8:1 And 1 Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time
there was a great persecution against the church which was
at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout
the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
(1) Christ uses the rage of his enemies in the spreading forth
and enlarging of his kingdom.
8:22 And devout men a carried Stephen [to his burial], and
made great lamentation over him.
(2) The godly mourn for Steven after his death, and bury him,
showing in this an example of singular faith and charity:
but no man prays to him.
(a) Amongst all the duties of charity which the godly
perform, there is no mention made of enshrining relics.
8:33 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into
every house, and haling men and women committed [them] to
(3) The dispersion or scattering abroad of the faithful is the
gathering together of churches.
8:54 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and
preached Christ unto them.
(4) Philip, who was before a deacon in Jerusalem, is made an
evangelist by God in an extraordinary way.
8:95 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which
beforetime in the same city used b sorcery, and c
bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was
some great one:
(5) Christ overcomes Satan as often as he desires, and carries
him about as it were in triumph, in the sight of those whom
Satan deceived and bewitched.
(b) The word which is used in this place was at first used
of good things, and is borrowed from the language of
the Persians, who call their wise men by that name; but
afterwards it was used of evil things.
(c) He had so allured the Samaritans with his witchcraft
that as blind and mad idiots they were wholly addicted
8:136 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was
baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding
the miracles and signs which were done.
(6) The wicked and the highly reprobate are often forced to
taste the good gift of God, but they immediately spit it
8:147 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard
that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto
them Peter and John:
(7) Peter, not chief but as an ambassador sent from the whole
company of the apostles, and John his companion, according
to the authority which was committed unto them, strengthen,
encourage, and build up the churches of Samaria, whose
foundation had been laid before by Philip.
8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might
receive the d Holy Ghost:
(d) Those excellent gifts which are necessary, especially
for those that were to be appointed rulers and
governors of the Church.
8:188 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the
apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them
(8) Covetousness and the seeking of glory at length remove the
hypocrites from their dens.
8:20 (9) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee,
because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be
purchased with money.
(9) They are the successors of Simon Magus, and not Simon
Peter, who either buy or sell holy things.
8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this e matter: for thy
heart is not f right in the sight of God.
(e) In this doctrine which I preach.
(f) Is not upright indeed and without the concealing of
8:2210 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God,
if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
(10) We must hope well even for the vilest sinners, as long as
and as much as we can.
8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the g gall of bitterness,
and [in] the h bond of iniquity.
(g) He calls the inward malice of the heart and the venomous
and demonic wickedness with which the magician was
wholly filled with the gall of bitterness: and he is
said to be in the gall, as though he were wholly
overwhelmed with gall, and buried in it.
(h) Entangled in the bonds of iniquity.
8:2611 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying,
Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down
from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
(11) Christ, who calls freely whom he wishes, now uses Philip,
who was not thinking about any such thing, to
unexpectedly instruct and baptize the eunuch, and by this
means extends the limits of his kingdom even into
8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an
eunuch i of great authority under Candace queen of the
Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had
come to Jerusalem for to worship,
(i) A man of great wealth and authority with Candace. Now
this word "Candace" is a common name of all the Queens
8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should k guide
me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit
(k) To show me the way to understand it.
8:3212 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He
was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb
before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
(12) Those things which seem to come most by chance or fortune
(as men term it) are governed by the secret providence of
8:33 In his l humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who
shall declare his m generation? for his life is taken
from the earth.
(l) The Hebrew text reads it in this way, "out of a narrow
strait, and out of judgment was he taken": and by the
"narrow strait" he means the grave and the very bonds
of death, and by "judgment" he means the punishment
which was laid upon him, and the miserable state which
Christ took upon himself for our sakes, in bearing his
(m) How long he will endure: for Christ, having once risen
from the dead, dies no more; (Ro 6:9).
8:3713 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine
heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, n I believe
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
(13) Profession of faith is required of those being baptized,
and therefore it is evident that we are not first
ingrafted into Christ when we are baptized, but are
already ingrafted, and then are baptized. (Ed.)
(n) The sum of the confession which is necessary for