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says, they honoured us with many honours, and when we departed, they loaded us with such things as were necessary. Charity also hopes, that of the 276 souls, who owed their lives to Paul, some were found not deaf to wisdom's voice, nor disobedient to the heavenly calling.
Landing at Puteoli, Paul refreshed himself seven days with christian friends, whom he found there, and then proceeded on his journey. At the Appii Forum and Three Taverns, places fifty and thirty-three miles from l'ome, he was met by a deputation of Roman christians, who went forth with as much pleasure and expectation to meet this illustrious prisoner, as ever did the myriads whom that proud city poured forth to grace the triumphs of her consuls and dictators. To all of them he was known by the elaborate epistle he had written to them two years before, and a few of them were his dearest friends. Such were Aquila and Priscilla, his old hosts at Corinth, and in whose house the Roman christians held their assemblies. Also his convert Epinetus, the first fruits of Achaia, Mary, who bestowed much labour on him, his kinsman Herodian, and Adronica and Junia, his kinsmen and followprisoners, who were of note among the apostles, and who were in Christ before him. Some of these worthies, it may be presumed, were among the deputies, and when Paul saw them, he was comforted by the demonstration of their love, thanked God, and took fresh courage. Three days after his arrival at Rome he assembled the chief Jews, and when he found that they had neither received letters from Judea concerning him nor any of the brethren who came from thence had spoken any harm of him, at their request he expounded to them, and testified the kindgdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus out of the law of Moses and the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. After having thus cleared his conscience towards the Jews, he turned his ministry to the Gentiles, and was two whole years in his own house, with a soldier to guard him; preaching with all confidence, no man forbidding him, and with such success, that he declares his imprisonment had fallen out to the furtherance of the gospel. For many of the brethren, animated by his exhortation and example, were much more bold to speak the word without fear; his bonds for Christ were manifest in all the palace, and in all other places, and there were now saints of Jesus even in the court of the profligate Nero.
As Paul had appealed to Cæsar, it is natural to think that he took his trial before him, and was acquitted; nevertheless some critics of reputation think that he was liberated without trial. Nor is their opinion without colour. Paul's prosecution had been pending near five years; the troubles of Judea were increasing; no specific charge had ever been brought against him; the centurion, Julius, would make a favourable report; his being a citizen would be of some avail; Burhus, the prætorian prefeci, was a just man; and Nero himself had not yet commenced persecutor. If all these circumstances be considered, it is very possible that Paul was liberated without trial, no one appearing to prosecute him.
The subsequent course of Paul's labours can be traced only by a caresul comparison of such materials as may be collected from his epistles, and as this is already done by the learned author of the Annales Paulini, it is deemed expedient to be guided by his authority in memoirs, the professed object of which is 10 edify the pious, rather than to merit the approbation, of the learned. Departing from Rome, it is reasonable to think, that Paul preached the gospel in various parts of Italy; and in the year 61 he is supposed to have suifilled his purpose of travelling into Spain, and to have made his progress through Crete, where Titus was left to settle the churches of that island. From thence, accompanied by Timothy, he sailed 10 Judea, visited Jerusalem a fifth time, then returned to the Lesser Asia, and visited the Colossians, whom he had never seen before; and leaving Timothy at Ephesus, after he had excommunicated Hymeneus and Phile. tus, he departed for Macedonia, where he spent some time with his beloved Philippians, and passed the winter of 65 at Nicapolis in Epirus. In the spring of 66 he again visited Achaia, and Corinth its capital, and then took his route through Troas and Miletus, where he left Trophimus dangerously ill. In 67, when the rage of Nero's persecution had spent itself at Rome, and the emperor was now in Greece, Paul returned to Rome, probably with a view to comfort and strengthen the brethren there, whose spirits were much dejected by the dreadful haroc with which the
church had been wasted. But lie does not appear to have been . there long before he was apprehended at the command of Helius
(ægarianus, to whom Nero bad delegated absolute power during his absence in Greece. The treatment he then found was harsh and severe. Instead of being a prisoner at large as before, he was committed to close confinement, and had no open intercourse with the church. Probably the flower of the flock were cut off, and those who remained were so dispirited, as rather to consult their own safety, than generously to share the shame and danger çf his bonds, as at his first visit. This St. Paul intimates pretty clearly, in his second epistle to Timothy. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. I pray God, it may not be laid to their charge. The same may also be inferred from his prayer for Ovesiphorus, who oft refreshed him, and was not ashamed of his chain; but when he was at Rome sought him out diligently, anıl found him. That there should be so much difficulty as he here intimates, in finding out a man of his eminence, can only be accounted for from the unhappy state of the Roman church, where terror reigned, and produced general concealment. But notwithstanding he was deserted by his fearful brethren, yet the Lord stood with him, and he was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. This deliverance, however, he was sensible was only temporary, and that the hour of his departure was at hand. The sacrifice of his blood he had long expected, and ardently desired, to pay; and now he was prepared to complete it with all gladness. Looking back on his christian course, he is refreshed by the testimony of a good conscience. I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith; and looking forward, he rejoices in certain hope of the crown of righteousness. But while in the body, with calm undiscouraged zeal, his cares are those of an apostle. By means of Luke, the beloved physician, and the faithful companion of his travels, who was with him, he appears still to have superintended the concerns of the Roman church, and we find him summoning to his assistance his son Timothy, and requesting him to bring Mark with him, whom, notwithstanding his former cowardice, he deemed worthy of standing in this honourable post. Whether he lived to embrace Timothy and Mark is uncertain; but having now finished his course, in the last year of Nero, and the 68th of Christ, and on the 22d of February, as Clemens Romanus testifies, he changed mortality for life, and was crowned with martyrdom by decapitation. His death was such as became his life. The theatre selected for his suffering was the grandest which could be chosen; and we may be confident that the peculiar grace which had so eminently distinguished his life, would decorate its closing scene with every circumstance which could give interest to his dying testimony, and render it impressive and useful to the church, and to the world.
A Sermon preached before the General Assembly of the Presbyte
rian church in the United States of America, by aspointment of their Standing Committee of Missions, May 19, 1806. Published at their request. By Eliphalet Nött, D. D. President of Union College in the state of New-York.
[Continued from page 287.]
« And can it be that the tender mercies of such an auditory are exhausted? Have you, then, nothing more to lend to Jesus Christ: have you no longer any alms to bestow on your suffering brethren, and shall I tell them you have not; shall I recall the missionaries you have sent them, and extinguish the hopes with which your former charities have inspired them? Shall I pronounce on the savages their doom, shall I say to the pagan, just emerging from the gloom of nature, and directing his steps toward the hill of life, GO BACK INTO YOUR FOREST, COVER AGAIN YOUR ALTAR WITH VICTIMS, MUTTER YOUR NIGHTLY ORISONS TO THE STARS, AND BE SATISFIED WITH THE VAIN HOPE OF THE COUNTRY BEYOND THE HILLS? Are these the sentiments of christians—christians, whose hearts have been softened by redeeming love, whose immortal hopes rest on sovereign mercy, and whose unceasing song, through eternal ages will be, grace, rich grace? I was going to add, but the presence of that august personage, whose glory fills the place of our devotions, awes me. Open your eyes christians, and behold God-Emanuel in this assembly. Redeemer of our souls, who inhabitest eternity, and dwellest in the high and holy place, wherefore art thou present in this temple, made with hands? “ I am present that I may witness the strength of the affection which my redeemed bear me; that I may in person record their charities, in that book of life, where their names already are recorded; charities, which I will publish to the universe at judgment, and reward, through eternity, in heaven.”
Excellent as this discourse is, yet, like all the works of man, it has its imperfections. The sun has its spots. The eagle does not always soar. Whether we view it as a composition or as a sermon, we perceive in it blemishes.
Were we to be so minute as to remark upon the use of words, we might point out several improprieties. “ Enjoying the joys," (p. 32) is an infelicity of speech. " Sink to nothing and be anni
hilated,” is tautology. The words “ repetition of,” (p. 17) are unnecessary and improper; for the author speaks of the idea expressed, not by the repetition of the figure, but by the figure itself. Leave out those two words, and you make the sentence correct. “ And partakers we shall be if we truly aspire to it (p. 27); " and these missionaries will be the channels of your kindness,” (p. 27) are both superfluous, and injure the sentences to which they are attached.
« Motives are now unnecessary; a sense of that divinity which overshadowe us, melts every heart to love, and swells every breast with mercy (p. 38): what shall we say of this sentence? Shall we call it rhetorical? Such liberty of speech it will be difficult to justify. The sentence is unnecessary, and rather weakens than strengthens the paragraph.
Viewed as a sermon, we perceive imperfections in this discourse. The author has been unhappy in the choice of his text, which by no means embraces the topics discussed, and is also an incomplete sentence. In sermonizing it is a good rule, that the text should be a complete sentence, and comprise all the topics on which the preacher speaks. This rule has been violated by our author. Probably he experienced a difficulty in selecting a text; and, unable to find one that would comprehend those particulars which he judged proper to make the component part of a sermon for the particular occasion in view, he determined to choose this text as a motto, agreeably to the practice of some good writers. We regret that the petition, “ Thy kingdom come” occurred not to his thoughts. This text would have suited his purpose, and have afforded him a fair opportunity to discuss each topic in his sermon.
We are inclined to believe, that had the application of the discourse been contracted, it would have produced greater effect when delivered. Cheerfully, however, we acknowledge, in justice to the author's talents, that it is so excellent and impressive as it stands, that had the parts we refer to been omitted, we should have lost a proportionable gratification in the perusal.
We are constrained to differ from our author in one point of doctrine. With respect to the Redeemer's reign on earth, he argues in favour of an opinion which we think cannot be supported by revelation. It is, that the thousand years of which prophecy speaks as the period of the greatest prosperity to the church, and which is usually denominate the millenial age, must be reckoned as intending a thousand years of days, each of which days must be considered as a year; so that the millenium, according to this Vol. II.