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the hearts, bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.b

10 Now, therefore, why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear ?

11 But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as they.

12 ¶ Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And, after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me.

14 Simeon, c hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophet; as it is written,d

16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up;

6 In 7-9 verses Peter refers to the conversion of Cornelius, Chap. x. c Simeon, Simon Peter, who in the seventh verse rose to speak.

d As it is written in Amos, ix. II, 12.

the churches.

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore, my sentence is, that we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.e

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greetingf unto the

e Pollutions of idols, or meats offered to idols, see ver. 29. things strangled, and blood have reference to certain

idolatrous practices, from which the apostles thought it prudent to advise christian converts to abstain; because they are forbidden by the law of Moses, which, we are told in the 21st verse, is every sabbath read in the synagogues.

f Greeting is here a term of civility, implying, best wishes for health and prosperity.

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brethren which are of the Gen

tiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with wordsg subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law; to whom we gave no such commandment :

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent, therefore, Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

30 So when they were dismissed they came to Antioch; and, when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle.

31 Which, when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

g Words here means unnecessary restrictions or injunctions.

Barnabas part.

32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets h also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.

34 Notwithstanding, it pleased Silas to abide there still.

35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

37 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.i

39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other; and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unte the grace of God.j

b Prophets frequently means only teachers.

i The work of preaching the Gospel. j Grace, &c. the blessing and favour of God.

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1 Paul circumciseth Timothy, 14 converteth Lydia, 16 casteth out a spirit of divination; 19 he and Silas are imprisoned.

THEN came he to Derbe and Lystra; and, behold,a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek :

2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium :

3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him, because of the Jews which were in those quarters; for they knew all that his father was a Greek. 4 And as they went through the cities they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders, which were at Jerusalem.

5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

6 Now, when they had gone throughout Phrygia, and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

After they were come to Mysia, they assayed a to go in to Bithynia; but the Spirit

suffered them not.

a Assayed, attempted.

Lydia converted.

8 And they, passing by Mysia, came down to Troas.

9 And a vision appeared to Paul, in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help

us.

10 And, after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering,b that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them.

11 Therefore, loosing from Troas we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis ;c

12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony; and we were in that city abiding certain days.

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made ;d and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things, which were spoken of Paul.

b Assuredly gathering, or concluding.

c Samothracia. Neapolis. Here for

the first time we find the apostles travelling into Europe to carry the glad tidings of the Gospel.

d Was wont, &c. Was usually made.

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15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

16 ¶ And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination e met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying f

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned, and said to the spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19¶ And when her masters saw that the hope of their gainsg was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market-place unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Ro

mans.

ef Divination, pretending to foretel future events; fortune telling. g Gains, profits arising from the damsel's reputed skill in divination.

imprisoned.

22 And the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent off their clothes,h and commanded to beat them.

23 And, when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely;

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison-doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

b Rent off their clothes; the magis trates stripped the apostles.

The keeper of the

Chap. xvii.

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

34 And, when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

35 ¶ And, when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.

36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore depart and go in peace.

37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now, do they thrust us out privily? nay, verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

i Being Romans. Roman citizenship was a distinguished privilege, which without being born of Roman parents, was frequently enjoyed either by purchase, as the reward of merit, or from being born in certain cities, called municipal; and from parents, who had once obtained it, it descended to their children, in which case probably Paul became a Roman citizen.

prison baptized.

38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates; and they feared,j when they heard that they were Romans.

39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.

40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

1

CHAP. XVII. Paul preacheth at Thessalonica, 10 and at Berea: 34 many are converted.

NOW,when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures;

3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you is Christ.a

4 And some of them believ

j The magistrates feared, because they had been guilty of violence, which was unlawful to be shewn towards Roman citizens, whose privilege exempted them from being bound or beaten with rods.

a Christ, the Messiah.

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