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man governor showed a disposition to condemn any one to death, to
scourge him, or despoil him of his property, that any private
erson should have liberty to appeal from his jurisdiction to the judgment of the people, that in the mean time he should receive no personal harm from the magistracy till his cause was finally decided by the people." This law, which was instituted at the first establishment ..? the commonwealth, continued in force under the emperors. If a freeman of Rome, in any of the provinces, deemed himself and his cause to be treated by the president with dishonour and injustice,
he could by appeal remove it to Rome to the determination of the
emperor. Suetonius informs us that Augustus delegated a number of consular persons at Rome to receive the appeals of people in the provinces, and that he appointed one person to superintend the affairs of each province.” A passage in Pliny’s epistle confirms this right and privilege which Roman freemen enjoyed of appealing from rovincial courts to Rome, and, in consequence of such an appeal, #. removed, as St. Paul was, to the capital, to take their trial in the supreme court of judicature. In that celebrated epistle to Trajan, who desired to be informed concerning the principles and conduct of the Christians, he thus writes: ‘The method. I have observed towards those who have been brought before me as Christians is this—I interrogated them whether they were Christians; if they confessed, I repeated the question twice again, adding threats at the same time, when, if they still persevered, I ordered them to be immediately punished; for I was persuaded, whatever the nature of their opinions might be, a contumacious and inflexible obstinacy certainly deserved correction. There were others also brought be: fore me, possessed of the same infatuation, but, being citizens of Rome, I directed them to be carried thither.” IV. “The Roman method of fettering and confining criminals was singular. One end of a chain, that was of commodious length, was fixed about the right arm of the prisoner, and the other end was fastened to the left of a soldier. Thus a soldier was :*: to the prisoner, and every where attended and guarded him.” is manner of confinement is frequently mentioned, and there are many beautiful allusions to it in the Roman writers. Thus was St. Paul confined. Fettered” in this manner, he delivered his apology before Festus, king Agrippa, and Bernice. And it was this circumstance that occasioned one of the most pathetic and affecting strokes of true oratory that ever was displayed either in the Grecian or Roman 1 Dion. Halicarn. lib. v. p. 281. edit. Oxon. 1704. See also p. 334. ejusdem edit. * Appellationes i. urbanorum quidem litigatorum prietori delegavit; as provincialum consularibus viris, ques o cujusque provinciae negotiis repor suisset. Sueton. vit. August, cap. 33. p. 208 edit var. Lug. Bat. 1662. 3 Plinii Epistolae, lib. x. epist. 97. pp. 722, 723. edit. var. 1669. * Quemamodum easlem catena et custodiamet militem copulat, sic ista quae tao oissimilia sunt, pariter incedunt. Senecae Epist. 5, tom. ii. p. 13, Gronovii, 1678. So also Manilius. Vinctorum dominus, sociusque in parte catense, Interdum so. innoxia corpora servat. Lib. V. v. 628,629.
5 In like manner the brave but unfortunate Eumenes addressed a very pathetic *P*ch to his army, with his setterson. Plutarch, Eumenes. Justin, lib. xiv. cap. 8.
senate. Would to God that not only Thou, but also ALL that hear methis day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds ! What a prodigious effect must this striking conclusion, and the sight of the irons held up" to enforce it, make upon the minds of the audience During the two years that St. Paul was a prisoner at large, and lived at Rome in his own hired house, he was subjected to this confinement. Paul was suffered to dwell with a soldier, that kept him. . The circumstance of publicly wearing this chain, and
being thus coupled to a soldier, was very disgraceful and dishonour
able, and the ignomy of it would naturally occasion the desertion of
* Prolatam, sicut erat catenatus, manum ostendit. Justin, lib. xiv, cap. 3. F. 395. Gronovii. t
flew open, and the shackles of all the prisoners dropped to the ground. This violent concussion awakening the keeper, when he saw the doors of the prison wide open, he drew his sword, and was going to plunge it in his bosom, concluding that all the prisoners had escaped. In that crisis Paul called to him with a loud voice, entreating him not to lay violent hands upon himself, assuring him all the prisoners were safe. W. “The Roman tribunal, if we may judge of it from what is related concerning Pilate's, was erected on a raised stage, the floor of which was embellished with a tesselated pavement. This consisted of little square pieces of marble, or of stones of various colours, which were disposed and arranged with great art and elegance, to form a chequered and pleasing appearance." Pliny informs us that this refinement was first introduced among the Romans by Sylla.” Their great men were so fond of this magnificence, and thought it so essential to the elegance and splendour of life, that they appear to have carried with them these splendid materials to form and compose these elaborate floors, for their tents, for their houses, and for their tribunals, wherever they removed"—from a depraved and most wretchedly vitiated taste, at last deeming them a necessary and indispensable furniture, not merely a vain and proud display of grandeur and greatness. With this variegated pavement, composed of pieces of marble or stone thus disposed and combined, the *. informs us, that the floor of Pilate's tribunal was ornamented. (John xix. 13) Such, an embellishment of a tribunal was only a proud ostentatious display to the world of Italian greatness and magnificence, calculated less for real use than to strike the beholders with an idea of the boundless prodigality and extravagance of the Romans. “Having mentioned Pilate the Roman procurator, we cannot close this section without remarking the efforts he repeatedly made, when he sat in judgment upon Jesus, to save him from the determined fury of the Jews. Five successive attempts are enumerated by commentators and critics. He had the fullest conviction of his innocence—that it was merely through malice, and a virulence which nothing could placate, that they demanded his execution. Yet though the governor for a long time resisted all their united clamour and importunity, and, conscious that he had done nothing worthy of death, steadily refused to pronounce the sentence of condemnation upon him; yet one argument, which in a menacing manner they addressed to him, at last totally shook his firmness, and induced him to yield to their sanguinary purpose. The Jews, after aggravating his guilt, and employing every expedient in vain to influence the
* Opus tessellatum ex parvulis coloris varii lapillis quadratis constabat, quibus solum pavimenti incrustabatur. Varro de re rustica, lib. iii. 1.
* Lithostrota acceptavere sub Sylla. Plinii Hist. Nat. lib. xxxvi. p. 60.
* In expeditionibus tessella at sectilia pavimenta circumtulisse. §onius vita
Horii. cap. 46, edit. variorum Lug. Bat. 1662. Wid. etiam not. Salmasii in
president to inflict capital punishment upon him, at last cried out: If
* See Suetonius, Tacitus, Dion Cassius.
of the porch, and the sceptic of the academy, addressed by a poor and lowly man, who, rude in speech, without the enticing words of man's wisdom, enjoined precepts contrary to their taste, and very hostile to their prejudices. One of the peculiar privileges of the Areopagitae seems to have been set at defiance by the zeal of Saint Paul on this occasion; namely, that of inflicting extreme and exemplary punishment upon any person, who should slight the celebration of the holy mysteries, or blaspheme the gods of Greece. We ascended to the summit by means of steps cut in the natural stone, The sublime scene here exhibited, is so striking, that a brief description of it may prove how truly it offers to us a commentary upon the apostle's words, as they were delivered upon the spot. He stood upon the top of the rock, and beneath the canopy of heaven. Before him there was spread a glorious prospect of mountains, islands, seas, and skies: behind him towered the lofty Acropolis, crowned with all its marble temples. Thus every object, whether in the face of nature, or among the works of art, conspired to elevate the mind, and to fill it with reverence towards that being, who made and goterns the world (Acts xvii. 24. 28.); who sitteth in that light which no mortal eye can approach, and yet is nigh unto the meanest of his creatures; in whom we live and move and have our being.”
I. CRIMES AGAINst God.—1. Idolatry.—2. Blasphemy.—3. Falsely Prophesying.—4. Divination.—5. Perjury.—II. CRIMEs AGAINST PARENTS AND RULERs.-III. CRIMEs AGAINst Property — 1. Theft.—2. Man-stealing–3. The Crime of denying anything taken in trust, or found.—4. Regulations concerning DebtorsIV. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERson.—1. JMurder.—2. Homicide3. Corporal Injuries.—4. Crimes of Lust.—5. CRIMEs of MALice.
I. TT has been shown in a preceding chapter,” that the maintenance of the worship of the only true God was a fundamental object of the Mosaic polity. The government of the Israelites being a Theocracy, that is, one in which the supreme legislative power was vested in the Almighty, who was regarded as their king, it was to be expected that, in a state confessedly religious, crimes against the Supreme Majesty of Jehovah should occupy a primary place in the statutes given by Moses to that people. Accordingly, 1. Idolatry, that is, the worship of other gods, in the Mosaic 1 Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. vi. pp. 263—265. See also Mr. Dodwell's Classical
and Topographical Tour through Greece, vol. i. pp. 361, 362. *Tootion is wholly an abridgment of Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 1–312. 3 See pp. 77–81. supra.