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Rome, and his Return thither again; in which Time he preached the Gospel in the West, ac. cording to the common and received Opinion of all the Fathers: It being not likely that a Person so indefatigable in his Labour before his Imprisonment at Rome, should lie still afterwards ; and it is probable he did not return to
the East, having so folemnly taken his Leave AAs 20. of thofe Churches, saying, that they should see 25 bis Face no more. St. Paul might have Encou
ragement to this Undertaking from the great Number of the Inhabitants, and from the Settlement of Colonies, both Trading and Military, here by the Romans. And from Pomponia Grecina, who was probably a Christian, and Wife to A. Plautius, the Roman Lieutenant in Britain. And it is not unlikely but that some of the British Captives, carried over with Characiacus and his Family, might be among the considerable Converts St. Paul made ar Rome ; who would certainly promote the Conversion of their Country, by so great an Apoftle. None of the rest of the Apostles stand in any reasonable Competition with St. Paul for this Mission, but St. Peter, whose Business lay quite another Way; being the Apostle of the Circumcifion, he was to attend the Jews, and consequently his chief Employment must be where the greatest Numbers of the Jews were: And the Historians that affirm St. Peter's coming into Britain, are of no great Authority, being often Nighted by those that produce them. A more exact and full Account of this Matter may be found in Bishop Stilling fleet's Orig. Brit.
Q. Where did St. Paul suffer Martyrdom? 4. At Rome under Nero, in that general Persccution raised against the Christians, upon pretence that they fired the City. Some of the Antients affirm he drew upon himself the Fury of that cruel Emperor, by joining with St. Peter in procuring the Fall of Simon Magus s others by converting a Concubine of Nere, that he extremely loved and caressed. He was beheaded in the Sixty-eighth Year of his Age; and from the Instrument of his Execution, the Custom arose always in his Pictures to draw him with a Sword in his Hand,
Q. What Writings did St. Paul leave behind bim?
A. Fourteen Epistles, which were not only instrumental in confirming the Churches at first, but they have been highly useful ever since, to the Service of Religion in all Ages. These holy Writings must be read with Humility and Medefty, because St. Peter hath long since observed, that in them are some Things bard to be under- 2 Pet. 3, food, which the Unlearned and Unstable wreft to 16, their own Destruction.
Q. Wbat Controversies exercised the Church in this Apostle's Time?
A. The damnable Heresies of Simon Magus and his Followers, who were afterwards known by the Name of Gnofticks, who placed the Main of Religion in Knowledge, neglecting the Practice of it, and who, in Times of Perfecution, thought it lawful to deny the Faith. But the most considerable Controversy was, whether Circumcifion and the Observation of the Mofaick Law, or only the Belief and Practice of Cbristanity, be necessary to Salvation ; the ļaft was maintained by the Apostles, the former by the Judaizing Christians And St. Paul's
Discourses about Justification and Salvation immediately refer to this Controversy.
Q. How was this Controversy determined?
À. By the Apostolick Synod at Jerusalem ; 28, 29. where it was declared, that the Gentiles were
under 'no Obligation to observe the Jewish Law; God having clearly manifested his ACceptance of them. Yet not to provoke the Jews, the Gentile Converts where somewhat restrained in the Exercise of their Christian Liberty.
Q. What may we learn from the Commemoration of St. Paul's Conversion ?
A. To adore that miraculous Grace which called him to be an Apostle. To bless God for the Advantages we have had from his laborious and indefatigable Pains. And though we have been great Sinners, to encourage ourfelves from his Example with Hopes of Acceptance, provided we sincerely repent. That the best Way to lhew the Sincerity of our Conversion, is by. Actions opposite to our former Sins, that those Virtues may be most conspicious in our turning to God, which have been most neglected in our State of Folly. That when we charge ourselves with the Breaches of God's Law, we always remember that Guilt which we have contracted by
partaking in other Mens Sins; which St. Paul Acts 22. fo fervently bewailed upon the Account of con
senting to St. Stephen's Death.
Q. Since partaking in other Mens Sins makes us liable to mare in the Guilt and Punishment of them; pray what is meant by partaking in uber. Mens Sins ?
A. When, before any wicked Action is committed, we are any ways knowingly aiding or
abetting towards the committing of it: Or when after it is committed, we are any ways approving or justifying of it; by either of which Means we partake in other Mens Sins, though we are not the immediate Actors of them.
Q. What are the usual Ways whereby we partake in Mens Sins before they are committed ?
A. Those chat are Superiors, as Magistrates, Masters, and Parents, share in the Guilt by ordering and commanding any evil Thing; or by not using their power to prevent and punish it; or by not expressly refusing to concur in such evil Things as are proposed to be enacted by mutual Consent. Those that are Ministers, by neglecting to teach others their Duty, or by forbearing to warn their Flocks, as careful Watchmen should, against approaching Danger. Those that are in any subordinate Office, by ministring in any unlawful Business, helping it forward by advice and Counsel, by furnishing Provisions, by wishing or praying for the Succels of it. And all others,
by the Infuence of their own ill Example, which is powerful of itself, but more fatal when the Example is eminent for Power, Parts, and Learning.
Q. What are the usual Ways whereby we partake in Mens Sins after they are committed?
4. By approving a wicked Thing after it is acted, inwardly delighting in it, which is to take Part thereof in Will and Affection. By appearing to praise it; which sets off the Wickedness not only as innocent, but as worthy and honourable. By justifying and defending it ; which in some Sense makes a Man more guilty than he that committed it ; for that might be through the Strength of Temptation,
and through the Infirmity of Passion, the other is the Effect of Judginent and Consideration. Every Expression of Approbation, in Proportion to its Degree, puts the Approver into the Evildoer's Cafe, and makes it his own.
The PRA Y E R S.
I. For true fulness for God, who through the Preaching of tbe
blessed Apostle St. Paul hast caused the St. Paul's Light of thy Gospel to shine throughout the Conver- World; grant, I beseech theè, that I having fion. his wonderful Conversion in Remembrance, may
shew forth my Thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy Doctrine he taught ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
II. ForPower Lord, raise up, I pray thee, thy Power and to refift
come among us, and with great Might Tempta- fuccour us, that whereas through my Sins and
Wickedness, I am fore let and hindered in running the Race that is set before me, thy bountiful Grace and Mercy may speedily help and deliver me, through the Satisfaction of thy Son our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be Honour and Glory, World without End. Amen.
III. For Abili. God, who declarest thy Almighty Power ty to live
most chiefly in shewing Mercy and Pity; well.
mercifully grant unto me such a Measure of chy Grace, that I running the Way of thy Command