And he took them - To a convenient place for washing. It is evident from this that, though the apostles had the gift of miracles, they did not exercise it in regard to their own sufferings or to heal their own wounds. They restored others to health, not themselves.
And washed their stripes - The wounds which had been inflicted by the severe scourging which they had received the night before. We have here a remarkable instance of the effect of religion in producing humanity and tenderness. This same man, a few hours before, had thrust them into the inner prison, and made them fast in the stocks. He evidently had then no concern about their stripes or their wounds. But no sooner was he converted than one of his first acts was an act of humanity. He saw them suffering; he pitied them, and hastened to minister to them and to heal their wounds. Until the time of Christianity there never had been a hospital or an almshouse. Nearly all the hospitals for the sick since have been reared by Christians. They who are most ready to minister to the sick and dying are Christians. They who are most willing to encounter the pestilential damps of dungeons to aid the prisoner are, like Howard, Christians. Who ever saw an infidel attending a dying bed if he could help it? and where has infidelity ever reared a hospital or an almshouse, or made provision for the widow and the fatherless? Often one of the most striking changes that occurs in conversion is seen in the disposition to be kind and humane to the suffering. Compare James 1:27.
And was baptized - This was done straightway; that is, immediately. As it is altogether improbable that either in his house or in the prison there would be water sufficient for immersing them, there is every reason to suppose that this was performed in some other mode. All the circumstances lead us to suppose that it was not by immersion. It was at the dead of night; in a prison; amidst much agitation; and was evidently performed in haste.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Acts 16:33:
1 Corinthians 1:16
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