« ÎnapoiContinuați »
but because he hoped to have received money | class of men. He might have discussed some for his liberation. Here is the effect of avarice. of those subjects which would have flattered
Josephus recites an instance of his voluptu- the governor. He might have discoursed on ousness. It is bis marriage with Drusilla. She the dignity of princes, and on the relation they was a Jewess, as is remarked in our text. King have to the Supreme Being. He might have Azizus, her former husband, was a heathen; said, that the magistrate "beareth not the and in order to gain her affections, he had con- sword in vain,” Rom. xiji. 4. That the Deity formed to the most rigorous ceremonies of Ju- bimself has said, “ye are gods, and ye are all the daism. Felix saw her, and became enamoured children of the most High,” Ps. lxxxii. 6. But of her beauty. He conceived for her a violent all this adulation, all this finesse, were unknown passion; and, in defiance of the sacred ties to our apostle. He sought the passions of Fewhich had united her to a husband, he resolv- lix in their source. He forced the sinner in his ed to become master of her person. His ad- last retreat. He boldly attacked the governor dresses were received. Drusilla violated her with “ the sword of the Spirit,” and with "the former engagements, preferring to contract hammer of the word.” Before the object of his with Felix an illegitimate marriage, to an ad- passion, and the subject of his crime, before herence to the chaste ties which united her to Drusilla, he treated of “temperance." When Azizus. Felix the Roman, Felix the procura- Felix sent for him to satiate his avarice, he tor of Judea, and the favourite of Cesar, ap- talked of “righteousness.” While the goverpeared to her a noble acquisition. It is indeed nor was in his highest period of splendour, he à truth, we may here observe, that grandeur discoursed "of a judgment to come.” and fortune are charms which mortals find the Preachers of the court, confessors to princes, greatest difficulty to resist; and against which pests of the public, who are the chief promothe purest virtue has need to be armed with all ters of the present persecution, and the cause its constancy. Recollect those two characters of our calamities! O that I could animate you of Felix and Drusilla. St. Paul, before those by the example of St. Paul: and make you two personages, treated concerning the faith blush for your degeneracy and turpitude! My in Christ;" that is, concerning the Christian brethren, you know a prince;—and would to religion, of which Jesus Christ is the sum and God we knew him less! but let us respect the substance, the author and the end: and from lustre of a diadem; let us venerate the Lord's the numerous doctrines of Christianity, he se- anointed in the person of our enemy. Examlected "righteousness, temperance, and judg- ine the discourses delivered in his presence; ment to come."
read the sermons pompously entitled, “ SerHere is, my brethren, an admirable text; but mous preached before the king;" and see those a text selected with discretion. Fully to com- other publications, dedicated to—The perpeprehend it, recollect the character we have tual conqueror, whose battles were so many given of Felix. He was covetous, luxurious, victories--terrible in war—adorable in peace. and governor of Judea. St. Paul selected You will there find nothing but Aattery and three subjects, correspondent to these charac- applause. Who ever struck in his presence, teristics. Addressing an avaricious man, he at ambition and luxury? Who evet ventured treated of righteousness. Addressing the go- there to maintain the rights of the widow and vernor of Judea, one of those persons who think the orphan? Who, on the contrary, has not themselves independent, and responsible to magnified the greatest crimes into virtues; and, none but themselves for their conduct, he treat- by a species of idolatry before unknown, made ed of judgment to come.
Jesus Christ himself subservient to the vanity My brethren, when a man preaches for pop- of a mortal man? ularity, instead of seeking the glory of Christ, Oh! but St. Paul would have preached in he seeks his own; he selects subjects calculated a different manner! Before Felix, before Druto display his talents, and Hatter his audience. silla, he would have said that, “ fornicators Does he preach beforn a professed infidel, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God," I Cor. will expatiate on morality; and be ashamed to vi. 9, 10. In the midst of an idolatrous peopronounce the venerable words--covenant-sa- ple, he would have painted, in the liveliest cotisfaction. Does he address an Antinomian au- lours, innocence oppressed, the faith of edicts dience, who would be offended were he to en- violated, the Rhine overflowing with blood, force the practical duties of religion; he makes the Palatinate still smoking, and buried in its every thing proceed from election, reprobation own ashes. I check myself; we again repeat and the irresistibility of grace. Does he preach it; let us respect the sacred grandeur of kings, in the presence of a profligate court, he will and let us deplore their grandeur, which exenlarge on the liberty of the gospel, and the poses them to the dangerous poison of adulaclemency of God. He has the art,-(a most tion and flattery. detestable art, but too well understood in all This suggests an important reflection; a reages of the church,)-he has the art of unit- flection concerning the necessity which should ing his interests and his ministry. A politi- induce sovereigns to have ecclesiastics about cal preacher endeavours to accommodate his their persons, who would address them with preaching to his passions. Minister of Christ, frankness, and prompt them to the recollection and minister of his own interests, to express of their duty. Grandeur, power, and applause, myself with this apostle, he “makes a gain of (we are obliged to make the observations in godliness:" on this principle had Felix express our pulpits, in places where decorum requires ed a desire to understand the gospel, St. Paul attention; for we are of no consideration in had a favourable opportunity of paying his the bustle of a splendid court;) grandeur, powcourt in a delicate manner. The Christian re- er, and applause, are charms against which it ligion has a favourable aspect towards every | is very difficult for the human mind to retain
its superiority. Amid so many dangers, if a man | not lawful for thee to have thy brother Philip's have no guide but himself, no preacher but his wife,” Luke iii. 12–14. You are not higher conscience; if, instead of attending to the so- than Felix, neither are we in chains like St. ber dictates of truth, he is surrounded with Paul. But though we were yet more deeply flatterers, how can he resist so many attrac- abased; and though the character we sustain tions. And, if he do not resist, how can he seemed to you yet more vile; and though to be saved? For in fact, the same laws are given the rank of Jewish governor, you should suto the high and the low; to the rich and the peradd, that of Roman emperor, and sovereign poor; to the sovereign and the subject. of the world; despising all this vain parade,
In society, there is a gradation of rank. One we would maintain the majesty of our Master. is king, another is a subject; one tramples a So St. Paul conducted himself before Felix carpet of purple and gold under his feet, ano- and Drusilla. “He reasoned of righteousness, ther leads a languishing life, begging a preca- temperance, and judgment to come.” rious pittance of bread: one is drawn in a su But who can here supply the brevity of the perb carriage, another wades through the dirt. historian, and report the whole of what the But before the judgment-seat of Christ, all apostle said to Felix on these important points? these distinctions will be no more. There will It seems to me, that I hear him enforcing those then be no respect of persons. The same no- important truths he has left us in his works, thing is our origin; the same dust is our end; and placing in the fullest lustre those divine the same Creator gave us being; the same Sa- maxims interspersed in our Scriptures. “He viour accomplished our redemption; and the reasoned of righteousness.” There he mainsame tribunal must decide our eternal destiny. tained the rights of the widow and the orphan. How very important is it, when a man is ele- There he demonstrated, that kings and magisvated to dignities, inaccessible, so to speak, to trates are established to maintain the rights of reflections of this nature,-how very impor- the people, and not to indulge their own catant is it to have a faithful friend, a minister price; that the design of supreme authority is of Christ, a St. Paul, fully enlightened in the to make the whole happy by the vigilance of knowledge of the truth, and bold enough to one, and not to gratify one at the expense of declare it to others!
all; that it is meanness of mind to oppress the The commission is arduous to execute. It wretched who have no defence but cries and is difficult in the ordinary course of life to give tears; that nothing is so unworthy of an enadvice to equals. The repugnance which men lightened man as that ferocity, with which evince on being told of their faults, occasions some are inspired by dignity; and which obtheir being seldom cautioned. How much structs their respect for human nature, when more difficult then to speak impartially to those, undisguised by worldly pomp; that nothing is in whose presence our minds are mostly assail- so noble as goodness and grandeur, associated ed with intimidating bashfulness, and who hold in the same character; that this is the highest our life and fortune in their hands?
felicity; that in some sort it transforms the soul It behoves, notwithstanding, the ministers into the image of God; who, from the high of Christ to maintain the dignity of their cha- abodes of majesty in which he dwells surracter. Never had orators a finer field for com- rounded with angels and cherubim, deigns to manding attention. Never were subjects sus- look down on this mean world which we inceptible of a more grave and manly eloquence, habit, and " leaves not himself without witness, than those which they discuss. They have mo- doing good to all.”. tives the most powerful to press,
“ He reasoned of temperance.” There, he the most impetuous to move. They have an would paint the licentious effects of voluptueternity of glory to promise, and an eternity ousness. There he would demonstrate how of misery to denounce. They are ambassadors opposite this propensity is to the spirit of the of a Potentate, in whose presence, all the kings gospel
; which every where enjoins retirement, of the earth are but “as the small dust of the mortification, and self-denial. He would show balance.” Behold St. Paul, fully impressed how it degrades the finest characters, who with the grandeur of his mission. He forgot have suffered it to predominate. Intemperthe grandeur of Felix. He did more; he made ance renders the mind incapable of reflection. him forget himself. He made him receive ad- It debases the courage. It debilitates the mind. monition with reverence. “ He reasoned of It softens the soul. He would demonstrate the righteousness, temperance, and judgment to meanness of a man called to preside over a come.”
great people, who exposes his foibles to public Ministers of Jesus Christ, here is our tutor, view: not having resolution to conceal, much who prepares us for the sanctuary. And you, less to vanquish them. With Drusilla, he Christians, here is our apology. You complain would make human motives supply the defects wben we interfere with the shameful secrets of divine; with Felix, he would make divine of your vice; consider St. Paul. He is the motives supply the defects of human. He model God has set before us. He requires us would make this impudent woman feel that to speak with freedom and force; to exhort nothing on earth is more odious than a woman “in season and out of season;" to thunder in destitute of honour; that modesty is an appenour pulpits; to go even to your houses, and dage of the sex; that an attachment, uncementdisturb that fatal security which the sinner en- ed by virtue, cannot long subsist; that those joys in the commission of his crimes. He re who receive illicit favours, are the first, acquires us to say, to the revenue-officers, “ex- cording to the fine remark of a sacred historian, act no more than that which is appointed;" to to detest the indulgence: “The hatred wherethe soldiers, “ do violence to no man, and be with Amnon, son of David, hated his sister, content with your wages;" to Herod, "it is after the gratification of his brutal passion, was
greater than the love wherewith he had loved of these extraneous aids: behold him without her," 2 Sam. xiii. 15. He would make Felix any ornament but the truth he preached. What perceive, that however the depravity of the age do I say, that he was destitute of extraneous might seem to tolerate a criminal intercourse aids. See him in a situation quite the reverse;— among persons of the other sex, with God, a captive, loaded with irons, standing before who has called us all to equal purity, the crime his judge. Yet he made Felix tremble. Felix was not less heinous.
trembled! Whence proceeded this fear, and “He reasoned,” in short, “ of judgment to this confusion? Nothing is more worthy of come.” And here he would magnify his min- your inquiry. Here we must stop for a moistry. When our discourses are regarded as ment: follow us while we trace this fear to its connected only with the present period, their source. We shall consider the character of force 1 grant is of no avail. We speak for a Felix under different views: as a heathen, imMaster, who has left us clothed with infirmities, perfectly acquainted with a future judgment, which discover no illustrious marks of Him, and the life to come: as a prince, or governor, by whom we are sent. We have only our accustomed to see every one humble at his voice, only our exhortations, only our entrea- feet: as an avaricious magistrate, loaded with ties. Nature is not inverted at our pleasure. extortions and crimes: in short, as a voluptuous The visitations of heaven do not descend at man, who had never restricted the gratification our command to punish your indolence and of his senses. These are so many reasons of revolts: that power was very limited, even to Felix's fears. the apostles. The idea of a future state, the First, we shall consider Felix as a heathen, solemnities of a general judgment supply our imperfectly acquainted with a future judgment, weakness; and St. Paul enforced this motive; and the life to come: I say, imperfectly ache proved its reality: he delineated its lustre, quainted, and not as wholly ignorant, the heahe displayed its pomp. He resounded in the thens having the “work of the law written in ears of Felix, the noise, the voices, the trumpets. their hearts,” Rom. ii. 15. The force of habit He showed him the small and grea:, the rich had corrupted nature, but had not effaced its man and Lazarus, Felix the favourite of Ce laws. They acknowledged a judgment to come, sar, and Paul the captive of Felix, awoke by but their notions were confused concerning its that awful voice; “ Arise ye dead, and come to nature. judgment.”
Such were the principles of Felix; or rather, But not to be precipitate in commending the such was the imperfection of his principles, apostle's preaching. ' Its encomiums will best when he heard this discourse of St. Paul. You appear by attending to its effects on the mind may infer his fears from his character. Figure of Felix. St. Jeromne wished concerning a to yourselves a man, hearing for the first time, preacher of his time, that the tears of his audi- the maxims of equity and righteousness inculence might compose the eulogy of his sermons. cated in the gospel. Figure to yourselves, a We shall find in the tears of Felix occasion to man who heard corrected the immorality of applaud the eloquence of our apostle. We pagan theology; what was doubtful, illustrated; shall find that his discourses were thunder and and what was right, enforced. See a man, lightning in the congregation; as the Greeks who knew of no other God but the incestuous used to say concerning one of their orators. Jupiter, the lascivious Venus, taught that he While St. Paul preached, Felix felt I know must appear before Him, in whose presence not what agitations in his mind. The recollec- the seraphim veil their faces, and the heavens tion of his past life; the sight of his present sins; are not clean. Behold a man, whose notions Drusilla, the object of his passion and subject were confused concerning the state of souls of his crime; the courage of St. Paul; all terri- after death, apprised that God shall judge the fied him. His "heart burned,” while that world in righteousness. See a man, who saw disciple of Jesus Christ expounded the Scrip- described the smoke, the fire, the chains of tures. The word of God was quick and power- darkness, the outer darkness, the lake of fire ful. The apostle, armed with the two-edged and brimstone; and who saw them delineated sword, dividing the soul, the joints, and the by one animated by the Spirit of God. What marrow, carried conviction to the heart. Fe-consternation must have been excited by these lix trembled, adds our historian, Felix trem- terrific truths! bled! The fears of Felix are our second re This we are incapable adequately to com. flection.
prehend. We must surmount the insensibility, II. What a surprising scene, my brethren, acquired by custom. It is but too true, that is here presented to your view? The governor our hearts, instead of being impressed by these trembled, and the captive spoke without dis- truths, in proportion to their discussion-our may. The captive made the governor tremble. hearts are the more obdurate. We hear them The governor shivered in presence of the cap, without alarm, having so frequently heard them tive. It would not be surprising, brethren, if before. But if, like Felix, we had been brought we should make an impression on your hearts up in the darkness of paganism; and if another (and we should do so indeed, if our ministry Paul had come and opened our eyes, and unis not, as usual, a sound of empty words:) it veiled those sacred terrors, how exceedingly would not be surprising if we should make should we have feared? This was the case some impression on the hearts of our hearers. with Felix. He perceived the bandage to This sanctuary, these solemnities, these groans, drop in a moment, which conceals the sight this silence, these arguments, these efforts, of futurity. He heard St. Paul, that herald all aid our ministry, and unite to convince and of grace, and ambassador to the gentiles. He persuade you. But here is an orator destitute heard him reason on temperance, and a judg
ment to come. His soul was amazed; his exceeding my limits, the plan I have conceived; heart trembled; his knees smote one against and proceed to consider Felix as an avaricious another.
man; to find in this disposition a farther cause of Amazing effects, my brethren, of conscience! his fear. Felix was avaricious, and St. Paul evident argument of the vanity of those gods, instantly transported him into a world, in which idolatry adores, after it has given them which avarice shall receive its appropriate and form! Jupiter and Mercury, it is true, had their most severe punishment. For you know that altars in the temples of the heathens; but the the grand test by which we shall be judged is God of heaven and earth has his tribunal in the charity. “I was hungry, and ye gave me heart: and, while idolatry presents its incense meat;” and of all the obstructions of charity, to sacrilegious and incestuous deities, the God covetousness is the most obstinate and insurof heaven and earth, reveals his terrors to the mountable. conscience, and there loudly condemns both This unhappy propensity renders us insensiincest and sacrilege.
ble of our neighbour's necessities. It magniSecondly, consider Felix, as a prince; and fies the estimate of our wants: it diminishes you will find in this second office, a second the wants of others. It persuades us that we cause of his fear. When we perceive the great have need of all, that others have need of nomen of the earth devoid of every principle of thing. Felix began to perceive the iniquity religion, and even ridiculing those very truths of this passion, and to feel that he was guilty which are the objects of our faith; we feel that of double idolatry. Jdolatry in morality, idolfaith to waver. They excite a certain suspi- atry in religion. Idolatry in having offered cion in the mind, that our sentiments are only incense to gods, who were not the makers of prejudices; which have become rooted in man, heaven and earth; idolatry in having offered brought up in the obscurity of humble life. incense to mammon. For, the Scriptures teach, Here is the apology of religion. The Caligu- and experience confirms, “that covetousness las, the Neros, those potentates of the universe, is idolatry.” The covetous man is not a worhave trembled in their turn as well as the shipper of the true God. Gold and silver are meanest of their subjects. This independence the divinities he adores. His heart is with his of mind, so conspicuous among libertines, is treasure. Here then is the portrait of Felix; consequently an art,—not of disengaging them- a portrait drawn by St. Paul in the presence of selves from prejudices,—but of shutting their Felix; and which reminded this prince of ineyes against the light, and of extinguishing the numerable prohibitions, innumerable frauds, purest sentiments of the heart. Felix, educated innumerable extortions; of the widow and the in a court, fraught with the maxims of the orphan he had oppressed. Here is the cause great, instantly ridicules the apostle's preach of Felix's fears. According to an expression ing. St. Paul, undismayed, attacks him, and of St. James, the “rust of his gold and silver finds a conscience concealed in his bosom: the began to witness against him, and to eat his very dignity of Felix is constrained to aid our filesh as with fire,” James v. 3. apostle, by adding weight to his ministry. He Fourthly, consider Felix as a voluptuous demolishes the edifice of Felix's pride. He man. Here is the final cause of his fear. . shows, that if a great nation was dependent on Without repeating all we have said on the dehis pleasure, he himself was dependent on a pravity of this passion, let one remark suffice; sovereign, in whose presence the kings of the that, if the torments of hell are terrific to all, earth are as nothing. He proves that dignities they must especially be so to the voluptuous. are so very far from exempting men from the The voluptuous man never restricts his sensual judgment of God; that, for this very reason, gratification; his soul dies on the slightest aptheir account becomes the more weighty, riches proach of pain. What a terrific impression being a trust which Heaven has committed to must not the thought of judgment make on the great: and “where much is given, much such a character! Shall I, accustomed to inis required.” He makes him feel this awful dulgence and pleasure, become a prey to the truth, that princes are responsible, not only for worm that dieth not, and fuel to the fire which their own souls, but also for those of their sub- is not quenched! Shall I, who avoid pain with jects; their good or bad example influencing, so much caution, be condemned to eternal torfor the most part, the people committed to ments! Shall I have neither delicious meats, their care.
nor voluptuous delights! This body, my idol, See then Felix in one moment deprived of which I habituate to so much delicacy, shall his tribunal. The judge became a party. He it be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, saw himself rich and in need of nothing; and whose smoke ascendeth up for ever and ever!" yet he was “blind, and naked, and poor." He And this effeminate habit I have of refining heard a voice from the God of the whole earth, on pleasure, will it render me only the more saying unto him, “Thou profane and wicked sensible of my destruction and anguish! prince, remove the diadem, and take off the Such are the traits of Felix's character;
I will overturri, overturn, overturn it, such are the causes of Felix's fear. Happy, and it shall be no more,” Ezek. xxi. 25, 26. if his fear had produced that “godly sorrow, “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and and that repentance unto salvation not to be though thou set thy nest among the stars, repented of." Happy, if the fear of hell had thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord," induced him to avoid its torments. But, ah Obad. 4. Neither the dignity of governor, no! he feared, and yet persisted, the causes nor the favour of Cesar, nor all the glory of em- of his fear. He trembled, yet said to St. Paul, pire shall deliver thee out of my hand. “Go thy way for this time.” This is our last
Thirdly, I restrict myself, my brethren, as reflection. much as possible, in order to execute without III. How preposterous, my brethren, is the
“ Go thy way
sinner! What absurdities does he cherish in I will reform in future! But who has told his heart! For, in short, had the doctrines me, tha: I shall even desire to be converted? St. Paul preached to Felix been the produc- Do not habits become confirmed in proportion tions of his brain;--had the idea, which he as they are indulged? And is not an inveterate gave him of rectitude and injustice, been a evil very difficult to cure? If I cannot bear prejudice;—had the thought of a future judg- the excision of a slight gangrene, how shall I ment been a chimera, whence proceeded the sustain the operation when the wound is deep? fears of Felix? Why was he so weak as to ad I will reform in future! But who has told mit this panic of terror? If, on the contrary, me, that I shall live to a future period? Does Paul had truth and argument on his side, why not death advance every moment with gigandid Felix send him away? Such are the con- tic strides' Does he not assail the prince in tradictions of the sinner. He wishes; he re- his palace, and the peasant in his cottage? volts; he denies; he grants; he trembles, and Does he not send before him monitors and says, “ Go thy way for this time.” Speak to messengers;-acute pains, which wholly abhim concerning the truths of religion; open sorb the soul;—deliriums, that render reason of hell to his view, and you will see him affecied, no avail;-deadly stupors, which benumb the devout, and appalled; follow him in life, and brightest and most piercing geniuses? And you will find that these truths have no influ- what is still more awful, does he not daily come ence whatever on his conduct.
without either warning or messenger Does But are we not mistaken concerning Felix? he not snatch away this man without allowing Did not the speech of St. Paul make a deeper him time to be acquainted with the essentials impression upon him than we seem to allow of religion; and that man, without the restituHe sent the apostle away, it is true, but it was tion of riches ill-acquired; and the other, be“ for this time only." And who can censure fore he is reconciled io his enemy? this delay? We cannot be always recollected Instead of saying, “Go thy way for this and retired. The infirmities of human nature time,” we should say, stay for this time. Stay, require relaxation and repose. Felix could af- while the Holy Spirit is knocking at the door terward recall him. “Go thy way for this of my heart; stay, while my conscience is timic; when I have a convenient season, I will alarmed; stay, while I yet live; “ while it is send for thee."
called to-day.” The arguments confound my It pains me, I confess, my brethren, in en- conscience: no matter. " Thy hand is heavy tering on this head of my discourse, that I upon me:” no matter still. Cut, strike, conshould exhibit to you in the person of Felix, sume; provided it procure my salvation. the portrait of whom? Of wicked men? Alas! But, however criminal this delay may be, of nearly the whole of this assembly; most of we seem desirous to excuse it. whom seem to us living in negligence and vice, for this time; when. I have a convenient searunning with the children of this world“ to the son, I will call for thee.” It was Felix's busisame excess of riot.” One would suppose, ness then which induced him to put off the that they had already made their choice, hav- apostle. Unhappy business! Awful occupaing embraced one or the other of these notions, tion! It seems an enviable situation, my breeither that religion is a phantom, or that, all thren, lo be placed at the head of a province; things considered, it is better to endure the tor- to speak in the language of majesty; to decide ments of hell, than to be restricted to the on the fortunes of a numerous people; and in practice of virtue. Ono; that is not their no- all cases to be the ultimate judge. But those tion. Ask the worst among them. Ask whe- situations, so happy and so dazzling in appearther they have renounced their salvation? You ance, are in the main dangerous to the corwill not find an individual who will say, that science! Those innumerable concerns, this he has renounced it. Ask them again, whe- noise and bustle, entirely dissipate the soul. ther they think it attainable by following this While so much engaged on earth, we cannot way of life? They will answer, No. Ask be mindful of heaven. When we have no leithem afterward, how they reconcile things so sure, we say to St. Paul, “Go thy way for this opposite, as their life, and their hope? They time; when I have a convenient season, I will will answer, that they are resolved to reform, call for thee.” and by and by they will enter on the work. Happy he, who, amid the tumult of the They will say, as Felix said to St. Paul, “ Go most active life, has hours consecrated to rethy way for this time; when I have a conve- flection, to the examination of his conscience, nient season, I will call for thee.” Nothing and to ensure the one thing needful!" Or is less wise than this delay. At a future pe- rather, happy he, who, in the repose of the riod I will reform. But who has assured me, middle classes of society,-placed between inthat at a future period I shall have opportuni- digence and affluence,-far from the courts of ties of conversion: Who has assured me that the great, -having neither poverty nor richGod will continue to call me, and that another es according to Agur's wish, can in retirement Paul shall thunder in my ears
and quietness see life sweetly glide away, and I will reform at a future period! But who make salvation, if not the sole, yet his princihas told me, that God at a future period will pal concern! accompany his word with the powerful aids of Felix not only preferred his business to his grace?' While Paul may plant and Apollos salvation, but he mentions it with evasive dismay water, is it not God who gives the in- dain. "When I have a convenient season, I crease? How then can I flatter myself, that will call for thee.”—“When I have a convethe Holy Spirit will continue to knock at the nient season!” Might we not thence infer, door of my heart, after I shall have so fre- that the truths discussed by St. Paul were not quently obstructed his admission?
of serious importance: Might we not infer,