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the Lord's table. All—as I have often said are invited there; all will be welcome there; young and old, learned and unlearned, saint and sinner, if so be that he is penitent. But while all are called-lovingly called and bidden there by God Himself--none are so pressingly bound to accept the invitation as the old and the infirm. And for this reason

-Because with them it may be the last opportunity ; because if they delay, if they let slip a single occasion, they may not be alive to profit by another !

Let not, then, any aged Christian ever be backward to come to the Holy Communion. Let them, as in other points of religious duty, so most especially in this, set the pattern to their younger brethren.

In so doing, they will be consulting for their truest happiness. They will be living as men ought to live — mindful of their Redeemer, obedient to His sacred word.

And so living, they will be prepared to die. The call to depart will not take them unawares, will not cause confusion of heart, and panic fear, as happens to others who have not made themselves ready.

They are ready. Fresh from the memorial of their Saviour's death, their sinful bodies made clean by His body; their souls washed in His most precious blood ; feeding on Him in their hearts by faith ; resting on His atoning merits, assured of God's favour towards them, they bear within them a calm, a hopeful, an untroubled spirit. Nay, they are not only ready, but often glad to go-glad to put off their tabernacle, glad to be “ delivered from the burden of the flesh.” On their lips, and in their hearts, are these words of the song of Simeon-Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation !



Acts, xxiv. 24, 25.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife

Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he 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.

What a graphic picture is set before us in these verses! Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, true to his Master in an hour of severe trial ! Felix, the Roman governor, a man of a notorious evil life, cruel, licentious, unrestrained by any religious conviction, and yet of his own accord sending for his prisoner, and hearing him discourse upon the great topic of faith in Christ; and not only hearing him, but, affected by what he heard, moved to the depth of his soul by the Apostle's sermon.

Drusilla the wife, and yet not the wife of Felix, for he had seduced her from her rightful husband Azizus, king of Emesa, sitting by and listening to the words of rebuke and condemnation. These are the persons brought together in the words that I have read to you. And how much is there for us to learn from this spectacle? What a chapter is here opened for us into the deceitful workings of the human heart! what a witness is borne to the power and sharpness of God's word! What an example is set before us of courage in rebuking sin ! It is indeed a passage of scripture written for our learning-to be read, and marked, and digested by us all!

Let me, then, have your attention, brethren, while I speak a few words to you upon the character and conduct of Felix the Roman governor, and of his illustrious prisoner, the Apostle Paul; and let me beg of you, as we proceed, to note where the subject touches you, and to take to yourselves its warning.

We learn from the beginning of the 24th chapter, that St. Paul, after being five days a prisoner at Cæsarea, whither he had been sent by Claudius Lysias from Jerusalem, to save him from a conspiracy of the Jews, was brought forth from his prison to answer the charges of Ananias, the high-priest, in the presence of the Roman governor Felix.

Tertullus, an orator of note, was the mouthpiece of the prosecution. He charged St. Paul with being a morer of sedition among all the Jews, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes ; also, that he had gone about to profane the Temple. To these charges the Apostle gave a complete denial- he had never been found in the Temple disputing with any man; neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogue nor in the city ; nor could they prove the things whereof they accused him. So far from exciting sedition, it had been his study to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men. He does not deny that he is a Christian, but he maintains that to be a Christian is no crime ; that he still believed all things that were written in the Law and in the Prophets; and had hope toward God, which some of them, the Pharisees, also allowed, that there would be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. This he declared to be the real grievance, because he held, contrary to the dismal tenet of the Sadducees, that man was appointed to immortality, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust !

At this point in his defence, Felix, the judge and governor, stopped the proceedings. He had heard before of these things. He lived at Cæsarea,

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