Acts 17:30
Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all people everywhere to repent.
God and the Times of IgnoranceM. R. Vincent, D. D.Acts 17:30
God Revealed: His Attitude Toward the SinnerW. Clarkson Acts 17:30
Nature and Necessity of True RepentanceS. Davies, M. A.Acts 17:30
Past Forbearance and Present DutyT. Manton, D. D.Acts 17:30
Past Ignorance and Present ResponsibilityHomilistActs 17:30
RepentanceA. Barnes, D. D.Acts 17:30
RepentanceP. Grant.Acts 17:30
RepentanceR. M. Jones, M. A.Acts 17:30
RepentanceJ. Beaumont, M. D.Acts 17:30
RepentanceJohn Logan.Acts 17:30
The Gospel AgeD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 17:30
Christian Unconcern ExplainedJ. McFarlane.Acts 17:15-34
Moral Wretchedness of IdolatryD. Moore, M. A.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensExpository OutlinesActs 17:15-34
Paul At AthensSermons by the Monday ClubActs 17:15-34
Paul At AthensDean Vaughan.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensH. J. Bevis.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensR. A. Bertram.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensBp. Stevens.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensA. Barnes, D. D.Acts 17:15-34
Paul's Estimate of the AtheniansEvangelical PreacherActs 17:15-34
Paul's Moral Survey of AthensD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 17:15-34
The Moral Versus the AestheticW. L. Alexander, D. D.Acts 17:15-34
Paul At AthensE. Johnson Acts 17:16-34
Paul At AthensR.A. Redford Acts 17:16-34
Novelties and How to Regard ThemC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 17:21-31
Novelty AttractiveC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 17:21-31
Paul At AthensD. Merson, B. D.Acts 17:21-31
Paul's Sermon on Mars' HillD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 17:21-31
Paul's Sermon on Mars' HillM. C. Hazard.Acts 17:21-31
Some New ThingA. J. Brown.Acts 17:21-31
The Gospel's Kindly Encounter with Novel FoesP.C. Barker Acts 17:23-32

It is worth while to note, preliminarily, that Paul speaks of the pre-Christian ages as "times of ignorance." We know that these included much human learning. The words of the apostle were uttered on that spot where there was everything to call this to remembrance. But he would have said, and would have had us consider also, that any age in which God remained unknown was an age of ignorance. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." No art, no philosophy, no science, no literature, no intellectual attainments or achievements of any kind whatever will compensate for ignorance of God; the soul that knows not him is an ignorant man; the time that knows not him is an ignorant age. But the text suggests and answers a very urgent question - What is the attitude of the holy Father of spirits toward his sinful children? His holiness would lead to impartial severity; his fatherhood to exceeding tenderness and clemency. The answer is found in the words of the apostle here.

I. GOD'S ATTITUDE IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN AGES. This was one of magnanimous forbearance. God "winked at" (as the text unhappily renders it), he overlooked, bore with all that was so painful in his sight, all the unimaginable iniquity of forty centuries of human sin. Not, indeed, without many proofs of his Divine displeasure; not without manifestations of his holy wrath. He sent sickness, sorrow, calamity, death, as marks of his meaning in regard to sin. But for long ages of evil, in which men were everywhere sinning directly against him by their idolatries and their atheisms and their practical infidelities, and indirectly against him by their sins against one another and the wrongs they did themselves, God's chief attitude toward his rebellious subjects was that of Divine magnanimity.

1. He did not punish them in proportion to their ill deserts. He "kept silence" (Psalm 1:21). He "dealt not with them after their sins," etc. (Psalm 103:10).

2. He did confer on them great and continuous loving-kindness through every age (Acts 14:16, 17).

II. HIS ATTITUDE SINCE THE COMING OF HIS SON. He "now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." The entrance of the "kingdom of God" was attended with the utterance of this strong imperative, "Repent" (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Mark 6:12). The last, solemn commission of the ascending Lord was to sound this note of repentance "among all nations" (Luke 24:47). The apostle of the Gentiles, divinely taught, preached to Jew and Gentile "repentance toward God," etc. (Acts 20:21). And wherever this gospel is preached unto men, there is announced the Divine mandate, "Repent." We know:

1. Its real significance. It is the turning of the heart, and therefore of the life, from sin and folly to God and to his service.

2. Its breadth of application. It is coextensive with the race; it reaches to the remotest land and to the most distant age; none so pure of heart and life that they need not, none so base that they may not, none so old that they cannot repent.

3. The consequences of impenitence. They are

(1) God's displeasure now, and

(2) his final condemnation and punishment. - C.

The times of this ignorance God winked at.
1. Surrounded by the representatives of the great philosophic schools, and with the beautiful objects of Pagan devotion on every side, Paul characterises the error of idolatry as a mark of ignorance. It was a severe thing to say to a people who cherished the past so fondly, and who boasted of their culture; and perhaps not the least irritating thing was that Paul represented his own God — that God so new and strange to his hearers — as tolerating their worship as a matter which in no way concerned His own honour.

2. This raises the difficult question concerning certain things which God has permitted to run their course in past ages, which will not bear the test of even the lowest Christian morality.

3. As we study the Bible history, we see two movements in progress simultaneously. One the natural historic movement; i.e., the progress of a history, like that of Israel, e.g., according to the natural laws under which nations mature, such as climate, soil, migration, conquest. There are those who refuse to see in Biblical history anything more than this. But mothers detect another influence which gives character and direction to the other — the providential movement, the outworking of a Divine purpose. Thus, where the philosopher sees only the migration of a tribe under some physical pressure, the religious historian hears the Lord say unto Abraham, "Get thee out from thy kindred and from thy father's house."

4. Now, our difficulty arises out of the fact that these two movements are mysteriously intertwined; that God's design works itself out through much which, to an educated Christian sense, is cruel and selfish, and by means of men who fall below even the lower types of the social morality of our day. Certainly, if we were called on to select types of devout servants of God, we should not choose Samson nor Barak, nor even Gideon; and yet they are placed in the New Testament among the heroes of faith. Or, there is that horrible business of the Canaanites, which, in some aspects at least, must, I fear, continue to be a puzzle. Take the matter of genealogy — that line which we should naturally suppose would have been kept absolutely pure — our Lord's human descent. And yet it is not so: Judah and Rahab are both in it. Such illustrations show us that, in the Bible, the natural and the providential currents mingle; so that, to human eyes, God's work in history seems discoloured by human passion and infirmity.

5. Now these facts involve difficulties; but we can nevertheless discover, running through them, some straight tracks leading us to three general principles.

I. THAT THERE IS A PROGRESS IN THE DIVINE REVELATION IN THE BIBLE, from limited to fuller revelation, from contracted to expanded views of God and truth. Take —

1. The Incarnation. There is a fulness of time which must come before the Redeemer can be revealed; until then there are foreshadowings, types, prophecies. Now, after Christ has come, the same law holds. He plainly tells the disciples, "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," etc.

2. Immortality. How imperfect its revelation in the earlier Scriptures!

3. Spirituality in life and worship. Is there not a distinct progress from a religion which required the complicated apparatus of altars, etc., to that which intelligently accepts the truth that God is a Spirit? So, too, there is a progress from the morality which must be kept to duty by minute precepts, to the freedom with which Christ makes His disciples free, throwing them upon the guidance of the conscience enlightened by His Spirit.

II. But this principle necessitates a second — THAT OF ACCOMMODATION.

1. If we read the Old Testament expecting to find New Testament standards and principles in operation, we shall be constantly disappointed and puzzled. When you read the Book of Judges, for instance, you cannot help saying, "These characters are not for my imitation." You cannot help thinking that there is a terrible inconsistency if you do not recognise the facts of progress in and accommodation of revelation to the actual condition of mankind. You cannot expect the full tide of Christian revelation to fit the moral conditions of Israel before Sinai. And therefore we find that God adapts His revelation to them, giving them symbols and rites. What was the revelation of God in human form but an accommodation? Man would not understand God by hearing that God was a Spirit; and so the Infinite took upon Himself the form of a servant. And there is a glory to be revealed; we might as properly ask why God does not fit us at once to receive its full weight? We know simply that that is not His way; that we could not bear it if it were revealed.

2. But this principle goes farther. God gives temporary sanction to certain things which will not stand the test of Christian morality. There is polygamy, for instance, which the New Testament refuses to recognise. Slavery was incorporated into the Mosaic law. God might have brought the ages of Deborah and Samson up to the level of the Sermon on the Mount, but He did not. He might have worked out His purpose by new methods specially devised; but He took men's crudity — the practice of war, etc. — as they were, and let them work themselves out according to the spirit and methods of their age.

3. Christ recognised this fact clearly enough. "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you." What was Christ's baptism by John but a temporary adaptation to crude religious conceptions? What else did He mean by "suffer it now"? Or do not His words point back to a similar accommodation? "Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time; but I say unto you something better."

III. To these we must add a third principle, without which the whole question would be left in worse confusion than before — viz., THAT THROUGH THIS PARTIAL, GROWING, AND ACCOMMODATED REVELATION, GOD IS CONTINUALLY WORKING TOWARDS HIS OWN PERFECT IDEAL. If you once admit this fact of a progressive revelation, the character of the revelation must be judged by its general tendency and outcome. Suppose I give a peach stone to a man who had never seen a peach, and tell him that, if he would plant it, it would yield a delicious fruit; and if, after a few weeks, he should dig it up, and finding the seed just sprouting, should come jeering, and saying, "Do you call that a delicious thing?" you all see what the proper answer would be. Back of the fruit is a long process, and you cannot pronounce upon the meaning or the quality of that process until the tree is grown. Then all becomes plain. So back of the perfect law and manhood of the gospel lies this slow, moral growth of humanity. When you once perceive that the Bible means Christ, that the history recorded in the Bible moves steadily toward Christ, then you may begin to understand that God's toleration and accommodation are simply parts of the process which is to issue in the cheerful subjection of a man in Christ to the perfect law of the gospel. When you want to form a judgment of some great historic man, you read his life backward in the light of his glorious prime. Do you blame his father because he bore with the boy's childish folly, and accommodated his own higher wisdom to the lad's ignorance and crudity? But, with all its accommodations, God's economy is never content to leave the man or the people in the condition to which it accommodates itself. It accommodates itself to raise. Its testimony against sin is clear throughout. There is a very significant passage at the close of Hebrews 11, in which these Old Testament saints are ranked among the heroes of faith: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they, apart from us, should not be made perfect." What does this teach but that God's purpose in the education of men does not fulfil itself in any man or generation of men, but in the whole history of mankind. Finally, we must not leave this subject without alluding to the practical conclusion which Paul draws from God's forbearance in past ages: "But now He commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent." In other words, God's tolerance in the past is a warning against presuming on His forbearance in the present. God bore with the crudeness and ignorance of the men of olden time, in order that men of a later and more enlightened day should have no excuse for claiming His forbearance. A very different conclusion this from that of those who make this Old Testament record a ground of attack upon God's character, and a reason for rejecting His later revelation in Christ. As we in happier times read of those old days, our proper sentiment is that of wonder at the patience of God through all these ages, of admiration at the wisdom of His forbearance, of congratulation that He has provided some better thing for us.

2. This history is reproduced, on a smaller scale, in your individual life. You have had your times of ignorance; and though you have had less excuse than they had, yet how your life has been marked by the forbearance of God! What is the practical result of this forbearance? Has it led you to a true estimate of sin? Has it led you to the Lamb of God, which taketh away sin? or are those terrible words of the apostle verified in you, "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and long-suffering," etc. (Romans 2:4-6).

(M. R. Vincent, D. D.)

I. THE EXHORTATION consists of two parts —

1. The censure of the past times.(1) They were times of ignorance, and that easily leadeth into error. But now the light of the gospel was brought to them, God did more peremptorily insist upon His right, and commanded them to repent; for the practices of ignorance will not become a time of knowledge (1 Peter 1:14). There was a time when we knew neither the terror, nor the sweetness of the Lord, but securely lived in sin; what we did then will misbecome us now (Romans 13:12). Sins are more aggravated in times of more full gospel light (John 3:19).(2) God winked at these times.(a) The meaning. Certainly it is not meant that God allowed their idolatries; that would entrench upon His honour, and hinder their repentance. First. Some think it speaketh indulgence. God looked not after them to punish them for their idolatries. Ignorance is sometimes made an excuse a tanto, though not a toto (Acts 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:13). Secondly. Others think it speaketh a judgment. God neglected those times, or regarded them not (Acts 6:1; Hebrews 8:9). To this sense I incline, partly because it is so explained in a parallel place (Acts 14:16, 17), because it agreeth with the thing itself (Psalm 147:19, 20), and because God did punish the ignorance and error of the Gentiles by giving them up to vile affections (Romans 1:24). But yet I do not exclude the former sense, because though the idolatry of the nations continued for many years, yet God continued many signal temporal mercies to them.(b) The necessity and use of this reflection. It is an answer to their cavil (ver. 18), and Paul, as much as in him lieth, taketh off the prejudice of the practice of former times by a prudent and soft censure (1 Corinthians 2:8), and insinuateth that ignorance doth not wholly excuse those that err, but rather commendeth the Lord's patience.

2. The duty of the present time. The duty pressed is repentance, which is here represented not as an indifferent and arbitrary thing, but as expressly and absolutely commanded, and that universally.


1. As propounded.(1) The circumstances.(a) The time appointed is put for a certain fixed space of time. The work cannot well be despatched in twenty-four hours. When this time will be we cannot tell, for God hath not revealed it (Matthew 24:36); and therefore it is curiosity to inquire, and rashness to determine (Acts 1:7). It is enough for us to believe the thing, which is not strange to reason, that God should call His creatures to account.(b) The manner — "In righteousness." But doth God ever judge the world otherwise than in righteousness? No; but (Genesis 18:25). He now judgeth the world in patience, but then in righteousness.(c) The person. Why doth he call Christ man, rather than God? First. With respect to the Gentiles' incapacity to apprehend the mystery of the Trinity or the Incarnation; and it concerneth us to dispense truths as people are able to bear them. Secondly. Christ is to discharge this office in the visible appearance of man. As the judgment was to be visible, so the judge (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 24:30). Thirdly. This power is given to Christ as a recompense of His humiliation (Philippians 2:9, 10; cf. Romans 14:10, 11).(2) The subsequent proof: "Whereof He hath given assurance to all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." That is a sufficient testimony to convince the whole world. The Resurrection is a certain proof and argument of the dignity of Christ's Person (Romans 1:4), and His office and doctrine (John 5:27-29).

2. What influence this hath upon repentance.(1) The very day appointed inferreth a necessity of change both of heart and life; for how else shall we stand in the judgment who have broken God's laws, and are obnoxious to His wrath and displeasure (Ecclesiastes 11:9)?(2) From the manner or strictness of that day's account; He will judge the world in righteousness (Ecclesiastes 12:14). What then is our duty but to exercise ourselves both in faith and repentance, that our Judge may be our Saviour, and it may go well with us when this search is made?

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. GOD'S FORBEARANCE IN EARLY DAYS — "The times" of this ignorance God winked at. This expression is pregnant with mysteries. It implies a holy God condoning sin, a just God overlooking iniquity. Before we can get at the proper explanation, it will be necessary to examine briefly two points — how God overlooked and why.

1. How God winked at the ignorance of the early inhabitants of the world.(1) He did not give them knowledge. He left them in their original state of ignorance. All knowledge and light must come from Him, the Father of lights. This was not the case with all, but it was the case with the greater portion of the world.(2) He did not punish their ignorance. The great heathen nations had been prosperous and eminent, They were seats of science and art and luxury. And such they were permitted to be. It was only when they came in contact with God's chosen nation that they were made examples of judgment.

2. Why God winked at this ignorance.(1) He desired to develop His plans and schemes for man's salvation. This was to be done through human instrumentality. This process had to be carried on among a simple, ignorant, and rebellious people, and generations and ages had to pass away before it was completed.(2) He permitted a proof to be given to all time, forever, of the utter abandonment of the human heart to evil and sin, and to show that no man would ever turn from his evil nature and sinful desires of his own accord. The ages of ignorance conclusively prove that no man by searching can find out God. Thus we see the principle of God's forbearance, which is so much better expressed by the words of the text — "winked at." God did not leave the old world in ignorance from mercy, but for the just execution of His purposes.

II. GOD'S PRESENT COMMAND — "That all men, everywhere, should repent." The world went on its way until the advent of Christ.

1. The scheme of revelation was completed.

2. The season of discipline was ended. The law delivered to a chosen few was the discipline which had to be endured.

3. The work of salvation was completed. When Christ died, the top stone of the edifice was laid. Thus the consummation of all things having been attained, the way was opened for the universal application of religion. And then came forth the "command" that all men should believe. The sun began to arise, and the darkness was henceforth to be dispelled.And what was the result? A terrible change in the responsibility of man and the policy of God.

1. As to the responsibility of man. There is now no excuse for darkness or ignorance. If man does not hear and obey, the fault is his own.

2. As to the policy of God. He no longer winks at ignorance or evil. Having removed the cause, He no longer accepts the excuse. With Him now is stern, hard justice.


Note —

1. God's relation to the world before the gospel age. The ages before the gospel were "times of ignorance" as regards the grand subjects of religion — "the world by wisdom knew not God." This was a guilty ignorance. Outward nature, and the intuitions of their own souls, were sufficient to teach them the knowledge of God; but the means they neglected. This ignorance "God winked at," not that He connived at it, but overlooked it. He dealt leniently with those dark ages. He did not interpose specially, either in vengeance or in grace. This is a question which, if proper to ask, is impossible to solve. We may discover certain useful ends answered by it; and these ends will be sufficient to satisfy us that His forbearance was worthy of Himself. It serves to show —(1) The insufficiency of human reason in matters of religion. God gave human reason plenty of time to exhaust all its resources in endeavours to find Him out.(2) The necessity of a special revelation. Since God gave mankind so many ages to endeavour to find Him out, and they failed, men are left without the shadow of a foundation for supposing that they can do without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. God's relation to the world in the gospel age. God's conduct now towards the world is changed. He who overlooked in forbearing mercy the wickedness of past times, now commands "every man everywhere to repent." Notice —

I. THE ONE GREAT DUTY OF MAN IN THE GOSPEL AGE. To repent; which means something more than contrition or change of opinion, or renunciation of a habit; it means a change in the ruling disposition of life. Every man is under some ruling disposition, into which you can resolve all the actions of his everyday life. This is the heart of the man. Repentance is a change in this. This reformation of the soul is the one urgent duty of every man. Why?

1. Because it is right. All men, everywhere, are in the wrong, and eternal rectitude demands a change.

2. Because it is indispensable. There is no possibility of being happy without it.


1. The period is appointed (Matthew 25.). Who knows when? No one. It will come, perhaps, as the flood came — whilst men are eating and drinking, etc.; or as Christ came — in the deep hush of darkness, when men were all asleep. We know not when, but we know it is fixed. It is registered in His unfulfilled plans. His Providence is getting nearer to it every hour. "God hath appointed a day." It must come.

2. The Judge is appointed. "By that man," etc. This Man has heretofore ever dealt in mercy. Now eternal rectitude is the rule of His conduct. The grand thing that loomed before the gospel was the gospel age itself; the grand thing that looms in the future of humanity now is the day of judgment. What an argument for repentance is this righteous judgment! We must be made right to be enabled to stand in that day.

III. THE ONE DEMONSTRATING FACT FOR MAN IN THE GOSPEL AGE "whereof He hath given assurance," either that there will come a day of judgment, or that Christ is the Divine Judge. The latter is the most likely idea.

1. Any teacher, living a holy life, and rising from the dead according to his own announcement, must be Divine.

2. Christ as a Teacher did live a holy life, and did rise from the dead according to His own announcement. Who can escape the inference?

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent
Repentance is here urged as the command of the Almighty. In other places it is declared to be indispensable to salvation. Yet men have many objections. At one time they allege that they have done nothing which requires repentance. They have not been guilty of murder, or fraud, or falsehood. At another time it is said that repentance is wholly beyond the power of man; and wonder is expressed that a command should be urged to do that which will never be done but by Divine assistance. At another time it is alleged that the requirement is wholly arbitrary. Why has God chosen these mere emotions of the heart in preference to a correct moral character as the conditions of His favour? Again it is asked, why has God made the path to heaven a path of sorrow? Such are some of the feelings that spring up in the mind when we come to men and urge upon them the duty of repentance. My desire is to convince you that they are unfounded.

I. REPENTANCE IS A SIMPLE OPERATION OF MIND UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTISED BY ALL. You cannot find a person who at some time has not exercised repentance; and in the emotions of a child, when he feels sorrow that he has done wrong, and who resolves to make confession of it and to do so no more, you have the elements of all that God requires of man as a condition of salvation. No inconsiderable portion of every man's life is made up of regrets for the errors and follies of the past. They invade the mind because we feel that we have done wrong, and that we ought to have done differently. They are not arbitrary. They are the operations of the regular laws of the mind; and they are operations which a generous and a noble heart would not wish to check or prevent. If such feelings actually occur on the recollection of the past, it is natural to ask why we should not expect to find them in religion? Further, the mind nowhere else knows emotions so overwhelming as in the recollections of past guilt. And why, then, should it be regarded as fanatical that the soul should be burdened with a sense of guilt when it comes back to God?

II. GOD MAY APPOINT HIS OWN TERMS. This is true in relation to everything. Health is His gift; and He has the absolute right — a right which He is constantly exercising — to state to man on what terms it may be enjoyed; and if he does not choose to comply with those terms, God will not depart from His settled laws to give him health by miracle. In like manner, pardon is the gift of God, and He has a right to say on what terms it may be obtained. God is dealing with you in this respect just as you deal with your fellow men. You will admit no one to your dwelling who does not choose to comply with the reasonable conditions which you may choose to have observed. You are a parent. A child violates your commands. Do you not feel that you have a right to prescribe the terms on which he may obtain your forgiveness? Even if the appointment were wholly arbitrary, God has a right to make it, and man has no right to complain.

III. WHEN WRONG HAS BEEN DONE AMONG MEN, THE ONLY WAY TO OBTAIN AGAIN THE FAVOUR OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED IS BY REPENTANCE. You are a father. A child does wrong. Towards that son you cherish still all a father's feelings; but you refuse to admit him to the same degree of confidence and favour as before without some evidence of repentance. You have had a friend. But he betrayed you. I ask any man whether he can receive such a friend again to his bosom without some evidence of regret, and some proof that he will not do it again?

IV. IN THE ACTUAL COURSE OF EVENTS UNDER THE DIVINE ADMINISTRATION IT IS ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH REPENTANCE THAT FORFEITED FAVOURS CAN BE RECOVERED. I do not mean to say that repentance will always repair the evil of the past, but that if a man who has done wrong is ever restored to the forfeited favour of God, it will be in connection with repentance. A man has wasted his health and property by intemperance. Is there any way, now, by which health, and domestic peace, and property, and respectability may be recovered? There is. But how? By this course. Why should it be thought more strange in religion than in the actual course of events?

V. THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE COULD NOT BE AVOIDED BY ANY ARRANGEMENT WHATEVER. A moment's reflection will satisfy any one of this. The law of God requires love to Him as the supreme rule of life. That law man has violated, and the gospel requiring repentance meets him as a sinner, and requires him to return to the love of God. Now no alienated man can come back to this love of God without regret that he wandered away from Him.

(A. Barnes, D. D.)


1. A true sense of sin. This is naturally the first step, for until an individual has been made conscious of his sin, it is utterly hopeless to expect that he will turn from it. Most men are willing to admit in general terms the truth that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," but few in comparison possess an enlightened and sincere conviction of their personal guilt and impurity in the sight of God. When the Spirit enlightens the mind of the sinner to discern the extent, strictness, and spirituality of the law of God, as taking cognizance of every thought, word, and action, and as requiring absolute perfection in all things, his conscience is awakened to a sense of his transgressions, so that he is ready to sink under the burden of his guilt.

2. Godly sorrow on account of sin. There is a spurious sorrow which does not regard sin itself so much as the misery which is its fruit. It is possible, too, that a man may be really sorry for particular sins, and yet he may be an utter stranger to true repentance. Of this we have a fearful example in the case of Judas Iscariot. But the sorrow of a true penitent is for sin, as committed against God, as rebellion against His rightful authority, as a violation of His holy law, and as a most base, ungrateful return for all his goodness.

3. An apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ to such as are penitent. Had we no reason to cherish the hope that God would pardon our sins, we could never return to Him as sincere penitents, but must inevitably sink into despair.

4. A turning from sin unto God, with a sincere purpose and endeavour to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments. This constitutes the grand distinction betwixt true repentance and all false appearances. Accordingly St. Paul exhorted both Jews and Gentiles, not only that they should "repent and turn to God," but also "do works meet for repentance."


1. A regard to the Divine authority and to our own real interest. No injunction can be more explicit than this which is binding upon all men of every rank and character. Dare we thus pour contempt on His authority, especially now when "the times of ignorance which God winked at" are over, and the Dayspring from on high hath risen over our once benighted land. Consider what must be the consequence of such aggravated guilt. Jesus Christ hath declared, "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish."

2. The many encouraging declarations and promises addressed to such as are exercising repentance.

3. The examples with which the Word of God furnishes us of sinners, whose guilt was peculiarly great, but who, notwithstanding, on repentance were pardoned and saved.

4. The great day of judgment. This is the grand reason which the apostle assigns for God commanding men everywhere to repent.

(P. Grant.)


1. A deep sense of unworthiness to receive the Divine forgiveness. So felt Job, "Lord, I am vile: how shall I answer Thee?" So felt Isaiah, "Woe is me!" etc. So felt Peter, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." So also did Paul, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

2. Bitter sorrow for past sin. When Peter caught the reproving eye of his Lord his repentance was evidenced by his "going out and weeping bitterly." Paul "was three days, and neither did eat nor drink"; so great was his distress of mind. When the jailor at Philippi was awakened he came trembling.

3. Confession of sin before God. The prodigal went to his father and said unto him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee," etc. "For, with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

4. A fixed determination to abandon henceforth, by God's help, former sins. Herod heard John the Baptist gladly preach the doctrine of repentance, and he did many things which he enjoined; yet he gave not up his brother Philip's wife, and so his repentance could profit him nothing. Judas, when he saw that his Lord was condemned, is said to have repented, but he afterwards went and hanged himself.

5. Amendment of life, holiness and diligence in the service of God.

6. Restitution.

II. ITS OBLIGATIONS. Repent, because —

1. God commands it.

2. Because of the atonement made for sin by Christ. Repentance would be of no avail in itself for salvation; it draws all its value from the death of Jesus.

3. Because by virtue of Jesus Christ's intercession the Holy Spirit is now sent down to enable them to obey the command. Repentance, however necessary, is not a feeling which any man can produce when he pleases; it is not a product of the natural mind.

4. Because "God hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained." He who now waiteth to be gracious as our merciful Saviour in the forgiveness of our sins shall then have become our righteous Judge. And that the certainty of this awful event might be strongly fixed in the minds of men, He hath verified it by the amazing miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus.

(R. M. Jones, M. A.)

When we think of the prevalence of idolatry and superstition we are apt to ask, Where is the wisdom, justice, or mercy of suffering whole nations for centuries and millennia to know not the worship of the true God? But all such questions are silenced in the text. God will not call the men who lived in them to such a reckoning as He will call us: they had not the revelation you now have. But though "the times of this ignorance God winked at; He now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."

I. WHAT GOD COMMANDS. All men "everywhere to repent," now. He addresses idolaters that they should abandon their false gods and become worshippers of the true God. You and I have not to repent in that sense: our forefathers had. But now there is not an altar of Druidical worship to be found. Yet idolatry may exist in the heart notwithstanding. Now, the radical meaning of repentance is change.

1. Of mind.

(1)As to God. As to the law of God.

(2)As to sin.

(3)As to Christ.Some persons accuse preachers of disturbing the minds of our hearers. But we do not bring the things there that are discovered — it is the light that reveals them.

2. Of disposition consequent upon a change of view. That which before was hated is now loved — the Bible, the Saviour, religion.

3. A change of conduct, for if the mind and disposition are changed, the behaviour is changed. Hence the Baptist, when he preached to the people in the wilderness, told them to "bring forth fruits meet for repentance." God, then, commandeth men to repent. He commandeth all men — the poor and the rich — kings and their subjects — the young, the middle-aged, and the old.


1. The certainty of a day of judgment is taught by —(1) Reason. We observe the conduct of men around us: we sometimes see that the virtuous are rewarded; but we often see the reverse of that, and if we believe in the Divine government we must suppose there is some state after this in which all these discrepancies will be adjusted.(2) Conscience.(3) The general belief of the Church of God in all ages.(4) The Word of God.

2. The period "appointed." The time is fixed; nothing can postpone it or antedate it. A day is a measured period — so long, and no longer. We know not how long this day will be: "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." There will be time enough for a determinate examination of every individual to be judged. The actual arrival of this day is unknown to us. This is wise. The wicked, who presume as it is, would then presume much more; the good would then, in all probability, relax in their zeal and assiduity and painstaking. "Watch, therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh." In one sense, the day of our death will be a sort of rehearsal of the judgment. But the last day is distant, and will take place at the end of the world. If every man were to be judged on his committing a single act of sin, it would throw everything into confusion, and society would be disturbed. All nations of men have certain fixed days — assize days — in which the majesty of law and order are vindicated. It is so in the government of God.

3. The Person who is to preside over the solemnities of that day. The sinner cannot object, because the Man Christ Jesus died to save him; and if He condemns him, he must, indeed, deserve to be condemned. The saint cannot object to that, because he has actually obtained his fellowship with Christ on earth; and, therefore, he sees in the Person of the Judge, his Brother, his Friend, his Redeemer. That is the occasion on which the human nature of Christ will be exalted; that is one part of the reward which the Father will give to the Son for His mediatorial acts. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." Whoever presides over the solemnities of the judgment day must be omniscient; He must be capable of estimating the motives and principles which actuate us; He must be a person of perfect equity and absolute perfection; He must, in short, be God. Therefore, the human nature that must sit on the throne of judgment will be the human nature in connection with one of the persons of the Godhead.

4. The process — "in righteousness." There will be —(1) Scrutiny. Those eyes that are like a flame — those eyes that see into all the depths of the human heart will scrutinise every individual character. Oh, what an unfolding of history, character, and conduct.(2) Separation — the good from the bad. And the separation will be so complete that not one sinner will be found in the congregation of the righteous, nor one righteous in the congregation of the wicked.(3) Decision. The sentence upon the righteous shall be, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." This intimates to you the vastness of our future felicity. But then the other sentence is equally strong, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." It is a solemn fact that the sentence which will determine our fate for ever and ever is not unknown; we know it beforehand.Conclusion: We learn a lesson of —

1. Confirmation of our faith.

2. Self-examination. Are we prepared for this process.

3. Diligence.

(J. Beaumont, M. D.)


1. A true sense of sin. This must be the groundwork of all the rest, because it is impossible to hate what we do not feel.

2. The second step of repentance is being affected with a grief and hatred of sin. The former was a selfish feeling; this is a generous passion. The former respects sin as ruinous to the sinner; this regards it as offensive to God.

3. The third step in repentance towards God is an apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ and a forsaking of sin. This is properly an act of faith.


1. The superior light and information derived to the world by the Christian religion, concerning the rule of righteousness according to which we ought to conduct our lives, suggests a strong inducement to repentance. What signifies the superior excellency of your religion, unless its superiority appear in your life? What avails the light to you, if ye continue to walk in darkness? Unless ye repent, it had been better for you that the kingdom of God had never come amongst you. If ye still walk in the region and shadow of death, it had been better that the Dayspring from on high had never risen over your benighted land.

2. A second motive and encouragement to repentance is the hope and prospect of success. The gate of mercy is set open by the blood of Jesus; and an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, is promised to all those who sincerely repent of their sins, to all who believe and obey the gospel.

3. A third motive to repentance is the assistance of the Spirit, which the gospel offers.

4. In the fourth place, as an inducement to repentance, consider the cross of Christ, who suffered the punishment due to our sins. How great must be the evil of sin, and how strong the obligation for us to repent of our sins, when such a sacrifice was required to expiate our guilt.

5. It is another motive to repentance that God "has appointed a day in the which He will judge the world."

(John Logan.)

I. IT EXTENDS TO THE HEART AS WELL AS TO THE PRACTICE. Every true penitent indeed has an affecting sense of the many sins and guilty imperfections of his life; but then his repentance does not stop there, but he looks into the horrid arcana, the secrets of wickedness within! He traces up these corrupt streams to the more corrupt fountain in his heart, from which they flow. David's repentance reached his heart. Hence in his penitential psalm (51) he not only confesses his being guilty of the blood of Uriah, but that he was shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin, and earnestly prays, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:5, 6, 10). And he is deeply sensible of the want of truth or integrity in the inward parts.

II. IN EVANGELICAL REPENTANCE THERE IS A DEEP SENSE OF THE INTRINSIC EVIL OF SIN AND A HEARTY SORROW FOR IT AS DONE AGAINST GOD. Sin appears to the true penitent as some sorts of poison to us; that is, not only hateful because it is deadly and destructive, but hateful and nauseous in itself. I do not mean that the fear of punishment is no ingredient in true repentance; the love of God and self-love are very consistent, if the latter is kept in a due subordination to the former; and therefore the fear of punishment has great weight even with the evangelical penitent. But I mean the fear of punishment is not the principal, much less the only spring and motive of true repentance: the true penitent hates sin, even when he is not thinking of heaven or hell, but only viewing it in its own nature. He is also deeply sorry for sin, as against God, or as contrary to Him. As rebellion against His authority, as a contrariety to His holiness, as an opposition to His will and pleasure, as a most base, ungrateful return for all His goodness, and as the cause of all the agonies of the blessed Jesus; he hates it, he mourns over it with ingenuous and kindly relentings of heart. Nay, of so generous a nature is evangelical repentance, that the penitent soul never melts so freely, nor bursts out into such a flood of ingenuous sorrows, as when it has reason to hope that a gracious God has freely forgiven it. Then it sees the base ingratitude and complicated vileness of sin, as committed against so gracious a God. God's forgiving the penitent is a reason to him why he should never forgive himself.

III. TRUE REPENTANCE EXTENDS TO ALL KNOWN SIN, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. They are all forbidden by the same Divine authority; all contrary to the holy nature of God; all opposite to the obligations of duty and gratitude we are under to Him; and therefore they must be all repented of. This was the character of David — "that he hated every false way" (Psalm 119:128).

IV. TRUE REPENTANCE ALWAYS INCLUDES REFORMATION. Remember that maxim of the wise man, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Observe, not only confessing, but also forsaking them, is necessary to the obtaining of mercy. The same thing appears from the various expressions used in Scripture to describe repentance. To repent, in the language of the Bible, is to depart from our evil ways; to cease to do evil and learn to do well; to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts: which expressions signify not only sorrow for sin, but especially reformation from it. In vain, therefore, do you pretend you repent, if you still go on in the sins you repent of.

V. EVANGELICAL REPENTANCE IMPLIES A BELIEVING APPLICATION TO GOD FOR PARDON ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. How opposite to this is the prevailing spirit of the world! If they repent, it is to make amends for their sins, and procure the Divine favour by their repentance, and thus even their repentance becomes a snare to them, and one cause of their destruction. In this sense, a bold saying of one of the fathers may be true: "That more souls are destroyed by their repentance than by their sin"; that is, sin is evidently evil, and they are in no danger of trusting in it to recommend them to God. But even their superficial servile repentance has the appearance of goodness, and therefore they make a righteousness of it; and upon this quicksand they build their hopes, till they sink into remediless ruin. I have only two or three remarks more to make for the farther illustration of this subject.

1. The first is, that all the principles of degenerate nature can never produce this generous and thorough repentance, but that it is the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit.

2. The second remark is, that this generous supernatural repentance is not the first repentance of an awakened sinner. No; he is first alarmed with terror and dreadful apprehensions of punishment; and all the springs of nature are put in motion before these nobler principles are infused, and he is brought to a genuine evangelical repentance. Therefore —

3. The only way to attain to this supernatural repentance is to use all proper means to excite the springs of natural repentance, particularly, to reflect upon your sins, upon their number and aggravation and your dreadful danger. My subject is now ripe for an application, and this shall be nothing else but a short illustration of the other parts of my text. And to the great God you must answer for your disobedience. My text tells you God commands all men to repent — all men, of all ranks and characters. This command therefore is binding upon you all. To render the call still more pointed and universal, it is added, "He commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent." Everywhere, in city and country; in palaces and cottages; in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, wherever the trumpet of the gospel sounds the alarm to repent; in this very spot, where we now stand. Here the command of God finds you out, and calls you to repent. Nor are you allowed to delay your compliance. Repentance is your present duty: for "now He commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent": now, when the times of ignorance are over, and the gospels shed heavenly day among you: now, when He will no longer wink, or connive at your impenitence, but takes strict notice of it with just indignation: now, while the day of grace lasts, and there is place left for repentance: now, before you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and while His Spirit is striving with you: now, while you have time, which may be taken from you the next year: now, while you enjoy health of body, and the exercise of your reason; and your attention is not tied down to pain and agony: He does not allow you one hour's delay; and what right have you to allow it to yourselves?

(S. Davies, M. A.)

Athenians, Damaris, Dionysius, Jason, Paul, Silas, Thessalonians, Timotheus, Timothy
Amphipolis, Apollonia, Areopagus, Athens, Berea, Thessalonica
Change, Command, Commandeth, Commands, Declaring, Enjoins, Everywhere, Gives, Heart, Ignorance, Indeed, Indulgence, Orders, Overlooked, Reform, Repent, Undergo, Viewed, Winked
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 17:30

     2425   gospel, requirements
     2426   gospel, responses
     4963   past, the
     5052   responsibility, to God
     5763   attitudes, positive to God
     6029   sin, forgiveness
     6181   ignorance
     6617   atonement, in NT
     6620   calling
     6628   conversion, God's demand
     6696   necessity
     7756   preaching, content
     8282   intolerance
     8318   patience
     8405   commands, in NT

Acts 17:16-32

     7757   preaching, effects

Acts 17:17-34

     7535   Greeks

Acts 17:22-31

     1440   revelation, creation
     5816   consciousness
     7703   apologetics

Acts 17:23-30

     8702   agnosticism

Acts 17:23-31

     6183   ignorance, of God

Acts 17:24-31

     5003   human race, and God

Acts 17:30-31

     5048   opportunities, and salvation
     6678   justification, Christ's work
     6734   repentance, importance
     9210   judgment, God's

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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