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Ephesus and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, "Ye know from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears. and trials, which befel me by the lying in wait of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have shewed it to you, and have taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ."
"And now behold I go, bound in the spirit, to Jerusalem, not knowing the things which shall befal me there, save that the Holy Spirit witnesses in every city that bonds and afflictions await me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received
of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now behold I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men: for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
"Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over whom the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, feed the church of the Lord, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this that, after my departure, grievous wolves will enter in, not sparing the flock. From your own selves also men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember that, for the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one night and day with
"And now, brethren, I commend you
to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all those that are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered to my necessities, and to them that were with me, I have shewed you in all things, that by so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.""
And when he had thus spoken he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
PAUL BEFORE FELIX.
(Acts xxi. 27-xxiv. 26.)
Now many of the Jews were very angry against Paul, because he had preached that the Gentiles would be admitted to the favour of God as much as the Jews, if they believed in Jesus Christ, and lived according to his commands. They were going even to put him to death; but Lysias, the captain of the Roman guard, rescued him from them, and put him in prison; and afterwards, when he had been told that forty of them had conspired together, declaring that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul, he sent him down under a strong guard of soldiers, to Felix the governor, who resided at Cæsarea. After five days there came down also to Cæsarea, Ananias the high priest, with the elders, and a certain orator, named Tertullus, who made a speech before the governor, in which he accused
Paul of being a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition against all the Jews throughout the world, a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, and one who had attempted to profane the temple.
Then Paul, after the governor had made a sign to him to speak, answered that he had neither disputed with any man in the temple, nor had he stirred up the people." But," said he, "this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets, and having hope towards God, that there is to be (what these men themselves also look for) a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. And herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men.
Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews found me puri