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ST. PAUL SEES A VISION. CHAP. XIII.
Julian Pe- cil, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Jerusalem. riod, 4771. Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am Vulgar Era, called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great cry: And the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
St. Paul is encouraged by a Vision to persevere.
ACTS xxiii. 11.
11 And the night following, the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
happened precisely in this interval that St. Paul was appre-
A passage, then, which has hitherto been involved in ob-
(a) Witsius de Vita Pauli, cap. 10. ap. Meletem, Leidensia. (b) Michaelis, vol. i. p. 51-54. Horne, i. 116–118.
Valgar Era, In consequence of the Discovery of a Conspiracy to kill St,
ACTS xxiii. 12, to the end.
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul 36.
13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiray.
14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
15 Now therefore ye, with the council, signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to-morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain; for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
18 So he took him and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
19 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to-morrow into the
36 It is probable these conspirators laid themselves under all the curses that were usually denounced in an excommunication. It was usual among the Jews, for private persous to excommunicate both themselves and others (a). From their perverted oral tradition they made it a rule that a private person might kill any one who had forsaken the law of Moses, of which crime St. Paul was accused. They therefore applied to the Jewish magistrates, who were chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees, and St. Paul's bitterest enemies, for their connivance and support, (v. 14.) who gladly aided and abetted this manner of taking away his life, and, on its failure, determined themselves afterwards to make a similar attempt. (Acts xxv. 3.) Their vows of not eating and drinking were as casy to loose as to bind ; according to Lightfoot, (vol. ii. p. 703.) any of their rabbies or wise men could absolve them.
(a) Selden de Jure Nat. l. iv. c. 7 and Syned, I. i. c. 7. p. 829. fin. 830, and 857.
8, pp. 472 and 478. and de
Julian Period, 4771, Vulgar Era.
WHO IS REMOVED TO CESAREA.-CHAP. XIII.
council, as though they would inquire somewhat of him Antipatris more perfectly.
21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cesarea, and horesemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
25 And he wrote a letter after this manner :
26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them; then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council: 29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30 And when it was told me, how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also, to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle :
33 Who, when they came to Cesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
34 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia ;
35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment-hall.
Julian Period, 4771.
Vulgar Era, St. Paul is accused of Sedition before Felix, the Governor
ACTS xxiv. 1-21.
1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator, named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5 For 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".
37 We learn, from this epithet, that the word Nazarene was applied to the Christians as a term of contempt in the time of the Apostles. Tertullus evidently meant the Christians in general, who being followers of the despised Nazarene, probably obtained this appellation from the very first. It does not, however, appear that this name was assumed by the Christians themselves. They were called among themselves "the brethren,"-"they of the faith," and "the faith," till at length, when they became more numerous, and received a large accession of converts from the Gentiles, Christians became the general name; and the Hebrew Christians, who still perhaps bore the name of Nazarenes among the Jews, were distinguished among Christians by the names of "the Hebrews," and "they of the circumcision." If this epithet was generally applied to the early Christians by their enemies, it is not necessary to prove that the Nazarenes, to whom Tertullus alluded, were believers in the divinity of our Lord, and in those opinions which are now embodied in the formularies and creeds of the Church.
Long after the death of the apostles we read of a class of religionists who were called Nazarenes; who blended in their ccclesiastical regimen the Jewish rites and Christian precepts, and maintained various opinions respecting the person of Christ, which are defensible neither from the Scriptures, nor the decisions of the primitive Church. Dr. Priestley attempted to prove that these Nazarenes, and another sect, the Ebionites, who likewise advocated erroneous notions on this important subject, were the same; and that they were the remnant of the Church at Jerusalem, maintaining, in depression and neglect, the pristine faith in its ancient purity. Bishop Horsley, on the contrary, asserted, and made his assertion good by the best remaining evidence, that the name of Nazarene was never heard of among Christians themselves, as descriptive of a sect, before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Adrian; when it became the specific name of the Judaizers, who at that time separated from the Church of Jerusalem, and settled in the north of Galilee. The name was taken from the country in which they settled; but it
ORATION OF TERTULLUS,-CHAP. XIII.
6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: Cesarea. riod, 4771, whom we took, and would have judged according to our Vulgar Era,
7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom, thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things whereof we accuse him.
9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things
10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
13' Neither can they prove the things whereof they now
14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets;
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves
seems to have been given in contempt, and not without allusion
Such are the opposite statements of these controversialists: