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58.

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 Volgar Æra,

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.

SECTION XXIX.
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 testi-
fied of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also
at Rome.

happened precisely in this interval that St. Paul was appre-
hended in Jerusalem ; and the Sanhedrim, being destitute of a
president, he undertook of his own authority the discharge of
that oflice, which he executed with the greatest tyranny. It is
possible, therefore, that St. Paul, who had been only a few days
in Jerusalem, might be ignorant that Ananias, who had been
dispossessed of the priesthood, bad taken upon himself a trust to
which he was not entitled; he might therefore very naturally ex-
claim, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high-priest.” Ad-
mitting him, on the other hand, to have been acquainted with
the fact, the expression must be considered as an indirect re-
proof, and a tacit refusal to recognize usurped authority.

A passage, then, which has hitherto been involved in ob-
scurity, is brought by this relation into the clearest light; and
the whole history of St. Paul's imprisonment, the conspiracy of
the fifty Jews, with the consent of the Sanhedrim, their petition
to Festus to send him from Cesarca, with an intent to murder
him on the road, are facts which correspond to the character
of the times, as described by Josephus, wbo mentions the prin-
cipal persons recorded in the Acts, and paints their profligacy
in colours even stronger than those of St. Luke.

(a) Witsius de Vita Pauli, cap. 10. ap. Meletem, Leidensia. (6) Mi-
chaelis, vol. i. p. 51–54. Horne, i. 116-118.

428

CONSPIRACY AGAINST ST. PAUL,

Julian Pe

SECTION XXX. riod, 4771.

Antipatris WulgarÆra

, In consequence of the Discovery of a Conspiracy to kill St. --Cesarea

Paul, he is removed by Night from Jerusalem, through
Anti patris to Cesarea.

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 persons 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 Sad. ducees, aud 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 easy 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. I. iv. c. 7 and 8, pp. 472 and 478. and de Syned, I. i. c. 7. p. 829. fin. 830, and 857. Biscoe 278, vol. i.

Julian Pe council, as though they would inquire somewhat of him Antipatris riod, 4771, more perfectly

-Cesarea. Vulgar Æra. 58.

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.

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58.

430 ST. PAUL IS ACCUSED BEFORE FELIX.-CHAP. XIII.
Julian Pe-
SECTION XXXI.

Cesarea. riod, 4771. Vulgar Æra, St. Paul is accused of Sedition before Felix, the Governor

of Judea.

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 cle. mency 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 Christiaus 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; wbo 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

58.

Julian Pe 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple : Cesarea. riod, 4771, whom we took, and would have judged according to our Vulgar Æra,

law.

7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with
eat violence took him away out of our hands,

8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by ex-
amining of whom, thyself mayest take knowledge of all
these things whereof we accuse him.

9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.

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 accuse me.

14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way
which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fa-
thers, believing all things which are written in the law
and in the prophets;

15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves
also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead,
both of the just and unjust.
seems to have been given in contempt, and not without allusion
to the earlier application of it by the Jews, to the Christians in
general. The object of this epithet was to stigmatize these
Nazarenes as mere Judaizers, who endeavoured to retain the
Jewish observances while they professed Christianity, and thus
to degrade and corrupt the Gospel. The Hebrew Christians,
properly so named, left Jerusalem during the siege, and retired
to Pella, whence they afterwards removed and settled at Ælia.
Neither were the Nazarenes the same as the Ebionites; as
Epiphanius, Mosheim, and others, speak of them as separate
communities.

Such are the opposite statements of these controversialists :
and the result of their discussion has given another proof to the
world, that the Unitarian opinions are as utterly unsupported
hy antiquity, as they are by Scripture; and that the common
vulgar Christianity of the system rightly called orthodox, and
which is in vain endeavoured to be used as a term of contempt,
is the one, true, and ancient faith, upon which the bopes of a
Christian must be founded. The divinity and atonement of
Christ are the unchangeable basis of the Christian's confidence
that bis repentance is accepted by his Creator.-See Horsley's
Letters to Priestley, pp. 174–180, &c. and Bingham's Eccles.
Antiq. 8vo. edit. vol. i. p. 13. lib. 1. cap. 2. § 1. See also Sem-
Jer ap. Archbishop Lawrence's Work on the Logos of St. John,

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