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65 Q. What was the first thing he did when he came to Jerusalem ? A. He went to James the Apostle, and to the Elders, and declared what God had wrought by his Ministry among the Gentiles, Acts xxi. 17-20.
Note, Here he now published freely to the whole Church his Success among Idolaters, which he bad communicated only before privately, and to a few, Gal. ii. 2.
66 Q. What Advice did the Elders at Jerusalem give him? A. They advised him to fhave and pu. rify himself by an Offering after the manner of the Yews who had the Vow of the Nazarite upon them, Numb. vi. that he might not be suspected of disobeying the Jewish Law, either by the believing or unbelieving Jews, who were all zealous for it, ver. 200-25.
Note, This Compliance of St. Paul being recommend. ed to him by one Apostle, (viz.) James, and by the Elders at Jerusalem, Acts xxi. 18, 20, &c. and being put in practice by himself, who was, perhaps, the chief of the Apostles, we cannot reasonably suppose it finful or blame-worthy, especially since the Scripture passes no Censure on it; and yet muft we not say the religious Ceremonies of the Jews, and particularly all the Sinofferings, (such as this was, Numb. vi. 14.) were abolished by the great Sacrifice of Christ, and the Introduce tion of Christianity by the Holy Ghost at Pentecoft.
In order therefore to vindicate this Practice of St. Paul, we may consider the Jewvilla Ceremonies under a two-fold Aspect, (1.) as they were part of their national Laws, under God as their King; and (2.) as part of their religious Worship paid to him as their God. Now the Jewish State being not yet destroyed, may we not fuppose that St. Paul might comply with thefe Practices as a part of the national Jewiss Laws, rather than as
religious Worship, for he every where declared the Gentiles to be free from them.
Or, if we consider these Ceremonies only in their religious Design, may we not suppose, that from the Death of Christ, which was the substantial Sacrifice, these Shadows so far vanished that they ceased to be neceffary,
but were left, for a Season, as indifferent things to the Jews, which, as the Apostle expresses, Heb. viii. 13 were decaying and waxing old, and ready to vanish away? May we not suppose the divine Indulgence of them for a Season, because of the Weakness of Mankind, 'who cannot easily bear an universal Change of their ancient Customs all at once ? and for this Reason, left the Jews should take too great Offence, St. Paul took Timothy and circumcised him, in order to make him a Preacher, since his Mother was a Jewels, A&s xvi. !, 3. this being a lawful thing to him, though not necessary. At the same time he would not have Titus circumcised because he was a Gentile, and had nothing to do with the Jewish Law, Gal. ii. 3. And the same Apoftle being a few, for the same Reason might comply with the Jewish Rites of shaving his Head, and facrificing, as things left indifferent to the Jews, for a Season, by the Will of God, in compliance with the Weakness of Man.
67 l. Did this piece of Compliance secure Paul from the Perfecution of the Jews? 1. The unbelieving Jews had such a rooted Hatred against him for his Žeal and Success in preaching up Chriftianity, that they seized him under pretence of his having brought Greeks into the Temple, though it was not truez, and they were ready to tear him to pieces till the chief Captain rescued him, and gave him leave to give an Account of himself to the Multitude, ver. 27-40.
68 Q. What Defence did Paul then make ? A. He gave them the History of his being a few by Birth,
and brought up at the Feet of Gamaliel in Jerufalem, of his former Zeal against Christ, his being ftruck down to the Ground on the Road, and called from Heaven by Jesus Chrift, and also of his Vision of Chrif in the Temple, sending him 10 preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, Acts xxii. 1—21.
69 Q. How did the Jews bear this Speech? A. When he spake of being sent to the Gentiles, they lift up their Voices and said, Away with such a Fellow from the Earth, for it is not fit he should live, ver. 22.
70 Q. How was he secured from their Rage? A. The chief Captain again seized him, and brought him into the Castle, and the next Day he ordered the chief Priests and the Council to appear, that Paul might give an Account of himself to them, ver. 24–30.
71 Q. How did Paul plead his own Cause here before the Council? A. He found one Part was Sadducees, who denied the Resurrection, and the other Part Pharisees who believed it; and therefore he artfully, and yet truly declared, It is for the Hope of the Resurrection of the Dead I am called in question : for indeed the Resurrection of Cbrif from the Dead, and our Resurrection by him, were some of the greatest Articles of the Christian Faith; and that which Paul preached, Aits xxiii. 6,7.
72 Q. What Effect had this upon the Council ? 1. They fell into Contention among themselves, and the Pharisees said, they found 'no Evil in him; and again the chief Captain fecured him in the Castle, ver. 9, 10.
73 Q. What particular Encouragement had Paul from Heaven under these Sufferings? A. It was this Night that the Lord Jesus appeared to him and said, Be of good cheer, Paul, för as thou haft
teftified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witnefs also at Rome, Aits xxiii. 11.
74 Q. What was the next Danger he was exposed to? 4. More than forty Fews had bound themselves under a great Curse not to eat till they had killed Paul, and therefore they perfuaded the chief Priests and Elders to desire that he might once again be brought before them, ver. 12-15.
75 Q. By what Means did the Providence of God secure Paul from this Conspiracy? A. Claudius Lysias the chief Captain having private Notice of this Confpiracy from Paul's Nephew, sent him to Cefarea to Felix the Governor of Judea by Night with a Guard of almost five hundred Men, ver, 16-35
76 Q. What was the next Step taken by the High-Priests and Elders to condemn Paul, and how did Paul defend himself? A. They went down to Cefarea, and laid their Accusation before Felix : But Paul defended himself by declaring, he believed the Law and the Prophets, nor was_he guilty of prophaning the Temple, or raising a Tuo mult, nor of any thing of which they accufed him, Aets xxiv. I-21.
77 Q. What did Felix determine concerning him? A. Felix only kept him as a Prisoner; for he saw no Reason to condemn him, and often discoursed with him, hoping that Paul or his Friends would give him a good Bribe for a Release, ver. 22-28.
78 Q. Had Paul's Discourses any good Effect upon Felix? A. Once, as he spoke concerning Faith in Chrift, and reasoned of Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgment to come, Felix trembled, and bid Paul retire till he had a more convenient Season to hear him further, ver. 24, 25. But he kept him Prisoner still to please the Jews, ver. 27..
79 Q. Did the High Priests and Elders entirely drop their Accusations against Paul? A. Two Years after this, Feftus was made Governor in the room of Felix, and the Jews went to Cesarea and laid in grievous Complaints against him, Aets xxiv. 27. and xxv. 2.
80 Q. How did Paul come off here before Festus ? A. He utterly denied the Charge of the Jews, and when Festus would have had him gone up to Jerufalem to be judged of these Matters, as the Jews desired, in hopes to kill him by the way, Paul told Feftus, that he knew very well he had done the Jews no wrong, that no Man.ought to deliver him up to the Hands of the Jews, and therefore he appealed to Cæfar, ver. 9-12.
81 Q. What occafion had Paul then to plead his Cause again before Agrippa, who was the King of Galilee? A. Agrippa, with his Sister Bernice, came to make a Visit to Feftus ; upon which Feftus, among other Conversation, informed him that he was going to send Paul the Prisoner to Cæsar, upon his Appeal, and he would fain send to Cæsar a more particular Account of the Cale; upon which Agrippa desired to hear Paul himself, ver: 13—27.
82 Q: What was the Substance of Paul's Speech to Agrippa ? A. Paul knew that Agrippa was acar quainted with the Laws and Customs of the Jews, and therefore he related before him, in brief, the History of his younger Life as a Pharisee, his Hatred of the Christians, his being called by Jesus Christ from Heazen, when he was on the Road to Damascus, and his preaching the Resurrection of Chriji and his Gospel ever since; which he maintained to be all agreeable to Moses and the Prophets,
Aas xvi, 1-23.