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St. Paul's Speeches

St. Paul's Speeches

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



Acts ziii. 43.

Note when the congregation was broken upy many of the Jews and re-
ligious proselytes foU^rwed Paul and Barnabas ; who, speaking to
them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God,
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



Acts ziii. 43.

Note when the congregation was broken upy many of the Jews and re-
ligious proselytes foU^rwed Paul and Barnabas ; who, speaking to
them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 05, 2013
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ST. PAUL'S SPEECHESBY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.Acts ziii. 43.ote when the congregation was broken upy many of the Jews and re-ligious proselytes foU^rwed Paul and Barnabas ; who, speaking tothem, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God,The congregation here spoken of was one at Antioch inPisidia, to which Paul had been setting forth the firstprinciples of Christian truth. It may be observed, thatthe wisdom of God has provided for us in the Acts of theApostles, specimens of St. Paul's manner of addressingthree very diflferent classes of hearers ; from each of whichwe may derive a lesson in speaking to persons under likecircumstances. We have in his speech to the Atheniansa specimen of his way of opening the Gospel to those whoare wholly unacquainted with it, who knew nothing of theexpectation of the Messiah, notliing of the Old Testament,and next to nothing of the Jewish people ; to men whoseminds had in them nothing Eastern, but had received inthe fullest measure the benefits of that cultivation whichthey were designed first to enjoy themselves, and then tocommunicate to all mankind. Again, in his address to thesynagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, contained in the chapterfrom which the text is taken, we have a specimen of hisway of opening the Gospel to those who were Jews eitherby blood or by religion ; to those, that is, to whom theST. PAUL'S SPEECHES. 189promises of the Messiah were known, and who were wellacquainted with the Scriptures of the Old Testament.Thirdly, in his address to the elders of the Church of 
 
Ephesus, when they came to meet him at Miletus on hisway to Jerusalem, we have a specimen of his way of speak-ing to those who were acquainted fully with the Gospel.As in the other two speeches we might suppose that moretruth was yet behind, which could not be communicatedall at once to those who knew nothing of Christianity, sowe may be sure that in a speech addressed not only toChristians, but to elders of the Church, to the rulers andteachers of the Christian society, there could be no reserveswhatever ; that whatever is to them insisted upon as thesubstance of the Gospel, is so to us, and to all Christians ;and that any man who would dream of some yet higherand more secret doctrine, taught only to those mostadvanced in Christian perfection, is merely adding toGod's wisdom and God's truth, not the wisdom andtruth of man, for in such a case the words truth andwisdom have no place, but rather his folly and superstitionand falsehood.It is not, however, with the view of showing the dif-ferences between these addresses of the Apostle to differentpersons, that I was led to the choice of my text. It maybe enough for this view of the subject simply to notice,that as in the speech to the Athenians we find the Apostlesetting forth the great outlines, so to speak, of a Christian'sfaith, — that there is one God, the conunon Maker andFather of all men, higher and purer than we can conceiveof, a righteous Judge, who will render to all men accordingto their deeds, and who, by raising up Jesus from the deadhas given the pledge that all men shall likewise rise fortheir happiness or for their misery ;— so in the speech tothe Jews of Antioch, and in that to the elders of Ephesus,we find just that one point added which man, wholly190 ST. PAUL'S SPEECHES.ignorant of God and of the Jewish covenant, could not atfirst have well borne, — namely, that Jesus is more than a
 
pledge of our own resurrection, more than the righteousJudge before whom we must all stand to give our account ;that He is also our Saviour, who stands Ixjfore us when wetruly repent of our sins towards God, to claim our thankful{JEuth that for His sake our sins are fully forgiven andmade as though they had never been : who presentsHimself to us again when, by reason of our imperfectrepentance and most imperfect obedience, we see not howwe can have confidence towards God, — to tell us that forHis sake, and through faith in His blood, we are justifiedfrom all things from which we could not be justified by thelaw of Moses ; that we, though sinners, are accepted and for-given, and loved as children by our Heavenly Father, becauseGod gave His own Son to die for us.This was given as the substance of Christianity to themembers of the synagogue of Antioch: and we find itagain spoken of as such in the speecli to the elders of Ephesus. One thing, however, we notice, which the eldersof the Church of Epiiesus had learned, wliicli might not per-haps have been known in the first instance by Paul's hearersat Antioch. For when those wlio had been used to the OldTestament, and to wiiat is there so ciimestly taught con-cerning worsliipping God only, — when they were told thatJesus was their Saviour, when they were told to believe,not merely in His word but in Himself, to trust to Misperson as a worthy object of faitli, — they would ask, ' Whois this Jesus, that we may so regard Him ; and how can a manno longer upon earth be lovtd as our Savioiu", and trustedin as our sure Help and Deliverer, and l>e an object of our faith, without interfering with that faitli and love andtrust wliich seem in the invisible world to be due to Godonly ? 'Then they would be told to look into the ScripturesST. PAUL'S SPEECHES. 191

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