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PAUL'S DEFENSE BEFORE KING AGRIPPA.

FROM THE BIBLE.

1. THEN Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:

2. I think myself happy, King Agrippa', because I shal answer for myself, this day, before thee, touching all the things

whereof I am accused of the Jews'; especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews'; wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth', which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem', know all the Jews'; which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion', I lived a Pharisee.

3. And now I stand, and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers'; unto which promise our twelve tribes', instantly serving God day and night', hope to come. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa', I am accused of the Jews.

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4. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

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5. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem'; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests'; and when they were put to death', I gave my voice against them'. And I punished them oft in every synagogue', and compelled them to blaspheme'; and, being exceedingly mad against them', I persecuted them', even unto strange cities'.

6. Whereupon, as I went to Damascus', with authority and commission from the chief priests', at mid-day, O king', I saw in the way a light from heaven', above the brightness of the sun', shining round about me and them which journeyed with me'. And when we were fallen to the earth', I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord?

7. And he said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. But rise', and stand upon thy feet': for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins', and inho.tance among them which are sanctified, by faith that is in me.

8. Whereupon, O King Agrippa', I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision'; but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

9. Having, therefore, 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. And as he thus spake for himself", Festus said, with a loud voice, Paul', thou art beside thyself': much learning doth make thee mad'.

10. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and sbberness. 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 thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa', believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul', Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

11. And Paul said, 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'. 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 auto Cæsar.

LESSON XL.

THE PRISONER FOR DEBT.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

1. Look on him'; through his dungeon-grate,
Feebly and cold, the morning light
Comes stealing round him', dim and late',
As if it loath'd the sight'.
Reclining on his strawy bed',
His hand upholds his drooping head';
His bloodless cheek is seam'd and hard';
Unshorn his gray', neglected beard';
And o'er his bony fingers flow
His long', dishevel'd locks of snow'.

2. No grateful fire before him glows,
And yet the winter's breath is chill;
And o'er his half-clad person goes
The frequent ague-thrill.
Silent, save ever and anon,
A sound, half murmur and half groan',
Forces apart the painful grip
Of the old sufferer's bearded lip'.
Oh, sad and crushing is the fate
Of old age, chain'd and desolate.

3. Just God'! why lies that old man there?
A murderer shares his prison-bed,
Whose eyeballs, through his horrid hair,
Gleam on him fierce and red;

And the rude oath and heartless jeer
Fall ever on his loathing ear;
And, or in wakefulness or sleep',
Nerve', flesh', and fiber thrill and creep',
Whene'er that ruffian's tossing limb',
Crimson'd with murder, touches him'.

4. What has the gray-hair'd prisoner done'? Has murder stain'd his hands with gore'? Not so: his crime's a fouler one':

God made the old man poor'!
For this he shares a felon's cell',
The fittest earthly type of hell!
For this-the boon for which he pour'd
His young blood on the invader's sword,
And counted light the fearful cost-
His blood-gain'd liberty is lost!

5. And so, for such a place of rest,

Old prisoner, pour'd thy blood as rain
On Concord's field, and Bunker's crest,
And Saratoga's plain?

Look forth', thou man of many scars',
Through thy dim dungeon's iron bars!
It must be joy, in sooth, to see
Yon monument uprear'd to thee
Piled granite and a prison-cell` !
The land repays thy service well!

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6. Go', ring the bells', and fire the guns', And fling the starry banner out';

Shout "Freedom !" till your lisping ones
Give back their cradle-shout.
Let boasted eloquence declaim
Of honor', liberty', and fame';
Still let the poet's strain be heard,
With "glory" for each second word,
And every thing with breath agree
To praise "our glorious liberty !"

7. And when the patriot cannon jars
That prison's cold and gloomy wall,
And through its grates the stripes and stars
Rise on the wind and fall,—
Think you that prisoner's aged ear
Rejoices in the general cheer?
Think you
his dim and failing eye
Is kindled at your pageantry?
Sorrowing of soul', and chain'd of limb',
What is your carnival to him`?

8. Down with the law that binds him thus'!
Unworthy freemen', let it find

No refuge from the withering curse
Of God and human kind'!
Open the prisoner's living tomb',
And usher from its brooding gloom
The victims of your savage code,
To the free sun and air of God' !
No longer dare as crime to brand
The chastening of the Almighty's hand'!

LESSON XLI.

1

THE BROKEN HEART.

BY WASHINGTON IRVING.

1. How many bright eyes grow dim', how many soft cheeks grow pale', how many lovely forms fade away into the tomb', and none can tell the cause that blighted their loveliness! As the dove will clasp its wings to its side', and cover and conceal the arrow that is preying on its vitals', so it is the nature of woman to hide from the world the pangs of wounded affection'.

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