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CHAPTER XXIV.

orators.

APRIL 27, August 26, DEC. 24. And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy 3 This was in the usual strain of providence, we accept it al- flattery, adopted by the Roman ways, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency 5 The christian must prepare him. a few words. * For we have self not for injury only, but for infound this man a pestilent sult and contempt. fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes : wbo also hath gone about to profane the temple : whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come unto thee : by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess unto

14 St. Paul persists in the fact, that

he worshipped the God of his fathee, that after the

way

which thers : considering the Gospel they call heresy, so worship glorious completion of the Mosaie I the God of my fathers, be- dispensation. It was important to

establish this point, in testimony of lieving all things which are

his innocence before a Roman triwritten in the law and in the bunal—the Romans allowing to ac prophets : and have hope object of worship. toward God, which they

15 The Pharisees did allow a resur themselves also allow, that rection from the dead.

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there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I 16 This is said, not boastfully but exercise myself, to have al- candidly. ways a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

Who ought to have been 19 Thus the Christian, though ready here before thee, and object, to bear all things patiently, is yet if they had ought against justified in appealing to the laws, me. Or else let these same

when he is oppressed and injured. here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way,

he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. 23 And he commanded 23 God's providence ever finds a centurion to keep Paul, and means to alleviate the sufferings of to let him have liberty, and his servants, even though he may that he should forbid none of not see fit at once to remove them. his acquaintance to minister or come unto him. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he rea- 25 The only contenient season is the soned of righteousness, tem- present. perance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time ; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him : wherefore he sent for him the oftener, 27 A love of popularity so naturally and communed with him. tempts to injustice and dishonour, ** But after two years Porcius that those, whose high station lays Festus came into Felix’room:

them open to the temptation, should

arm themselves against it by chrisand Felix, willing to shew the tian principle, and a constant enJews a pleasure, left Paul deavour to please God rather than bound.

man.

CHAPTER XXV.

APRIL 28, AUGUST 27, Dec. 28. Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days be ascended from Cæsarea to Jerusalem. Then the high priest

and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, and desired fa

3 This secret evil was seen by Hix, vour against him, that he whose eye never slumbereth or would send for him to Jeru- sleepeth ! So enemies may plot salem, laying wait in the way secretly against thee! Remember to kill him. But Festus an

the same God is thy God. swered, that Paul should be kept at Cæsarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him. And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Cæsarea ; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. While

8 Religion and loyalty go hand in he answered for himself, Nei- hand. Therefore St. Paul disclaims ther against the law of the any offence against Cæsar-Day, in Jews, neither against the tem- verse ll, he appeals to Cæsar fur ple, nor yet against Cæsar, protection *. have I offended any thing at all. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Cæsar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well 11 Rulers are a terror to evil doers knowest. "For if I be an only. The honest man looks to the offender, or have committed laws, as his sure and proper safety. any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me,

no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Cæsar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Cæsar? unto Cæsar shalt thou go. And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cæsarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix : about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. To

16 This noble principle of equity

continued to characterise the Roman whom I answered, It is not power, till vice, and pride, and an

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* Each emperor was entitled “Cæsar.” Nero was the emperor to whom this appeal was made.

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the manner of the Romans impatience of the laws brought the to deliver any man to die, empire to its fall. (See ch. xxii. 28.) before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed :

19 Well might St. Paul adhere to 19 but had certain questions the glorious truth—"Jesus is alive.” against him of their own su- In heaven, He, Jesus, doth erer live, perstition, and of one Jesus, making intercession for us. which was dead, whom Paul 2. Roman justice required all this affirmed to be alive. And

care on behalf of the accused. because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. But when

21 The emperor Augustus had been Paul had appealed to be re- long dead; but his successors were served unto the hearing of often honoured with the title ; in Augustus, I commanded him token of that reneration, which the to be kept till I might send

Roman word— Augustus—implied. him to Cæsar. Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23 And on the morrow, 23 It befitted a king to “ appear in a when Agrippa was come, and kingly manner;" when he came to Bernice, with great pomp,

execute the laws*. and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth. And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the maltitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and especially be

Agrippa thus indicated that he there sat for judgment, not as an individual merely, but as the representative of justice, and clothed in the majesty of the law, whose minister he was. The same principle is observed by those who judge in our own land ; the robes of office significantly instructing us that the law, not the individual-principle, not passion-regulates the course of justice. A disregard therefore of these outward observances would lower national character, and argue rather a debasing pride than an acceptable humility.

Of

to

fore thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat

27 Again, a sense of justice prevails in write. 27 For it seemeth to

favour of the faithful servant of God. me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

CHAPTER XXVI,
April 29, AUGUST 28, Dec. 29.

CONVERSION OF St. Paul, evening. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: ? I think myself

? Agrippa was a Jew, St. Paul, happy, king Agrippa, because with great prudence, wins his favourI shall answer for myself this able attention. day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand

6 The apostle argues, that his breth

ren the Jews have a vital interest in and am judged for the hope the very work, for doing which they of the promise made of God accused him : that work being, to unto our fathers : unto which

declare the ancient hope of God's

people Israel. promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. & Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, minute, is a mystery—yet men be

8 The continuance of life, minute by that God should raise the lieve life to be so continued by the dead? I verily thought with power and providence of God. Why myself, that I ought to do

should they doubt that the same God

can restore life? many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem : and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme: and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted thesi even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the

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