Acts 17:10
As soon as night had fallen, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went into the Jewish synagogue.
The Duty of Individual ResearchW. Clarkson Acts 17:10-14
BeraeaR.A. Redford Acts 17:10-15
Berean NobilityW. Arnot, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Berean NobilityG. Collinson.Acts 17:10-15
Delight in the ScripturesHon. R. Boyle.Acts 17:10-15
Delving for the Treasures of the WordActs 17:10-15
Docility of Temper in Relation to the TruthJohn Burton.Acts 17:10-15
From Thessalonica to BereaJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Ignorance of the Scriptures the Cause of InfidelityA. Barnes, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Nobility of Soul At BeraeaE. Johnson Acts 17:10-15
Practice in the Study of the ScripturesChristian AgeActs 17:10-15
Searching Bible ReadingA. T. Pierson, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Searching She Scriptures, Love the Motive ForT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Searching the ScripturesW. Mudge, B. A.Acts 17:10-15
Searching the ScripturesS. S. TimesActs 17:10-15
Searching the ScripturesStewart's Collections.Acts 17:10-15
Searching the Scriptures as a ChartJ. H. Wilson.Acts 17:10-15
Spiritual NobilityD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
Stages of a True Use of ScriptureK. Gerok.Acts 17:10-15
Stored Up Gold in the ScripturesJ. Scott.Acts 17:10-15
The BereansR. A. Bertram.Acts 17:10-15
The Bible InvaluableT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
The Bible Lit UpW. L. Watkinson.Acts 17:10-15
The Nobility of the BereansR. Eden, M. A.Acts 17:10-15
The Noble BereansEvangelical PreacherActs 17:10-15
The Reception of the Gospel At BereaT. Galland, M. A.Acts 17:10-15
The Right of Private Judgment in ReligionN. Emmons, D. D.Acts 17:10-15
The Thessalonians and the BereansDean Vaughan.Acts 17:10-15

This interesting and cheering episode teaches us one lesson in particular; but there are three suggestions we may gain preliminarily.

1. That the Christian pilgrim (and workman) may hope that shadow will soon be succeeded by sunshine; that the tumult of Thessalonica will soon be followed by the reverent inquiry of Beraea.

2. That he must expect sunshine to pass, before long, into shadow; the fruit-gathering of Beraea to yield to the flight to Athens (vers. 12-14).

3. That true nobility is in excellency of character: "These were more noble" (ver. 11). The word signifies (derivatively) those of noble birth, and it is here applied to those who had chosen the honorable course and were doing the estimable thing. This is the true, the real nobility. That which is adventitious, dependent on birth and blood, is only circumstantial, is liable to be dishonored by the chances and changes of time, is of no account with God. That which is based on character and born of wise choice, pure feeling, estimable action, is real, human, unalterable, of Divine origin, and enjoying the Divine approval. But the particular lesson of our text is - THE DUTY OF INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH. The Beraeans are commended in the sacred narrative as "more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness," etc. (ver. 11). Their excellency was in their readiness to receive and investigate, to study and search for themselves whether the new teaching was or was not in accordance with the will of God. Whence we infer:

1. That blind opposition to all new doctrine is a sin as well as a mistake. It may be that men who propound views different from those that we have held come to us from God and offer us that which is in the Scriptures, though we have not yet discovered it there. There are more things in that living Word than the wisest man has ever seen yet. Unqualified resistance of doctrine which is different from "that which we have received to hold" may be the rejection of God's own truth; in that case it is both injurious and wrong.

2. That it is the duty of every Christian man to test all new doctrine by the teaching of the Divine Word. We are to search the Scriptures whether these things are so or not. There is no excuse for declining to do this; for

(1) God has placed his Word well within reach of us all. It is in a small compass; it is printed in our own language (no book so lends itself to translation and is so widely translated); it can be obtained for a small sum.

(2) He has so formed us and so written it that it is level to our understanding; he has given us the necessary mental faculties to comprehend it, and he has made the substance of it so simple, plain, appreciable, that the wayfaring man may rejoice in it. It is not the recondite, abstruse, mystical utterance which some disclosures are.

(3) He is ready to grant us his own Divine aid in mastering and applying it. For what can we ask the help of his Holy Spirit more confidently than for the study of his own Word? When is he more certain to fulfill his promise (Luke 11:13) than when we ask for his enlightening influence as we "search the Scriptures" (John 5:39)? It is not only our right but our ditty to listen to all and to try all (1 John 4:1); to "judge for ourselves what is right" (Luke 12:57). It is God's plain will concerning us that we should all bring what we hoar to the standard of his own revealed will in his Word. To do this effectually, we must study that Word

(a) diligently,

(b) intelligently,

(c) devoutly. - C.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas unto Berea...These were more noble than those in Thessalonica.
1. Paul and Silas were sent away "by night." That is the way to make the most of time. Travel by night and preach by day if you would make the best of your opportunities. We sleep by night, and hardly get over the slumber all day. The enemy would say they had driven Paul off the ground — Paul himself would say that he was going to make new ground, and that he would certainly come back again to the old place. We have seen the tide go out, but we have seen it also return, and in the returning it seems to play at going back again; but the refluent wave increases in volume, and returns with enhanced force and grandeur. Paul will come back again — personally, or by letter — to Thessalonica. He is fifty miles away, and yet he is not one inch off. He has taken with him in his heart all that he won at Thessalonica.

2. When Paul came to Berea he went into the synagogue of the Jews. How was that? Surely he had suffered enough in connection with synagogues! It is one of two things with us all: either the inward conquers, or the outward — the soul or the body, love of God or love of ease.

3. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica." Thessalonica was a capital, a metropolis, and Berea was an out-of-the-way place. Yet the Bereans were "more noble" than metropolitans. That often happens. London is the largest place in England; it is not, therefore, the greatest. It is quite possible that there may be more reading of a solid and instructive kind in a little country town. Every locality has its advantage. In the metropolis we have continual motion, man sharpening man by daily collision, and in the country we have the opportunity of profound cultivation, because of the time which is at our disposal. Let us not complain of our circumstances, but rule them, sanctify them; and every sphere of life will afford an opportunity for intellectual and spiritual advancement.

4. What is the test of "nobleness"? Good listening is one trait. The hearer makes the preacher. Expectation becomes inspiration. To good listening was added patient examination. The model congregation is a congregation well provided with Bibles; that looks from the sermon to the text; from the text to the sermon; from the text to the context; and that binds the speaking man to keep within the sacred brief which God has given to him. That would be a congregation that would compel sublime preaching! You have lost your status as hearers! Where are your Bibles? The preacher could quote fifty things that are not in the Bible, and if he quoted them in old English, he could make many people believe that they really were in the Bible. If we would be "noble" in the estimation of Heaven, we must acquaint ourselves deeply and accurately with Heaven's own Word. One thing would follow from the Biblical examination — we should destroy the priest. The priest is a magician who lives upon the credulity of the simple. How is his influence to be broken? By the Bible; by the people knowing the Bible.

5. There is a logical term in the twelfth verse — "Therefore." That is the true rationalism. Why did you believe? "Because the speaker fascinated me; because he laid a spell upon my imagination." You will one day escape from those poor chains — they are not chains of iron, they are little bands of straw. Why did you believe? "Because it was shown to me by the Living Word that this is the only conclusion that can be established." You will stand like a rock amid troubled waves!

(J. Parker, D. D.)

We have here —


(1)The mode of the preaching, and

(2)its two-fold result: "some believed the things that were spoken, and some believed not."

2. Points of contrast; a difference in their way of hearing and in their manner of inquiring into truth. It is deeply interesting to be able thus to individualise some of Paul's congregations. We all know that there are such differences now. There are varieties of character and locality. Between one country and another, between one part of one country and another part, there are many noticeable differences, the result of many various and long-working influences. Often the ministry has to be blamed or praised for them. A place in which a faithful pastor has long been at work bears the impress of his hand for the next generation or two. And the absence of such a ministry will leave an opposite stamp. Who that reads the Epistles of St. Paul could for one moment confuse or interchange the spiritual characteristics of the churches of Corinth, of Philippi, of Galatia, of Thessalonica? Take that of —

I. THESSALONICA. Berea was more noble, because it received the Word frankly, and searched the Scriptures. Thessalonica was less noble in this respect. But there were those even in Thessalonica who had all the nobleness of Berea. Look at St. Paul's Epistles to them. Observe —

1. How St. Paul had treated them.(1) Like a father, "we exhorted and comforted and charged you, as a father does his children"; and like a mother also, "we were gentle among you, even as a nursing mother cherisheth her own children." What a picture of the true pastor! not a "lord over God's heritage," not one "having dominion over their faith, but a helper of their joy."(2) "Ye remember our labour and travail; for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable to any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God." If we, by changes of times, and by God's overruling goodness, are exempted from the necessity of working for our bread, let us take heed that that toil saved from the one be given to the other.

2. His teaching. First of all, it was a gospel, a message of comfort and joy to fallen man. It told him that his sins are forgiven. But it did not leave him even there. What is it to me to be told that God forgives, if you cannot add that God will give me His Holy Spirit to live in me and to work in me effectually? In the strength of this he was not afraid to preach to them of duty. "This is the will of God, even your sanctification"; and if it is His will that we should be holy, certainly He will give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. But St. Paul knew that, if you would inspirit a man for duty, you must inspire a man with hope. Therefore he fixed their eyes upon an Advent of the Lord and Saviour in which "blessed and holy is he who shall have part."

3. The rapidity of the work of God there. A few weeks at the very utmost must have comprised it, and yet what a work was already wrought (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10). It is our own fault if the gospel works in any of us slowly or indecisively. A few short weeks are enough, in God's hand, for a complete transformation of the heart and life. Yet let us not lose the force of that solemn admonition, that he who thinketh he standeth must always take heed lest he fall. Scarcely had St. Paul left Thessalonica than he sends back Timotheus to see "lest by any means the tempter had tempted them, and so his labour should be in vain." We are still in an enemy's country, however armed; in the region of death, however full of life. Even from our Lord Himself, after His great temptation, the devil departed but for a season: let us take heed lest confidence breed presumption, presumption sin, and sin death!


1. In speaking of Thessalonica, we have spoken of the Church gathered out of the world. The nobleness of the Bereans was shown not in their way of acting upon a gospel already believed, but in their way of trying the credentials of a gospel first heard. They did not refuse the gospel because it contradicted their previous opinions; neither did they, in an excess of credulity, receive it because it was presented to them. They listened to it with the readiness of a candid spirit, and they daily examined their Scriptures to see whether its language and theirs were the same. "Many therefore of them believed."

2. If our teaching were carried back by you to your Bible; if, when we urge upon you any particular duty, or any side of the truth, you would readily examine your Scriptures to see whether what you have heard has God's sanction to it or no, how interesting would become the work of hearing and the work of teaching! You would feel that you were engaged in a pursuit of truth; that it was not a question of pleasure or interest, but a question of right and wrong, of life and death; you would come hither not to criticise, but to learn, and you would go hence not to discuss, but to digest. And we on our part should feel that we were aiding you in settling the most momentous questions, and that out of such inquiries would spring forth a full-flowing stream of satisfaction, strength, and peace. The word denotes the examination of a witness, or the trial of a challenged life. Let us thus put the Word of God upon its trial. Let us not treat it as a dead, unmeaning, monotonous thing, to be carried in the hand, read at church, or suffered on the table; but rather as a living person, to be questioned, to be listened to and judged. So treated, the Bible will become to us a voice, not a page only. So treated, we shall at last be able to say, "Thy Word is tried to the uttermost, and Thy servant loveth it."

(Dean Vaughan.)


1. A spirit of earnest inquiry after religious truth. The gospel offered them no secular advantages (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:2). In the total absence, therefore, of all worldly attractions, what could induce them to receive the Word with all readiness of mind but a deeply serious concern about religious truth? The origin of this state of mind may probably be referred to that spiritual influence which went forth a little before this period — "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

2. A remarkable superiority to the power of prejudice. They did not refuse to listen to these strangers, although they were either unknown, or had been preceded by unfavourable rumours (Acts 17:6, 7).

3. An exercise of cautious investigation before they proceeded to make up their minds. The Bereans received the Word in a widely different manner to those in Matthew 13:5, 20, 21, and, there is reason to believe, abode in it with far greater stability.

4. As the result of the whole, note — their professed faith in the gospel, and their union with the Church. The Church thus founded appears to have been numerous: at Thessalonica some believed, at Berea many. And where the good precedent of the Bereans has been followed, a solid work of God has been perpetuated; but where people have rushed into religious profession under the influence of novelty or angry sectarianism, the consequence has too often been the erection of an airy castle, soon scattered to all the winds of heaven. It farther appears, that many of the Berean believers were highly respectable in their station and circumstances; literally, persons of figure, and the addition of such to the Church is a very desirable occurrence; for, to say nothing of subordinate and extrinsic advantages, their piety, found in connection with knowledge and refinement, is likely to be instrumental of great good in giving a tone to the whole community.

II. THE JUST DISTINCTION WHICH ATTACHES TO THEM IN CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR CONDUCT. In Luke's opinion they possessed nobler souls, or had a more generous nature than the people of Thessalonica. Possibly the term may advert to the genealogical pride so deeply rooted amongst the Jews (John 8:31-33). This nobleness of mind is strikingly apparent. —

1. In the candour with which they received the Word with all readiness of mind. Candour is that quality of mind which leads us not exclusively to look upon our "own things, but also on the things of others." How many advantages may we have lost, and to how many inconveniences may we have been subjected, in consequence of blindly yielding to the suggestions of prejudice!

2. In the reasonableness of their proceedings on hearing the gospel. The course they pursued was equally removed from the extremes of a hasty adoption of the new system, and a prejudiced closing of their understandings against evidence, The preaching of Paul and Silas related to the Messiah, and the conformity of their announcements with the Scriptures of the prophets was the great subject in the investigation of which the Bereans employed their nobler powers. Yet it is to be feared that the great mass of modern hearers never properly bend the energies of their minds to the clear apprehension of Christian truth, or the just appreciation of scriptural evidence.

3. In the noble resolution which they conceived and executed on having made up their minds on the great subject of Christianity. They formed themselves into a Christian Church under the direction of Paul and Silas, and resolved to encounter all the evils then connected with profession of faith in Christ.

(T. Galland, M. A.)

are types of those —

I. WHOSE KINDS ARE OPEN TO RECEIVE NEW TRUTHS. To the Berean Jews Paul's propositions were as novel and naturally unpalatable as they were to the Thessalonians, but they did not refuse to examine them. Such openness of mind is equally removed from the ignorant bigotry that assumes acquaintance with all truth, and the vacillating uncertainty which is "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," and consequently is "tossed about with every wind of doctrine."

II. WHO ARE IN NO HASTE TO CONCLUDE THAT WHAT IS NEW IS TRUE. The Bereans did not rashly and impulsively embrace Paul's teaching; they carefully considered it — prepared to accept or reject it, according as it stood the test of examination.


1. Doctrines are not to be rejected merely because they are unpalatable. God's Word must be unpalatable to sinful hearts, just as sunlight is to diseased eyes.

2. In studying Scripture we must carefully guard against prepossessions and prejudices.

3. We must steadily reject the idea that we have learned all that the Scriptures teach. It is possible to pass an object ten thousand times without really seeing it. God has yet more light to break forth from His Holy Word.

4. A diligent and candid study of the Scriptures will lead to faith in Jesus as the Christ.

(R. A. Bertram.)

Evangelical Preacher.
I. THE HIGH HONOUR BY WHICH THE BEREANS ARE DISTINGUISHED. This distinction is to be valued because of —

1. The source whence it proceeds.

2. The great dignity it implies.


1. Their conduct.

(1)Their favourable impression as to the gospel.

(2)Their diligent inquiry into its truth.

(3)Their truly rational faith.

2. The principles which this conduct involved.

(1)God's Word is the only standard of faith.

(2)We should not reject truth whoever might proclaim it.

(3)The truth when discovered is to be professed.Application:

1. See wherein true dignity consists.

2. The means of acquiring solid faith.

(Evangelical Preacher.)

There is a heraldry in the kingdom of God. Our King's throne is encircled by a high-born nobility. In the Scriptures you will find the record of their deeds and the patent of their rank. If we could obtain a view of this earth from the heavens the mountains would not be very high, nor the valleys very deep. The same law rules in the spiritual sphere. When anyone obtains, spiritually, a great elevation, the differences of social condition almost disappear. All are low until grace raise them up. But distinctions there are, notwithstanding. Some are slaves, and some are free; some are rich in grace, while others are poor. The Bereans were noble, high born. Two things go to constitute nobility — first the sovereign's choice in its origin; second, the actual birthright of each noble in successive generations. It is the same in the heavenly kingdom. Abraham was of plebeian blood, and received the patent of his nobility in the specific promise of the King Eternal, and large possessions were bestowed upon him for the support of his dignity. At a later period, when the King's Son was sojourning in this province, He called other plebeians, fishermen, etc., and conferred upon them the patent of nobility. In Rome they call Peter a prince: the title is not amiss, although they apply it falsely. Further, each noble is born to his title and estate. Nicodemus, though a son of Abraham by his first birth, must himself be born again ere he could enjoy the privileges of a peer. Two characteristic features of Berean nobility are recorded in order that we may be able to distinguish between the genuine and the spurious.

I. THEIR HEARTS WERE RECEPTIVE. In this matter the Bereans were favourably distinguished from the Thessalonians. The distinction is similar to that which the parable makes between the good ground and the wayside. As more depends on the condition of the soil than on the skill of the sower, so more depends on a receptive spirit in the hearers than on the peculiar ability of the preacher.

II. THEY EXERCISED THEIR PRIVATE JUDGMENT. This short, simple intimation puts to shame the sophistry with which Rome has for ages striven to conceal the Word of God from the people. For this noble act the Romish hierarchy has persecuted even unto death. The term "searched" indicates that they pored over the page; and after having read a sentence, returned to traverse the lines again, in order that the track of the sense might be more deeply graven on their minds. They avoided the two extremes of easy credulity and hard unbelief. It is a general law of human nature that what comes lightly goes lightly. What we gain by a hard struggle we retain with a firmer grasp, whether it be our fortune or our faith.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)


1. A laudable spirit of inquiry in reference to the truths of religion. All inquiry is not laudable; we may be busybodies in other men's matters, but inquiry is laudable here. Human investigation is extended to every other subject; why should it be excluded from this?

2. A peculiar deference to the authority of the sacred writings; they were convinced of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and it was in them they expected to find the principles of true religion.

3. A candid and ingenuous temper: "readiness of mind." They did not examine the Scriptures for the purpose of finding objections against the doctrines of the apostles, or to establish their own previous opinions, but for the purpose of ascertaining "whether those things were so."


1. We are endowed with powers and capabilities of engaging in this important investigation.

2. The Scriptures are addressed to all men; all men are commanded to read and examine them. "Search the Scriptures," said our Lord. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly," said the apostle.

3. All men are deeply concerned in the important truths which the Scriptures contain — as men, as sinners, as inhabitants of this world, as heirs of immortality.


1. We shall obtain accurate information respecting the doctrines of revealed truth.

2. We shall derive strong consolation under the difficulties and afflictions of life.

3. We shall receive ample instruction as to the performance of all personal, social, and religious duties. If you ask in what way should we examine the sacred writings, in order that we may obtain these advantages, I reply, examine them with impartiality, with humility, with self-application, and with prayer. It is greatly to be regretted that any portion of the Christian Church should ever have interdicted the use of the Holy Scriptures, and for this purpose have prohibited their translation into the vernacular tongue. But we have not so learned Christ. Go, imitate the example of the noble Bereans — search the Scriptures.

(G. Collinson.)

Nobility is a grand word, but does not always represent a noble thing. It is often applied to physical prowess and ancestral lineage; but the word in such applications is more or less degraded. There is a mental and moral nobility. The latter is the greatest of all; it is Godlike. The Bereans —

I. RENDERED A CANDID ATTENTION TO NEW DOCTRINES. They did not allow prejudice to seal their ears and close their souls; they were prepared to listen. This conduct is —

1. Ever befitting. As there must always be to the highest finite intelligences universes of truth of which they know nothing, it becomes even a seraph to be docile. How much more man, who knows so little, and that little so imperfectly!

2. Very rare. Somehow or other men for the most part grow up with preconceptions that close the soul to all that does not blend with them. Their preformed ideas they treat as absolute truths, and recoil with a jealousy from all that is new. Nothing is more repugnant to these men than a teaching pulpit.

II. GAVE A PROPER EXAMINATION TO NEW DOCTRINES. They were not mere passive listeners, receiving impressions which led to no effort, and which passed away in the hour. They examined —

1. Independently. They searched the Scriptures for themselves. They were not swayed by the authority of others, nor did they accept the statement of the apostles on their own credit. There is much talk about the right of private judgment; we want more of the duty. Men are blockheads in theology, and priest ridden in religion, because they search not the Scriptures for themselves.

2. Perseveringly, "daily." So vast the area and so deep the mines of Scripture, that you can know but little of it by a glance or two. Desultory, occasional and unsystematic efforts will be useless. You must be at it daily — walk some new field, scale some new mountain, penetrate some new depth daily.

III. YIELDED TO THE EVIDENCE OF NEW DOCTRINES: "believed." They bowed to the force of evidence. It is childish to believe without evidence. It is wicked to resist evidence. It is noble to surrender to its force. Their faith was —

1. Intelligent. It came as the result of investigation. It was not a blind prejudice, a traditional idea; it was a living conviction. This is the faith that is wanted, the only faith of any worth.

2. General: "Many believed." Influential women and men not a few.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

In this account of the conduct and conversion of the Bereans we are struck with —

I. THE WILLING PERMISSION THEY GAVE TO THE APOSTLES TO DECLARE THEIR ERRAND. For we must remember how different were their circumstances from those in which we ever have been, or can possibly be found. They were Jews, who had never, until this moment when Paul and Silas entered their synagogue, heard of any other system than the law of Moses. They were men in whose minds the avenues of conviction lay open; they were willing to give a hearing to the arguments of reason. Scarcely any sacrifice is so costly to flesh and blood to make, as that of long-established and deeply-rooted prejudice. But the Berean Jews were prepared to make even this surrender. But their respect was shown to the commission of the apostles, not to their persons only. Is not the subject of the gospel of supreme importance? With how many has the gospel had no better fate than those unhappy persons find whose lot it is to wait upon some proud patron or dilatory judge, who has promised to grant an audience, but has never yet done it, and still promises, and still postpones?

II. As they allowed the apostles to declare their errand, so we find that THEY GAVE A GLAD RECEPTION TO THE MESSAGE ITSELF. An ingenuous spirit opens the fairest door to the entrance of truth. Candour opened their ears to what Paul and Silas had to urge; and by that opening conviction entered. Such were the earliest disciples, and as such they are described: "they that gladly received the Word." A spirit this, differing altogether from that of Herod, who heard the Word gladly, having a curiosity to know what kind of matters it treated about, but having no desire to enlarge his acquaintance with it, when he found that it laid the axe to the root of his sins; but a gladness, going the whole length of the gospel itself, the glad receiving, as well as hearing of it. Who amongst us desires to know whether we are inheritors of this Berean "readiness of mind" towards the gospel of God? We are so, if we yield ourselves to the fair influence of truth.

III. There is yet one more point of excellence in the conduct of the Bereans: THEY SERIOUSLY EXAMINED THE CLAIMS OF THE GOSPEL. The doctrine of Christ fears not a scrutiny. And now, after this review of the conduct of the Bereans, shall we hesitate to award to them the title given in our text, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica"? True nobility, then, is not the spurious expansiveness of infidelity, but the reverence of Scripture as the test of truth.

(R. Eden, M. A.)

Let us mark —


1. They "received the Word with all readiness of mind," which argued a simple teachable disposition. Hence their attention was prompt, cordial, and submissive. They felt their helplessness and were willing to be led. The mind of the hearer was as soil prepared for the word of the preacher. Doubtless St. Paul adduced his favourite themes — "Jesus and the resurrection." Paul might state many things which would be new to the Bereans, opposed to their sentiments and ordinary habits and pursuits; but such was their docility that they were cheerfully contented to be hearers, not teachers.

2. Ought not this to be the disposition of modern hearers? But is not rather the ministry of the gospel usually attended with little or no readiness of mind to receive it? We preach the fall of man, but who feel themselves to be fallen? We declare the nature and the consequence of sin, but who feels its "exceeding sinfulness," and "flees from the wrath to come"? We publish "glad tidings," but "who hath believed our report?" And why is this? Because our hearers have so little readiness of mind to receive it. The hearts of the generality are either as soft as water, or as hard as rock. If you dip your finger into water an impression will easily be made; the moment you withdraw your finger the impression vanishes. You may, too, pour water upon a rock, but it all runs off; it never penetrates and fructifies the stone.

3. Now it is this disposition which we wish to correct. As the preaching of the Word is a weighty and important charge, so surely does the hearing of it involve a very solemn responsibility. People too commonly imagine the delivery of a sermon to be a matter of course. "Judge your own selves." Do as these noble-minded persons did: hear impartially, teachably; with readiness to receive; for your edification in the faith of Christ, for eternity; as those who must one day account to the Master of our Assemblies for the means of instruction so graciously vouchsafed.


1. They "searched the Scriptures daily," etc. The Scriptures which the Bereans possessed were merely the Old Testament. From that, however, they had learned that "the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head"; that God would raise up unto them a Prophet that should, like Moses, promulgate a new dispensation of grace and mercy; that "in His love and in His pity He would redeem them," and reign as King of Zion, etc., etc. These things the Bereans knew, and therefore they "searched the Scriptures" to see how far the statements of St. Paul accorded with the Word of God. Nor did they indolently do so: so cautious were they about receiving what they heard, and so desirous that whatever they received should be strictly analogous to the truth, that they searched the Scriptures "daily." Using, with lowliness and sincerity, the only infallible means of information, the promise was fulfilled to them — "The meek will He guide in judgment, the meek will He teach His way." So true it is, "They that will do the will of God shall know of the doctrine," etc.

2. Now here I cannot but say, "Go ye and do likewise." Here is an example of earnest and devout inquiry worthy of our closest imitation. We can boast no extraordinary inspiration, and therefore we may err. Bring, then, what you hear from us to your Bible. In addition to the Old Testament you have the New. When we insist on the necessity of repentance, look and see if He in whose name we speak requires it. When we tell you that Christ is "all in all" — a sinner's justification and salvation — take not our word for it: search the Scriptures. Do not so reluctantly, as though it were a labour, but diligently, and that "daily," and as if your everlasting all depended on your right apprehension and belief of the truth. If you received a letter from a dear friend, would it lie long unopened by you? Say not, "We have no time." Have you no time to read other books? Remember, that alone is truth which will endure a Scriptural test. It is Scripture, too, that will try our principles and conduct in the judgment of the great day. "The words which I have spoken, the same shall judge you."

(W. Mudge, B. A.)

S. S. Times.

1. Because it contains the statutes and judgments of God (Deuteronomy 4:14).

2. It is the Word of God (Jeremiah 36:6).

3. Christ taught out of it (Luke 24:27).

4. It testifies of Christ (John 20:3l).

5. If rightly studied it will lead to salvation (James 1:21).

6. It is profitable both for doctrine and practice (2 Timothy 3:16).

7. Christ enjoins its study (John 5:39).

8. Without a knowledge of it we go astray (Matthew 22:29; Acts 13:27).

II. How?

1. Thinking of it continually (Deuteronomy 6:7).

2. Receiving it as the Word of God, not of man (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

3. Receiving it with meekness (James 1:21).

4. Meditating upon it in the night watches (Psalm 119:148).

5. Hiding it in the heart (Psalm 119:11).

6. Making it the standard of teaching (1 Peter 4:11).

7. With prayer that its truths may be understood (Psalm 119:12, 18).

8. Teaching it to the children (2 Timothy 3:15).

(S. S. Times.)

"You interpret the Scriptures in one way," said Mary to Knox, "and the Pope and the cardinals in another; whom shall I believe, and who shall be judge?" "You shall believe," replied Knox, "God who speaketh plainly in His Word; and further than the Word teacheth you, you shall believe neither the one nor the other — neither the Pope nor the Reformers, neither the Papists nor the Protestants. The Word of God is plain in itself; if there be any obscurity in one place, the Holy Ghost, who is never contrary to Himself, explains it more clearly in other places, so that there can remain no doubt but unto such as are obstinately ignorant."

(Stewart's Collections.)

I use the Scriptures not as an arsenal to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, but as a matchless temple, where I delight to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe and excite my devotion to the Deity there preached and adored.

(Hon. R. Boyle.)

There is a ship at sea. A heavy fog has come on: there is nothing to be seen all round about; the very stars are shut out of view, and no longer serve to guide the vessel's course; and as the man at the masthead hoarsely cries out, "Breakers ahead!" and the crew furl the sails, and the helmsman turns the wheel, what is the captain about, old sailor as he is, now poring over his charts, and now glancing at the compass, and now loudly giving his orders? What can he mean by looking so often and so eagerly at that map-looking thing of his? That is his chart by which his course is guided; and he is searching it to find where he is, and how he may steer his ship in safety, to keep clear of a rock here, and a shallow there, and make a good passage through the channel, and save his crew and his cargo, and at length gain the harbour. So says the Great Teacher, "Search the Scriptures."

(J. H. Wilson.)

A blind girl had been in the habit of reading her Bible by means of raised letters such as are prepared for the use of the blind; but after a while, by working in a factory, the tips of her fingers became so calloused that she could no more by her hands read the precious promises. She cut off the tips of her fingers that her touch might be more sensitive; but still she failed with her hands to read the raised letters. In her sorrow she took the Bible and said, "Farewell, my dear Bible. You have been the joy of my heart!" Then she pressed the open page to her lips and kissed it, and as she did so she felt with her mouth the letters, "The Gospel according to St. Mark." "Thank God!" she said; "if I cannot read the Bible with my fingers, I can read it with my lips."

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

The Bible is a book which requires working into, in order to get out of it that which is most precious and profound. Some Christians do not know anything like what the Bible is really worth, because they are not willing to work hard enough to find out. When they read it, it is in such a prayerless, lifeless sort of a way that they receive but very little benefit from it. Perhaps this is true of the great majority of Christians. Very likely if all of the most precious truths lay on the mere surface of the Bible, and could be as easily picked up as one does the common pebbles which lie about the streets, there are many who would possess more than they now do. But then would the great and precious gems of Divine truth seem so precious if they could be had with so little effort? We think not. If gold were lying on the surface of the earth as plentifully as the stones do in many places, and could be gathered as easily, its value would not be so highly esteemed as it is, nor would it be regarded as so precious. We see God's wisdom in putting many of His richest and brightest gems of truth and promise down into the depths of His Word, so that, if we would get hold of them, we must work our way down into the profound recesses of the vast reservoirs of inspired thought and revelation. A certain writer says: "It is only when our energies are roused and our attention awake when we are acquiring, or correcting, or improving, our knowledge — that knowledge makes the requisite impression upon us. God has not made Scripture like a garden, where the fruits are ripe, and the flowers bloom, and all things are fully exposed to our view; but like a field, where we have the ground, and seed of all precious things, and where nothing can be brought to view without our industry — nor then, without the dews of heavenly grace." If you would increase the value of the Bible to you, work in its depths! Equip your energy by God's Spirit, and make a profitable task of delving for the pearly treasures of the Word!

When I was in California an old Scotchman brought me a piece of quartz in which was imbedded a small piece of gold, saying, "Mr. Scott, I would like you to see how our heavenly Father stores up the gold for our use." There it was sparkling in the midst of a bit of useless rock.

(J. Scott.)

There is a great deal of listless, careless reading. Coleridge divided readers into four classes. The first class he compares to an hour glass, their reading being as the sand; it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a vestige behind. A second class resembles a sponge, which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same state. A third class is like a jelly bag, which allows all that is pure to pass away, and retains only the refuse and the dregs. The fourth class, like the slave of Golconda, east aside all that is worthless, preserving only the pure gems. Or perhaps we might compare this fourth class to the gold pan, used for retaining the pure metal, while the refuse is washed out. The only profitable reading of God's Word is a searching reading. The word translated "search" is emphatic and intense, and literally means to "look carefully," as a wild animal searches the sands to find the footsteps of a stray cub. The Bible is full of hidden treasures, to be sought as the merchant man sought goodly pearls. They are not revealed to indifferent and superficial readers.

(A. T. Pierson, D. D.)

Do you love to turn the pages of old books? None can be found that are older than the earliest books of our Bible. Do you find special delights in history? Here are records than which none are more ancient, more trustworthy, or more important. Are you fond of biography? Here are the lives of Moses, the lawgiver and leader of the Hebrew race; of David the shepherd boy, poet and king; and of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. Is poetry, to you, a feast of beauty, an intoxicant of the emotions? Here are sublimest songs and sweetest consolations; the oldest of all poems, the epic that recites the fidelity of Job in unprecedented trials; the seraphic psalms of David; and the lofty imagery and panoramic prophecies of the unsurpassed Isaiah. Yet idle people tell us the Old Testament is dry! Is the ocean dry? Is the sunlight black? Is ambrosia bitter to the taste? Then is the Bible an unattractive book. Shallow sceptics may scoff at it; but the profoundest scholars know its worth. For many years John Quincy Adams, by reading one hour each morning, read the whole Bible once a year. He said that in whatever light he viewed it, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it was to him "an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue." Daniel Webster said that from the time when, at his mother's feet or on his father's knee, he first learned to lisp verses from the sacred writings, they had been his daily study and vigilant contemplation — and that if there was anything in his style or thoughts to be commended, the credit was due to his kind parents, who instilled into his minds an early love of the Scriptures. Sir William Jones declared it to be his opinion that "the Bible contains more true sensibility, more exquisite beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language they may be written." Rousseau confessed that "the majesty" of the Scriptures astonished him, and that the holiness of the Evangelists spoke to his heart. Paul said, "The Scriptures are able to make men wise unto salvation." In proof of the professions of no other book or collection of books can testimony so abundant, so clear, and so weighty be adduced.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

Christian Age.
Have set times, from which you will allow nothing to divert you, for reading and prayer. Always keep a promise in mind, and try to find a new one each day — not in a book made to hand, with a promise for every day in the year (a sort of crutch such a book is for those who expect to remain spiritual cripples), but in your own reading. We know a person who can find flowers enough in the woods every time she goes out to make a beautiful bouquet; and she does this when most would see nothing but leaves. Practice will enable you to learn the art of finding a flower of promise in every chapter.

(Christian Age.)

A little while ago I was in the noble cathedral at Cologne. Going in the early morning, I saw the eastern windows lit up by the sun. Far away in the great church the other windows were all obscure and dusky. We strolled in about noonday, and then these windows in the depths were lit up with ruby, purple, gold — prophets, apostles, saints, martyrs. And then, when the sun was going down, we looked in to find that the great western window was magnificently kindled, like a window that opened into heaven. As the hours of the day went on, first one window was illuminated, then another, until in the end there was not a painted pane but had added some splendour to the temple. It is a great deal like treat with your Bible. There is many a dark page in the Bible today, but in the process of the suns they are lit up one after another. Successive generations will find in that Book the specific doctrine that is necessary to them, their complexities, their perplexities, their interests, their perils. , Bernard, Luther, Wesley, found in the Bible the truth for their day, and the great original preachers of today are giving to that Book interpretations that are necessary to our enlightenment and discipline, and before the world finishes there will not be a dark passage left.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

The primitive preachers considered their hearers as capable of judging of the truth of what they heard. They not only taught the truth, but exhibited evidence to support what they taught, and encouraged their hearers to examine this evidence. This conduct of the Bereans was agreeable to common sense, and sanctioned by Divine authority. Let us consider —

I. WHAT IT IS TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT OF PRIVATE JUDGMENT. It is the right which every man has of seeing with his own eyes, hearing with his own ears, and of exercising his own reason. But this implies —

1. A right to hear what may be said upon the subject. The Bereans had a right to hear the apostle's reasons in favour of Christianity before they received it or rejected it. We have a right to collect evidence upon any subject, from any who are able to give us information about it. And the more information men can collect, the better they are prepared to judge correctly.

2. A right to examine every subject for ourselves. Though many things may have been said and written upon any religious doctrine, yet we have a right to reason upon it, and to search the Scriptures to see whether it be there revealed or not. When we come to think seriously upon a subject which others have treated, we may find good reasons to differ from them. They may have overlooked, and we may have found the real truth in the case.

3. The right of forming our opinions according to the best light we can obtain. We have no more right to judge without evidence than we have to judge contrary to evidence. We have no right to keep ourselves in doubt when we have sufficient evidence to come to a decision. "Prove all things," i.e., examine all things; and after examination, decide what is right.


1. God has made men capable of judging for themselves in matters of religion. He has made them wiser than the beasts. He has endued them with the highest powers of reason and conscience, by which they are capable of judging what is right and wrong, true and false. As they are capable of judging for themselves, so it is their duty. Their capacity creates their obligation. As they are rational creatures, they are bound to act rationally. This, indeed, is the only power which they have no right ever to resign. They may, when necessary, give up their property or liberty; but they may never give up their right of forming their own religious sentiments, and of serving God according to the dictates of their conscience. They have no right to let their own depraved hearts, or the false reasonings of others, warp their understanding, and obscure the real evidence of Divine truth.

2. God has given men not only the proper powers, but the proper means of forming their religious sentiments. The Bible contains sufficient information in regard to all the doctrines and duties of religion. The Scriptures are level to everyone's capacity, so that wayfaring men though fools cannot err therein, unless by prejudice, partiality, or blindness of heart. And since men have this ample source of information in their hands, they cannot, without great impropriety and danger, neglect to search the Scriptures.

3. God has appointed none to judge for any man in respect to his religious opinions. It is true God has appointed teachers, but not judges; and after all they have done to exhibit and support the truth, the hearers are to judge for themselves whether those things they have heard be the truth. The Pope and all his hierarchy are usurpers, whose pretensions to infallibility are to be treated with disdain, as vile impositions. Christian churches have a right to form their own creeds and exercise their own discipline, independently of any superior ecclesiastical power on earth.

4. God has forbidden men to take their religious sentiments from others upon trust. His direction to His ancient people was to "the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." And we are commanded to prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good. And Paul tells the Galatians to reject any false doctrines, though brought to them by men or angels.

5. Every man must feel the effects of his own religious opinions, and consequently ought to exercise his own judgment in forming them. This is a matter of too much consequence to put out of his own hands. We must give an account of our faith as well as of our conduct.

III. IMPROVEMENT. If it be the duty of men to exercise their private judgment in the manner that has been mentioned, then —

1. They may always know what they ought to believe and practise. God never places mankind in a situation in which they cannot know and do their duty; for then they would not be moral agents, nor proper subjects of moral government. Though God does not require a heathen to search the Scriptures to know his duty, yet he is morally obliged to consult his reason and conscience to learn his duty, and to act agreeably to the dictates of these intellectual powers, which he knows he ought to obey. It is absurd for Christians, who have the Bible in their hands, to plead in excuse for believing and doing wrong that they could not know what to believe, or what to do; for they always may have evidence which makes it their duty to believe or not to believe, and to act or not to act.

2. They may not only know that they have acted right in forming their religious sentiments, but know that they have formed them according to truth. Many imagine because men may err in forming their religious sentiments that they never can know whether they have formed them right in any case whatever. But they have no right to draw this consequence from human fallibility; for though men may judge wrong in some cases, yet they may judge right in others. Paul first formed a wrong opinion of Christ, and verily thought it was a true opinion; but after he had formed another and true opinion of Christ, he knew that his present opinion was right, and his former opinion was wrong.

3. It may be greatly abused. Under the pretext of this right, men may take the liberty of judging very erroneously, unreasonably, and wickedly, as did the Jews at Thessalonica, under the influence of tradition, education, and prejudice. Wherever the gospel has been preached it has been opposed, rejected, or perverted by hearers, under the pretext of the right of private judgment. But though the right of private judgment has been, and still is so extensively and grossly abused, it is far better to tolerate it than to restrain it by any other means than those which are rational and spiritual.

4. We may easily see how those who judge for themselves on religious subjects, and with the same degree of light before them, may judge very differently. One may pay more attention to the arguments on one side of the question, and another may pay more attention to the arguments on the opposite side; or one may wish to find the truth in the case, and another, for some sinister motive, may wish not to find it.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

I. WILLING RECEPTION, as opposed to frivolous contempt (ver. 11).

II. DILIGENT SEARCHING, as opposed to blind imitation (ver. 11). LIVING FAITH, as opposed to dead knowledge (ver. 12).

(K. Gerok.)

The self-evidencing power of Christian truth depends on the moral condition of the man. A flash of lightning reveals nothing to him whose eyes are closed. Two classes of people, both Jews, hear the same gospel, from the same lips, under the same circumstances; and they reach opposite results. For every kind of truth a special capacity is needed. The eye sees only what it brings with it the power of seeing. We shall see how this faculty was trained in the Bereans. Note —


1. The "Word" is more fully expounded in ver. 3. The Messiah of ancient promise had come. The great photographic shadows thrown forward upon the sensitive page of prophecy had taken substance. This was a position which he only would take who was sure of his ground; for it was an arraignment of the verdict of both the Jewish and Roman tribunals. "This Jesus is neither a blasphemer nor a seditious intriguer, but the Son, and the Sent of God." And not only so. If this Jesus were the Messiah, then the death knell of their national, religious preeminence had been sounded. "The sceptre shall not depart...until Shiloh come" — then it was to depart. And then, in his insistence on the mission of Christ, the apostle drew two conclusions, both of which warred against the prejudices of his hearers — the one against the creed of the Jew, who believed his race exclusively the people of God, and the other against the pride of the Greek, to whom the doctrine of the Cross was an intolerable offence.

2. Having taken up his main position, the apostle proceeds to establish it by an appeal to the highest authority. "He reasoned with them out of the Scriptures."(1) There were prophecies announcing the coming, character, and work of the Messiah. "To Him gave all the prophets witness."(2) There were supernatural occurrences in the birth and ministry of Christ, each connecting His appearance and Person with these prophetic foreshadowings — particularly the resurrection. But he is not satisfied with demonstrating the historical validity of this latter fact. "If Christ be not raised ye are yet in your sins." It requires for its doctrinal antecedent a sacrificial death, which postulates a Divine Person.

II. THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THIS TEACHING WAS RECEIVED. "They received the Word with all readiness of mind." Here is —

1. The docility of temper which belongs to a right conception of the truth. They were in that balanced equipoise of mind which, equally removed from listless indifference and haughty presumption, left them at liberty to listen to the apostle's reasoning, to think dispassionately on it, and to draw their own conclusions. They did not surrender their honest convictions at the bidding of any man, however important his message or high his authority. That is a poor faith which neither asks nor requires a reason for its believing; and it is an equally poor scepticism which contents itself with thoughtlessly denying. The Thessalonian Jews rejected the Word, because they refused to examine its evidences. The Bereans more wisely received the Word, and then examined its evidences. The open eye went in quest of the teaching light. And as the healthy body through its myriad open pores drinks in the air and sunshine, and turns them into a ministry of life, so did the ingenuous candour of these Bereans. The one question was, What is the truth? not What do we wish to be true?

2. The course of inquiry marks —(1) Their fearless honesty. They were not afraid to examine either their old opinions or the new. The great question was whether Paul's statements were founded on fact and accessible to the ordinary methods of moral conviction. To test this question they searched the Scriptures to which the apostle had appealed as justifying the departure he had sought to establish between Judaism and Christianity. They searched them, not the apostle's argument, but the great spring and reason of all that he had affirmed. They searched with keen, inquisitive eye, looking beneath, and over, and all around. The question was too grave for delay, too personal to be honestly evaded. They were bound to face the crisis. So they "searched the Scriptures."(2) Their manly independence of spirit. The child has safeguard from perplexity in its ignorance. Where it does not know, it as careless to inquire. With no sense of danger there is no fear. But the man must interrogate. To know the truth and to build upon it, whether it throw up a basement of rock or open into abysses of despair, that is the only satisfaction for a man.(3) Their rationality. The argument for Christianity, if it be true, must be in its facts. The "reason for the hope that is in us" implies a reasonableness of the evidences without us. The realism of Christianity asks to be examined with the keenest critical research, whether as to its documents, authorship, spirit, or effects.(4) Their reverence. They went directly to the "Scriptures." The problem was outside the schools: why then go to these? It was a supernatural question; why then go to nature? If I want to map out a diagram of the stars, I do not go to geology.

3. What followed on this procedure.(1) Note the logical consequence. "Therefore many of them believed." Faith waiting on the light of evidence is met by the evidence of light, and following that is led into the liberty of truth. "If any man will do His will, he shall know," etc. Obedience is the spirit in which to seek, knowledge its after product. The old philosophy sought first to construct a science of nature, and then to bend nature to its science, and it failed. Now, we begin with what is known and advance to the unknown, and end with a science of things. It is just so in dealing with the secrets of revelation. A childlike docility, putting the mind into sympathy with the truth, will get into fellowship with God. "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord"; but a self-constructed scheme of interpretation, which assumes the negative of revelation, or makes its teachings follow its own sceptical preconceptions, is sure to flounder into confusion and hopeless doubt. To the man whose senses are all that, Omnipotence itself is a waste of power. Now what the telescope does for our knowledge of the stars, revelation does for our knowledge of God; it manifests what before was unknown, and in both cases the value of the instrument is in its use. If a man will reverently use the one as he does the other, "he shall know." If he will not, he "cannot know the things of God, for they are spiritually discerned."(2) The word "therefore" is a marked one. There was, first, a clear presentation of the truth to the mind; then the actual contact of the mind with the truth, and reflection upon it. There was a readiness to surrender old convictions to the authority of evidence, and then the light came: "they believed." And this belief was not a solitary or a miraculous act; it was an ordinary result. It was something more than a vague conviction, a mere sentiment of wonder. The foundation of their religious beliefs had been torn away; but they were no longer adrift on a sea of doubt. "They believed"; and faith is trust, calmness, certainty. It is the eye of the soul looking through and with the eye of reason, and resting on the reality of things. And this effect will, in all ordinary cases, be produced wherever the same process of inquiry is pursued.(3) Besides this satisfying conviction that comes from conscious experience of the power of truth, there are the facts without.

(a)There are the Jews — a standing witness of the fulfilment of prophetic Scripture.

(b)The existence, history, and standing of the Christian Church.

(c)The Christ of Christianity — the miracle of miracles.Conclusion:

1. The fitness of the gospel to deal with dissimilar classes of men. Jews, Greeks, "honourable" men and women.

2. The great impediment in the way of any man's salvation is not in the gospel, nor in the ministration of the gospel, but in the indifference or pride with which men deal with its transcendent statements.

(John Burton.)

The most prominent and invariable cause of infidelity is found in the fact that men will not investigate the Scriptures. Many infidels have confessed that they had never carefully read the New Testament. Thomas Paine confessed that he wrote the first part of the "Age of Reason" without having a Bible at hand, and without its being possible to procure one where he then was (in Paris). "I had," says he, "neither Bible nor Testament to refer to, though I was writing against both; nor could I procure any."

(A. Barnes, D. D.)

Athenians, Damaris, Dionysius, Jason, Paul, Silas, Thessalonians, Timotheus, Timothy
Amphipolis, Apollonia, Areopagus, Athens, Berea, Thessalonica
Arrival, Arrived, Arriving, Berea, Beroea, Beroe'a, Brethren, Brothers, Forth, Immediately, Jewish, Jews, Paul, Silas, Straight, Synagogue, Thither
1. Paul preaches at Thessalonica, where some believe,
5. and others persecute him.
10. He is sent to Berea, and preaches there.
13. Being persecuted by Jews from Thessalonica,
16. he comes to Athens, and disputes and preaches the living God, to them unknown;
32. whereby, though some mock, many are converted unto Christ.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 17:10

     1651   numbers, 1-2
     5108   Paul, life of
     7456   synagogue
     8427   evangelism, kinds of

Acts 17:5-13

     5279   crowds

Acts 17:10-12

     8497   witnessing, approaches

April 24 Evening
The eyes of all wait upon thee.--PSA. 145:15. He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.--The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.--Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.--Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters,
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

February 17 Evening
God created man in his own image.--GEN. 1:27. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.--For whom he did foreknow, he also
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

April 7. "In Him we Live and Move" (Acts xvii. 28).
"In Him we live and move" (Acts xvii. 28). The hand of Gehazi, and even the staff of Elisha could not heal the lifeless boy. It needed the living touch of the prophet's own divinely quickened flesh to infuse vitality into the cold clay. Lip to lip, hand to hand, heart to heart, he must touch the child ere life could thrill his pulseless veins. We must come into personal contact with the risen Saviour, and have His very life quicken our mortal flesh before we can know the fulness and reality of His
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Man who is Judge
...He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.'--ACTS xvii. 31. I. The Resurrection of Jesus gives assurance of judgment. (a) Christ's Resurrection is the pledge of ours. The belief in a future life, as entertained by Paul's hearers on Mars Hill, was shadowy and dashed with much unbelief. Disembodied spirits wandered ghostlike and spectral in a shadowy underworld. The belief
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Thessalonica and Berea
'Now, when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: 2. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath- days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Paul at Athens
'Then Paul stood In the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24. God, that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The General Resurrection
Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. A n object, great in itself, and which we know to be so, will appear small to us, if we view it from a distance. The stars, for example, in our view, are but as little specks
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

The World Turned Upside Down
We believe that what these Jews said of the Apostles, was just a downright wilful lie. They knew better. The Apostles were not the disturbers of states. It is true, they preached that which would disturb the sinful constitution of a kingdom and which would disturb the evil practices of false priests, but they never meant to set men in an uproar. They did come to set men at arms with sin; they did draw the sword against iniquity; but against men as men, against kings as kings, they had no battle;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Colossians 4:14 "Luke, the Beloved Physician. "
[2] THERE are two things in the title of this paper which I shall take for granted, and not dwell on them. One is, that Luke here mentioned is the same Luke who wrote the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and was the friend and companion of St. Paul. The other is, that Luke really was a physician of the body. On both these points the consent of learned men, who have a right to command our attention, is almost universal. I shall rigidly confine myself to two remarks which appear to grow out
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Acts 17:16-17. Athens.
[9] "Now, while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him." --Acts 17:16-17. PERHAPS the reader of this paper lives in a town or city, and sees more of bricks and mortar than of green fields. Perhaps you have some relative or friend living in a town, about whom you naturally feel a deep interest.
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

He is Lovely in his Offices
Secondly, He is altogether lovely in his offices: let us consider for a moment the suitability, fullness, and comforting nature of them. First, The suitability of the offices of Christ to the miseries of men. We cannot but adore the infinite wisdom of his receiving them. We are, by nature, blind and ignorant, at best but groping in the dim light of nature after God, Acts 17:27. Jesus Christ is a light to lighten the Gentiles, Isa. 49:6. When this great prophet came into the world, then did the day-spring
John Flavel—Christ Altogether Lovely

Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State.
--Inter silvas academi quærere verum. Hor. lib. II. epist. 2. v. 45. To search out truth in academic groves. THE course of my last speculation [3] led me insensibly into a subject upon which I always meditate with great delight, I mean the immortali
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

Repentance and Restitution.
"God commandeth all men everywhere to repent."--Acts xvii. 30. Repentance is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Yet I believe it is one of those truths that many people little understand at the present day. There are more people to-day in the mist and darkness about Repentance, Regeneration, the Atonement, and such-like fundamental truths, than perhaps on any other doctrines. Yet from our earliest years we have heard about them. If I were to ask for a definition of Repentance, a great
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It

Original Righteousness.
"For in Him we live and move, and have our being: as certain also of your own poets have said. For we are also His offspring." --Acts xvii. 28. It is the peculiar characteristic of the Reformed Confession that more than any other it humbles the sinner and exalts the sinless man. To disparage man is unscriptural. Being a sinner, fallen and no longer a real man, he must be humbled, rebuked, and inwardly broken. But the divinely created man, realizing the divine purpose or restored by omnipotent grace
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Period iii. The Dissolution of the Imperial State Church and the Transition to the Middle Ages: from the Beginning of the Sixth Century to the Latter Part of the Eighth
The third period of the ancient Church under the Christian Empire begins with the accession of Justin I (518-527), and the end of the first schism between Rome and Constantinople (519). The termination of the period is not so clearly marked. By the middle and latter part of the eighth century, however, the imperial Church has ceased to exist in its original conception. The Church in the East has become, in great part, a group of national schismatic churches under Moslem rulers, and only the largest
Joseph Cullen Ayer Jr., Ph.D.—A Source Book for Ancient Church History

St. Justin Martyr (Ad 166)
Although Trajan was no friend to the Gospel, and put St. Ignatius to death, he made a law which must have been a great relief to the Christians. Until then they were liable to be sought out, and any one might inform against them; but Trajan ordered that they should not be sought out, although, if they were discovered, and refused to give up their faith, they were to be punished. The next emperor, too, whose name was Hadrian (AD 117-138) did something to make their condition better; but it was still
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Whether Idolatry is Rightly Reckoned a Species of Superstition?
Objection 1: It would seem that idolatry is not rightly reckoned a species of superstition. Just as heretics are unbelievers, so are idolaters. But heresy is a species of unbelief, as stated above ([3101]Q[11], A[1]). Therefore idolatry is also a species of unbelief and not of superstition. Objection 2: Further, latria pertains to the virtue of religion to which superstition is opposed. But latria, apparently, is univocally applied to idolatry and to that which belongs to the true religion. For just
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Sufficient Reason Can be Assigned for the Ceremonies Pertaining to Holy Things?
Objection 1: It would seem that no sufficient reason can be assigned for the ceremonies of the Old Law that pertain to holy things. For Paul said (Acts 17:24): "God Who made the world and all things therein; He being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made by hands." It was therefore unfitting that in the Old Law a tabernacle or temple should be set up for the worship of God. Objection 2: Further, the state of the Old Law was not changed except by Christ. But the tabernacle denoted
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Woman Should have Been Made from Man?
Objection 1: It would seem that woman should not have been made from man. For sex belongs both to man and animals. But in the other animals the female was not made from the male. Therefore neither should it have been so with man. Objection 2: Further, things of the same species are of the same matter. But male and female are of the same species. Therefore, as man was made of the slime of the earth, so woman should have been made of the same, and not from man. Objection 3: Further, woman was made
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether all Things are Life in God?
Objection 1: It seems that not all things are life in God. For it is said (Acts 17:28), "In Him we live, and move, and be." But not all things in God are movement. Therefore not all things are life in Him. Objection 2: Further, all things are in God as their first model. But things modelled ought to conform to the model. Since, then, not all things have life in themselves, it seems that not all things are life in God. Objection 3: Further, as Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 29), a living substance
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Souls are Conveyed to Heaven or Hell Immediately after Death?
Objection 1: It would seem that no souls are conveyed to heaven or hell immediately after death. For a gloss on Ps. 36:10, "Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be," says that "the saints are delivered at the end of life; yet after this life they will not yet be where the saints will be when it is said to them: Come ye blessed of My Father." Now those saints will be in heaven. Therefore after this life the saints do not go immediately up to heaven. Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (Enchiridion
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The World, Created by God, Still Cherished and Protected by Him. Each and all of Its Parts Governed by his Providence.
1. Even the wicked, under the guidance of carnal sense, acknowledge that God is the Creator. The godly acknowledge not this only, but that he is a most wise and powerful governor and preserver of all created objects. In so doing, they lean on the Word of God, some passages from which are produced. 2. Refutation of the Epicureans, who oppose fortune and fortuitous causes to Divine Providence, as taught in Scripture. The sun, a bright manifestation of Divine Providence. 3. Figment of the Sophists as
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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