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75. 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 Cesarea and laid their accusation before Felix: But Paul defended himself by declaring," he believed the law and the prophets," nor was he guilty of profaning the temple, or raising a tumult, nor of any thing of which they accused him; Acts xxiv. 1-21.
76. 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; Verses 22-28.
77. Q. Had Paul's discourses any good effect upon Felix? A. Once as he spoke concerning faith in Christ, 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; Verses 24, 25. But he kept him prisoner still to please the Jews; Verse 27.
78. Q. Did the high-priests and elders entirely drop their accusations against Paul? A. Two years after this, Festus was made governor in the room of Felix, and the Jews went to Cesarea and laid in grievous complaints against him; Acts xxiv. 27, and xxv. 2.
79. 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 go up to Jerusalem to be judged of these matters, as the Jews desired, in hopes to kill him by the way, Paul told Festus, 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 Cæsar; Acts xxv. 9-12.
80. Q. What occasion 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 Festus; upon which Festus, 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 case; upon which Agrippa desired to hear Paul himself; Verses 13-27.
81. Q. What was the substance of Paul's speech to Agrippa? A. Paul knew that Agrippa was acquainted 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 heaven, when he was on the road to Damascus, and his preaching the resurrection of Christ and his gospel ever since; which he maintained to be all agreeable to Moses and the prophets; Acts xxvi. 1-23.
82. Q. What influence had this speech upon Agrippa? A. Paul addressed king Agrippa, in so agreeable a manner, that
Agrippa declared, that he was almost persuaded to be a christian; and that Paul had done nothing worthy of death, or of bonds; and that he might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Cæsar; Verses 26-32.
83. Q. How was Paul sent to Cæsar at Rome? A. He was sent thither by sea, with several other prisoners, and soldiers. to guard them: They had a voyage of the utmost danger, through storms and dark weather, which Paul foresaw, and warned the sailors of it. They were at last shipwrecked, but all escaped safe to land, as Paul had assured them by a vision of an angel. The name of the island was called Melita, now Malta ; Acts xxvii.
84. Q. Was there any remarkable occurrence fell out there? A. The rain and the cold made them kindle a fire, and there came a viper from among the sticks, and fastened on Paul's hand; but he shook it off, and felt no harm; Acts xxviii. 1-5.
85. Q. What did the barbarous people of the island think of this when they saw it? A. They thought at first this man was a murderer, and vengeance pursued him at land, though he had escaped the sea: But when they saw him shake off the viper, and no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said he was a God; Verse 4—6.
86. Q. What entertainment did they meet with upon the island? A. Publius, the chief man there, lodged them three days: Paul prayed, and healed his Father of a bloody flux, by laying on his hands upon which many other diseased persons came, and were healed; Verses 7-9.
87. Q. How long did they tarry there? A. They tarried three months, because it was winter; and then sailed again, and landed in Italy, and travelled towards Rome; Verses 11-13.
88. Q. How was Paul disposed of, when he came into the city? A. He was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him; Verse 16.
89. Q. What was Paul's first work when he came to Rome? A. In three days time, he sent for the chief of the Jews that were in the city, and excused himself to them, that he was constrained to appeal unto Cæsar; and afterwards, on a day appointed, he preached the gospel of Christ to them out of the law of Moses and the prophets; Verses 17-23.
90. Q. What effect had this sermon of Paul on the Jews at Rome? A. They were much divided; some believed the gospel, and others opposed it: Upon which Paul answered, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it; Verses 24, 28.
91. Q. How long did Paul continue there? A. He dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and preached the things concerning Christ to all that would come to hear him; Verses 29-31.
Note, Here ends the history of the book of scripture, called the Acts of the Apostles. What remains is collected from the epistles of Paul.
92. Q. Since several of the epistles of Paul are said to be written from, Rome, which are those which he is supposed to write at this time? A. Those to the Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and to Philemon; and he tells them he shall soon come to them: And about this time his bonds were manifest in all the place, having continued there so long; Phil. i. 13. 26. Eph. vi. 30. Col. iv. 18. Philem. ix. 22.
93. Q. When he was released from prison at Rome, whither did he go? A. Into several countries both of Europe and Asia, preaching the gospel, and confirming the christian
94. Q. Who attended and assisted him in his ministry and bis travels? A. Sometimes Tychicus, or Timothy; sometimes Titus, Demas, or Luke, Silas, or Trophimus, whom he left Bick at Miletum, when he went again to Rome. See 2 Tim. iv. 10-12.
95. Q. What became of him when he came the second time to Rome? A. He was cast into close prison, and when he made his first defence, all men forsook him; and Alexander, the copper-smith, did him much hurt; 2 Tim. iv. 14-16.
96. Q. Did he finish his life and labours here? A. He now tells Timothy, that the time of his departure is at hand, and he was just ready to be offered up, when he wrote the second epistle to him from Rome; 2 Tim. iv. 6. And when he had both laboured and suffered more than any of the apostles, as he bimself had told us; 1 Cor. xv. 10. 2 Cor. xi. 23, &c. he was beheaded, as a martyr for Christ, under the reign of Nero, Emperor of Rome, as the ancient historians inform us.
Note, My design in writing this summary of scripture history, by way of question and answer, was chiefly for the easier instruction of the younger part of mankind, and not so much for the improvement of the learned; for which reason I bave not been solicitous to trace out with a critical and chronological accuracy, every step of the travels of Paul; nor relate how often he went to Jerusalem, and other cities, in repeated voyages and journeys; but only to point out his most remarkable travels, and sufferings. A more exact account is drawn up, with great labour and skill, by a learned writer, in his book, entitled, "MiscelJanea Sacra," Vol. I. to which I would refer those who desire a fuller information of this matter.
The principal thing I had in view from the beginning to the end of this work, was to set down some of the most necessary, and the most important matters of fact recorded in scripture ; amongst which, I have chosen out those, which would be most entertaining to younger minds, and would make the deepest and
most lasting impressions upon them, and such as would lead them into a survey of the various and wonderful transactions of the providence and grace of God among men, the successive and gradual discoveries of the will of God to men, the different forms of religion in different ages of mankind, the rules of duty toward God and toward one another; together with an account of their obedience or disobedience to him, with their blessings and their punishments, their afflictions, trials and deliverances, and that from the beginning of the world to the promulgation of the gospel, by the apostles, in the first age of the christian church: And this is as far as the history of the scripture reaches.
PROPER FOR STUDENTS IN DIVINITY, &c.
1. Questions of serious Importance, for Students in Divinity, frequently put to their own Consciences.
WHAT was my great design, in devoting myself to study for the ministry, and what is my daily view and purpose in pursuing it?
Have I entirely given up myself to our Lord Jesus Christ, as a christian, that I may be fitter to become a faithful minister. Do I every day seek direction and blessing from God, in all my studies for this end?.
In labouring after knowledge in human sciences, do I always make the service of Christ, in the ministry, my supreme design, either that I may be better fitted for it or better accepted in it?
Do I pursue my studies daily, as one that must give an account of my time, and of all my advantages?
Note, These two questions put close to the heart, will guard students against idleness, or against wasting too much of their time, in any favourite human study.
How many hours have I spent this day in study, or for the pursuit of knowledge, allowing that great maxim, "Bene orasse est bene studiesse." To pray well is to study well.
Do I pursue practical divinity, as well as the knowledge of doctrines and controversies?
Am I solicitous that my soul may grow in grace, by every increasing degree of christian knowledge, that so I may preach to others, what my own soul has known by experience?
Do I chuse my company by their seriousness, as well as by their ingenuity and learning?
Do I take constant care to avoid all company, which may be dangerous to my morals, or to my studies?
Have I been in any company this week, or this day, whereby I have gotten any good myself, or done any good to others? Have I indulged myself in any thing this week, or this day, whereby my soul has been put out of frame for eveningworship?
Have I suffered nothing to carry away my heart from God, so as to make me neglect devotion, or perform it in a slight or careless manner.
Do I watch against all evil appetites and passions, and