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We know what the precepts of the religion | tion is represented in the several accounts that are; how pure, how benevolent, how disinterested have come down to us. And this inquiry is proa conduet they enjoin; and that this purity and perly preceded by the other, for as much as the benevolence are extended to the very thoughts reception of these accounts may depend in part on and affections. We are not, perhaps, at liberty the credibility of what they contain. to take for granted that the lives of the preachers The obscure and distant view of Christianity, of Christianity were as perfect as their lessons; which some of the heathen writers of that age but we are entitled to contend, that the observable had gained, and which a few passages in their repart of their behaviour must have agreed in a maining works incidentally discover to us, offers great measure with the duties which they taught. itself to our notice in the first place; because, so There was, therefore, (which is all that we assert,) far as this evidence goes, it is the concession of a course of life pursued by them, different from adversaries; the source from which it is drawn is that which they before led. And this is of great unsuspected. Under this head, a quotation from importance. Men are brought to any thing almost Tacitus, well known to every scholar, must be sooner than to change their habit of life, especial- inserted, as deserving particular attention. The ly when the change is either inconvenient, or reader will bear in mind that this passage was made against the force of natural inclination, or written about seventy years after Christ's death, with the loss of accustomed indulgences. “It is and that it relates to transactions which took place the most difficult of all things to convert men from about thirty years after that event.-Speaking of vicious habits to virtuous ones, as every one may the fire which happened at Rome in the time of judge from what he feels in himself, as well as Nero, and of the suspicions which were enterfrom what he sees in others."* It is almost like tained that the emperor himself was concerned in making men over again.

causing it, the historian proceeds in his narrative Left then to myself

, and without any more in- and observations thus: formation than a knowledge of the existence of “But neither these exertions, nor his largesses the religion, of the general story upon which it is to the people, nor his offerings to the gods, did founded, and that no act of power, force, and au- away the infamous imputation under which Nero thority, was concerned in its first success, I should lay, of having ordered the city to be set on fire. conclude, from the very nature and exigency of To put an end, therefore, to this report, he laid the case, that the Author of the religion, during the guilt, and inflicted the most cruel punishments, his life, and his immediate disciples after his upon a set of people, who were holden in abhordeath, exerted themselves in spreading and pub-rence for their crimes, and called by the vulgar, ishing the institution throughout the country in Christians. The founder of that name was which it began, and into which it was first car-Christ, who suffered death in the reign of Tiberied; that, in the prosecution of this purpose, they rius, under his procurator Pontius Pilate. This underwent the labours and troubles which we ob pernicious superstition, thus checked for a while, serve the propagators of new sects to undergo; broke out again; and spread not only over Judea, that the attempt must necessarily have also been where the evil originated, but through Rome also, in a high degree dangerous; that, from the sub- whither every thing bad upon the earth finds its ject of the mission, compared with the fixed opi- way, and is practised. Some who confessed their nions and prejudices of those to whom the mis- sect, were first seized, and afterwards, by their in, sionaries were to address themselves, they could formation, a vast multitude were apprehended, hardly fail of encountering strong and frequent who were convicted, not so much of the crime of opposition; that, by the hand of government, as burning Rome, as of hatred to mankind. Their well as from the sudden fury and unbridled license sufferings at their execution were aggravated by of the people, they would oftentimes experience insult and mockery; for, some were disguised in injurious and cruel treatment; that, at any rate, the skins of wild beasts, and worried to death by they must have always had so much to fear for dogs; some were crucified; and others were their personal safety, as to have passed their lives wrapt in pitched shirts,* and set on fire when the in a state of constant peril and anxiety; and last- day closed, that they might serve as lights to illuly, that their mode of life and conduct, visibly at minate the night. Nero lent his own gardens for least, corresponded with the institution which these executions, and exhibited at the same time they delivered, and, so far, was both new, and re- a mock Circensian entertainment; being a specquired continual self-denial.

tator of the whole, in the dress of a charioteer, S sometimes mingling with the crowd on foot, and

sometimes viewing the spectacle from his car.

This conduct made the sufferers pitied; and CHAPTER II.

though they were criminals, and deserving the

severest punishments, yet they were considered as There is satisfactory evidence that many profess- sacrificed, not so much out of a regard to the pub

ing to be original witnesses of the Christian lic good, as to gratify the cruelty of one man. miracles, passed their lives in labours, dangers, Our concern with this passage at present is and sufferings, voluntarily undergone in at- only so far as it affords a presumption in support testation of the accounts which they delirered, of the proposition which we maintain, concerning and solely in consequence of their belief of the activity and sufferings of the first teachers of those accounts ; and that they also submitted Christianity. Now considered in this view, it from the same motives, to new rules of conduct. proves three things: Ist, that the Founder of the

AFTER thus considering what was likely to * This is rather a paraphrase, but is justified by what happen, we are next to inquire how the transac- the Scholiast upon Juvenal saye; “ Nero maleficos bo.

mines tæda et papyro et cera supervestiebat, et sic ad

ignem admoveri jubebat."-Lard, Jewish and Heath Hartley's Essays on Man, p. 190.

Test. vol, i. p. 359.

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institution was put to death; 2dly, that in the The testimony of the younger Pliny belongs to same country in which he was put to death, the a later period; for although he was contemporary religion, after a short check, broke out again and with Tacitus and Suetonius, yet his account does spread; 3dly, that it so spread, as that, within not, like theirs, go back to the transactions of thirty-four years from the author's death, a very Nero's reign, but is confined to the affairs of his great number of Christians (ingens eorum multi-Jown time. His celebrated letter to Trajan was tudo) were found at Rome. From which fact, written about seventy years after Christ's death; the two following inferences may be fairly drawn: and the information to be drawn from it, so far as first, that if, in the space of thirty-four years from it is connected with our argument, relates princiits commencement, the religion had spread through- pally to two points; first, to the number of Chris out Judea, had extended itself to Rome, and there tians in Bithynia and Pontus, which was so conhad numbered a great multitude of converts, the siderable as to induce the governor of these prooriginal teachers and missionaries of the institu- vinces to speak of them in the following terms; tion could not have been idle ; secondly, that when Multi, omnis ætatis, utriusque sexus etiam ;the Author of the undertaking was put to death neque enim civitates tantum, sed vicos etiam et as a malefactor for his attempt, the endeavours of agros, superstitionis istius contagio pervagata est.” his followers to establish his religion in the same "There are many of every age and of both sexes; country, amongst the same people, and in the nor has the contagion of this superstition seized same age, could not but be attended with danger. cities only, but smaller towns also, and the open

Suetonius, a writer contemporary with Tacitus, country.' Great exertions must have been used describing the transactions of the same reign, uses by the preachers of Christianity to produce this these words: “Affecti suppliciis Christiani, ge- state of things within this time. Secondly, to a nus hominum superstitionis novæ et maleficæ. *" point which has been already noticed, and which -"The Christians, a set of men of a new and I think of importance to be observed, namely, the mischievous (or magical) superstition, were pu- sufferings to which Christians were exposed, withnished."

out any public persecution being denounced against Since it is not mentioned here that the burning them by sovereign authority. For, from Pliny's of the city was the pretence of the punishment of doubt how he was to act, his silence concerning the Christians, or that they were the Christians any subsisting law on the subject, his requesting of Rome who alone suffered, it is probable that the emperor's rescript, and the emperor, agreeably Suetonius refers to some more general persecution to his request propounding a rule for his direction, than the short and occasional one which Tacitus without reference to any prior rule, it may be indescribes.

ferred, that there was, at that time, no public edict Juvenal, a writer of the same age with the two in force against the Christians. Yet from this former, and intending, it should seem, to comme same epistle of Pliny it appears, "that accusations, morate the cruelties exercised under Nero's go- trials, and examinations, were and had been, vernment, has the following lines :t

going on against them in the provinces over which "Pone Tigellinum, tædå lucebis in illa, he presided; that schedules were delivered by Quà stantes ardent, qui fixo gutture fumant, anonymous informers, containing the names of Et latum medià sulcum deducits arena.

persons who were suspected of holding or of fa« Describe Tigellinus (a creature of Nero,) and vouring the religion; that, in consequence of these you shall suffer the same punishment with those informations, many had been apprehended, of who stand burning in their own flame and smoke, whom some boldly avowed their profession, and their head being held up by a stake fixed to their died in the cause ; others denied that they were chin, till they make a long stream of blood and Christians; others, acknowledging that they had melted sulphur on the ground.”

once been Christians, declared that they had long If this passage were considered by itself, the ceased to be such." All which demonstrates, that subject of allusion might be doubtful; but when the profession of Christianity was at that time (in connected with the testimony of Suetonius, as to that country at least) attended with fear and danthe actual punishment of the Christians by Nero, ger: and yet this took place without any edict and with the account given by Tacitus of the from the Roman sovereign, commanding or auspecies of punishment which they were made to thorising the persecution of Christians. This undergo, I think it sufficiently probable, that these observation is further confirmed by a rescript of were the executions to which the poet refers. Adrian to Minucius Fundanus, the proconsul

These things, as has already been observed, of Asia :* from which rescript it appears that the took place within thirty-one years after Christ's custom of the people of Asia was to proceed death, that is, according to the course of nature, against the Christians with tumult and uproar. in the life-time, probably, of some of the apostles. This disorderly practice, I say, is recognised in and certainly in the life-time of those who were the edict, because the emperor enjoins, that, for converted by the apostles, or who were convert the future, if the Christians were guilty, they ed in their time. 'If then the Founder of the should be legally brought to trial, and not be purreligion was put to death in the execution of sued by importunity and clamour. his design; if the first race of converts to the re

Martial wrote a few years before the younger ligion, many of them, suffered the greatest ex. Pliny: and, as his manner was, made the suffertremities for their profession ; it is hardly credible, ings of the Christians the subject of his ridicule.t that those who came between the two, who were

* Lard. Heath. Test. vol. ii. p. 110. companions of the Author of the institution dur

| In matutinà nuper spectatus arena ing his life, and the teachers and propagators of Mucius, imposuit qui sua membra focis, the institution after his death, could go about their

Si patiens fortisque tibi durusque videtur, findertaking with ease and safety.

Abderitanæ pectora plebis habes;

Nam cum dicatur, tunica presente molesta, * Suet. Nero. cap. 16.

t Sat. i. ver. 153.

Ure I manum: plus est dicere, Non facio. 1 Forsan "deducis."

Forsan "thure manum."

Nothing, however, could show the notoriety of the ment which are casually and undesignedly disfact with more certainty than this does. Martial's closed; forasmuch as this species of proof is, of testimony, as well indeed as Pliny's, goes also to all others, the least liable to be corrupted by fraud another point, viz. that the deaths of these men or misrepresentation. were martyrdoms in the strictest sense, that is to I may be allowed therefore, in the inquiry say, were so voluntary, that it was in their power, which is now before us, to suggest some concluat the time of pronouncing the sentence, to have sion of this sort, as preparatory to more direct averted the execution by consenting to join in testimony. heathen sacrifices.

1. Our books relate, that Jesus Christ, the The constancy, and by consequence the suffer- founder of the religion, was, in consequence of ings of the Christians of this period, is also refer- his undertaking, put to death, as a malefactor, at red to by Epictetus, who imputes their intrepidity Jerusalem. This point at least will be granted, to madness, or to a kind of fashion or habit, and because it is no more than what Tacitus has reabout fifty years afterwards, by Marcus Aurelius, corded. They then proceed to tell us, that the who ascribes it to obstinacy. “Is it possible religion was, 'notwithstanding, set forth at this (Epictetus asks) that a man may arrive at this same city of Jerusalem, propagated thence throughtemper, and become indifferent to those things out Judea, and afterwards preached in other parts from madness or from habit, as the Galileans ? of the Roman empire. These points also are "Let this preparation of the mind (to die) arise fully confirmed by Tacitus, who informs us, that from its own judgment, and not from obstinacy the religion, after a short check, broke out again like the Christians."#

in the country where it took its rise; that it not only spread throughout Judea, but had reached Rome, and that it had there great multitudes of

converts; and all this within thirty years after its CHAPTER III.

commencement. Now these facts afford a strong There is satisfactory evidence that many, pro- maintain. What could the disciples of Christ ex

inference in behalf of the proposition which we fessing to be original witnesses of the Chris-pect for themselves when they saw their Master lian miracles, passed their lives in labours, dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily under put to death? Could they hope to escape the gone in attestation of the accounts which they persecuted me, they will also persecute you, was

dangers in which he had perished ? If they have delivered, and solely in consequence of their the warning of common sense. With this exbelief of those accounts ; and that they also submitted, from the same motives, to new rules ample before their eyes, they could not be without of conduct.

a full sense of the peril of their future enterprise.

2. Secondly, all the histories agree in representOf the primitive condition of Christianity, a ing Christ as foretelling the persecution of his foldistant only and general view can be acquired from lowers :heathen writers. It is in our own books that the “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, detail and interior of the transaction must be and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nasought for. And this is nothing different from tions for my name's sake."* what might be expected. Who would write a “When affliction or persecution ariseth for the history of Christianity, but a Christian? Who word's sake, immediately they are offended.”+ was likely to recorl the travels, sufferings, labours, “They shall lay hands on you, and persecute or successes of the apostles, but one of their you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and own number, or of their followers ? Now these into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers books come up in their accounts to the full extent for my name's sake :-and ye shall be betrayed of the proposition which we maintain. We have both by parents and brethren, and kinsfolks and four histories of Jesus Christ We have a friends, and some of you shall they cause to be put history taking up the narrative from his death, to death." I and carrying on an account of the propagation “The time cometh, that he that killeth you, of the religion, and of some of the most eminent will think that he doeth God service. And these persons engaged in it, for a space of nearly thirty things will they do unto you, because they have years. We have, what some may think still more not known the Father, nor me. But these things original, a collection of letters, written by certain have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye principal agents in the business, upon the business, may remember that I told you of them."$ and in the midst of their concern and connexion

I am not entitled to argue from these passages, with it. And we have these writings severally that Christ actually did foretell these events, and attesting the point which we contend for, viz. the that they did accordingly come to pass ; because sufferings of the witnesses of the history, and that would be at once to assume the truth of the attesting it in every variety of form in which it religion : but I am entitled to contend, that one side can be conceived to appear: directly and indirectly, or other of the following disjunction is true ; either expressly and incidentally, by assertion, recital, that the Evangelists have delivered what Christ and allusion, by narratives of facts, and by argu- really spoke, and that the event corresponded with ments and discourses built upon these facts, either the prediction; or that they put the prediction into referring to them, or necessarily presupposing Christ's mouth, because, at the time of writing them.

the history, the event had turned out so to be: I remark this variety, because, in examining for, the only two remaining suppositions appear in ancient records, or indeed any species of testimo the highest degree incredible; which are, either ny, it is, in my opinion, of the greatest importance to attend to the information or grounds of argu

* Mat. xxiv. 9.

Mark iv. 17. See also chap. x. 30.

Luke xxi. 12—16. See also chap. xi. 49. • Epict. I. iv. c. 7. | Marc. Aur. Med. I. xi. c. 3.

See also chap. xv. 20; Ivi. 33.

John xvi. 4

that Christ filled the minds of his followers with nothing in the circumstances of the tmes which fears and apprehensions, without any reason or required patience, which called for the exercise authority for what he said, and contrary to the of constancy and resolution ? Or will it be pretruth of the case ; or that, although Christ had tended that these exhortations (which, let it be never foretold any such thing, and the event would observed, come not from one author, but from have contradicted him if he had, yet historians many) were put in, merely to induce a belief in who lived in the age when the event was known, after-ages, that the Christians were exposed to falsely, as well as officiously, ascribed these words dangers which they were not exposed to, or underto him.

went sufferings which they did not undergo? If 3. Thirdly, these books abound with exhorta- these books belong to the age to which they lay. tions to patience, and with topics of comfort under claim, and in which age, whether genuine or spudistress.

rious, they certainly did appear, this supposition “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? cannot be maintained for a moment; because I Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or fa- think it impossible to believe, that passages, which mine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Nay, in must be deemed not only unintelligible, but false, all these things we are more than conquerors by the persons into whose hands the books upon through Him that loved us."*

their publication were to come, should nevertheless "We are troubled on every side, yet not dis- be inserted, for the purpose of producing an effect tressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair ; per- upon remote generations. In forgeries which do secuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not not appear till many ages after that to which they destroyed; always bearing about in the body the pretend to belong, it is possible that some condying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Je- trivance of that sort may take place; but in no sus might be made manifest in our body ;-know- others can it be attempted. ing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. -For which cause we faint not; but,

S though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light aftlic

CHAPTER IV. tion, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”+ | There is satisfactory evidence that many, pro

" Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have fessing to be original witnesses of the Christian spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example miracles, passed their lires in labours, dangers, of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, and sufferings, voluntarily undergone in atwe count them happy which endure. Ye have testation of the accounts which they delirered, heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the and solely in consequence of their belief of those end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and accounts; and that they also submitted, from of tender mercy.”+

the same motives, to new rules of conduct. “ Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a The account of the treatment of the religion, great fight of afflictions, partly whilst ye were and of the exertions of its first preachers, as stated made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflic in our Scriptures (not in a professed history of pertions, and partly whilst ye became companions of secutions, or in the connected manner in which I them that were so used; for ye had compassion of am about to recite it, but dispersedly and occasionme in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of ally, in the course of a mixed general history, your goods, knowing in yourselves, that ye have which circumstance alone negatives the supposiin heaven a better and an enduring substance. tion of any fraudulent design,) is the following: Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which “ That the Founder of Christianity, from the comhath great recompense of reward; for ye have mencement of his ministry to the time of his vioneed of patience, that, after ye have done the will lent death, employed himself wholly in publishing of God, ye might receive the promise."'$ the institution in Judea and Galilee; that, in order

“So that we ourselves glory in you in the to assist him in this purpose, he made choice out churches of God, for your patience and faith in all of the number of his followers, of twelve persons, your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure. who might accompany him as he travelled from Which is a manifest token of the righteous judg-place to place; that, except a short absence upon ment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of a journey in which he sent them, two by two, to the kingdom for which ye also suffer.”ll announce his mission, and one of a few days, when

We rejoice in hope of the glory of God; and they went before him to Jerusalem, these persons rot only so, but we glory in tribulations also; were steadily and constantly attending upon him; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and that they were with him at Jerusalem when he patience experience, and experience hope." was apprehended and put to death; and that they

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the were commissioned by him, when his own minisfiery trial which is to try you, as though some try was concluded, to publish his Gospel, and colstrange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, in- lect disciples to it from all countries of the world.” asmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings. The account then proceeds to state," that a few -Wherefore let them that suffer according to the days after his departure, these persons, with some will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to of his relations, and some who had regularly frehim in well doing, as unto a faithfulCreator." **

quented their societý, assembled at Jerusalem; What could all these texts mean, if there was that considering the office of preaching the religion

as now devolved upon them, and one of their num* Rom. viii. 35-37. 2 Cor. iv. 8-10. 14. 16, 17. ber having deserted the cause, and, repenting of 1 James v. 10, 11. $ Heb. x. 32-36. | 2 Thess. i. 4, 5. Rom. v. 3, 4.

his perfidy, having destroyed himself, they proceed** 1 Pet. iv. 12, 13. 19.

ed to elect another into his place, and that they

were careful to make their election out of the num Hitherto the preachers of the new religion seem ber of those who had accompanied their Master to have had the common people on their side; from the first to the last, in order, as they alleged, which is assigned as the reason why the Jewish that he might be a witness, together with them- rulers did not, at this time, think it prudent to selves, of the principal facts which they were proceed to greater extremities. It was not long, about to produce and relate concerning him;* that however, before the enemies of the institution they began their work at Jerusalem by publicly found means to represent it to the people as tendasserting that this Jesus, whom the rulers and in- ing to subvert their law, degrade their lawgiver, habitants of that place had so lately crucified, was, and dishonour their temple. And these insinuain truth, the person in whom all their prophecies tions were dispersed with so much success, as to and long expectations terminated; that he had induce the people to join with their superiors in been sent amongst them by God; and that he was the stoning of a very active meinber of the new appointed by God the future judge of the hunan community. species; that all who were solicitous to secure to The death of this man was the signal of a themselves happiness after death, ought to receive general persecution, the activity of which may be him as such, and to make profession of their be judged of from one anecdote of the time :-" As lief, by being baptized in his name.”+ The his- for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering tory goes on to relate," that considerable numbers into every house, and haling men and women, accepted this proposal, and that they who did so, committed them to prison."* This persecution formed amongst themselves a strict union and so- raged at Jerusalem with so much fury, as to drive ciety it that the attention of the Jewish govern- most of the new converts out of the place, except ment being soon drawn upon them, two of the the twelve apostles. The converts, thus "scata principal persons of the twelve, and who also had tered abroad," preached the religion wherever they lived most intimately and constantly with the came; and their preaching was, in effect, the Founder of the religion, were seized as they were preaching of the twelve; for it was so far carried discoursing to the people in the temple; that, after on in concert and correspondence with them, that being kept all night in prison, they were brought when they heard of the success of their emissaries the next day before an assembly composed of the in a particular country, they sent two of their chief persons of the Jewish magistracy and priest- number to the place, to complete and confirm the hood; that this assembly, after some consultation, mission. found nothing, at that time, better to be done to An event now took place, of great importance wards suppressing the growth of the sect, than to in the future history of the religion. The persethreaten their prisoners with punishment if they cutions which had begun at Jerusalem, followed persisted ; that these men, after expressing, in de- the Christians to other cities, in which the authocent but firm language, the obligation under which rity of the Jewish Sanhedrim over those of their they considered themselves to be, to declare what own nation was allowed to be exercised. A they knew, to speak the things which they had young man, who had signalized himself by his seen and heard, returned from the council

, and hostility to the profession, and had procured a reported what had passed to their companions; commission from the council at Jerusalem to seize that this report, whilst it apprized them of the any converted Jews whom he might find at Da danger of their situation and undertaking, had no mascus, suddenly became a proselyte to the relia other effect upon their conduct than to produce in gion which he was going about to extirpate. The them a general resolution to persevere, and an new convert not only shared, on this extraorulinaearnest prayer to God to furnish them with assist- ry change, the fate of his companions, but brought ance, and to inspire them with fortitude, propor- upon himself a double measure of enmity from tioned to the increasing exigency of the service."'s the party which he had left. The Jews at DaA very short time after this, we read “ that all the mascus, on his return to that city, watched the twelve apostles were seized and cast into prison ;ll gates night ard day, with so much diligence, that that being brought a second time before the Jew- he escaped from their hands only by being let ish Sanhedrim, they were upbraided with their down in a basket by the wall. Nor did he find disobedience to the injunction which had been laid himself in greater safety at Jerusalem, whither he upon them, and beaten for their contumacy; that, immediately repaired. -- Attempts were there also being charged once more to desist, they were suf- soon set on foot to destroy him; from the danger fered to depart; that however they neither quitted Jerusalem, nor ceased from preaching, both daily sions, and laid down the prices at the apostles' feet. in the temple, and from house to house ; ft and that Yet, so insensible, or undesirous, were they of the ada the twelve considered themselves as so entirely vantage which that confidence afforded, that we find and exclusively devoted to this office, that they they very soon disposed of the trust, by putting it into

the hands, not of nominees of their own, but of stew. now transferred what may be called the temporal ards formally elected for the purpose by the society at affairs of the society to other hands."**

We may add also, that this excess of generosity, which

cast private property into the public stock, was so far • Acts i. 21, 22. † Acts xi. 1 Acts iv. 32. from being required by the apostles, or imposed as a law | Acts v. 18.

of Christianity, that Peter reminds Ananjas that he &. I do not know that it has ever been insinuated, that had been guilty, in his behaviour, of an officious and the Christian mission, in the hands of the apostles, was voluntary prevarication; " for whilst," says he, "thy a scheme for making a fortune, or for getting money.-estate remained unsold, was it not thine own ? and after But it may nevertheless he fit to remark upon this pas. it was sold, was it not in thine own power ?" sage of their history, how perfectly free they appear to * Acts vi. 12.

† Acts vjij. 3. have been from any pecuniary or interested views what. | Acts viji. 1. " And they were all scattered abroad:” ever. The most tempting opportunity which occurred, but the term "all" is not, I think, to be taken strictly of making a gain of their converts, was by the custody as denoting more than the generality; in like manner as and management of the public funds, when some of the in Acts ix 35 “And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saricher inembers, intending to contribute their fortunes ron saw him, and lurned to the Lord.” to the common support of the society, sold their posses. $ Acts ix.



Acts iv.

T Acts v. 42


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