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P. 1
The Pulpit Commentary on Acts Vol. 1

The Pulpit Commentary on Acts Vol. 1

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Published by glennpease
EDITED BY THE

VERY REV. H. D. M. SPENCE, D.D.,

DEAN OF GLOUCESTER ;

AND BY THE

REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL, M.A.
EDITED BY THE

VERY REV. H. D. M. SPENCE, D.D.,

DEAN OF GLOUCESTER ;

AND BY THE

REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL, M.A.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 25, 2014
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THE PULPIT COMMETARY O ACTS VOL. 1EDITED BY THE VERY REV. H. D. M. SPECE, D.D., DEA OF GLOUCESTER ; AD BY THE REV. JOSEPH S. EXELL, M.A. There are no known copyright restrictions in the United States on the use of the text. WITH ITRODUCTIOS BY THE VE. ARCHDEACO F. W. FARRAR, D.D., F.R.S.— RT. REV. H. COTTERILL, D.D., F.R.Sl VERY REV. PRICIPAL J. TULLOCH, D.D.-REV. CAO G. RAWLISO, M.A. REV. A. PLUMMER, M.A., D.D. FUK & WAGALLS COMPAY bw Yobk and Toeonto. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. ®3E:poBition anb ^lomiletire :
 
THE RIGHT HO. AD RIGHT REV. LORD A. C. HERVET, D.D., LORD BISHOP OF BATH AD WELLB. ^omilies bs barions ^ntljore.- REV PROF. p. C. BARKER, M.A. REV. PROF. E. JOHSO, REV PROF. R. A. REDFORD, U.A. REV. R. TUCK, B.A. REV. W. CLARKSO, B.A. VOL. I. FUK & WAGALLS COMPAY ew York and Toronto. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. ITRODUCTIO. f 1. Object and Pun or thb Book. The most ancient title of the book, as given in the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Bezse — Ilpafas 'AiroordAxov ; ' and properly rendered, both in the Anthorized and the Revised Versions, " The Acts of the Apostles " — though probably not given to it by the author, sufficiently expresses its general object, viz. to give a faithful and authentic record of the doings of the apostles of onr Lord Jesus Christ, after he had ascended into heaven, leaving them as his responsible agents to carry on the building of his Church on earth. It is obvious that, if the authoritative Christian documents had ended with the Gospels, we should have been left without any sufficient guidance in regard to a multitude of important questions of the utmost moment to the Church in all ages. We should have had, indeed, the record of the life and death, the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus ; but as to how the holy Catholic Church, of which he was the Divine Founder, was to be compacted together, how the Lord Jesus would carry on from heaven the work which he had begun on earth, what should be the functions of the Holy Ghost,
 
how the city of God was to be ruled, how the evangelization of the world was to be carried on from age to age, — we should have known almost nothing. This second " treatise," therefore, which in St. Luke's design was a following up of his own Gospel, but in the design of the Holy Ghost was the sequel of the four Gospels, was a most necessary supplement to the histories of the life of Christ. But beyond this general object, a closer inspection of the book reveals a more particular purpose, in which the mind of the author and the purpose of the Holy Ghost seem to coincide. The true way to judge of the purpose of any book is to see what the book ' Other titles are ^|><^tls riv 'hiraaTi\mr, T.B., or Tfir h.yi»r 'KroariXm*, K.T. ACTS I. * ITRODUCTIO TO actually tells ns, as it is to be presnmed that the execntion corresponds with the design. ow, " The Acts of the Apostles " gives ns the history of the apostles, generally, to a very limited extent. After the first chapters, which relate with such power the founding of the Church at Jerusalem, it tells us very little of the work of further evangelization among the Jews ; it tells us very little of the history of the mother Church of Jerusalem. After the first chapter, the only apostles named at all are Peter, James, John, and James the Less.* And of their work, after those first chapters, we learn only so much as hears upon the admission of Gentiles into the Church of Christ. Peter and John go to Samaria to confirm the converts made there. Peter is sent from Joppa to the house of Cornelius the centurion, to preach the gospel to the GentUes ; and afterwards declares to the assembled Church the mission which he had received, which led to the assent of the brethren in Judaea, expressed in the words, " Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (ch. xi. 18). The apostles and elders come together to consider the question of the circumcision of Gentile converts, and Peter and James take a prominent part in the discussion and in the decision of the question. The preaching of the gospel by Philip to the Samaritans and to the Ethiopian eunuch, and the conversion of a great number of Gh-eeks at Antioch, are other incidents recorded in the early part of the book, which bear directly upon the admission of the Gentiles into the Church of Christ. And when it is remembered how very brief these early chapters are, and what an extremely small portion of the actions of Peter and James the Less, compared with their whole apostolic work, these incidents mast have made up, it already becomes manifest that the history