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every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them," Acts viii. 5. "Now when the apostles, which were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John." This was the first step taken in carrying the gospel to any, beside native Jews, and proselytes to their religion. And what had been done by Philip at Samaria, was approved and ratified by all the apostles.
The next step was preaching to Gentiles, which work was solemnly allotted to Peter." And the apostles and elders that were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God." ch. xi. 1. Upon Peter's rehearsing to them the whole affair, and what had happened at the house of Cornelius at Cæsarea, all were satisfied. "They glorified God, saying: then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life," ver. 18.
Soon after this, some of those who were scattered abroad upon the persecution, went to Antioch, and there" spake to the Greeks," or Gentiles, "preaching the Lord Jesus. And a great number believed, and turned to the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church, which was at Jerusalem; and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch," ver. 19-22. This step therefore was also approved and ratified by the whole church of Jerusalem, including the apostles.
And henceforward no objections could be made by wise men against preaching to Gentiles, and receiving them, but what arose from the difficulty of the work. Nevertheless some good while after this, there was a dispute raised at Antioch by some bigotted Jews, who asserted it to be necessary, that the Gentile believers "should be circumcised after the manner of Moses. This occasioned the council of Jerusalem; where the controversy was fully determined by the apostles and elders: which was a great advantage. By this means the manner of receiving Gentiles was fixed, and settled beyond dispute, and beyond opposition: or, if any should be made afterwards, it could not be successful, nor very troublesome. And we may be assured, that all the apostles, and their disciples, would be harmonious, and preach the same doctrine to Jews and Gentiles, wheresoever they went.
5. There was a necessity of the apostles staying in Judea, till about this time. Otherwise, they could not have sufficiently testified the doctrine concerning Jesus in Judea, nor have fully taught the Jewish people, so as to render them inexcusable, if they did not believe, and repent.
If we consider the state of things in Judea, we may discern, that in the year 44, the apostles had not had an opportunity to fulfil their ministry in that country. It must be evident to all from the history in the Acts, that for some while, soon after our Lord's ascension, the apostles were grievously harassed, and hardly used by the Jewish council or rulers: which was the more so, because of the weakness of Pilate's government, for some time before he was dismissed from the province. And afterwards, about the time of his removal, Stephen was stoned, and a great persecution began: which, as I apprehend, continued from the beginning of the year 36, to the beginning of the year 40, when the churches had rest: of which rest, undoubtedly the apostles made good use. St. Luke's words are: "Then had the churches rest throughout Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied," ch. ix. 31. After which follows an account of Peter's passing throughout all quarters, his going to Lydda, and there healing Æneas, then to Joppa, where he raised Tabitha: and from thence to Cæsarea, and there preaching to Cornelius, and his company: and of some other matters, reaching to ch. xi. 26. How long that rest, or peace and tranquillity continued, in all its fulness, we cannot say exactly: perhaps it lasted a year, or more. And it is not unlikely, that in that space of time other apostles, beside Peter, travelled in Judea, and the several parts of it, preaching the gospel, and confirming the disciples. But upon Herod Agrippa being made king of all Judea by Claudius in the year 41, that peace would be abated, if not interrupted. From the beginning of his reign, especially from his arrival in Judea, and during the remainder of it, the disciples must have been under many diffi culties and discouragements, prince and people being of one mind. And toward the end of his reign he became an open and violent persecutor, till Divine Providence smote him, that he died. After his death Judea came to be in the hands of Roman procurators, Cuspius Fadus, Tiberius Alexander, Cumanus, Felix, Festus: when, probably, the disciples of Jesus had for several years together more liberty than they had had at any time since the resurrection of Jesus, excepting the interval of rest and tranquillity, before taken notice of. For those governors or procurators,
had no orders from the Roman emperor to persecute or disturb any Jews. And that those governors were not disposed to disturb the Christians, may be argued from the treatment given to Paul by Felix, and Festus, and the officers under them. Now therefore from the year 44, to the time of the council in 49, or 50, and afterwards, the apostles went on fulfilling their ministry. All of them, as I apprehend, stayed in Judea, till the time of the council: soon after which some did, probably, go abroad. However, several of them might stay there a good while longer, and not remove, till a little before the commencement of the Jewish war in 66.
6. We may now perceive the benefit of the early choice and call of Paul to be an apostle. Who having been several years employed and exercised in preaching to Jews in Judea, and out of it, was ready to preach to Gentiles likewise, as soon as a door was opened for applying to them at Antioch, and other places: as there was, after Peter had received Cornelius at Cæsarea: whilst it was not as yet fit for any of the twelve apostles to leave the land of Israel.
7. We now obtain some assistance for interpreting those expressions of Paul, Gal. ii. 7, 8, 9. "When they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospeł of the circumcision was committed unto Peter. For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. And they gave unto me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." And Rom. xi. 13, "inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office." Those expressions cannot be intended to signify that Paul was apostle of the Gentiles only, and exclusive of the Jews: or that Peter, and the other of the twelve, were apostles of the circumcision only, exclusive of the Gentiles. For an apostle is a teacher or master of the whole world. They were appointed to be so by Christ: nor could their commis-. sion be limited by any compact among themselves. Our Lord's commission given to his twelve apostles, is in Matthew to this purpose: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations," ch. xxviii. 19, and in Luke xxiv. 46, 47, "he said to them, that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." And Acts i. 8, "And ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." And Mark xvi. 15, " And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." And ver. 20. "And they went forth and preached every where." Of Paul, the Lord says in a vision to Ananias at Damascus: "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." Acts ix. 5. And Paul says to king Agrippa: "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision; but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coast of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God." ch. xxvi. 19, 20. Moreover we know from the history of Paul's preaching recorded in the Acts, that he always first addressed himself to Jews, in all the places where he came, if there were any, and if they had there a synagogue..
It should be observed likewise, that Peter had actually preached to Gentiles in Judea, and was the first disciple of Jesus that did so. There is a particular account of it in the book of the Acts, ch. x. and xi. And himself takes notice of it in his speech at the council of Jerusalem. ch. xv. 7.
The reason therefore why the gospel of the circumcision is said to have been committed unto Peter, and the other apostles with him, is, that for a good while their ministry was solely, or however very much, and chiefly employed among Jews in Judea though afterwards they preached very freely to Gentiles in several parts of the world. And Paul is called the apostle of the Gentiles, and the gospel of the uncircumcision is said to have been committed unto him, because he got the start of all the rest in preaching to Gentiles, and had laboured among them for a good while in divers countries with great success, and had formed many churches in divers places: whilst they were still in Judea teaching Jews, and had made no addresses to Gentiles abroad in other countries.
It may be also implied in what St. Paul says in the epistle to the Galatians, that several of
a Alterum, quod ex dicto Pauli ad Galatas colligimus, illud est, Joannem etiam post discessum Pauli cum duobus collegis per aliquod temporis intervallum Hierosolymis, et in Judæâ substitisse. Gentium enim conversione Paulo et Barnabæ demandatâ, ipsi inter Judæos se operam porro locaturos declarant. Quæ etiam caussa est, cur Joannis et sociorum in
Actis Apostolicis vix mentio occurrat, quia, postquam primordia ecclesiæ Christianæ inter Judæos memorata erant, nihil amplius videbatur addendum, nisi ut narraretur, quomodo primitia Gentium essent introducta. Lamp. Proleg. in Jo. I. 1. cap. 3. sect. vii.
the first twelve apostles intended to stay still somewhat longer in Judea. This they were the more willing to do, being fully satisfied with the preaching of Paul in foreign countries: insomuch that they encouraged him to proceed as he had begun.
8. Once more, we may now be reconciled. to the supposition of the late date of the gospels. For they were not to be published till the doctrine concerning Jesus had been preached in divers parts, and many converts had been made, to whom they would be useful, for whom they would be needful, by whom they would be received with joy, be highly valued, frequently read, and often copied. Written histories of Jesus could be little wanted by the Jewish believers in Judea, whilst all the apostles were still in that country, and there were also still living among them many sincere followers of Jesus, and eye-witnesses of his person and ministry. Very probably, therefore, there was no written gospel till after the council at Jerusalem.
Still there may be objections which should be stated and considered.
Obj. 1. It may be said: was not the progress of the gospel by this means much retarded? I answer: no. And this objection, methinks, should be of little moment now, after all that has been said of the many advantages of the apostles' stay in Judea.
However, some considerations shall be here added to what has been already said. Though the apostles did not leave Judea themselves, they encouraged those who did, who preached the gospel abroad, whether to Jews or Gentiles. Of this there is an instance with regard to the church of Antioch, related Acts xi..19-22. And there may have been some other like instances. Moreover the apostles were very useful by their stay in Judea, as has been already shown. They made many converts among the Jews. During their stay in that country, if there was any measure of public liberty, for the believers, the apostles would all, or most of them, be at Jerusalem, at the great feasts, to which there was a general resort of Jews from all countries. Here the inquisitive of that people would have an opportunity of conversing with the apostles: and if they were convinced, and persuaded by them, they would carry the doctrine of the gospel into the places of their usual residence, and propagate it there.
Obj. 2. But, if the apostles had attempted to make a long stay in Judea, it seems that they must have been all destroyed. I answer, that doubtless they met with many and great difficul ties. What they were from the time of our Lord's ascension to the year.44, was briefly rehearsed just now. After that, for several years, as I apprehend, their difficulties would not be so great as they had been. Yea, during that space would be the best opportunity that ever they had to promote the interests of the gospel, as I said before. For the Jewish people had not the power of life and death in their own hands. And the Roman procurators were not disposed to give any men disturbance upon account of difference of opinion in religious matters. Finally, the apostles of Jesus Christ, we have reason to think, had an especial direction, and an especial protection. They, who were employed in teaching so important a doctrine, and were enabled to work miracles upon others for confirming it, may be reasonably supposed to have been the subjects of some wonderful interpositions of Providence. And it must be reckoned very probable, that affairs would be so over-ruled and influenced, as that these chosen men should be upheld and enabled to fulfil their ministry, and bear such a testimony to Jesus, as should be sufficient to lay a good foundation for the establishment of his church in the world, and leave all those of the Jewish people, who did not receive him as the Messiah, absolutely inexcusable.
• Contra persuasum habeo, hoc emblema supponere, ecclesiam jam longo admodum tempore fuisse afflictam.... ne jam dicam, non constare ex historiâ ecclesiæ, quinam illi sint Martyres, quorum sanguis, præter eum Stephani, et utriusque Jacobi, de quorum altero ex Lucâ, altero ex Josepho liquet et Hegesippo, a Judæis fusus fuerit. Judæi enim, excepto brevi intervallo regni Agrippæ, rerum suarum non erant domini:
et, licet in Christianos pessime affecti fuerint, a præsidibus tamen Romanis prohibebantur pro lubitu in innocuos Jesu Christi discipulos sævire. Quæ enim junior Ananus tentavit in Jacobum fratrem Domini, et rivas Tepes, quosdam alios,' Christianæ professionis homines, ut constat ex Josepho, Festo mortuo, et Albino adhuc in itinere agente, peracta sunt. Campeg. Vitring. in Apoc. cap. vi. ver. 12. sect. xxx. p. 303.
ST. MARK, EVANGELIST.
I That the Evangelist is the same as John Mark, and Nephew to Barnabas. II. His History from the New Testament. III. From other Writers. IV. Testimonies to his Gospel, in ancient Writers. V. Remarks upon them. VI. The Time of writing his Gospel, according to these ancient Writers, and the Sentiments of learned Moderns. VII. Characters of Time in the Gospel itself. VIII. Observations upon this Gospel.
1. Ir is generally, or even universally allowed, that Mark, mentioned 1 Pet. v. 13, is the evangelist. But it has been doubted, whether he be the same as John Mark mentioned in the Acts, and some of St. Paul's epistles; and it appears from our collections out of ancient authors, that there were doubts about this in the minds of some in former times.
Divers learned moderns are persuaded, that they are different persons. Of this number are Cave, [who nevertheless thinks him the same Mark, that is mentioned by St. Paul in his second epistle to Timothy], Grotius, Du Pin, and Tillemont. Which last, in his Ecclesiastical Memoirs, makes two different articles for this name: one entitled St. Mark the evangelist, apostle of Egypt, and martyr: the other, St. John Mark, disciple and cousin of St. Barnabas. On the other hand they are reckoned one and the same by Jer. Jones, Lightfoot, and
I shall now without delay consider the reasons of those, who think there are two Marks mentioned in the New Testament.
1. They say, that Mark the evangelist was converted and baptized by Peter, because he calls him his son. 1. Pet. v. 13. But there is no reason to suppose this of John Mark.
To which I answer. That needs not to be reckoned the constant meaning of the expression. It may denote only great affection and tenderness, and a respect to faithful services: in like manner as Paul says of Timothy, Philip. ii. 22, that "as a son with the father he had served with him in the gospel." Grotius and Du Pin, who mention this reason, seem not to have judged it conclusive. Moreover, if Mark was a convert of Peter, it does not follow, that he was not an early believer; for he might be one of that apostle's converts at his first preaching the gospel at Jerusalem. Mark the evangelist, upon that supposition, could not be one of the seventy: but he might be among the first believers, and the son of Mary. However, I choose not to insist upon this, but chiefly upon what was before mentioned: that the appellation, my son, needs not to be understood rigorously as meaning a convert begotten to the faith of the gospel.
2. It is said, that' Mark, the companion of Paul, was called John: but the evangelist is never so called by the ancients, who mention him.
• S. Marcus Evangelista, quem cum Joanne Marco, de quo Act. xii. 12, male nonnulli confundunt. H. L. T. i. p. 24. b Cum enim illum epistolâ secundâ ad TimotheumRomam accersiverat Paulus.-Id. ib.
c Gr. Pr. in Marc.
d Diss. Prelim. 1. 2. ch. ii. sect. iv. Mem. Ec. Tom. ii.
'New and full Method, vol. iii. ch. vi. P. 65-70.
8 Lightfoot is making observations upon the first epistle of St. Peter. He sends this epistle, says he, by Silvanus, Paul's old attendant, but now with Peter.... His naming of Mark with him calls our thoughts back to what has been mentioned of Mark heretofore: his being with Paul at Rome, and his coming from him into the east. To suppose two Marks, one with Peter, and another with Paul, is to breed confusion where there needeth not.... It is easily seen how John Mark came into familiarity with Paul and Peter. And
To which I answer.
It is true, that Paul's companion is sometimes called John, as Acts xiii. 5, and 13. But we are also informed that he was surnamed Mark. So Acts xii. 2. "And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark." And ver. 25...." and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.” And he is several times mentioned by the surname, Mark only. Acts xv. 39. 2 Tim. iv. 11. Col. iv. 10. Philem. ver. 24. Secondly, such of the ancients, as supposed Mark, the evangelist, to have been the same with him mentioned in the Acts, must also have supposed that he was called John as well as Mark, though they have generally mentioned him by his surname.
3. It is said that John Mark was much with Paul, Mark the evangelist, with Peter: so say the ancients in general.
I answer: it is not at all impossible but that Mark might be sometimes with Paul, at other times with Peter; as may appear by and by.
As these reasons therefore do not appear to me conclusive, I rather think that there is but one Mark in the New Testament, John Mark, the evangelist, and fellow-labourer of Paul, and Barnabas, and Peter.
II. I now proceed to write the history of John Mark from the New Testament, mentioning, as they offer, some observations, showing his acquaintance with Peter as well as with Paul: after which I shall take notice of some other things said of him by the ancients.
He was the son of Mary, a pious woman at Jerusalem, and an early believer, at whose house the disciples used to meet, and that in troublesome and difficult times, as well as at other seasons. Peter after having been delivered out of prison by an angel, "came to the house of Mary, mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying," Acts xii. 12. So that the very first mention of John Mark assures us of Peter's intimacy in that family.
That deliverance of St. Peter happened in the year 44, about the same time that Paul and Barnabas came to Jerusalem from Antioch with contributions for the relief of the brethren in Judea, in the time of a famine, or scarcity. And it is said at the end of that chapter: "And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark." This, with some other things to be hereafter mentioned, may dispose us to think that this John Mark is the same who in Col. iv. 10, is called "sister's son to Barnabas.'
Mark therefore went now from Jerusalem to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: and, when some short time afterwards they went abroad to other countries, Mark accompanied them as their minister. Acts xiii. 5. They went to Cyprus, and preached the word in that country. But when they returned to the continent, and came on shore "at Perga in Pamphylia, he departed from them, and returned to Jerusalem," ver. 13. He therefore did not attend them in their farther progress to Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, and other places, but went to Jerusalem. And now, very probably, he conversed again with Peter and the other apostles, and was present with them at their discourses and their devotions. For, as I apprehend, all the apostles were still in Judea, except James the son of Zebedee, who had been beheaded by Herod Agrippa, in the beginning of the year 44.
Paul and Barnabas having finished their progress, returned to Antioch, and there abode. Whilst they were there, debates arose about circumcising Gentile converts; which determined Paul and Barnabas to go to Jerusalem. That controversy being decided, they returned to Antioch.
Some time afterwards. " Paul said unto Barnabas: let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought it not good to take him with them, who had departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work." Barnabas, however, persisted in his resolution, and went with Mark to Cyprus: and Paul chose Silas to accompany him. Acts xv. 36-41.
toritate, qui hunc scriptorem Joannem nunquam, Marcum semper vocant,... Grot. Pr. in Marc.
L' Evangeliste n'est appellé nulle part du nom de Jean, qui étoit le nom propre de celui-ci. Du Pin ubi supra.
Et ita Petro addunt [Veteres] comitem, ac discipulum,
ut non tantum de Barnabâ, sed et de Paulo, quem Joannes Marcus post illud frigusculum sectatus est.... nihil meminerint. Grot. ibid.
Il étoit disciple de S. Pierre, et attaché à lui, dans le tems. que l'autre étoit avec S. Paul, et S. Barnabe. Du Pin, Ibid.