Acts 8Was consenting; concurred in putting Stephen to death. Made havoc; furiously assaulted and laid waste.Hailing; or hauling, dragging by force. The efforts of wicked men to stop the progress of the gospel are often overruled for its advancement; and yet their wickedness is as great, and without repentance their punishment will be as dreadful, as if their actions had not been overruled for good. Philip; one of the seven first deacons. Chap Ac 6:5. Sorcery; deceptive arts, pretending to foretell future events.Bewitched; amazed them, filled them with astonishment. It is the word which in verse Ac 8:13 is translated wondered. The great power of God; endowed with supernatural power. When the gospel is faithfully preached, and accompanied by the influences of the Holy Spirit, men of all classes embrace it. They may have followed artful deceivers, and been sunk in spiritual darkness and death; yet when they believe and follow Him who is the light of the world, they forsake their blind guides, and walk no longer in darkness, but have the light of life. Believed; the miracles which he witnessed seem to have convinced him of the reality of the divine power that accompanied the gospel, though he had very false ideas respecting it, and soon showed that he did not love God nor his truth. The Holy Ghost; his miraculous influences, so that they might work miracles. This power; he supposed that, should he receive it, he might enrich or exalt himself. Thy money perish; a strong expression of abhorrence of his selfishness, criminality, and danger. In this matter; in the blessings of the gospel, and the work in which Peter and John were engaged. Men may greatly displease God in their thoughts, as well as in their words and actions. Each one should therefore keep his heart with all diligence, and pray, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults," as well as, "Keep me back from presumptuous sins;" that not only the words of his mouth, but the meditations of his heart may be acceptable in the sight of God our strength and Redeemer. The gall of bitterness--the bond of iniquity; in the most loathsome bondage to sin. Men whose great object is self-exaltation have very erroneous views of the nature of true religion, and of the character of those who possess it; when many profess religion, such men sometimes unite with them, but afterwards by their conduct show that their professions were false, and that they have no love to the gospel, and no part in its blessings. None of these things; the punishments threatened. Many villages; through which they passed on their way to Jerusalem. Gaza; a city about sixty miles south-west of Jerusalem, towards Egypt.Which is desert; these words are supposed by some to refer to the city as having been recently laid waste. But they more probably point out the road which Philip was to take, as that one, of two or more, which ran through a desert region. Ethiopia; a country south of Egypt.To worship; this showed that he was either a Jew or a proselyte to the Jewish religion. The Spirit; the Holy Spirit. The scripture which he read; Isa 53:7,8. In his humiliation; this quotation is from the Septuagint, or Greek version of the Old Testament, which was probably the one that he used.Judgment; justice was denied him, and he was unrighteously put to death. Yet he lives in glory, and innumerable multitudes will eternally adore him.Who shall declare his generation? see note to Isa 53:8. Preached unto him Jesus; showed him that it was Jesus of whom the prophet spoke, and pointed out the way of salvation through him. When persons wish to know the will of God for the purpose of doing it, and in order to this are in the habit of searching the Scriptures, God, in his providence, will enlighten them; and the knowledge of Christ which he communicates to a single individual may, in its influence, be felt through kingdoms and to future ages. With all thy heart; if you are heartily convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, and trust in him for salvation.I believe; I receive him as my Saviour. Azotus; a city called in the Old Testament Ashdod, about thirty miles north of Gaza. 1Sa 5:1.Cesarea; a city on the Mediterranean, about sixty miles north-west of Jerusalem.
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