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priests and heads of families, and had two presidents,—one Jews in our Saviour's time used to denote the place of the in the person of the high-priest, and another who sat in the damned. mame of the king. The judicial establishment was reorga- Where there were not one hundred and twenty inhabitants nized after the captivity, and two classes of judges, inferior in a town or village, according to the Talmudist, there was and superior, were appointed. (Ezra vii. 25.). But the more a tribunal of three judges: and to this tribunal some writers difficult cases and appeals were brought, either before the have erroneously imagined that Joseph of Arimathea beruler of the state, or before the high-priest; until, in the age longed, rather than to the great Sanhedrin. But both the of the Maccabees, a supreme judicial tribunal was instituted, writers of the New Testament and Josephus are silent con which is first mentioned under Hyrcanus II.'
cerning the existence of such a tribunal. Jahn is of opinion This tribunal (which must not be confounded with the that this court was merely a session of three arbitrators, seventy-two counsellors, who were appointed to assist Moses which the Roman laws permitted to the Jews in civil causes : in the civil administration of the government, but who never as the Talmudists themselves state that one judge was chosen fulfilled the office of judges) is by the Talmudists denominated by the accuser, another by the party accused, and a third by SANHEDRIN, and is the great Council so often mentioned in both parties. It appears, however, that only petty affairs were the New Testament. li was most probably instituted in the cognizable by this tribunal. The reference to arbitrators, time of the Maccabees, and was composed of seventy or se- recommended to Christians by St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 1–5., venty-two members, under the chief presidency of the high- has been supposed to be derived from this tribunal. priest, under whom were two vice-presidents; the first of It is essential to the ends of justice, that the proceedings whom, called the Father of the Council, sat on the right, as the of the courts should be committed to writing, and preserved second vice-president, who was called Chakam, or the Wise in archives or registries: Josephus informs us that there was Dun, did on the left hand of the president. The other asses- such a repository at Jerusalem, which was burnt by the Rosors, or members of this council, comprised three descriptions mans, and which was furnished with scribes or notaries, for of persons, viz. 1. The ApXlesls, or Chief Priests, who were recording the proceedings. From this place, probably, St. partly such priests as had executed the pontificate, and partly Luke derived his account of the proceedings against the the princes or chiefs of the twenty-four courses or classes of protomartyr Stephen, related in Acts vi. and vii. These tribupriests, who enjoyed this honourable title :-2. The 11 pes Bu- nals also had inferior ministers or officers (uruget 2, Matt. v. TE4, or Elders, perhaps the princes of tribes or heads of fa- 25.), who probably corresponded with our apparitors or mes milies;-and, 3. The Ipage yetu, Scribes, or men learned in sengers ; and others whose office it was to carry the decrees the law. It does not appear that all the elders and scribes into execution, viz. 1. The 7plutopes, or exactors, whose busiwere members of this tribunal: most probably those only ness it was to levy the fines imposed by the court; and, were assessors, who were either elected to the office, or no- 2. The 225xusus, or tormentors, those whose office it was to minated to it by royal authority. They are reported to have examine by torture : as this charge was devolved on gaolers, sat in a semi-circular form; and to this manner of their sitting in the time of Christ, the word Berevisus came to signify a in judgment Jesus Christ is supposed to refer in Matt. xix. gaoler. 29., and St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 2.
IV. It appears from Jer. xxi. 12., that causes were heard, 'The Sanhedrin held its daily sittings early in the morning and judgment was executed in the morning. According to (according to the Talmudists) in the Temple ; but they are the Talmud, capital causes were prohibited from being heard contradicted by Josephus, who speaks of a council-house in in the night, as also were the institution of an examination, the immediate vicinity of the Temple, where this council the pronouncing of sentence, and the carrying of it into was in all probability convened; though in extraordinary execution, on one and the same day; and it was enjoined emergencies it was assembled in the high-priest's house, as that at least the execution of a sentence should be deferred was the case in the mock trial of Jesus Christ. The autho- until the following day. How flagrantly this injunction was rity of this tribunal was very extensive. It decided all disregarded in the case of Jesus Christ, it is scarcely neces. causes, which were brought before it, by appeal from inferior sary to mention. According to the Talmud, also, no judgcourts, and also took cognizance of the general affairs of ments could be executed on festival days; but this hy no the nation. Before Judæa was subject to the Roman power, means agrees with the end and design of capital punishment the Sanhedrin had the right of judging in capital cases, but expressed in Deut. xvii. 13. viz. Thit all the people might Dot afterwards; the stoning of Stephen being (as we have hear and fear. It is evident from Matt. xxvi. 5. that the chief already observed) a tumultuary act, and not in consequence priests and other leading men among the Jews were at first of sentence pronounced by this council.3
afraid to apprehend Jesus, lest there should be a tumult Besides the Sanhedrin, the Talmudical writers assert that among the people: it is not improbable that they feared the there were other smaller councils, each consisting of twenty- Galilæans more than the populace of Jerusalein, because three persons, who heard and determined petty causes: two they were the countrymen of our Lord. Afterwards, howof these were at Jerusalem, and one in every city containing ever, when the traitor Judas presented himself to them, their one hundred and twenty inhabitants. Josephus is silent con- fears vanished away. cerning these tribunals, but they certainly appear to have In the early ages of the Jewish history, judicial procedure existed in the time of Jesus Christ; who, o by images taken must have been summary, as it still is in Asia.8 'Of advofrom these two courts, in a very striking manner represents cates, such as ours, there is no appearance in any part of the the different degrees of future punishments, to which the Old Testament. Every one pleaded his own cause; of this impenitently wicked will be doomed according to the respec- practice we have a memorable instance in 1 Kings iii. 16– tive heinousness of their crimes. But I say unto you, that 28. As causes were heard at the city gate, where the people whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in assembled to hear news or to pass away their time, Michaelis dinger of the JUDGMENT; and whosever shall say to his brother, thinks that men of experience and wisdom might be asked Raci, shall be in danger of the COUNCIL; but whosoever shall for their opinions in difficult cases, and might sometimes 814, Thore fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt. v. 22.) assist with their advice those who seemed embarrassed in That is, whosoever shall indulge causeless and unprovoked their own cause, even when it was a good one. Probably tesentment against his Christian brother, shall be punished this is alluded to in Job xxix. 7—17. and Isa. i. 17.9 From with a severity similar to that which is inflicted by the court the Romans, the use of advocates, or patrons who pleaded of judgment. He, who shall suffer his passions to transport the cause of another, might have passed to the Jews. In him to greater extravagances, so as to make his brother the this view the word nepauantos, or advocate, is applied to object of derision and contempt, shall be exposed to a still Christ, our intercessor, who pleads the cause of sinners with his severer punishment, corresponding to that which the council Father. (1 John ii. 1.) The form of proceeding appears to imposes. But he who shall load his fellow-Christian with have been as follows:odious appellations and abusive language, shall incur the 1. Those who were summoned before courts of judicature, severest degree of all punishments, equal to that of being were said to be #pzeg pepe je tvos ses sepiow, because they were cited burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom :"'4—which, having by posting up their names in some public place, and to these formerly been the scene of those horrid sacrifices of children to Moloch by causing them to pass through the fire, the Josephus, De Bell. Jud. lib. vi. c. 3. $ 3.
• Schleusner's and Parkhurst's Lexicon, in voce. · Ingephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 9. 5 3.
& And also among the Marootzee, a nation inhabiting the interior of * De Bell Jud. lib. y. c. 4. & 2. lib. vi. c. 6. $ 3.
South Africa. Campbell's Travels in the interior of South Africa, vol. ii. Dr. Lightfoot has given a list of sixteen presidents who directed the p. 236. (London, 1822. 8vo.) From this, and other coincidences with Jew. Sanhedrin from the captivity till its dissolution. (Prospect of the Temple, ish observances, Mr. C. thinks it probable that the Marootzee are of Jewish ch wxi $1. Works, vol. ix. pp. 312–346. 8vo. edit.)
or Arabian origin • Harwood's lotroduction to the New Test. vol. ij. pp. 188, 189.
• Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv. pp. 320. 323.
* Sanhedrin, IV.
judgment was published or declared in writing. The Greek | pronounce the formula of the oath, either when it was a judi. writers applied the term 7pzty pruegeereus, to those whom the cial one, or taken on any other solemn occasion. A formula Romans called proscr pros or proscribed, that is, whose names was read, to which they said Amen. (Lev. v. 1. 1 kings were posted up in writing in some public place, as persons viii. 31.) Referring to this usage, when Jesus Christ was doomed to die, with a reward offered to whoever would kill abjured or put upon his cath, he immediately made an anthem. To this usage there is an allusion in the Epistle of swer. (Matt. xxvi. 63.), All manner of false witness was Jude (verse 4.), where the persons who are said to be apige most severely prohibited. (Exod. xx. 16. xxiii. 1–3.)5 3F ?u usvos 45 TEUTO TO HEIpr, fore written to, or before described fur, 5. In questions of property, in default of any other means this condemnation, denote those who were long before de- of decision, recourse was had to the lot. In this manner, it scribed, in the examples of their wickedness contained in the will be recollected that the land of Canaan was divided by writings of Moses and the prophets, such as the angels that Joshua, to which there are so many allusions in the old sinned, the antediluvians, the people of Sodom, &c. And in Testament, particularly in the book of Psalms. And it should the condemnation of these sinners, God has shown what he seem, from Prov. xvi. 33. and xviii. 18. that it was used in will do to all others like them. In the sacred writings, all courts of justice, in the time of Solomon, though, probably, false teachers and impure practices have been most openly only with the consent of both parties. In criminal cases, proscribed and condemned, and in the following verses of the recourse was had to the sacred lot, called Urim and Thumsame epistle the apostle distinctly specifies who these per- mim, in order to discover, not to convict the guilty party
(Josh. vii. 14–18. 1 Sam. xiv. 37—45.); but it appears to 2. He, who entered the action, went to the judges, and have been used only in the case of an oath being transgressed, stated his affair to them; and then they sent officers with which the whole people had taken, or the leader of the host him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our in their name.6 Lord alludes, when he says (Matt. v. 25.), Agree with thine A peculiar mode of eliciting the truth was employed in the adversary while thou art in the way with him, before thou art case of a woman suspected of adultery. She was to be brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned. On the brought by her husband to the tabernacle,-afterwards to the day appointed for hearing the cause, the plaintiff and defendu temple ; where she took an oath of purgation, imprecating ant presented themselves before the judges; who at first tremendous punishment upon herself. The form of this prosat alone. (Deut. xxv, 1.) In later times, the Jewish writers cess (which was the foundation of the trial by ordeal that so inform us, that there were always two notaries belonging to generally prevailed in the dark ages) is detailed at length in the court, one of whom stood on the right hand of the judge, Num. v. 11–31., to which the rabbinical writers have added who wrote the sentence of acquittal; and the other, on his a variety of frivolous ceremonies. If innocent, the woman left hand, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. To this suffered no inconvenience or injury; but if guilty, the punishcustom, probably, our Saviour referred (Matt. xxv. 33.); ment which she had imprecated on herself immediately overwhen, speaking of the last judgment, he says, that he will took her.? set the sheep on his right hand, in order to be acquitted, and 6. Sentences were only pronounced in the day time; of the goats on his left, in order to be condemned. It appears which circumstance notice is taken in Saint Luke's narrative that the judicial decrees were (as they still are in the East) of our Saviour's mock trial. (xxii. 66.) It was the custom first written by a notary, and then authenticated or annulled among the Jews to pronounce sentence of condemnation in by the magistrate. To this the prophet Isaiah alludes when this manner :-He is guilty of death. (Matt. xxvi. 66.) In he denounces a woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, other countries, a person's condemnation. was announced to and to the writers that write grievousness, (Isa. x. 1. marginal him by giving him a black stone, and his acquittal by giving rendering.) The judges sat, while the defendants stood, him a white stone. Ovid mentions this practice thus :particularly during the examination of witnesses. Thus,
Mos eral antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis, Jesus stond before the governor. (Matt. xxvii. 11.)
His damnare reos, illis absolrere culpa. 3. In criminal cases, when the trial came on, the judge's
Nunc quoque sic lala est sententia tristis first care was to exhort the criminal to confess his crime, if he really were guilty: thus Joshua exhorted Achan to give
A custom was of old, and still obtains, glory to the Lord God of Isı ael, and make confession unto him.
Which life or death by sutirages ordains: (Josh. vii. 19.) To this custom of the Jews, St. Paul seems
The first absolve, but fate is in the last. to allude, when he says, Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth (Rom. xiv. 22.); that In allusion to this custom, some critics have supposed that is, who, being convinced of the truth of a thing, does not our Saviour (Rev. ii. 17.) promises to give the spiritual conreally and effectually condemn himself in the sight of God queror a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, by denying it. After the accusation was laid before the which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it; which may court, the criminal was heard in his defence, and therefore be supposed to signify_Well done, thou good and faithful Nicodemus said to the chief priests and Pharisees, Doth our servant. The white stones of the ancients were inscribed law judge any man b fore it hear him, and know what he doth ? with characters; and so is the white stone mentioned in the (John vii. 51.) If, during the trial, the defendant, or sup- Apocalypse. According to Persius, the letter o was the posed criminal, said any thing that displeased either the judge token of condemnation : or his accuser, it was not unusual for the latter to smite him on the face. This was the case with Saint Paul (Acts xxiii.
Et potis es nigrum vitio prefigere Theta, 2.), and the same brutal conduct prevails in Persia to this
Fixing thy stigma on the brow of vice. day.3
4. In matters of life and death, the evidence of one witness But, as there was a new name inscribed on the white stone was not sufficient: in order to establish a charge, it was given by our Lord, which no man knoweth but he who receivnecessary to have the testimony of two or three credible and eth it, it should rather seem that the allusion in this passage unimpeachable witnesses. (Num. xxxv. 30. Deut. xvii. 6, 7. is to the tesserx hospitales, of which the reader will find an xix. 15.) Though the law of Moses is silent concerning the account infra, in the close of chap. vi. of Part 1V. of this evidence of women, Josephus says that it was prohibited on volume. account of the levity and boldness of their sex! He also 7. Such were the judicial proceedings in ordinary cases, adds that the testimony of servants was inadmissible, on ac- when the forms of law were observed. On some occasions, count of the probability of their being influenced to speak however, when particular persons were obnoxious to the what was untrue, either from 'hope of gain or fear of pu- populace, it was usual for them to demand prompt justice nishment. Most likely, this was the exposition of the upon the supposed delinquents. It is well known that in scribes and Pharisees, and the practice of the Jews, in the Asia, to this day, those who demand justice against a crimilast
age of their political existence. The party sworn held nal, repair in large bodies to the gate of the royal residence; up his right hand, which explains Psal. cxliv. 8., Whose where they make horrid cries, tearing their garments and mouth speuketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand throwing dust into the air. This circumstance throws great of falsehood. In general, the witnesses t) be sworn did not light upon the conduct of the Jews towards St. Paul, when
: Parkhurst's and Schleusner's Lexicon to the New Testament, voce • Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 342, 343. Brunings says that in 11p9Yp204. Boothroyd on Jude 4.
cases of idolatry, the Jews assert the admissibility of false witnesses; bu 2 llarmer's Observations, vol ii. pp. 519–521.
ho gives no authority for this statement. 3 Morier's Second Journey, p. 95. Hanway's Travels, vol. i. p. 299. 6 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 357-359. • Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv. p. 325. Schul- 7 Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 79, 80. zii Archæol. Hebr. p. 74. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 8. $ 15.
• Wetstein, Doddridge, and Dean Woodhouse on Rev. ii. 17.
MET. lib. xv. 41-43.
White stones and black within an urn are cast;
Sat. iv. 13.
the chief captain of the Roman garrison at Jerusalem pre- according to the Talmudical writers, the Jews always gave sented himself to them. (Acts xxii. 28–36.) When they him some wine with incense in it, in order to stupify and infound the apostle in the temple, prejudiced as they were toxicate him. This custom is said to have originated in the against him in general, and at that time particularly irritated precept recorded in Prov. xxxi. 6., which sufficiently explains by the mistaken notion that he had polluted the holy place the reason why wine, mingled with myrrh, was offered to by the introduction of Greeks into it, they raised a tumúlt, Jesus Christ when on the cross. (Mark xv. 23.) In the and were on the point of inflicting summary vengeance on latter ages of the Jewish polity, this medicated cup of wine Saint Paul. As soon as the chief captain of the Roman sol- was so generally given before execution, that the word cup diers, who resided in a castle adjoining the temple, heard the is sometimes put in the Scriptures for death itself. Thus, tumult, he hastened thither. They then ceased beating the Jesus Christ, in his last prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, apostle, and addressed themselves to him as the chief offi- said If it be possible let this cup pass from me. (Matt. xxvi cial person there, exclaiming, Away with him. Permission 39. 42. being at length given to Paul to explain the affair in their hearing, they became still more violently enraged ; but not daring to do themselves justice, they demanded it nearly in the same manner as the Persian peasants now do, by loud
SECTION II. vociferations, tearing off their clothes and throwing up dust into the air.'
OF THE ROMAN JUDICATURE, MANNER OF TRIAL, TREATMENT V. As soon as sentence of condemnation was pronounced
OF PRISONERS, AND OTHER TRIBUNALS MENTIONED IN THE against a person, he was immediately dragged from the court to the place of execution. Thus our Lord was instantly hurried from the presence of Pilate to Calvary: a similar in- I. Judicial proceedings of the Romans.-II. Privileges and stance of prompt execution occurred in the case of Achan;
treatment of Roman citizens, when prisoners.-III. Appeals and the same practice obtains to this day, both in Turkey and
to the imperial tribunal.-IV. The Roman method of fetterPersia. In those countries, when the enemies of a great
ing and confining criminuls.-V. The Roman tribunals.man have sufficient influence to procure a warrant for his
VI. Other tribunals mentioned in the New Testament : death, a capidgi or executioner is despatched with it to the victim, who quietly submits to his fate.2. Nearly the same
1. The Areopagus at Athens.--2. The Assembly at Ephesus. method of executing criminals was used by the ancient Jew- WHEREVER the Romans extended their power, they also ish princes. It is evidently alluded to in Prov. xvi. 14. carried their laws; and though, as we have already seen, Thus Benaiah was the capidgi (to use the modern Turkish they allowed their conquered subjects to enjoy the free perterm) who was sent by Solomon to put to death Adonijah, formance of their religious worship, as well as the holding of a prince of the blood royal (1 Kings ii. 25.), and also Joab some inferior courts of judicature, yet in all cases of a capital the commander-in-chief of the army. (29–31.) John the nature the tribunal of the Roman prefect or president was the Baptist was put to death in like manner. (Matt. xiv. 10.) last resort. Without his permission, no person could be put Previously, however, to executing the criminal, it was usual, to death, at least in Judæa. And as we find numerous alluamong the ancient Persians, to cover his head, that he might sions in the New Testament to the Roman judicature, manpot behold the face of the sovereign. Thus, the head of Phi- ner of trial, treatment of prisoners, and infliction of capital lotas, who had conspired against Alexander the Great, was punishment, a brief account of these subjects so intimately covered ;) and in conformity with this practice, the head of connected with the political state of Judæa under the Romans, Haman was veiled or covered. (Esth. vii. 8.)
naturally claims a place in the present sketch.4 So zealous were the Jews for the observance of their law, I. " The judicial proceedings of the Romans were conthat they were not ashamed themselves to be the execution- ducted in a manner worthy the majesty, honour, and magnaers of it, and to punish criminals with their own hands. In nimity of that people. Instances, indeed, occur of a most stoning persons, the witnesses threw the first stones, agree- scandalous venality and corruption in Roman judges, and the ably to the enactment of Moses. (Deut. xvii. 7.). Thus, the story of Jugurtha and Verres will stand, a lasting monument witnesses against the protomartyr Stephen, after laying down of the power of gold to pervert justice and shelter the most their clothes at the feet of Saul, stoned him (Acts vii. 58, atrocious villany. But, in general, in the Roman judicatures, 59.); and to this custom our Saviour alludes, when he said both in the imperial city and in the provinces, justice was to the Pharisees, who had brought to him a woman who had administered with impartiality; a fair and honourable trial been taken in adultery,—He that is without sin among you, was permitted ; the allegations of the plaintiff and defendant let him first cast a stone at her. (John viii. 7.) As there were were respectively heard; the merits of the cause weighed no public executioners in the more ancient periods of the and scrutinized with cool unbiassed judgment; and an equiJewish history, it was not unusual for persons of distinguished table sentence pronounced. The Roman law, in conformity rank themselves to put the sentence in execution upon offend to the first principal of nature and reason, ordained that no ers. Thus Samuel put Agag to death (1 Sam. xv. 33.); one should be condemned and punished without a previous and in like manner Nebuchadnezzar ordered Arioch the com- public trial. This was one of the decrees of the twelve mander-in-chief of his forces to destroy the wise men of Ba- tables : No one shall be condemned before he is tried.s Under bylon, because they could not interpret his dream. (Dan. ii. the Roman government, both in Italy and in the provinces, 21.) Previously, however, to inflicting punishment, it was this universally obtained. After the cause is heard, says a custom of the Jews, that the witnesses should lay their Cicero, a man may be acquitted : but, his cause unheard, no hands on the criminal's head. This custom originated in an one can be condemned..“ To this excellent custom among express precept of God, in the case of one who had blas- the Romans, which the law of nature prescribes, and all the phemed the name of Jehovah, who was ordered to be brought principles of equity, honour, and humanity dictate, there are without the camp: when all, who had heard him, were ap- several allusions in Scripture. We find the holy apostles, pointed to lay their hands upon his head, and afterwards the congregation were to stone him. By this action they signi- Induction to the New Testament ta work now of rare occurrence), vol. ii. fied, that the condemned person suffered justly, protesting section xvi. the texts cited being carefully verified and corrected. The sutr that, if he were innocent, they desired that his blood might jects of this and the following section are also discussed by Dr. Lardner, fall on their own head. In allusion to this usage, when sen- Credibility, part i. book i. c. 1o. $59.-11.; and especially by Calmet in his tence was pronounced against Jesus Christ, the Jews ex- inserted in his Commentaire Littérale, tom. i. part li. pp. 387–402., and in claimed, His blood be upon us and our children. (Matt. xxvii. his Dissertations, tom. I. p. 211. et seq. See also Merill's Notæ Philologicæ 25.) From the above-noticed precept of bringing the crimi- in passionem Christi, and Wyssenbach's Notæ Nomico-Philologica in pas. pals without the camp, arose the custom of executing them Lydius's Florum Sparsio ad Historiam Passionis Jesu Christi, 18mo. Dorwithout the city.
drechti, 1672. But in whatever manner the criminal was put to death, Interfici indemnatum quemcunque hominem, etiam xii Tabularum
decreta vetuerant. Fragment. xii. Tab. tit. 27. · Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. pp. 367–369.
6 Causâ cognità mulii possunt absolvi: incognitâ quidem condemnari * Ibid. Fol ii. pp. 372–376. Captains Irby and Mangles bave related nemo potest. In Verrem, lib. i. c. 25. “Producing the laws which ordain a sinzular instance of similar rapidity of executing a condemned person. that no person shall suffer death without a legal trial." Dion. Halicarn. lib. In this case "the sufferer had been appointed to the command of the iii. p. 153. Hudson. “He did not allow them to inflict death on any citizen halj(or pilgrims to Mecca), "and had set off from Constantinople. While uncondemned.” Ibid. lib. vi. p. 370. lib. vii
. p: 928. edit. Hudson, Oxon. he was on his return from Mecca, a Khat-sheriffe was despatched from the 1704. “They thought proper to call him to justice, as it is contrary to the capital, ordering his head to be cut off, and sent immediately to Constanti
. Roman customs to condemn any one to death without a previous trial.” Bule.' His sentence was carried into execution before he reached Damas. Appian. Bell. Civil. lib. iii, p. 906. Tollii, 1670. “ Did not you míserably murder ces." Trasels in Egypt, &c. p. 257.
Lentulus and his associates, without their being either judged or con* Quiatus Curtius, lib. xi. c. 8. tonn. ii. p. 34. edit. Bipont.
victed ?" Dion Cassius, lib. 46. p. 463. Reimar. Vol. II.
who did not, like frantic enthusiasts and visionaries, court | Roman citizen. In consequence of this epistle Felix gave persecution, but embraced every legal method which the the apostle a kind and candid reception : when he read it, he usages and maxims of those times had established to avoid turned to him and said, When your accusers come hither it, and to extricate themselves from calamities and sufferings, before me, I will give your cause an impartial hearing.s pleading this privilege, reminding the Romans of it when i And accordingly when the high-priest Ananias and the Santhey were going to infringe it, and in a spirited manner up- hedrin went down to Cæsarea with one 'Tertullus an orator, braiding their persecutors with their violation of it. When whose eloquence they had hired to aggravate the apostle's Lysias, the Roman tribune, ordered Saint Paul to be con- crimes before the procurator, Felix, though a man of merceducted into the castle, and to be examined by scourging, that nary and profligate character, did not depart from the Roman he might learn what he had done that enraged the mob thus honour in this regard ; and would not violate the usual proviolently against him, as the soldiers were fastening him cesses of judgment to gratify this body of men, though they with thongs to the pillars to inflict this upon him, Paul said were the most illustrious personages of the province he
o the centurion who was appointed to attend and see this ex-governed, by condemping the apostle unheard, and yielding ecuted, Doth the Roman law authorize you to scourge a free-him, poor and friendless as he was, to their fury, merely man of Rome uncondemned, to punish him before a legal upon their inpeachment. He allowed the apostle to offer sentence hath been passed upon him? (Acts xxii. 25.) The his vindication and exculpate himself from the charges they centurion hearing this went immediately to the tribune, bid- had alleged against him; and was so far satisfied with his ding him be cautious how he acted upon the present occa- apology as to give orders for him to be treated as a prisoner sion, for the prisoner was a Roman citizen! The tribune at large, and for all his friends to have free access to him; upon this information went to him, and said, Tell me the disappointing those who thirsted for his blood, and drawing truth, Are you a freeman of Rome? He answered in the af- down upon himself the relentless indignation of the Jews, firmative. It cost me an immense sum, said the tribune, to who, undoubtedly, from such a disappointment, would be purchase this privilege. But I was the son of a freeman,2 instigated to lay all his crimes and oppressions before the said the apostle. Immediately, therefore, those who were emperor. ordered to examine him by torture desisted; and the tribune • The same strict honour, in observing the usual forms was extremely alarmed that he had bound a Roman citizen. I and processes of the Roman tribunal, appears in Festus the In reference to this also, when Paul and Silas were treated successor of Felix. Upon his entrance into his province, with the last indignity at Philippi by the multitude abetted when the leading men among the Jews waited upon him to by the magistrates, were beaten with rods, thrown into the congratulate him upon his accession, and took that opportupublic gaol, and their feet fastened in the stocks, the next nity to inveigh with great bitterness and virulence against morning upon the magistrates sending their lictors to the the apostle, soliciting it as a favour (Acts xxv. 3.) that he prison with orders to the keeper for the two men whom they would send him to Jerusalem, designing, as it afterwards had the day before so shamefully and cruelly treated to be appeared, had he complied with their request, to have hired dismissed, Paul turned to the messengers and said, We are ruílians to murder him on the road, Fesius told them, that Roman citizens. Your magistrates have ordered us to be it was his will that Paul should remain ia custody at Cæsapublicly scourged without a legal trial. They have thrown rea; but that any persons whom they fixed upon might go us into a dungeon. And would they now have us steal | down along with him, and produce at his tribunal what they away in a silent and clandestine manner? No! Let them had to allege against the prisoner. This was worthy the come in person and conduct us out themselves. The lictors Roman honour and spirit. How importunate and urgent the returned and reported this answer to the governors, who were priests and principal magistrates of Jerusalem, when Festus greatly alarmed and terrified when they understood they were was in this capital, were with him to pass sentence of death Roman citizens. Accordingly, they went in person to the upon the apostle, merely upon their impeachment, and upon gaol, addressed them with great civility, and begged them the atrocious crimes with which they loaded him, appears in the most respectful terms that they would quietly leave from what the procurator himself told king Agrippa and the town. (Acts xvi. 37.)3
Bernice upon a visit they paid him at Cæsarea, to congratu" Here we cannot but remark the distinguished humanity | late him upon his new government. I have here, said he, a and honour which St. Paul experienced from the tribune man whom my predecessor left in custody when he quitted Lysais. His whole conduct towards the apostle was worthy this province. During a short visit I paid to Jerusalem, upon a Roman. This most generous and worthy officer rescued my arrival I was solicited by the priests and principal magishim from the sanguinary fury of the mob, who had seized trates to pass sentence of death upon him. To these urgent the apostle, shut the temple doors, and were in a tumultuous entreaties I replied, that it was not customary for the Romans manner dragging him away instantly to shed his blood. to gratify (xxv. 16.) any man with the death of another; Afterwards, also, when above forty Jews associated and that the laws of Rome enacted that he who is accused should mutually bound themselves by the most solemn adjurations, have his accuser face to face; and have license to answer that they would neither eat nor drink till they had assassi- for himself concerning the crimes laid against him.? nated him; when the tribune was informed of this conspiracy, II. “ It appears from numberless passages in the classics to secure the person of the apostle from the determined fury that a Roman citizen could not legally be scourged. This of the Jews, he immediately gave orders for seventy horse was deemed to the last degree dishonourable, the most daring men and two hundred spearmen to escort the prisoner to indignity and insult upon the Roman name. • A Roman citi Cæsarea, where the procurator resided; writing a letter, in zen, judges!' exclaims Cicero in his oration against Verres, which he informed the president of the vindictive rage of ' was publicly beaten with rods in the forum of Messina : the Jews against the prisoner, whom he had snatched from during this public dishonour, no groan, no other expression their violence, and whom he afterwards discovered to be a of the unhappy wretch was heard amidst the eruelties he
suffered, and the sound of the strokes that were inflicted, but · Dion Cassius confirms what the tribune here asserts, that this honour this, I am a Roman citizen! By this declaration that he was was purchased at a very high price. "The freedom of Rome formerly,"
a Roman citizen, he fondly imagined that he should put an says the historian, “ could only be purchased for a large sum;" but he ob. serves, "that in the reign of Claudius, when Messalina and his freedmen end to the ignominy and cruel usage to which he was now had the management of every thing, this honour became so cheap that any subjected.' The orator afterwards breaks forth into this person might buy it for a litué broken glass." Dion Cassius, lib. lx
Acts xxin. 35. Literally, "Flear it through; give the whole of it an atten. 9 "But I was free born.” Probably, St. Paul's family was honoured with tive examination." Similar expressions occur in Polybius, lib. i. pp. 39. 170 the freedom of Rome for engaging in Caesar's party, and distinguishing 187. lib. iv. p. 329. edit. Hanov. 1619. See also Dion. Halicarn. lib. x. p.311. themselves in his cause during the civil wars. Appian inforins us, that 6 Felix per omne sævitium ac libidinem, jus reginm servili ingenio exer. "He made the Laodiceans and Tarscnsians free, and exempted them from cuit. Tacitus Hist. lib. v. p. 397. edit. Dublin. taxes; and those of the Tarsensians who had been sold for slaves, he or pune ratus. Annal. xii 54. He hoped also that money, &c. Acts xxiv. 26 dered by an edict to be released from servitude." Appian de Bell. Civil. T "Senators," saith Piso, "the law ordains that he who is accused should p. 1077. Tollii. 1670.
hear his accusation, and after having offered his defence, to wait the sen. s It was deemed a great aggravation of any injury by the Roman law, that tence of the judges." Appian, Bell. Civil. lib. iii. p. 911. Tollii, Aust. 1670. it was done in public before the people. The Philippian magistrates, there. "He said, that what he now attempted to do was ihe last tyranny and des. fore, conscious of the iniquity which they had comunitird, and of the potism, that the saine person should be both accuser and judge, and should punishment to which thry were liable, might well be afraid : for Paul and arbitrarily dictate the degree of punishment.” Dion. Halicarn. lib. vii. p. Silas had their option, either to bring a civil action against them, or to indict | 4:29. Hudson. them criminally for the injury which they had inflicted on the apostle and * Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum: scelus verberari. In Verrem, lib. his companion. In either of which cases, had they been cast, they wonly be rendered infamous, and incapable of holding any magisterial office, and Credebatur virgis in medio foro Messinæ civis Romanus, judices; cum subjected to several other legal incapacities, besides the punishment they interea nollnis gemins. nulla vox alia istins inisevi, inter dolorem crepi. were to undergo at the discretion of the judge, which in so atrocious an tiunque plagaruin audiebatur, nisi hæc, Civis Romanus sum. injury would not have been small. Biscor on the Acts, vol. i. pp. 332-351. menjoratione civitatis ornnia verbera depulsurun cruciatumque a corpore
dejecturum arbitrabatur. Cicero in Verrem, lib. v. 162
Felix cuncta maleficia irre
Ilac se con
• Acts xxiii. 27. "I have since learned that he is a Roman citizen."
pathetic prosopopeia: “O transporting name of liberty! O another singular privilege which a freeman of Rome enjoyed. the distinguished privilege of Roman freedom! O Porcian The sacred historian relates, that after Festus had stayed and Sempronian laws! Are things at last come to this about ten days in the metropolis, he went down to Cæsarea, wretched state, that a Roman citizen, in a Roman province, and the next day after his arrival he summoned a court, asin the most public and open manner, should be beaten with cended the bench, and ordered Paul to be brought before him. ods!'' The historian Appian, after relating how Marcellus, Here, as he stood at the bar, his prosecutors from Jerusalem to express his scorn and contempt of Cæsar, seized a person with great virulence charged him with many heinous and of some distinction, to whom Cæsar had given his freedom, atrocious crimes, none of which, upon strict examination, and beat him with rods, bidding him go and show Cæsar the they were able to prove against him. For in his apology he marks of the scourges he had received, observes, that this publicly declared, in the most solemn terms, that they could was an indignity which is never inflicted upon a Roman not convict him of any one instance of a criminal behaviour, citizen for any enormity whatever.? Agreeably to this cus- either to the law, the temple, or to the Roman emperor. tom, which also obtained at Athens, in the Adelphi of Terence, Festus then, being (Acts xxv. 9.) desirous to ingratiate himone of the persons of the drama says to another, If you con- self with the Jews, asked him if he was willing his cause tinue to be troublesome and impertinent, you shall be instantly should be tried at Jerusalem. To this proposal Paul replied, seized and dragged within, and there you shall be torn and I am now before Cæsar's tribunal, where my cause ought to mangled with scourges within an inch of your life. What! be impartially canvassed and decided. You yourself are cona freeman scourged, replies Sannio.3 To this privilege of scious that I have been guilty of nothing criminal against Roman citizens, whose freedom exempted them from this my countrymen. If I have injured them, if I have perpeindignity and dishonour, there are several references in Scrip- trated any capital crime, I submit without reluctance to capital ture. St. Paul pleads this immunity. He said to the cen- punishment. But if all the charges they have now brought turion, as they were fastening him to the pillar with thongs against me are proved to be absolutely false and groundless, to inflict upon him this punishment, Is it lawful for you to no person can condemn me to death merely to gratify them. scourge a Roman ?So also at Philippi he told the messen- I appeal to the emperor. Festus, after deliberating with the gers of the magistrates, They have beaten us openly uncon- Roman council, turned and said to him, Have you appealed demned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison, and to the emperor? You shall then go and be judged by the now do they thrust us out privately; no, verily, but let them emperor. From the above-mentioned particulars, which are come themselves and fetch us out. And the sergeants told corroborated by several other similar incidents in the Roman these words to the magistrates, and they feared when they history, it appears that a Roman citizen could by appeal heard that they were Romans, and were conscious they had remove his cause out of the provinces to Rome. "It was,' used them with a contumely and dishonour which subjected says Mr. Melmoth, “one of the privileges of a Roman citizen, them to the just displeasure of the Roman senate.
secured by the Sempronian law, that he could not be capitally “ Neither was it lawful for a Roman citizen to he bound, convicted but by the suffrage of the people, which seems to be examined by the question, or to be the subject of any to have been still so far in force as to make it necessary ingenious and cruel arts of tormenting to extort a confession to send the person here mentioned to Rome.'! We are infrom him. These punishments were deemed servile; torture formed by Dionysius of Halicarnassus that the ever-memcwas not exercised but upon slaves ;o freemen were privileged rable Poplicola enacted this law, that if any Roman governor from this inhumanity and ignominy. It is a flagrant enormity, showed a disposition to condemn any one to death, to scourge says Cicero, for a Roman citizen to be bound not meaning him, or despoil him of his property, that any private person by that, that it was unlawful for a Roman to be fettered and should have liberty to appeal' from his jurisdiction to the imprisoned ; but it was in the highest degree unjustifiable and judgment of the people, that in the mean time he should reillegal for a freeman of Rome to be bound in order to be tor- ceive no personal harm from the magistracy till his cause tured for the discovery of his crimes. Dion Cassius, parti- was finally decided by the people. This law, which was enlarizing the miseries of Claudius's government, observes, instituted at the first establishment of the commonwealth, that Messalina and Narcissus, and the rest of his freemen, continued in force under the emperors. If a freeman of seized the occasion that now offered to perpetrate the last Rome, in any of the provinces, deemed himself and his cause enormities. Among other excesses they employed slaves to be treated by the president with dishonour and injustice, and freedmen to be informers against their masters. They he could by appeal remove it to Rome to the determination put to the torture several persons of the first distinction, not of the emperor. Suetonius informs us that Augustus delemerely foreigners, but citizens; not only of the common peo- gated a number of consular persons at Rome to receive the ple, but some even of the Roman knights and senators: appeals of people in the provinces, and that he appointed one though Claudius, when he first entered upon his government, person to superintend the affairs of each province.". A passage had bound himself under a solemn oath ihat he would never in Pliny's epistle confirms this right and privilege which apply the torture to any Roman citizen. These two pas- Roman freemen enjoyed of appealing from provincial courts sages from Cicero and Dion illustrate what St. Luke relates to Rome, and, in consequence of such an appeal, being reconcerning Lysias the tribune. This officer, not knowing moved, as St. Paul was, to the capital, to take their trial in the dignity of his prisoner, had, in violation of this privilege the supreme court of judicature. In that celebrated epistle of Roman citizens, given orders for the apostle to be bound, to Trajan, who desired to be informed concerning the princiand examined by scourging. (Acts xxii. 24, 25.) When ples and conduct of the Christians, he thus writes: “The he was afterwards informed by his centurion that St. Paul method I have observed towards those who have been brought was a freeman of Rome, the sacred historian observes, that before me as Christians is this--I interrogated them whether upon receiving this intelligence, the chief captain was afraid, they were Christians: if they confessed, I repeated the quesafter he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had tion twice again, adding threats at the same time, when, if bound him. (xxii. 29.)
they still persevered, I ordered them to be immediately III. “We find that St. Paul, when he discovered that punished; for I was persuaded, whatever the nature of their Festus his judge was disposed to gratify the Jews, appealed opinions might be, a contumacious and inflexible obstinacy from a provincial court to the imperial tribunal; transferred certainly deserved correction. There were others, also, his cause, by appeal, from the jurisdiction of the Roman pro- brought before me, possessed with the same infatuation, curator to the decision of the emperor. This appears to be but, being citizens of Rome, I directed them to be carried : O nomen dulce liberatis! O jus eximium nostræ civitatis ! O lex Por.
thither,'12 cia, legesque Semproniæ! Huccine tandem omnia recederunt, ut civis Ro
IV, “The Roman method of fettering and confining cri. manus in provincia populi Romani, delegatis in foro virgis cæderetur. minals was singular. One end of a chain, that was of com
modious length, was fixed about the right arm of the prisoner, * Appian. Bell. Civil. lib. ii. p. 731. Tollii.
and the other end was fastened to the left arm of a soldier. 3 Nam si molestus pergis esse, jam intro abripiere, atque ibi Usque ad necem operiere loris. S. loris liber.
Thus a soldier was coupled to the prisoner, and every where Adelphi, acı ii, scenal. ver. 28. • Acts xxii. 25. The consul Marcellus scourged with rods one of the ma.
» Mr. Melmoth's note on the 97th letter in the 10th book of Pliny's Episgistrales of that place who came to Rome, declaring he inflicted this as a tles, vol. ii. p. 672. 3d edit. public token that he was no Roman citizen. Plutarch, in Cæsar. p. 1324.
10 Dion. Halicarn. lib. v. p. 281. edit. Oxon. 1704. See also p. 334. ejusdem edit. Gr. Stephen. > Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum. Cicero in Verr. lib. v. 170.
11 Appellationes quotannis urbanorum quidem litigatorum prætori delega&Q Gallium prætorem, servilein in modum torsit. Sueton. in vita Au. | vit; ac provincialium consularibus viris, quos singulos cujusque provinciæ gusti, cap. 27. p. 192. Variorum Edit.
negotiis reposuisset. Sueton. vit. August. cap. 33. p. 208. edit. var. Lug. Bat. + See the last note but one. • Dion Cassius, lib. lx. p. 953. Reimar.
12 Plinii Epistolæ, lib. x. epist. 97. pp. 722, 723. ed. var. 1669.