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ON THE

CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.

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SERMON XXV.

Acrs IX. VERSES XX. XXÌ.

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God: But all that heard him were amazed, and said is not this he that destroyed them which called on his name in Jerusalem.

Or all the arguments dwelt on for the defence, of Christianity, none have been more forcibly, or more successfully urged, than the conversion of St. Paul; and it certainly is a circumstance which cannot be explained, without the supposition of something improbabie, or the belief of something miraculous.

The treatment which Christ, his disciples, and his converts experienced from the Jews, would, (if other proofs were wanting,) sufficiently convince us of the obstinate adhesion of that people to the religion of their ancestors, and demonstrate how soon their watchful jealousy, on such a subject, would break out into cruel persecution. The Pagans were, upon the whole, not merely tolerant, but careless in matters of religion: Poets vilified their gods; comedians ridiculed them upon the stage; philosophers denied their existence; the priests continued to sacrifice, the people to believe, and the government was content: but the religion of the Jews was deeply fixed, and eagerly defended; It was their creed, that God had singled them out from the whole earth as the people of his providence, and protection; they considered themselves as separated from the darkened hemisphere of the Pagans; they believed that they had been fed by angels, guided by miracles, taught by prophets, and approached by God: They were proudly mindful of these distinctions, thy studied their law with active inves

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