10:1 There 1 was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian [band],
(1) Peter consecrates the first fruits of the Gentiles to God by the means of two miracles. 10:2 [A] a devout [man], and one that feared God with b all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
(a) So that he worshipped one God, and was not an idolater, and neither could he be void of faith in Christ, because he was a devout man: but as of yet he did not know that Christ had come. 10:4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, c What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are d come up for e a memorial before God.
(b) This is a commendable thing about the man, that he laboured to have all his household, and well-known friends, and acquaintances to be religious and godly.
(c) What do you want with me Lord? For he prepares himself to hear. 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a f trance,
(d) This is a borrowed kind of speech which the Hebrews used very much, taken from sacrifices and applied to prayers: for it is said of whole burnt sacrifices that the smoke and smell of them goes up into Gods nostrils, and so do our prayers, as a sweet smelling sacrifice which the Lord takes great pleasure in.
(e) That is, in as much that they will not allow God as it were to forget you: for so the Scripture often talks childish with us as nurses do with little children, when they prepare their tongues to speak.
(f) For though Peter does not stand amazed as one that is tongue tied, but talks with God and is instructed in his mysteries, yet his mind was far from being as it normally was; shortly, however, it returned to its normal state. 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the g four corners, and let down to the earth:
(g) So that it seemed to be a square sheet. 10:12 Wherein were h all manner of i fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and k creeping things, and fowls of the air.
(h) Here is this word "all" which is general, plainly used for something indefinite and uncertain, that is to say, for some of all sorts, not for all of every sort. 10:14 2 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
(i) That is, such as were proper for mens use.
(k) To see what is meant by these creeping things see ( Leviticus 11:2-47 ).
(2) Peter learns daily in the knowledge of the benefit of Christ, yea, even after he had received the Holy Spirit. 10:15 And the voice [spake] unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, [that] l call not thou common.
(l) Do not consider them to be unprofitable. 10:25 3 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him].
(3) Religious adoration of worship is proper only to God: but civil worship is given to the ministers of the word, although not without danger. 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until m this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
(m) He does not mean the very hour at the present time (as it was nine oclock when he spoke to Peter), but the like, that is, about nine oclock the other day. 10:31 4 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
(4) Cornelius faith demonstrated itself by prayer and charity. 10:32 5 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of [one] Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
(5) As faith comes by hearing, so it is nourished and grows up by the same. 10:34 6 Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that n God is no respecter of persons:
(6) Distinction of nations is taken away by the coming of Christ: and it is evidently seen by their faith and righteousness, which ones are agreeable to him and which ones he accepts. n That God does not judge according to the outward appearance. 10:35 But in every nation he that o feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
(o) By the "fear of God" the Hebrews understood the whole service of God, by which we perceive that Cornelius was not void of faith, no more than they were who lived before Christs time: and therefore they deal incorrectly who deduce meritorious works and free will from this passage. 10:36 The p word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
(p) God showed the Israelites that whoever lives godly is acceptable to God, no matter what nation he comes from, for he preached peace to men through Jesus Christ, who is Lord not only of one nation, that is, of the Jews, but of all. 10:37 7 That word, [I say], ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
(7) The sum of the Gospel (which will be made manifest at the latter day, when Christ himself will sit as judge both of the living and the dead), is this, that Christ promised to the fathers and exhibited in his time with the mighty power of God (which was demonstrated by all means) and at length crucified to reconcile us to God, did rise again the third day, so that whoever believes in him should be saved through the remission of sins. 10:38 How God q anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
(q) This manner of speaking is taken from an old custom of the Jews, who used to anoint their kings and priests, because of which it came to pass to call those anointed upon whom God bestowed gifts and virtues. 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses r chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
(r) This choosing of the apostles is properly given to God: for though God is president in the lawful election of ministers, yet there is in this place a secret opposition and setting of Gods choosing and mens voices against one another, for the apostles are appointed directly by God, and the Church ministers indirectly. 10:44 8 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
(8) The Spirit of God seals that in the heart of the hearers which the minister of the word speaks by the commandment of God, as is evident by the results. 10:47 9 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
(9) Baptism does not sanctify or make those holy who receive it, but is an outward sign to the world of the profession of faith. (Ed.)