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On his arrival at Miletus, be sent to the gospel, which, if adhered to, will un. Ephesus, to summon the elders of the church; doubtedly dispose and perfect you for that and on their coming, reminded them of the state of happiness which the Almighty hath manner in wbich he had conversed among prepared for good men, in the mansions of them; how faithfully and affectionately he eternity. You well know that I have, from had discharged the offices of his ministry, the beginning, dealt faithfully nad uprightly and how incessantly he had laboured for with you; that I have no covetous designs, the good of the souls of men : adding, that or ever desired the riches of other men ; nay, he had never failed to acquaint them both I have laboured with mine own bands, to in public and private, with whatever migbt support myself and my companions : you be useful and profitable to them; urging both ought, therefore, to support the weak, and the Jews and Gentiles to repentance, and relieve the poor, rather than be yourselves reformation of life, and a bearty persever chargeable to others, according to that inance in the faith of Christ : that he was now comparable saying of the great Redeemer of going up to Jerusalem, where he was igno mankind, “ It is more blessed to give than rant of what might betal him, except what had to receive. If we minutely attend to the been foretold bim by those endued with the whole of this a postle's preaching and writing, prophetical gifts of the Holy Ghost ; namely, we shall find that he ever strenuously inculthat afflictions and imprisonment would at- 1 cates not only points of faith, but also practitend him. But that this gave him no con- | cal duties, without which our faith is vain. cern, being willing to lay down his life whenever the gospel required, and fully
St. Paul having finished his discourse, lie determined to serve faithfully his great
kneeled down, and joined with them in Lord and Master, “I well know," said
prayer; and they all melted into tears, and, he, “ that you will see my face no, more:
with the greatest expressions of sorrow, atbut for my encouragement and satisfaction,
tended him to the ship : grieving in the most ye yourselves can bear ine witness, that I
passionate manner for what he had told them, have not, by concealing any part of the Christian doctrine, betrayed your souls.
That they should see his face no more. And as for yourselves, whom God hath made bishops and pastors, of his church, T Paul, with his companions, now. departyou should be careful to feed, guide, and ed from Miletus, and arrived at Coos, from direct those Christians under your inspec- whence they sailed the next day to Rhodes, tion, and be infinitely tender of the wel. 1 a large island in the gean sea. Leaving fare of souls, for whose redemption the this place, they came to Patara, the metropo. blessed Jesus laid down bis own life. All lis of Lycia, where they went on board ano. the care, therefore, possible for you to use is ther vessel bound for Tyre in Phenicia. no more than necessary; for after my depar | Onnabis arrival, he visited the brethren ture, beretical teachers will appear in the there, and continued with them a week, church, to the great danger of the souls of and" was advised by some of them, who men, seeking by every crafty method and bad the gift of prophecy, not to go up to pernicious doctrine, to gain proselytes to Jerusalein.. But this apostle would by no their party, and by that means fill the church means abandon his design, or refuse to sufof Christ with schisms and factions. Watch l'fer any thing, provided he miglit spread ye, therefore, and remember with what tears the gospel of his Saviour. Finding all and sorrow I have, during three years, warn: persuasions were in vain, they jointly aced you of these things. And now I recom- | companied him to the shore, where he mend you to the divine favour and protec- | kneeled down, and prayed with thein ; tion, and, to the rules and instruction of and after embracing them with the utmost
dol, that tood deliverotli his of
affection, he went on board, and came they thought it adviseable forhim to join to Ptolemias, and the next day to Cesarea.' himself with four persons, who were at that
tine to accomplish a vow, and perform the Duriug their stay in this place, Agabus, a usual rites and ceremonies with them, and Christian prophet, came thither from Judea, provide such sacrifices for them, as the law, who taking Paul's girdle, bound his own in that case, required. St. Paul, who in hands and feet with it, signifying by this such case, was wishing to become all things symbol, that the Jews would bird Paul in to all men, that he might gain the more, that manner, and deliver him over to the consented unto their counsel; and taking Gentiles. Whereupon both his own com the persons with him to the teinple, told the panions and the christians of Cesarea ear priests that the time of a vow they had made nestly besought him that he would not go up being now expired, and having purified to Jerusalem. But the apostle asked them, themselves, according as the nature of their if they intended by these passionate dissua case required, they were come to make the sives to add more affliction to his sorrow ? offerings required by law. 66 For I am ready, (continued he) not only to be bound, but also to die, at Jeru The seven days in which those sacrifices salem, for the name of the Lord Jesus." were to be offered being now almost ended,
certain Jews from Asia, finding him in the When the disciples found that his resolu temple, began to raise a tumult, and laying tion was not to be shaken, they importuned hold of Paul, called to their brethren the him no farther, leaving the event to be de- | Jews to assist them, declaring that this was termined according to the pleasure of the the person who every where preached docMost High. And all things being ready, trines derogatory to the Jewish nation, and Paul and his companions set forward on Destructive to the institution of the law. their journey, and were kindly and joyfully This accusation, though absolutely false, received by the Christians on their arrival set the whole city in an uproar, and seizat Jerusalem,
ing on the apostle, they dragged him out
of the temple, when the doors were imThe day after their arrival, Paul and his mediately shut, to prevent his returning incompanions went to the house of St. James to that holy place. the Apostle, where the rest of the bishops and governors of the church were met toge As they were proceeding in this manner, ther. After mutual salutations, the apostle Paul asked the governor whether he might gave them a particular account of the success have the liberty of speaking to him, who with which God had blessed his endeavours finding be understood the Greek language, in propagating Christianity among the Gen inquired of him whether he was not the tiles; for which they all joined in thanks Egyptian who, á few years before, had giving to God: but withal told him, that he raised a sedition in Judea, and headed a was now come to a place where there were party of four thousand vile and profligate many thousands of Jewish converts, who wretches ? To which the apostle replied, were all zealous for the laws of Moses, and That he was a Jew of Tarsus, a freeman of who had been informed that he taught the a rich and honourable city: therefore begJews whom he bad converted to renounce ged of him that he might have leave to speak circumcision, and the ceremonies of the to the people. This being readily granted, law. That as soon as the multitude heard Paul addressed them in the Hebrew lanof his arrival, they would all assemble to guage as follows: see how he behared bimself in this matter: and therefore, to prevent a disturbance, 6 Listen, ye descendants of Jacob, to a person of your own religion, and like your. 1 to be a witness to all the nations of the selves a child of Abraham; born in Tarsus, earth, of those surprising things thou hast and brought up in this city at the feet of seen and heard. Why, therefore, tarriest Gamaliel, and fully instructed in the law thou here any longer ? " Arise, and be delivered by Moses to our forefathers, and baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling formerly as zealous for the temple-worship l on the name of the Lord.” . as ye are at present.
« After this glorious vision, and miracu" Nay, I persecuted unto death all who i lous powers of the Most High, when I was believed in Jesus, seizing on all I could
returned from Damascus to Jerusalem, and find, both men and women, and casting
offering up my prayers in the temple, I fell them into prison.
into a trance, and again saw the great Sou
of David, who said unto me, “ Depart quick" But as I was pursuing my journey, to
ly from Jerusalem ; for the sons of Jacob will execute this commission, and was arrived
refuse to believe thy testimony concerning near Damascus, there appeared about mid
me.” And I answered, Lord, they know day, a light from heaven, shining round
how cruelly I used thy saints and followers ; about me.
that I imprisoned and beat them in every
city, and in every synagogue. Nay, when " Terrified at so awful an appearance, I
they shed the blood of thy holy martyr fell to the ground, and heard a voice say
Stephen, I was also one of the spectators; ing unto me,Saul, Saul, why perse
I consented to his death ; I even kept the cutest thou me?" To which I answered,
raiment of those that slew him. 6. Who art thou, Lord ?" And the voice
« But he replied, Depart, I will send replied, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom
thee to countries far remote: even to the thou persecutest.”
." After recovering from the terror with
The Jews had, till now, listened with which my mind was tilled, I answered,
some attention to his speech ; but on his “ What shall I do, Lord ? And he replied,
mentioning the commission he had received " Arise, and go into Damascus, and there
to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, their it shall be told thee of all things which are
fury knew no bounds: crying out with one appointed for thee to do."
voice, Away with such a fellow from the
earth! « The brilliancy of the glory deprived me of my sight : so that my companions led But the captain of the guard commanded me by the hand to Damascus, where one him to be brought within the castle, and that Ananias, a person well respected by all the l he shall be examined and scourged, till he Jews of that city, visited me, and said, confessed the reason of the uncommon rage “ Brother Saul, receive thy sight ;” and shewn against him by the people. Accord. in a moment my eyes were opened, and I ingly the lietor bound him, and was going saw him standing before me.
to put the orders he had received into exe
cution, when Paul asked the centurion that " When he saw that my sight was restor- | stood by, whether it was lawful to scourge ed, he said unto me, the Almighty God of a citizen of Rome, before any sentence Abraham, Isaac, ard Jacob, hath appoint- had been passed upon biin? The centuried thee to know his will, to see the great | on, instead of answering the question, Messiah, the Holy One of God, and hear repaired immediately to the governor, and the voice of his inouth: for thou art chosen desired him to take care how he proceedNo. 21.
ed against the prisoner, because he was a This declaration threw the whole court Roman. On this information the governor into confusion, by exciting the regard of came into the prison, and asked Paul whe the Pharisees, who favoured the doctrine ther he was really a free citizen of Rome ? of the resurrection, and incurring the reand being told he was, he answered, that sentment of the Sadducees, who strenubinself procured that great privilege by a ously opposed it. large suin of money; but Paul answered, I was free born. On receiving this ac The dissentions of these sects increased to count, the governor commanded the centu- that degree, that the captain feared Paul rion not to scourge him, being terrified at would have been pulled to pieces ; and what he had already done, namely, his! therefore took him from the bar, and carried chaining a free denizen of Rome.
him back to the castle. But during the si
lence of the night, he was comforted by The next day he ordered bis chains to be extraordinary, communications of the Di. taken off ; and that he might thoroughly vine Spirit, encouraging him to constancy satisfy himself of the cause of so unusual and resolution, and assuring him that he a tumult on the preceding day, summoned should, notwithstanding all the malice and the Sanhedrim to meet, and brought down wicked designs of bis enemies, live to bear Paul before them.
his testimony, even to Rome itself.
The apostle being thus placed before the . The next morning the Jews, whose envy great council of the Jews, told them, that and malice were increased by these dilatory in all the passages of his life be had taken proceedings, determined to use a quicker mecare to govern his actions by the severest | thod of putting a period to his life. In order rules of duty and conscience. “Men and to this,above forty of the most turbulententer: brethren, said he, I have lived in all good ed into a shocking confederacy of killing him; conscience before God, until this day.” ratilying it by oaths and the most bitter exe
crations, that they would neither eat nor: But however this expression of St. Paul drink till they had put their inhuman de might tend to shew the true state of his mind, sign in execution. Accordingly, this design, the high-priest Ananias was so offended at it, though probably concluded under the inanthat he commanded those who stood next him tle of the night, was discovered to St. Paul by to strike him in the face ; at which the apo his sister's son, and, at the request of the stle swartly replied, God shall smite thee, apostle, told to the governor himself, who thou whited wall. On which some of the immediately commanded two parties of spectators replied, “ It is not lawful to revile horse and foot to be ready by pine o'clock the high-priest of the Almighty.” Paulan- | that night, in order to conduct St. Paul to swered, " I did not know that Ananias was Felix, the Roman governor of that province ; appointed by God to be an high-priest; but to whom also he sent an account of the as he is invested with authority, it is unjust whole proceedings of the Jews against the to revile him." God himself having com- prisoner, and at the same time ordered bis manded that “no man should speak evil of accusers also to appear before the Roman ihe rulers of the people.” Paul perceiving magistrate. Accordingly, St. Paul was that the council consisted partly of Saddu conducted to Antipatris, and afterwards to cees, and partly of Pharisees, cried aloud, Cæsarea, where the letters being delivered - Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the to Felix, the apostle was also presented to son of a Pharisee, and am now brought him ; and finding that he belonged to the before this tribunal, for asserting the resur province of Cecilia, he told him that as soon rection from the dead."'.
as his accusers were come down, he would
détermine the affair, and in the mean time l with a multitude of followers, nor the least: commanded him to be secured in the place tumultuous assembly. It was therefore called Herod's hall.
necessary that these Jews should have been here, if they had any thing to alledge against me. Nay, I appeal to those of the
Sanhedrim, here present, if any thing has | CHAP. VI.
been laid to my charge, except the objections of the Sadducees, who violently op
posed me for asserting the doctrine of the The Transactions of St. Paul, from his
resurrection." first Trial before Felix, till his coming to Rome.
Felix having thus heard both parties, re
fused to pass any final sentence, till he had O UR apostle, soon after his arrival, en more fully advised about it, and consulted
countered Turtullus, who in a short, Lysias, the governor of the castle, who but eloquent speech, began to accuse him,
was the most proper person to give an accharging him with sedition, heresy, and the count of the sedition and tumult; comprofanation of the temple.
manding, in the mean time, that St. Paul
should be kept under a guard, but at the The orator having finished his charge same time enjoy the liberty of being visited against the apostle, Felix told St. Paul that he by his friends, and receiving from them any. was now at liberty to make his defence, which office of friendship. he did in the following manner:
Soon after this, Felix's wife, Drusilla, a « I answer this charge of the Jews with Jewess, and daughter of the elder Herod, the greater satisfaction before thee, because came down to him at Cæsarea, in whose prethou hast for many years been a judge of this sence the governor sent for Paul, and gave nation. About twelve days since, I repaired him leave to explain the doctrines of Christi. to Jerusalem, to worship the God of Jacob. anity. In this discourse the apostle took ocBut I neither disputed with any man, or en. casion to insist upon the most important deavoured to stir up the people in the syna. points, both of faith and practice, particularly gogues or the city. Nor can they prove the the influence which a future judgment should charge they have brought against me.
have upon the whole tenor of his life and
conduct. « This however, I readily confess, that « after the way which they call heresy, 80! This discourse was wisely adapted to the worship I the God of my fathers,' and accordo state and temper of Felix: though when ing to his faith, I am careful to maintain a St. Paul pathetically described the terrors clear and quiet conscience, both towards God of the last judgment, Felix trembled on his and man.
throne, and was so greatly affected, that he
caused the apostle to break off abruptly, " After I had spent some years in distant | telling him that he would hear the remaincountries, I repaired to Jerusalem, with the der of his discourse at a more convenient. alms I had collected in other provinces for season. the poor of mine own nation, and offering to the God of Jacob. And while I was per Felix, no doubt, had sufficient reason to forming the duties of religion, certain Asiatic tremble, and his conscience to be sensibly, Jews found me in the temple, purified ac- alarmed at these reflections; for he was a cording to the law :. but neither attended man notoriously infamous for rapine and