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Julian Period, 4742. Vulgar Era,
DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT-CHAP. IX.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like Jerusalem. as of fire, and it sat upon each of them:
the present day the gifts of tongues would be disregarded, and
The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit being vouchsafed
Julian Period, 4742. Vulgar Æra,
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and Jerusalem.
eth all things, and hopeth all things," surviving the wreck of
A variety of opinions have been advanced respecting this
Others contend that it was but temporary, and intended to answer only an immediate purpose; that the miracle was not wrought upon the apostles themselves, but upon the people only, who were suddenly enabled to understand in their own various dialects, the words which were spoken by the apostles in the Galilean language.
Others attempt to do away the miracle altogether. Eichhorn suggests, that to speak with tongues, means only, that some of the apostles uttered indistinct and inarticulate sounds; and those who uttered foreign, or new, or other words, were Jews who had come to Jerusalem, from the remote provinces of the empire, and being excited by the general fervour of the people, united with them in praising God in their own languages. Herder is of opinion that the word yλwooa is used to express only obsolete, foreign, or unusual words. Paulus conjectures, that those who spoke with different tongues were foreign Jews, the hearers Galileans. Meyer, that they either spoke in terms or language not before used; in an enthusiastic manner, or united Hebrew modes of expression, with Greek or Latin words. Heinrichsius, or Heinrich, that the apostles suddenly spoke the pure Hebrew language, in a sublime and elevated style. Kleinius, that the apostles, excited by an extraordinary enthusiasm, expressed their feelings with more than usual warmth and eloquence. Such are the ways in which the modern German theologians endeavour to remove the primitive and ancient belief in the literal interpretation of Scripture. "Thinking themselves wise, they become fools." Learning so perverted by the inventions of paradoxes, which can tend only to darken the light of Scripture under the pretence of illustrating its sacred contents, becomes more injurious to the consecrated cause of truth than the most despicable ignorance, or the most wilful blindness. The errors of ignorance, the fancies of a disordered imagination, the misinterpretations of well intending theories, are comparatively harmless, when contrasted with the baleful light which renders the Scripture useless, by producing doubt in the attempt to overthrow facts.
Byrom of Manchester, also, and others, have endeavoured to lessen the force of this miracle, by representing that the influence of the Spirit was not so imparted to the apostles as to enable them to speak in various languages, but that when the apostles addressed the multitude in their native Galilean dialect, the Parthians, Medians, &c. who were present, understood them each severally in their own language. It is well remarked by Thilo, that if this had been the case, the words of St. Luke would have been λαλῆσιν ἀυτοὶ, ἀκεόντων ἡμῶν ταῖς ἡμετέραις γλῶσσαις, whereas his expression is λαλέντων αὐτῶν ταῖς ἡμετέ pais yawooais, unde etiam patet, miraculum hoc non fuisse in audientibus, sed in apostolis loquentibus. He then goes on to prove that they spoke successively the various languages of the hearers and spectators of the miracle—they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance, kalç TO πνεῦμα ἐδίδε αὐτοῖς (ἀποτόλοις) ἀποφθέγγεσθαι, non έδιδε αὐτοῖς
DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT-CHAP. IX.
began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave Jerusalem. them utterance.
(cxpoarais) eivarsσai. B. Schmidius-Syrus, loquebantur lin-
(a) See Nolan's Sermons on the Operations of the Holy Ghost; also
6 The words here used by St. Luke, καὶ ἐν τῷ συμπληρῆσθαι
In the former the Paschal Lamb of the Passover was broken,
In the Jewish tabernacle God testified his acceptance of the
Julian Period, 4742.
Vulgar Æra, 29.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout Jerusalem. men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed, and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
new covenant, as the living sacrifices acceptable to God, re-
(a) The opinion is principally founded on the words in Acts ii. 6.
9 Various opinions have prevailed respecting the place where this miracle occurred. The temple, the house of Mary the mother of John, of Simon the leper, of Joseph of Arimathea, of Nicodemus, have each been alternately fixed upon. This point must ever remain in a great degree a matter of doubt; I am however induced, by the arguments of the celebrated Joseph Mede, to think that this miracle took place in an upper room of some private house, set apart for religious services, rather than in the temple which was so soon to be destroyed, and its figurative service superseded by a spiritual worship and purer discipline.
It is not probable that the despised followers of the crucified Jesus should be allowed, as an associated body, to assemble together in the temple, for the purpose of joining in a new act of devotion, by those priests who had so short a time since, been the persecuting instruments of their blessed Master's condemnation and crucifixion (a).
(a) See Schoetgen and Mede's Dissertation on the Churches of the Apostolic Age.
Julian Period, 4742.
Valgar Era, 19.
PETER'S ADDRESS TO THE MULTITUDE-CHAP. IX.
11. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our Jerusalem. tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine 10.
Address of Peter to the Multitude.
ACTS ii. 14-36.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem ", be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
10 Markland supposes that instead of " these men are full of new wine," the passage should be read, "these men are, without doubt, under the strong inspiration of the Goddess Tλɛvкó. He would read yλɛvкouç as derived from yλεukoç, "must." For the sake of ridicule, the person or goddess revк (Gen. óos, es,) formed as ¤áλλw, Avžш (Poll. viii. 9. Segm. 10.) is used. So likewise 'Aɛtésw, and Evɛsw, Deæ Politicæ. Those who opposed the apostles intended by this expression to sneer at the mean appearance and obvious poverty of the fishermen of Galilee, as no one opened their vessels of last year's yλɛvkog, so early as June, unless impelled by necessity (a).
This, however, seems to be a strange remark of Markland: the witnesses of the miracle at Pentecost were Jews; and though some of them who were Hellenists, had resided in Greece or Rome, it does not appear probable that they would make an allusion to the mythology of the heathens in preference to their own traditions. In which they read that there was a demon called opp, which possessed those who were drunk with new wine, which gave the drinker not only wit and gaiety, but the power of speaking other languages (b); and to this agent we may justly suppose the Jews would have ascribed the eloquence and fluency of the apostles if they had attempted to account for the effects of the Holy Spirit by any supernatural influence. But as we find that this was not the case, and as the only evidence that a reference was made to the Heathen Mythology can be derived from the word yλεukos, the present translation of the passage may be considered, Í think, as giving its genuine signification (c).
(a) Ap. Bowyer in loc. (b) See Lightfoot, Pitman's edition, vol. viii. p. 377. (c) Hesychius ap. Schoetgen, Teũkog, rò áπosáyμa τῆς Ξαφυλῆς, πρὶν κατηθῆ, illud, quod ab uva distillat, antequam calcetur. See Schoetgen, Horæ Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 412. and the Dissertation on the word гλɛukog, in the Critici Sacri.
"St. Peter here particularly addresses himself to these repo (ver. 13.) who reproached the apostles as drunkards, to the Jews of Judea and Jerusalem, because those who were assembled from distant parts might not have been so well acquainted with the prophecy of Joel, (ii. 28.) which he now declares to have been fully accomplished on this occasion. And he urges upon those who hear him this predicted promise of the Holy Spirit, as a glorious evidence of the exaltation and resurrection of the crucified Jesus, who was "both Lord and Christ." Let those who doubt the inspiration of Peter, compare what he now