« PreviousContinue »
Julian Pe- 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it Jerusalem. riod, 4742. is but the third hour of the day. VulgarÆra, 29.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel ;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, (saith God,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all filesh : and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men
shali see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams :
18 And on my servants and on my hand-maidens I will pour out, in those days, of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy :
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath ; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
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 ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel
is to what he formerly was, the weak and timid disciple, who
deserted and denied his best friend and gracions master.
The prophecy of Joel was not only applied by St. Peter to
the great effusion of the Holy Spirit; the traditions of the Jews
record its reference to the same event, in the days of the Mes-
siah. Schoetgen quotes on this subject the following para-
graphs from Tanchuma, fol. 65. 3. and Bammidbar rabba, sect.
15. When Moses placed his hand upon Joshua, the holy and
blessed God said in abuya, that is, in the days of the Old Tes-
tament-one prophet prophesies at one time, but xan obyyb, in
the days of the Messiah, all the house of Israel shall prophesy,
as it is said in Joel ii. 48.
Likewise from Midrasch Schochartof in Jalkut Simeoni, part i. fol. 221. 2. and fol. 265. 4. on Numb. xi. 29.
The people assembled therefore at the festival of Pentecost, who were acquainted with this prediction and its traditional interpretation, were now the spectators of its actual fulfilment, and were appealed to both by tradition, by prophecy, and miracle, to acknowledge the divinity of Christ, and the real naturo of his mission. The words “ last days,” in ver. 17, is shewn by Schoetgen to refer to the days of the Messiah, by two references
, , die sexto, qui est millenarius Septimus, XTVT 73, quando Messias veniet; nam dies Dei S. B. sunt mille anni (a). Genes. 49. 1. where Jacob said, “ I will tell you what shall take place in the latter days”-in nuoris vocavit ipsos, quia voluit ipsis revelare xo'vn yp, finem Messiæ (6).
(a) Sohar Genes. fol. 13. col. 52. (6) Ibidem, fol. 126. col. 499. ap. Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 413.
,Diebus postremis באחרית הימים ביום שתיתאי ,to the Book Zohar
PETER'S ADDRESS TO THE MULTITUDE-CHAP. IX.
Jalan Pe- and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked Jerusalem. . riod, 4742. hands have crucified and slain: Vulgar Æra,
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death : because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face ; for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved :
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope :
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption":
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life ; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God
had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his
loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to
sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of
Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh
did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised
up, whereof we all
39 Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear 13.
12 Schoetgen remarks on this passage, that in all the Rabbinical writers be has never met with the application of this passage to the Messiah. We have reason, therefore, to suppose it was applied now for the first time. The apostle at the moment of inspiration, when the remembrance of Christ's wonderful resurrection was still fresh in the memory of the people, asserts, by that strongest and most irrefragable argument, that this prophecy also related to Christ, and was by him alone fulfilled, for “ his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” The veil(a) that had been so long a period spread over the face of Moses, was now to be gradually with. drawn, and through the Spirit of God spiritual things were to be compared with spiritual.
The expression 8 yawora us, in ver. 26, in the original is rendered by *7727, my glory—this word is often used for •vs, my soul.
(a) Auditores apostoli docuerant, accedente jam testimonio Spiritus sancti, quod huo usque, velamen Mosis habentes obtectum, nondum perspexerant.-Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 414.
13 Bishop Horsley was of opinion that the cloven tongues re. mained upon the apostles after they went down among the people. This he thinks is alluded to in the expression, “ that which ye now see and hear,” ver. 33. If so, another beautiful
Julian Pe- 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens : but Jerusalem, riod, 4742. he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou Vulgar Æra, 29. on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye
have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Effects of St. Peter's Address.
ACTS ii. 37-42.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in
their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the
apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be bap-
tized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for
the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Union of the first converts in the Primitive Church.
ACTS ii. 42. to the end.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doc-
trine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in
43 And fear came upon every soul : and many won-
ders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions " and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
analogy exists between the giving of the law to Moses, when
“ the skin of his face shone, while he talked with him," (Exod.
xxxiv. 29, 30.) and the communication of the law to the apos-
tles, when the fire of heaven again rested upon man.
11 That this unbounded liberality was not commanded by Si.
Peter, is evident from his address to Ananias, Acts v. 4. And
that it was not intended as a precedent, is equally clear from all
UNION OF THE FIRST CONVERTS-CHAP. IX.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the Jerusalem.. ried, 4742. temple, and breaking bread from house to house's, did
eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
the epistles, in which frequent mention is made between the dis-
tinction of rich and poor, and frequent exhortations to the
wealthy to be rich in good works; but not the least intimation
that they were required to sell their possessions. It must
have been a voluntary sacrifice to have made the offering
15 In the opinion of the learned Joseph Mede, the words here
translated “from house to house,” would have been better ren-
dered “ on the house." In his curious dissertation on the
Churches for Christian worship in the apostles' times, he ob-
serves: that the early Christians not having stately structures as
the Church had after the empire became Christian ; were accus-
tomed to assemble in some convenient upper room, set apart
for the purpose, dedicated perhaps by the religious bounty of
the owner to the use of the Church. They were distinguished
by the name 'Avúysov, or Ytrepqov, (an upper room,) and by the
Latins Cænaculum, and were generally the most capacious and
highest part of the dwelling, retired, and next to heaven, as
having no other room above it. Such uppermost places were
chosen even for private devotions (Acts x. 9.) There is a tradi-
tion in the Church that the room in which tbe apostles were in
the habit of assembling, was the same apartment as that in which
their blessed Lord celebrated with them the last passover, and
instituted the mystical supper of his body and blood for the
sacred rite of the Gospel. The same room in which on the day
of his resurrection he came and stood in the midst of his disci.
ples, the doors being shut, and having shewn them his hands
and his feet, said, “ Peace be unto you," &c. (John xx. 21.)
The same in which eight days (or the Sunday after,) be appear-
ed in a similar manner to them being together, to satisfy the in-
credulity of Thomas, and to shew him his hands and his feet.
The same hallowed spot where the Holy Ghost descended, im-
parting to them wisdom, faith, and power. The place where
James, the brother of our Lord, was created by the apostles Bi-
shop of Jerusalem : the place where the seven deacons, whereof
St. Stephen was one, were elected and ordained: the place
where the apostles and elders of the Church at Jerusalem beld
that council, the pattern of all councils, where the first contro-
verted point was decided : and afterwards the place of this Cæ-
naculum was inclosed with a goodly Church, known by the name
of the Church of Sion, upon whose top it stood, to which St.
Jerome, in bis Epitaphium Paulæ (Epist. 27.) applies those words
of the Psalmist," Her foundations are in the holy mountains ;
the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of
Jacob,” Ps. Ixxxvii. 1,2. St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, calls
it the upper Church of the apostles, and he states, “the Holy
Gbost descended upon the apostles in the likeness of fiery
tongnes, here in Jerusalem, in the upper Church of the Apos-
tles.”-Cyril Hierosol. Cat. 16. Should the tradition be true,
it is evident that this Cænaculum from the time that our blessed
Saviour first hallowed it, by the institution and celebration
of his mystical supper, was devoted to a place of prayer,
and holy assemblies. And thus perhaps should that tradition,
which the venerable Bede mentions, be understood ; that this
Church of Sion was founded by the apostles: not that they erected
the structure, but that the buildiug from the time it was made a
Julian Pe- 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the peo- Jerusalem. riod, 4742. VulgarÆra, should be saved.
ple. And the Lord added to the church daily such as 29.
A Cripple is miraculously and publicly healed by St. Peter
and St. John.
ACTS iii. 1-11. Julian Pe
1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple
Volgar Æra, at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Cænaculum by our Saviour, was by his apostles dedicated to a
house of prayer.
The Greek word xar' olkov, used in this passage (ver. 46.)
and rendered in our translation “ house to house," may be in-
terpreted like év oikw, “in the house;" and we find
rendered both by the Syriac and Arabic, and likewise by the
New Testament in other places, Rom. xvi. 3—5. I Cor. xvi.
19. Coloss. iv. 15. Philemon i. 2. And we, moreover, find this
Cænaculum called Olcos, in the second verse of this chapter.
And the same phrase, breaking of bread, is used a little before
in the 420 verse, which is wont to be understood of the commu-
nion of the Eucharist; and by the Syriac interpreter is ex.
pressly rendered by the Greek word fractio eucharistiæ ; and
again at chap. xx. ver. 7, according to that of St. Paul, the
bread which we break, &c. Why should it not then be so used
here? And if this interpretation is admitted, it follows that the
passage in question must be intended to signify, that when the
apostles had performed their daily devotions in the temple, at
the accustomed times of prayer, they immediately retired to
this Cænaculum, or upper room, where, after having celebrated
the mystical banquet of the holy eucharist, they afterwards
took their ordinary and necessary repast with gladness and
singleness of heart. It further proves, that the custom of the
Church to participate the eucharist fasting, and before din-
ner, bad its beginning from the first constitution of the Chris-
When we consider even to our own day how many spots
tradition has transmitted to us as the scene of some eventful his-
tory, I cannot but receive the hypothesis of the excellent Medo
as probable, and consistent with reason and Scripture. We
know that the oak of Mamre was venerated till the days of
Constantine, and can we say it is not probable that the sė.
pulchre of the Son of God the last room that he visited
which he consecrated by his presence after the resurrection,
and by the descent of the Holy Spirit, in testimony of his ex-
altation, sbould not be commemorated by his devout and faith-
ful followers ? Who doubts that Edgar was killed at Corse
Castle, or William Rufus in the New Forest ? The particular
spots where the martyrs were burnt at Canterbury, in Smith.
field, and at Oxford, are still pointed out by tradition : and
many instances of a similar nature might be collected from the
histories of every country. Whence then arises the supposed
improbability, that the early Christian would cherish the
memory of the wonderful events in which they were so deeply
(a) See the whole Dissertation in Mede's Works, p. 321, &c.