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power of Christ, cast out an evil spirit indignation, at the gross idolatry of from a damsel, who was a diviner; her that seat of reason and philosophy. He, masters, who saw that the hope of therefore, not only disputed with the their gain was gone, seized Paul and Jews and devout proselytes in the sySilas, drew them to the market-place, nagogue, but also openly in the Forum and virulently accused them to the with the Epicurean and Stoick philomagistrates. Their accusations, se- sophers. These proud men, while conded by the clamours of the multi- they affected to treat him as a babbler, tude, induced the magistrates to break apprehended him, and brought him to through all ordinary forms of justice. a trial before the Areopagus, as a setTheir clothes were torn off, and they ter forth of strange Gods. His defence were severely beaten with many on this occasion was admirable. First stripes, and then thrust into the inner charging them with excessive superprison, where their feet were made stition, he substantiated the charge fast in the stocks. Bruised, and cov. by remarking, that he had seen an alered with their blood, they fainted not; tar inscribed TO THE UNKNOWN GOD; but prayed to him, who was able to and then declaring himself the minissave them; and sang the praises of ter of this God unknown, he asserted God, till the children of guilt heard his eternal power and godhead, pointwith astonishment the resigned and ed out the folly of their idolatry, intijoyful melody of their triumphant fel. mated that though God winked at the low-prisoners. At that moment God times of their ignorance, yet that this shook the foundations of the prison, was a season of light when he perempthrew open every bolted door, and torily commanded all men to repent, struck the shakles from every hand. and concluded with preaching Christ, In this lofty style did the Lord claim his resurrection, and the eternal judghis prisoners. The magistrates heard ment, which he was to administer: his voice, trembled, and obeyed. The Though this admirable discourse, of gaoler and his household became which we have only a rough outline, Christ's freemen, and Paul and Silas was treated with derision, yet the juswere conducted out of the city with tice of that celebrated court acquitted an honourable attestation oí their inno- Paul; and one of his judges, and some cence, and an acknowledgment of the others, gladly received the doctrine of injurious treatment which they had the TILL THEN UNKNOWN God. received.
At Corinth, the capital of Achaia, At Thessalonica also, Paul had an Paul planted a noble church, in the open door to the Gentiles, and some midst of much opposition from Jews Jews were obedient to the faith ; but and Gentiles, and the Lord Jesus saw others excited a tumult, which obliged fit to encourage him in a vision of the him to flee to Berea, where he met night, saying, Be not afraid, but speak, with Jews of a noble cast of character, and hold not thy peace : For I am with who received the word with all readi. thee, and no man shall set on thee 10 ness, and searched the Scriptures daily, hurt thee ; for I have much people in whether the things which Paul preach the place. And he continued there a ed were as he reported them. But year and six months, teaching the word the active malice of the Jews of Thes- of God. From Corinth he went to salonica pursued him to Berea; and as Ephesus, whence, after a short stay, the thunder strikes the tallest cedars, he took ship for Cesaria, and then prothe brethren kindly conducted the in- ceeded to Jerusalem for the fourth trepid Paul to Athens, while Silas and time, in the year of Christ 54. How Timotheus, as men of less notoriety, gracious is our Lord to his suffering were privately detained, to confirm disciples; and what need is there, that and water the word which Paul had the best of men should, from time to preached. While he waited at, Athens time, receive those spiritual succours, the coming of his fellow-labourers, his without which they would become spirit was stirred with godly sorrow and weary in well-doing! A future reward,
however great, if not recommended by kneeled down and prayed with them all. present anticipations of felicity, would And they all went sore, and fell on hardly operate on the impatient and Paul's neck, and hosed him, sorrowing fretful spirits of mankind. But till we most of all for the words which he can drink at the fountain head, our spoke, that they shouid see his face no Master kindly opens for us springs in more. Affecting spectacle ! Hated or the desert.
despised by the world, the man of After Paul had saluted the Church, God, even in this life, has his peculiar and kept the feast, probably that of the conforts and friends: friends endear. Pentecost, at Jerusalem, he spent some ed by principles of truth and virtue, time at Antioch, preached the word in which the world know not; and by Phrygia and Galatia, and at last came to common hopes and joys, desires and Ephesus, where the Holy Ghost was affections, the grand objects of which given by the imposition of his hands. are invisible and eternal. Here he laboured with equal diligence When Paul came on his journey as and success for two years, and wrought far as Tyre, he found certain discigreat miracles, 80 that from his body ples, who said to him, through the spriwere brought unto the sick handkerchiefs rit, that he should not go up to Jerusaand aprons, and the diseases departed lem. At Cesarea, Agabus, a prophet, from them, and the evil spirits went out look Paul's girdle, and bound his own of them. And many, who used curious hands and feet, and said, thus saith the arts, brought their books together, and Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerile burned them before all men ; and they salem bind the man thai owneth this gircounied the price of them, and found it dle, and shall deliver him into the hands fifty thousand pieces of silver. So of the Gentiles. Then Luke and other mightily grew the word of God and pre- companions of his travels, as well as vailed. About this time, Paul purposed, the Christians of the place, besought in the spirit, when he had passed him not to go up to Jerusalern. But Through Macedonia and Achuia, to go to Paul answered, Ilhat mean ye, to weef Jerusalem, saying, After I have been and break mine heart? for I am ready, there, I must also see Rome. A clear not to be bound only, but also to die at indication this, that all the troubles Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jewbich befel him at Jerusalem, were And when he would not be per. by the appointment of Providence, and suaded, we ceased, saying, The will of that the Apostle himself had, if not a the Lord be done! It has been before full and explicit, yet an obscure inti- observed, that Paul had an intimation mation of them, in which he joyfully from the spirit of what he was to sufacquiesced.
ser at Jerusalem. It was now repeatHis departure from Ephesus was ed, that this champion of the faith hastened by the tumult raised by might be completely armed for the Demetrius the silversmith: he then fight; and that the Disciples might be made a progress through Macedonia prepared for a dispensation so afficand Greece, and took a most affection- tive, might accept it as the holy will ate leave of the brethren at Philippi, of Christ, and trust bis wisdom and where he restored to life a young man power to make Paul's chains useful who had fallen from a window, while and glorious to the Church. So they he was preaching. Determining to evidently construed it saying, The will be at Jerusalem by the next Pentecost, of the Lord be done! For they were he assembled at Miletus the elders convinced Paul well knew and humof Ephesus, and probably of other bly obeyed the voice of the great Asiatic churches; and delivered one Shepherd. At his command, he had of the most solemn, affectionate, and quitted Jerusalem hastily on his first impressive charges ever uttered by visit; and in the three following, his the lips of man, and which no minis- stay was short and his ministry priter can read too frequently or too se vale. More than 25 years had elapsed riously. And when he had spoken, he froin the death of Jesus. Stephen,
James, and many others, had sealed compliance of St. Paul with this rethe truth with their blood; time had quest were not construed by some inbeen given for the itry of persecution to a reprehensible dissimulation. to cool, and in 15 years, Titus was to without insisting on the risk men of fill their city with slaughter, and level modern times incur in censuring Aposits bulwarks with the ground. What tles, who had more wisdom and piety then could be so consonant to the long than we can flatter ourselves to be possuffering of Christ, as to give a loud sessed of, let it be remembered how acand public testimony to the high priest, curately Jesus himself conformed to the Roman governors, and King Ag- the ceremonial law of Moses, neglectrippa? Or who was so fit to bear it as ing nothing but the frivolous traditions this wonderful man, who was the ablest with which it was obscured. Could the defender of the faith, which he once Apostles have a better example? Were persecuted ? He seems to have per they likely to convert the Jews by pourfectly entered into the views of his ing contempt on divine institutions, divine Master; and though willing to which were evidently to continue as die, if such were the will of Christ, long as their polity existed ? They knew entertained a confident expectation of them to be shadows, which were passdeliverance, and that he should be ho- ing away ; but the time was not yet noured to preach Christ at Rome also. come, and it was not for them to anti
With a mind thus armed, he enter: cipate the dispensations of Providence. ed Jerusalem, and with Luke and oth. Self-acquaintance and charity taught ers, went to James, the Lord's brother, them to bear with the prejudices of the and all the elders were present. And
flock. The request was reasonable, when he had saluted them, he declar. nor was Paul to blame in complying ed particularly what things God had with it. He had resisted the attempt wrought among the Gentiles by his min- monial law and opposed the Jews, who
to subjugate the Gentiles to the cereistry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, to salvation. But in condescension to
taught that circumcision was necessary Thou seest, brother, how many thou- the prejudices of the weak, none sursands of Jews there are which believe,
passed him. To use or disuse these and they are all zealous of the Law.
ceremonies, to himself was indifferent, And they are informed of thee, that thou but where the edification of others was teachest all the Jews, which are among at stake, it became important. He made the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying himself all things to all men, and would tha: they ought not to circumcise their gladly desist from the use of meat, children, neither to walk after the cus- while he lived, rather than offend a
What is it therefore? The mul- weak brother. While he steadily retitude must needs come together, for fused to circumcise Titus, who was a they will hear that thou art come. Do
Gentile, he was the first to propose therefore this, that we say to thee ; we
the circumcision of Timothy, who was have four men which have a vow on of Jewish extraction, and from his them. Them take, and purify thyself knowledge of the Scriptures, a proper with them, and be at charges that they instrument for the conversion of the may shave their heads ; and all may Jews. No doubt he had himself strictknow that those things whereof they ly observed the law, and might fairly were informed concerning thee, are no. adopt the measure proposed, to satisfy thing, but that thou thyself walkest the scruples of weak brethren,
whose orderly, and keepest the law. As touch- ears had been abused by the misconing the Gentiles which believe, we have structions of zealots. Let the censures written and concluded, that they observe of these great men rather learn to sus110 such thing, save only that they keep pect themselves, and let them shun themselves from things offered to idols, those controversies, whereby they stab and from blood, and from strangled, and the vitals of religion, while they confrom fornication. Upon this passage, tend for some trivial circumstance. it were unnecessary to remark, if the But though Paul's condescension ful
ly satisfied the Church, it could not si. press them with regularity or case; but lence the malice of the Synagogue. we find not in his writings any of those Some Asiatic Jews seized him in the wire-drawn discourses, in which a mula temple, and accused him of teaching titude of words is employed to conccal against the people, the law, and that ho- a deficiency of sense. It is, therefore, ly place, as well as of polluting it by in- reasonable to believe, that the word bere troducing some Greeks. He was im- used has a proper meaning, and it well mediately dragged out of the temple, becomes us to search for it. Its most and beaten, and would probably have usual acceptation, for waste, riot, or exbeen stoned on the spot, had not the travagance, does not agree with this captain of the temple ran down from his passage. Some indeed of these faults station in the castle of Antonia, and res. often accompany the other; but they cued him out of their hands. But so are not the principal reasons against it; violent was the tumult, that when they nor has the observation, thus undercame to the steps of the fortress, Paul stood, any evident connection with what was obliged to be borne by the soldiers. precedes or follows it. When he had gained the top of the But there is another use of the word, stairs, he requested permission to ad- which, though less common, wouid nadress the inuliitude. And when they turally occur to the Apostlc, and which heard him speak to them in Hebrew, makes his sentiment clear and importhey gave patient attention to his de- tant, and connected.
St. Paul was a fence, in which he detailed the leading Roman citizen, and frequently borrowed events of his life, particularly his con both his potions and expressions from version and appointment to be an Apos- the laws of his country. Now when a tle; but when he related his vision in man's follies or vices were such as renthe temple, and the words of Christ, I dered hiin either wholly inattentive to will send thee far hence unto the Gen. his own affairs, or incapable of conducttiles, their prejudices were inflamed to ing them, the Roman laws treated him madness, and they exclaimed, Away as an infant or an ideot, and the prætor with such a fellow from the earth! it is appointed him a guardian, with full aunot fit that he should live! And as they thority to manage all business for him, now threatened violence, Paul was car- and without whose consent his actions ried into the castle, by the command of had no legal efficacy. The Latin word the chief captain, who being prejudic- by which the lawyers denoted a person ed against his prisoner, ordered him to of this character, was prodigus; and be bound, and a confession to be extort- they who have written the Roman hised from him, by beating him with rods. tory in Greek, or have translated the But from this torture, alike repugnant
Roman laws into that language, conto reason and humanity, Paul sheltered stantly use for the person a-wlos, and for himself, by pleading that he was a Ro. the character dow1.c6. man citizen.
therefore, is, such a mixture of wick(To be continued in our neat.)
edness and folly, as makes a man unfit to conduct himseil, and requires him
to be put under the guidance and authoCRITICAL REMARKS ON EPHES. y. 18.
rity of another; and in this technical
sense, which, in the language of people A DIFFICULTY arises from the word not accustomed to the same laws, canarWtic, here rendered excess. St. Paul not be expressed by any single word, was not accustomed to write with so
the term seems to be applied by the little meaning as appears in this trans- Apostle. An immoderate use of wine, lation. Many passages in his Epistles he would say, destroys a man's underare obscure ; but the obscurity proceeds standing, degrades him from the rank from an abundance, not from a want of of reasonable beings, and deprives him matter. His ideas seem sometimes 10 of the valuable privilege of self-governcrowd upon him faster than he can ex
ment. Christ. Obsery. No. 8.
Its full import,
BY THE LATE DR. POWELL,
ABSTRACTS OF SERMONS.
small deviations from duty, and pray to Proverbs xiv. 9.-Fools make a mock at God to prevent us from dishonouring sin.
him in any instance. Thus may we Sin is the greatest of all evils : its ve- hope to escape those rocks on which nom is deadly; working the utter de- multitudes of careless sinners have been struction of the whole man, both body shipwrecked and lost. and soul: it is the disgrace of our nature, the bane of our happiness, and the Proverbs xiv. 32.- The wicked is dria ruin of our future hopes. It deprives ven away in his wickedness, but the us of communion with God, separates
righteous hath hope in his death. us from the society of the blessed, and THOSE who have seen a malefactor with urges us on to the regions of eternal his hands pinioned and his looks full of misery. Yet, strange to tell! there are dismay, forced away to that death which persons in the world who 6 make a his crimes have merited, may form mock at sin," both in themselves and some idea of the situation of an irreli. others; who can be entertained with gious person in his last moments, when the jests of scorners, the blasphemies upon the point of being torn from eveof the profane, the boasts of the licen- ry object in which his soul delighted. tious, and the quarrels of the froward. Some, indeed, appear to die tranquilly, They are not afraid of giving drink to who are destitule of the hope of the their neighbour; but can rejoice in see- Gospel, and lovers of this world more ing him degrade himself by intoxica. than lovers of God; but this apparent tion below the state of a brute. The resignation arises either from an assumfalls of professed Christians are particu- ed fortitude, which makes a virtue of larly gratifying to such men; to behold necessity; from a self-righteous, and a fellow creature turning aside to per- therefore a delusive confidence ; from dition, is to them a matter of merri- ignorance and stupidity; or from that
Those who can thus rejoice at carnal security which often accompainiquity in others, are, doubtless, equal. nies a fruitless profession of religion. ly disposed to make light of it in them. Very contrary is the end of the righteselves. But surely they are fools in ous. Having fled to the Lord Jesus the strongest sense of the word, who Christ as their hope and refuge; and by can thus act. . Whatever may be their becoming interested in his righteousreputation for wisdom among men, they ness, being freed from guilty fears; and know nothing of the majesty of God; having their affections supremely placthe glory and excellency of his charac- ed on things above; to them to live is ter, law, and government; the evil of Christ, and to die is gain. Hence they sin; the necessity and value of a Sa are enabled to triumph in the moment viour; the beauty of holiness; the va- of dissolution, and to depart with a hope nity of this world, and the importance full of immortality. Some of them, inof the next. In short, they are totally deed, through the power of temptation ignorant of the things which belong to or corruption, from bodily weakness or their peace, and prefer a short scene of defective views of the Gospel, may be guilty enjoyment to a far more exceed- all their life time subject to bondage ing and eternal weight of glory. Let through the fear of death, and they may such thoughtless mortals bc warned of undergo many sharp conflicts on its aptheir guilt and danger. Let them learn proach ; yet have they hope in their from the fall of man, the cross of Christ, latter end—a hope which they would the miseries of this life, and the still not exchange for worlds, and a prevailgreater miseries reserved for the un ing relish and desire for the happiness godly; what an evil and bitter thing sin of heaven, which makes them willing is, and be excited to flee from and to ab- to depart and to be with Christ. Accordhor it; and let all of us beware of mak- ingly they for the inost part finish their ing light of sin, either in ourselves or course with joy, and are thus made conothers, whatever captivating and illu- querors over their last enemy.
Let sive appearances it may assume. Let this prospect excite the worldly and irus watch against what may be termed religious to renounce their idols, and to