We are the more concerned to take notice of and to improve what is here recorded concerning blessed Paul because, after the story of this chapter, we hear no more of him in the sacred history, though we have a great deal of him yet before us in his epistles. We have attended him through several chapters from one judgment-seat to another, and could at last have taken leave of him with the more pleasure if we had left him at liberty; but in this chapter we are to condole with him, and yet congratulate him. I. We condole with him as a poor shipwrecked passenger, stripped of all; and yet congratulate him, 1. As singularly owned by his God in his distress, preserved himself from receiving hurt by a viper that fastened on his hand (Acts 28:1-6), and being made an instrument of much good in the island on which they were cast, in healing many that were sick, and particularly the father of Publius, the chief man of the island, Acts 28:7-9. 2. As much respected by the people there, Acts 28:10. II. We condole with him as a poor confined prisoner, carried to Rome under the notion of a criminal removed by “habeas corpus” (Acts 28:11-16), and yet we congratulate him, 1. Upon the respect shown him by the Christians at Rome, who came a great way to meet him, Acts 28:15. 2. Upon the favour he found with the captain of the guard, into whose custody he was delivered, who suffered him to dwell by himself, and did not put him in the common prison, Acts 28:16. 3. Upon the free conference he had with the Jews at Rome, both about his own affair (Acts 28:17-22) and upon the subject of the Christian religion in general (Acts 28:23), the issue of which was that God was glorified, many were edified, the rest left inexcusable, and the apostles justified in preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, Acts 28:24-29. 4. Upon the undisturbed liberty he had to preach the gospel to all comers in his own house for two years together, Acts 28:30-31.
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