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to the commandant, that you must examine Paul upon some interrogatories, and order him to bring him before you, and by the way, before he can come to the council, we will lie in ambush and kill him."* This they agreed upon; but God had otherwise determined. For Paul's nephew, hearing of their intended ambuscade, hastened to the castle, to give his uncle timely notice. Which he no sooner received, than he called to the captain of the guard, and desired him to conduct the young man to the commandant, to whom he had something of importance to communicate. The captain very obligingly did as Paul desired, and withdrawing left them together. Then the commandant taking the youth aside asked his business ; who acquainted him with the Jews' design upon Paul's life, desiring his protection for his uncle. The commandant hearing this, obliged the youth to silence, and dismissed him: then calling for two captains, he bid them get their companies in readiness for an expedition, and convey Paul to Felix the governor, to whom he wrote a letter, giving him an account of the whole affair, and referring the determination of Paul's case to him.
This was immediately put in execution, and that night they attended Paul as far as Antipatris ; where the foot left him, and the horse conducted him to Cæsarea, where the governor resided, to whom they de. livered Paul with the commandant of Jerusalem's letter ; which when Felix had read, and understanding of what province Paul was a native, he dismissed the guard, and told him he would hear him when his accusers came; in the mean time securing him in the hall called Herod's Hall.
Paul having thus escaped the conspiracy of the Jews by the prudence and care of Claudius Lysias, and being now under the protection of Felix, the procurator of Judea, the Sanhedrim and their ruffians were disappointed ; yet they resolved to pursue him as long as he was within
• Such execrable vows as these were not unusual with the Jews, who preten. ded a right to punish, without legal process, those whom they considered as blasphemers of the law. VOL. II.
reach of their malice. Five days after his arrival at Cæ. sarea, Ananias the High-Priest, with some others of the Sanhedrim, and a certain lawyer named Tertullus, came thither, and brought their accusation against Paul. Tertullus being admitted to speak, began his plea with a flattering oration to Felix, telling him how happy the Jews had been in all places under his administration, and how thankful they were to him for it. Then begging his at. tention in what he had to say against Paul, he began thus : 66
May it please your excelleney, as we enjoy great peace under your administration, and many illustrious deeds are happily effected by your wise and prudent government, we accept it always, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. I humbly beseeeh you, with your wonted candour, to listen to the charge we have to bring against this notorious offender; for we have found this man a most pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition against the present government of the Romans. Besides, he is a ringleader of the detestable sect of the Nazarenes, than which none ever sprung up among the Jews more dishonorable and impious. He has also had the audacity to profane the sacred temple at Jerusalem, by introducing strangers within the boundaries from which they are excluded, even by your authority as well as by our law, on pain of death. For these crimes we apprehended him a few days ago, and would have proceeded against him according to law; but I am sorry to say that we have been prevented by Lysias the tribune, who coming upon us with an armed force, took him by violence out of our hands, and so interrupted the course of justice. Nor should we have troubled your excellency with these complaints, had not that officer commanded us to appear before thee, to whom we now confidently commit the decision of this cause."
To this accusation the Jews assented, and confirmed the truth of all that Tertullus had asserted, who having thus delivered his charge, Paul by order of the governor, made his defence.
“ I am the more ready to answer for myself before thee, O Felix, because thou hast been for many years the procurator of this nation. About twelve days ago, I
went up to Jerusalem to keep the feast of pentecost, where I behaved myself in the most orderly and quiet manner, causing no disturbance, and raising no sedition either in the city or synagogues. But as for that part
of the accusation, that I am a promoter of the sect of the Nazarenes, as they call it, I frankly confess it; and that there shall be a life after this ; nor can my accusers produce any evidence to the contrary. And in this religion and practice I am careful to live blamelessly, and to do my duty in all things towards God and man. As for what they pretend, of my profaning the temple, thus it was : many years after my conversion to christianity, I was sent by the pious Jews of other parts of Judea and Jerusalem, with their alms and free-will oblations. And whilst I was doing this, some Jews of Asia saw me in the temple, where I was so far from profaning it, that I did nothing but what the law required of me, without any tumult or disorder. Nay, I appeal to my enemies here present, whether, when I was brought before the council at Jerusalem, I was not dismissed without any thing of moment charged and proved against me. There is but one thing can be urged against me, and that none but the Sadducees will charge me with, which is, my acknowledging the resurrection, and that is chargeable on the Pharisees as well as me.”
When Felix had thus heard the matter on both sides, he put them off, saying, “When I know more exactly the nature of the question concerning the christian religion and your law, I will determine: and as to the tumult said to be excited by Paul, when Lysias comes, his evidence will decide it.” And dismissing the assembly, he remanded Paul to prison, permitting any friend to visit and assist him.
A few days after this hearing, Drusilla, the wife of Felix, a Jewess, coming to Cæsarea, Felix was inclined to gratify her curiosity as well as his own, in hearing him discourse at large concerning the faith of Christ, and sending for him, he desired him to let them hear what he could say in defence of this doctrine. Paul, knowing the character of his hearers, took occasion to insist particularly on the great obligation of observing justice between
man and man, and concerning temperance, as he knew that Felix and Drusilla had notoriously violated both; and to enforce his reasonings, faithfully admonished all who heard him, of that awful and tremendous judgment to come, when the greatest personages must appear before tře righteous tribunal. And as he insisted on these three branches of the christian doctrine, wherein Felix was so much concerned, he trembled ; and being uneasy to hear such doctrines as stung his conscience to the quick, he abruptly stopped the apostle, dismissing him for the present, and promising to take a future opportunity to see and hear him. Paul having continued in custody two years, Felix was by Nero removed from his place, and Portius Festus succeeded him: and though Felix had no reason to treat Paul unkindly, yet being a man that had practised much cruelty and injustice in his government, and being a great lover of money, whether gained by bribery, extortion, or otherwise, yet either because Paul did not offer him money to procure his liberty, or whether it was merely to gratify the Jews at parting, he left Paul in prison.
Festus had no sooner entered upon his government, but he went from Cæsarea to Jerusalem, when the Highpriest and other members of the Sanhedrim accused Paul, and very pressingly solicited the governor to send for him to Jerusalem, intending to lay an ambuscade in the way to kill him. But Festus, not over fond of granting favours to the Jews, told them he had left Paul in prison at Cæsarea, whither he himself should shortly go, and hear the cause between them, ordering those that were concerned, to appear against him there. Festus, after ten days' stay at Jerusalem, returned to Cæsarea ; and the court being seated, Paul was brought before hiin, the Jews accusing him of many crimes, but proving nothing; for he cleared himself of the accusation, making it plainly appear, that he had not offended against the Mosaical law; the sanctity of the temple, or the Roman government. But notwithstanding Paul's innocence, Festus, willing to oblige the Jews, thought his putting the question to Paul to be tried at Jerusalem would have sufficiently induced lim to consent. But Paul, too sensible of the malice of
his enemies, and which he sometime since escaped, was un svilling to trust himself in their power, which he found he could no way avoid but by pleading his privilege as a Roman citizen. "I am, says he, a Roman, and ought not to be judged by the Jewish Sanhedrim or laws, which I have not violated, but by the Roman ; and if I have done any thing which by the Roman laws is worthy of death, I desire no mercy: but if their accusations are in. valid, and I am free from the charge of having injured them, I see no reason why I should be delivered up to mine enemies, and make them my judges. To prevent which I appeal to Cæsar.” Festus, finding Paul resolute in maintaining his privilege, conferred with those of the Jewish Sanhedrim who came to the trial; and not daring to refuse Paul's appeal, he told him, “ Since thou hast appealed to Cæsar, to Cæsar thou shalt go.”
Some time after this, Agrippa, who succeeded Herod in the Tetrarchate of Galilee, with his sister Bernice, came to Cæsarea to pay a visit to Festus, who acquainted Agrippa - with Paul's case in the following manner : “ There is a certain man left in custody by Felix, against whom the Jews brought an information, and immediately demanded judgment. But I told them, it was not the custom of the Romans to pronounce sentence of death against any man before he be confronted with his accusers, and have liberty to make his defence, and that therefore they must of necessity come to me here ; which shey did, and the man appeared innocent. Whereupon I remanded him to prison till I could conveniently send him to Cæsar at Rome.”
This account of Paul excited much curiosity in Agrippa to see him, in which Festus promised to gratify him the next day, when Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus, appeared with great pomp and splendor. The company being seated, Festus sent for Paul, whom he thus introduced: “ This is the man, O king Agrippa! against whom the Jews in general have made complaint, as against a most notorious malefactor. ,But when I understood he had committed no capital crime, and that he had appealed to the emperor at Rome, thither I have determined to send him. And being uncertain what to write concerning him