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On his arrival at Miletus, he sent to the gospel, which, if adhered to, will unEphesus, to summon the elders of the church; doubtedly dispose and perfect you for that and on their coming, reninded them of the state of happiness which the Almighty hath manner in wbich he had conversed anong prepared for good men, in the mansions of them; how faithfully and affectionately he eternity. You well know that I have, - from liad 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 hands, to in public and private, with whatever night 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 hearty 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 maukind, “ 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 apostle's preaching and writing, prophetical gifts of the Holy Ghost ; namely, we shall find that he ever strenuously inculthat afflictions and imprisonment would at. 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 determined to serve faithfully his great
St. Paul having finished his discourse, lie Lord and Master. “ I well kvow,” said
kneeled down, and joined with them in he, “ that you will see my face no more :
prayer; and they all melted into tears, and,
with the greatest expressions of sorrow, atbut for my encouragement and satisfaction,
tended bim to the ship: grieving in the most ye yourselves can bear me witness, that I have not, by concealing any part of the
passionate manner for what he had told them, Christian doctrine, betrayed your souls.
That they should see his face no more. And as for yourselves, whom God bath made bishops and pastors of his church, Paul, with his companions, now: depart• you 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 a large island in the Egean 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 Phoenicia. no more than necessary; for after my depar Oin bis arrival, he visited the brethren ture, heretical teachers will appear in the there, and continued with them a week, ehurch, to the great danger of the souls of and" was advised by some of them, who men, seeking by every crafty method and had the gift of prophecy, not to go up to pernicious doctrine, to gain proselytes to Jerusalem. But this apostle would by 10 their party, and by that means fill the church means abandon bis design, or refuse to sufof Christ with schisis and factions. Watch
fer any thing, provided he might spread ye, therefore, and remember with what tears the gospel of bis 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 land after embracing them with.the utmost.
affection, he went on board, and came they thought it adviseable forhim to join to Ptolemias, and the next day to Cesarea. kimself with four persons, who were at that
tiine to accomplish a vow, and perform the During 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 temple, 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. • For I ain 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 bim 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, a few years before, had giving to God: but witbal 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 see how he behaved himself in this matter: and therefore, to prevent a disturbance, “ Listen, ye descendants of Jacob, to a
guage as follows:
person of your own religion, and like your 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. Wby, 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 on the nanie of the Lord.” as ye are at present.
“After this glorious vision, and miracuNay, I persecuted unto death all who 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
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, wher - Terrified at so awful an appearance,
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
raiment of those that slew him. cutest thou me?" To which I answered, “ Who art thou, Lord ?” And the voice
“ But he replied, Depart, I will send replied, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whoin
thee to countries far remote: even to the thou persecutest.”
Gentiles. “ After recovering from the terror with The Jews had, till now, listened with which my mind was filled, I answered, some attention to his speech ; but on his “ Wbat 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 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. Accordin 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, and Jacob, bath appoint had been passed upon biin? The centuried tbee 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 bim to take care how he proceed
ed against the prisoner, because he was a This declaration threw the whole court Romall. 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 strenuhimself procured that great privilege by a ously opposed it. large sum 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 his chains to be extraordinary, communications of the Dia 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 he 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 totbis,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.” ratifying it by oaths and the most bitter exe
crations, that they would neither eat norBut however this expression of St. Paul drink till they had put their inhuman demight tend to shew the true state of his mind, sign in execution. Accordingly, this design, the bigh-priest Ananias was so offended at it, though probably concluded under the inan-, that 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 nine o'clock the high-priest of the Almighty.” Paul an 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 be sent an account of the as he is in vested 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 his manded that “ no man should speak evil of accusers also to appear before the Roman ihe rulers of the people.” Paul perceiving magistrate.
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 66 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 bis accusers were come down, he would
Felix having thus heard both parties, refused to pass any final sentence, till he had more fully advised about it, and consulted Lysias, the governor of the castle, who was the most proper person to give an account of the sedition and tumult; commanding, in the mean time, that St. Paul should be kept under a guard, but at the same time enjoy the liberty of being visited by his friends, and receiving from them any office of friendship.
The orator having finished his charge against the apostle, Felix told St. Paul that he was now at liberty to make his defence, which he did in the following manner :
“ I answer this charge of the Jews with the greater satisfaction before thee, because thou hast for many years been a judge of this nation. About twelve days since, I repaired to Jerusalem, to worship the God of Jacob. But I neither disputed with any man, or endeavoured to stir up the people in the synagogues or the city. Nor can they prove the charge they have brought against me.
Soon after this, Felix's wife, Drusilla, a Jewess, and daughter of the elder Herod, came down to him at Cæsarea, in whose presence the governor sent for Paul, and gave him leave to explain the doctrines of Christianity. In this discourse the apostle took occasion to insist upon the most important points, both of faith and practice, particularly the influence which a future judgment should have upon the whole tenor of his life and conduct.
“ This however, I readily confess, that “ after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers," and according to his faith, I am careful to maintain a clear and quiet conscience, both towards God and man.
This discourse was wisely adapted to the state and 'temper of Felix: though when St. Paul pathetically described the terrors of the last judgment, Felix trembled on his throne, and was so greatly affected, that he caused the apostle to break off abruptly, telling him that he would hear the remainder of his discourse at a more convenient
“ After I had spent some years in distant countries, I repaired to Jerusalem, with the alms I had collected in other provinces for the poor of mine own nation, and offering to the God of Jacob. And while I was performing the duties of religion, certain Asiatic Jews found me in the temple, purified according to the law :. but neither attended
Felix, no doubt, had sufficient reason to tremble, and his conscience to be sensibly;. alarmed at these reflections; for he was a man notoriously infamous for rapine and