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CH A P. XXVI.
Sufferings, bis Life and Death.
HO was Paul ? ?
A. He was a Jew of the Tribe of Benjamin, born at Tarfus; his Name at first was Saul, he was brought up in the strict Sect of the Pharisees, a Man of good Morals, and exceeding zealous of the Traditions of the Fathers, Aals xxiii. 9. and xxi. 39. Phil. iii. :5, 6. Gal. i. 14. Aets vii. 58.
2 Q. What was his Behaviour towards the Christians while he continued a Pharisee?
A. He was a very great Persecutor in his younger Years, he made Havock of the Church every where, sending Men and Women to Prison, and he encouraged those who ftoned Stephen, Aas viii. 1, 3. and vii, 58.
3 Q. How came he to become a Christian ?
A. As he was going to Damascus, with Orders from the High Priest to bring all the Christians he could find there bound to Jerusalem, he was struck down on the Road, by a Blaze of Light from Heaven, Aats ix, 1-3:
4. Q. Did he hear any Voice at the same Time?
A. A Voice from Heaven said to him, Saul, Saul, why perfecutest thou me? I am Jefus, whom thou perfecutest, ver. 4, 5,
5 Q. What Effect had this upon Saul?
A. He trembled and cried out, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord bid him, arise, and go to the City of Damascus, and there he Dould be told his Duty, ver. 6.
6 Q. Did Saul obey this divine Vision ?
A. He rose from the Earth, and found that he was ftruck blind, and he was led by the Hand into
Damascus, Damascus, where he was three Days without Sight and without Food, and engaged much in Prayer, ver. 8-11.
7 Q: Who was sent to teach him his Duty there?
4. Ananias, a Disciple, was ordered by the Lord in a Vision to go to him in the House where he lodged, and to restore his Eyesight, ver. 11, 12, and to tell him what Honour and Duty God had appointed for him.
8Q. Did Ananias go willingly on this Errand ?
A. He was at first afraid to go, because he had heard of his cruel Perfecution of the Christians; but the Lord affured him that Saul would receive him, because he had given Saul also a Vision of one Ananias to prepare him for his coming, v. 10, &c.
9 Q. How did Saul recover his Sight?
A. Ananias laid his Hands upon him, and he received hi Sight, and was filled with the Holy Ghost, and was baptized, ver. 17, 18.
100. Who appointed Saul at first to be aPreacher?
1. The Lord Jesus ordered Ananias to tell him, that God had chosen him to know his Will, to see Jesus, and to be a Witness for Christ to the World, AEls xxii.
And fome Time after that, Christ himself in another Vision sent him to preach to the Heathen Nations, ver. 21. Note here, In St Paul's Rehearsal of this Matter to
Agrippa. Aets xxvi, 16, &c. Christ himself is represented as giving Paul his first Commission from Heaven to the Gentiles at this Time : Yet it has been questioned whether the Apostle does not in this Rehearsal join together all that Christ said to him, both in his firit Vision upon the Road to Damascus, and his second Vision at Jerusalem in the Temple, when he was more expresly sent to the Gentiles, Aets xxii. 17, 18, 21. but this is too large a Debate to be assumed here.
1 Q. How did Saul employ himself after this wonderful Appearance?
A. He was.a few Days with the Disciples at Damascus, and he soon preached Christ in the Synagogues, that he is the Son of God, to the Amaze. ment of them that heard him, ver. 19–22.
12 Q: How came he to learn and preach the Gospel lo foon?
A. It is generally supposed that he was taught the Gospel by Jesus Christ himself in the three Days of his Blindness, for he declares he learnt it mot from Men, Gal. i, , 11-16.
13 Q. Where did he preach the Gospel when he went from Damascus ?
4. In Arabia,and the returned again to Damascus, and did not go up to the Apoltles at Jerusalem till three Years after, Gal. i. 17, 18.
14 Q. When he returned to Damascus how did the Jews bear with him?
A. They watched the Gates Night and Day to flay him ; but the Disciples took him by Night, and let him down by the Wall in a Barket, Aets ix. 23-25. and 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33.
15 Q. When he came to Jerusalem, how was he received by the Disciples ?
4. They were all afraid of him, because he had been so great a Persecutor of the Christians but a very
few Years before, ver, 26. 16 Q. How were they persuaded to believe that he was now a Disciple of Christ?
A. Barnabas brought him to the Apoftles, and gave an Account of Chrift's calling him from Heaven, and his preaching boldly at Damascus in the Name of Jesus, ver. 26, 27.
17 Q. Who was Barnabas?
A. A Levite of Cyprus, whose Name was Joses, who was a zealous Disciple of Christ, and a Preacher of the Gospel, whom the Apostles Surnamed Barnabas, that is, the Son of Confolation, Acts iv. 36.
18 Q. Did Saul preach Christ at Jerusalem ?
A. Yes, with great Courage; but the Grecians, (that is, the Hellenist or Grecian Jews) fought to flay him, and then the Brethren persuaded him to retire to his native Place, Tarsus in Cilicia, Aits ix. 28-30.
19 Q. What was that other Vifion which he had of Chrift when he was at Jerusalem ?
A. As he was praying in the Temple he saw the Lord, who assured him that the Jews would not receive his Witness concerning him, and bid him depart from Jerusalem, for that he would send him to the Gentiles, Atts xxii, 17-21. Note, Though this Account of Paul's feeing Christ in
the Temple of Jerusalem, seems here immediately to follow the Account of his Conversion, AEts xxii. 16, 17. yet fome think he had not this Vision till the second Time of his coming to Jerusalem. 20Q.Whither wasBarnabas sent by the Apostles?
A. When they heard of the great Success of the Gospel in foreign countries, they sent him as far as Antioch in Syria to confirm the Disciples, Acts
Note, The great Success of the Gospel at this Time,
was partly among the Jews who resided in other Countries, and partly the Jewish Proselytes of the Gate, or the devout Perfons, and fuch as feared God, Acts x. 17. and chap. xiii, 16, 50.
21 Q. Whither did Barnabas go when he left Antioch?
A. He went to Tarsus to seek Saul, and brought him to Antioch, where they spent a whole Year together, and there the Disciples were first called Christians, Acts xi. 25, 26.
22 Q. What farther Commission had Barnabas and Saul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles ?
A. The Holy Spirit appointed the Prophets and Teachers at Angioch to separate Barnabas and Saul to the Work to which he had called them, that is, to preach to the idolatrous Gentiles, which they did by Fafting, Prayer, and laying on their Hands,
Aets xiii. 1-3:
23 Q. Who was their Affiftant or Attendant in this Journey?
A. John Mark, Nephew to Barnabas, Aas xii. 25. and chap. xii. 5. Col. iv. 10.
24 Q. What Opposition did they meet with when they came to Paphos in Cyprus ?
A. When Sergius Paulus, the Governor of the Country, fent for them, that he might hear the Word of God, Elymas a Jew, who was a false Prophet and a Sorcerer, withstood them, in order to prevent the Governor from believing, ver. 6—8.
25 Q. How was Elymas punished for this Crime!
A. Saul (who from this Time is called Paul in Scripture) struck him blind with his Word, upon which the Governor believed in Christ, v. 10–12. Note, From Paphos they went to Pamphylia in Afia,
and there John Mark returned to Jerusalem, and left Paul and Barnabas, ver. 13.
26 Q. Where were the next remarkable Labours of Paul and Barnabas ?
A. Paul preached in the Synagogue of the Jews at Antioch in Pifidia, where he proved Jesus to be the promised Saviour, and published his Death and Resurrection, and Forgiveness of Sins through his Name, Aets xiii. 14-41.
27 Q. What Effect had Paul's Preaching upon the inhabitants of that City ?
A. Many of the Jews, filled with Envy, contradicted the Words of Paul, and blasphemed Chrift; upon which Paul declared, that since the Jews re