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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,

Bo L'ICIUS R. PAIGE, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetta.

BS 2341 .P 34 1844 V. 3

STEREOTYPED BI O. N. NICKINSON, BOSTON

INTRODUCTION

TO THE

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

The authorship of this Book has been uniformly ascribed to Luke, the Evangelist, and its genuineness and canonical authority have been acknowl. edged, in all ages, by the Christian Church. The testimony of Eusebius, in the fourth century, is a fair specimen of the opinion expressed by the fathers : “Luke, who was born at Antioch, and by profession a physician, being for the most part connected with Paul, and familiarly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us, in two inspired books, the institutes of that spiritual healing art which he obtained from them. One of these is his Gospel, in which he testifies that he has recorded 'as those who were from the beginning eye-witnesses and ministers of the word' delivered to him ; whom also, he says, he has in all things followed. The other is his Acts of the Apostles, which he composed, not from what he had heard from others, but from what he had seen himself.” Book III. chap. 4. Compare Luke i. 3, with Acts i. 1.

Concerning the date, there is very little difference of opinion. The history extends to the close of Paul's second year of imprisonment, supposed to be A.D. 63; and it does not relate his death, which is said to have occurred about A.D. 65. Between these two dates, the history was probably written. For similar reasons, it is supposed to have been written at Rome; for the writer mentions his arrival, with Paul, at that city, but gives no intimation of a subsequent departure.

Although the title was not probably affixed by Luke himself, or by divine authority, it is of very ancient date, and is manifestly appropriate. The Book contains a history of the Acts or the Transactions of the Apostles, for a period of about thirty years next after the resurrection and ascension of our blessed Lord.

Three principal subjects are embraced in this history. (1.) The conversion of disciples and the firm establishment of the church among the Jews; chap. i.-ix: (2.) The conversion of Gentiles, who already feared and worshipped the true God; chap. X.-xii.: (3.) The conversion of Gentiles, who previously neither knew nor feared the true God, and who did not subsequently become subject to the law of Moses ; chap. xiii.—xxviii.

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