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Acts 27:1-8

1. And after that it was decreed that we should sail into Italy, they delivered both Paul and also certain other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the band of Augustus. 2. And we entered into a ship of Adramyttium, purposing to sail by the coasts of Asia, and we launched forth, having Aristarchus of Macedonia, a Thessalonian, with us. 3. And the next day we arrived at Sidon, and Julius did courteously intreat Paul, and suffered him to go to his friends, that they might refresh him. 4. And when we were gone thence, we sailed hard by Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5. And when we had sailed on the sea which is over against Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6. And when the centurion had found there a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy, he put us in it. 7. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and were scarce come over against Cnidus, because the wind did let us, we sailed hard by Crete, beside Salmone; 8. And with much ado we sailed beyond it, and came to a certain place which is called The fair havens, near unto which was the city of Lasea.

 

1. Luke setteth down Paul’s voyage by sea most of all to this end, that we may know that he was brought to Rome wonderfully by the hand of God; and that the glory of God did many ways appear excellent in his doings and sayings even in the very journey, which did more establish his apostleship. He is delivered to be carried with other prisoners; but the Lord doth afterward put great difference between him and the evil-doers, who were in bonds as well as he. Yea, moreover, we shall see how the captain doth loose him, and let him be at liberty, when the rest lie bound. I know not what band that was which Luke calleth the band of Augustus, unless, peradventure, it be that which was commonly called the praetor’s 633633     “Praetoria,” the Praetorian. band, before the monarchy of the Caesars. And Luke setteth down in plain words, that they were put in a ship of Adramyttium; because they should sail by the coast of Asia. For Adramyttium is a city of Aeolia. I cannot tell out of what haven they launched. Because they could not sail with a straight course to Sidon, unless the maps do greatly deceive me, we may well guess that they were brought thither, either because they could find a ship nowhere else, or else because they were to take the other prisoners, of whom mention is made, out of that region.

2. And there continued with us. Luke seemeth so to commend one man’s constancy, that he nippeth the rest. For there were more which did accompany him to Jerusalem; whereof we see two only which remained with him. But because it may be that the rest were letted with some just causes, or that Paul refused to have them to minister unto him, I will say nothing either way. Neither is it an unmeet thing to say 634634     “Nec vero absurdum est,” and there is no absurdity in supposing. that Luke had some special reason for which he doth commend this man above the rest, albeit he was but one of many. Surely, it is likely that he was a rich man, seeing he was able to bear the charges whereat he was by the space of three years, having left his house. For we heard before (Acts 17:11) that many of the chief families in Thessalonica did receive Christ, and Luke saith, for honor’s sake, that Aristarchus and Secundus came with Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4). Therefore, let it suffice us to hold that which is certain and good to be known, that there is set before us an example of holy patience, because Aristarchus is not wearied with any trouble, but doth willingly take part with Paul in his trouble, 635635     “Sponte eandem cum Paulo fortunam subeat,” spontaneously shares in Paul's fortunes. and after that he had been in prison with him two years, he doth now cross the seas, that he may likewise minister to him at Rome, not without the reproachings of many, besides the loss of his goods at home, and so great charges.

3. He suffered him to go to. Paul might have hid himself 636636     “Latebras nancisci poterat,” might have found a place of concealment. in a large city, which joined to the sea; but he was bound with the oracle, that he could not withdraw himself from the calling of God. Again, because the centurion had so courteously entertained him, that he suffered him to go to his friends, that they might dress and refresh him, whom he might have left in the stinking ship, 637637     “Navis prodore,” the stench of the ship. he ought not nor could he provide for his own life, with the other man’s danger, without filthy treachery. 638638     “Turpi perfidia,” base perfidy. Neither must we in any case suffer those who have courteously intreated us to be deceived by their courtesy through our fault. Let the readers fet [seek] the voyage whereof Luke speaketh out of those which describe places and countries; 639639     “Ex geographis,” out of geographers. only I say thus much, that all that which is said tendeth to this end, that we may know that their sailing was dangerous and tempestuous, after that they were once gone out of the haven of Sidon, until they came near to Melita; and that afterward the mariners did strive long time with contrary winds, until a cruel storm 640640     “Saevior procella,” a fiercer storm. arose, whose end was shipwreck, as we shall see.


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