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Ν Ο Τ Ε S
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
SUNDAY SCHOQLSI BIBLE CLASSES,
BY REV. BRADFORD K. PEIRCE.
EDITED BY D. P. KIDDER.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, ly
LANE & SCOTT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District
The book of the Acts of the Apostles contains one of the most interesting and important histories ever written. Dr. Dick, in his highly entertaining Lectures upon the Acts, remarks :-" The history of the first age of the Christian church is more instructive and engaging than that of any subsequent period. It is splendid, because it is miraculous; it is edifying, as it records many noble examples of faith, charity, patience, and zeal; it arrests the attention, and touches the heart, by displaying the triumph of the gospel over the combined malice and wisdom of the world."
There has been but little diversity of opinion as to the inspired author of this book; but by the unanimous testimony of the early Christians, and of modern critical scholars, it is ascribed to St. Luke. And this appears evident from its introduction. As is his Gospel, so also is this treatise inscribed to Theophilus, the former communication to whom is noticed in the commencement of this. Of a large proportion of the events related in this book, St. Luke was himself an eye-witness, and in many of them he was a participator. This book contains the most important scenes in the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul, and in the history of the Christian church, from the ascension of Christ to the imprisonment of Paul in Rome, a period of about thirty years. Luke appears to have accompanied St. Paul from Troas to Philippi, attending him to Jerusalem, and afterward to Rome, where he remained with him two years during the apostle's first confinement. From the fact of its extending to this period, and making no reference to the liberation of St. Paul, most critics are of the opinion that it was composed for the churches, about A. D. 63; certainly before A. D. 65, the supposed date of St. Paul's death.
St. Luke seems not to have intended to write a regular and detailed history of the church during this period, for he omits many events that are noticed in the epistles, and passes over what occurred in Jerusalem after the conversion of Paul; gives no account of the introduction of Christianity into Egypt, or in the East; omits even to notice the origin of the important church at Rome: but his object seems to have been to give an authentic account of the outpouring of the Spirit, which, having been promised by our Lord, became an important and unanswerable attestation of his Messiahship and resurrection ; to de