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18. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.3

19. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem, insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick 5 let another take.

21. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

23. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

25. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

3 Matt. xxvii. 5.

4 Matt. xxvii. 8. St. Luke introduces this as his own remark, and speaks of their proper tongue, not that in which he was writing.

5 Or office, charge. Ps. xix. 25; cix. 8.

How much of awful interest is involved in that expression concerning Judas, that he might go to his own place. There is a place for the righteous: we are assured so: "prepared from the foundation of the world." And there is a place for the wicked. These are separate one from the other. There is "a great gulf between" them. And of each we may say, that it is their own place.

Hell was Judas's own place. He had sold himself to Satan, whilst apparently in the service of Christ. He had followed the example and lived under the influence of "the angels that sinned." Whilst here on earth, the society of the good was not his place; this he had shown, pursuing a sinful habit, and proving that he was still of the earth, earthly; still of the world, worldly. And at last he had done an act of wickedness which manifested the hardness of a heart fast held" in the bond of iniquity.”

Therefore, a place where dwell" the wicked and the devilish," "shut out from the presence of the Lord," was his own place. It was the place belonging to his nature, and the place assigned of God to natures like his.

In a like sense we may say of the righteous, that they too go to their own place when called out of this present world. Their nature, originally no purer than that of Judas, has been renewed by the Spirit of God. Through that blood which was "shed for the remission of sin," their sins have

been washed away. They have walked as "children of light," and have been made "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." That inheritance is the place prepared for such; and therefore, when they die, they go to their own place. In a double sense it is their own: it is their own, because it is the place for which their regenerated natures have been made fit, and it is their own, because it is the place purchased for them and due to them through the merits of their Lord and Saviour.7

Therefore there is a place ready for every individual, when he departs this life, which may be called his own place. At present, whilst the hour of trial lasts, there is no Judas who may not be pardoned, as Simon was pardoned, and become an approved disciple. But that time hastens to an end; and then the sentence takes effect, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still."8 Let the unjust and the filthy, the righteous and the holy, dwell in their own place for ever.

1 Τον ὀφειλομενον αυτοις τόπον, is a phrase used both by Clement and Polycarp.

8 Rev. xxii. 11.




ACTS ii. 1-21.

1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and begun to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave

them utterance.

"Yet a

“Faithful is he that hath promised." little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."1 So the apostles believed; and patiently waited for the promise, which they had been told they should receive of the Father.

A day was chosen for this, which was a high day among the Jews-the day of Pentecost--the fiftieth from the Passover-one of the three solemn occasions, when, according to the law, all the men

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of Israel were commanded to "

Lord." 3

appear before the

This festival had assembled them together. And the season was chosen for bestowing on them a power which was necessary that the mercy of God might take effect, and the gospel be preached unto all nations. They were "baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire," as John Baptist had foreseen and foretold. "There appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they began to speak with other tongues, (other than their native tongue,) as the Spirit gave them utterance." Formerly, the wickedness of man had caused that separation between the various tribes of the human race, which arises from their different languages. That punishment was now in part remitted; and a door opened for the communication of God's mercy: that "his way might be known upon earth, his saving health unto all nations."

The messengers of this same mercy, the missionaries who now convey the gospel to the heathen, are forced to sit down for a while, in patient silence, and gradually acquire the power of making themselves understood by the people of a strange land. Many years pass before they can effect this perfectly. It pleased God to remove this barrier out of the way of the apostles. Thus no interval oc

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