seen the affliction of my people, which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, and I will send thee into Egypt.

Acts 7:35 This Moses, whom they refused, saying, Who hath appointed thee prince and judge? him God sent prince and redeemer, by the hand of the Angel, who appeared to him in the bush.

Moses, whom they refused. Literally, denied. So have you rejected, and denied Jesus, of whom Moses prophesied, when he said that God would raise up to them a prophet like to himself, and commanded them to hear him. (Witham) --- Redeemer. In the Greek Lutroten; Protestant version, Deliverer; though the learned Polus, in his Synopsis Criticorum, on this place, says, "that no greater injury is done to God, by calling Moses a Redeemer, in this place, than by calling him a Mediator, in Galatians 3:19. He is called a Redeemer, says this learned Protestant commentator, in as much as he led forth, and preserved the people of God safe by the blood of a lamb, and thus exhibited a figure of the true redemption, through the blood of Christ." We all own that Jesus Christ, as having paid the ransom of our delivery with his own blood, is, strictly speaking, our only true Redeemer, and Advocate with his Father, who asks and obtains all things immediately by his own merit; but this does not exclude the prayers of the saints, both alive and dead. Did not the apostles pray for the people, and desire the people to pray for them? "Our Lord Jesus Christ still intercedes for us, and all the martyrs that are with him, pray for us: nor will their intercession cease, till we cease our groanings," says St. Augustine, in Ps. lxxxv. in fine.
Acts 7:36 *He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the desert for forty years.

Exodus 7:8.; Exodus 9:10.; Exodus 11:14.
Acts 7:37 This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel; *A prophet will God raise up to you of your own brethren, as myself: him shall you hear.

Deuteronomy 18:15.
Acts 7:38 *This is he who was in the church in the wilderness, with the Angel, who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the words of life to give to us.

Exodus 19:3.
This is he who was in the Church{ Ver. 38. In the assembly. Literally, in Ecclesia, en te ekklesia.|} in the wilderness, after God had by him delivered their Fathers out of their slavery in Egypt. --- An angel spoke to him on Mount Sinai. By this St. Stephen owns that the law was given by an angel to Moses: and also shews how falsely he was accused to have spoken against Moses, or against the law.
Acts 7:39 Whom our fathers would not obey: but thrust him away, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt,

Whom our Fathers would not obey, murmuring, and rebelling from time to time. And in their hearts turned back into Egypt, as they shewed, by wishing themselves there again. (Witham)
Acts 7:40 Saying to Aaron; *Make us gods to go before us: for as to this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.

Exodus 32:1.
Saying to Aaron, make us gods: forcing him, in a manner, to make them the golden calf, while Moses was receiving the law from God. (Witham)
Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

Acts 7:42 And God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets; *Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years, in the desert, O house of Israel?

Amos 5:25.
And God turned. Turned as it were from them, punishing them, by permitting them to serve the host of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars. (Witham)
Acts 7:43 And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god, Rempham, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

And you, that is, your forefathers, took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch. He reproaches the Jews with their idolatry and worship of different false gods, from time to time, notwithstanding God's comminations by the prophets, of which he puts them in mind by these words, and I will translate you beyond Babylon. The prophet Amos (Amos 5:27.) out of whom St. Stephen takes this citation, says, beyond Damascus, but the sense is the same, being a prediction, that the ten tribes of Israel should be carried away captives beyond Damascus by the Assyrians, and even beyond Babylon into Media, Persia, etc. (Witham)
Acts 7:44 The tabernacle of the testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them, *speaking to Moses that he should make it according to the form which he had seen.

Exodus 25:40.
The tabernacle of the testimony, in which was the ark of the covenant, as they were made by Moses, which were moved from place to place with the Israelites in the wilderness; and which Jesus, or Josue, brought with the people, into the possessions of the Gentiles, that is, into the land of Chanaan, which had been before possessed by the Gentiles. --- This tabernacle, in which was kept the ark, remained with the Israelites till the time of David, or rather of Solomon, who built the temple. (Witham)
Acts 7:45 *Which also our fathers receiving, brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, until the days of David:

Josue 3:14.; Hebrews 8:9.
Acts 7:46 *Who found grace before God, *and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

1 Kings 16:13.--- ** Psalm 131:5.
Acts 7:47 *But Solomon built him a house.

3 Kings 6:1.; 1 Paralipomenon 17:12.
Acts 7:48 *Yet the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands, as the prophet saith;

Acts 17:24.
But the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands. God is every where, nor is his presence confined to the temple, which was already once destroyed; and what if it be destroyed again, as Christ foretold? God must still be adored, worshipped and served, as he was before the temple was first built, which was only by Solomon. (Witham) --- Dwelleth not in houses. That is, so as to stand in need of earthly dwellings, or to be contained or circumscribed by them. Though otherwise, by his immense divinity, he is in our houses, and every where else; and Christ in his humanity dwelt in houses: and is now on our altars. (Challoner) ---It is not so much for God, as for ourselves, that we build temples, and it is a pure effect of his goodness and mercy, that he permits us to build them to him. Places consecrated in a particular manner to his service, where he gives the most sensible marks of his presence, are of assistance to us, when we render our homage, address our vows, and offer our prayers to the Deity. St. Stephen's design in this part of his discourse, is to prove that the true religion may subsist without the temple; therefore, that he could not be guilty of blasphemy, supposing he had even used the words which the malice of the Jews put into his mouth, that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy this place. (Chap. 6:14.)
Acts 7:49 *Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house will you build me, saith the Lord, or what is the place of my rest?

Isaias 66:1.
Acts 7:50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

Acts 7:51 Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also.

Ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart. St. Stephen, inspired by the Holy Ghost, knowing he should die a martyr, boldly reproaches them for persecuting the prophets, for putting to death the just one, that is, the Messias, foretold by the prophets. (Witham) --- Observe the holy indignation of St. Stephen at the obduracy of the incredulous Jews!
Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One: of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers:

Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of Angels, and have not kept it.

Acts 7:54 Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.

They were cut to the heart: exasperated even to rage and madness. See Acts 5:33. gnashing their teeth with indignation. (Witham)
Acts 7:55 But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said: Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.

This is the comfort of all martyrs. (Bristow) --- This the support of every Christian under the severest trials of either mind or body: this the sweetener of every burthen and cross.
Acts 7:56 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord rushed violently upon him.

Stopped their ears, crying out, blasphemy: and they stoned him to death. He praying for them, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, in imitation of his Lord and Master, our Saviour Christ. And{ Ver. 56. [Ver. 60.] Obdormivit in Domino, ekoimethe.|} reposed in the Lord. Literally, slept. In most Greek copies, are now wanting, in the Lord; but it is no doubt the sense. (Witham) --- Rushed in violently upon him. This proceeding, without any sentence, or form of law, was altogether irregular; and never used in the better times of the Jewish government. This was called, judgment of zeal, and only allowed in one instance, viz. when any one came to draw the people to idolatry. Afterwards, this kind of proceeding was extended to other crimes. See Deuteronomy 13:6; Numbers 24; Numbers 25; 1 Machabees 11:24; etc.
Acts 7:57 And casting him out the city, they stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul.

Acts 7:58 And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying; Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Invoking. See with what arms St. Stephen defended himself against the fury of his enemies. He puts on charity for a breast-plate, and by that came off victorious. By his love of God, he resisted the enraged Jews; by the love he bore his neighbour, he prayed for those that stoned him. Through charity, he admonished them of their errors, in order to their amendment; through charity, he besought the divine goodness not to punish their crimes against him. Leaning on charity, he overcame the cruelty of Saul, and merited to have him a companion in heaven, who had been his chief persecutor on earth. (St. Fulgentius, Serm. de S. Steph.) --- We here again see the powerful intercession of the saints; "for," says St. Augustine, "if Stephen had not thus prayed, the Church would not have to glory in a St. Paul. Si Stephanus non sic orasset, Ecclesia Paulum non haberet." (Serm. 1:de S. Steph.)
Acts 7:59 And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, saying; Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.

Acts 8:0 Philip converts the Samaritans, and baptizes the eunuch.

Acts 8:1 And *at that time there was raised a great persecution against the church, which was at Jerusalem, and they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

about the year A.D. 33. Were dispersed. During this great persecution of the Church, those who could not conceal themselves, were dispersed into different countries. Thus did the Almighty make use of the malice of his enemies, to the greater exaltation and glory of his own name. For those who fled, carried with them the light of the gospel, wherever they went. (Tirinus) --- They were burning torches, which communicated of their holy fire to every place, in which they were scattered. (St. Augustine, Serm. cxvi.) --- Thus was the gospel disseminated from Jerusalem into all Judea and Samaria. --- And Samaria. Though our Saviour in his life time had forbid them to preach to the Samaritans, (Matthew 10:5.) they now knew that the time of that precept was past. (Witham)
Acts 8:2 And devout men took care of Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him.

Took care. In an ancient work, which gives the history of the finding of St. Stephen's body, generally considered authentic, and printed at the end of the 7th volume of St. Augustine's works, we find the following account. "Stephen having been stoned without the northern gate, lay there without burial one day and a night, according to the order of the Jewish rulers, that his body might become a prey to birds and beasts, but God did not suffer either to touch it." --- "Then I, Gamaliel, compassionating these servants of Jesus Christ, and desiring to have some share in the faith and religion of this holy man, sent among the Jews some Christians who feared God, dwelling at Jerusalem, to take away privately the body, and bring it in my chariot to my country house, where it was deposited in my tomb towards the east, and we mourned over it for forty days," etc. It is an injury to pray for a martyr, who ought to assist us by his prayers. (St. Augustine, Serm. xvii.) --- We see great devotion used in burying his body, and four centuries afterwards, at the finding and translating thereof. Very many miracles were performed on that occasion, as St. Augustine witnesses in his work de Civitate Dei, lib. xxii. Acts 8., and Serm. de S. Steph. T. viii.
Acts 8:3 But Saul ravaged the church, entering into the houses, and, dragging away men and women, committed them to prison.

Acts 8:4 They, therefore, that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God.

Acts 8:5 And Philip going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ to them.

Acts 8:6 And the people were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, with one accord hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did.

Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out of many who were possessed.

Acts 8:8 And many taken with the palsy, and that were lame, were healed.

Acts 8:9 There was therefore great joy in that city. But a certain man, named Simon, who before had been a magician in the city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one:

Acts 8:10 To whom all hearkened, from the least to the greatest, saying; This man is the power of God, which is called great.

This man is the power of God, which is called (that is, which is truly) great. Simon pretended to be God, and the great God. See St. Irenaeus, lib. 1:chap. 20.
Acts 8:11 And they were attentive to him, because for a long time he had bewitched them with his sorceries.

He had bewitched them with his sorceries,{ Ver. 11. Dementasset, exestakenai autous. So ver. 15. Stupens admirabatur, the same word, existato.|} or magic: he had put them out of their wits, turned their heads, charmed them, stupefied them. (Witham)
Acts 8:12 But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women.

Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and being baptized, he adhered to Philip. Seeing also the wonders and exceeding great miracles which were done, he was struck with amazement.

Simon himself believed. That is, pretended to believe, that he might obtain the power of speaking tongues, and working miracles, which was frequently imparted to the faithful at baptism. (Menochius) --- He was filled with pride and presumption, says St. Augustine. He wished to imitate the prodigies of the apostles, but loved not their justice, nor the truth they preached. He entered into the Church, and desired baptism, not to obtain the grace of justification, but to have an occasion of extolling himself. He wished to walk in wonders above himself. (In Psalm cxxx.)
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John.

Acts 8:15 Who when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

The Holy Ghost, which the apostles came to give the Samaritan Neophytes, was not the spirit of grace, of justice, and of sanctity, for that they had received at baptism; but the spirit of strength, to confess with confidence and freedom the name of Jesus, and the supernatural and miraculous graces, usually at that time granted to the faithful, by the imposition of hands. Philip did not administer the sacrament, because he could not; he was not a bishop. Hence now in the Church, we see only the chief pastors do it, praecipuos et non alios videmus hoc facere. See St. Chrysostom, hom. xviii. in Acta. --- There is no mention here, it is true, of unction, but the most venerable antiquity clearly specifies it. St. Cyprian, in the third age [third century], says: "it is moreover necessary, that he who has been baptized, should be anointed, that having received the chrism, that is, the unction, he may be the anointed of God." (Ep. lxx.) --- In the next age [fourth century], St. Pacianus writes: "Do you say that this (the power of remitting sins) was granted only to the apostles? Then I say, that they alone could baptize, and give the Holy Spirit, for to them alone was the command of doing it given. If, therefore, the right of conferring baptism, and of anointing, descended to their successors, to them also has come the power of binding and loosing." (Ep. 1:ad Sym. Bibl. Max. T. 4:p. 307)
Acts 8:16 For he was not yet come upon any one of them, but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 8:17 Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

They received the Holy Ghost. Not but that they had received the grace of the Holy Ghost at their baptism; but not that plentitude of grace, and those gifts, which they received from bishops in the sacrament of confirmation. This sacrament, as St. Chrysostom observes,{ Ver. 17. St. Chrysostom, hom. xviii. oude gar eichen exousian.|} St. Philip, the deacon, had not power to give. (Witham)
Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Simon ... offered them money. From hence it is called the sin of simony, to buy, sell, or give money for benefices, and spiritual things. It was vanity that made Simon desire this power. (Witham) --- Hence to give or receive money in exchange, or as a price for any spiritual good whatever, is justly esteemed sinful. It is called simony, from the name of the person, who was first engaged in this sin. (Haydock) --- Simon acts the part of a tempter to the apostles, and wishes to draw them into prevarication, by offering money for what was above all price, and of what they were not the proprietors, but the dispensers. (St. Clement of Rome)
Acts 8:19 Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him:

Acts 8:20 May thy money perish with thee: because thou hast thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money.

May thy money perish with thee; or go with thee to perdition. This was a prophecy, says St. Chrysostom, of St. Peter who saw him incorrigible, and that he would not repent. (Witham)
Acts 8:21 Thou hast no part, nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

Nor lot in this matter. Literally, in this saying. (Witham)
Acts 8:22 Do penance, therefore, for this thy wickedness: and pray to God, if perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee.

That perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. The word perhaps, as the interpreters commonly observe on this and other places, many times does not imply any doubt or uncertainty. There could be no doubt, says St. Chrysostom, only as to his repenting: if he repented, it is certain he would find remission of his sins. (Witham) --- St. Augustine (ep. cviii.) understands the text, metanoeson apo, etc. of penance done for heinous offences in the primitive Church, and teaches us to translate it thus, as it is in the Vulgate, both here and 2 Corinthians 12:21, and Apocalypse 9:21, and adds, that very good men do daily penance for venial sins, by fasting, prayer, and alms.
Acts 8:23 For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity.

In the gall of bitterness. In the bitter gall of hypocrisy, in the bonds, fetters, and chains of sin and iniquity. (Witham)
Acts 8:24 Then Simon answering, said; Pray you to the Lord for me, that none of these things which you have spoken, may come upon me.

Pray ... for me. Instead of following the advice of St. Peter, he begs them to pray, not that God would touch his heart, and give him repentance; but that the evils might not fall upon him. In this he is a true model of false penitents, who hate not the sin, but fear the punishment, which is the consequence of it. He afterwards left the East, and went to Rome, under the reign of Claudius. Sts. Justin, Irenaeus, and others say, the senate adored him as a divinity. Having undertaken to fly in the air, in the presence of the emperor and senate, when he had raised himself to a certain height, he was brought down by the prayers of Sts. Peter and Paul, and died a few days after, of the wounds he received by the fall. (Calmet) --- See also Eusebius, Theod., St. Augustine, etc.
Acts 8:25 And they indeed having testified, and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel to many countries of the Samaritans.

Acts 8:26 Now an Angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem to Gaza; this is desert.

This is desert. In construction, whether we regard the Latin or Greek, to be desert, may either agree to the way leading to Gaza, or the city itself, which formerly had been almost destroyed. (Witham) --- To the site of old Gaza, which was then a desert; above which was built the new Gaza, nearer the sea. (Bible de Vence) --- Beza frequently makes very free with St. Luke, and in his annotations, an. 1556, says the text is wrong; it cannot be so.
Acts 8:27 And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore:

An eunuch. It is likely a proselyte converted to the Jewish religion. He shews his zeal and devotion, says St. Chrysostom, not only by coming to Jerusalem, but by reading the prophets in his chariot. (Witham)
Acts 8:28 And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias, the prophet.

Acts 8:29 And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to that chariot.

Acts 8:30 And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet, Isaias, and he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?

Acts 8:31 He said: How can I, unless some one shew me? And he desired Philip to come up, and sit with him.

How can I, unless some one shew me,{ Ver. 31. Et quomodo possum, nisi aliquis ostenderit mihi? ean me tis odegese me.|} or be a guide to me, as in the Greek. Let every one, and especially the unlearned, take good notice of these words, not to wrest the Scriptures to his own perdition. To follow his own private judgment, or his private spirit, is to make choice of a blind and incompetent guide, as to the sense of the Scriptures, and the mysteries of faith. See the preface to the gospel of St. John. (Witham) --- It appears this eunuch was not one of those, who are now so commonly seen, who think the Scripture is every where plain, and the sense open to every body. Such would do much better to acknowledge, that they stand in need of a guide. (Grotius, hic.) --- St. Jerome, in his letter to Paulinus, printed at the head of the Latin Bibles, shews the necessity of an interpreter. The apostles themselves could not understand the Scriptures till Christ gave them the knowledge; tunc aperuit illis sensum ut intelligerent scripturas. (Luke 24:45.)
Acts 8:32 And the place of the Scripture, which he was reading, was this: *As a sheep he was led to the slaughter: and like a lamb without a voice before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.

Isaias 53:7.
\f + \fr 8:32-33\ft As a sheep, or a lamb, etc. The eunuch, by divine Providence, was now reading the 53d Acts of Isaias, which is of Christ, and his sufferings. --- In humility his judgment was taken away. The sense seems to be, that Christ having humbled himself, so as to undergo an unjust judgment, or condemnation to die on the cross, hath been again raised from the dead, and delivered from that judgment by his glorious resurrection, and ascension. (Witham)
Acts 8:33 In humility his judgment was taken away. Who shall declare his generation, for his life shall be taken away from the earth?

Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other?

Acts 8:35 Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning at that Scripture, preached to him Jesus.

Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch saith; See, here is water, what hindereth me from being baptized?

Here is water. This shews, that baptism is to be given with water. (Witham)
Acts 8:37 And Philip said: If thou believest with thy whole heart, thou mayest. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

If thou believest, etc. The Scripture many times mentions one disposition, when others no less necessary are supposed, as here a sorrow for sins, a firm hope, love of God, etc. (Witham) --- Faith is thus seen to be a necessary predisposition in the adult, for the reception of baptism. They must answer for themselves; but infants are baptized in the faith of the Church. Their sponsors, who receive them from the font, answer for them. (Denis the Carthusian) --- And as the defilement was not personal, but that of others, so are they purified by the faith of others.
Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, Philip, and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

We are not to suppose that in the administration of the sacraments in the primitive Church, nothing more was done than what we read, totidem litteris, in the Scripture. St. Augustine answers this, when he says: "insomuch that he saith, Philip baptized him, he would have it understood, that all things were done, which though in the Scripture, for brevity sake, they are not mentioned, yet by order of tradition we know were to be done."
Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 8:40 But Philip was found in Azotus, and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Acts 9:0 Paul's conversion and zeal. Peter heals Aeneas, and raises Tabitha to life.

Acts 9:1 And *Saul, still breathing out threatenings, and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

Galatians 1:13.
about the year A.D. 34.
Acts 9:2 And asked of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Acts 9:3 *And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew near to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him.

Acts 22:6.; Acts 22:10.; Acts 26:12.; 1 Corinthians 15:8.; 2 Corinthians 12:2.
Acts 9:4 And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?

Why dost thou persecute me? My disciples, my brothers, and my friends. The head speaks for the members, and by a figure of speech, calls them itself. (St. Augustine, in Ps. xxx.) --- Here Jesus Christ identifies himself with his Church, as on a former occasion, when he said: he that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me. (Luke 10:16.)
Acts 9:5 And he said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

To kick against the goad. Others translate against the pricks; others, against the sting. The metaphor is taken from oxen kicking, when pricked to go forward. (Witham)
Acts 9:6 And he, trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

Acts 9:7 And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him, stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no one.

There it shall be told thee, etc. The Almighty having established a Church, and ministry, the depositories of his doctrines, does not, even on this extraordinary occasion, transgress his own laws; but sends him to the ministers of religion, that instruction may be imparted through them, as through its proper channel. This observation is worthy the notice of the self-inspired of the present day, who pretend to receive their light direct from heaven. Nothing can be more opposite to the spirit of the gospel than such delusion. (Haydock) --- Hear the great St. Augustine: "Paul, though with the divine and heavenly voice prostrated and instructed, yet was sent to a man to receive the sacraments, and to be joined to the Church." (De Doct. Chris. lib. 1:in proem.) --- Hearing, etc. This may be reconciled with what is said in the 22nd chapter by supposing they heard only St. Paul speak, or heard only a confused noise, which they could not understand. (Calmet)
Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the ground, and his eyes being open, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus.

And his eyes being open, either by himself, or by others, he saw nothing. See the circumstances related again, Acts 22.; Acts 26. (Witham)
Acts 9:9 And he was there three days, without sight, and he neither eat nor drank.

Three days. During the time, he neither eat nor drank, to testify his sorrow for his past conduct. He likewise spent the time in prayer, to prepare himself for the reception of grace. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xix.)
Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, by name Ananias: *and the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord.

Acts 22:12.
Acts 9:11 And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street, that is called Stait, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul, of Tarsus: for behold he prayeth.

Acts 9:12 (And he saw a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.)

And he saw a man, etc. This verse, which is by way of a parenthesis, contains the words of the historian, St. Luke, telling us what St. Paul saw in a vision, and what the Spirit at the same time revealed to Ananias. (Witham) --- This verse is a parenthesis. It contains not the words of Christ to Ananias, but St. Luke here relates what was shewn to Paul, at the time Ananias entered. This vision was shewn to him, that he might know Ananias was sent by God. (Menochius)
Acts 9:13 But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how great evils he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem:

Acts 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all, that invoke thy name.

Acts 9:15 And the Lord said to him: Go, for this man is a vessel of election to me, to carry my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and children of Israel.

A vessel of election. A chosen elect vessel, and minister of the gospel. (Witham) --- Skeous ekloges, an organ, or instrument. Thus Polybius uses the word, speaking of Damocles, ode en uperetikon skeuos, he was an excellent and choice character.
Acts 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house: and laying his hands on him, he said: Saul, brother, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he who appeared to thee in the way as thou camest, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Laying his hands on him. This imposition of hands, made use of on different occasions, was to pray that he might receive his sight, as well as the grace of the Holy Ghost, which God sometimes gave to persons not yet baptized, as to Cornelius. (Acts 10:44.) (Witham) --- This imposition of hands, was not the same as that, by which the faithful were confirmed, or ordained ministers, but a ceremony commonly used by the apostles to restore health to the sick. If Saul, in consequence, receives the Holy Ghost, it was an extraordinary miraculous event, which was not an unfrequent circumstance in the infancy of Christianity. The Almighty, who establishes the laws of grace, can dispense with them himself whenever he pleases. (Calmet)
Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight: and rising up, he was baptized.

Acts 9:19 And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, for some days.

Acts 9:20 And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Acts 9:21 And all were astonished that heard him, and said: Is not this he who in Jerusalem attacked violently those who called upon that name: and came hither for this purpose, that he might lead them bound to the chief priests?

Acts 9:22 But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ.

Acts 9:23 And when many days were passed, the Jews consulted together to kill him.

When many days were passed. By the account St. Paul gives of himself, (Galatians 1.) soon after his conversion he went into Arabia, and about three years after he might come to Damascus. Then it seems to have happened that they were for killing him, for becoming a Christian; and the brethren saved his life, by conveying him down the walls of the town in a basket. After this, he went to Jerusalem, where the disciples knew little of him, and were afraid of him, till St. Barnabas introduced him to the apostles, and gave an account of his conversion. (Witham) --- Many days. That is, three years. For Saul went for a time from Damascus to Arabia. (Galatians 1:17-18.) It was on his return from thence, that the Jews conspired against his life, as is here related. (Tirinus)
Acts 9:24 But their laying in wait was made known to Saul. *And they guarded the gates also day and night, that they might kill him.

2 Corinthians 11:32.
Acts 9:25 But the disciples taking him by night, conveyed him away by the wall, letting him down in a basket.

Acts 9:26 And when he was come into Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had acted confidently in the name of Jesus.

Brought him to the apostles Peter and James. See (Galatians 1:18-19.)
Acts 9:28 And he was with them, coming in and going out, in Jerusalem, and acting confidently in the name of the Lord.

Acts 9:29 He spoke also to the Gentiles, and disputed with the Grecians: but they sought to kill him.

He spoke also to the Gentiles,{ Ver. 29. Loquebatur quoque Gentibus, et disputabat cum Graecis. In almost all Greek copies, there is nothing for Gentibus, and we only read, he spoke and disputed with the Grecians, or Hellenists; pros tous Ellenistas. See Acts 6:1.|} and disputed with the Grecians, or Hellenists. See Acts 6:1. By the Gentiles, many understand those who had been Gentiles, and were become proselytes or converts to the Jewish religion, and not those who still remained Gentiles. And by the Greeks, or Hellenists, they understand Jews, who had lived in places where they spoke Greek, or Hellenists, they understand Jews, who had lived in places where they spoke Greek, not Syriac, whom St. Paul endeavoured to convert to the Christian faith. (Witham)
Acts 9:30 Which when the brethren had known, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him away to Tarsus.

Acts 9:31 Now the church had peace throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and was edified, walking in the fear of the Lord, and was filled with the consolation of the Holy Ghost.

The Church visibly proceedeth still with much comfort and patience; she is perfected by persecution, and by means of the promised infallible protection, she has ever proved herself invulnerable to all the envenomed shafts of her adversaries.
Acts 9:32 And it came to pass, that Peter, as he passed through, visiting all, came to the saints, who dwelt at Lydda.

Acts 9:33 And he found there a certain man, named Aeneas, lying on his bed for eight years, who was ill of the palsy.

Acts 9:34 And Peter said to him: Aeneas, the Lord Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise, and make thy bed. And immediately he arose.

Acts 9:35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron, saw him: and they were converted to the Lord.

Saron, or Assaron, is a mountain and city mentioned by Josue, 12:18. From it all the plain from Caesarea of Palestine to Joppe, is called Saron. It is a rich fertile country. (Tirinus)
Acts 9:36 And in Joppe there was a certain disciple, named Tabitha, which, being interpreted, is called Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and alms-deeds, which she did.

Tabitha, in Syriac, means the same as Dorcas in Greek, that is, a wild goat. (Bible de Vence) --- See here the powerful effects of good works, and alms-deeds; they reach even to the next life. (Bristow) --- Hence that of the wise man, alms free from death.
Acts 9:37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died. Whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.

Washed. This custom of washing the dead was observed among the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, and most other nations. It is still practised in monasteries, and formerly was observed with much ceremony. St. Chrysostom observes, that our Saviour's body was washed and embalmed. The same custom is mentioned in Homer and Virgil: Corpusque lavant frigentis, et ungunt. --- And again, Date, vulnera lymphis abluam. --- Aeneid. 4:--- Tertullian, in his Apology, testifies, that the Christians performed that office to the dead. It was a proof of their respect for the image of God impressed upon his creature, and for the character of Christian, which these persons have borne during their lives. It was likewise a sign of the confidence they had in a future resurrection.
Acts 9:38 And Lydda being near to Joppe, the disciples hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, requesting: Delay not to come to us.

Acts 9:39 And Peter rising up, came with them. And when he was arrived, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood about him weeping, and shewing him the coats and garments, which Dorcas had made them.

Chiton was the under garment, Imation the upper.
Acts 9:40 And having put them all out, Peter kneeling down, prayed; and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise: And she opened her eyes: and seeing Peter, sat up.

And having put them all out, not to disturb him while he prayed. --- Sat up, raised herself a little: and Peter taking her by the hand, lifted her quite up, and calling in the company, presented her to them alive and well. (Witham)
Acts 9:41 And giving her his hand, he raised her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive.

Raising the dead to life can only be the work of God. This woman was raised to life for the comfort of the faithful, and the conversion of others. She herself might likewise have an opportunity of acquiring greater merit, otherwise the repose of another life is preferable to a return to the miseries of this world. (Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 9:42 And it was made known throughout all Joppe; and many believed in the Lord.

Acts 9:43 And it came to pass, that he stayed many days in Joppe, with one Simon, a tanner.

In the Greek is added: instructing the new converts, and fortifying them in the faith they had just embraced.
Acts 10:0 Cornelius is received into the Church. Peter's vision.

Acts 10:1 Now *there was a certain man in Caesarea, named Cornelius, a centurion of the band, which is called the Italian,

about the year A.D. 39. A cohort, with the Romans, was a body of infantry 500 strong. There were ten cohorts in each legion. There were, generally speaking, two centurions appointed to the command of each cohort. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 10:2 A religious man, and one that feared God, with all his house, giving much alms to the people, and praying to God always:

A religious man, and one that feared God. He was not a Jew, yet believed in one God. --- Always, that is, frequently praying, and giving alms. In the Rheims Testament we find this note: "Hereby it appeareth, that such works as are done before justification, though they suffice not to salvation, yet are acceptable preparatives for the grace of justification, and such as move God to mercy. ... though all such preparative works come also of grace." These Douay divines did not hold with the Quenellists that a true faith, or the habit of faith, must needs be the first grace. (Witham) --- Cornelius religiously observed the law of nature, and the principal points of the Jewish moral law, though he did not profess Judaism. (Calmet) --- He was an admirable example of virtue before his knowledge of Christianity. He feared God, and brought up his family in the same holy fear. He was leader of the first band, and consequently had the eagle, the Roman ensign, carried before him. Four hundred men were under his command. (Tirinus) --- "His former goodness could no longer avail him, unless he were, by the bond of Christian society and peace, incorporated with the Church; he is therefore ordered to send unto Peter, that by him he may learn Christ, by him he may be baptized." (St. Augustine, lib. 1:de bap. Acts 8.) --- Alms. Nothing is more efficacious than the alms of a man, whose hands have not been defiled by injustice. It is a clear stream, refreshing in the heat of day, and imparting verdure to every plant that is near it. It is a fountain springing to eternal life. It is a tree, whose branches reach even to heaven, and which produces its eternal fruit in abundance, when death has removed from you all that is temporal. Waste not, then, your treasures in selfish gratifications, the fruit of which is sorrow; but feed the poor, and the hungry. Plant and sow in their hands, and your produce will be great; no soil is more fertile. (St. Chrysostom, hic. hom. xxii.)
Acts 10:3 He saw in a vision manifestly, about the ninth hour of the day, an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying to him: Cornelius.

He saw in a vision manifestly. An angel appearing visibly to him. (Witham)
Acts 10:4 And he beholding him, being seized with fear, said: What is it, Lord? And he said to him: Thy prayers, and thy alms, have ascended for a memorial in the sight of God.

Acts 10:5 And now send men to Joppe, and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed Peter:

Acts 10:6 He lodgeth with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou must do.

Acts 10:7 And when the Angel who spoke to him was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a soldier, that feared the Lord, of them who were under him:

Acts 10:8 To whom, when he had related all, he sent them to Joppe.

Acts 10:9 And on the next day, whilst they were going on their journey, and drawing near to the city, Peter went up to the higher parts of the house to pray, about the sixth hour.

Stated hours for prayer were appointed both in the old and new law. Of this St. Cyprian writes: "In celebrating their prayers, we find that the three children of Daniel observed the third, sixth, and ninth hour. Thus afterwards, at the third hour, the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles, fulfilling the grace of our Lord's promise: at the sixth hour, Peter going up to the higher room of the house, was both by voice and sign from God instructed, that all nations should be admitted to the grace of salvation, of which he before doubted; and our Lord being crucified at the sixth hour, at the ninth washed away our sins by his blood. But to us, besides the seasons observed of old, the set times of praying are increased; for we must pray in the morning early, that the resurrection of our Lord may be celebrated by morning prayer; in the morning early will I stand before Thee, early in the morning wilt thou hear my voice. (Psalm v.) Towards the evening also, when the sun departeth, we must of necessity pray again." (De Orat. Dom. No. 15) St. Jerome, writing to Eustochia, a virgin, and a religious, (ep. 22.) says, "though the apostle bid us to pray always, and, to holy persons, their very sleep is prayer; yet we must have distinct hours for prayer, that if perhaps we be otherwise occupied, the very time may admonish us of our duty. The third, sixth, ninth hour, morning early, and evening, no man can be ignorant of."
Acts 10:10 And being hungry, he was desirous to taste somewhat. And as they were preparing, there came upon him an ecstasy of mind.

There came upon him an ecstasy{ Ver. 10. Mentis excessus, epepesen ep auton ekstasis.|} of mind. This is the true sense by the Greek. I have never yet eaten any unclean thing. This seems to have happened, an. 35 [A.D. 35]. Till then the apostles followed the ceremonies of the law of Moses. It may seem strange that even St. Peter should not know that the ceremonial precepts of the law were to be abolished. It may be answered, that St. Peter and they, were only ignorant of the time, when they were to be laid aside; and so St. Chrysostom says, that the conversion of Cornelius, with all its circumstances, was to convince the Jews, rather than the apostles, that those ceremonies were no longer obligatory. (Witham)
Acts 10:11 And he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down by the four corners from heaven to the earth,

Acts 10:12 In which were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air.

Acts 10:13 And there came a voice to him: Arise, Peter, kill, and eat.

Acts 10:14 But Peter said: Far be it from me, Lord, for I never eaten any common and unclean thing.

Acts 10:15 And the voice spoke to him again the second time: That which God hath purified, do not thou call common.

God hath purified. Not that the Almighty had already sanctified the Gentiles; but he had called them, that they might become so. He had thrown down the wall of separation, which had stood between Jew and Gentile; he had made one fold to contain all the sheep under one shepherd. Jesus Christ, by his blood, had generally reconciled all mankind to his Father. In this sense all were pure; that is, all had a right, as all were called, to partake of the merits of the Son of God. All had a right to communicate in the truths of the gospel, and in the sacraments, which were the appointed channels, through which the graces and merits of Jesus Christ were applied. (Calmet) --- Here, then, God first announced to Peter, that the time was come to preach to the Gentiles unto salvation, no less than to the Jews; with full freedom to eat all meats, without respect to the prohibition of some made in the old law. (Bristow)
Acts 10:16 And this was done thrice: and presently the vessel was taken up again into heaven.

Acts 10:17 Now, whilst Peter was doubting within himself what the vision which he had seen should mean, behold the men who were sent by Cornelius, inquiring for Simon's house, stood at the gate.

Acts 10:18 And when they had called, they asked, if Simon, who is surnamed Peter, lodged there?

Acts 10:19 And as Peter was thinking on the vision, the Spirit said to him: Behold three men seek thee.

Acts 10:20 Arise, therefore, go down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

Acts 10:21 Then Peter going down to the men, said: Behold I am he whom you seek: what is the cause, for which you are come?

Acts 10:22 They said, Cornelius, a centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and that hath good testimony from all the nations of the Jews, received an answer of a holy Angel, to send for thee into his house, and to hear words from thee.

Acts 10:23 Then bringing them in, he lodged them. And the day following, he arose and went with them: and some of the brethren from Joppe, accompanied him.

Acts 10:24 And the day after, he entered into Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his kinsmen, and special friends.

Acts 10:25 And it came to pass, when Peter was come in, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet, worshipped.

Cornelius ... worshipped.{ Ver. 25. Procidens ad pedes ejus adoravit, peson epi tous podas prosekunesen. The same word is often used for a civil worship.|} Some think Cornelius might look upon St. Peter as more than a man, and offer to him divine worship: but by prostrating, he might only intend to pay such honour to him, as is paid to persons eminent in dignity, especially according to the custom of the eastern people. (Witham)
Acts 10:26 But Peter raised him up, saying: Arise, I myself also am a man.

St. Chrysostom (hom. xxi in Act.) thinketh Peter refused this homage through humility, because this falling down, proskunein, is frequently used in Scripture towards men. St. Jerome (adv. Vigil. ch. II.) holds the contrary sentiment.
Acts 10:27 And talking with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

Acts 10:28 And he said to them: You know how abominable a thing it is for a man that is a Jew, to keep company with, or to come to, one of another nation: but God hath shewed to me, to call no man common or unclean.

Abominable a thing. The Jews extended their aversion to the Gentiles to an unnatural length; hence the frequent accusations of the latter, that they were a nation the enemies of mankind. Josephus defends his nation against the imputation. He allows that Moses forbids them to admit strangers into their solemnities, and exercises of religion, but not to refuse any thing which common humanity demands of all. (Josephus, lib. 2:con. App.)
Acts 10:29 Wherefore, making no doubt, I came when I was sent for. I ask, therefore, for what cause you have sent for me?

Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said: Four days ago, until this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold a man stood before me in white apparel, and said:

Acts 10:31 Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thy alms are remembered in the sight of God.

Acts 10:32 Send, therefore, to Joppe, and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter: he lodgeth in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea side.

Acts 10:33 Immediately, therefore, I sent to thee: and thou hast done well in coming. Now, therefore, all we are present in thy sight, to hear all things whatsoever are commanded thee by the Lord.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter, opening his mouth, said: In truth, I perceive *that God is no respecter of persons.

Deuteronomy 10:17.; 2 Paralipomenon 19:7.; Job 34:19.; Wisdom 6:8.; Ecclesiasticus 35:15.; Romans 2:11.; Galatians 2:6.; Ephesians 6:9.; Colossians 3:25.; 1 Peter 1:17.
Acts 10:35 But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh justice, is acceptable to him.

In every nation, etc. That is to say, not only Jews, but Gentiles also, of what nation soever, are acceptable to God, if they fear him, and work justice. But then true faith is always to be presupposed, without which, (saith St. Paul, Hebrews 11:6.) it is impossible to please God. Beware then of the error of those, who would infer from this passage, that men of all religions may be pleasing to God. For since none but the true religion can be from God, all other religions must be from the father of lies; and therefore highly displeasing to the God of truth. (Challoner) --- He that feareth him, and worketh justice. So he calls the prayers, alms-deeds, and charitable works of this Gentile Cornelius. (Witham)
Acts 10:36 God sent the word to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all).

God sent the word.{ Ver. 36. ton logon, verbum, but in the next verse for verbum, rema.|} By this word, some understand the eternal Word, the Son of God; but by the next verse, we may rather expound it of the word of the gospel preached. Jesus Christ ... he is Lord of all things. A proof of Christ's divinity. (Witham)
Acts 10:37 You know the word which hath been published through all Judea: *for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached,

Luke 4:14.
For it began, or its beginning was, etc.
Acts 10:38 Jesus, of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost, and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil: for God was with him.

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things, which he did in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem, whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree.

Whom they killed. At the very first, says{ Ver. 39. St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiii, vides eos nunquam occultare crucem, oras autous oudamou kruptontas ton stauron.|} St. Chrysostom, the apostles preached Christ crucified, and tell them they had put to death on a cross the Lord of all things, the judge of the living and the dead. (Witham) --- We may here admire how wonderfully Peter adapts his discourse to the capacity of his hearers. When speaking to the Jews, he proves Jesus to be their Messias, from the testimony of their prophets. On the present occasion, he only just alludes to the prophets, but confirms his discourse by the testimony of the miracles which Jesus had wrought in public, and were known to all the world. (Calmet)
Acts 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest,

Jesus Christ did not announce his resurrection, and other mysteries, to all at once, but to a chosen few, who were to be governors of the rest; teaching us thereby, that we have to learn our religion, and every thing necessary to salvation, from the Church of God, speaking to us by her ministers.
Acts 10:41 Not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who eat and drank with him, after he rose again from the dead.

Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who hath been appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead.

The living and of the dead. This may be understood of the elect, who live by grace, and the reprobate, who are spiritually dead; or perhaps more literally, of those who shall be found living upon earth at the second coming of Christ, and of all who have died from the commencement of the world to the end of time. (St. Augustine, Enchirid[].)
Acts 10:43 *To him all the prophets give testimony, that through his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him.

Jeremias 31:34.; Micheas 7:18.
Acts 10:44 While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell upon all them that heard the word.

The Holy Ghost fell upon all them, and made his coming known in some visible manner and exterior signs, as on the day of Pentecost. The Christians who had come with St. Peter, who before had been Jews, were astonished to see that such extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were given to uncircumcised Gentiles. (Witham)
Acts 10:45 And the faithful of the circumcision, who had come with Peter, were astonished because the grace of the Holy Ghost was also poured out upon the Gentiles.

Acts 10:46 For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God.

Acts 10:47 Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Can any man forbid water? etc. Or doubt that these, on whom the Holy Ghost hath descended, may be made members of the Christian Church, by baptism, as Christ ordained? (Witham) --- Such may be the grace of God occasionally towards men, and such their great charity and contrition, that they may have remission, justification, and sanctification, before the external sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and penance be received; as we see in this example: where, at Peter's preaching, they all received the Holy Ghost before any sacrament. But here we also learn one necessary lesson, that such, notwithstanding, must needs receive the sacraments appointed by Christ, which whosoever contemneth, can never be justified. (St. Augustine, sup. Levit. q. 84. T. 4.)
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they entreated him to stay with them some days.

Acts 11:0 Peter defends his having received the Gentiles into the Church. Many are converted at Antioch.

Acts 11:1 And the apostles and brethren who were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

Acts 11:2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they who were of the circumcision, disputed against him,

Disputed against him. St. Epiphanius makes Cerinthus, who was the next heresiarch to Simon Magus, the author of this dispute. He likewise says it was he, who excited the Jews against St. Paul, (Acts xxi.) and that the first Council of Jerusalem was convened to condemn him. (St. Epiphanius, haeres. 28. ch. II)
Acts 11:3 Saying: Why didst thou go in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them?

And didst eat with them. The Jews looked upon it as a thing altogether abominable, for them to eat with uncircumcised Gentiles; but St. Peter satisfied them, or silenced them by a plain and sincere recital of his vision, and of what happened at the house of Cornelius. (Witham)
Acts 11:4 But Peter began and declared to them the matter in order, saying:

Acts 11:5 I was in the city of Joppe praying, and I saw in an ecstasy of mind a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners, and it came even to me.

Acts 11:6 Into which looking I considered, and saw four-footed creatures of the earth, and beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air:

Acts 11:7 And I heard also a voice, saying to me: Arise, Peter, kill and eat.

Acts 11:8 And I said: Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath ever entered into my mouth.

Acts 11:9 And the voice answered the second time from heaven: What God hath made clean, call not thou common.

Acts 11:10 And this was done three times: and all were taken up again into heaven.

Acts 11:11 And behold immediately there were three men come to the house wherein I was, sent to me from Caesarea.

Acts 11:12 And the spirit said to me, that I should go with them, nothing doubting. And these six brethren went with me also, and we entered into the man's house.

Acts 11:13 And he told us, how he had seen an Angel in his house, standing and saying to him: Send to Joppe, and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter,

Acts 11:14 Who shall speak to thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

Acts 11:15 And when I had begun to speak, the Holy Ghost fell upon them, as upon us also in the beginning.

Acts 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said: *John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 3:11.; Mark 1:8.; Luke 3:16.; John 1:26.; Acts 1:5.; Acts 19:4.
Acts 11:17 If then God gave them the same grace, as to us also who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?

Acts 11:18 When they had heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying: God then hath also to the Gentiles given repentance unto life.

They held their peace, and glorified God, that the gate of salvation was also opened to the Gentiles. (Witham)
Acts 11:19 And they indeed, who had been dispersed, by the persecution that arose on occasion of Stephen, went about as far as Phoenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none, but to the Jews only.

Acts 11:20 But some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had entered into Antioch, spoke also to the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Some of them, at Antioch, spoke also to the Grecians:{ Ver. 20. Ad Graecos, pros tous ellenistas, and in some manuscripts ellenas.|} by which many understand, to the Gentiles, though in most Greek copies we read, to the Hellenists. (Witham)
Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believing, was converted to the Lord.*

about the year A.D. 41.
Acts 11:22 And the report of these things came to the ears of the church that was at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch.

Acts 11:23 Who when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, rejoiced: and exhorted them all with purpose of heart to continue in the Lord.

Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith. And a great multitude was added to the Lord.

Multitude was added, as before, (chap. 10.) a few were added to the visible Church. Ever since Christ's ascension, this Church has been notoriously seen. Of her ministers, their preaching has been open, their sacraments visible, their discipline visible, their persecutions visible, their wonderful increase visible, and their manifestly divine protection visible, and known to all the world. Whilst all that have separated themselves by schism from this venerable body, have fallen into discredit, and most into complete oblivion. The Catholic Church was the first, and it will be the last.
Acts 11:25 And Barnabas went to Tarsus, to seek Saul: whom, when he had found, he brought to Antioch.*

about the year A.D. 41. To seek Saul, who had retired for a while, to his native city, Tarsus. These two remained at Antioch about a year, during which time they reaped a plentiful harvest.
Acts 11:26 And they conversed there in the church a whole year: and they taught a great multitude, so that at Antioch the disciples were first named Christians.

At Antioch the disciples were first named Christians, when St. Paul and St. Barnabas were preaching there. Before that, they were called the disciples of Jesus, and sometimes Nazarenes, (see Acts 24:5.) or perhaps Galileans. This honourable name of Christians, distinguished them from Gentiles and Jews, and from all heretical sects, who generally had some name from the authors of such sects, as Simonites, Cerinthians, Nicolaits, etc. Of which see St. Epiphanius. The faithful had also after some time the name of Catholics, being taught in the apostles' creed to believe in the Catholic Church. And St. Augustine, in several places, takes notice, that no heretics could ever get themselves called by this name; nor can they to this present. See St. Augustine, de util. credendi. ch. VIII.; de vera relig. ch. VII.; cont. epis. fundam. Acts 4:Whosoever is of the true faith of Christ, may justly say, Christian is my name, Catholic my surname: a greater honour, and a greater advantage, than to be of any royal family. (Witham) --- The faithful disciples, believers, etc. as before they were called, now received the name of Christians. It is not certain whether they took the name themselves, or it was given them out of disrespect, by the pagans. Galileans was a term of reproach likewise given to the Christians. St. Peter, in his first epistle, uses the appellation of Christians; but it does not appear that St. Paul ever did in any of his writings. (Calmet, Tirinus, etc.) --- The name of Christian should be common to all the faithful, and all other new names of sectaries abhorred. "If you hear," says St. Jerome, any where such as are said to be of Christ, "not to have their name from Christ, but from some other, as Marcionites, Valentinians, (as now also Lutherans, Calvinists, etc. etc. etc. etc.) know that they belong not to the Church of Christ, but to the synagogue of Antichrist." St. Pacianus, in his letter to Sympronian, says, when heresies had arisen, and endeavoured by diverse names to tear the dove of the Lord and Queen in pieces, the faithful required their surname: hence they who before were called Christians, are now surnamed also Catholics. Christian is my name and Catholic my surname. By this term Catholic, the apostles, in their creed, have distinguished the one true visible Church from all and every other congregation, sect, or party. This mark is so self-evident, that St. Augustine hesitates not to say: "In the lap of the Church the very name Catholic keepeth me." (Cont. ep. fund. ch. IV.) --- Again, in his book on the utility of believing, he says: "if after these troubles of mind you still are tossed and vexed, and wish for peace, follow the way of Catholic discipline, which from Christ himself, by the apostles, hath proceeded even unto us, and shall proceed form hence to the latest posterity." (1 Timothy 3:15.)
Acts 11:27 And in these days there came prophets from Jerusalem to Antioch.

Acts 11:28 And one of them, named Agabus, rising up, signified by the spirit, that there should be a great famine over the whole world, which came to pass under Claudius.

Acts 11:29 And the disciples, every man according to his ability, resolved to send relief to the brethren who dwelt in Judea:

Who dwell in Judea. Most of the faithful in Jerusalem, who wished to live perfect lives, had sold their possessions, and placed the price in the hands of the apostles; and many others, who had not voluntarily relinquished their property, had probably lost most of it in the persecutions. Hence arose the particular distress of the brethren in Jerusalem, to relieve which the Gentiles made collections. It was meet, that they who had been made partakers of their spiritual goods, should now in time of need administer to them of their temporal substance. (Denis the Carthusian) --- Imitate the alms of these primitive Christians, and make to yourselves provision against another life. Oh how many are now clothed in silks, and abound in pleasures, but are naked and void of every thing, that will bear examination on the day of judgment! (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvi. in Act.)
Acts 11:30 Which also they did, sending it to the ancients by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.*

about the year A.D. 42. Sending it to the ancients;{ Ver. 30. Ad seniores, pros tous presbuterous. This Greek word presbuteros, in our Latin Vulgate is sometimes translated presbyter, sometimes senior, sometimes major natu, and is commonly put to signify bishops, or priests, as shall be seen hereafter.|} elders, etc. In this and diverse other places, are not to be understood such as were elder in age, but such as had offices and dignities, and by divine authority, and who with a due subordination were to govern the Church: so that by this word, were signified apostles, bishops, and priests. But of this more hereafter. (Witham) --- The ancients or priests, seniors, presbuterous. This is the first place in the New Testament, where priests are mentioned. Some interpreters think, that by this word, ancients, are meant the apostles; but this is not likely. The apostles must at that time have been dispersed over all the world. Others think it was some of the older deacons, who had charge of the alms. We like the opinion of those who think it means priests, subordinate to the apostles, who had the charge of governing the faithful, in their absence. Thus the Christian Church will appear modelled after the form of the synagogue. First, the bishop, who presides, corresponding to the head of the synagogue; the priests, to the ancients, who sat on the right and left of the chief; and the deacons, to the disciples of the Scribes, who studied the law. It must be allowed that many passages occur in Scripture, which it seems necessary to explain of priests of the second rank. St. Paul, (1 Timothy 5:1, 17-19.) St. James 5:14 orders the priests to be called to anoint the sick man, which cannot be explained of bishops, as there was only one in each town. It must nevertheless be observed, that this same word ancient, or priest, is often used in Scripture, and primitive writings, to designate a bishop. (Calmet)
Acts 12:0 Herod's persecution. Peter's deliverance by an Angel. Herod's punishment.

Acts 12:1 And *at the same time, Herod, the king, stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church.

about the year A.D. 42. Herod. Agrippa, made king by the emperor Caius. See Josephus 6:18. Jewish Antiquities, ch. VIII. and lib. XIX. Acts 5. put to death James the great, brother to John. (Witham) --- This man was the same as Agrippa, by which name he is most commonly known. He was brother to the famous Herodias, who was the cause of St. John the Baptist's decollation, (Calmet) and son-in-law of Herod the Great, by his father Aristobulus. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 12:2 And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.

St. James the elder, brother of St. John the evangelist.
Acts 12:3 And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to apprehend Peter also. Now it was in the days of the azymes.

The days of the azymes. By this we may know about the time when St. James was executed. Peter was to be reserved till after the Pasch, because it was not usual for the Jews to put any one to a violent death on a festival day. They would not damp the joy of the solemnity by such actions. (Menochius) --- Nothing can be more illiberal, nothing more unfounded, and unjust, than the accusation advanced by the translators of the Bible dedicated to King James. In their preface they say, that the Catholics keep the words, azymes, holocaust, pasch, etc. in their version, purposely "to darken the sense, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof, it may be kept from being understood." See the splendid Oxford edit. an. 1770. --- So far from this, we open the window, to let in the light; we break the shell, that the kernel may be eaten: we put aside the curtain, that a sight may be had into the holy place; we remove the cover of the well, that the good and humble may get to the water of life. If we retain certain words in the original tongue, it is for the same reason as our adversaries retain others, such as Amen, Sabaoth, Alleluia, Jehova, etc.
Acts 12:4 Whom when he had apprehended, he cast into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers, to be kept, intending after the Pasch to bring him forth to the people.

To four files of soldiers.{ Ver. 4. Quatuor quaternionibus, tessarsi tetradiois stratioton.|} To four times four soldiers, or to sixteen soldiers, each band or file consisting of four.
Acts 12:5 Peter, therefore, was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing, by the church, to God, for him.

Acts 12:6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, that very night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the guards before the door kept the prison.

With these two chains, according to the Roman custom, St. Peter must have been fastened to the two soldiers, that guarded him. Yet Peter slept secure, trusting in that Providence which sleepeth not.
Acts 12:7 And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands.

An Angel. This was probably his Angel guardian. It has always been the constant belief of the Church, that each individual is put under the protection of a tutelar Angel. (Haydock) --- St. Bernard, on these words of the psalm, he has given his Angels charge over thee, thus expresses himself: Wonderful condescension! and truly great love! He has given his Angels charge over thee, to guard thee in all thy ways. What is man, O God, that thou shouldst thus be mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou shouldst look upon him! What reverence, devotion, and confidence, should this word inspire in us! Reverence their presence, be grateful for their good will; have confidence in their protection; walk with circumspection; your Angel is present. In every abode, in every place, respect his presence. Let us love them too, destined to be in future our co-heirs; in the mean time, our guardians and patrons. What have we to fear under such guides? They cannot be overcome nor seduced; much less can they lead us astray. They are faithful, they are prudent, they are powerful. Why do we fear? Let us follow them; let us stick close to them; and we shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven. If a grievous temptation urges; if great tribulation hangs over you; call upon your leader your helper in opportunities, in tribulations; call upon him, and say, save us, or we perish, etc. (St. Bernard, Serm. in Psalm. Qui. habitat.) --- A light shined in the room. To Peter only; not to the rest. (Witham)
Acts 12:8 And the Angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

Acts 12:9 And going out, he followed him, and knew not that what was done by the Angel was true: but thought he saw a vision.

Acts 12:10 And having passed through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the Angel departed from him.

Acts 12:11 And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know truly, that the Lord hath sent his Angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

Peter coming to himself. Being now sensible that all was true. (Witham)
Acts 12:12 And considering he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, who was surnamed Mark, where many were assembled, and praying.

And considering or reflecting, what was best to be done. (Witham)
Acts 12:13 And when he knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhode.

Acts 12:14 And as soon as she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for joy, but running in, she told that Peter stood before the gate.

Acts 12:15 But they said to her: Thou art mad. But she affirmed that it was so. Then said they: It is his Angel.

Thou art mad, or talkest idly. --- Then said they, it is his Angel. It seems ridiculous to translate here a messenger. Does a messenger speak with the very voice of him that sends him? St. Chrysostom{ Ver. 15. It is his Angel. St. Chrysostom on these words, hom. xxvi. Ex hoc verum est quod unusquisque Angelum habet; alethes oti ekastos Aggelon echei.|} and others on this place observe, that they believed that every one, at least of the faithful, hath a good Angel. (Witham) --- "If proper Angels," saith St. Chrysostom, (T. 3:hom. 7. in laud. Paul.) "be deputed by our Lord to such as have only charge of their own existence, (as Israel said, Genesis 48:16. the Angel that delivereth me from all evils, bless these boys) much more are super-human spirits at hand to help those unto whom the charge and burden of the world is committed." Such persons as can believe that God permits evil spirits to tempt us, can find no difficulty surely in believing that the same good, just, and merciful Creator will permit good spirits to guide, protect, and assist us. Repeated proofs of both are found in holy writ. The learned Protestant commentator, Polus, on this text, says: Hujusmodi visis assueverat eo tempore Ecclesia, quae etiam novit fideles praesidio angelorum esse circumseptos. The Church at that period had been accustomed to similar apparitions, nor is she ignorant that the faithful are secured by the protection of Angels. (T. 4:p. 1494.)
Acts 12:16 But Peter continued knocking. And when they had opened, they saw him, and were astonished.

Acts 12:17 But he beckoning to them with his hand to hold their peace, told how the Lord had brought him out of prison, and he said: Tell these things to James and to the brethren. And going out, he went into another place.

He went into another place. Did not think fit to stay in the city of Jerusalem. St. Chrysostom takes notice, that upon another occasion, when he was delivered by an Angel out of prison, he went boldly the next day, and preached in the temple. (chap. 5:19.) but there he was ordered by an Angel so to do; now to stay without such orders, would have been rashly to expose himself, and in a manner tempting God. (Witham) --- Peter retired to another place, that he might not rashly expose himself to future danger. It is not just to depend on supernatural assistance, when human means are adequate to the effect. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.) --- St. Peter desires they will announce his miraculous deliverance to James, the then bishop of Jerusalem, and to the Christians, that they might see the effect of their prayers for him. St. James had, beyond a doubt, ordered general supplications to be made by all the brethren for St. Peter. (Bristow)
Acts 12:18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small confusion among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

Acts 12:19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not; having examined the keepers, he commanded they should be led to execution: and going down from Judea to Caesarea, he abode there.

Should be led{ Ver. 19. Jussit eos duci, apachthenai.|} away to punishment or death, according to the sense both of the Latin and Greek text. (Witham)
Acts 12:20 And he was angry with the Tyrians and the Sidonians. But they with one accord came to him, and having gained Blastus, who was the king's chamberlain, they desired peace, because their countries were nourished by him.

In the Greek, he was preparing to make war against them. These applied not to agriculture, but drew their support from Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 12:21 And upon a day appointed, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on the judgment-seat, and made an oration to them.

Acts 12:22 And the people with acclamations cried out: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

Acts 12:23 And forthwith an Angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the honour to God: and eaten up by worms, he expired.*

about the year A.D. 42. Struck him. Josephus relates, that when Herod saw he must die, he replied to the flatteries of the people, "See, he whom you call a god, is snatched out of life, in spite of himself. The necessity of suffering death proves the falsity of your words; but we must submit to the will of God." (Jewish Antiquities, lib. xvii. Acts 9. and The Jewish War, lib. 1:chap. 21.) --- Princes may take warning from this example, not to take delight in the praises and flatteries of their subjects, so as to forget themselves to be men, and the God of heaven to be the supreme Lord of all, to whose just tribunal princes and subjects are equally amenable. (Haydock) --- Eaten up by worms. A visible judgment of God, for his pride and vanity. (Witham)
Acts 12:24 But the word of the Lord increased and multiplied.

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, *having fulfilled their ministry, taking with them John, who was surnamed Mark.

Acts 11:30.
Returned from Jerusalem, to Antioch, the capital of Syria. (Witham) --- This John Mark, the companion of Sts. Paul and Barnabas, was not the evangelist who bore that name; but a cousin of Barnabas, son of Mary, in whose house the apostles generally assembled at Jerusalem. (Calmet)
Acts 13:0 Saul and Barnabas are sent forth by the Holy Ghost. They preach in Cyprus and in Antioch of Pisidia.

Acts 13:1 Now *there were in the church, which was at Antioch, prophets and teachers, among whom was Barnabas, and Simon, who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manahen, who was the foster-brother of Herod, the tetrarch, and Saul.

about the year A.D. 42. Manahen ... foster-brother to Herod, or nursed with the same milk. (Witham) --- It would appear from his having been brought up with Herod, that he was of noble parentage. He is likewise believed to have been one of the seventy-two disciples. The Latins keep his feast on the 24th of May. (Calmet)
Acts 13:2 And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work to which I have taken them.

As they were ministering to the Lord.{ Ver. 2. Ministrantibus illus, leitourgounton de auton. Erasmus translates, Sacrificantibus, but St. Chrysostom, toutesti keruttonton, praedicantibus.|} Mr. N. and some others translate, offering up sacrifice. There are indeed good grounds to take this to be the true sense, as the Rhemish translators observed, who notwithstanding only put ministering, lest, (said they) we should seem to turn it in favour of our own cause, since neither the Latin nor Greek word signifies of itself to sacrifice, but any public ministry in the service of God; so the St. Chrysostom says, when they were preaching. (Witham) --- Separate me. Though Paul and Barnabas are here chosen by the Holy Ghost for the ministry, yet they were to be ordained, consecrated, and admitted by men; which loudly condemns all those modish and disordered spirits, that challenge and usurp the office of preaching, and other sacred and ecclesiastical functions, without any appointment from the Church. (Bristow) --- Consider, says St. Chrysostom, by whom they are ordained: by Lucius, of Cyrene, and Manahen, rather than by the Spirit. The less honourable these persons are, the more signal is the grace of God."
Acts 13:3 Then they fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away.

Fasting and prayer, imposing their hands upon them. By which is clearly expressed, the manner in which the ministers of God were, and are still ordained bishops, priests, deacons in the Church. (Witham) --- Interpreters are much divided in opinion, whether this imposition of hands be a mere deputation to a certain employment, or the sacramental ceremony, by which orders are conferred. Sts. Chrysostom, Leo, etc. are of the latter opinion; nor does it any where appear that St. Paul was bishop before this. Arator, sub-deacon of the Church of Rome, who dedicated in the year 544 his version of the Acts of the Apostles into heroic verse to Pope Virgilius, attributes this imposition of hands to St. Peter: ----------Quem mox sacravit euntem Imposita Petrus ille manu, cui sermo magistri Omnia posse dedit.---------- --- See his printed poems in 4to. Venice, an. 1502. Arator was sent in quality of ambassador from Athalaric to the emperor Justinian. --- Following the practice of the apostles, the Church of God ordains a solemn and general fast on the four public times for ordination, the ember days, as a necessary preparation for so great a work, and this St. Leo calls also an apostolical tradition. See St. Leo, serm. ix. de jejun. and ep. lxxxi. Acts 1. and serm. 3:and 4:de jejun. 7. mensis.--- Nor was this fasting a fasting from sin, as some ridiculously affirm, for such fasting was a universal obligation: nor was it left to each one's discretion, as certain heretics maintained. See St. Augustine, haeres. liii.
Acts 13:4 So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia: and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

Acts 13:5 And when they were come to Salamina, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also in the ministry.

In the synagogues of the Jews, preaching first the gospel to them. (Witham)
Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a certain man, a magician, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesu,

A magician ... whose name was Bar-jesu, son of Jesus, or Josue. In Arabic, Elymas is the same as magician. This man did all he could to dissuade the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, from embracing the Christian faith. (Witham) --- Salamina was the capital of the island of Cyprus, and at the eastern extremity, as Paphos was at the western. A. D. 45.
Acts 13:7 Who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man. He, sending for Barnabas and Saul, desired to hear the word of God.

Acts 13:8 But Elymas, the magician, (for so his name is interpreted) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith.

Acts 13:9 Then Saul, otherwise Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, looking upon him,

Then Saul, who also is Paul. This is the first time we find the apostle called Paul. Some, therefore, think it was given him when he converted this proconsul, Sergius Paulus. Others, that Saul being a Hebrew word, the Greeks, or rather the Romans, turned it into Paul. (Witham) --- This is the first place in which this apostle is called Paul. He took this name out of respect to the illustrious convert he had made in the person of the proconsul, the governor of the island. (Menochius) --- Or, more probably, his former name, by a small change, was modelled into Paulus, which was a sound more adapted to a Roman ear. He begins to bear this name only, when he enters on his mission to the Gentiles. (Calmet)
Acts 13:10 Said: O thou full of all guile, and of all deceit, son of the devil, enemy of all justice, thou dost not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord.

Son of the devil. Sharp language, when grounded on truth, may be used against those who hinder the conversion of others. St. Chrysostom says, he was struck with this blindness only for a time, to make him enter into himself, and be converted. (Witham)
Acts 13:11 And now behold the hand of the Lord upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a time. And immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness, and going about, he sought some one to lead him by the hand.

Acts 13:12 Then the proconsul, when he had seen what was done, believed, marvelling at the doctrine of the Lord.

Acts 13:13 And when Paul, and they who were with him, had sailed from Paphos, they came to Perge, in Pamphylia. *But John departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

about the year A.D. 42.
Acts 13:14 But they passing through Perge, came to Antioch, in Pisidia: and entering into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, they sat down.

Antioch. Many cities in Asia Minor bore this name. It is related that Seleucus Nicanor built many, and called them by this name, in honour of his father Antiochus. (Tirinus) --- Pamphylia and Pisidia were two provinces in Asia Minor. --- The sabbath-day. Some not only understand, but even translate, the first day of the week: but here is rather meant the Jewish sabbath, as St. Paul went into their synagogues. And in this his first sermon to them, which St. Luke has set down, he speaks nothing that could offend or exasperate the Jews, but honourably of them, to gain them to the Christian faith; he commends in particular David, whose Son they knew the Messias was to be: and of whom he tells them, that God had given them their Saviour, Jesus. He mentions this high eulogium, which God gave of David, Psalm 88:21. that he was a man according to God's heart, who in all things should fulfil his will, that is, as to the true worship of God; though he fell into some sins, of which he repented, and did penance. (Witham)
Acts 13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying: Ye men, brethren, if you have any word of exhortation to make to the people, speak.

Acts 13:16 Then Paul rising up, and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Ye men of Israel, and you that fear God, give ear.

Acts 13:17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people, when they were sojourners* in the land of Egypt, **and with a mighty arm brought them out from thence,

Exodus 1:1.; Exodus 13:21-22.
Acts 13:18 *And for the space of forty years endured their manners in the desert.

Exodus 16:3.
Acts 13:19 And destroying seven nations in the land of Chanaan, *he divided their land to them, by lot,

Josue 14:2.
These seven nations are the Chanaanites, the Hethites, the Hevites, the Pherezites, the Gergesites, the Jebusites, and the Amorrhites. (Josue 3:10.; and alibi.)
Acts 13:20 As it were, after four hundred and fifty years:* and after these things, he gave them judges, until Samuel, the prophet.

Judges 3:9.
Chronology only gives about 350 years from the entrance into the land of promise to the end of Samuel's judicial government, who was the last of the judges. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 13:21 And afterwards *they desired a king: and God gave them Saul, the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years.

1 Kings 8:5.; 1 Kings 9:16.; 1 Kings 10:1.
Acts 13:22 *And when he had removed him, he raised them up David to be king: to whom giving testimony, he said: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my will.

1 Kings 13:14.; 1 Kings 16:3.
Acts 13:23 Of this man's seed God, *according to his promise, hath raised up to Israel a Saviour, Jesus,

Psalm 88:21.
Acts 13:24 *John first preaching before his coming the baptism of penance to all the people of Israel.

Isaias 11:1.
etc. He then brings the testimony, which John the Baptist gave of Jesus, as it is likely many of them had heard of John, and of the great esteem that all the people had of his virtue and sanctity. He tells them that salvation was offered and sent them by Jesus, against whom the chief of the Jews at Jerusalem obtained of Pilate a sentence, that he should be crucified; but that God raised him up from the dead the third day. And we, says he, publish to you this promise, the Messias, promised to our forefathers.
Acts 13:25 And when John was fulfilling his course, he said: *I am not he, whom you think me to be: but behold he cometh after me, the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.

Matthew 3:1.; Mark 1:4.; Luke 3:3.
Acts 13:26 Men, brethren, sons of the race of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God, to you the word of this salvation is sent.

Acts 13:27 For they who inhabited Jerusalem, and the rulers thereof, not knowing him, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every sabbath, judging him, have fulfilled them,

Acts 13:28 And finding no cause of death in him, *they petitioned of Pilate, that they might put him to death.

Matthew 3:11.; Mark 1:7.; John 1:27.
Acts 13:29 And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, taking him down from the tree, they laid him in a sepulchre.

Acts 13:30 *But God raised him up from the dead the third day: who was seen for many days by those,

Matthew 27:20-23.; Mark 15:13.; Luke 28:21.; Luke 28:23.; John 19:15.
Acts 13:31 Who went up together with him from Galilee to Jerusalem: who, to this present time, are witnesses of him to the people.

Acts 13:32 And we declare to you that the promise which was made to our fathers,

Acts 13:33 This same hath God fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus again, as in the second Psalm also is written: *Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Matthew 28.; Mark 16.; Luke 24.; John 20.
He then shews them that Jesus was their Messias, and the Son of God, begotten of his Father from eternity, who rose from the dead, and he applies these words, (Psalm 2:7.) to prove Christ's resurrection, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. It is true, these words regard chiefly the eternal generation of Christ, as they are applied by St. Paul, (Hebrews 5:5.) but the resurrection was a necessary consequence of his divinity, since death could have no power over him. St. Paul here also proves Christ's resurrection by the following predictions. (Witham) --- Second psalm. The oldest copy reads, first psalm. The difference is merely in words; for the division of the psalter at present is very different from what it formerly was: sometimes a single psalm of ours being divided into many, and many of our divisions making only one, according to the Hebrews. The latter are not even now agreed among themselves on the same division of the psalms. (Calmet) --- Some suppose, that what we call the first psalm was originally looked upon as a preface to the psalter; others, that our first and second psalms united in one. (Mat. Polus.)
Acts 13:34 And to shew that he raised him up from the dead to return now no more to corruption, he said thus: *That I will give you the holy things of David sure.

Psalm 2:7.
I will give you the holy things of David sure. These are the words of the prophet Isaias, lv. ver. 3. According to the Septuagint the sense is, I will faithfully fulfil the promises I made to David. (Challoner)
Acts 13:35 And, therefore, in another place also he saith: *Thou shalt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.

Isaias 55:3.
In another place also he saith, (Psalm 15:10.) thou wilt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption. That is, Christ's body to be corrupted in the grave. See the words of St. Peter, Acts Acts 2:27. (Witham)
Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served in his generation, according to the will of God, *slept: and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.

Psalm 15:10.
After he had served in his generation. That is, in his life-time, saw corruption, or was corrupted in the grave. (Witham)
Acts 13:37 But he whom God hath raised from the dead, saw no corruption.

\f + \fr 13:37-38\ft Justified. That your sins being forgiven by the merits of Christ, you may be truly just in the sight of God. (Witham)
Acts 13:38 Be it known, therefore, to you, men, brethren, that through him forgiveness of sins is preached to you: and from all the things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses,

Acts 13:39 In him every one, who believeth, is justified.

The law of Moses was then imperfect. I shew you its completion, by preaching to you Christ, whom it foretold. You would violate the law of Moses by opposing the new law, to which he leads you. (Tirinus)
Acts 13:40 Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you which is said in the prophets:

See then that you reject not this divine Saviour, lest what has been denounced by the prophets fall upon your incredulous heads: I will abandon the holy place which I entrusted to you; I will cease to look upon you as my people; I will transfer my kingdom to the Gentiles. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 13:41 *Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you will not believe, if any man shall tell it you.

3 Kings 2:10.; Habacuc 1:5.
Ye despisers{ Ver. 41. Habacuc 1:5. In the Latin text, and according to the Hebrew, aspicite in Gentibus: but in the Septuagint and Greek here, idete kataphronetai.|} of the favours offered you, behold, wonder, etc. This citation is out of Habacuc, (chap. 1:ver. 5.) according to the Septuagint. The prophet, by these words, foretold to the Jews in his time the evils that would come upon them in their captivity in Chaldea, but St. Paul here applies them at least to the miseries that the incredulous Jews would incur, if they obstinately refused to believe in Christ. (Witham)
Acts 13:42 And as they went out, they desired them that on the next sabbath they would speak these words to them.

Acts 13:43 And when the synagogue was broken up, many of the Jews, and of the strangers who served God, followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Acts 13:44 But the next sabbath-day, the whole city almost came together, to hear the word of God.

The whole city. Not only Jews, but a great many Gentiles, which exasperated the envious Jews. (Witham)
Acts 13:45 And the Jews seeing the multitudes, were filled with envy, and contradicted those things which were said by Paul, blaspheming.

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas said boldly: To you it behoved us first to speak the word of God: but seeing you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life: behold we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:47 For so the Lord hath commanded us: *I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles: that thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.

Isaias 49:6.
Acts 13:48 And the Gentiles hearing this, were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were pre-ordained to eternal life, believed.

As many as were pre-ordained to eternal life,{ Ver. 48. Praeordinati, tetagmenoi, on which St. Chrysostom says, toutesti aphorismenoi, praedefiniti.|} by the free election, and special mercies, and providence of God. (Witham) --- Some understand this as if it meant, predisposed by their docility, to receive the word of life. But the Fathers unanimously understand it literally of predestination, which is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, serm. 1:qu. 23. a. 1. "The disposition of God, by which he prepares, what he will himself perform, according to his infallible foreknowledge." In other words, it is the manner in which God conducts a reasonable creature to its proper destiny, which is eternal life. In this mystery of the Catholic faith, which cannot be clearly explained to human understanding, because it is a mystery, there are nevertheless several points, which we know for certain. 1st. Though it is certain, that this decree of the Almighty is infallible, and must have its effect, yet it is far removed from the blasphemy of Calvinists, who pretend that it destroys free-will, and therefore removes all motives of exertion to good works. 2nd. For it is a point of Catholic faith, that this foreknowledge of the Almighty no ways interferes with man's liberty, but leaves him still a perfectly free agent, and therefore responsible for his actions. 3rd. It is likewise decreed by the Council of Trent, that no one can certainly know that he is of the number of the predestined, without a special revelation to that effect. These are the most essential points, which it concerns us to know of this doctrine. As to the consequences which may be drawn from these positions, it were better for us to submit our understandings to the obedience of faith, than entangle ourselves in a maze of abstruse errors, far removed from our comprehension. Would that this sober line of conduct were pursued by many moderns, who at present talk and write so much on this subject, and to such little purpose. How excellently well does the great genius of the Latin Church, St. Augustine, say: Melius est dubitare de occultis, quam litigare de occultis! How much wiser and better is it to confess our ignorance on mysteries, than idly to dispute on mysteries! (lib. viii. de Gen. ad litt. Acts 5.)
Acts 13:49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout the whole country.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up religious and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised a persecution against Paul and Barnabas: and cast them out of their borders.

Acts 13:51 *But they shaking off the dust of their feet against them, came to Iconium.**

Matthew 10:14.; Mark 6:11.; Luke 9:5.
about the year A.D. 42. Shaking off the dust, etc. See the Annotations, Matthew 10:14.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 14:0 Paul and Barnabas preach in Iconium and Lystra: Paul heals a cripple; they are taken for gods. Paul is stoned. They preach in Derbe and Perge.

Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews and spoke, so that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks did believe.

And of the Greeks. Which is here put for the Gentiles. (Witham)
Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews, stirred up, and incensed the minds of the Gentiles against the brethren.

The unbelieving Jews stirred up, etc. It would hence appear, that the former were not very scrupulous in the means they took to oppose the gospel. They, who would have been dreadfully scandalized to have spoken to a Gentile for any good purpose, are not very nice in having intercourse with them to irritate them against the apostles. Such is the general conduct of men whose religion is vain. That sacred name is used for a pretext to authorize the most unwarrantable actions. (Haydock)
Acts 14:3 A long time, therefore, they abode there, acting confidently in the Lord, who gave testimony to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

To the word of his grace. That is, of the gospel, and the law of grace. (Witham)
Acts 14:4 And the multitude of the city was divided: and some indeed held with the Jews, but some with the apostles.

Acts 14:5 And when there was an assault made by the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, to treat them contumeliously, and to stone them:

Acts 14:6 *Understanding it, they fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the whole country round about, and were there preaching the gospel.

about the year A.D. 43.
Acts 14:7 Now there sat a certain man at Lystra disabled in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who never had walked.

Acts 14:8 This man heard Paul speaking: who looking upon him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,

Perceiving that he had. It does not appear that St. Paul had any previous conversation with the man he healed on this occasion, or demanded from him any testimony of his faith. But he saw that he had faith, perhaps by inspiration, or by the confidence and eagerness the lame man may have shewn in his countenance and actions. (Calmet, etc.)
Acts 14:9 Said with a loud voice: Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped up and walked.

Acts 14:10 And when the multitudes had seen what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice in the Lycaonian tongue, saying: The gods, in the likeness of men, are come down to us.

Acts 14:11 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter: but Paul, Mercury; because he was chief speaker.

And they called Barnabas, Jupiter. Perhaps because he was of taller and finer stature; for, according to Nicephorus (hist. 2:37.) St. Paul was very low in size, and much bent; hence St. Chrysostom says of him, tricubitalis est, et coelos transcendit, though not more than three cubits high, he yet transcends the heavens, and hence for his eloquence, he was called Mercury. Jupiter was said to take Mercury with him, as may be seen in Amphitryone Plauti.
Acts 14:12 The priest also of Jupiter, that was before the city, bringing oxen and garlands before the gate, would have offered sacrifice with the people.

Garlands. These might be for the victims, as they generally were crowned, or had gilded horns. Victima labe carens, praestantissima forma, Sistitur ante aras, vittis praesignis et auro.---Ovid. --- Or they might be for the two pretended gods, as it was usual to crown their statues. (Pliny, lib. xvi. Acts 4.) --- The priests likewise themselves, who sacrificed, wore crowns. (Virgil, Aeneid ii.)
Acts 14:13 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, had heard, rending their clothes, they ran among the people, crying out,

Acts 14:14 And saying: Men, why do ye these things? We also are mortals, men like unto you, preaching to you to be converted from these vain things to the living God, *who made the heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them:

Genesis 1:1.; Psalm 114:6.; Apocalypse 14:7.
We also are mortals. The enraptured people wished to pay divine homage, thoein, to the apostles, and therefore they indignantly reject the proffered honours. The Catholic Church has but one external sacrifice, and this she offereth to God only, and "neither to Peter nor to Paul, saith St. Augustine, though the priest that sacrificeth, standeth over their bodies, and offereth in their memories." (lib. viii. de Civit. Dei. Acts 27.)
Acts 14:15 Who in past generations suffered all nations to walk in their own way.

Suffered all nations to walk in their own way. Literally, dismissed all nations, suffering them to run on in their idolatry, and other sins, not favouring them with a written law, as he did the Jews, etc. (Witham)
Acts 14:16 Nevertheless he left not himself without testimony, doing good from heaven, giving rains, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

He left not himself without testimony. Inasmuch as the Gentiles had always the light of reason, and such lights, that by the created things of this world, and from the visible effects of God's providence, they might have come to the knowledge of the true God, the creator of all things. See Romans 1. (Witham) --- God did not leave himself without testimony among the Gentiles. He did not leave them without the means of discovering the way which led to him. They had the law of nature engraved in their hearts, the knowledge of good and evil, etc. (Menochius) --- Therefore they were inexcusable, if they did not know him. The invisible things of God, his eternal divinity might have been known to them from the consideration of the visible creation. (Romans 1:20.)
Acts 14:17 And speaking these things, they scarce restrained the people from sacrificing to them.

Acts 14:18 Now there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium: and having persuaded the multitude, and stoned Paul, they dragged him out of the city, thinking him to be dead.

Acts 14:19 But as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and entered into the city, and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Acts 14:20 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra and to Iconium, and to Antioch:

Acts 14:21 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith: and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.

Through many tribulations. Our daily offences require the paternal chastisement of the Almighty. The concupiscence of the flesh too, which wills against the spirit, must be subdued by punishment. Woe then to you, lovers of this world, who wish to pass your lives without tribulation, enemies of the cross. Senseless creatures, is the disciple above his master? Did it not become Christ first to suffer, and thus to enter into his glory? and shall we pretend to enter by any other means? etc. (Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 14:22 And when they had ordained for them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed.

When they had ordained for them priests.{ Ver. 22. Cum constituissent presbyteros, cheirotonesantes presbuterous. Mr. Bois on this verse: Si usum loquendi potius quam syllabas ipsas, quibus inhaerere saepè parum tutum est, respicias, cheirotonein, nihil aliud declarat, quam constituere, creare, ordinare. See Mr. Legh, in thesauro linguae graecae.|} The Protestant translation, following the grammatical etymology of the Greek word presbyter, always puts elders. Yet they of the Church of England allow, and maintain, that by this Greek word in this, and many other places, are signified the ministers of God, known by the name of bishops or priests, according to the ecclesiastical use of the same word. It is evident that here are not meant elders, as to age and years. Nay, though we adhere to the grammatical signification, we should rather translate priests, since the English word priest, as well as the French word prêtre, come from presbyter. But of this word more hereafter. We may also take notice, that the Calvinists here translate, ordained by election, pretending by the derivation of the Greek word, that church ministers were only chosen, and deputed by the votes and suffrages of people; and not by any ordination, or consecration by a bishop; nor by any character or sacrament of order. But their argument from this Greek word is frivolous, and groundless, as hath been shewn by Mr. Bois on this verse, by Mr. Legh in his Critica Sacra, etc. (Witham) --- We see from this text, 1st, that Sts. Paul and Barnabas were bishops, having authority to confer holy orders: 2nd. that there was even then a difference betwixt bishops and priests, though the name in the primitive Church was often used indifferently; 3rd. that fasting and praying were constant preparatives for holy orders. (Bristow)
Acts 14:23 And passing through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia.

Acts 14:24 And having spoken the word of the Lord in Perge, they went down into Attalia:

This Antioch was a sea-port in Pamphylia. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 14:25 *And thence they sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been delivered to the grace of God, unto the work which they accomplished.

Acts 13:1.
From whence they had been delivered, up to their ministry, and their apostolical mission by the grace of God; that is, where they had been first chosen by the direction of the Spirit of God, ordained priests and bishops, and had received power, and graces to discharge their offices of apostles. (Witham)
Acts 14:26 And when they were come, and had assembled the church, they related what great things God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Acts 14:27 And they abode no little time with the disciples.

No little time. It is not precisely known how long he remained there, nor what he did. St. Luke relates nothing of what happened from the 46th year of Christ to the 51st [from A.D. 46 to A.D. 51], in which the Council of Jerusalem was held. It is probable St. Paul spent that time carrying the gospel among the neighbouring provinces. (Calmet)
Acts 15:0 A dissension about circumcision. The decision and letter of the council of Jerusalem.

Acts 15:1 And *some coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That unless you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.

Galatians 5:2.
about the year A.D. 49. Unless you be circumcised. Many who had been converted from Judaism, held that none, not even converted from paganism, could be saved, unless they were circumcised, and observed the other ceremonies of the law of Moses. (Witham) --- See Galatians 5:2.
Acts 15:2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of the other side, should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem, about this question.

To the apostles and priests,{ Ver. 2. presbuterous; presbyteros. For the same Greek word we sometimes find in the vulgar Latin, presbyteros, sometimes seniores, sometimes majores natu: yet it is generally a word of dignity in the ministry of Christ, signifying those who were afterwards known by the name of bishops or priests. When mention is made of presbuteros, or seniores, of the old law, I have translated elders: but where the ministers of the new law are understood, when in the Latin we have presbyteri, I have put priests; when majores natu or seniores, I have put in English seniors, bishops or priests, being to be understood.|} where we find again presbyters in Greek, meaning bishops and priests. (Witham) --- Paul...should go to...Jerusalem. We learn from Galatians 2:2. 4. that St. Paul undertook this journey in consequence of a divine revelation, and was accompanied by Barnabas and Titus, the latter of whom he would not suffer to be circumcised. Such confidence had he in the rectitude of the opinion he defended. From the example of St. Paul and St. Barnabas, apostles, and men full of the Spirit of God, we learn, that as often as any contest arises about faith, recourse should be had to the supreme visible authority established by Jesus Christ, to have all differences adjusted. This is the order of divine Providence with regard to the Church; without it truth and unity could not be preserved; without it, the Church of God would be more defective and inefficient than any human government. Tell the Church: and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. (Matthew 18:17.)
Acts 15:3 They, therefore, being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phoenice, and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church, and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them.

Acts 15:5 But there arose some of the sect of the Pharisees that believed, saying: They must be circumcised, and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.

Acts 15:6 And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.

Acts 15:7 And when there was much disputing, Peter rising up, said to them: *Men, brethren, you know that in former days God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

Acts 10:20.
Former days. Literally, in the days of old; that is, at the conversion of Cornelius, many years ago, about the year 35; and it was now 51. (Witham) --- St. Peter at the head of the Council, spoke first; St. James as Bishop of Jerusalem, spoke next, and all, as St. Jerome says, came into the sentence of Peter. (Ep. lxxxix. ad S. Aug. Acts 2.)
Acts 15:8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave them testimony, *giving the Holy Ghost to them as well as to us.

Acts 10:45.
Acts 15:9 And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Acts 15:10 Now, therefore, why tempt you God, to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Why tempt you God, by calling in question what he hath sufficiently attested, and approved, and by being incredulous to his promises of giving salvation to the Gentiles, and to all nations. (Witham)
Acts 15:11 But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe to be saved, as they also.

In the historical sense he is speaking of the prosperity of the house of Juda, in the reign of Ezechias, or their return from captivity. But in this respect, it is certain that the prophecy never had its entire accomplishment. The passage in the text is cited from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is, "I will raise up the house of David...that it may possess all the nations," etc. Now it is true that the nations never were subject to the house of David, or known by the name of the people of God; but by their vocation to the gospel, as St. James explains it. (Calmet)
Acts 15:12 And all the multitude held their peace: and gave ear to Barnabas and Paul, relating what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men, brethren, hear me.

Acts 15:14 Simon hath related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people to his name.

Acts 15:15 And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written:

Acts 15:16 *After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will rebuild the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

Amos 9:11.
Acts 15:17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord, and all nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, who doth these things.

Acts 15:18 To the Lord was known his own work from the beginning of the world.

To the Lord was known his own work. He bringeth it to pass, as he hath decreed, though his decrees are to us unknown. (Witham)
Acts 15:19 Wherefore I judge that they, who from among the Gentiles are converted to God, are not to be disquieted.

Wherefore I judge, and join my judgment with Peter. St. Chrysostom thinks that James had a special authority in the Council, as bishop of Jerusalem, and because of the great veneration, which those zealous for the Jewish law had for him: but his power was certainly inferior to that of St. Peter, who was head of all, as St. Chrysostom teacheth, hom. 3:on the Acts.
Acts 15:20 But that we write to them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Things strangled and from blood. In these prohibitions, the Church indulged the particular feelings of the Jews, that the bond of union between them and the Gentiles might be more closely united; the latter in these two instances giving way to the prejudices of the former, who in their turn gave up much, by submitting to the abolition of the ceremonial law of Moses. This prohibition was of course only temporary, and to cease with the reasons, which gave rise to it. (Menochius) --- The Jews had such a horror of blood, that they considered those who eat it as defiled, and violators of the law of nature. The Lord had in effect from the beginning forbidden the use of blood to Noe, (Genesis 9:4.) which he likewise reported in the strongest terms in Leviticus 7:26. By this we see the great authority of God's Church, and Councils which may make permanent or temporary decrees, such as are fitting for the state of the times or peoples, without any express Scripture at all, and by this authoritative exaction, things become of strict obligation, which previous to it, were in themselves indifferent. (Bristow)
Acts 15:21 For Moses, from ancient times, hath in every city them that preach him in the synagogues, *where he is read every sabbath.

Acts 13:27.
For Moses...hath in every city. Not only the Jews, but the Christians converted from Judaism, still followed the ceremonies of the law of Moses. (Witham) --- Let not the Jews complain, that we abandon Moses, and destroy the law by this regulation. No: it shall subsist for ever in a more perfect state, read in the synagogue, and revered by the Church. (Calmet) --- Others give a different explanation of this verse. Let the Jews, say they, follow Moses, and hear him in their assemblies; we have other laws, and enjoy other privileges. (Tirinus)
Acts 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and ancients, with the whole church, to choose men of their own company, and to send them to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren,

Acts 15:23 Writing by their hands. The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles, that are at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, greeting.

The brethren of the Gentiles. Hence we see, that the letter, with the decree of the Council, only regarded those converts, who had been Gentiles; neither are they forbidden to use the Jewish ceremonies, but a declaration is made, that they have no obligation to follow the said ceremonies and precepts, as it will appear by other places. (Witham)
Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that some, who went out from us, have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no commands:

Some who went out from us, from Jerusalem, and pretended to speak our mind, and in our name, but we gave them no such commission. (Witham) --- A proper description of heretics, schismatics, and seditious preachers, who go out from their own superiors, and pretend to teach and preach without any mission, et quomodo praedicabunt nisi mittantur; how can they preach, unless they are sent? (Romans 10:15.)
Acts 15:25 It hath seemed good to us, assembled together, to choose out men, and send them to you, with our dearly beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Acts 15:26 Men who have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 15:27 We have sent, therefore, Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.

Acts 15:28 For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay no further burden upon you, than these necessary things:

It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us. To us in these matters, wherein by the promises of Christ, we are directed by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, etc. --- Than these necessary things. Necessary at this juncture, and always, if we except that order of abstaining from blood, and things strangled, which was not a perpetual, unchangeable precept, but to last only for a time, as St. Chrysostom observes. (Witham) --- This is the first general council held in the Church, and the model of all succeeding ones. In it the apostles, in a commanding and authoritative manner, laid down the law, which was to be the guide of the faithful, knowing they had a right to impose any regulations in the Church, and that they could not employ this authority but to good purposes, directed as they were by the unerring spirit of truth, which Christ had promised (Matthew 28:20.) should remain with his Church for ever. Hence it would appear that we have no more ground refusing obedience to the voice of the Church at present, than at her first establishment: and that those who will not hear the Church now, speaking in her Councils, would with as little ceremony have opposed the apostles on this occasion, had they lived at the time. By what spirit of seduction has been introduced, and spread, to such an alarming extent, the opinion, that Christianity (the very leading feature of which is to hear and to obey) authorizes unrestricted liberty? Is then authority an unmeaning word? (Haydock)
Acts 15:29 That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.

From blood, and from things strangled. The use of these things, though of their own nature indifferent, were here prohibited, to bring the Jews more easily to admit of the society of the Gentiles; and to exercise the latter in obedience. But this prohibition was but temporary, and has long since ceased to oblige; more especially in the western churches. (Challoner) --- See note on ver. 20, above.
Acts 15:30 They, therefore, being dismissed, went down to Antioch: and when they had gathered together the multitude, they delivered the epistle.

Acts 15:31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

We may here briefly remark, that the controversy was finally adjusted by the decree of the Council. 2ndly, That all, not only the Gentiles, but the abettors and masters of the former dissension, experienced great consolation in the promulgation of the decision, receiving it as the resolve not of mere mortal men, but of the Holy Ghost. It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.
Acts 15:32 But Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, comforted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

Judas and Silas, being prophets, that is, preachers, as the word prophet, is divers times taken. (Witham) --- Not only such were called prophets, as had the gift of predicting future events, but such moreover as had the gift of interpreting Scripture, and of speaking of the things of God. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 15:33 And having remained there some time, they were dismissed with peace, by the brethren, to those who had sent them.

Acts 15:34 But it seemed good to Silas to remain there: and Judas alone set out for Jerusalem.

Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others the word of the Lord.

Acts 15:36 *And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas: Let us return and visit the brethren in all the cities, wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how they do.

about the year A.D. 51.
Acts 15:37 And Barnabas wished to take along with him John also, who was surnamed Mark.

Acts 15:38 But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia, *and not gone with them to the work) might not be received.

Acts 13:13.
Acts 15:39 And there was a dissension, so that they departed one from another, and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus.

There was a dissension,{ Ver. 39. Dissentio, paroxusmos, acris disceptatio. See. St. Chrysostom.|} or dispute, with reasoning, and arguing upon the matter. St. Paul represented to St. Barnabas, that he was not for having John Mark to be their companion, because he had before left them, but St. Barnabas was for having with them his kinsman Mark; and the dispute was such, that upon it St. Paul and Barnabas separated; which gave occasion to the preaching of the gospel in more places. See St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii. --- The fault in this contention lay with St. Barnabas; o Paulos to dikaion, o Barnabas to philanthropon: Paul sought what was just; Barnabas what was pleasing to nature. The Greeks, moreover, remark, that this severity of Paul was of service in strengthening the too pliant character of Mark, and as such he is saluted by Paul. (Colossians 4:10.) They separated, as formerly Abraham and Lot, without prejudice to their friendship. (Genesis 13:9.) (Mat. Polus, synop. criticorum, fol. 4. p. 1528.)
Acts 15:40 But Paul, choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.

Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches: commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles, and the ancients.

Acts 16:0 Paul visits the churches. He is called to preach in Macedonia. He is scourged at Philippi.

Acts 16:1 And *he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold there was a certain disciple there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who believed, his father being a Gentile.

about the year A.D. 51.
Acts 16:2 To this man the brethren, who were in Lystra and Iconium, gave a good testimony.

Acts 16:3 Him Paul would have to go along with him: and taking him, he circumcised him, because of the Jews, who were in those places. For they all knew that his father was a Gentile.

Circumcised him. Not to obstruct the conversion of the Jews; and because it was still lawful to observe the Jewish ceremonies, though the obligation of keeping the old law had ceased. (Witham) --- This St. Paul did in order to gain the Jews, and make Timothy acceptable to them. (Tirinus) --- To the Jew, says he, (1 Corinthians 9:20.) I became a Jew, that I might gain the Jews. If he refused to circumcise Titus, in order to vindicate the Christian's independence of the Mosaic ceremonies; he now submits to the observance of them, to shew there is nothing of itself bad in them, and that they might without crime be practised, till time by degrees had abolished them. (St. Augustine, ep. lxxxii. ad S. Hieronymum)
Acts 16:4 And as they passed through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, that were decreed by the apostles and ancients, who were at Jerusalem.

Here, as well as in the last verse of the former chapter, we see St. Paul ordering the new converts, wherever he went, to receive, as their rule of conduct, the ordinances of the apostles and priests assembled in Jerusalem.
Acts 16:5 And the churches indeed were confirmed in faith, and increased in number daily.

Acts 16:6 Now having passed through Phrygia, and the country of Galatia, they were forbidden, by the Holy Ghost, to preach the word of God in Asia.

They were forbidden by the Holy Ghost, to go, and preach at that time in the Lesser Asia [Asia Minor], perhaps because their preaching in Macedonia was more necessary; or because St. John was to be sent into Asia [Asia Minor]. (Witham) --- Forbidden. Why? Because they were not yet prepared to receive the gospel; or, perhaps, these provinces were reserved for St. John, as Bithynia was for St. Luke. (Menochius) --- St. Leo compares this question to many others respecting the inscrutable judgments of God. Why did not the Son of God come into the world many ages before? Why did he suffer so many to die in ignorance? Why are there yet so many in infidelity? Why, in one family, does one believe and is converted, while another remains in darkness, and crime? Who shall account for the exercise he pleases to make of his rigour, or his mercy, when all were justly victims of the former? (St. Leo, de vocat. Gentium. lib. 2:chap. 2)
Acts 16:7 And when they were come into Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus permitted them not.

The spirit of Jesus permitted them not. It is the same spirit, which just before was called the Holy Ghost: for the Holy Ghost is the spirit of Jesus, as proceeding from the Son as well as from the Father. (Witham)
Acts 16:8 And when they had passed through Mysia, they went down to Troas:

Acts 16:9 And a vision was shewn to Paul in the night: A man of Macedonia standing, and beseeching him, and saying: Pass over into Macedonia, and help us.

A vision, etc. The tutelar angel of the province, according to most interpreters, under the form of a Macedonian, who implored St. Paul in behalf of the province he guarded.
Acts 16:10 And as soon as he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, being assured that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

We. This change in the narration from the third, to the first person, we sought, etc. is remarkable. It is hence inferred, that St. Luke, the author of this book, joined St. Paul at Troas, and became his inseparable companion. (Calmet) --- It is, however, probable, that as the narrative in the first person changes again at the end of this chapter, and is not resumed, till the fifth verse of the 20th chapter, that St. Luke was absent on some mission during the time that elapsed between this and their sailing from Philippi, as mentioned hereafter. (Chap. 20:6) (Tirinus)
Acts 16:11 So sailing from Troas, we came with a direct course to Samothracia, and the day following to Neapolis:

Acts 16:12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were in this city some days, conferring together.

Acts 16:13 And upon the sabbath-day, we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it seemed that there was prayer: and sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled.

There was prayer.{ Ver. 13. Oratio, proseuche, preces, oratio et Oratorium.|} The Greek word signifies either prayer itself, or an oratory, or place to pray in. (Witham) --- Not every prayer is here understood, but that which was joined in the celebration of the sacred mysteries. (Estius, in different location.) See 1 Corinthians vii. and Acts vi.
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman, named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us, whose heart the Lord opened to attend to the things which were spoken by Paul.

Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and remain. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain girl, possessed with a pythonical spirit, met us, who brought her masters much gain by divining.

A pythonical spirit. A spirit pretending to divination, to tell secrets, and things to come. See 2 Kings xxviii; Isaias 8:19. (Witham) --- A divining spirit, which pretended to foretell things to come. It is strictly forbidden every where throughout the old law to have any dealings with persons of this description. (Deuteronomy 18:10; Leviticus 20:27; etc.) Hence it would appear that these superstitions were of early practice among mankind. It is lamentable that the present age is still credulous enough to believe in such impostures. The ignorance of mankind, it appears, has always been made a source of emolument to the designing. (Haydock)
Acts 16:17 This same, following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who announce to you the way of salvation.

These men are the servants of the most high God. Evil spirits in possessed people, are sometimes forced to tell the truth. (Witham)
Acts 16:18 And this she did many days. But Paul being grieved, turned, and said to the spirit: I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to go out of her. And he went out the same hour.

Observe here that the servants of God have a power granted them of controlling wicked spirits, according to the promise of our Lord, Luke 9. and 10. Hence the seventy disciples, returning, said: Lord, even the devils are subject to us in thy name. (Estius, in different location)
Acts 16:19 But her masters seeing that the hope of their gain was gone, apprehending Paul and Silas, they brought them into the market-place to the rulers;

Acts 16:20 And presenting them to the magistrates, said: These men disturb our city, being Jews:

Jews. This was the name the first Christians went by among the pagans. Indeed our Saviour's being born of that nation, and his disciples adoring the same God, and following the same morality and Scriptures as the Jews, were sufficient reasons to make them confounded. When Suetonius relates that Claudius banished the Jews from Rome, he means the Christians. (Calmet)
Acts 16:21 And preach a fashion which it is not lawful for us to receive, nor observe, being Romans.

There was a standing decree of the senate, which forbade the introduction of any new divinity, without the formal consent of the senate. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 16:22 And the people ran together against them: and *the magistrates tearing off their clothes, commanded them to be beaten with rods.

2 Corinthians 11:25.; Philippians 1:13.; 1 Thessalonians 2:2.
Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them securely.

Acts 16:24 Who having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Made their feet fast in the stocks. By the Latin and Greek text, they made them fast with wood. (Witham)
Acts 16:25 And at midnight, Paul and Silas praying, praised God: and they who were in prison heard them.

Acts 16:26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened: and the bands of all were loosed.

All the doors were opened. This made the jailer conclude the prisoners had made their escape. And he being answerable for them, and expecting to be put to death, was for stabbing himself. (Witham)
Acts 16:27 And the keeper of the prison being awakened, and seeing the doors of the prison open, drawing his sword, would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled.

Acts 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying: Do thyself no harm, for we are all here.

Acts 16:29 Then calling for a light, he went in, and trembling, fell down at the feet of Paul and Silas:

Acts 16:30 And bringing them out, he said: Masters, what must I do, that I may be saved?

Acts 16:31 But they said: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts 16:32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all that were in his house.

Acts 16:33 And he taking them the same hour of the night, washed their wounds: and himself was baptized, and all his family forthwith.

Was baptized, being first told what he was to believe, and do. (Witham) --- Hence Catholics draw a very plausible argument for the baptism of infants, as it is very probable there were some infants in the family. See Estius, in different location.
Acts 16:34 And when he had brought them into his own house, he laid the table for them, and rejoiced with all his family, believing God.

Acts 16:35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying: Let those men go.

Sent the serjeants,{ Ver. 35. Lictores, rabduchous, vergers, rod-bearers.|} vergers, or such like officers. (Witham)
Acts 16:36 And the keeper of the prison told these words to Paul: The magistrates have sent to have you discharged: now therefore depart, and go in peace.

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them: After having beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, they cast us into prison: and now do they thrust us out privately? Not so: but let them come,

Romans. St. Paul inherited his right of citizenship from his father; it does not appear how Silas obtained it, perhaps by purchase. There is no proof that Silas was a freeman of Rome. (Denis the Carthusian) --- It was forbidden by the Porcian and Sempronian laws, for a Roman citizen to be scourged, unless he was likewise convicted of a capital crime. Cicero pro Rabirio. Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum: scelus verberari. Id. cont. Verrem. The Romans were always very jealous of the dignity of their city. We cannot but admire St. Paul's astonishing desire of suffering for the name of Jesus, in concealing a circumstance, the very naming of which would have saved him the cruel scourging he suffered. If he now refuses to go out of the prison privately, it is to vindicate his honour, and to avert the scandal, which the new converts would naturally feel, in seeing their master treated as a criminal. He exemplified in this instance St. Augustine's principal; "Our lives are necessary for ourselves, but our reputation for others." (Haydock) --- Estius declares, that Silas was also a Roman citizen, and that from this circumstance he probably received a Roman name, as Paul did. For in other parts of Scripture we find him styled Silvanus. (2 Corinthians 1:19.) and at the commencement of both the epistles to the Thessalonians. --- Not so; but let them come, etc. St. Paul patiently submitted himself to be whipped in a most disgraceful and cruel manner, which he could easily have prevented or put a stop to, by saying, I am a Roman citizen. Afterwards, when they were for setting him at liberty, he claims his privilege, he puts all the magistrates in a fright; they run to ask him pardon, and entreat him with all civility to leave the town, which he does not think fit to do, till he visited his brethren and friends. (Witham)
Acts 16:38 And discharge us themselves. And the serjeants told these words to the magistrates. And they were afraid, hearing that they were Romans:

Acts 16:39 And coming, they intreated them: and bringing them out, they desired them to depart out of the city.

Acts 16:40 And going out of the prison, they entered into the house of Lydia: and having seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

Acts 17:0 Paul preaches to the Thessalonians and Beroeans. His discourse to the Athenians.

Acts 17:1 And *when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

about the year A.D. 51.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, according to his custom, went in to them: and for three sabbath-days he reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,

It was customary with St. Paul to open the Scriptures first to the Jews, (Acts 13:46.) and to argue with them from the law and the prophets. (Acts 28:23.) St. Paul made use of the same passages of Scripture to convince the Jews, as Jesus Christ did on a similar occasion. (Mat. Polus.)
Acts 17:3 Laying open and inculcating that the Christ was to suffer, and to rise again from the dead: and that this is the Jesus Christ, whom I preach to you.

That the Christ was to suffer. The suffering of Christ was the great stumbling-block to the Jews, which St. Paul now attempted to remove, by shewing them from the Scripture, that this was one of the necessary characters of the Messias, contained in the prophets. All the other marks were likewise accomplished in Christ. (Denis the Carthusian) --- And that this is Jesus Christ, whom I preach to you. the transition form an oblique to a direct mode of speech is very common, especially in the holy Scriptures.
Acts 17:4 And some of them believed, and were joined to Paul and Silas, and of those who served God, and of the Gentiles, a great multitude, and noble women not a few.

And some of them, that is, of the Jews, in whose synagogue he preached, believed, and of those that{ Ver. 4. De colentibus Gentilibusque. In the common Greek copies, there is no and, but only of the worshipping Gentiles, ton de sebomenon elleuon, but in other copies, kai ellenon.|} worshipped God, that is, of those who adored the only true God, though they had not submitted themselves to circumcision, and to the ceremonies of the Jewish law, and of the Gentiles, that is, of such as till that time had been heathens, and idolaters; so that here three sorts of persons were converted by St. Paul: 1. Jews; 2. worshippers of the true God that were not Jews; and 3. Gentiles. In this book of the Acts, mention is several times made of worshippers, to wit, of God, by which many understand Jewish proselytes: but as they neither were Jews already, nor perhaps ever designed to become Jews, we may distinguish two sorts of the Jewish proselytes. Some were proselytes to the Jewish religion, by a submission to circumcision, and to all the precepts and ceremonies of the Mosaic laws. These are also by some called proselytes of the covenant, being as much Jews as they who had been always so. Others are called proselytes of the gate, or proselytes to the God of the Jews, but not to the religion of the Jews. Of such seems to have been Cornelius, the centurion, (Acts x.) Lydia, (Acts 16:14.) and Titus Justus (Acts 18:7.) Such also seems to have been the eunuch of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, (Acts viii.) Naaman, the Syrian, after he was cured of his leprosy, (4 Kings 5:17.) and many others, that lived in Judea, and in other countries. These, therefore, are called worshippers, meaning of the true God, though they embraced not the legal precepts and ceremonies of the Jews. See Monsr. Heure's Dictionary. (Witham)
Acts 17:5 But the Jews moved with envy, and taking with them some wicked men of the vulgar sort, and making a tumult, set the city in an uproar: and besetting Jason's house, sought to bring them out to the people.

Acts 17:6 And when they had not found them, they dragged Jason and certain brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out: That they who disturb the city, are come hither also,

Who disturb the city,{ Ver. 6. Qui urbem concitant, in the common Greek copies, oikoumenen, orbem: so that this difference might happen in the Latin, by the change of one letter only of urbem, for orbem: but some Greek manuscripts have ten polin, civitatem.|} put it in an uproar. In the ordinary Greek copies, for the city, we read the whole world. (Witham)
Acts 17:7 Whom Jason hath received, and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying: that there is another king, Jesus.

Another king. These Jews suppress, with great artifice, their true cause of vexation against the apostles, and change a mere question of religion into one of temporal policy. The accusation of raising up a new power in opposition to Caesar's, had been sufficiently refuted and disavowed before Pilate by the author of our religion, and was therefore too gross to be repeated now. My kingdom, says our blessed Saviour, is not of this world. There is no necessary connection between spiritual and temporal power. It is thus that the abettors of persecution are never at a loss for pretexts, when necessary. Mad zeal is not scrupulously nice in the choice of arguments. (Haydock)
Acts 17:8 And they stirred up the people, and the rulers of the city hearing these things.

Acts 17:9 And having taken satisfaction from Jason, and the rest, they let them go.

Acts 17:10 But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Beroea. Who when they were come thither, entered into the synagogue of the Jews.

Synagogue. In flying from the face of persecution in due season, St. Paul imitated the instruction and example of his master. When his labours are unsuccessful in one place, he renews them in another, and wherever he is, his object is always the same, to announce the truth to the Jews first, then to the Gentiles. (Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the Scriptures, whether these things were so.

These were more noble than those of Thessalonica. According to the common exposition, the sense is, that these of Beroea, were of a more noble and generous disposition of mind, not carried away with envy and malice, like those of Thessalonica. --- Searching the Scriptures, or those places of the prophets by which St. Paul proved that Jesus was the Messias, who was to suffer death, etc. (Witham) --- Daily searching the Scriptures, etc. The sheep are not hereby made judges of their pastors, the people of the priests, and lay men and women of St. Paul's doctrine. The Beroeans did not read the Old Testament (and the New was not then published) to dispute with the apostles, or to sanction his doctrines: but it was a great comfort and confirmation to the Jews that had the Scriptures, to find, even as St. Paul said, that Christ was God, crucified, risen, and ascended to heaven; which by his expounding they understood, and never before, though they read them, and heard them read every sabbath. So it is a great comfort to a Catholic to see in the Scriptures the clear passages that prove the truth of his tenets, and shew the grounds for his hopes. But this by no means authorizes him to be judge of the true pastors of the Church, whom he is commanded by Jesus Christ to hear and obey, and from whom they are to learn the genuine sense of the Scriptures.
Acts 17:12 And many indeed of them believed, and not a few of honourable Gentile women and men.

Acts 17:13 And when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was also preached by Paul at Beroea, they came thither also, stirring up, and troubling the multitude.

Acts 17:14 And then the brethren immediately sent away Paul, to go to the sea: but Silas and Timothy remained there.

Acts 17:15 And they that conducted Paul, brought him as far as Athens, and receiving a commandment from him to Silas and Timothy, that they should come to him with all speed, they departed.

Acts 17:16 *Now whilst Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was excited within him, seeing the city given up to idolatry.

about the year A.D. 52. Lactanius ridicules the folly of idolatry in a neat strain of irony, which he introduces by the following verses from Lucilius: Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia ahena Vivere et esse homines; sic isti omnia ficta Vera putant, etc. --- The poet compares these fools to children. I think them worse; for the latter only take the statues for men, they for gods. Age causes the error of the one, folly of the other. These soon cease to be deceived, but the folly of those lasts and increases always. (Lactanius, de fals. Relig. lib. i.)
Acts 17:17 He disputed, therefore, in the synagogue with the Jews, and with them that served God, and in the market-place, every day, with those that were present.

Acts 17:18 And certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers disputed with him, and some said: What is it that this babbler would say? But others: He seemeth to be a preacher of new gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.

Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. The former of these philosophers held as their doctrine, that the Almighty did not interfere by his providence in the government of the world; that the soul did not subsist after the body; and consequently, that there was no future state of retribution. The latter denied that man had liberty of action, and maintained, that all things happened by destiny and fatal necessity. These were the two opposite sects St. Paul had to contend with. (Calmet) --- The Stoics believed in the immortality of the soul, and came the nearest to the Christian religion: but both Stoics and Epicureans, with all pagan philosophers, denied the resurrection of bodies; hence St. Augustine says, the faith of a resurrection is peculiar to Christians. (Estius) --- What is it that this babbler{ Ver. 18. Semini-verbius, o spermologos, the critics derive it from legein spermata, colligere semina.|} would say? A word of contempt, which some translate, this prattler. It is thought to be a metaphor from birds picking up little seeds, or the like, for their food; and to signify, that St. Paul had picked up words and sentences without any solid meaning. (Witham)
Acts 17:19 And taking him, they brought him to the Areopagus, saying: May we know what this new doctrine is, which thou speakest of?

To the Areopagus. In this place sat the Athenian judges: but some think that by this word may be here signified, some large hall or court, joining to the Areopagus, where all sorts of people met. (Witham) --- The Areopagus was the supreme and most famous tribunal of all Greece, before which all great causes were tried. The persons who composed it were much renowned for their wisdom. Cicero, and many other Romans, were ambitious of the honour of being an Areopagite; but the power of Athens being now much diminished, this court had sunk in importance, and was now not much more than the shadow of a great name. (Calmet)
Acts 17:20 For thou bringest certain new things to our ears: We would know, therefore, what these things mean.

Acts 17:21 (Now all the Athenians, and strangers that were there, employed themselves in nothing else but either in telling or in hearing something new.)

Acts 17:22 But Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: Ye men of Athens, I perceive that ye are in all things over-religious.

Over-religious.{ Ver. 22. Superstitiosiores, deisidaimonosterous, from deido, timeo, and daimon. Deisidaimonia is sometimes taken in a good sense for religio, as also superstitio in Latin. See Budaeus, and Plutarch apud Scapulam. See also Suidas.|} Or very superstitious. To be superstitious, or given to superstition, is commonly taken for a vain and groundless religious worship, but it is also sometimes used in a good sense. And perhaps St. Paul, in the beginning of his speech to so many men of learning, does not so openly blame them for being vainly and foolishly superstitious, but by their inscription, to the unknown{ Ver. 23. Ignoto Deo, agnosto theo. See Cornelius a Lapide.|} God, he takes notice how nice and exact they pretended to be, in not omitting to pay some kind of homage to any god, or gods of all other nations, whom they might not know. For some interpreters think, that by this altar they designed to worship every god of any nation, who was not come to their knowledge: or to worship that great God hinted at in the writings of Plato: or as others conjecture, that God of the Jews, of whom they might have heard such wonders, and whose name the Jews themselves said to be unknown and ineffable. However, from this inscription St. Paul takes an occasion, with wonderful dexterity, with sublime reflections, and with that solid eloquence, of which he was master, and which he employed, as often as it was necessary, to inform them, and instruct them, concerning the works of the one true God, of whom they had little knowledge, by their own fault: that this one true God made the world, and all things in it: that from one man he raised all mankind: that his presence is not confined to temples made by the hands of men, being every where, and in all creatures, preserving them every moment: that in him we live, move, and have our being, or subsist: that it is he, who hath determined the time, limits, or bounds of every empire, and kingdom, and of every man's life: that this true God, who made, preserves, and governs all things in heaven and on earth, cannot be like to gold, silver, or any thing made by the art, or fancy of men. He puts them in mind that according even to one of their own heathen poets, Aratus, men themselves are the offspring of God, being blessed with a being and knowledge above all other creatures in this world: who by the light of reason ought to seek God, and by considering the visible effects of Providence over the world, and the creatures in it, might come to the knowledge of this one God, the author of all, at least to an imperfect knowledge of him, as men find out things by feeling, or as it were, groping in the dark. He then adds, (ver. 30.) that having, as it were, overlooked, and permitted men for many ages to run on in this ignorance and blindness, in punishment of their sins, (this their ignorance of one true God, the author of all things, being wilful and inexcusable) now the same true God hath been pleased to announce to all men, that henceforward they acknowledge, and worship him, that they repent, and do penance for their sins. (Witham)
Acts 17:23 For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: to the unknown god. What, therefore, you worship without knowing it, that I preach to you.

It may be asked, why they had not implicit faith, worshipping the true, though unknown, God?[5] 1st. because the worship of the true God can never exist with the worship of idols; 2nd. because an explicit faith in God is required of all; 3rd. because it is repugnant to implicit faith, to admit any thing contrary to it, as comparing this unknown God with the pagan idols; for God to be at all, must be one. Lucan towards the end of his 2nd book, hath these words: ----------Et dedita sacris Incerti Judaea Dei. --- What, therefore, you improperly worship, that I preach to you, and instruct you in the true worship, far different from what you pay to your strange gods.
Acts 17:24 *God, who made the world and all things therein, he being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth **not in temples made with hands.

Genesis 1:1. --- ** Acts 7:48.
God...dwelleth not in temples. He who is infinite cannot be confined to space; nor stand in need of what human hands can furnish. Temples are not for God, but for man. It is the latter who derives assistance from them. The same may be observed of all exterior acts of worship. They are serviceable, inasmuch as they proceed from, or powerfully assist, interior devotion, by the impressions which exterior objects leave upon the soul. The reciprocal action of one upon the other, in our present state of existence, is great and inevitable. (Haydock) See Acts 7:48. --- God, indeed, dwelleth in the temple, yes, and in the soul of the just man, but he is not confined there, as the idols were to their temples. Hence the prayer of Solomon at the consecration of the temple: if heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thy immensity, how much less this house, which I have erected? God dwelleth there, then, to receive the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful, but not as though he needed any thing. See ver. 25. --- God is not contained in temples; so as to need them for his dwelling, or any other uses, as the heathens imagined. Yet by his omnipresence, he is both there and every where. (Challoner)
Acts 17:25 Nor is he served by the hands of men, as though he needed any thing, seeing it is he who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation.

Acts 17:27 That they should seek God, if haply they may feel after him or find him: although he be not far from every one of us.

Feel after him. Si forte attrectent eum, ei arage pselapheseian. It signifies palpare quasi in tenebris. (Witham)
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being: as some also of your own poets said: For we are also his offspring.

St. Paul here cites Aratus, a Greek poet, and his own countryman, a native of Cilicia.
Acts 17:29 Being, therefore, the offspring of God, we must not suppose the Divinity to be like unto gold or silver, or stone, the graving of art, and device of man.

Cherubim, with extended wings, were ordered by God to be made, and placed over the propitiatory; (Exodus 37:7.) the brazen serpent is declared by Jesus Christ himself to have been a figure of him; therefore to blame the universally received practice of the Catholic Church, with regard to pictures and images, betrays either great prevention, or great ignorance. St. Gregory says: "What writing does for readers, that a picture does for the ignorant; for in it they see what they ought to follow, and in it they read, who know no letters." And he sharply rebukes Serenus's indiscreet zeal for removing pictures, instead of teaching the people what use may be made of them. (lib. ix. ep. 9.)
Acts 17:30 And God, indeed, having overlooked the times of this ignorance, now declareth to men, that all should every where do penance.

Overlooked. Despiciens, uperidon. It may either signify looking down on the ignorant world, and so taking pity of it; or rather that God having overlooked, and permitted mankind to go on so long in their sins, now invites them to repentance, by sending Jesus, their Saviour and Redeemer. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxiv. (Witham)
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in equity, by the man, whom he hath appointed, giving faith to all, by raising him up from the dead.

Because he hath appointed a day for judging all men with equity, by the man, to wit, Christ Jesus, a man, and also his true Son, whom he has appointed to be their judge; and by raising him (Jesus) from the dead, he hath made it credible, and given sufficient proofs of this truth, that every one shall rise from death. (Witham)
Acts 17:32 And when they had heard of the resurrection of the dead, some indeed mocked: but others said: We will hear thee again concerning this matter.

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead. This seemed so impossible, even to the philosophers among them, that some of them presently laughed, and made a jest of it. Others said, we will hear thee on this another time, and some believed. (Witham)
Acts 17:33 So Paul went out from among them.

Acts 17:34 But certain men adhered to him and believed: among whom was also Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman, named Damaris, and others with them.

Dionysius the Areopagite. This illustrious convert was made the first bishop of Athens. The martyrologies say, St. Paul raised him to that dignity. It is the same person, who, observing the convulsions of nature, which paid homage, as it were, to its God, expiring upon the cross, and not knowing the cause, is said to have exclaimed: Either the universe is falling to ruin, or the God of nature must be suffering. It appears from his writings, that he was, previous to his conversion, of the Platonic school. Ven. Bede was mistaken in supposing that he was afterwards the bishop of Corinth, of that name, who so successfully employed his pen for the good of the Church. This Dionysius lived a whole century after the Areopagite. (Estius)
Acts 18:0 Paul founds the church of Corinth: and preaches at Ephesus, etc. Apollo goes to Corinth.

Acts 18:1 After *these things, departing from Athens, he came to Corinth.

about the year A.D. 52.
Acts 18:2 And finding a certain Jew, named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had lately come from Italy, with Priscilla, his wife, (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome) he came to them.

Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same trade, he remained with them, and wrought: (now they were tentmakers by trade.)

Critics are divided in their opinions about the nature of St. Paul's employment: but it is generally supposed to be making tents of skins, such as were formerly used by travellers and soldiers. (Tirinus) --- Hence the expression, esse sub pellibus. The apostle submitted to this labour, that he might be no burden to those to whom he preached the gospel. (St. Augustine, tract. in Joan.) --- The Jews, with their characteristic good sense, in matters of this kind, made it the first duty of parents, to teach their children some trade, by which they might gain their livelihood. To neglect this was supposed to be equivalent to teaching them to steal. Hence their learned men were likewise practitioners in some laborious trade. They were ignorant of the distinction between low, and honourable professions, which refinement and vanity have introduced among us. Every employment was honourable, which was conducive to the good of their neighbour, and compatible with virtue and modesty; and the more so, in proportion as the wants of mankind made it more necessary. See Fleury's Manners of the Israelites. (Passim.)
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, introducing the name of the Lord Jesus, and he persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Introducing the name of the Lord Jesus. These words are found in few Greek copies, and so are omitted in the Protestant translation. (Witham)
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was earnest in preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

No further mention is made of Silas in these Acts. Some martyrologists think he died in Macedonia by martyrdom. He is honoured in the Church as a saint, and sometimes, as well as St. Barnabas, obtains the title of apostle. (Calmet) See annotations, Acts 16:37.
Acts 18:6 But they contradicting and blaspheming, shaking his garments, he said to them: Your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles.

Shaking his garments. See Matthew 10:14. Your blood be upon your own heads: that is, you are guilty of your own perdition: we have discharged our duty by preaching to you. (Witham)
Acts 18:7 And departing thence, he entered into the house of a certain man, named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined to the synagogue.

Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house: and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized.

Acts 18:9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night, by a vision; Fear not, but speak; and hold not thy peace:

Acts 18:10 Because I am with thee: and no man shall set upon thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

Acts 18:11 And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Acts 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat,

This Gallio was brother to the great Seneca, Nero's preceptor, as that author himself assures us. (Praef. lib. V. Quaes. Natur.) He was called Annaeus Novatus, but took the name of Gallio by adoption, and was made proconsul by his brother's interest, whose honours and disgraces he equally participated. Being condemned to death by Nero, he laid violent hands upon himself. It is probable St. Paul became acquainted with Seneca. St. Jerome and St. Augustine say, many letters passed between them, which are not now extant. (Tirinus) See also Eusebius. An. Christi 66. [The year A.D. 66.]
Acts 18:13 Saying: That this man persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

Acts 18:14 And when Paul was beginning to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews: If it were some matter of injustice, or a heinous deed, ye Jews, I should with reason bear with you.

Acts 18:15 But if they be questions of a word, and of names, and of your law, look you to it: I will not be judge of such matters.

Acts 18:16 And he drove them from the judgment-seat.

Acts 18:17 And all laying hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, beat him before the judgment-seat: and Gallio cared for none of those things.

Beat him. It is uncertain whether the Jews themselves beat Sosthenes, being vexed at him, for not managing well the cause; or whether he was struck by the attendants of the proconsul, to force him away, when he would not desist, nor retire. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxv. (Witham)
Acts 18:18 But Paul, when he had stayed yet many days, taking leave of the brethren, he sailed from thence into *Syria, (and with him Priscilla and Aquila,) **having shorn his head in Cenchra: for he had a vow.

about the year A.D. 54. --- ** Numbers 6:18.; Acts 21:24.
Shorn, etc. It was customary among the Jews to make vows of abstaining from all inebriating liquor, not to cut their hair for a limited time, etc. This was the vow of the Nazarites, mentioned in Numbers 6:18; Acts 22:24.[xxi. 24.?] St. Paul had probably taken upon himself some obligation of this kind; perhaps in condescension to the Jews, who were yet weak in faith. The time being now expired, he cut his hair as before. It was lawful for converts to observe these legal ceremonies, till the gospel was perfectly established, provided they did not place their hopes of salvation in them, or believe that the faith and grace of Christ were ineffectual without them. (Denis the Carthusian) --- For he had a vow, that is, Paul, not Aquila. This seems to have been such a vow, as those called Nazarenes, used to make, of abstaining from wine for a time, of not cutting their hair, and of making some offerings in the temple at Jerusalem. (Witham)
Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there. But he himself entering into the synagogue, reasoned with the Jews.

Acts 18:20 And when they intreated him to make a longer stay, he consented not,

Acts 18:21 But taking his leave, and saying: I will return to you again, God willing, he departed from Ephesus.

Acts 18:22 And going down to Caesarea, he went up, and saluted the church, and so came down to Antioch.

He went up. To Jerusalem is most probably understood, that being the chief object of St. Paul's journey. It seems rather extraordinary that St. Luke should have omitted the express mention of the city. But having told us his object was to be at Jerusalem, he perhaps thought it was enough to say, he went up. (Calmet) --- In Palestine, the expression, to go up, was sometimes taken for going up to Jerusalem. (John 7:8. 10; John 12:20; Acts 24:11) And reciprocally in Acts Acts 24:1. to go down, is taken for going down from Jerusalem to Caesarea. (Bible de Vence) --- He went up. In the Scripture, when Antioch and Caesarea are simply mentioned, Antioch, in Syria, and Caesarea, in Palestine, are uniformly designated. --- To Caesarea, not in Cappadocia, but in Palestine, from whence he went up to Jerusalem, and then down to Antioch, in Syria. (Witham)
Acts 18:23 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, passing in order through the country of Galatia and Phrygia, confirming all the disciples.

Acts 18:24 Now, a certain Jew, named Apollo, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, one mighty in the Scriptures.

Apollo...one mighty in the Scriptures. Literally, powerful in the Scriptures, yet knew no baptism, but that of John. (Witham) --- When we consider the great harvest, and few labourers, and the small time that the apostles could give to any one place for instructions, we shall not be so much surprised, that this zealous convert should not yet be perfectly instructed in every doctrine of Christianity. This happened about twenty years after our Lord's ascension. He is the same person as is mentioned 1 Corinthians 3:7.[4.?] (Haydock)
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord: and being fervent in spirit, spoke, and taught diligently the things that are of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John.

Acts 18:26 This man, therefore, began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom when Priscilla and Aquila had heard, they took him to them, and expounded more perfectly to him the way of the Lord.

Acts 18:27 And whereas he was desirous to go to Achaia, the brethren exhorting, wrote to the disciples to receive him. Who, when he was come, helped them much, who had believed.

Acts 18:28 For he with might convinced the Jews in public, shewing, by the Scriptures, Jesus to be the Christ.

Acts 19:0 Paul establishes the church at Ephesus. The tumult of the silversmiths.

Acts 19:1 And *it came to pass, while Apollo was at Corinth, that Paul having passed through the upper parts, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples:

about the year A.D. 54. Disciples. These were apparently disciples of St. John the Baptist, who believed in Christ from his testimony, and had received no farther instruction, nor any baptism but John's. (Calmet)
Acts 19:2 And he said to them: Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? But they said to him: We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost.

St. Paul first inquires of them, if they have received the Holy Ghost by confirmation. Their answer is probably not to be interpreted with rigour; since they must have heard something of the holy Spirit, so often mentioned in the Old Testament, by whom the prophets are said to speak, etc. They meant, they did not know there was in the Church, any means of communicating this Spirit to the faithful. (Calmet)
Acts 19:3 And he said: In what then were you baptized? Who said: In John's baptism.

Acts 19:4 Then Paul said: *John baptized the people with the baptism of penance, saying; That they should believe in him who was to come after him, that is to say, in Jesus.

Matthew 3:11.; Mark 1:8.; Luke 3:16.; John 1:26.; Acts 1:5.; Acts 11:16.
Acts 19:5 Having heard these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, so called to distinguish it from the baptism of John; and that of Christ was given in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, according to the command of Christ himself. [Matthew 28:19.] (Witham)
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Imposed his hands on them, by which imposition of hands, was given the Holy Ghost in the sacrament of confirmation. (Witham)
Acts 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

Acts 19:8 And entering into the synagogue, he spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of the way of the Lord before the multitude, departing from them, he separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.*

about the year A.D. 55.
Acts 19:10 And this continued for two years, so that all that dwelt in Asia, heard the word of the Lord, Jews and Gentiles.

Acts 19:11 And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles:

Acts 19:12 So that even there were brought from his body to the sick handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them.

Aprons. It is likely such as he used in working, cured diseases, and cast out devils. What wonder, then, if God work miracles by the relics of martyrs and saints, to testify the sanctity of his servants, and to encourage others both to give them a reasonable honour, and to imitate their lives? (Witham) --- Thus was fulfilled the promise which Christ had made his disciples, viz. that they should perform greater miracles than he himself had done. St. Chrysostom repeats more than once, that these clothes raised the dead, and that the apostles' shadow chased away all maladies, and triumphed over death. Perhaps the unprejudiced reader may observe in this verse some reason for paying due regard to the relics, or whatever has belonged to the saints.
Acts 19:13 Now *some also of the Jewish exorcists, who went about, attempted to invoke over them, that had evil spirits, the name of the Lord Jesus, saying: I conjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth.

about the year A.D. 56. The Jewish exorcists. Among the Jews were some, who by calling upon the name of the true God, sometimes cast out evil spirits. But these sons of Sceva seeing St. Paul cast out devils, by calling upon the name of Jesus, thought fit to do the same, though they did not believe in Jesus Christ. And God punished them in this manner, as it is here related, at least two of them. (Witham) --- It is uncertain whether the Jews really possessed the power of exorcising demoniacs. From the 12th chapter of St. Matthew, one would be inclined to the affirmative opinion, as our Saviour seems to mention it as a thing well attested. The Jews pretended they received their exorcisms from Solomon. On the other hand, neither the Old nor New Testament ever approve of this power in them nor is it any where mentioned in Scripture that Solomon was the author of any such things. The old law was particularly severe in condemning every kind of enchantment. It is certain, that they, in the time here spoken of, added much superstition and magic to these rites. (Tirinus and others.) --- Josephus mentions remarkable instances of their power in exorcisms performed in his own presence, and in that of the emperor Vespasian, and his whole army. (Lib. 2:chap. 25. The Jewish War) --- Extraordinary things might possibly be performed by magic and collusion between these impostors and the demons. That this power of expelling devils, resides in the Church, every page of primitive ecclesiastical history, testifies. Scripture is also equally explicit on this subject. The exorcisms, says St. Cyprian, are the spiritual torments and scourges of the demons. (Ep. ad Demetrium.) --- It was for this reason the Jews, on this occasion, used the name of Jesus; a name terrible to the infernal spirits, to add power to their imprecations. Tertullian urges facts of this power in the Christians, with much energy and eloquence, in his Apology. Prudentius has recorded the same, with equal elegance, in his verse --- ----------Torquetur Apollo Nomine percussus Christi, nec fulmina verbi Ferre potest. Agitant miserum verbera linguae.
Acts 19:14 And there were certain men, seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, who did this.

Acts 19:15 But the evil spirit answering, said to them: Jesus I know, and Paul I know: but who are you?

Acts 19:16 And the man, in whom the evil spirit was, leaping upon them, and mastering them both, prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Acts 19:17 And this became known to all the Jews and the Gentiles who dwelt at Ephesus: and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Acts 19:18 And many of those who believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds.

Confessing and declaring their deeds, as penitents do in the sacrament of penance, and not only in general declaring or confessing themselves sinners. See Matthew 3:6. (Witham)
Acts 19:19 And many of those who had followed curious arts, brought their books together, and burnt them before all: and computing the price of them, they found the money to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Curious arts. By which are here meant books of divination and magic art, to which study the Ephesians were much addicted. The price of the books burnt, amounting to a great sum, even computing the 50,000 denarii, each of them at sevenpence half-penny English money. (Witham) --- The value of the books here destroyed might have amounted to £1000 sterling. The Christian emperors, Constantine the Great, Valentinian, Theodosius, Marcian, and Justinian, have made laws not less strict for destroying, than those of the Church for proscribing, the use of wicked books, where danger is likely to ensue. The danger of reading them is set forth by Eusebius, lib. vii. Acts 6; by St. Augustine, lib. 3:de bap. Acts 14; by St. Gregory, lib. V. ep. 64. --- Such baneful productions should be destroyed; for although they may possibly produce no bad effect during the life of the present possessors, no one can pretend to say into what hands they will afterwards fall, nor what evil they may hereafter occasion.
Acts 19:20 So mightily increased the word of God, and was confirmed.

Acts 19:21 Now these things being ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying: After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

I must also see Rome. It is what St. Paul earnestly desired, and what the Spirit now revealed to him. See Romans 1:(Witham)
Acts 19:22 So sending into Macedonia two of those that ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself remained for a time in Asia.

Acts 19:23 Now at that time there arose no small disturbance about the way of the Lord.*

about the year A.D. 57. About the way of the Lord; that is, about Christian faith, and religion. (Witham) --- A great source of these troubles that ensued, was the preaching of the gospel.
Acts 19:24 For a certain man, named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver temples for Diana, brought no small gain to the craftsmen:

Who made silver temples for Diana.{ Ver. 24. Aedes argenteas, naous argurous.|} Perhaps figures of Diana's temple in silver; or boxes and shrines, in which was the statue or figure of Diana. (Witham)
Acts 19:25 Whom calling together, with the workmen of like occupation, he said: Ye men, know that our gain is by this trade:

Acts 19:26 Now you see, and hear, that this Paul, by persuasion hath drawn away a great multitude, not only at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, saying: That they are no gods which are made with hands.

Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger of being vilified, but also the temple of great Diana shall be thought nothing of, yea, and her majesty shall begin to be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

In danger of being vilified, and Diana of losing her reputation. They ought to have reflected, says St. Chrysostom, (hom. xlii.) that if such a poor man, as Paul, could destroy the worship, and the majesty of this great goddess, whom, as they say, all the world adored, how much greater and worthy of adoration must the God be, by whose power Paul could do this? (Witham)
Acts 19:28 Having heard these things, they were full of anger, and cried out, saying: Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Great is Diana of the Ephesians. This they shouted out without intermission for about two hours, though the greatest part knew not why they had met together. A true representation of an unthinking rash mob. (Witham)
Acts 19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, companions of Paul.

Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

Acts 19:31 And some also of the rulers of Asia, who were his friends, sent unto him, desiring that he would not venture himself into the theatre.

Some also of the rulers of Asia. They are called friends to St. Paul, but it is uncertain whether they were Christians, or others, who favoured him, and wished him well. (Witham)
Acts 19:32 Now some cried out one thing, some another. For the assembly was confused, and the greater part knew not for what cause they were come together.

Acts 19:33 And they drew forth Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews thrusting him forward. And Alexander, beckoning with his hand for silence, would have given the people satisfaction.

Acts 19:34 But as soon as they perceived him to be a Jew, all with one voice, for the space of about two hours, cried out: Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

Acts 19:35 And when the town-clerk had appeased the multitudes, he said: Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great Diana, and of Jupiter's offspring?

The town-clerk, etc. Literally, the scribe, or the recorder of the city. --- Jupiter's offspring.{ Ver. 35. Jovisque prolis, kai tou diopetous. Simulachri a caelo dilapsi. See Suidas.|} His daughter, according to the poets. The Greek text seems to signify a statue, or figure of Diana, which was pretended to have fallen from heaven, and from Jupiter. (Witham) --- Is a worshipper. Neokoron ousan; the word Neokoros is found in this sense in the Arundelian marbles, and more frequently on ancient coins and inscriptions. Its derivation is from neos, a temple, and kore, a virgin, or rather korein, to cleanse and decorate; as if this city were especially destined to ornament the Diana of Ephesus, which the people supposed came to them not by the work of man, but a present from heaven.
Acts 19:36 Since, therefore, these things cannot be contradicted, you ought to be quiet, and do nothing rashly.

Acts 19:37 For you have brought hither these men, who are neither guilty of sacrilege, nor of blasphemy against your goddess.

Nor of blasphemy against your goddess. St. Chrysostom takes notice, that to calm the people, he says more than was true. (Witham)
Acts 19:38 But if Demetrius, and the craftsmen who are with him, have a cause against any man, the courts of justice are open, and there are proconsuls: let them accuse one another.

Acts 19:39 And if you inquire after any other matter, it may be decided in a lawful assembly.

Acts 19:40 For we are in danger of being arraigned for this day's uproar: there being no man guilty (of whom we can give an account) of this concourse. And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 20:0 Paul passes through Macedonia and Greece: he raises a dead man to life at Troas. His discourse to the clergy of Ephesus.

Acts 20:1 And after the tumult ceased, Paul calling to him the disciples, and exhorting them, took his leave, and set forward to go into Macedonia.

Acts 20:2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had exhorted them with many words, he came into Greece:

Acts 20:3 Where, when he had spent three months, the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria: *so he took a resolution to return through Macedonia.

about the year A.D. 58.
Acts 20:4 And there accompanied him Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, of Beroea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus, and Secundus, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy: and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

Acts 20:5 These having gone before, waited for us at Troas.

Acts 20:6 But we sailed from Philippi after the days of the azymes, and came to them to Troas in five days, where we abode seven days.

We. From the change of the narration to the first person again, it would appear St. Luke had rejoined the apostle. This writer modestly omits the reason of his accompanying St. Paul, who tells us it was at his own request, (2 Corinthians 8:19.) that no suspicion might be entertained that he applied improperly the money, which he was commissioned to carry to the distressed brethren in Jerusalem. (Tirinus)
Acts 20:7 And on the first day of the week, when we assembled to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, being to depart on the morrow, and he continued his speech until midnight.

On the first day of the week.{ Ver. 7. Una Sabbati; that is prima sabbati, en te mia ton sabbaton. St. Chrysostom says, hom. mg., kuriake en, erat dies Dominica.|} The interpreters generally take notice with St. Chrysostom, that the Christians, even at this time, must have changed the sabbath into the first day of the week, as all Christians now keep it. Which change (even as to the manner of keeping one of God's ten commandments) was made by the Church. --- To break bread, meaning the blessed sacrament, as it is commonly expounded. (Witham) --- St. Paul did here break bread on a Sunday, as it is broken in the sacrament of the body of Christ, and delivered a discourse to the people, both before and after the celebration of the divine mysteries. (St. Augustine, ep. lxxxvi. ad Casulanum.; Ven. Bede, in xx. Act.)
Acts 20:8 And there were a great many lamps in the upper chamber, where we were assembled.

Acts 20:9 And a certain young man, named Eutychius, sitting on the window, being oppressed with a heavy sleep, as Paul was long preaching, by occasion of his sleep fell from the third loft down, and was taken up dead.

Acts 20:10 To whom, when Paul went down he laid himself upon him: and embracing him, said, Be not troubled; for his soul is in him.

His soul is in him. He was taken up dead. (ver. 9.) These words then of St. Paul, may either signify that now he is again alive, or will be in a very short time, as when Christ said, (Matthew 9:24.) The girl is not dead, but asleep. (Witham)
Acts 20:11 Then going up, and breaking bread and tasting: and having talked a long while to them until day-light, so he departed.

Acts 20:12 And they brought the youth alive, and were not a little comforted.

Alive. This accident, which gave occasion to a great miracle, was ordained by the particular providence of God, in order to confirm the preaching of St. Paul, and to fix more deeply in the hearts of his disciples the words of their dear Master, who was just going to leave them. Admire likewise the apostle's solicitude for his neighbour's salvation, in prolonging his instructions through the whole night, which preceded his departure. (Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 20:13 But we going on board the ship, sailed to Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so he had appointed, himself purposing to travel by land.

Acts 20:14 And when he had met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.

Acts 20:15 And sailing from thence, the following day we came over against Chios: and the next day we arrived at Samos: and the day following we came to Miletus.

Acts 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, lest he should be delayed any time in Asia. For he hastened on, if it were possible for him to keep the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem.

Acts 20:17 And sending from Miletus to Ephesus, he called the ancients of the church.

He called the ancients of the Church. We might translate the bishops, as the very same persons in the 28th verse are called bishops. (Witham)
Acts 20:18 And when they were come to him, and were together, he said to them: You know from the first day that I came into Asia, in what manner I have been with you all the time,

Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility, and with tears, and temptations, which befell me from the snares of the Jews:

With all humility; that is, of heart, or mind, as the Greek word signifies. He knew, says St. Chrysostom, how necessary this virtue of humility was for the ministers of the gospel. --- With tears of charity and compassion, under temptations, trials, and persecutions. (Witham)
Acts 20:20 How I have kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have preached it to you, and taught you publicly, and from house to house,

I have kept back, etc. I have discovered to you every thing which can be useful to your salvation. Neither fear, nor any human considerations, have prevailed over me to disguise or suppress the truths, which might be serviceable to you. This is the model of a good pastor. Full of doctrine, and of zeal, he communicates what God puts into his heart, and charity inspires him to speak, with abundance, with discretion, without jealousy, without fear. A good shepherd, St. Bernard used to say, has always bread in his scrip, and his dog in his keeping. The dog is his zeal, which must be chained, governed and moderated. His scrip, full of bread, is his mind, filled with all knowledge, which he is always in the state of dispensing as food to his flock.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to Jews and Gentiles penance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:22 And now behold bound in the spirit, I go to Jerusalem, not knowing the things which shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit, led by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Witham) --- Chained, and forced, as it were, by the Holy Spirit, who offers me a sweet violence; or I am so strongly persuaded of the chains, which await me at Jerusalem, that I already feel myself bound in idea. (Calmet) --- I now go to Jerusalem for the fourth time, attracted by the Holy Ghost, who is the author and governor of all my actions, that where I have shown myself the greatest enemy of the Church, there I may suffer tribulations in defence of the same Church, and for Christ, her divine spouse. (Tirinus)
Acts 20:23 Only that the Holy Ghost in every city witnesseth to me, saying: That chains and afflictions wait for me at Jerusalem.

In every city. There were in every city Christian prophets, who foretold to Paul the tribulations which awaited him. It appears, then, that the apostle did not know these things by immediate revelation made to himself, but by that made to the prophets. Of this we have a proof in the next chapter.
Acts 20:24 But I fear none of these things: neither do I count my life more precious than myself, so that I may consummate my course, and the ministry of the word, which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Neither do I count my life (literally, my soul ) more precious than myself, having consecrated all my endeavours, my thoughts, my life, my whole self, body and soul, to God's service. (Witham)
Acts 20:25 And now behold I know that all you, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

I know, etc. It appears sufficiently evident, from many parts of St. Paul's epistles, that he not only designed, but likewise, according to the opinion of most able critics, actually did revisit the churches of Asia. Of this occasion, then, he only expresses his belief, his conviction, that he should see them no more, judging it impossible for him to escape all the dangers that were prepared for him. (Calmet) --- All you. Although St. Paul might return again to the same place, he might truly say of so great an assembly, that all of them should not see him again. (Witham)
Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to witness this day, that I am clear from the blood of all.

Acts 20:27 For I have not spared to declare to you all the counsel of God.

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock. The ministers of the gospel must in the first place take care of the salvation of their own souls: and in the next place of the salvation of their flock, of the souls committed to their care, and to the Church; especially such ministers of God as are bishops,{ Ver. 28. Episcopos, episkopous, from episkopein, or episkeptesthai, diligenter inspicere, etc.|} placed, by divine institution, to govern the Church, or the churches under them. The word bishops, by its derivation, signifies overseers, or superintendants; but the signification is to be taken and expressed by the custom and ecclesiastical use of words. (Witham)
Acts 20:29 I know, that after my departure, ravenous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30 And of your own selves will rise up men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, keeping in memory, that for three years I ceased not night and day, with tears admonishing every one of you.

Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, who is able to build up, and to give an inheritance among all the sanctified.

To the word of his grace, to the protection of God's grace, given to those that preach the gospel, and administer the sacraments instituted by Christ. --- Who is able to build up, to finish that building, of which the foundation is laid by my preaching. (Witham)
Acts 20:33 I have not coveted any man's silver, gold, or apparel, as

Acts 20:34 You yourselves know: *that as for such things as were needful for me, and for them that are with me, these hands have furnished.

1 Corinthians 4:12.; 1 Thessalonians 2:9.; 2 Thessalonians 3:8.
These hands have furnished, by labouring to maintain myself, etc. (Witham)
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that labouring so you ought to support the weak, and remember the word of the Lord Jesus, how he said: It is a more blessed to give, than to receive.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. We find not these words of Christ in the gospels. St. Paul might have them from the apostles. (Witham) --- Among the many excellent good things our dear Lord said, and which are not mentioned in the gospel, this is one: "it is a more blessed thing to give, than to receive;" which did men justly weigh, they would be more ready to give alms, were it only for their own account. Thrice happy then are they who assist their indigent neighbour to the utmost of their power, and for the pure love of God! (Haydock)
Acts 20:36 And when he had said these things, kneeling down, he prayed with them all.

Acts 20:37 And there was much weeping among them all: and falling on Paul's neck, they kissed him,

They kissed him. These marks of tenderness are dictated by nature, and have always been used between friends, who were separating from each other, or who meet after a long absence. The Scripture furnishes us with numberless examples of it. (Calmet) --- He likewise prayed, as he usually did, when he bade his last farewell. See his last adieus with the Tyrians, (chap. 21:5. 6.) where they all kneeled down to pray on the shore. This is also reasonable, and becoming a Christian. It is a sign of communion and mutual charity, and implores a prosperous voyage for those who were departing, whilst those who remained, cherish in their mind the remembrance of the virtues of their absent friend. (Menochius) --- The mind of man cannot conceive a finer subject for the painter than this melting separation. After the discourse, we see St. Paul falling on his knees, and praying with them all for the last time; an general burst of tears takes place, when they are told that they are to see their father's face no more; they fall upon his neck and kiss him; and with hearts full of grief and gratitude, they accompany him on his way to the very ship which is to transport their father, friend, and benefactor, to other souls, who wanted the charitable assistance of the man of God.
Acts 20:38 Being grieved most of all for the word which he had said, that they should see his face no more. And they conducted him to the ship.

Acts 21:0 Paul goes up to Jerusalem. He is apprehended by the Jews in the temple.

Acts 21:1 And *when it came to pass that, being parted from them, we set sail, we came with a direct course to Coos, and the day following to Rhodes, and from thence to Patara.

about the year A.D. 58. Coos and Rhodes are islands in the Archipelago.
Acts 21:2 And having found a ship sailing over to Phoenice, we went aboard, and set sail.

Acts 21:3 And when we had discovered Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed into Syria, and came to Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean, to the east of Patara and Rhodes.
Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we remained there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Not go up to Jerusalem. St. Paul says in the foregoing chapter that he was pressed by the Holy Ghost to go to Jerusalem; and do these prophets now advise him to stay away, and disobey the inspiration? No: their dissuasion was not the effect of inspiration, but the expression of their tenderness and affection for him, which made them fear what they saw he was going to endure. (Denis the Carthusian) --- Hence St. Paul disregarded their entreaties, as well as the imminent dangers that every where stared him in the face. See his heroic answer to the melting entreaties of the faithful of Caesarea, and their final acquiescence: "the will of the Lord be done." (below, ver. 14)
Acts 21:5 And the days being expired, departing, we went forward, they all bringing us on our way, with their wives and children, till we were out of the city: and kneeling down on the shore, we prayed.

Acts 21:6 And when we had take leave of one another, we took ship: and they returned home.

Acts 21:7 But we having finished the voyage by sea from Tyre, came down to Ptolemais: and saluting the brethren, we abode one day with them.

Acts 21:8 And the next day departing, we came to Caesarea. And entering into the house of Philip, the evangelist, *who was one of the seven, we abode with him.

Acts 6:5.; Acts 8:5.
Philip, the evangelist, so called from his preaching the gospel, though he was one of the seven, that is, of the seven deacons. (Witham)
Acts 21:9 And he had four daughters, virgins, who did prophesy.

Prophecy. It is supposed that these daughters of St. Philip had made a vow of virginity, or at least remained in that state out of a motive of religion. St. Jerome thinks in reward of this they were gifted with a prophetic spirit. (Lib. 1:chap. 24. cont. Jov.) --- Others think that by prophesying is meant interpreting the Scriptures, or singing the praises of God. (Estius)
Acts 21:10 And as we remained there for some days, there came from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come to us, he took Paul's girdle: and binding his own feet and hands, he said: Thus saith the Holy Ghost: The man whose girdle this is, the Jews shall so bind in Jerusalem, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

Acts 21:12 And when we had heard this, both we, and they who were of that place, besought him not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, and said: What do you mean, weeping and afflicting my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 21:14 And when we could not persuade him, we ceased, saying: The will of the Lord be done.

Acts 21:15 And after those days, being prepared, we went up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:16 And there went also with us some of the disciples from Caesarea, bringing with them one Mnason, a Cyprian, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Acts 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.

Acts 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us to James, and all the ancients were assembled.

To James, the bishop of Jerusalem, where all the seniors, that is, the bishops and priests, had assembled. (Witham)
Acts 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he related particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles, by his ministry.

Acts 21:20 But they hearing it, glorified God, and said to him: Thou seest, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews who have believed: and they are all zealous for the law.

How many thousands. In the Greek, how many ten thousands. (Witham)
Acts 21:21 Now they have heard of thee, that thou teachest those Jews, who are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses: saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, nor to walk according to the custom.

To forsake Moses. In the Greek, to depart or apostatize from Moses and the law. This is more than was true. For St. Paul circumcised Timothy, (chap. 16.) and did not absolutely hinder converts who had been Jews, from practising the Jewish ceremonies. (Witham) --- There is a manifest falsity in this accusation against St. Paul. He had never commanded or advised the Jews, to whom he had preached, to renounce the law, abandon the ceremonies of Moses, or reject the ancient customs of the nation. He had never hindered any one from following in this respect the bias of his inclinations. He had indeed defended the liberty of the converts from these ceremonies; he had taught that Christ had taken away the necessity of this yoke; but he left them at liberty still to carry it if they pleased. (Calmet) --- For these things were not then to be sought after as necessary, nor yet to be condemned as sacrilegious. The law of Moses at that time was dead, but not deadly. (St. Augustine, ep. lxxxii.) --- These considerations will sufficiently explain the apostle's motive for submitting on this occasion to one of their ceremonies. He became all to all, that he might gain all to Christ. (Haydock)
Acts 21:22 What is it, therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

Acts 21:23 Do, therefore, this that we say to thee: We have four men, who have a vow upon them.

Who have a vow upon them. On which account they will have sacrifices offered for them in the temple. (Witham)
Acts 21:24 Taking them, purify thyself with them: and pay for them, *that they may shave their heads: and all will know that the things which they have heard of thee, are false: but that thou thyself also walkest keeping the law.

Numbers 6:18.; Acts 18:18.
Bestow on them. It was thought a merit among the Jews to bear the expenses of any vow which another had made. They thus became partakers of it; in the same manner as at present those, who have not the courage to forsake the world by solemn vows, seek to have some share in the merits of those who do forsake it, by contributing part of their substance to their support. (Calmet)
Acts 21:25 As for those Gentiles who have believed, *we have written, decreeing that they should refrain themselves from that which has been offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication.

Acts 15:20.; Acts 15:29.
Acts 21:26 Then Paul taking the men, and the next day being purified with them, entered into the temple, giving notice of the accomplishment of the days of purification, until an oblation should be offered for every one of them.

Acts 21:27 But while the seven days were drawing to an end, those Jews who were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands upon him, crying out;

Acts 21:28 Men of Israel, help: This is the man that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and moreover hath brought in Gentiles into the temple, and hath violated this holy place.

Acts 21:29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, in the city with him, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.

Acts 21:30 And the whole city was in an uproar: and there was a rush of people. And seizing Paul, they drew him out of the temple: and immediately the doors were shut.

The doors were shut, lest the temple should be profaned by Gentiles entering into it. (Witham) --- The temple was an asylum, but not for those men who were justly pursued. Hence the Jews looking upon Paul as a blasphemer, they did not think they violated this asylum by forcibly removing Paul from the temple; but lest he might return, they fastened the entrance-gates.
Acts 21:31 And as they were seeking to kill him, it was told the tribune of the band; That all Jerusalem was in confusion.

Acts 21:32 Who forthwith taking with him soldiers and centurions, ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they left off beating Paul.

Acts 21:33 Then the tribune coming near, took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains: and demanded who he was, and what he had done.

Two chains, for his hands and feet; or perhaps one chain was put on each hand, which was likewise tied to a soldier on each side of him, who led him. This was the Roman custom of binding prisoners. See Seneca, ep. V. et lib. de tranquil. animi. X. See Acts 12:6, 7.
Acts 21:34 And some cried out one thing, some another, among the multitude. And when he could not know the certainty, because of the tumult, he commanded him to be brought into the castle.

Into the castle.{ Ver. 34. In castra, which in the plural number, is not a castle: neither doth parembole, which is in the Greek, signify a castle.|} Neither the Latin nor the Greek word signifies a castle, but rather a camp, or a place walled, or with a trench about it. It is true, we may here understand the tower, called Antonia; but within its court might be tents for soldiers, where there was so great a number: for we see that Lysias could send away 470 with St. Paul, besides those that might stay behind. (Witham)
Acts 21:35 And when he was come to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers, because of the violence of the people.

Acts 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out: Away with him.

Acts 21:37 And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he saith to the tribune: May I speak something to thee? Who said: Canst thou speak Greek?

Canst thou speak Greek? We cannot doubt but St. Paul had in Greek spoke already to the tribune: upon which he said, dost thou speak Greek? and then asked him, if he were not that seditious Egyptian, who had headed so many murderers? (Witham)
Acts 21:38 Art not thou that Egyptian, who before these days didst raise a tumult, *and didst lead forth into the desert four thousand men that were murderers?

about the year A.D. 55. This Egyptian coming to Jerusalem, and professing himself to be a prophet, had persuaded the people to accompany him to Mount Olivet, pretending he would throw down the walls of the city only by a word. Felix, the Roman governor, attacked the deluded multitude, and killed 400. The leader escaped, and was heard of no more. This was in the 13th year of Claudius, about three years before St. Paul's apprehension. (Menochius) --- These rebels are called murderers, Sikarioi, Sicarii, from Sica, a small dagger, which they concealed under their cloak. Some of them were the retainers of Judas Galilaeus; other Hessaeans, who fought with the greatest animosity against the Romans, and suffered the most cruel death, sooner than to acknowledge Caesar for lord and master. Some again suppose that the word sikarioi is only a corruption of the words, oi karioi, Scriptuarii, a name given to the Esseni. Consult Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20:7.
Acts 21:39 But Paul said to him: I am indeed a Jew, a man of Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city. And I beseech thee, permit me to speak to the people.

I am indeed a Jew, by birth and education. (Witham)
Acts 21:40 And when he had given him leave, Paul standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. And a great silence being made, he spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue, saying:

He spoke in the dialect of the country, which was partly Hebrew and partly Syriac, but the Syriac greatly prevailed; and from the steps, epi tous anastathmous, which led to the fortress of Antonia. Here a Roman cohort was lodged; it was situated to the north-west, and joined the temple. The flight of steps was occupied by the lowest orders of the people. Thus Cicero ad Atticum: Gradus templorum ab infima plebe completi erant; and again, pro Cluentio: gradus concitatis hominibus narrat.
Acts 22:0 Paul declares to the people the history of his conversion. He escapes scourging by claiming the privilege of a Roman.

Acts 22:1 Men, *brethren, and fathers, hear ye the account which I now give you.

about the year A.D. 58. Hear ye the account.{ Ver. 1. Quam reddo rationem, akousate...tes apologias.|} In the Greek, to the apology, or defence. (Witham) --- St. Paul, in this exordium, as also in Acts 7:2. shews himself not ignorant of the art of pleading. He adds the name of Fathers, supposing there may be some of his hearers of senatorial dignity, and others deserving the title for their rank and age. (Mat. Pol.)
Acts 22:2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence.

Acts 22:3 And he saith: I am a Jew, born at Tarsus, in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous for the law, as also all you are this day:

The scholars sat much below their master; and the nearest the master were such as had made the greatest proficiency. (Philo, de Essenis)
Acts 22:4 *And I persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,

Acts 8:3.
This way. That is, the Christian faith, which now I profess. (Witham)
Acts 22:5 As the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the ancients: *from whom also receiving letters to the brethren, I went to Damascus, to bring them bound from thence to Jerusalem, that they might be punished.

Acts 9:2.
As the high priest doth bear me witness. That is, as the letters which he gave me, bear witness. (Witham)
Acts 22:6 And it came to pass, as I was going and drawing nigh to Damascus, at mid-day, that suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me:

Acts 22:7 And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Acts 22:8 And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Acts 22:9 And they that were with me, saw indeed the light, but they heard not the voice of him that spoke with me.

Heard not the voice. To reconcile this with Acts 9:7. where it is said that they heard the voice; it may be answered that they heard a noise, and a voice, but heard it not distinctly, nor so as to understand the words. (Witham) --- They heard not the voice of him who spoke to the apostle, but they heard the latter speak; (Acts 9:7.) or perhaps they heard a noise, which they could not understand. They perhaps heard the voice of Paul answering, but not that of Christ complaining.
Acts 22:10 And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise, and go to Damascus: and there it shall be told thee of all things thou must do.

Acts 22:11 And whereas I did not see for the brightness of that light, being led by the hand by my companions, I came to Damascus.

Acts 22:12 And one Ananias, a man according to the law, having a good character from all the Jews dwelling there,

Acts 22:13 Coming to me, and standing by me, said to me: Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And I the same hour looked upon him.

Acts 22:14 And he said: The God of our fathers hath preordained thee that thou shouldst know his will, and see the Just One, and shouldst hear the voice from his mouth.

Shouldst...see the Just One. Our Saviour appeared to St. Paul, as it is said; (chap. 9:7.) and he is divers times, both in the Prophets and in the Testament, called the Just One. (Witham) --- To see and hear the Just One; Him, who is just by excellence, that you also may prove a witness of his resurrection from the dead.
Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness to all men, of those things which thou hast seen and heard.

Acts 22:16 And now why delayest thou? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon his name.

Wash, etc. The contrition and charity of St. Paul had, no doubt, merited for him the remission of his sins at the moment of his conversion. Still were these effects to be attributed to the desire of the sacrament of baptism, without which the council of Trent defines that the forgiveness of sins, and the punishment due to them, are not obtained. It likewise added a new degree of lustre to his innocence and purity. (Tirinus) --- Calling upon his name. In such manner, says St. Chrysostom, (hom. xlvii.) as we invoke the only true God; and as we invoke the saints, and pray to them, that they would pray for us. (Witham)
Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, when I was come again to Jerusalem, *and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance,

about the year A.D. 37. To Jerusalem...that I was in a trance. This might be when he went to Jerusalem, three years after his conversion, or at some other time. It might be in this ecstacy that he was wrapt to the third heaven, as he tells the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:9.[2 Corinthians 12:2.?] (Witham)
Acts 22:18 And saw him, saying unto me: Make haste, and go quickly out of Jerusalem: because they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

Acts 22:19 And I said: Lord, they know *that I cast into prison, and beat in every synagogue, them that believed in thee.

Acts 8:3.
Acts 22:20 And when the blood of Stephen, thy witness, was shed, *I stood by and consented, and kept the garments of them who killed him.

Acts 7:57.
Of Stephen, thy witness. Or thy martyr, as the Greek word signifies. (Witham)
Acts 22:21 And he said to me: Go, for unto the Gentiles afar off will I send thee.

Hence we see that not only principals, but all that consent to the persecution of God's servants for the cause of religion, do highly offend; and this St. Paul mentions here, that the mercy of God may be more remarkably glorified in him hereby. (Bristow)
Acts 22:22 And they heard him until this word, and then lifted up their voice, saying: Away with such a one from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

This word. That is, until he told them that God had sent him to preach to the Gentiles, whom they could not bear to hear preferred before themselves. Not that the Jews forbad preaching to the Gentiles; on the contrary, our Saviour reproached the Pharisees, that they would go over land and sea for the sake of making one proselyte. They were likewise enraged that St. Paul had not laid on the Gentiles the heavy yoke of the law. (Calmet) --- Hence they exclaim: take away this wicked man from amongst us, for it is a sin to let him live. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 22:23 And as they cried out, and threw off their garments, and cast dust into the air,

Threw off their garments. Or pulling them open to shew themselves ready to stone him. (Witham) --- This is nicely descriptive of the fury of a populace, who, when unable to vent their rage in some more effectual way, indignantly throw into the air, and against the object of their indignation, such harmless trifles as dust, clothes, etc. (Menochius)
Acts 22:24 The tribune *commanded him to be brought into the castle, and to be scourged, and tortured: that he might know for what cause they cried out thus against him.

that is Lysias.
Acts 22:25 And when they had bound him with thongs, Paul saith to the centurion standing by him: Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

A Roman. That is, a Roman citizen, a freeman of Rome. (Witham) --- The apostle, on this occasion, not to injure the faith of some weak Christians, who might be scandalized at his public disgrace, prevents the scourging, which on another occasion he patiently submitted to. By the thongs he was probably bound to a pillar; (Tirinus) or being tied hand and foot, was stretched on the ground, with his face downwards. This was frequently done among the Romans. (Calmet) --- See also Gretser de cruce, lib. 1:chap. 10; who declares that it was the Roman custom to bind to a stake or pillar, such as were condemned to be flogged.
Acts 22:26 Which the centurion hearing, went to the tribune, and told him, saying: What art thou about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.

Acts 22:27 And the tribune coming, said to him: Tell me, art thou a Roman? But he said: Yes.

Acts 22:28 And the tribune answered: I obtained the freedom of this city with a great sum. And Paul said: But I was born so.

Civilitatem; that is, Civitatem, Graecè, politeian, the rights of citizenship. These privileges were granted by Antonius to the city of Tarsus. (Appianus, civilium 5.)
Acts 22:29 Immediately, therefore, they that were about to torture him, departed from him. The tribune also was afraid after he understood that he was a Roman citizen, and because he had bound him.

The same law which forbad a Roman citizen to be scourged, forbad him also to be bound. (St. Augustine, lib. 1:de Serm. Dni. Acts 29.) --- It was under Claudius that the abuse of buying the freedom of Rome was introduced. At first the name of a Roman was esteemed much, and bought at a great price. Now (such is the emptiness and vanity of titles) it is refused, and despised; nay, it is fled from, and reckoned disgraceful. (Salvian. De Gubern. Dei, lib. v.) --- If St. Paul, on this occasion, makes use of his privilege, it is not that he was unprepared, or afraid to die for Christ; but because it was lawful to use ordinary means to extricate himself from difficulties, and preserve himself for future services to religion. (Denis the Carthusian)
Acts 22:30 But on the next day, wishing to know more diligently, for what cause he was accused by the Jews, he loosed him, and commanded the priests to come together and all the council: and bringing forth Paul, he set him before them.

Acts 23:0 Paul stands before the council: the Jews conspire his death. He is sent away to Caesarea.

Acts 23:1 And *Paul looking upon the council, said: Men, brethren, I have conversed with an entire good conscience before God until this present day.

about the year A.D. 58. With an entire good conscience. With an upright sincerity. But St. Paul is far from excusing himself from all sin. He laments elsewhere his blind zeal in persecuting the Christians. See 1 Corinthians 15:9. (Witham)
Acts 23:2 And the high priest, Ananias, commanded them who stood by him, to strike him on the mouth.

Acts 23:3 Then Paul said to him: God shall strike thee, thou whited wall. And thou sitting dost thou judge me according to the law, and, contrary to the law, command me to be struck?

God shall strike thee, thou whited wall.{ Ver. 3. Pecutiet, tuptein se mellei, futurum erit ut te percutiat.|} These words are rather by way of a prophecy. (Witham) --- Whited wall. That is, hypocrite, for pretending to judge me according to law; whereas, against all sense of justice, thou strikest me before my condemnation; nay, even without giving me a hearing. The Fathers admire, on this occasion, the greatness of mind and freedom St. Paul exhibited, in reproving the great. (Tirinus) --- This expression was not the angry words of an irritated man, nor the effect of personal resentment, but the just freedom which insulted innocence may lawfully use in its own defence. (Haydock) --- It was likewise a prophecy of what was going to happen. To those who do not consider it, it may seem a curse; but to others a prophecy, as it really was. (St. Augustine, lib. 1:cap. 19. de Verb. Dni.) --- For St. Chrysostom relates that the high priest, being thunderstruck by this answer, became speechless and half deaf; so that not being able to reply a single word, the bystanders did it for him. (Tirinus) --- It was also, as Ven. Bede says, to shew that the Jewish priesthood was to be destroyed, as now the true priesthood of Christ was come and established. (Beda in hunc locum. [Ven. Bede on this place.])
Acts 23:4 And they that stood by, said: Dost thou revile the high priest of God?

Acts 23:5 And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest. For it is written: *Thou shalt not speak evil of the prince of thy people.

Exodus 22:28.
I knew not, etc. Some think St. Paul here speaks ironically, or to signify that now he could be no longer high priest, since the Mosaic law, with its rites and ceremonies, was abolished. But St. Chrysostom rather judges that St. Paul, having been long absent from Jerusalem, might not know the person of the high priest, who was not now in the sanhedrim but in the place whither the tribune had called the council, and who did not appear with that habit, and those marks which distinguished him from others. (Witham) --- It seems rather surprising that St. Paul did not know that he was the high priest. The place which he held in the council, one would suppose, would have been sufficient to have pointed him out. The apostle's absence from Jerusalem is perhaps a sufficient reason to account for his not knowing this circumstance; especially, as the order of succession to the priesthood was at that time much confused and irregular, determined by favour of the Roman emperor, or by purchase. (Calmet) --- At all events, any difficulties we may now find in assigning a probable or true reason, are merely negative arguments; and therefore too futile to be an impeachment of the apostle's veracity. (Haydock) --- St. Cyprian supposes that St. Paul, considering the mere shadow of the name of priest, which Ananias then held, said: I knew not, brethren, that he is high priest. (Ep. 65:69. nu. 2.) St. Chrysostom says, that the apostle here shews the wisdom of the serpent; but that in his preaching, teaching, and patience, he used the simplicity of the dove.
Acts 23:6 And Paul knowing that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, cried out in the council: Men, brethren, *I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees: concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Philippians 3:5.
I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees.{ Ver. 6. Filius Pharisaeorum; and so divers of the best Greek manuscripts pharisaion; but the common Greek, uios pharisaiou.|} It may signify only a disciple of the Pharisees, though the common Greek copies have of a Pharisee. (Witham) --- The address of the apostle in this is great. Knowing the different dispositions of his judges, he throws disunion into their councils, in order to draw himself from danger. Such innocent artifices are allowed in the defence of a just cause. It is one of our Saviour's counsels, to use the prudence of the serpent. St. Gregory, in his Morality, (lib. xxxiv. cap. 3. and 4.) and St. Thomas Aquinas in his Sum. Theol. (2. 2. quaest. 37. art. 2.) observe, that on similar occasions you may, without sin, cause divisions among the wicked; because their union being an evil, it is consequently a good thing that the enemies of peace and righteousness should be divided in sentiments and interests. It must, however, be acknowledged that this principle is very easily stretched beyond its proper limits, and therefore ought not to be acted upon but with the greatest caution and prudence. (Calmet) --- St. Paul knew from divine revelation that he was to go to Rome; but this did not hinder the apostle from taking every prudent care of his own life; as we may see from the following chapter.
Acts 23:7 And when he had said this, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

There arose a dissension. By the Greek, a division, or schism among them, occasioned by St. Paul's declaring himself for the resurrection, which made the Pharisees favour him, and incensed the Sadducees. (Witham)
Acts 23:8 *For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither Angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

Matthew 22:23.
Acts 23:9 Now a great clamour was raised. And some of the Pharisees rising up, contended, saying: We find no evil in this man: what if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an Angel?

Acts 23:10 And when there arose a great dissension, the tribune, fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord standing by him, said: Be constant: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Be constant...so must thou bear witness also at Rome; and so needest not fear to be killed by them. (Witham)
Acts 23:12 And when it was day, some of the Jews assembled together, and bound themselves with a curse, saying: that they would neither eat, nor drink, till they had killed Paul.

Bound themselves. The Greek is, anathematized, that is, submitted themselves to a curse, if they did not kill Paul. It was a great imprecation, the violation of which would have been equivalent to renouncing their belief in God. See to what degree of iniquity this nation is come. When any good is in contemplation, none are found to undertake it; whilst all, even the priests too, are ready to concur in any wicked design. (St. Chrysostom, in Act. hom. xlix.) --- To take an unlawful oath is one sin; but to keep it, is another and greater sin: as when Herod, to keep his oath, put to death John the Baptist. (Matthew 4:9.)
Acts 23:13 And they were more than forty men that had made this conspiracy.

Forty men that had made this conspiracy,{ Ver. 13. Devoverunt se, anathematisan.[ver. 14, bind under a great curse.]|} and bound themselves with an impious curse, or imprecation upon themselves, if they did not kill him. (Witham)
Acts 23:14 They came to the chief priests, and the ancients, and said: We have bound ourselves under a great curse that we will eat nothing, till we kill Paul.

Acts 23:15 Now, therefore, do you with the council signify to the tribune, that he bring him forth to you, as if you meant to know something more certain concerning him. And we, before he come near, are ready to kill him.

Acts 23:16 And when Paul's sister's son had heard of their lying in wait, he came, and entered into the castle, and told Paul.

Acts 23:17 Then Paul calling to him one of the centurions, said: Bring this young man to the tribune, for he hath something to tell him.

Acts 23:18 So he took him, and brought him to the tribune, and said: Paul, the prisoner, desired me to bring this young man to thee, who hath something to say to thee.

Acts 23:19 And the tribune taking him by the hand, went aside with him privately, and asked him: What is it that thou hast to tell me?

Taking him by the hand, with marks of affection and tenderness. It is probable that the tribune expected this young man was come to offer some ransom for Paul's liberty. (Menochius)
Acts 23:20 And he said: The Jews have agreed to desire thee, that thou wouldst bring forth Paul to-morrow into the council, as if they meant to inquire something more certain concerning him:

Acts 23:21 But do not thou give credit to them: for there lie in wait for him more than forty men of them, who have bound themselves by oath neither to eat nor to drink till they kill him: and they are now ready waiting for thy promise.

Acts 23:22 The tribune, therefore, dismissed the young man, charging him to tell no man, that he had made known these things to him.

Acts 23:23 Then having called two centurions, he said to them: Make ready two hundred soldiers, to go as far as Caesarea, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen, for the third hour of the night:

From the third hour of the night. If the tribune spoke with a regard to the twelve hours of the night, the third hour was three hours after sunset, and was about our nine o'clock at night; but if he meant the third watch of the night, that began at midnight. See Matthew 14:35. (Witham)
Acts 23:24 And provide beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe to Felix, the governor.

Felix. This man had been a slave of the emperor Claudius. The high priest, Jonathan, had procured him to be made governor of Judea. He governed the country with great cruelty and outrage; exercising the power of a king, says Tacitus, with all the insolence and meanness of a slave, who is neither restrained by fear nor shame. (Tacitus, Hist. lib. v.)
Acts 23:25 (For he feared lest perhaps the Jews might take him away by force, and kill him, and he should afterwards be slandered, as if he was to receive money.)

This verse is omitted in the Greek. Antipatris was a pleasant city on the Mediterranean sea, situated at equal distance, about 24 miles, between Joppe and Caesarea, on the way from Jerusalem to this latter city. (Matt. Polus)
Acts 23:26 And he wrote a letter after this manner: Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor, Felix, greeting.

Acts 23:27 This man being seized by the Jews, and ready to be killed by them, I rescued coming in with the soldiers, having understand that he is a Roman:

I rescued...having understood that he is a Roman. This was not true, if we understand it of the first time he rescued him; but may be true, if meant of the second time. (Witham)
Acts 23:28 And wishing to know the cause which they objected to him, I brought him forth into their council.

Acts 23:29 Whom I found to be accused of questions of their law: but having nothing laid to his charge worthy of death, or of chains.

Acts 23:30 And when it was told me that they had prepared an ambush for him, I sent him to thee, signifying also to his accusers to plead before thee. Farewell.

Acts 23:31 Then the soldiers, according as it was commanded them, taking Paul, brought him by night to Antipatris.

Acts 23:32 And the next day, leaving the horsemen, to go with him, they returned to the castle.

Acts 23:33 Who, when they were come to Caesarea, and had delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him.

Acts 23:34 And when he had read it, and had asked of what province he was: and understood that he was of Cilicia:

Acts 23:35 I will hear thee, said he, when thy accusers come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment-hall.

This was a palace erected by Herod the Great; in which the governors had taken up their habitation. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 24:0 Paul defendeth his innocence before Felix, the governor. He preaches the faith to him.

Acts 24:1 And after five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down, with some of the ancients, and one Tertullus, an orator, who went to the governor, against Paul.

Ananias went down to Caesarea, where Paul was then confined. This is the sense of the Greek.
Acts 24:2 And Paul being cited, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: Whereas through thee we live in much peace, and many things are rectified by thy provision;

By thy provision.{ Ver. 2. Per tuam providentiam, pronoias, a prudent foreseeing.|} Literally, thy providence, by thy prudence. (Witham) --- Though Felix governed Judea in the arbitrary manner mentioned in the note on the last chapter, he had nevertheless done some good, which is recorded to his honour. See Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 20:6. 11. and The Jew War, xii. But had this not been the case, a public orator seldom scruples to gain over the man by praises, whose judgment he seeks. St. Paul was not ignorant of this rule of rhetoric, though he refuses to imitate Tertullus by pressing flattery into his service, as we observe below, ver. 10. and (Acts 22:1-3.) See also the exordiums of Cicero pro Roscio, pro Milone, etc. etc.
Acts 24:3 We accept it always, and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thanksgiving.

Acts 24:4 But that I be no further tedious to thee, I beseech thee, of thy clemency, to hear us in a few words.

Acts 24:5 We have found this a pestilent man, and an exciter of seditions among all the Jews throughout the whole world, and author of the sedition of the sect of the Nazarenes:

A pestilent,{ Ver. 5. Hominem pestiferum, loimon, pestem.|} or pernicious, and pestiferous man; Greek, one that is a plague. --- Author, or ringleader of the seditious sect, etc. (Witham)
Acts 24:6 Who also attempted to profane the temple: whom we apprehended, and would have judged according to our law.

Acts 24:7 But Lysias, the tribune, coming upon us, took him away with great violence out of our hands,

Acts 24:8 Commanding his accusers to come to thee: from him, thou, judging, mayest know concerning all these things, of which we accuse him.

From him thou...mayest know. By the construction it is doubtful whether from Lysias, or from St. Paul. (Witham) --- Behold them here ready to support the heads of accusation I have brought forward, and which are moreover so self-evident, that the party accused will not dare to deny them. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 24:9 And the Jews also assented, and said that these things were so.

Acts 24:10 Then Paul answered, (the governor making a sign to him to speak) Knowing that for many years thou hast been judge over this nation, I will with good courage answer for myself.

In the apostle's speech we observe nothing of the flattery, which characterized the opposite party. It would have been unworthy of his just cause. (Calmet) --- He observes he had been governor of the province many (eight or nine) years, to insinuate, that had he been a seditious man, as he was accused, Felix would not have failed to have heard of his misdeeds before. (Menochius)
Acts 24:11 For thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days, since I went up to adore in Jerusalem:

Since I went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, not to profane the temple, or excite sedition, but to adore the one true God.
Acts 24:12 And neither in the temple did they find me disputing with any man, or causing any concourse of the people, neither in the synagogues,

In Jerusalem there was only one temple, nor could there, by an express command of the Almighty, be any more throughout the whole kingdom. (Perhaps the Almighty may have wished by this singular circumstance to have impressed more forcibly on their minds the absolute necessity of unity in religion. (Haydock)) But there were many synagogues, which were a kind of schools, in which the law was publicly taught, and the people assembled to read the Scriptures, and to pray. (Calmet)
Acts 24:13 Nor in the city: neither can they prove to thee the things of which they now accuse me.

Acts 24:14 But this I confess to thee, that according to the way, which they call a heresy, so do I serve the Father, and my God, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets:

The Father,{ Ver. 14. Patri et Deo. to patroo theo.|} and my God. In the Greek, the Lord of our fathers. (Witham) --- According to the way. The Protestant version has sect for way; but in this, as well as in many other points, the original is not attended to, in which we read kata ten odon, as in our translation.
Acts 24:15 Having hope in God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection of the just and unjust.

Acts 24:16 In this I myself also study to have always a conscience without offence towards God, and towards men.

Acts 24:17 Now after many years, I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings, and vows.

Acts 24:18 *In which they found me purified in the temple: not with a crowd, nor with a tumult.

Acts 21:26.
Acts 24:19 But certain Jews of Asia, who ought to be present before thee, and to accuse, if they had any thing against me:

Acts 24:20 Or let these men themselves say, if they found in me any iniquity, when standing before the council,

Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice only, that I cried out, standing among them: *That concerning the resurrection of the dead am I judged this day by you.

Acts 23:6.
Acts 24:22 And Felix put them off, knowing most certainly of this way, saying: When Lysias, the tribune, shall come down, I will hear you.

Felix...knowing most certainly of this way. That is, knew even by Lysias's letter, that Paul and the Christians were not guilty of any thing against Caesar, but only accused of disputes relating to the Jewish law. (Witham)
Acts 24:23 And he commanded a centurion to keep him, and to let him be easy, and that he should not hinder any of his friends to minister to him.

Acts 24:24 And after some days, Felix coming with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, sent for Paul, and heard from him the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

Acts 24:25 And as he treated of justice, and chastity, and of the judgment to come, Felix being terrified, answered: For this time, go thy way: but at a convenient time, I will send for thee.

Felix being terrified, etc. When St. Paul spoke of God's judgments, and hinted at such sins as his conscience reproached him with. (Witham) --- Whoever knows the infamous character of Felix and Drusilla, will not fail to admire the apostle's fortitude, that he durst speak (as formerly John the Baptist did to Herod,) to them on the subject of justice and chastity. Suetonius says of the former, that he married three queens. Drusilla, one of the three, was Herod's daughter, and wife of Aziz, king of Emesa, whom he had seduced by the enchantments of a Jew of Cyprus. Hence it is not surprising he was terrified at the thoughts of a future judgment, when expounded by a St. Paul, whose zeal to make these wicked people enter into themselves, hurried him beyond the bounds of worldly prudence, but made such impression on his hearers, as to disarm the indignation his discourse was calculated to produce. See Josephus, ut supra; Tirinus; Calmet; and others. Next to the worship of God, the Christian religion requires of its followers, in the first instance, justice and chastity. Felix was unjust, avaricious, cruel; and both Felix and Drusilla were guilty of adultery. Such was the wickedness of the Gentiles in those degenerate days, that fornication was not looked upon as a crime. How much had they deviated from the excellent maxim we read and admire, inter Socraticas disputationes! omnem virtutem niti continentia, et incontinentem nihil a bellua brutissima differre; that all virtue was built upon continency, and that the incontinent man differed in nothing from the most brute beast. --- At a convenient time I will send for thee. Such is the expedient Felix has recourse to, to silence the voice of conscience: and in this how often is he not imitated by the sinner, who dreads nothing so much as to enter into himself. Why put that off to another time, which will never arrive? Or why delay till death a repentance, which like the remorse of the damned, will then be as unavailing, as it will be eternal?
Acts 24:26 Hoping also withal, that money would be given him by Paul: on which account also frequently sending for him, he spoke with him.

Acts 24:27 But *when two years were ended, Felix had for successor Portius Festus. And Felix being willing to gratify the Jews, left Paul bound.

about the year A.D. 60.
Acts 25:0 Paul appeals to Caesar. King Agrippa desires to hear him.

Acts 25:1 Now *when Festus was come into the province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.

about the year A.D. 60. Festus having arrived at his province, goes to Jerusalem to be inaugurated. The Jews took this opportunity of requesting St. Paul might be sent to Jerusalem, that they might accomplish the iniquitous purport of their vow. Such consequence did they attribute to the death of this one man, that they had no greater favour to ask of their new governor at his auspicious entry among them. (Tirinus)
Acts 25:2 And the chief priests, and principal men of the Jews, went to him against Paul: and they besought him,

Acts 25:3 Requesting favour against him, that he would command him to be brought to Jerusalem, laying wait to kill him in the way.

Acts 25:4 But Festus answered: That Paul was to be kept in Caesarea: and that he himself should very shortly depart.

It would appear, from their first request being peremptorily denied them, how little solicitous their governors were to please them. The successors of Felix and Festus were not better disposed than their predecessors. Their extortions and oppressions were pushed so far, that the Jews attempted at last to deliver themselves by rebellion, which proved their utter ruin and extirpation. Indeed it was in vain to resist, for they already began to feel the truth of our Saviour's prediction, in their subjugation to the Gentiles. Josephus bears ample testimony to the fulfilment of the prophecy. (The Jewish War, lib. 2:chap 16. etc.) (Haydock)
Acts 25:5 Let them, therefore, saith he, among you that are able, going down with me, accuse him, if there be any crime in the man.

Among you that are able.{ Ver 5. Qui potentes estis, oi dunatoi en umin.|} It may signify, such as are powerful among you, or such as are able by health, and willing. (Witham)
Acts 25:6 And having remained among them no more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he sat in the judgment-seat: and commanded Paul to be brought.

Acts 25:7 And when he was brought, the Jews that were come down from Jerusalem, stood about him, objecting many and grievous accusations, which they could not prove:

Acts 25:8 Paul making answer; That neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I offended in any thing.

Paul making answer,{ Ver 8. Paulo rationem reddente, apologoumenou. Ver. 16. Locum defendendi accipiat, topon apologias laboi.|} or his apology, by the Greek. In the Latin, giving an account. In like manner, (ver. 16.) have liberty given to defend himself; in the Greek, to make his apology. In the Latin, till he take a place of defending himself.
Acts 25:9 But Festus being willing to gratify the Jews, answered Paul, and said: Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

Acts 25:10 Then Paul said; I stand at Caesar's tribunal where I ought to be judged: To the Jews I have done no injury, as thou very well knowest.

St. Paul, seeing Festus only sought a plea to get rid of his cause, by putting it into the hands of the Sanhedrim, appeals to Caesar. According to the ordinary rules of jurisprudence, appeals are only made after sentence is pronounced; but Roman citizens had a privilege of anticipating the sentence, when the judge did any thing contrary to justice; as Festus evidently did in this case, by wishing to deliver Paul, a Roman citizen, to the tribunal of his declared enemies, the Jews. The apostle knew he was secured by making this appeal: as the Roman law declared provincial governors violators of the public peace, who should either strike, or imprison, or put to death a Roman citizen, that appealed to the emperor. (Calmet) --- Hence Pliny sent some Christians to Rome for this same reason, as he writes himself in his epistles. (Lib. X. ep. 97.) Fuerunt alii similis amentiae, quos, quia cives Romani erant, annotavi in urbem remittendos.
Acts 25:11 For if I have injured them, or have committed any thing that deserveth death, I refuse not to die: but if there be nothing of these things whereof they accuse me, no man can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.

Acts 25:12 Then Festus having conferred with the council, answered: Hast thou appealed to Caesar? To Caesar thou shalt go.

Acts 25:13 And after some days, king Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea, to salute Festus.

Agrippa. This was son of the king of the same name, who imprisoned St. Peter, and put St. James to death. Bernice was his sister, and one of the most infamous of women. Her character has merited her a place in one of Juvenal's satires, 5th.
Acts 25:14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus told the king of Paul, saying; There is a certain man was left prisoner by Felix,

Acts 25:15 Concerning whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests, and the ancients of the Jews, came to me, desiring judgment against him.

Acts 25:16 To whom I answered: It is not the custom of the Romans to condemn any man, before that he who is accused have his accusers present, and have liberty of making his defence, to clear himself of the things laid to his charge.

Acts 25:17 When, therefore, they came hither, without any delay, on the day following, sitting on the judgment-seat, I commanded the man to be brought forth.

Acts 25:18 Against whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no cause wherein I suspected evil:

Acts 25:19 But had certain questions of their own superstition against him, and of one Jesus deceased, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

Their own superstition.{ Ver. 19. De sua superstitione, peri tes idias deisidaimonias.|} Their particular religion, and manner of worshipping their God. (Witham)
Acts 25:20 And as I was in doubt of this manner of question, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of those things.

Acts 25:21 But Paul appealing to be reserved to the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept, till I might send him to Caesar.

Augustus Nero, who was then the Roman emperor.
Acts 25:22 Then Agrippa said to Festus: I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

Agrippa has the same curiosity of hearing Paul, as Herod formerly had of seeing Jesus. The apostle's name had, no doubt, become famous enough to reach the ears, and arrest the attention of Agrippa. Curiosity is certainly not the best motive a person can bring with him to the investigation of religious truth: still it may occasionally become productive of good. The king was half persuaded to embrace the Christian faith. A better motive, or more serious attention, may induce some to embrace the truth, which accident may first have discovered to them. (Haydock)
Acts 25:23 And on the next day, when Agrippa, and Bernice were come with great pomp, and had entered into the hall of audience, with the tribunes and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought forth.

Acts 25:24 And Festus saith: King Agrippa, and all ye men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews solicited me at Jerusalem, petitioning and crying out that he ought not to live any longer.

Acts 25:25 Yet have I found nothing that he hath committed worthy of death. But he himself appealing to Augustus, I have determined to send him.

Acts 25:26 Of whom I have nothing certain to write to my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and especially before thee, O king Agrippa, that examination being made, I may have something to write.

To my lord. This was a title the emperors afterwards took, but which Augustus and Tiberius are said by Pliny, in his epistle to Trajan, and by Tertullian, to have refused, as too assuming and too high, ut nimis sublimem atque gloriosum. This was perhaps done, that none might bear the title at a time when the Lord of lords was to appear on the earth. (Tirinus) --- Whilst we can approve and admire the motives which actuated the emperors in refusing this title, we cannot go the lengths which some modern enthusiasts do, (mostly Americans, Quakers, etc.) who pretend it is blasphemy to call a mortal man a lord, as if that name were incommunicable to any but the Creator of the universe. Whence they derive this article of faith it will not be easy for us to guess; certainly not from Scripture, in which the word Dominus or Lord, applied to man, occurs almost as frequently as King. Certainly not from our Saviour's words, who give both himself and others this title, (Mark 14:14.; and other places.) nor from St. Paul's doctrine, who also uses this word indiscriminately through his epistles, Galatians 4:1; Ephesians vi. v.; etc. Hence we are justified in retaining this practice, in opposition to their cavils; and in treating that opinion as superstitious and void of foundation, which makes it a necessary part of religion to use no titles. (Haydock)
Acts 25:27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable, to send a prisoner, and not to signify the things laid to his charge.

Acts 26:0 Paul gives an account to Agrippa of his life, conversion, and calling.

Acts 26:1 Then *Agrippa said to Paul: Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretching forth his hand, began to make his answer.

about the year A.D. 60. St. Paul having obtained liberty of speaking, stretches out his right hand, disengaged from his cloak. We must recollect that St. Paul still bore his chains about him, those chains in which he gloried; (ver. 26.) it is therefore necessary to suppose that his left hand only was tied; or, what is less likely, that these chains were not so tight nor heavy as to hinder the easy motion of the right. It is observed by Apuleius, that orators in this action closed the two shorter fingers, and had the others extended. (Calmet)
Acts 26:2 I think myself happy, O king Agrippa, that I am to answer for myself this day before thee, concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews,

Acts 26:3 Especially, as thou knowest all, both customs and questions, which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.

Acts 26:4 And my life indeed from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews do know:

Acts 26:5 Having known me from the beginning, (if they will give testimony) that according to the most sure sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

According to the most sure sect.{ Ver. 5. Certissimam, akribestaten, accuratissimam.|} In the Greek, the most exact or approved: for such was esteemed that of the Pharisees. (Witham)
Acts 26:6 And now I stand under judgment for the hope of the promise which was made by God to our fathers:

For the hope of the promise. That is, of the promised Messias, and of salvation by him. (Witham)
Acts 26:7 Unto which our twelve tribes, serving night and day, hope to come. For which hope, O king, I am accused by the Jews.

Acts 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

He speaks now to the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection. Can you say it is impossible for Him, whom you all allow to be omnipotent, to raise any of the dead to life? Is it not easier to reanimate a body, whose parts are dissolved by death, than create what had no existence? "And why should He, who daily form the corrupted seed brings forth plants, leaves, wood, not be able to call back into their primitive state the flesh and bones from the dust into which they have been dissolved." (St. Gregory, hom. xxvi. in Evang.)
Acts 26:9 And I indeed thought that I ought to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

Acts 26:10 *Which also I did at Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prisons, having received authority of the chief priests: and when they were put to death, I brought the sentence.

Acts 8:3.
I brought the sentence.{ Ver. 10. Ego sententiam detuli, katenegka psephon, calculum, suffragium. It was the custom for judges to give their votes either by taking up a white or a black stone: that it, a white stone, if the persons judged were found not guilty, and a black stone, if guilty: so Ovid, Mos erat antiquis niveis, atrisque lapillis, His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa. --- So that psephos was a lapillus, or a little stone made use of in giving sentence, and from thence taken for the sentence itself.|} That is, from those who in the great council were judges of life and death, to those officers who were to put the sentence in execution. This seems to be the sense of these words, rather than, I voted, or gave my voice in condemning them; for we have no grounds to think St. Paul was one of the council, or of the judges. (Witham)
Acts 26:11 And I punished them often in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme: and being yet more mad against them, I persecuted them, even unto foreign cities.

Acts 26:12 *Whereupon when I was going to Damascus with authority and permission of the chief priest,

Acts 9:2.
Acts 26:13 At mid-day, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun, shining about me and them that were in company with me.

Acts 26:14 And when we were all fallen down to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

It is generally supposed that St. Paul addresses king Agrippa in the Greek language, which was the common tongue of a great part of the East. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 26:15 And I said: Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord answered: I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.

Acts 26:16 But rise up and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared to thee, that I may make thee a minister and a witness of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things wherein I will appear to thee,

Wherein I will appear to thee. From whence interpreters take notice, that Christ divers times appeared to St. Paul to reveal things to him. (Witham)
Acts 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the nations, unto which now I send thee,

Delivering thee, etc. That is, from many attempts, both of the Jews and Gentiles, against thee. (Witham)
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, that they may be converted from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and a lot among the saints, by the faith that is in me.

That they may be converted from the darkness of error to the light of the gospel, and from the power of Satan to the liberty of the children of God.
Acts 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not incredulous to the heavenly vision:

Acts 26:20 *But preached first to them that are at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should do penance, and turn to God, doing works worthy of penance.

Acts 9:20.
Acts 26:21 For this cause the Jews, when I was in the temple, *having apprehended me, attempted to kill me.

Acts 21:31.
Acts 26:22 But being aided by the help of God, I continue to this day witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come to pass:

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he the first of the resurrection from the dead, should shew light to the people and to the Gentiles.

That Christ should suffer, etc. Literally, if Christ be passible. If, here is expounded not as implying a condition, but as an affirmation; so that the sense is, that Christ, according to the predictions of the prophets, was to suffer, was to be the first that should rise from the dead, etc. (Witham) --- First, etc. Many had been raised from the dead before Jesus; the child of the widow of Sarepta, Lazarus, and others. How, then, is Jesus first? He is the first who rises not to die again; and as such the Messias is always represented by the prophets. Others were raised from the dead, but returned again to their graves. Jesus dies no more. He is the first too who raises himself. (Calmet)
Acts 26:24 As he was speaking these things, and making his answer, Festus said with a loud voice: Paul, thou art beside thyself: much learning doth make thee mad.

It is not surprising that Festus should have taken St. Paul for a madman. The resurrection of the dead, remission of sins, receiving baptism, and faith, announcing light to the nations, etc. were subjects completely unintelligible to a Roman. To a Jew the terms were customary and common. The eloquence and manner in which he spoke on these subjects, might shew him to be a man of great learning.
Acts 26:25 And Paul said: I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I speak words of truth and sobriety.

Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, to whom also I speak with confidence: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him. For neither were any of these things done in a corner.

Acts 26:27 Believest thou the prophets, O king Agrippa? I know that thou believest.

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul: In a little thou persuadest me to become a Christian.

In a little thou persuadest me to become a Christian. According to the common exposition, Agrippa speaks in a jest, and ironically; and as for the words, they are the same as, thou almost persuadest me, etc. (Witham)
Acts 26:29 And Paul said: I would to God, that both in a little and in much, not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, should become such as I also am, except these chains.

Except these chains. That is, I heartily wish all men in the same condition as myself, not only to be prisoners as I am, but to be Christians, as I am. (Witham)
Acts 26:30 And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them.

Acts 26:31 And when they were gone aside, they spoke with each other, saying: This man hath done nothing deserving of death or chains.

Acts 26:32 And Agrippa said to Festus: This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Caesar.

Acts 27:0 Paul is shipped for Rome. His voyage and shipwreck.

Acts 27:1 And *when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, and that Paul, with the other prisoners, should be delivered to a centurion, named Julius, of the band Augusta,

about the year A.D. 60.
Acts 27:2 *Going on board a ship of Adrumetum, we weighed anchor, commencing to sail by the coast of Asia; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, of Thessalonica, continuing with us.

2 Corinthians 11:25.
Adrumetum. In the Greek, Adrametum, which seems to be the best reading: the former was in Africa, the latter in Asia; and the ship was to make for the coasts of Asia and not those of Africa. --- Being about to sail{ Ver. 2. Incipientes navigare, mellontes plein, navigaturi.|} by the coast of Asia. Literally, beginning to sail; the sense can only be designing to sail that way, as appears also by the Greek. (Witham)
Acts 27:3 And the next day we came to Sidon. And Julius treating Paul courteously, permitted him to go to his friends, and to take care of himself.

Acts 27:4 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus: because the winds were contrary.

We sailed under Cyprus. That is, north of Cyprus, betwixt the coasts of Cilicia and Cyprus, leaving it on our left, instead of leaving it on our right hand. (Witham)
Acts 27:5 And sailing over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Lystra, which is in Lycia:

Acts 27:6 And there the centurion finding a ship of Alexandria sailing to Italy, he put us aboard her.

Acts 27:7 And when for many days we had sailed slowly, and were scarce come over against Gnidus, the wind not permitting us, we sailed near Crete, by Salmone:

We sailed hard by Crete, now Candia, near by Salmone, sailing betwixt them. (Witham)
Acts 27:8 And with much difficulty sailing by it, we came to a certain place which is called Good-havens, near to which was the city of Thalassa.

Called Good-havens, a port on the east part of Crete, near the city of Thalassa, in the Greek text Lasea. (Witham)
Acts 27:9 And when much time was spent, and when sailing now was dangerous, because the fast was now past, Paul comforted them,

The fast was now past.{ Ver. 9. Jejunium praeteriisset. St. Chrysostom, om ig. nesteian ten ioudaion.|} An annual fast. Some take it for the fast of the Ember-days, which Christians keep in December: but St. Chrysostom and others expound it of the Jewish fast of expiation, in their seventh month, Tisri, answering to our September or October. (Witham) --- Most interpreters understand this of the solemn fast of expiation, mentioned in Leviticus (xvi. 29. and 23:27.) which fell about the end of September and beginning of October. At this time sailing on the Mediterranean is dangerous. Though this phrase is at present obscure to us, we must recollect that St. Luke was writing for Christians, who being for the most part converted Jews, easily understood the expression. (Calmet)
Acts 27:10 Saying to them: Ye men, I see that the voyage begins to be with injury and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

Ye men, I see, etc. This St. Paul foretells as a prophet. (Witham)
Acts 27:11 But the centurion believed the pilot and the master of the ship more than those things which were said by Paul.

Acts 27:12 And whereas it was not a commodious haven to winter in, the greatest part gave counsel to sail thence, if by any means they might reach Phoenice to winter there; which is a haven of Crete, looking towards the south-west and north-west.

Phoenice, on the south part of Crete, a convenient haven to ride safe in, lying by south-west and north-west. (Witham)
Acts 27:13 And the south wind blowing gently, thinking that they had obtained their purpose, when they had loosed from Asson, they sailed close by Crete.

Acts 27:14 But not long after there arose against her a tempestuous wind, called Euroaquila.

Called Euroaquilo.{ Ver. 14. Euroaquilo, eurokludon. Dr. Wells prefers the reading of eurakulon.|} In the Protestant translation, Euroclydon, as in many Greek copies. In others Euraculon, which Dr. Wells prefers. (Witham)
Acts 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear against the wind, giving up the ship to the winds, we were driven.

Acts 27:16 And running under a certain island that is called Cauda, we had much work to come by the boat.

An island that is called Cauda. In some Greek copies Clauda, which the Protestants have followed; in others Caudos. --- We had much work to come by the boat, or to hoist up the skiff belonging to the ship; which we did, lest it should be broken to pieces by the wind against the ship, or separated from it. (Witham)
Acts 27:17 Which being taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship, and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, they let down the sail-yard, and so were driven.

The used helps, under-girding the ship.{ Ver. 17. Accingentes navem, upozonuntes to ploion, bracing the ship with something.|} Perhaps bracing or binding about the vessel with ropes or chains, lest she should be torn asunder. --- Into the quick-sands. Literally, into a syritis, such as are on the coasts of Africa, whither now they were almost driven. --- The let down the sail-yard.{ Ver. 17. Submisso vase, chalasantes to skeuos. The word skeuos, has many significations, and may be taken for the ship, or any part of it: here it may signify the main-mast, which they might take down, lest it should be torn away.|} This seems to be the sense of these words letting down the vessel. Some translate striking the sail; but others think they were in apprehension for the mainmast. (Witham)
Acts 27:18 And we being mightily tossed with the tempest, the next day they lightened the ship.

They lightened the ship by throwing overboard part of their loading and goods. Some call it, they made the jetsam. (Witham)
Acts 27:19 And the third day they cast out with their own hands the tackling of the ship.

The tacking, or furniture of the ship that they could spare; others express it, they threw out the lagam. (Witham)
Acts 27:20 And neither sun nor stars appearing for many days, and no small storm pressing, all hopes of our safety were now lost.

Acts 27:21 And after they had fasted a long time, Paul standing forth in the midst of them, said: You should indeed, O ye men, have hearkened to me, and not have put off from Crete, and have saved this harm and loss.

Not...have saved this harm and loss, which you have brought upon you by not following my advice. (Witham) --- All the company being in consternation and hourly expectation of death, did not think of taking meat. For it appears they did not want provisions, and nothing else forced them to fast. (Calmet) --- The mildness of St. Paul's address to them on this occasion is admirable. He mixes no severe rebuke for their past want of confidence in his words, but seems only solicitous for their future belief. In telling them that none of them should perish, he does not utter a mere conjecture, but speaks with prophetic knowledge; and, if he says they were all given to him, it was not to enhance his own merit, but to engage their faith and confidence in his veracity. (St. Chrysostom, Act. hom. lii.)
Acts 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer. For there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but only of the ship.

Acts 27:23 For an Angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, stood by me this night,

An Angel of God. Literally, of the God whose I am; that is, whose servant I am. (Witham)
Acts 27:24 Saying: Fear not, Paul, thou must be brought before Caesar; and behold God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

God hath given thee all them; that is, the true God, maker and master of all things. It is sometimes a great happiness to be in the company of the saints, who by their prayers to God, help us. (Witham) --- St. Paul prayed that all in the vessel with him might be saved; and an angel was sent to assure him his prayer was heard. If such was the merit of the apostle whilst yet in this mortal body, that the Almighty, in consideration of it, granted the lives of 276 persons, what do you think, will be his interest before God, now that he is glorious in heaven? (St. Jerome, contra Vigilant.)
Acts 27:25 Wherefore, ye men, be of good cheer: for I believe God that it shall so be as it hath been told me.

Acts 27:26 But we must come into a certain island.

Acts 27:27 Now after the fourteenth night was come, as we were sailing in the Adria about midnight, the ship-men deemed that they discovered some country.

In the Adria. Not in what we call the Adriatic gulf, or sea of Venice, but that which lies betwixt Peloponnesus, Sicily, and Italy. (Witham)
Acts 27:28 And they sounded, and found twenty fathoms: and going on a little farther, they found fifteen fathoms.

Acts 27:29 Then, fearing lest we should fall upon rough places, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

Acts 27:30 But as the ship-men sought to fly out of the ship, having let down the boat into the sea, under pretence as though they would have cast anchors out of the fore-ship,

The ship-men...having let down the boat into the sea; that is, had begun to let it down with ropes, etc. (Witham)
Acts 27:31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers: Unless these stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.

Paul said...unless these stay. Providence had ordered that all should escape, but by helping one another. (Witham)
Acts 27:32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

Acts 27:33 And when it began to be light, Paul besought them all to take food, saying: This day is the fourteenth day that you expecting, and remain fasting, taking nothing.

Taking nothing. That is, without taking a full meal, but only a morsel now and then, and nothing to speak of. (Witham) --- Though St. Chrysostom understands these words in their full rigour, and therefore supposes them to have been supported by a miracle; yet is is not requisite to adhere to the severity of these words in the interpretation of them. Not having had time to prepare any regular meal during that time, they may justly be said to have taken nothing, though they had occasionally eaten a little now and then to support nature. Such exaggerations in discourse are common. Interpretes passim.
Acts 27:34 Wherefore, I pray you, to take some food for your health's sake: for there shall not a hair of the head of any of you perish.

Acts 27:35 And when he had said these things, taking bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

Acts 27:36 Then were they all of better cheer, and they also took food.

Acts 27:37 And we were in all, in the ship, two hundred and seventy-six souls.

Acts 27:38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, casting out the wheat into the sea.

Acts 27:39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek having a shore, into which they thought, if they could, to thrust the ship.

Acts 27:40 And when they had weighed the anchors, they committed themselves to the sea, loosing also the rudderbands; and hoisting up the main-sail to the wind, they made towards the shore.

Loosing also the rudderbands. Some ships are said heretofore to have had two rudders: and this ship perhaps had two, unless here the plural number be put for the singular, which is not uncommon in the style of the Scriptures. --- And hoisting up the main-sail. The word in the text may signify any sail, either the main, or mizen-sail, which latter by the event was more than sufficient. (Witham)
Acts 27:41 And when we had fallen into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground: and the fore-part indeed sticking fast, remained immoveable: but the hinder-part was broken with the violence of the sea.

Into a place where two seas met.{ Ver. 41. In locum dithalassum, eis topon dithalasson.|} It happened that there was a neck or tongue of land, which being covered with the waves, they who were strangers to the coast did not discover: this stranded the ship, the prow sticking fast, and the poop being torn from it, so that the vessel split by the violence of the winds and sea. (Witham)
Acts 27:42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them, swimming out, should escape.

Acts 27:43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, forbade it to be done: and he commanded them who could swim, to cast themselves first out, and save themselves, and get to land.

Acts 27:44 And the rest, some they carried on planks, and some on those things that belonged to the ship. And so it came to pass, that every soul got safe to land.

The rest...they carried on planks. That is, let them be carried on planks; and all got safe to land, in the number two hundred and seventy-six souls, or persons. (Witham)
Acts 28:0 Paul, after three months' stay in Malta, continues his voyage, and arrives at Rome. His conference there with the Jews.

Acts 28:1 And when we had escaped, then we knew that the island was called Melita. But the barbarians shewed us no small courtesy.

Melita, now called Malta, famous for being the residence of, and giving the title to, the military order of Knights, who strenuously resisted the Turks, when they threatened to overrun Christendom. The inhabitants are called Barbarians, not as a term of reproach, for the manner he speaks of their humanity testifies the contrary; but in the classical sense of the word, it was applied by the Greeks and Romans to all who did not speak either of those languages. Their hospitality was rewarded by the light of faith, which they still maintain, although infidels have sometimes for a century had dominion over this island. (Tirinus, etc.)
Acts 28:2 For kindling a fire, they refreshed us all, because of the rain which was falling, and of the cold.

Acts 28:3 And when Paul had gathered together a bundle of sticks, and had laid them on the fire, a viper coming out of the heat, fastened on his hand.

Acts 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the beast hanging on his hand, they said one to another: Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, who, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth him not to live.

Murderer. In this instance we see how unfounded are the judgments of men. As if the misfortune itself were not sufficient to endure, the man upon whom any temporal calamity falls, must be also judged to be an object of divine vengeance. How cruel and preposterous, yet how common are such proceedings! Whence can it happen that man is so forward to think evil, so slow to suspect good in his neighbour? (Haydock) --- Not to live. The inhabitants of the island, called Barbarians, had a notion of a Deity, and also that murder was against the law of God and nature. (Witham)
Acts 28:5 And he indeed shaking off the beast into the fire, suffered no harm.

Acts 28:6 But they supposed that he would begin to swell up, and that he would suddenly fall down, and die. But after they had waited a long time, and seeing that no harm was done to him, changing their minds, they said he was a god.

That he would suddenly fall down and die. It is not then by the natural situation and temper of the air, that this island has no venomous creatures. (Witham)
Acts 28:7 Now in those places were possessions of the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us, and for three days entertained us courteously.

Acts 28:8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody flux. To whom Paul entered in: and when he had prayed, and laid his hands on him, he healed him.

Acts 28:9 Which being done, all that had diseases in the island came, and were healed:

Acts 28:10 Who also honoured us with many honours, and when we were setting sail, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

Acts 28:11 *And after three months, we sailed in a ship of Alexandria, that had wintered in the island, whose sign was the Castors.

about the year A.D. 61.
Acts 28:12 And when we were come to Syracusa, we remained there three days.

Acts 28:13 From thence coasting, we came to Rhegium: and after one day, the south wind blowing, we came the second day to Puteoli:

Acts 28:14 Where finding brethren, we were invited to stay with them seven days: and so we went for Rome.

Acts 28:15 And from thence, when the brethren had heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii-forum and the Three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he gave thanks to God, and took courage.

Acts 28:16 And when we were come to Rome, Paul was permitted to dwell by himself, with a soldier that guarded him.

To dwell by himself, with a soldier that guarded him. St. Paul was chained, as it appears by the 20th verse: and it was the custom to fasten one end of the chain by a lock to the prisoner's wrist, and the other end of the chain to the wrist of the soldier who was to guard him. In most Greek copies we read: the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guards: as it is in the Protestant translation, and very probable; but these words are not found in divers Greek manuscripts nor were read by the ancient interpreter of the Latin Vulgate. (Witham) --- St. Chrysostom attributes this liberty St. Paul enjoyed at Rome of going whither he liked, to their admiration of him. (Hom. liv. in Acts.) --- Others to the moderation of Afranius Burrus, who was prefect of the Praetorium in the year 61, and who used his authority, as long as he possessed any over Nero's mind, to repress that emperor's bad inclinations, and direct his councils with wisdom. (Calmet)
Acts 28:17 And after the third day, he called together the chief of the Jews. And when they were assembled, he said to them: Men, brethren, I, having done nothing against the people, or the custom of our fathers, was delivered up a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans:

Chief of the Jews. We have seen before, that the emperor Claudius banished all Jews from Rome. It would appear from this verse, that many of the principal Jews returned at his death, which happened five years before St. Paul's arrival. (Calmet)
Acts 28:18 Who when they had examined me, would have let me go, for that there was no cause of death in me:

Acts 28:19 But the Jews opposing it, I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any thing to accuse my nation of.

Acts 28:20 For this cause, therefore, I desired to see you, and to speak to you. Because that for the hope of Israel, I am bound with this chain.

Because that for the hope of Israel. That is, of the Messias, so long expected and hoped for by the Israelites. (Witham) --- According to the Roman custom, St. Paul must have been fastened by the right hand to one end of a chain, the other end of which chain held to the left hand of the soldier who guarded him. (Bible de Vence)
Acts 28:21 But they said to him: We neither received letters concerning thee from Judea, neither did any of the brethren that came hither, relate or speak any evil of thee.

Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear from thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that it is every where gainsayed.

It is every where gainsayed. Here we observe one of the characters of the true religion. It is contradicted and spoken against. As singular as this may appear, it is however true. Jesus, the author of that religion, had foretold it should be so. If the world hateth me, it will hate you also. The situation of the Catholic religion in this country [the United Kingdom], at present, is something similar to what is related here of Christianity: and those who have the candour to inquire seriously into its merits, have generally the reward of being convinced and of believing in it. Christianity, like some plants, grows the better for being trodden upon. (Haydock)
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came very many to him to his lodgings; to whom he expounded, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, out of the law of Moses and the prophets, from morning till evening.

Acts 28:24 And some believed the things that were said: but some believed not.

Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, Paul saying this one word: Well did the Holy Ghost speak to our fathers by Isaias, the prophet,

Acts 28:26 *Saying: Go to this people, and say to them: With the ear you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing, you shall see, and shall not perceive.

Isaias 6:9.; Matthew 13:14.; Mark 4:12.; Luke 8:10.; John 12:40.; Romans 11:8.
Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears have they heard heavily, and their eyes they have shut: lest perhaps they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Acts 28:28 Be it known, therefore, to you, that this salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it.

Acts 28:29 And when he had said these words, the Jews went out from him, having much discussion among themselves.

Acts 28:30 And he remained two whole years* in his own hired lodging: and he received all that came in to him,

Until about the year A.D. 63. Two whole years in his own hired lodging. That is, in the lodgings which St. Paul was permitted to hire for himself, and to live there, with a soldier chained to him for his guard. Happy soldier, if he knew how to make use of such a favourable opportunity! We may take notice by all this narration of St. Luke, (as when he says here, ver. 16, when we arrived at Rome, etc.) that he was all the way in the ship with St. Paul. (Witham)
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, without prohibition.

Here terminates the history of St. Paul, as contained in the Acts of the Apostles. The other actions of this great apostle, for want of being recorded, are involved in much obscurity. That he obtained his liberty again, and made many voyages to carry the light of the gospel into many countries, is certain: but nothing is known as to the manner or time. He finished his labours by martyrdom, being beheaded at Rome in the 66th of the Christian aera [the year A.D. 66], and the 13th of Nero. What a degree of virtue might we not attain, were we animated by the spirit and courage of a St. Paul. Let us at least try to imitate his example; and, if in dangers and difficulties we cannot clothe our souls in adamant, as he did, we may certainly avoid yielding ingloriously to every light impression. Let us at an humble distance tread in his footsteps and live so that we may navigate in safety the boisterous ocean of life, and by the grace of Jesus Christ arrive at the port, where danger is no more to be apprehended. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lv. in Act. ad finem.[at the end.])