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"Welcome, dear book, Soul's joy and food! The feast
Thou art Life's Charter, the Dove's Spotless Nest,
'The Germs of Paul's Epistles are all to be found in the Acts of the Apostles." SCHLEIERMAcher.
'The Bible is a whole unified and vivified by the "Word of God" which pervades it, but that Word is not to be indiscriminately identified with all the words which are in the Bible.'
"The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is at once the Iliad and the Odyssey of St Paul.' VICTOR COUSIN.
3-1 ~40 V.A.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
The Title of the Book. The Book which we know as 'The Acts of the Apostles,' or, by a very natural abbreviation, simply as 'The Acts,' has borne this title from at least the middle of the second century. It is not, however, a perfectly appropriate title. It is quite obvious that the task to which the author addressed himself was something different from the recital of the deeds of the Apostles, whether severally or in their collective labours. It is altogether probable that he gave the Book no title at all. To him it was no separate 'treatise,' as it is miscalled in our English version of its first verse, but only a Second Book of a larger treatise, with the First Book of which it shared the common title of the whole work. We have now no means of confidently determining what this common title was. When the two Books, of which the work consisted (so far at least as it was ever completed), were separated and assigned places, in the current copies of the New Testament, appropriate to the nature of the contents of each, a separate title was given to each, and the general title common to the two (if such a formal general title ever existed) passed out of use and memory. From the Preface to the whole work, which stands at the head of its First Book, we may learn the author's purpose in writing. From the Preface to the Second Book we may obtain a notion of how the two Books are related to one
This will enable us still to read them both in the light of the author's conception of them.
The First Book of the Extended Historical Treatise, of which our so-called Acts of the Apostles is the Second, is the Book that has come down to us under the name of 'The Gospel according to Luke.' This is assured by the unbroken testimony of antiquity, which ascribes both Books to the same author. It is evidenced further, however, by most convincing internal proofs. Both Books are addressed to the same patron, a Gentile Christian of high rank named Theophilus. In the Preface attached to the Gospel much more is promised than that Book supplies, while what is lacking is actually given in Acts. The Gospel closes abruptly, apparently pointing forward to something yet to come; Acts so opens as to supply precisely what was thus left untold, and fully accounts for the manner in which the Gospel closed. Acts explicitly puts itself forward in its Preface as the Second Book of a treatise, to the First Book of which is ascribed the compass and contents of the Gospel of Luke. The two Books are bound together by such kinship, not only in language, style, and historical method, but also in tone, point of view, and underlying purpose, as to suggest not merely that they are the products of a single pen, but also that they are parts of one whole. It is difficult to refuse to recognise in these two Books, in short, consecutive portions of a large historical work, written throughout with a single aim and on a carefullyadjusted plan, and intended to make a definite impression as a whole.
Place of Acts in the Treatise. It is more difficult to deter