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Athens, when he was brought before the supreme Court of Areopagus for trial on the capital charge of being “
a setter forth of strange gods ;” and here, placed before the most noble and learned of the land as a criminal at the bar, the undaunted prisoner boldly declared his Gospel-message, and the might, majesty, and power of the Lord of heaven and earth. From Athens he proceeded to Corinth, where he worked at his trade of tentmaker. From this city he wrote his two epistles to the Thessalonians, and it is supposed, by some, his epistle to the Galatians also. After further travels, St. Paul returned to Antioch, A.D. 53, and here terminated his tour.
Resting but a short time in this city, he commenced his third circuit, in the year 54; and visiting Ephesus, was assaulted by “Demetrius, a silversmith,” and others of his profession, who were employed in making silver shrines, in which images of Diana were to be enclosed, and were apprehensive that their trade would suffer from his preaching. St. Paul quitted that city, where he had gathered a numerous church.
Whilst in Cæsarea, the Prophet Agabus foretold the imprisonment of the Apostle in Jerusalem; but St. Paul still persisted in his determination to proceed thither, and on the day following their arrival, he related “what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.” But only a short time had elapsed ere persecution arose in all its fury around the Apostle. After several narrow escapes from the rage of the multitude, he was brought before the Governor Felix, and accused of "sedition, heresy, and profanation of the temple." These charges he indignantly repelled, and " gave an account of his faith;” but Felix, though himself convinced of his innocence, “ being unwilling to displease the Jews, and hoping also that Paul would have given money” to be liberated, ordered the Apostle to be kept in easy confinement, and allowed his friends to visit him. A few days subsequently, Felix sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ: “and as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee.” We have, however, no reason to think this season ever came; and Felix, two years afterwards, left Paul in prison. His successor, Festus, again sat in judgment upon the prisoner, and proposed a new trial at Jerusalem ; but this was declined by the accused. He was, however, brought before King Agrippa, who expressed his belief in the Apostle's innocence; but as he had, on a former occasion, appealed unto Cæsar, it was necessary he should be sent to Rome.
In the early part of the year 61, after a dangerous voyage, he arrived at the Roman capital, where he was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. During this captivity, (a period of two years,) he continued“ preaching the kingdom of G
and aching these things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” How deeply grateful would the Apostle feel for that clemency which permitted him “from morning until evening " to testify concerning the kingdom of God! How sweet the thought, that when a captive, and more eminently suffering the will of his heavenly Father, he still had opportunities for declaring the glorious truths of the blessed Gospel ! Being released from prison, he visited the churches in Syria, Cilicia, Asia Minor, Greece, and Macedonia, &c.; arriving at Rome early in the year 65, where he was imprisoned for a period of one year, in the course of which he was twice brought before the Emperor Nero.
About this time a dreadful fire happened in Rome, the blame of which Nero threw upon the Christians, and most cruelly persecuted them. In this persecution St. Paul is supposed to have suffered. “According to primitive tradition, he was beheaded on the 29th of June, A.D. 66, at Aquæ Salviæ, three miles from Rome, and interred in the Via Ostensis, at a spot two miles from the city, where Constantine the Great afterwards erected a church to his memory.”
But earthly monuments and human praise are of slight value, when the ransomed and purified spirit has dwelt for ages near the throne of its adorable Lord; while the numerous “seals to his ministry and souls for his hire," mingle their notes with his in the faultless strain, “Holiness unto the Lord for ever and ever." Norwich,
M. A. C.
THE SULKY GIRL. Mr. Robert Raikes visited the parents and children of his schools at their own houses. He called on a poor woman one day, and found a very refractory girl crying and fretting. Her mother complained that correction was of no avail ; obstinacy marked her conduct, and it was very bad. After asking the parent's leave, he began to talk seriously to the girl, and concluded by telling her, that, as the first step towards amendment, she must kneel down and ask her mother's pardon. The girl continued sulky. Well, then,” says he, "if you have no regard for yourself, I have much for you. You will be ruined and lost if you do not begin to be good; and if you will not humble yourself, I must humble myself, and make a beginning for you.” With that he kneeled down on the ground before the child's mother, and put his hands together with all the solemnity of a juvenile offender: “Pray forgive,” &c. No sooner did the stubborn girl see him on his knees on her account, than her pride was overcome at once, and tenderness followed. She burst into tears, and, falling on her knees, earnestly entreated forgiveness. Afterwards she never occasioned her mother any trouble. - London Child's Companion.
INGENUITY OF BIRDS. THRUSHES feed very much on snails, looking for them in mossy banks. Having frequently observed some broken snail-shells near two projecting pebbles on a gravel-walk, which had a hollow between them, I endeavoured to discover the occasion of their being brought to that situation. At last I saw a thrush fly to the spot with a snailshell in his mouth, which he placed between two stones, and hammered at it with his beak till he had broken it, and was then able to feed on its contents. The bird must have discovered that he could not apply his beak with sufficient force to break the sh while it was rolling about, and he therefore found out and made use of a spot which would keep the shell in one position. When the Japwing wants to procure food, it seeks for a worm's cast, and stamps the ground by the side of it with its feet; somewhat in the same manner as I have often done when a boy, in order to procure worms for fishing. After doing this for a short time, the bird waits for the issue of the worm from its hole, who, alarmed at the shaking of the ground, endeavours to make its escape, when he is immediately seized, and becomes the prey of the ingenious bird. The lapwing also frequents the haunts of moles. These animals, when in pursuit of worms, frighten them; and the worm, in attempting to escape, comes to the surface of the ground, when it is seized by the lapwing. The same made of alarming its prey has been related of the gull.—Jesse's Gleanings in Natural History.