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of the river, according to custom, where was an oratory; and
sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled there. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the
city of Thyatira, a worshipper of God, heard the discourse;
whose heart the Lord opened to attend to the things which 15 were spoken by Paul. And when she was immersed, with her
family, she entreated us, saying, If you have judged me to be
faithful to the Lord, enter into my house, and continue there. 16 And she compelled us. Now it came to pass, that as we were
going to the oratory, we were met by a certain maid-servant that had a spirit of divination, who brought her owners much gain 14. Lydia, a lady of Thyatira, a travelling merchant, supposed to be a Gentile, a proselyte of the Jew's religion, heard the word of the Lord with an open and candid heart, and therefore believed. By her proselytism to the Jews' religion the Lord had opened her heart, or thus prepared her to attend to the things spoken by Paul.
15. She was baptized and her household. * These households, it is sometimes argued, do certainly include infants; and it is also soinetimes argued that one of them, oikia, certainly indicates infants; while oikos may mean either infants or adults. These distinctions are false and deceptive; for the very same family is called both oikos and oikin. The household of Stephanus is, verse 16, called oikos; and in the same epistle, by the same A postle, it is called oikia, chap. xvi. 15. The last also declares them to be grown persons, and not jusants “They addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints''-—which is not the work of infants. Indeed, wherever oikia is translated household in the common version it always means adult persons. Phil. iv. 22. “The saints of Cesar's household oikia) salute you." Were these infants? Again, says Jesus, Matth. x. 36., “A man's enemies shall be they of his household"-oikiakoi. Surely these could not be infants. The households baptized are indiscriminately called oikos and vikia, and, therefore, they may, so far as the original language indicates, have all been adults or grown persons.
But other circumstances frequently decide the character of the oikos, or family. Lydia's family is represented in the 40th verse of this chapter as grown persons. “They entered Lydia's house (or fainily,) and seeing the disciples, they comforted them." The Jailor's family also, mentioned in this chapter, are represented as participating as much in joy as in baptism. He rejoiced domestically, or with all his family-panciki. When a person rejoices with all his family, it imports that they rejoiced with him! To say that he rejoiced in his household, would be without sense and without any relevancy to the occasion.
16. “Possessed of the spirit of divination”-not a mere ventriloquist, as some interpreters will have it; nor as some others, a lunatic; but one who had a Pythonic spirit. Apollo is called Pythius, not for having killed a serpent, called python, but one who, because of his cruelty, was called a serpent or python. Apollo was, in his primary character, the inspiring deity of soothsayers and oracles, “especially that of Delphos." A Pythian spirit, or the spirit of Apollo, intimates a spirit of divination, or a fortuneteller. And so Luke and Paul understood it. They ordered the spirit to come out of her. It was telling the truth: but the witness being a fortuneteller was no way complimentary to the Apostle; therefore, rather than
* Oikos and oikia frequently occur in the New Testament-oikos about 115 times, and oikia about 102 times. They are, with a few exceptions, translated house. They are each three times translated household.
17 by prophesying: the same, following after Paul and us, cried out,
These men are the servants of the Most High God, who declare 18 to you the way of salvation. And this she did for several days.
But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I charge
you, in the name of Jesus Christ, to go out of her. And it went 19 out that very hour. But when her owners saw that the hope of
their gain was gone, laying hold of Paul and Silas, they drag20 ged them to the market-place, to the magistrates; and having
brought them to the generals of the army, they said, These men, 21 who are Jews, mightily disturb our city; and teach customs,
which it is not lawful for us to receive and practise, being Ro22 mans. And the populace rose up together against them; and
the generals tearing off their garments, commanded them to be 23 beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes upon
them, they cast them into prison, charging the Jailor to keep 24 them safely. Who, having received such a strict charge, threw
them into the inner prison, and secured their feet fast in the 25 stocks, But at midnight, Paul and Silas having prayed, sung a 26 hymn to God: and the prisoners heard them. And, on a sudden,
there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the
prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, 27 and the bonds of all the prisoners were loosed. And the Jailor,
awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the doors of the prison
opened, drew his sword, and was going to kill himself, supposing 28 that the prisoners were fled. But Paul cried out, with a loud 29 voice, saying, Do yourself no harm, for we are all here. And
he called for lights, and sprung in; and, being in a tremor, fell 30 down before Paul and Silas; and bringing them out, he said, O, 31 sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the
Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
have her testimony, he dispossessed the inspiring demon. Demons said to Jesus they knew him to be the Son of God. But he, too, dispossessed them, and thus repudiated their testimony.
The sequel shows that the spirit had departed. The damsel lost her power, and her owners their gain. Incerised against the Apostles, they brought suit against them before the magistrates of Philippi, accusing them of violating the laws of the city. The magistrates were such mercenary functionaries as to give judgment against them; and, after stripping off their garments, sentenced tbem first to whipping and then to imprisonment.
30). "What must I do to be suved?”—The Jailor, either from the testimony of the Pythonic damsel or from something dropped by the Apostle or his companions on their trial and imprisonment, regarded them as messengers of God, shewing the way of salvation; and, therefore, soon as the earthquake occurred, alarmed as to the safety of the prisoners, seized with consternation and dread, exclaimed, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?''--from impending evils.
31. "Believe on the Lard Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house," or family. The Apostle and Silas seem to have spoken these words simultaneously, and this gave them still greater effect. It is most probable the Jailor had special respect to the impending temporal evils; and this may be the reason why the Apostle and Silas said, “And thy family.' They could not mean-that by the Jailor's faith his whole family could be saved, except from temporal evils. But in the answer given the prisoners
32 And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that 33 were in his house. And taking them, that very hour of the
night, he washed their stripes; and was immediately immersed, 34 himself, and all his. And having brought them into his house,
he spread the table before them: and believing in God, with all his house, he was transported with joy.
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, 35 saying, Dismiss those men. And the keeper of the prison toid
these things to Paul. The generals have sent that you may be
dismissed; now, therefore, go out, and pursue your journey in 37 peace. But Paul said to them, They have beaten us, who are
Romans, publicly and uncondemned, and have cast us into pri
son; and do they now thrust us out prịvately? By no means: but 38 let them come themselves, and conduct us out. And the ser
geants reported these words to the generals. And when they 89 had heard that they were Romans, they were afraid; and they
came and comforted them; and conducting them out, requested 40 that they would depart from their city. And, coming out of the
prison, they entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
may have included both—but in order to the gospel salvation. They spoke the word of the Lord not oniy to himself, but to all that were in his family. Therefore, they were so far advanced in life, whether children or servants, as to be capable of understanding, believing, and obeying the gospel. Conseqüently his was not a household of infants.
33. “He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his family"
We are informed in verse 30th that the Jailor brought them out of the prison before he asked the first question. And here we are informed that he washed their stripes—ministered to their comfort. It was while they were out of prison, and at the bath or washing place, that the Jailor and his family were baptized.
31. “And having brought them into his house, he spread the table before them, and believing in God, he was transported with joy." If he rejoiced with all his family, they must have all rejoiced with him.
37. “Let them come themselves and conduct us out.”—Paul and his companion, being Romans and honorable men, would have a legal dismission or none. They were too honorable men to be thrust out privately, and thus compelled their persecutors by the Roman law, or, what is the same thing, by the fear of it, to grant them an honorable dismission. Fearful of a suit for salse imprisonment, they came and comforted them, and requested them to depart from their city.
40. “They entered into the house of Lydia.”—There were brethren in Lydia's household whom they wished to edify and comfort before their departure from Philippi.
PRACTICAL THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS. In Paul's circumcision of Timothy we have a good exemplification of what he means in one of his epistles when he says, “To the Jew I became a Jew, that I might gain the Jew." Things that are in themselves indifferent may be so disposed of as best to subserve the interests of the Lord's cause and people,
SERIES III-VOL. V.
In the Spirit's not permitting them to waste their tine in Proconsular Asia or Bythynia,but rather to hasten into Europe, we learni how important it is that we be led by the suggestions of the Holy Spirit in his word, in the proper application of our time and labors is the gospel of Christ. It was not because there were none to be converted in Bythynia or Proconsular Asia, that they were thus inhibited; for we afterwards learn that there were churches formed in Bythynia and in Proconsular Asia-such as Laodicea, Coloste, Sardis, Philadelphia, Thyatira, &c. No doubt it was better for the ultimate spread and progress of the gospel that they should proclaim it in Roman colonies such as Philippi, and go on toward Athens, Rome, &c. and leave it to other agents from these places to carry it into other provinces and cities.
Thus it was that the labors of the first heralds of the gospel were arranged. They tarried in Jerusalem to the first Pentecost that they might meet the Jews in their great national conclave. Thus Jerusalem was first filled with the gospel. Then persecution sent them throughout all Judea, and Philip to Samaria. Again God sent him to an Ethiopian officer, who carried the gospel in his chariot to Ethiopia; and that Philip might lose no time by this mission into the desert, a mighty wind from the Lord caught him up and carried him to Azotus, where he found himself in a few minutes, unhurt, and ready for new missions.
If we hear not, in these our times, a Macedonian cry, or a positive inhibition from some angel or spirit, we must nerertheless be governed and guided by the written word, and our own discretion touching the field of our labors, as well as by the calls of our brethren, and the openings of God's providence. For sometimes it is still true, that the voice of the people is the voice and call of God.
Again, in the conversion of Lydia and her household, and in that of the Jailor and his household, we are taught a useful lesson. We are shown that God, in his providence, brings persons and families into his kingdom in different ways. Lydia's heart is gently opened amid favorable circumstances, in the calm serenity of a house of prayer, on the banks of the Strymon; while the more hardened and unfeeling Jailor is shaken by a fearful earthquake, and his whole family with him are frightened into a deep concern. Convulsed by a fearful agony, he is constrained to inquire for light from those whose limbs he had locked, a few hours before, in cold iron. Thus God still works in diverse ways and manners by his word and provi.dence, in bringing sinners back to God, and in sanctifying them by his word and Spirit to himself.
Christianity, from its origin till now, has greatly spread through family influence, and seems to have been furthered much in its career through a natural affection springing out of the hallowed relations of the domestic circle. The mother of the Saviour of the world and the mother of the Harbinger were cousins. Three families furnished seven Apostles, besides other disciples of Christ. There was Simon Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Mary, Ithe wife of Cleophas; the uncle and aunt of Jesus, and their three sons, James, Simon
Zelotes, and Judas, or Jude; Barnabas, and his nephew Mark, &c? &c.; the households of Lydia, the Jailor, and Stephanas; also, those of Onesiphorus, Narcissus, and Aristobulus. Phis fact affords mucho encouragement to heads of families to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Still the blessing of the Lord is essential in all cases. Adam had a Cain as well as an Abel; Noah, a Ham as well as a Shem; Abraham had an Ishmael as well as an Isaac; Isaac, an Esau and a Jacob; Samuel and Eli bad sons of Belial; David had an Absalom as well as a Solomon; and Solomon, the wisest of men and the greatest of kings, was the father of Rehoboam, the weakest of princes and the most despicable of men.
The conduct of Paul and Silas amidst their persecutors at Philippi, is as full of instruction as well as it is illustrative of the character of those honored ministers of Christ. While amid the clamorous and infuriate populace, they presumed neither to reason nor remonstrate, much less to plead the privilege of Roman citizens.Mobs and tumultuous multitudes have no ear for reason or argu. ment. But every thing is beautiful in its season. When they had cooled down to the thinking and reasoning point, and were seemingly intent on other unbecoming treatment, Paul and Silas sent up their remonštrance and plead their citizenship. Their reputation, too, as servants of Christ, is not forgotten; nay, it is the main impulse and concern in the whole affair. The meekness of the Chris. tian, the dignity of their calling, and their political rights are all remembered, and not one of them is sacrificed, not one of them is overshadowed with the eminent claims of another. It is occasions like these that try men's souls, and give an opportunity to develope themselves. On this account the conduct of Paul and Silas at Philippi, while in prison and while coming out of it, afford us a useful and instructive exemplification of the Christian spirit, of Christian dignity, and of Christian character. Let us, then, in every similar emergency, imitate their shining virtues and follow: their noble example:
THE DISCIPLINE OF AFFLICTION. There are those in every community where a religious paper cir. culates, that are afflicted, bereaved of friends, or property, or health, disabled in body, their strength impaired, their spirits failing.There are those too who are prospered, vigorous in health, increas. ing in substance, blessed with friends, the good things of this life multiplied about them, the horn of plenty emptying into their lap good things now, and, for aught that appears on the surface, a good time coming.
No one doubts who are the happiest, the most free from trouble now. The afflicted man cannot, of course, be deemed the happy man while actually under the harrow or the pruning-knife of God's fatherly husbandry. Neither is he ever supposed by the world unhappy, that seems to be now eminently prospered. But what will it be in the end! What effect is affliction working upon the afflict