Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

60.

Julian Pe. 28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms : and Cesarea. riod, 4773. when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, Vulgar Æra,

and found it fifteen fathoms.

29 Then fearing lest they should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,

31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat : for this is for your health : for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all : and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.

37 And we were in all in the ship, two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the

ji. p. 102, edit. Casaub. Par. 1609), confirm Mr. Bryant's opi.
nion. Polybius informs us, that the Ionian Gulf reached south
to the promontory of Corintbus, in Bruttia, where was the com-
mencement of the Sicilian Sea ; but even this, which was the
remotest point south of the Adriatic, was never supposed to ex-
tend as far as Malta, in the Mediterranean.

Strabo says expressly, that the Adriatic Sea is bounded by
Panormus, and a port of Crismor, and by the Ccraunian Moun.
tains, which lie in about forty degrees north latitude, and
upwards of four degrees to the north of Malta ; and in another
place, that the Ceraunian Mountains, and the Promontorium
Japygium form the boundary or mouth of the Ionian Sea (Book
vi. p. 405, Oxf. edit.)

And Ptolomy, so far from accounting Malta to be an island of the Adriatic Sea, reckons it to be a part of Africa ; and Pomponius Mela inclines to the same arrangement: the latter writer speaks of Corcyra, which is in latitude thirty-nine degrees thirty min. north, (nearly half a degree to the south of the Ceraunian Mountains,) as being situated in the neighbourhood (Vicina), not in the Adriatic Sea; so that he probably meant to assign ibe same limits with Strabo.

THE PASSENGERS AND MARINERS-CHAP. XIV.

443

riod, 4773. the ship. Julian Pe- which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in Ces area. Vulgar

Æra, 60.

40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they com-
mitted themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder-
bands', and hoisted up the main sail to the wind, and made
toward shore.

41 And falling into a place where two seas met’, they
ran the ship aground; and the fore part stuck fast, and
remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with
the violence of the waves.
42 And the soldiers' council was to kill the prisoners,
any

of them should swim out, and escape.
43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them ·
from their purpose; and commanded that they which
could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and
get to land.

44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken
pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they
escaped all safe to land.

lest

SECTION VI.
They land on the island of Melita.

ACTS xxviii. 1-11.
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that
the island was called Melita S.

6 See on the rudder-bands, Pocock's Travels, vol. i. p. 135.Bishop Pearce in loc.—and the explanations and quotations in Kuinoel.

? Aldálaooos is properly (says Bochart) an isthmus, or a narrow strait between two seas; but it here seems to mean (says Kuinoel) an oblong drift, or heap of sand, a sand-bank. Mr. Bryant, however, objects to this interpretation.

The Tótos didálagros, (says Bryant) is nothing else but the natural barrier of an harbour : where this is wanting, they inake an artificial one, called a mole, or pier; otherwise there can be no security for shipping, the barbour being little better than a road without it. Such a barrier or headland was here, which they endeavoured to get round, and failed. This may be learn: ed from the context-Περιπεσόντες δε είς τόπον διθάλασσον, επώκειλαν την ναύν; where the word εκπεσόντες was before: it signifies falling upon a place in taking a round or circuit. The mariners saw a bay, into which they had a mind to run their ship; but they met with a small promontory, that projected and formed the entrance into the bay, and wbich was washed on each side by the sea. This impeded them, and in endeavouring to get round it, their ship struck, and stood fast. Mr. Bryant confirms this interpretation of the word by the authority of Chrysostom.-See Kuinoel in loc. and Bryant's Dissertation,

8 Many commentators have been of opinion that St. Paul was wrecked at Meleda or Melite, in the Adriatic, and not at Malta, in the Mediterranean. Kuinoel mentions Rhoer as the principal continental divine who has defended this opinion. The

p. 397.

Julian Pe. 28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms : and Cesarea. riod, 4773. when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, Vulgar Æra, 60.

and found it fifteen fathoms.

29 Then fearing lest they should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,

31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat : for this is for your health : for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all : and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.

37 And we were in all in the ship, two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the

ii. p. 102, edit. Casaub. Par. 1609), confirm Mr. Bryant's opi-
nion. Polybius informs us, that the Ionian Gulf reached south
to the promontory of Corintbus, in Bruttia, where was the com-
mencement of the Sicilian Sea'; but even this, which was the
remotest point south of the Adriatic, was never supposed to ex-
tend as far as Malta, in the Mediterranean.

Strabo says expressly, that the Adriatic Sea is bounded by
Paoormus, and a port of Crismor, and by the Coraunian Moun.
tains, which lie in about forty degrees north latitude, and
upwards of four degrees to the north of Malta; and in another
place, that the Ceraunian Mountains, and the Promontorium
Japygium form the boundary or mouth of the Ionian Sea (Book
vi. p. 405, Oxf. edit.)

And Ptolomy, so far from accounting Malta to be an island of the Adriatic Sea, reckons it to be a part of Africa ; and Pomponius Mela inclines to the same arrangement: the latter writer speaks of Corcyra, which is in latitude thirty-nine degrees thirty min. north, (nearly half a degree to the south of the Ceraunian Mountains,) as being situated in the neighbourhood (Vicina), not in the Adriatic Sea; so that he probably meant to assign the same limits with Strabo,

THE PASSENGERS AND MARINERS-CHAP. XIV.

443

riod, 4773. the ship. Julian Pe. which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in Ces area. Vulgar Æra, 60.

40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudderbands, and hoisted up the main sail to the wind, and made toward shore.

41 And falling into a place where two seas met’, they ran the ship aground; and the fore part stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

42 And the soldiers' council was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and

get to land.

44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

SECTION VI.
They land on the island of Melita.

ACTS xxviii. 1-11,
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that
the island was called Melita R.

6 See on the rudder-bands, Pocock's Travels, vol. i. p. 135.Bishop Pearce in loc.--and the explanations and quotations in Kuinoel.

? Aldálagoog is properly (says Bochart) an isthmus, or a narrow strait between two seas; but it here seems to mean (says Kuinoel) an oblong drift, or heap of sand, a sand-bank. Mr. Bryant, however, objects to this interpretation.

The Toros didálarcos, (says Bryant) is nothing else but the natural barrier of an harbour : where this is wanting, they inake an artificial one, called a mole, or pier; otherwise there can be no security for shipping, the barbour being little better than a road without it. Such a barrier or beadland was bere, which they endeavoured to get round, and failed. This may be learn: ed from the context-Περιπεσόντες δε εις τόπον διθάλασσον, επώκειλαν την ναύν; where the word εκπεσόντες was before: it signifies falling upon a place in taking a round or circuit. The mariners saw a bay, into which they had a mind to run their ship; but they met with a small promontory, that projected and formed the entrance into the bay, and which was washed on each side by the sea. This impeded them, and in endeavouring to get round it, their ship struck, and stood fast. Mr. Bryant confirms this interpretation of the word by the authority of Chrysostom.-See Kuinoel in loc. and Bryant's Dissertation,

8 Many commentators have been of opinion that St. Paul was wrecked at Meleda or Melite, in the Adriatic, and not at Malta, in the Mediterranean. Kuinoel mentions Rhoer as the principal continental divine who bas defended this opinion. The

p. 397.

Julian Pe- 2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kind- Cesarea.
riod, 4773.
VulgarÆra, most celebrated treatise, however, with wbich we are acquaint-
60.

ed, is tbat of Mr. Bryant, who has defended this opinion at
great length, with all his usual learning, and more than his
usual judgment; and in the general opinion, I believe, has been
supposed to have established his position. I shall again refer to
the summary of his arguments, and the just remarks of the ano-
nymous writer I bave before referred to, on this subject.

I am of opinion, he observes, that the island Meleda, last men-
tioned, is the one here alluded to. My reasons are as follow:-
“ The island of Meleda lies confessedly in the Adriatic Sea, which
situation cannot, without much strain on the expression, be as-
cribed to the island of Malta, as I have before shewn (Note 5).
Meleda lies nearer the mouth of the Adriatic than any other
island of that sea, and would of course be more likely to re-
ceive the wreck of any vessel that should be driven by tempests
towards that quarter. Meleda lies nearly N.W. by N. of the
south-west promontory of Crete, and of course nearly in the di.
rection of a storm from the south-east quarter. The manner in
which Melita is described by St. Luke agrees with the idea of
an obscure place, but not with the celebrity of Malta at that
time. Cicero speaks of Melita (Malta) as abounding in curi.
osities and riches, and possessing a remarkable manufacture of
the finest linen. The temple of Juno there, which had been
preserved inviolate by both the contending parties in the Punic
wars, possessed great stores of ivory ornaments, particularly
figures of victory-antiquo opere et summa ante perfectæ."

" Malta,” says Diodorus Siculus, " is furnished with many
and very good barbours, and the inhabitants are very rich, for
it is full of all sorts of artificers, among whom there are excel.
lent weavers of fine linen. Their houses are very stately and
beautifully adorned. The inhabitants are a colony of Phæni.
cians, who, trading as merchants as far as the Western Ocean,
resorted to this place on account of its commodious ports and
convenient situation for a sea trade; and by the advantages of
this place, the inhabitants presently became famous both for their
wealth and merchandize."

It is difficult to suppose that a place of this description could be meant by such an expression, as of an island called “ Melite;" por could the inhabitants, with any propriety of speech, be upderstood by the epithet “barbarous.”

But the Adriatic Melite perfectly corresponds with that description. Though too obscure and insignificant to be particularly noticed by the ancient geographers, the opposite and neighbouring coast of Illyricum is represented by Strabo as perfectly corresponding with the expression of St. Paul.

The circumstance of the viper or poisonous snake that fas. tened on St. Paul's band, merits consideration.

Father Giorgi, an ecclesiastic of Melile Adriatica, who bas written on this subject, suggests very properly, that as tbere are now no serpents in Malta, and as it should seem were nove in the time of Pliny, there never were any there, the country being dry and rocky, and not affording shelter or proper nourishment for animals of that description. But Meleda abounds with those reptiles, bcing woody and damp, and favourable to their way of life and propagation. The discase with which the father of Publius was afflicted (dysentery, combined with fever, probably intermittent) affords a presumptive evidence of the nature of the island.

Such a place as Melite Africana (Malta), dry and rocky, and remarkably healthy, was not likely to produce such a disease,

« VorigeDoorgaan »