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servants,

brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And 14 As the ox kicketh against the when we were all fallen to goad to his hurt, so man cannot the earth, I heard a voice oppose the will of God without inspeaking unto me, and saying juring his soul. in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick 15 Hear this, thou who plottest against the pricks. 15 And I secretly against the usefulness, or said, Who art thou, Lord ? the influence, or the peace of God's And he said, I am Jesus

Thou offendest not the

servant, but his Master ; not the whom thou persecutest. 1o But disciple, but his Lord ; not man, but rise, and stand upon thy feet:

God.“ It is Jesus whom thou perfor I have appeared unto thee secutest.” (See ix. 4.) for this purpose, to make

16 Blessed hour ! when conviction thee a minister and a witness guilty soul to earth in deep humi

of sin and unworthiness bends the both of these things which liation. Thence may it hope to rise, thou hast seen, and of those and through Christ stand at last things in the which I will complete in righteousness. appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now 18 What an encouragement to search I send thee, 18 to open their the Scriptures, and look therein for eyes, and to turn them from our inheritance ! darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision : but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went 22 Every sincere Christian has help about to kill me.

Having from God. therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come : that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself ; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus ; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

26 For the

26 St. Paul perceived the effect of king knoweth of these things, his eloquence upon the king, and before whom also I speak pressed it most skilfully.

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a

freely : for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him ; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest

27 Agrippa, as a Jex, might justly thou the prophets? I know be supposed familiar with the prethat thou believest. 28 Then phetical writings.

28 Art thou a Christian in deed and Agrippa said unto Paul, Al

in truth-or, art thou only alinis a most thou persuadest me to be

Christian? What saith conscience ! Christian. And Paul said, 29 The apostle is eminently fourI would to God, that not only

teous *. thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. And when be had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them : and when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death

32 A striking instance of the force of or of bonds.

$2 Then said truth! The observation of Agrippe Agrippa unto Festus, This virtually pronounced the apostle fra. man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cæsar.

CHAPTER XXVII.

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APRIL 30, AUGUST 29, Dec. 30. AND when it was deter

· St. Luke was an eye witness apos mined that we should sail this occasion. Hence the fidelity into Italy, they delivered and vivid description of the scents Paul and certain other pri

he describes. soners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia ; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with

* In so great respect was held the us. 3 And the next day we

apostle's high character! Virtue touched at Sidon. And Ju- ever carries with it true dignity, and

wins for itself esteem. lius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence, under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.

* True courtesy is founded upon the principle laid down by our blessed Lord, and carried out by his apostles" Do unto others, as you would they should do unto you,” were each to exchange situations with the other.

we sailed

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And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; and, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens ; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea. 9 The Jewish fast of expiation. It 9 Now when much time was was held about the end of Septemspent, and when sailing was ber. (Lev. xvi. 29.) now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, and said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that the gentle gale of prosperity blows

13 So in the voyage of life, when they had obtained their pur- upon us, we think not that storm pose, loosing thence, they and tempest may be nigh at hand. sailed close by Crete. But Happy, if, like 'St. Paul

, we have

secured the favour of God. not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat : which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

And when 20 The mariner's compass was then neither sun nor stars in many not known. A ship's course was days appeared, and no smaủ steered by the stars. tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then

But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from ete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer : for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar : and, lo, God hath

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taken away

given thee all them that sail

25 Faith assures us, even when trouwith thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, bled and tempest-tossed, that we are be of good cheer: for I be- never out of the divine protection. lieve God, that it shall be even as it was told me. How beit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country ; and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms : and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest they should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship. 31 Their services were required to 31 Paul said to the centurion work the ship : for though God's and to the soldiers, Except providence saved their lives, they these abide in the ship, ye

were themselves to take all available cannot be saved. * Then the spiritual concerns —

means for their own safety. So in

God's

grace soldiers cut off the ropes of saves us, but man's holiness must be the boat, and let her fall off. exercised. 33 And while the day was

32 In times of imminent danger coming on, Paul besought there is a ready deference paid to them all to take meat, saying,

superior minds. This day is the fourteenth day

33 They had taken very little. that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34 Wherefore I pray 34 Thus complete was St. Paul's faith you to take some meat : for in the particular providence of God. this is for your health : for A greater than St. Paul hath assured there shall not an hair fall perisheth, but God knoweth it aito

us, that “not a hair of our head from the head of any of youı. gether.” (Matt. x. 30.) 35 And when he had thus 35 What a dignified calmness and spoken, he took bread, and serenity! In the prospect of death, gave thanks to God in pre- ing divine blessing on it.

he takes not food without first pray. sence of them all : and when

36 The example of a good and great he had broken it, he began man, calm in danger and adversity, to eat. Then were they all is a powerful support to weaker

minds in their trials. of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38 Is life so precious, that in the

And when they had eaten hope of saving it we cast away ** enough, they lightened the worthless, in comparison, the very

means of life ! « What shall not a ship, and cast out the wheat

man lose," rather than lose his own into the sea. And when it soul ?

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was day, they knew not the land : but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. * And when they solved and holy faith !

40 A noble instance this, of a rehad taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

13 But the centurion, 43 Even one righteous—how is he willing to save Paul, kept blessing and blest! God blessing them from their purpose; and him, and others in him—for Jesus?

sake. commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: "and the rest, some 4+ The good Providence of God fulon boards, and some on bro- filled his servant's word. (Ver. 22.) ken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

The best of men are liable to the storms and tempests of life. Nay, we are all baptized thereto-launched upon the waves of this troublesome world. But we have hope, sure and stedfast, that through Him, in whom we are baptized, those waves may so be passed, that we at last “come to the land of everlasting life,” in safety and in joy.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

MAY 2, AUGUST 30, Dec. 31. And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita *.

The Romans termed all foreigners the barbarous people shewed barbarians. us no little kindness : for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the

+ A feeling that there will be some barbarians saw the venomous retribution to the wicked, is natural beast hang on his hand, they to all mankind +. said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer,

Melita, or Malta, is an island between Africa and Sicily. Being a colony of Carthaginians, an African people, their language was of a mixed character, and themselves held to be barbarians—the term “ barbarian” implying here not fierceness of spirit, but strangeness of nation. + Jesus has told us how to regulate this feeling. (Luke xiii. 4.) Our

2 And

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