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The presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none, &c. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God, &c. They procure a law, that none should ask a petition of any god or man, but of the king, &c. watch Daniel, accuse him, and cast him into the lions' den.-Dan. vi. 4—17.
into prison. xix. 9.
Acts xvi. 19-25.
The philosophers, &c. encountered Paul, saying, What will this babbler (or base fellow) say?—Acts xvii. 18.
There arose no small stir about that way: for a certain man, &c. which made silver shrines for Diana, &c. complained against Paul, made a great uproar, and laid hold of Paul's companions.-Acts xix. 23-30.
We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia.—2 Cor. i. 8.
I suffer trouble even unto bonds.2 Tim. ii. 9.
Ye endured a great fight of afflictions: partly whilst ye were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches and afflictions, &c. Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, &c.-Heb. x. 32-34.
Others were tortured, &c. Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings: yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment, &c. of whom the world was not worthy.-Heb. xi. 35-38.
Do not rich men oppress you by tyranny, and draw you before the judgment seats?-James ii. 6.
Ye have condemned and killed the just and he doth not resist you.James v. 6.
They speak evil of you, as of evil doers, &c.-1 Pet. iii. 16. iv. 4.
The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.— 1 John iii. 1. 12, 13. iii. 30.
I, John, &c. was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. -Rev. i. 9.
SECONDLY. From hypocritical Professors of the true God, Jews, Men zealous of the Law and Traditions. The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect, &c. Cain rose up against Abel his his brother, and slew him.-Gen.
Ahab pursued Elijah in every nation, &c. he said to Elijah, when he saw him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?-1 Kings xviii. 10. 17. xxi. 20.
Jezebel threatens to take away Elijah's life.-1 Kings xix. 1, 2.
Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, &c. the Lord he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.-Isa. lxvi. 5.
Jeremiah saith, O Lord, &c. revenge me of my persecutors, &c. for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.-Jer. xv. 15. Matt. v. 12. Jer. xx. 1, 2. 7. 10. xxvi. 11. xxxvii. 14—16. xxxviii. 4. 6.
They hate him that rebuketh in the gate and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly, &c. they afflict the just.-Amos v. 10. 12. 1 Kings xxii. 8.
drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous.-Matt. xi. 18, 19.
John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil: the Son of man came eating and
The chief priests, &c. cried out against Christ (when Pilate had said he found no fault in him), saying, Crucify him, crucify him, &c. by our law he ought to die. They said to Pilate, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend; crying out, Away with him, away with him! crucify him, &c.-John xix. 6, 7.12. 15.
When Peter and John had spoken unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection, &c. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold, &c. That it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, &c. So when they had further threatened them, &c.Acts iv. 1-3. 17. 21,
The high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, &c. and were filled with indignation (or envy), and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison,
&c. when the apostles had spoken to them, they were cut to the heart, and they took counsel to slay them.Acts v. 16-18. 33. Mark xv. 10.
They suborned witnesses against Stephen, and said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God, &c. That Jesus shall destroy this place, and change the customs which Moses delivered us.-Acts vi. 10-14. So against Christ.-Matt. xxvi. 59–61. So against Naboth.-1 Kings vii. 8-13. Ps. cxix. 69.
They ran upon Stephen with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him.-Acts vii. 57, 58.
There was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered abroad, &c. Saul made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and hailing men and women committed them to prison.-Acts viii. 1. 3. xxvi. 10, 11.
Saul breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters, &c. that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem, &c. When he was converted, the Jews took counsel to kill him, &c. and they watched the gates day and night to kill him.-Acts ix. 1, 2. 22-24. Gal. i. 13, 14. 1 Tim. i. 13. .
Herod killed James, and, because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded. Acts xii. 2, 3.
When the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming, &c. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.-Acts xiii. 45. 50.
and so spake, &c. but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren, &c. and they fled unto Lystra, &c. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Acts xiv. 1, 2. 6. 19.
In Iconium, they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews,
When Paul had reasoned with them of Thessalonica, &c. that Christ had suffered, &c. the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, &c. They drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also, whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying, That there is another King, one Jesus, &c. When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.-Acts xvii. 1-7. 13.
After Paul had preached at Corinth, &c. the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.-Acts xviii. H-13.
The Jews, when they saw Paul in the temple, stirred up all the 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, and this place, &c. and hath polluted this holy place, &c. They took Paul, and drew him out of the temple, &c. and went about to kill him.-Acts xxi. 27-31.
They cried out against Paul, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit he should live, &c. Afterwards, they bind
themselves under a curse to kill him. —Acts xxii. 22, 23. xxiii. 12.
The high priest and elders, with Tertullus the orator, said of Paul before the governor, We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: who also hath gone about to profane the temple, &c. Paul said, Neither can they prove the things whereof they accuse me but this I confess, After the way which they call heresy, so worship I, &c.-Acts xxiv. 1, 2. 5, 6. 13, 14.
The high priest, and chief of the Jews, informed Festus against Paul, and besought him, &c. that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him, &c. They laid many and grievous complaints against him, which they could not prove.-Acts xxv. 2, 3. 7.
As concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. -Acts xxviii. 22.
Paul confesseth that when he profited in the Jews' religion, he persecuted the church.-Gal. i. 13, 14.
Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us, &c. forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles.-1 Thess. ii. 14-16.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil, &c. of whom be thou aware also: for he hath greatly withstood our words.—2 Tim. iv. 14, 15.
The dragon persecuted the woman. -Rev. xii. 13. 15-17.
The Lord thy God led thee these forty years, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no.Deut. viii. 2. 16.
SECT. II. For what ends doth God chastise his Children, and suffer them to be persecuted?
GOD did tempt Abraham, when he put him upon offering his son Isaac. -Gen. xxii. 1, &c.
Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, &c.-Heb. xi. 36, 37.
Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations: knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience, &c. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he
I. To exercise and try their Faith shall receive the crown of life, &c.— and Obedience.
James i. 2, 3. 12.
Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness: that the trial of your faith being much more
Thou, O Lord, hast proved us : thou hast tried us as silver is tried : thou broughtest us into the net : thou laidest affliction upon our loins. -Ps. lxvi. 10-12.
Some of them of understanding shall fall to try them, &c.-Dan.
I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried.—Zech. xiii. 9.
precious than of gold that perisheth, &c.-1 Pet. i. 6, 7.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, &c.-1 Pet. iv. 12, 13.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried.-Rev. ii. 10.
I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.-Rev. iii. 10.
II. To humble and purge them. The Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, &c. Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, &c.-Deut. viii. 2. 16.
So Manasseh made Judah, &c. to err, and to do worse than the heathen: wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh, &c. bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, &c. And God brought him again unto his kingdom, &c. He then took away the strange gods, &c.2 Chron. xxxiii. 9—13. 15, 16.
Job complains of his afflictions; then saith, What is man that thou shouldest magnify him? &c. I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men?-Job vii. 16-20.
Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? for thou writest bitter things against me.-Job xiii. 25, 26.
He knoweth the way that I take : when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.-Job xxii. 10.
If they be, &c. holden in cords of affliction then he sheweth them
their work, and their transgressions, that they have exceeded: he openeth their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.— Job xxxvi. 8-10.
Behold, I am vile: what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth: once have I spoken, but I will not answer; yea twice, but I will proceed no farther.-Job xl. 4, 5.
I have heard of thee, &c. but now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I abhor myself, &c.—Job xlii. 5, 6.
Hath he smitten him? &c. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit, to take away his sin.-Isa. xxvii. 7-9.
Ephraim by chastisement was humbled and instructed.-Jer. xxxi. 18,19.
My fury and mine anger was poured forth, &c. They are not humbled even unto this day; neither have they feared, nor walked in my law.-Jer. xliv. 6. 10.