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the whole of this paffage to every judicious and impartial reader's thorough consideration.
We will now attend this great Apostle to Jerusalem ; where we find him violently attacked by the Jews which were of Apa, who stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, men of Israel help, this is the man that teacheth all men every where against the people and the law, &c. The accusation brought here against our Apostle is plainly in substance the same with that alledged by the Jews of Achaia, who accused him of persuading men to worship God contrary to the law. I shall therefore refer you to what was said on that occasion. Only I will add here, that the observation then made is much confirmed by the circumstance of St. Paul's purifying himself at Jerusalem with the four men who had a vow on them, agreeably to the advice before given by the judaizing Christians, and in exact conformity to the Mofaic conftitution. But if we turn to what the Apostle has to say in his own defence, we shall find
* Acts xxi. 27, &c.
his apology to contain an account of his conversion, and of his Apoftolical commiffion in consequence of it; which strengthens much what has been remarked relative to the charge brought against him. It is observable, that St. Paul calls himself here a few in the very fame breath almost in which he avows himself a Christian. He admits his hearers to be zealous towards God, according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, f though he plainly intimates all the while that they were erroneously or blindly zealous, or, as he elsewhere expresses it, that their zeal of God was not according to knowlege. He does not undervalue or vilify the law, and much less pronounce it to be void, and of none effect, though he professes himself a preacher of the Gospel. Neither the Jews of Jerusalem, nor those of Afa, could possibly be strangers to the new DOCTRINE which he taught under that character : so that we are not at a loss to know the nature and import of the testimony which he bore concerning his Divine Master. Beside, we are to remember, that he was in
terrupted in the course of his harangue, and precluded from enlarging his speech, or expatiating on his doctrine, (which otherwise perhaps he might have done,) by the clamours and outrage of a giddy and incensed multitude.
We see him next before the chief priests and council; in which situation he politicly takes advantage of the difference of sentiment between them that composed it: the one part being Sadducees, and the other Pharisees. The Apostle openly declares himself a Pharisee; in which plea his immediate view was manifestly to his own preservation; though ultimately he had doubtless an eye to the conversion of the most considerable and respectable part of his audience, by tacitly at least referring to the resurrection of Jesus Chrift, and the important consequences necessarily resulting from it.
In much the same light we may regard his apology for himself before Felix in the
following Chapter. Under one article of his accusation he is charged with being a ringleader of the feet of the Nazarenes; t. or, as the Afatic Jews had expressed themselves, with teaching men every where against the law ; or, in the words of the Jews of Achaia, with persuading men to worship God contrary to the law; and under another article he is traduced as a mover of Sedition, and a disturber of the public peace. Now there is something observably dexterous in our Apostle's reply to all this; in which he partly denies the charge, professes his innocence, and defies them to prove the things whereof they accuse him; and partly afferts the cause he had espoused, and in general terms acknowleges his Christian principles. In this, as in the preceding case, there is fine address in the Apostle's endeavour to interest his auditors on the side of Christianity, by representing its professors as holding one common tenet with the straitest and most popular sect of the Jewish religion ; while at the same time he was indirectly preaching through Jefus the
refurretion from the dead, and by necessary implication maintaining the great mystery of the Christian Faith. Felix, we find, was far from being unacquainted with at least some of the doctrines of Christianity, and reserved the matter for a farther hearing ; but in the interim he, with his wife Drufilla, which was a fewess, sent for Paul privately, and heard bim concerning the faith in Cbrift. I It does not appear that our Apostle on this occasion discoursed on any one article of faith, strictly and peculiarly Christian. He reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, till this iniquitous governor' trembled ; and probably had proceeded to the full display of all evangelical truth, had he not been abruptly dismissed. However, if there be any difficulty here, it is such as affects not our argument in particular ; because the very fame difficulty will subfift, whether we suppose that Jesus whom Paul preached to be “ very God of very God,” or to be the Son of God in a secondary sense only, or indeed barely the propbet that was to come into the world,
I Acts xxiv. 24, &c.