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Law Report.—Jews versus Paul: Trials five, with Observations.



On the occasion of what passed at the Temple, the report of a great law-case,—to speak in modern and English language,—the case of The Jews against Paul, was begun. The judicatory before which he underwent that trial,—partly before the Jewish multitude, partly before the Roman chief by whom he was rescued,—was a sort of mixed and extempore judicatory, something betwixt a legal and an illegal one: for, as has been seen in the case of Saint Stephen, and as may be seen in the case of the woman[Pg 407] taken in adultery, and moreover, in the body of the law itself, a sort of mob-law might, not altogether without ground, be stated as forming part and parcel of the law of Moses. To this sort of irregular trial, succeeded, before the definite judgment was pronounced, no fewer than four others, each of them before a tribunal, as regular as any the most zealous supporter of what is called legitimacy could desire. In execution of this definitive judgment it was, that Paul was sent, on that half-forced, half-voluntary expedition of his, to Rome: at which place, on his arrival at that capital, the Acts history closes. Of the reports of these several trials, as given in the Acts,—follows a summary view, accompanied with a few remarks for elucidation.



Scene, the Temple. Judges, prosecutors, and—stated as intended executioners, a Jerusalem multitude. Sole class, by whom any declared or special cause of irritation had been received, the Christianized Jews, provoked by Paul's preachings against the law of the land, to which they as yet maintained their adherence; by his intrusion upon their society, by which, were it only for his former persecution, he could not but be abhorred; and by the notorious perjury he was at that moment committing, having chosen to commit it, rather than cease to obtrude upon them the object of their abhorrence.

Of the particulars of the accusation nothing is[Pg 408] said: but, the above circumstances, and the subsequent charges made upon him the next day by the constituted authorities,—who immediately took up the matter, and carried on a regular prosecution against him,—sufficiently show, what, if expressed, would have been the purport of them. By the preparations made for execution, we shall see broken off the defence, before it had come, if ever it was designed to come, to the substance of the alleged offence.

Points touched upon in it are these:—

1. Defendant's birthplace, Tarsus; parentage, Jewish; religious persuasion, Pharasaical; education, under Gamaliel, verse 3.

2. Part, borne by him, in the persecution of the Christians, when Stephen was stoned: his commission for that purpose stated, and the High Priest and Elders called to witness, verses 4 and 5.

N.B. Time of that same commission, according to the received chronology, not less than 26 years before this.

3. Story, of that first vision, of which so much has been seen: namely, that from whence his conversion was dated: occasion, his journey to Damascus, for the execution of that same commission, verses 6 to 16.

4. Story of his trance: for this see Chapter IV. §. 7. In this state, "the Lord" seen by him.—Lord to Defendant. "Get thee quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me." Defendant, to Lord. Informing or reminding said Lord of the details of the part borne by said defendant in the persecution of Saint Stephen.—Lord to Defendant. "Depart, for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." Note, Defendant cut short: Lord's patience no match for defendant's eloquence.

[Pg 409]

Judges and executioners.—At the word Gentiles, exclamation:—"Away with him ... he is not fit to live":—clothes cast off, as in Stephen's case, as if to prepare for stoning him.[81] "Dust thrown into the air." Present, chief captain Claudius Lysias, who commands him to be "brought into the castle," and "examined by scourging." While, for this purpose, they are binding him, on Defendant crying out, "I am a Roman citizen," the binding ceases, no scourging commences: the next day he is released, and the "chief priests and all their council" are "sent for," and Defendant is "set before them."



Judges, chief priests in council assembled: present, the high priests. Prosecutors, the said judge: other prosecutors, as far as appears, none. In modern Rome-bred law, this mode of procedure, in which the[Pg 410] parts of judge and prosecutor are performed by the same person, is styled the inquisitorial: in contradistinction to this, that in which the part of prosecutor is borne by a different person, is stiled the accusatorial.

Charges or questions put, not stated.

Defendant. "I am a Pharisee ... the son of a Pharisee. Of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."

Thereupon, ver. 9, "great cry" ...—"Great dissention." "Chief captain, fearing lest," Defendant, "Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them," inuendo the said judges, "commands soldiers," who take him back into the castle.

"Cry? dissention?"—whence all this? Acts has not here been explicit enough to inform us. As to Defendant's plea, that it was for believing in the resurrection that he was prosecuted,—what could not but be perfectly known to him was,—that it neither was true, nor by possibility could be so. Among said Judges, parties two—Pharisees and Sadducees: Pharisees the predominant. "The Sadducees," on this occasion, says ver. 8, "say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both." Prosecuting a Pharisee for preaching the resurrection, meaning always the general resurrection, would have been as if a Church-of-Englandist Priest were indicted in the King's Bench, for reading the Athanasian creed. Accordingly—it was a stratagem of the Defendant's—this same misstatement: such it is expressly stated to be:—when defendant "perceived," ver. 6, "that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees,"—then it was that he came out with it: and, already it has been seen, how effectually it answered its purpose.

[Pg 411]

Enter once more the history of the trance. Note here the sudden termination of Defendant's first Jerusalem visit, alias his Reconciliation Visit, and turn back to Chapter IV. §. 7, Cause of it,—historian speaking in his own person—"Grecians," Acts 9:29, "went about to slay him," for disputing with them:—historian, speaking, to wit, here, in defendant's person, Christianized Jews' disbelief of his conversion, and of that vision story of his, that he produced in evidence of it. It is on the occasion of the just-mentioned Temple trial, that Defendant is made to come out with it. On that occasion, as hath been seen, it was of no use: but, in this second trial, it will be seen to be of prime use. That it was told over again at this trial is not indeed expressly said: but, that it was so is sufficiently manifest. This and no other is the handle which his supporters in the council lay hold of: and this they could not have done, had he not, as will be seen presently, put it into their hands. "The Scribes," says ver. 9, "that were of the Pharisees' part, arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God." Well then—this spirit, or this angel, who was he? Who but that spirit, whom defendant had so manifestly told them of, and who was no other than that "Lord" of his, whom he had seen in the trance: in the trance, which, while the multitude were beating him, invention had furnished him with for the purpose.

Mark now, how apposite a weapon the Pharisees found, in this same trance, in their war against the Sadducees. As to Jesus,—though from first to last, so far from being recognized by their sect, he had been the object of that enmity of theirs under which he sunk,—yet, so far as, in general terms, he preached[Pg 412] the general resurrection,—his doctrine not only agreed with theirs, but was of no small use to them: it was of use to them, against those political rivals, whose opposition to their sect was the sole cause of everything that was troublesome to it. As to Paul,—had he confined himself, to the speaking of Jesus's particular resurrection,—this indeed was what no Pharisee could be disposed to admit: but if, by Paul or anyone else, Jesus, or any other person, was at any time seen in an incorporeal state,—here was a piece of evidence on their side. With relation to any interview of the Apostles with Jesus after his resurrection, nothing that Paul had to say—to say with truth or colour of truth—was anything more than hearsay evidence: but, as to that, which on this occasion, he had been relating about the Lord, whom he had seen in his trance,—this, how false soever, was not only direct, but immediate evidence: evidence, in the delivery of which, the relating witness stated himself to have been, with relation to the alleged fact in question, a percipient witness.

That, on this occasion, Paul dwelt, with any particularity, on the appearance of Jesus in the flesh after his resurrection, is not said: and, as it would not have contributed anything to the purpose, the less particular the safer and the better. Lord or not Lord, that which appeared was at any rate a spirit: and for the war against the Sadducees, a spirit was all that was wanted: no matter of what sort.

[Pg 413]



Scene, "Governor" Felix's judicatory. Judge, said Governor. Prosecutor, Orator Tertullus: Present, his clients,—the "High Priest" and "the Elders." Procedure, accusatorial. Time, "twelve days," ver. 11, "after Trial 1; eleven, after Trial 2."

I. Counsel's Speech—Points touched upon in it, these:—verses 1-4.

1. Opening compliment to Governor Judge.—His "providence" and "clemency."

II. 1. Vituperative surplusage, of course, as if in B. R.: though not paid for, in fees and taxes, by the sheet.—Defendant, "a pestilent fellow."

Charges three. To make the matter more intelligible, had the proceeding been by writing in the first instance, they might have been styled counts.

2. Charge 1. Defendant "a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world."

3. Charge 2. Said Defendant "a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

4. Charge 3. Defendant "gone about to profane the temple."

5. Statement made of Trial 2, and the termination given to it by Roman chief captain Lysias, taking said Defendant out of their hands, and commanding accusers' appearance in this court: verses 7, 8.

6. Viva voce evidence accordant: witnesses, neither quality nor number stated. "And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so." ver. 9.

[Pg 414]

III. Defendant's defence: verses 10-21.

Points touched upon in it, these:—

1. Defendant's confidence in this his judge.

2. At Jerusalem "to worship" was his errand. The ostensible one, yes: of the real one,—supplanting the Apostles,—of course nothing said.

3. In the temple, defendant was not "found by them," by whom? "disputing with any man." Disputing? No. It was to take the oath—the seven-days-long false oath,—that he went there:—this, and nothing else. The priests, in whose keeping he was, and on whose acceptance the validity and efficacy of the ceremony depended, were not men to be disputed with.

4. Defendant not found by them "raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city." ver. 12. No: neither was any such raising charged upon him: nor would it have suited his purpose. Seditious acts are one thing; seditious discourses, another. From seditious acts he had nothing to gain; from seditious discourses everything: to wit, in so far as the effect of it was to weaken men's attachment to the law of the land, and engage them to transfer it to the schism he had raised in the religion of Jesus.

5. General denial: but not amounting to Not Guilty. "Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me." ver. 13.

6. In verses 14, 15, 16, matter nothing to the purpose. Orthodox his belief: among the objects of it, the resurrection: void of offence towards God and man, his conscience.

7. False pretence—object of this his visit to Jerusalem—of this his Invasion Visit—falsely stated. "Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings." ver. 17.

[Pg 415]

8. When Defendant was "found purified in the temple," it was "neither with multitude, nor with tumult." True: but nothing to the purpose: the priests, in whose boarding-house he was, while the purifying, that is to say, the eating and paying, process was carrying on, were not a multitude: nor would tumult have been either profitable or practicable.

9. The men, who so found Defendant there, were "certain Jews from Asia," and, if they were accusers or witnesses, ought to have appeared in that character on the present occasion. "Who ought," says ver. 19, "to have been here before thee, and object, if they had aught against me." Ought? why ought they? Defendant called no witnesses: by non-appearance of witnesses, if against him, so far from being injured, he was benefited. The proceeding, too, was inquisitorial, not accusatorial: it required no accusers. Jews of Asia indeed? as if there were any Jews of Asia, to whom any more natural or legitimate cause of indignation could have been given by his misdeeds, than had been given by them to all the Jews in Jerusalem, not to speak of the rest of the world, or the Christianized Jews.

10. By Defendant's saying to the judges in Trial 2, that it was for preaching the resurrection that he stood accused by and before them—by this, without anything else, the indignation thereupon expressed by them against him had been excited. "Or else," say verses 20, 21, "let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, Except it be for this one voice, that I cried, standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day."

Follows the judge's decision, "When Felix," says[Pg 416] ver. 22, "heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter." Such is stated to have been the decision of the judge: and, so far as regarded what passed on Defendant's trial before Jerusalem council, it was clearly the only proper one: a more impartial, as well as, in every point of view, suitable witness, the case could hardly have afforded: and, as to the main question, nothing could be more natural, than that what it had fallen in Lysias's way on that occasion to observe, might afford instructive light.

Interlocutory order. Defendant recommitted: but access to him free for everybody. "And he commanded a centurion," says ver. 23, "to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister, or come unto him."

In this state continues Paul for "two years": at which time, says ver. 27, "Porcius Festus came into Felix's room: and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound."

In verses 24, 25, 26, this interval of delay is filled up with an account, such as it is, of certain intrigues, of which the Defendant was the subject. The Roman has a Jewess for his wife. The prisoner is sent for, and wife shares with husband the benefit of his eloquence. Self-constituted Apostle preaches: heathen trembles: trembling, however, prevents not his "hoping" to get money out of the prisoner, if this part of the history is to be believed. "And after certain days," says ver. 24, "when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning," what is here called, "the faith in Christ." Faith in Christ indeed?[Pg 417] After the word faith, the word Christ costs no more to write than the word Paul: but in whatever was said about faith by Paul, which would be the most prominent figure,—Christ or Paul—may by this time be imagined. As for any faith which it was in the nature of the case, that the Roman heathen should derive from the Greek Jew's eloquence, it must have been faith in Paul, and Paul only. Paul he had seen and heard, Christ he had neither seen nor heard; nor, for aught that appears, anything concerning him, till that very time.

"And as he reasoned," says ver. 25, "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. He hoped," continues ver. 26, "that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him."



Scene, Cęsarea judicatory.—Judge, new Roman governor, Festus. Accusers, "Jews," not named, sent by the high priest and his colleagues from Jerusalem to Cęsarea for the purpose. Defendant still in the prison at Cęsarea: Roman judge, at Jerusalem. Prosecutors, the council there—petition to have Defendant brought thither. Judge chooses rather to go to him at Cęsarea, than thus send for him to Jerusalem.

[Pg 418]

According to the historian, it was for the purpose of causing Defendant to be murdered, in the way to the judicatory, that the prosecutors were so earnest as they were to obtain the habeas corpus: according to probability, it was for any purpose, rather than that of committing any such outrage upon the authority of their constituted superior, with an army at his command. Be this as it may, instead of sending for Defendant to Jerusalem, the judge returned himself to Cęsarea.

"Now," says ver. 1, "when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Cęsarea to Jerusalem.—Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him.—And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.—But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Cęsarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.—Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.—And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Cęsarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment-seat commanded Paul to be brought."

Charges, not particularized: said of them, not so much as that they were the same as before. "Many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove": ver. 7—such is the only account given of them.

Defence—points contained in it. As before, no offence, says ver. 8, against the law—no offence against "the temple." One point added, "Nor yet against Caesar." Good. But how comes this here? Here we have a defence, against what, it is plain, was never charged.

Festus—judge, to Defendant, ver. 9: "Wilt thou[Pg 419] go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?"

Defendant to judge, ver. 10: "I stand at Caesar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged": meaning, as appears from the direct words of appeal in the next verse,—by a Roman, not by a Jewish judicatory, ought I to be tried. Against the being judged at Cęsarea, instead of Jerusalem, he could not naturally have meant to object: at least, if the historian speaks true, in what he says about the plot for murdering the prisoner on the road.

2. "To the Jews," says ver. 10, "have I done no wrong." Thus far nothing more is said than Not Guilty. But now follows another trait of that effrontery, which was so leading a feature in Paul's eloquence, "as," continues he, "thou very well knowest." Now what anybody may see is,—that Festus neither did know, nor could know, any such thing. Witness the historiographer himself, who, but eight verses after, (18, 19, 20,) makes Festus himself, in discourse with King Agrippa, declare as much. But the more audacious, the more in Defendant's character; and the greater the probability, that, in the conflict between the Law-Report and the narrative, truth is on the side of the Report.

3. Conclusion: ver. 11, defendant gives judge to understand, that if he, the Defendant, has done any of the things he has been charged with, he has no objection to be put to death: but in the same breath ends with saying, "I appeal to Caesar!" submitting thus to Festus's judgment, whatever it may be, and at the same time appealing from it.

Festus judge: ver. 12, "when he had conferred with the council," whoever they were,—"Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar thou shalt go." Here ends Trial IV.

[Pg 420]



This requires some previous explanation.

A few days after the last preceding trial, came to Cęsarea, says verse 13, Agrippa and Bernice: Festus being still there: Agrippa, sub-king of the Jews under the Romans: Bernice, it may be presumed, his queen: saluting this their superior, their only business mentioned. Follows thereupon a conversation, of which Defendant is the subject, and which continues the length of fourteen verses. Defendant having appealed to Caesar, judge has determined to send him to Caesar accordingly. But, considering that, by the emperor, on the arrival of a man sent to him in the character of a prisoner, some assigned cause, for his having been put into that condition, will naturally be looked for; and, as the only offences, the Jew stands charged with, are of a sort, which, while to the heathen emperor they would not be intelligible, would to a Jew sub-king, if to any one, be sufficiently so;—thereupon it is, that he desires his sub-majesty to join with him in the hearing of the cause, and by that means put him in a way to report upon it.

Speaking of the accusers, "they brought," says Festus to Agrippa in verse 18, "none accusation of such things as I supposed.—But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.—And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.—But[Pg 421] Paul...had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus...." Such, as above noticed, is the declaration which the historian puts into the mouth of Festus: and this, after having so recently made Paul tell Festus, that his, Paul's, having done no wrong to the Jews, was to him, Festus, matter of such perfect knowledge.[82]

[Pg 422]

Now then comes the trial, Acts 26:1. Scene, at Cęsarea, the Emperor's Bench. Lord chief justice, Roman governor Festus; Puisne judge, Jew sub-king Agrippa. Present, "Bernice...chief captains and principal men of the city." Special accusers, none. Sole speaker, whose speech is reported, the Defendant.

Points in Defendant's speech, these:

1. Verses 2 and 3. Patient hearing requested, acknowledgment of Agrippa's special confidence.

2. Verses 4 and 5. Protestation of Phariseeism.

3. Verses 6, 7, 8. Same false insinuation as before,—Phariseeism the sole crime imputed to him.

4. Verses 9, 10, 11. Confession or avowal, whichever it is to be called, of his proceedings six-and-twenty years before, against the Christianized Jews, shutting them up in prison, in pursuance of authority from "the chief priests," down to the time of his conversion-vision. See Table I. Conversion Table.

5. Verses 12 to 20. Account of this same vision. See that same Table.

6. Declaration. "For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."—For these causes? For what causes? If for being a Pharisee, or preaching the general resurrection, or even the particular one,—assuredly no. But, if for the breach of trust, in joining with the state offenders, the Christianized Jews, whom he was commissioned to apprehend;—joining with those state offenders, and then bringing out the vision-story for an excuse;—if telling everybody that would hear him, that the law of the land was a dead letter;—and, if the denying he had ever done so; and, for giving himself the benefit of such mendacious denial, rendering the temple an instrument of notorious perjury;—if it was for all this, that they "went about" indeed[Pg 423] "to kill him,"—but to kill him no otherwise than in the manner prescribed by that same law,—Jewishly speaking, they were not to blame in what they did,—humanly speaking, nothing can be seen that is not altogether natural in it.

7. Conclusion: namely, if not of what he would have said,—at any rate, of what, according to the reporter, he was permitted to say:—it is formed by a passage, in which, in continuance of his plan for keeping up his interest with the Pharisee part of the council, his ingenuity employs itself in strengthening the connection between the particular resurrection of Jesus, and the general resurrection maintained by the Pharisees.

"Having therefore," says verse 22, "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 show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles."—Lord Chief Justice Festus, "with a loud voice, as he," the Defendant, "thus spake for himself—Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning hath made thee mad." In the mouth of a Roman, and that Roman so high in rank, the notion thus expressed had nothing in it but what was natural enough. As to the general resurrection, that was one of the above-mentioned "questions about their own superstition," which he therefore left to the Jewish judges: as to the particular resurrection, of this he had heard no better evidence than the defendant's: and what, in discriminating eyes, that was likely to be worth, the reader has by this time judged.

8. Defendant in reply, ver. 25: Not mad, but sober:—for confirmation, appeal to the Jewish sub-monarch,[Pg 424] then and there present. "I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak for the words of truth and soberness.—For the King knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded, that none of these things are hidden from him; for this was not done in a corner." Here would have been a place for the five hundred, by whom, after his resurrection, Jesus was seen at once—see above chapter—but, upon the present occasion, the general expression, here employed, was deemed preferable. "King Agrippa," continues verse 27, "believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest."

King Agrippa to Paul, ver. 28. "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

Paul to Agrippa: "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." No bad trait of polite oratory this exception.

Assembly breaks up.—"And when he 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 or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." Observation. In this observation, something of the obscure seems to present itself. For, Paul himself being the appellant, and that for no other purpose than the saving himself from death or bonds, he had but to withdraw the appeal, and, supposing a judgment pronounced to the effect thus mentioned, this was everything he could have wished from it. But, Paul having already, to judge from his Epistle to the Romans, laid the[Pg 425] foundation of a spiritual kingdom in the metropolis of the civilized world,—it looks as if he had no objection to figure there, as we shall find him figuring accordingly, in the character of a state-prisoner, for the purpose of displaying, and in the eye of the Caesar of that day, a sample of his eloquence, in a cause so much greater than any in which that of the first Caesar could ever have displayed itself. Reason is not wanting for the supposition, that it was by what passed at the council, that the idea was first suggested to him: for "the night following, the Lord," says 23:11, "stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." The Lord has commanded me so and so, is the sort of language in which he would naturally make communication of this idea to his attendants.

The circumstantiated and dramatic style of this part of the narrative, seems to add to the probability, that, on this occasion, the historian himself was present. On this supposition, though in the Greek as well as in the English, they are represented as if they had quitted the justice-room,—any conversation, that took place among them immediately after, in the street, might not unnaturally have been overheard by him. In chapter 24, ver. 23, stands Felix's order of admittance, as above, for Paul's acquaintance, to minister or come to him. One other attendant has appeared, in the character of his sister's son, Acts 23:16; by whom information was given to Felix, that the men there spoken of were lying in wait for him to kill him. On the occasion of this invasion of his, it would have been interesting enough to have had a complete list of his staff.

Here ends trial fifth and last: and in the next verse it is, that, together with other prisoners, and the[Pg 426] historian at least for his free attendant, he is dispatched on his voyage. Acts 27:1. "And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.—And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched...."


[81] If in any former part of this work, in speaking of this scene, the persons in question have been spoken of as having actually proceeded to acts of manual violence, it was an oversight.

As to the examination by scourging,—singular enough will naturally appear this mode of collecting evidence: declared purpose of it, "that he," the captain, "might know wherefore they," the Jews, "cried out against him," meaning the defendant. A simpler way would have been to have asked them; and, as to the scourge, what use it could have been of is not altogether obvious. To begin with torturing a man, and proceed by questioning him, was, however, among the Romans a well-known mode of obtaining evidence. But, then and there, as now and everywhere, unless the United States form an exception, "whatever is—is right," provided always that it is by power that it is done.

[82] Acts 25:12-27.

"Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.—And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cęsarea to salute Festus.—And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:—About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.—To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.—Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth:—Against whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:—But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.—And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.—But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.—Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.—And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.—And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are present with us, ye see this man about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.—But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.—Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord, wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O, King Agrippa, that after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.—For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him."

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