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ed here by Julius Cæsar, which was afterwards augmented by Augustus Cæsar: so that Philippi became a great city, and enjoyed the privileges of Romans'.
To this place the Holy Spirit directed the Apostle and his companions to go, that they might' preach the word to the heirs of life. Here the Lord Jesus had some of his people, who were to be delivered from the bondage of corruption by his grace. The time for such deliverance was arrived, even the appointed time, and therefore Paul and Timothy could not remain in Asia, but must pass over to Europe. In Philippi a Church was now to be gathered by the power of the Spirit, applying the Word of truth to the hearts of sinful men. Here victories were to be achieved far more splendid than those of conquerors of nations ; victories over the corruptions of human nature; over the influence and arts of the prince of darkness. The means were apparently inadequate; the first successes, upon human principles of calculation, not the most encouraging. But here, as elsewhere, God chose “ the foolish “ things of the world to confound the wise;
f Doddridge's note on Acts xvi. 12. ' .
" and the weak things of the world to con“ found the things which were mighty, and “ base things of the world, and things which is are despised, did God choose, and things “ which are not, to bring to nought things “ that are, that no flesh should glory in his “ presence.” . ..
. After abiding in this city certain days, says the historian Luke, v. 13, On the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made ; and we sat down and spake unto the women which resorted thither. It appears that there was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi, for the apostle and his companions would have gone to it, as they invariably did in all places in which there was a synagogue. From this fact we may conclude that there were but few Jews in this place, and these few not very zealous, or exemplarily pious. There were, however, some who observed the worship of God, according to his appointment. With them some proselytes were joined, who kept their garments unspotted in an idolatrous city. The whole company at best must have been small, and consisted chiefly of women. These assem
bled on the Sabbath, i. e. the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday, out of the city at the river side. There “ prayer was wont to “ be made,” says our translation : it should rather be,“ An house of prayer was allowed “ to be by laws." These houses of prayer, or oratories, as they were called, were different from the synagogues. They were without the towns and cities, and were places compassed with a wall, or some other inclosure, but open above. Their principal use was for prayer. The synagogues on the contrary, were within the cities and towns. They were covered houses, where not only prayers to God were offered up, but the law and the prophets were read and expounded. One of the former houses, an oratory, was in Philippi allowed by the law of the Romans to be used according to the custom of the Jews and proselytes.
This oratory, situated by the river side, appears to have been well known in this place. Hither the pious women resorted on the day which God had sanctified. No mention is made of men. Either business
govorigiro a gooruxoj elven. Bishop Pierce and Doddridge, on the text.
Jewish it had engrossed their attention too much, or e city as they had become contaminated with irrewas weligion. 'Let the cause be what it would, the tion: it she fact was incontrovertible. The worship of er was alle God was attended to only by women. This ses of pre is one among a multitude of facts which Llled, were i prove that as a general rule the female sex
There are more religious thàn the male. Examine jes, and we the proportion between the sexes in the . or some communions of different Churches, and you Their pric will find women far exceed men in numsr nagopuerbers; perhaps they are double the number. the cities : How shall we account for this difference? houses, Some ascribe it altogether to the domestic re offered habits of the female sex, which are more pehots were culiarly suited to the influence of religious e former bowe principles, than the occupations and expoallowed bre sure of the males. That there is plausibility
according and even weight in the remark, is granted;
Jetes but the domestic habits of females constiCihe river si tute only a secondary cause of their pre
Baan in de eminence in religion. The grand cause is to
vasortedt be sought in their minds, the characteristics ifad. ll of which correspond more particularly with choisines the nature of religion than those of the males.
Whilst men pride themselves upon the vigour of their intellect and their laborious
Pierce and Dodurile
patient research after knowledge, women are entitled to all the praise which belongs justly to love, gratitude, generosity, pity, and other affections of the same class. Religion consists in a very great degree in the excitement and direction of the affections. Not that the understanding is to be neglected; far from it. Excited affections, without the government of an enlightened understanding, only urge on men to folly and extravagance. The understanding must be enlightened, that thus the affections may be excited. Religion, which communicates light, imparts heat, and by the combined operation of light and heat quickens to activity. Hence, though you find more enlarged religious knowledge among men, among the female sex you will always find more enlarged religious practice. The great truths of religion meet in the affections of women, if I may so express myself, a soil which is more congenial to their nature, more adapted for their reception than the state of mind in men. In this their constitution, the goodness as well as wisdom of God appears. They readily, through the grace of God, receive the Word, which pe