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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 13

Verse 13. Others mocking said. The word rendered "mocking" means to cavil, to deride. It occurs in the New Testament but in one other place: Ac 17:32, "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked." This was an effect that was not confined to the day of Pentecost. There has been seldom a revival of religion, a remarkable manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, that has not given occasion for profane mockery and merriment. One characteristic of wicked men is to deride those things which are done to promote their own welfare. Hence the Saviour himself was mocked; and the efforts of Christians to save others have been the subject of derision. Derision, and mockery, and a jeer, have been far more effectual in deterring men from becoming Christians than any attempts at sober argument. God will treat men as they treat him, Ps 18:26. And hence he says to the wicked, "Because I have called, and ye refused— but ye have set at nought all my counsel—I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh," Pr 1:24-26.

These men are full of new wine. These men are drunk. In such times men will have some way of accounting for the effects of the gospel; and the way is commonly about as wise and rational as this. "To escape the absurdity of acknowledging their own ignorance, they adopted the theory that strong drink can teach languages."—Dr. McLelland. In modern times it has been usual to denominate such scenes fanaticism, or wildfire, or enthusiasm. When men fail in argument, it is common to attempt to confute a doctrine, or bring reproach upon a transaction, by "giving it an ill name." Hence the names Puritan, Quaker, Methodist, etc., were at first given in derision, to account for some remarkable effect of religion on the world. Comp. Mt 11:19; Joh 7:20; 8:48.

And thus men endeavour to trace revivals to ungoverned and heated passions; and they are regarded by many as the mere offspring of fanaticism. The friends of revivals should not be discouraged by this; but should remember that the very first revival of religion was by many supposed to be the effect of a drunken frolic.

New wine. gleukouv. This word properly means the juice of the grape which distils before a pressure is applied, and called must. It was sweet wine; and hence the word in Greek meaning sweet was given to it. The ancients, it is said, had the art of preserving their new wine with the peculiar flavour before fermentation for a considerable time, and were in the habit of drinking it in the morning. See Horace, Sat. b. ii. iv. Sweet wine, which was probably the same as that mentioned here, is also mentioned in the Old Testament, Isa 49:26; Am 9:13.

{+} "mocking" or "Scoffing"

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