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Drufilla who was equally concerned, it seems was more Hardned; or else being a fewess, she might have some Vain Confidence from thence : But Felix was cut to the Heart; The Judge trembled before his Prisoner: St. Paul with his awakening Sermon had come home to his Conscience, and being wounded in Spirit he was not able, (as it is expressed in the Case of St. Stephen,) to refift, or bear up against, the Power and the Spirit by which he Spake. He had heard more already than would lie Easy on his Guilty Mind, and being afraid to Hear any farther, he is for hushing up all again, and therefore speedily dismisses his Prisoner, with Pretence that he will Hear him out at some other more Cona venient Time Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient Season, I will call
In the Words there are two Things to be considered.
Ift. the Subjects that St. Paul chose to treat on; Righteousness, and Temperance, and Judgement to come. and
IIdly. How Felix was affected with St. Paul's Discourse on the forementioned Subjects He Trembled; and
Answered, Go thy pay for this Time ; when I have a Convenient Season I will call for thee.
Ift. We are to Consider the Subjects that St. Paul chose to treat on; Righteousness, and Temperance, and a Judgement
Righteousness and Temperance, as they may be taken in their full Latitude, fig. nifie the two great Branches of our Duty; Righteousness our Duty to our Neighbours, and Temperance our Duty to our selves; which, together with our Duty to God, make up the Summ of all Reli
gion: As we find the fame Apostle has, Tit. ii,12. in his Epistle to Titus, comprehended
all the Practical Part of Religion in these three Words, the Living Soberly, Righteously, and Godlily in the World. So that these two Heads of Righteousness and Temperance, being taken at large, might have given St. Paul a mighty Scope in Practical Divinity.
But Righteousness and Temperance are commonly taken in a more restrained Sence: And being so taken, Righteousness is the same with what we properly call Justice; That Vertue which restrains us from doing Wrong or Injury unto any, but teaches us to deal equitably and fairly and honestly with all
Men, rendring to every Man what is
And so the Original Word égrepčleice, here rendred Temperance, which is that Vertue which keeps Men within due Bounds as to all Bodily Pleasures whatsoever ; does most properly signifie Continènce, which is the Vertue that lays due Restraint upon Men's Carnal Appetites, to keep them from all the Sin. ful Lufts of the Flesh.
And it is highly Probable that St. Paul bent his Discourse on Righteousness and Temperance more particularly this way, treating of the Obligations Men had to the Practice of Justice in their Dealings with one another, and to Conjugal Honesty in their Marryed Estate, that so he might more properly adapt it to their Case to whom he was then Speaking. And This is what we have reason to Beleive, if we consider St. Paul's great Zeal and Courage, which would prompt him, after the Example of John the Baptist, boldly to Rebuke Vice, and upon such an Opportunity, to address himself in such manner to them, as was most requisite to their Case, and might be most proper to Instruct and Reform them; Or if we consider on the other hand, what sort of Man Felix was, and how St. Paul's Discourse wrought upon
him. He was the Roman Governour of Judad, and therefore to take his Character from a Roman Historian, Tacitus gives this account of him, * " That he exercised a Princely Power, “ but with a Base Sordid Temper of “ Spirit; That he governed with all manner of Cruelty and · Licentious.
and thought himself at li“berty for all manner of Villainies, &c. To which we must add what Josephus of farther tells us both of Him and of Drufilla
" That Drusilla, “ (Daughter of Herod the Great,) who
now liv'd with Felix as his Wife, (and was now Present with him before St. Paul, to bear her Part in the Condemnation) was truly the Wife of " Azis King of the Emisseni, from “whom Felix, by the help of one Si
mon, a Jewish Sorcerer of Cyprus, had “ inticed hier; -” and now they liv'd together in a Course of Adultery.
It was not then for Nothing that Felix Trembled. When St. Paul had
* Felix per omnem Sævitiam ac Libidinem, Jus Regium Servili Ingenio exercuit; Drufilla, Cleopatræ ac Antonii nepte, in matrimonium acceptâ. Tac. Hist. lib. 5to.
And again in his Annals lib. 12mo. Felix non pari moderatione agebat; Cuneta Malefacta fibi impuné
Josephus Antiq. Jud. I. 20.
rouzed him up with his Discourse on Justice and Continence, with that Power and Zeal that became an Apostle of Christ; and had pressed on his Arguments with such Force and Weight of Reason, as had startled and Convinc'd him of the Unlawfulness of such Courses of Life, then was the Time for Felix's awakened Conscience to strike in, and make the Application to himself. But when he was brought to the Sence of his Guilt, then to be farther urg'd with the Remembrance of a Judgement to Come ; First to set his Sins in order before him, and then the Dreadful Punishment consequent to his Sins, struck him to the Heart, and made him Tremble at the Thoughts of it. Which is the
IId Thing expressed in the Text, How Felix was affected with St. Paul's Dis. course on the forementioned Subjects --He Trembled ; and answered, Go thy way for this Time ; when I have a Convenient Season, I will call for thee.
I do not wonder that a Man of such a flagitious Life should Tremble at the Thoughts of a Judgement-Day. To Display a Man's Conscience, to lay him open to himself; to show him his Guilt, and fet his Sins before his Face,