Imágenes de páginas
PDF

pled distresses of a prince, who is, by the cruelty of a wicked intruder, a become an outcast from all mankind. Let not the crafty insinuationsb of him who returns murder for adoption, prejudice your judgment. Do not listen to the wretch who has butchered the son and relations of a king, who gave him power to sit on the same throne with his own sons..ta

12. I have been informed, that he labours by his emissaries to prevent your determining any thing against him in his absence; pretending that I magnify my distress, and might for him, have staid in peace in my own kingdom. But, if ever the time comes, when the due vengeanced from above shall overtake him, he will then dissemblee as I do. · Then he, who now, hardened in wickedness, triumphs over those whom his violence has laid low, will, in his turn, feel distress, and suffer for his impious ingratitude to my father, and his blood-thirsty cruelty to my brother.

13. Oh murdered, butchered brother! Oh, dearest to my heart-now gone forever from my sight-but why should I lament his death? He is, indeed, deprived of the blessed light of heaven, of life, and kingdom, at once, by the very person who ought to have been the first to hazard his own life, in defence of any one of Micipsa's family. But, as things are, my brother is not so much deprived of these comforts, as delivered from terrour, from flight, from exile, and the endless train of miseries which render life to me a burden.

. 14. He lies full low, gored with wounds, and festering in his own blood. But he lies in peace. He feels none of the miseries which rend my soul with agony and distraction, while I am set up a spectacle to all mankind, of the uncertainty of human affairs. So far from having it in my power to punish his murderer, I am not master of the means of securing my own life. So far from being in a condition to defend my kingdom from the violence of the usurper, I am obliged to apply for foreign protection for my own person.

15. Fathers! Senators of Rome! the arbiters' of nations! to you I fly for refuge from the murderous fury of Jugurtha.-By your affection for your children; by your love for your country; by your own virtues; by the majesty of the Roman commonwealth: by all that is sacred, and all that is dear to you-deliver a wretched prince from undeserved, unprovoked injury; and save the kingdom of Numidia,

[subsumed][ocr errors]

yon, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth;i and this I did in Jerusalem. Many of the saints 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.

4. And I often punished them in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme;' and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted" them even unto strange cities. But as I went to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests, at mid-day, O king! I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and them who journeyedo with me.

5. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks, . And I said, who art thou, Lord? And he replied, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

6. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared to thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a witness both of these things, which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear to thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance amongst them who are sanctified by faith that is in me.

7. Whereupon, o king Agrippa! I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision;' but showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and through all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes, the Jewscaught me in the temple; and went about to kill me.

8. Having, however, obtained' help from God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses declared should come; that Christ should suffer; that he would be the first who should rise from the dead; and that he would show light, to the people, and to the Gentiles. com

9. And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said, with a loud voice, “ Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learn : ing hath made thee mad.” But he replied, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth these things, before whom I

also speak freely. I am pursuaded" that none of these things are hidden from him for this thing was not done in a corner. :

10. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said to Paul, “ Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." And Paul replied, “I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."*

ACTS XXVI,

[ocr errors]

Lordships, I am not surprised it has taken up so much, of your consideration. It is a bill, indeed, of no common magnitude;a it is no less than to take away from two thirds of the legislative body of this great kingdom, certain privileges and immunities of which they have been long possessed. Perhaps there is no situation the human mind can be placed in, that is so difficult and so trying, as when it is made a judge in its own cause.

2. There is something implanted in the breast of man so attached to self, so tenacious of privileges once obtained, that in such a situation, either to discuss with impartiality, or decide with justice, has ever been held the summit of all human virtue. The bill now in question puts your lordships in this very predicament; and I have no doubt the wisdom of your decision will convince the world, that where self-interest and justice are in opposite scales, the latter will ever preponderated with your lordships.

3. Privilegese have been granted to legislators in all ages, and in all countries. The practice is founded in wisdom; and, indeed, it is peculiarly essential to the constitution of this country, that the members of both houses should be free in their persons, in cases of civil suits: for there may come a time when the safety and welfare of this whole empire, may depend upon their attendance in parliament..

4. I am far from advising any measure thai would in future endanger the state: but the bill before your lordships has, I am confident, no such tendency; for it expressly secures the persons of members of either house in all civil suits. This being the case, I confess, when I see many noble lords, for whose judgment I have a very great respect, standing up to oppose a bill which is calculated merely to facilitate the recovery of just and legal debts, I am astonished and amazed.

5. They, I doubt not, oppose the bill upon publick principles: I would not wish to insinuate, that private interest had the least weight in their determination. The bill has been frequently proposed, and as frequently has miscarried: but it was always lost in the lower house. Little did I think, when it had passed the commons, that it possibly could have met with such opposition here.

6. Shall it be said, that you, my lords, the grand council of the nation, the highest judicial and legislative body of the realm, endeavour to evarle, by privilege, those very laws which you enforce on your fellow-subjects? For

« AnteriorContinuar »