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"shall approve, by your letters, will I fend to bring your liberality to Jerufalem; and if it be meet "that I go alfo, they fhall go with me." His reafon he states in another addrefs to them, " and we "have fent with him, (Titus) the brother, whose "praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; " and not that only, but who was also chofen of the "churches to travel with us, with this grace which " is administered by us, to the glory of the Lord, "and declaration of your ready mind; avoiding "this, that any man fhould blame us in this abun"dance which is administered by us, providing for ho"neft things, not only in the fight of God, but also in the fight of men."-How remote from enthusiasm is fuch cool precaution as this?

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And as he guarded his character, fo neither did he neglect his fafety; true it is, indeed, that no reproaches, no dangers, no punishments, could deter him from preaching the gospel of Chrift, when shame and persecution were inevitable in discharging this facred duty; yet it is equally clear, that he employed all innocent means which reafon could fuggeft, confiftent with that duty, to elude the rage of malignant bigotry -but he preached the gospel still.

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To escape perfecution he fled from Damafcus,

e 2 Corin. viii. 18-21

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f Acts ix. 25.

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from Antioch, from " Iconium, from Theffalonica; to avoid being scourged, he pleaded his privilege Roman citizen. In a violent tumult at Jerufalem, he preserved himself from inftant death, by availing himself, with admirable presence of mind, of the contrariety of opinions which prevailed amongst the different parties of his affailants; for when he perceived that one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharifees, he cried out in the council," men and "brethren I am a Pharifee, the son of a Pharisee, "for the hope and refurrection of the dead I am "called in queftion ;" and the scribes of the Pharifees arose and faid, " we find no evil in this man; "but if a fpirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let 66 us not fight against God." Thus he gained time to obtain the protection of the civil power. With fimilar prudence he afterwards efcaped the malignity of affaffination, by appealing to the tribunal of Cæfar; "more than forty " Jews bound themselves by a "curse, that they would neither eat nor drink, till

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they had killed Paul." The apostle, on discover, ing the confpiracy, difclofes it fecretly to the chief captain, whofe prisoner he then was, and by a fecret removal escapes.

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When a fimilar confpiracy was afterwards renewed, and the Jews requested Feftus, the governor,

8 Acts xiii. 50.
* Acts xxiii. 6, 7.

i Acts xvii. 14.

h Acts xiv. 16. 1Acts xxiii 9. m Acts xxiii. 12. "A&s xxv. 3.

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to bring him back to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him, and Feftus defires the apostle's compliance with this request; how admirably does he, in his reply, guard both his fafety and his character?" I stand, (faid he) at Cæfars judgment feat, "where I ought to be judged; to the Jews have I "done no wrong, as thou very well knoweft; for if I "have been an offender, or have committed any thing "worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if there "be none of these things whereof these accufe me, 66 no man may deliver me unto them; I appeal unto "Cæfar." How contrary this to the artifice and confcious guilt of imposture on the one fide, or the folly of enthusiasm on the other?

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At Athens, a fimilar temper of mind is still more confpicuous in the conduct of the apostle; there, when fummoned before the auguft court of Areopagus, to answer to an accufation" of having fet forth "ftrange Gods," which their laws pronounced a capital crime, mark his defence" an impoftor, (fays Lord Littleton, fpeaking of this tranfaction) an impoftor would have retracted his doctrine to "fave his life; an enthufiaft would have loft his "life without trying to fave it by innocent means; "St. Paul did neither the one nor the other; he "availed himself of an altar, infcribed to the un

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P Acts xvii. 16 to 34. Lyttleton on

o. Acts xxv. 9. the converfion of St. Paul, p. 47, note.

"known

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"known God, and pleaded, that he did not propofe "the worship of any new God, but only explained "to the people the nature and attributes of that un"known Divinity, whom their government had al"ready received;" "Whom therefore ye ignorantly "worship, him declare I unto you; God who made "the world, and all things therein, in whom we live, " and move, and have our being." "Thus he eluded ❝ condemnation, without departing in the least "from the truth of the gofpel, or violating the "honour of his God; an admirable proof of the good fenfe with which he acted, and that there was "no mixture of fanaticism in his religion,"

It is further peculiarly worthy of remark, that in all these various trying fituations, in which the apostle of the Gentiles was placed, we find him obfervant of thofe decorums of language, and those distinctions of rank, which the intercourfe of fociety and the prefervation of order require, but which the pride and violence of fanaticifm almost always contemns and tramples on.

He is brought before kings and rulers, to bear teftimony to the name of Jefus ;—we see him as at the tribunal of the Areopagus at Athens, fo alfo before the council of the chief priests at Jerufalem, before two different Roman governors, and especially before king Agrippa; and to all he yields that tribute of external respect which their external fituation de

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manded, without departing in the leaft item from fincerity and truth, or debafing by any mean adulation, or unworthy compliance, the integrity of his character, and the honour of his God. Never does any peevish or paffionate, any rude or contemptuous expreffion escape him. Once, and only once, an unmerited and wanton infult drew from him an indignant reproach against Ananias, who, though he prefided as his judge, commanded the infliction of the infult; but the moment he is reminded of the character which Ananias bore-the moment they that stood by faid, " revileft thou God's high priest fo?" he apologizes and accounts for his warmth, "brethren, I wift not that he was the high priest, ❝ for it is written, thou shalt not speak evil of the "rulers of thy people."

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And what is most remarkable, the teftimony of history renders probable what the apoftle infinuates, that Ananias was not in truth high priest; but that in a period of anarchy, when the office was unfilled, he rafhly assumed that character, which by his infolence he difgraced. This fingle inftance excepted, (if indeed thus circumftanced it conftitutes an exception) the language and conduct of the apostle was uniformly temperate and decorous, as it was firm and dignified, naturally refulting from piety and fo

9 Acs xxiii. 2 to 6.

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