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anoint his body for the burial he gives unmistakable in- From Patara the ship's course no longer lay along the dications that he was much pleased with the lavish coast. She stands out to sea in a south-easterly direction, offering. In the case of the ten lepers, too, he does leaving Cyprus on the left, and steering for Tyre on the not conceal that he rejoiced in the thanksgiving of the Syrian coast. At Tyre the ship discharges her cargo. grateful one, and missed the acknowledgments of the As there must be a detention of several days here, the selfish majority.
missionary will take advantage of it, and prosecute his It was kind in him to let us know that he values our own business. He goes ashore, and soon finds the gifts, although we render to him only what we have re- Christians who reside in the port. Tyre is one of the ceived. It would have thrown a discouraging damp most ancient and most celebrated of cities. It was a over every grateful aspiration, if he had left us to sup- great sea-port in Ezekiel's time; and the course of pose that, not needing our offerings to supply any lack, events seems to point to it, or to some spot near it, as he was indifferent to all the loving gifts that loving a great entrepôt between Europe and India in the hearts and hands might lay at his feet. Sometimes a twentieth century. little child is permitted to present a flower to the sove- Paul found the disciples that were in Tyre. Some reign on occasion of a public procession. The sovereign were found in every city throughout those regions; aud takes real pleasure in the offering and the offerer: the by the law that "like draws to like,” they soon found sovereign's condescension is a mighty encouragement to themselves congregated in one company to hear the the child. It is in some such way that disciples, who Apostle of the Gentiles. Here accordingly the traveller hare attained to some measure of the little child's remained a week, as in Troas, preaching, no doubt, to a spirit, are encouraged to present their thank-offerings, great assembly on the Lord's-day. That Sabbath would by knowing that he loves to receive them.
remain marked in the memory of Tyrian believers, even And now that he has gone beyond our reach, it is his unto old age, as a well springing in the desert. own express will that we should consider the poor as re- Although the brethren warned Paul, through the spirit ceivers for him. We have no Saviour present to the of prophecy, of the dangers that awaited him in Jerusenses on whose head we might pour our precious oint- salem, he would not desist from his purpose of visiting ment pow; but the poor we have always at hand; and it. He had repeatedly consented to retire from danger the Master's command is that we should turn the when his life would have been exposed without adequate ointment into cash, and with the proceeds help our cause; but he would not allow himself to be diverted needy brother.
fronı his course when he had a great object in view by
any kind or degree of personal danger. Here accord“After we were gotten from them” (ch. xxi. 1) means ingly occurs another tender separation. The whole asafter we had torn ourselves away. It was a tender meet-sembly, including women and children, accompanied the ing, and a painful parting. They all wept sore. They sor- missionary to the ship. They knelt together on the nowed to see the missionary going away, and sorrowed most shore and prayed. There was a temple consecrated to to hear hin saying that they should see his face no more. the worship of God—its floor the sea-sand, its canopy
Two thoughts, constituting a pair, suggest themselves the vault of heaven, its organ-peal the roaring of the here: (1) Christians suffer as much as others from the waves as they broke upon the beach! There, though Decessary partings that occur in life, or rather they marked by no material cross, and circumscribed by no suffer more, for their faith increases their susceptibility. man-marked line-there is a spot of holy ground. How The affections run deeper and wax stronger in a nature dreadful is that spot on the sea-shore near Tyre-how that has been mellowed by faith. But (2) Christians dreadful and yet how gladsome! It is the gate of who live up to their privilege enjoy consolations cor- heaven, through which the ardent spirits of those anrespondingly great. If their partings are painful, their cient Christians, led by the lips of Paul, went in to the bopes of meeting again are sure. The pain of temporary throne of grace— by which the Lord who heard them separation is overbalanced by the expectation of being came forth to be with them unseen, as fulfilment of his soon and always together with the Lord. The loving promise. Such holy places on the surface of this earth hope absorbs the sadness as the fire licked up the water have all the disciples of the Lord,—the sacredness, howin the trench round Elijah's altar, and a balance of ever, adhering not to the ground, but to the memory of blessedness remains.
those who have met their Lord there. The course of the voyage is noted briefly but clearly. First, the ship made a straight course to Coos, a small island, twenty-three miles long, divided from the main
XXXVII. Land by a narrow channel. The ground is fertile and
THE HIGH PRIEST INSULTING PAUL. the traffic-large. Next day they made the large island
ACTS xxiii, 1, 2 of Rhodes. Passing with a fair wind through the channel which divides it from the continent, they brought CLAUDIUS Lysias, the Roman tribune commanding the up in the harbour of Patara, the shipping port of the garrison of Jerusalem, and in the absence of the govercity Xanthus on the mainland.
nor responsible for the peace of the city, found it necessary to take Paul by force from the excited populace, by way of specimen, that we may see how the Lord filand shut him up for safety in the castle of Antonia. filled his promise, “ Lo, I am with you always, even to Uncertain still as to the nature of the charges which the end of the world." We learn here how the Lord were so violently preferred against the eminent mis- reigneth ; how he sits king upon the floods ; how he sionary, he gave orders that he should be examined by stills the waves and the tumults of the people ; how scourging; but as the men were binding his hands, he makes effectual his own command, Touch n Paul quietly asked the superintending centurion whether mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. When it were lawful to scourge a man that was a Roman and we see the waves rising, we cry, like Peter, in de uncondemned. Again he appeals with success to impe- spair, as if all were lost. In this portion of the hisrial law for the preservation of his own life.
tory the Lord addresses us with mingled reproof and Next day, in order to get the matter cleared, Lysias encouragement-"Othou of little faith, wherefore didst summoned a meeting of the Jewish great council, and thou doubt?” requested them to examine the prisoner. When the The sanhedrim had assembled; Paul was led in. As sanhedrim was duly constituted in a hall attached to soon as he entered it is intimated that he eyed the the Temple, Lysias conducted Paul from the castle and assembly—"earnestly beholding the council.” There placed him at their bar. The tribune, no doubt, after is much power in a human eye. If there he courage all that he had seen, took the precaution of stationing in the heart, it finds expressive outlet by the eye. a military guard near enough to prevent any attempt Cowards cannot stand erect under a brave man's look against the prisoner's life.
Lions, it is said, wince under a man's steadfast gaze As we enter here the last section of the history, it more than under the lash which he inflicts. The eye is may be useful to pause and observe the difference in both a channel of emotion and an instrument of power. character and design between it and all the preceding In this case a good conscience and a strong faith added portions. At this point the scope of the history becomes power to the look with which the solitary missionary narrower. It is now the track of Paul alone. All other 'met the gaze of the assembly, and made the priestly actors disappear from the scene, except in as far as they judges cower under the eye of the panel at their bar. were mixed up with his experience. Nor is it only that Paul did not wait till a question should be put of a the history concerns itself henceforth with the course of charge preferred. He is not, properly speaking, on his this single missionary; for even with regard to him, trial before the sanhedrim. He is sent by the Roman the character of the narrative undergoes a change. authorities to the native Jewish council, in order to Although he maintains his character as a witness for obtain a skilled and competent investigation of his case. Christ to the last, the history is no longer a record of The court are charged, not to try a criminal, but to inmissionary journeys to found churches, and to revisit vestigate facts for the guidance of the governor. Such them for comfort and consolidation. The main line seems to have been Paul's own view of the situation, now is a memorial of divine providence, preserving the for he is himself the first to speak. With a salutation missionary's life until he should be in a position to entirely friendly but by no means cringing he began to preach the gospel in Rome as he had already preached lay before the council a narrative of the steps that led it in Jerusalem. Precious in God's sight is the death to the present complications. of his saints, and precious also in his sight is their life. I think Paul had an intelligent object in view when He will lay all the powers of nature and all the king he addressed the members of the council respectfully doms of the earth under requisition to protect a life that but manfully as “ brother men.” He is by this time he needs as an instrument in his work of righteousness such an one as Paul the aged. He saw on these benches until his work be done. Paul must witness for Christ many who had been his fellow-students, and some, no at the centre of the world's power; this is fixed as the doubt, who had been both his juniors and his inferiors end, and the means are all provided. The remaining when they sat together at Gamaliel's feet. He had portion of the book is the record of these provisions. done nothing to forfeit his position as their colleague
Henceforth our theme therefore must be the arrange- and equal. He had honoured the law in confessing ments of Providence for the spread and establishment Christ its fulfilment. He will not, by word or deed, of the kingdom of grace. Our business now is, to see relinquish his position. “My brothers," says the irGod's hand working rather than to hear his word in trepid preacher, as he opens his address. In one aspat structing; but to the open and watchful ear, the still the salutation is kind; in another, it carefully mairsmall voice of the gospel will ever and anon break forth tains his dignity and his rights. He humbles himself in the intervals of the earthquake and the thunder. before God, but he will not humiliate himself before He that hath an ear may still hear, in the concluding portion of Paul's history, “what the Spirit saith unto As soon as Paul had uttered the first sentence of his the Churches."
speech, the high priest Ananias interrupted him by The history of apostolic missions is finished; but abruptly giving an order to the officers of the court to before the parchment is rolled up, the line of one life is smite him on the mouth. This is a very remarkable carried a few stages farther forward into the centuries, / statement. It reveals a condition of extreme corruption
and degradation in Jewish society. Their chief magis- | not a very serious difficulty. It requires explanation, trate, on his seat of authority, surrounded by his but it is clearly susceptible of explanation. council
, perpetrates an act of ruffian rudeness fit only It is not easy to determine conclusively which of many for the lowest haunts. In rejecting the Messiah the possible explanations is the best, but any one of several Jewish hierarchy have sunk into a low moral tone. is sufficient. For example: 1. Ananias, in those violent They seem to have been given over to a reprobate mind. times, may have been an intruder and usurper. 2. Some
We obtain here a glimpse of a general law. When a other member may have presided at that diet, and chief sinner accepts Christ in simple faith, there is an Ananias may not have been distinguishable by position immediate and great elevation of the moral sense in the or dress from the rest. 3. It is conceivable that Paul converted man. In more than one aspect he becomes a meant to say that this brutal act could not have been new creature. But the converse also holds good. When perpetrated by “God's high priest,” and to assume before Christ is brought near to any mind, and his claim touches the council that such a miscreant could not be the chief the conscience, and the man, self-pleasing, ultimately of the sacred college. Or, 4. As has been lately sugrejects the offered Christ, the last state of such a rejec- gested, Paul may have been short-sighted-not able, tor is worse than the first. Those who waste privileges especially if the light was unfavourable, to distinguish and quench convictions seem to sink lower than those faces across a spacious hall. This is countenanced by who have never enjoyed them. Beware of stifling con- the attitude which the apostle assumed when he first victions of crucifying Christ.
entered the court, “ earnestly beholding the council” fixing his gaze scrutinizingly and with straining upon
the assembly. Thus he may positively not have known XXXVIII.
that the rude, illegal order proceeded from the presi
dent of the council. PAUL ANSWERING THE HIGH PRIEST.
I mention these as possible solutions, and could menACTS xxiii 3-12.
tion others; but these are enough to show that Paul's "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." This bold words can easily be accounted for, although we do not rejoinder of Paul presents an interesting study. In possess the means of certainly determining which of itself, and apart from circumstances, the pungency of several explanations actually constituted at the time the the apostle's reproof needs no other justification than ground of his remark. that which he gave on the spot : "for sittest thou to On the whole, I don't think that there is urgent need judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smit- for apologies here. If Paul was angry, he had cause. ten contrary to the law ?" Luther was wont to launch He resented with spirit a brutal assault, and made the sach thunderbolts against his princely and priestly op- mitred miscreant feel that his robes and phylacteries pressors. Great and earnest men in all ages have been could not protect him from the withering stroke of a ront to rise above their circumstances and bring unjust just man's rebuke. On the whole, the missionary conadges suddenly to the bar.
trived, in this perplexing incident, to make clear for us Ananias seems to have been struck dumb. He loses a great and important distinction between the office and is breath, and sits silent. They that stood by-some the man who disgraced it. He respects the priestly officials of his court or aspirants for his favour-took office, but the criminal priest he denounces sharply. peech in hand to shield their astonished patron. These By this time Paul had seen enough to convince him pologists were fain to fling his official dignity over that no good could result from this inquiry, and his acute he ermined culprit whom they could not in any other intellect readily perceived the means of cutting it short. ray defend. Not a word did they dare to utter in ex- He saw that the two parties of which the council was use or extenuation of his conduct. His act is tacitly composed, although united against him, were, on vital bandoned, and they take refuge in the office which he matters, at daggers drawn against each other as Phariolds.
sees and Sadducees. Accordingly he seized the opporA high-minded and honourable government is a boon tunity of professing, in a loud voice, his adherence to bove all price to a nation. Judges that are impartial the distinguishing doctrines of the Pharisees. This was nd just are a good gift of God in his providence. We really and notoriously true. In becoming a Christian a this country may well thank God for the Reformation, he had not abandoned or even modified those doctrines. ir with it comes and with it goes the liberty of the of the Pharisees which distinguished them from the eople.
Sadducees. The doctrine of the resurrection, dear to It is with the apostle's reply to the defence offered by him before, had become tenfold dearer since he knew he high priest's satellites that the real difficulty for us that the Lord had risen. This profession of his faith egins. When they reproached him with reviling the produced immediately the expected effect. It set the ish priest, he excused himself by saying, “I wist not two parties together by the ears. Through the avenue hat he was the high priest.” If he had not excused made by the division Paul escaped from their hands. imself we should not have thought he needed an ex- In the tumult the Roman tribune, fearing mischief, use; but the excuse he gives suggests a real thoughi came with a guard, and carried Paul into the castle.
“The night following the Lord stood by him.” The prescient purpose of God and the responsibility of men wearied missionary, saved from the rage of his country- for duty on their own sphere. It was determined that men only by the walls of a Roman fortress and the Paul's life should be saved from these dangers, and that swords of a Roman garrison, lies down to sleep. The determination was made known to him. He knew for Everlasting Arms are underneath him, and he has no certain that these schemers could not take his life ; he fear. No plague can come nigh his dwelling. The knew for certain that the power of God was pledged shields of the earth belong unto God, and the strongest effectually to frustrate their designs ; fet with this of them—the imperial Roman power-is now interposed knowledge Paul laid his plans anxiously and skilfully, between him and those who sought his life. Think and executed them with secrecy and energy, for the prewhat must have been his prayer that night! His heart servation of his own life, precisely as if he had thought longed after Israel, although they thirsted for his blood. that all depended on his own skill and promptitude
. I think the soldier on guard that night at the door of This shows conclusively that in Paul's mind a belief in Paul's apartment must have reported in the morning the decrees of God did not conflict with the obligation that there were two persons in the room, as the listeners to diligent duty on the part of men. He framed and reported regarding John Welsh in the old church of conducted a counterplot to defeat the conspiracy of the Ayr. The sentry would probably hear through the Jewish priesthood with as much zeal and care as if be key-bole an earnest reasoning and entreaty going on-- had not obtained previous assurance of his safety. This “I will not let thee go except thou bless me"—as when simple history is most precious as an inspired contwo are engaged in close debate. Paul cried to God mentary on some difficult doctrines. It does not indeed that night certainly; for God came at his servant's call. make the doctrines easy of comprehension; it does not The answer comes as an echo of the prayer. The Lord relieve them of mystery to our minds ; but it is fitted stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer.” The to accomplish very great practical good in two distinct answer given reveals the request that had been secretly yet related aspects. It is fitted first of all to show us made. Be of good cheer, Paul: the answer proves that that no view of the divine purposes can be right that Paul's cheer had been poor when he lay down. What in any measure tends to slacken human zeal and energy; may have been the weight that lay so heavy on his and, in the second place, it ought to make men very heart? His life was not in immediate danger. He guarded, who, either from the Christian or non-Chriswas under the protection of Roman law, in this case ad- tian view-point, are disposed to attribute to the administered by a fair and thoughtful man. It was not herents of so-called Calvinistic doctrines consequences fear for his own life that'marred his cheerfulness. Still which Paul and Calvin would have repudiated. Scripfollowing our rule of discovering the ailment from the tural views of the divine prescience and sovereignty, by cure applied, we find the consolation offered was a whatever name they may be called, stimulate and do specific promise that he should be permitted to bear not sopite the watchfulness and energy of disciples. witness for Christ at Rome. Here then we discover the To be assured that it is God that worketh in them, is cause of the apostle's sadness : he had begun to fear the best of all motives to induce intelligent Christians that he would yet be disappointed in the great aim of to work out their own salvation with fear and tremhis life-to preach the gospel in Rome. His desire in bling (Phil. ii. 12, 13). that direction had now grown into a passion. Jeru- The Jewish leaders easily found a band of desperasalem, to which he hastened through all obstacles in his does, who for fitting consideration should act the part of last journey, has now finally rejected him and his assassins. The rule of a superstitious and corrupt message. The Jews in persecuting the missionary priesthood will produce an abundant crop of such inrejected Christ. Paul was led to accept this decision, struments in any age and in any land. In connection and henceforth he bends all his energy towards Rome. with this plot an incidental glimpse is afforded of the He is the apostle of the Gentiles, and the chief desire apostle's family circle. A married sister, probably a of his heart now is to make known Christ in the me- Christian, and having her residence in Asia Minor, ar tropolis of the world.
in some region remote from Jerusalem, deputes ber adult son to perform a service which she could not
personally render to her brother—to wait upon him, XXXIX.
and render him assistance in his struggle with the COMPASSED ABOUT WITH HIS FAVOUR AS WITH
priest party in Judea. This young man discovers the A SHIELD. plot and reveals it to his uncle.
Paul, enjoining secrecy on the informer, loses no time in getting bin Acts xxiii. 13-35.
introduced to the Roman commander. The result is The conspiracy formed to assassinate Paul and the that the prisoner is sent under a strong guard to means by which it was defeated are narrated with con- Cæsarea, on the coast, and the conspiracy is completely siderable minuteness. The history is perhaps given the frustrated. more fully that it contains and exhibits a decisive The letter addressed by the tribune commanding in example of the actual union and harmony between the Jerusalem to his superior, Felix the governor, is preserved entire. It is a most interesting ancient docu- before kings, who has never been a bone of contention ment. It is in complete accord with the forms and the between rival factions, whose life has been spent in a spirit of the time. Lysias simply and briefly recites the private sphere, and whose name has never been heard facts of the case, and leaves it in the hands of his chief of half a mile from home, may participate in the grand
Paul is now in the hands of a thoroughly bad man ; | inheritance which Paul enjoyed, “ My peace I give but the Roman laws are around him, and these suffice unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." : to protect him in the meantime, alike from the foul The simplest and the humblest who is found in Christ, treachery of the Jews and the mean avarice of Felix. may lie down and awake with God day by day through The law will not permit him to be tried, far less to be life, until after falling asleep for the last time here, he condemned, until he and his accusers are brought face awake in the presence of his Lord. to face before a regular tribunal. Paul is placed under The air-the atmosphere which surrounds this globe arrest, indeed; but it is for the protection of his life -is a limited quantity. Its measurenients are known. rather than for the restraint of his liberty. Herod's It can be weighed even in our balances, and fathomed judgment-hall, the place of his confinement, is not by our lines; yet that body touches at the same moment precisely the cell in which they would immure a criminal. all living. It enfolds all vegetable and animal life in In that hall, with a Roman sentinel pacing up and one comprehensive embrace, and touches, presses gently down its corridors night and day, the missionary will be on every flower of the field and every face of man. It in safe keeping, until the preliminaries for his trial can supplies the breath of life to all, not only those who be arranged. Signal, meantime, unseen by human eye stand on a mountain - top and consciously inhale the is displayed to ministering angels, that this man must blessing, but also and equally those who sleep in the be preserved unharmed, for the word of the Lord is gallery of a mine, and know not the value of the onnipledged that he shall preach yet in Rome. Lie down, present boon. We can understand this fact of nature ; Paul, and rest a while ; give some repose to thy weary we can realize and appreciate its truth and value. limbs and anxious heart. Thy course is almost run; Might we not by faith as clearly realize that the love of but a little while and thou shalt enter into rest." A few | God, unlike the atmosphere his creaturé, infinite, commore tossings on the sea of Time, and thou shalt be passes about always all his children, great and small of sentinelled, not by Roman legionaries, but by minister- every language, in every clime, clasping them round ing spirits who attend upon the heirs of salvation. continuously and supplying them with life! One city more to be visited, one ruler of this world The same atmosphere, God's creature, that was more to be confronted, one trial more to be endured suffused round the head of Paul, when he slept in before a human judgment-seat, and then thou shalt be Herod's judgment-ball at Cæsarea, surrounds our heads pernitted to depart and to be with Christ, which is far to-day, supplying us with the breath of life: the same
divine lore, Christians, that sustained Paul's faith and But such faith and such hope belong not exclusively refreshed his spirit, when he was afflicted, persecuted, to a great apostle, or to the supreme crisis of an event- and forsaken, compasses us about to-day, for life in the ful life. These may become the every-day attainments Lord, a life eternal. Rejoice in the Lord always. O of commonplace people. A disciple who has never stood. thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?
Abe Orhildren's Treasury.
VALENTINE ONDERMEER AND THE DIAMOND PEN.
FROM THE GERMAN OF DR. BARTH.
ET us now return to the little boat which,
without pilot, without compass, without
about on the restless waves. While the four sailors rowed, Valentine was constantly employed in baling the water which the stormy waves frequently dashed over the tiny craft. They laboured all day, yet no land appeared, and hunger and thirst stared them in the face. They rowed on all night, though their
arms were like to break, and still no shore was to be seen; and the thought often arose in Valentine's mind that his road to riches was a very hard one. It also troubled him to think that now, when probably he was approaching a coast inhabited by savages, he no longer bad his little chest of beads for barter. But this small trouble was soon put out of sight by the important questions, what they were to eat, and what they were to drink.
These are, it is true, questions that the