ANDREW GRAY (PERTH)
Felix and the JaiIor.
ACTS XXIV. 24-34. - "And after certain days, when
Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and
heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness,
temperance, and jndgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for
this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also
that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him:
wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. But after two
years Porcins Fcstus came into Felix's room: and Felix, willing to shew the
Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound."
ACTS XVI. 23-34. - " And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm, for we arc all here. When he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt he saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."
Two striking and eventful histories! Two men, to whom the Gospel comes, both on the broad and downward way at first, but not both on it at last! Two men, of whom the one is taken, and the other left! Two men, to each of whom Paul preached - to one of whom he was the savour of death unto death, and to the other, the savour of life unto life! Let us mark -
I. The points of resemblance between the cases.
II. The points of contrast.
I. THE POINTS OF RESEMBLANCE. 1. They were wicked men. They were wicked men when the apostle became acquainted with them They resembled each other in respect of character. They were ungodly persons, both. Look at Felix. What sort of person was he? Can we be in doubt? See. There is some one by his side. Drusilla is with him. And who is Drusilla? Is she his wife? She is, but she ought not so to be. She was lawfully married to another, who is still alive! And Felix was an unscrupulous, unprincipled judge. He knew that Paul had done no crime; but he detained him notwithstanding. He was ready to give a just or an unjust decision, according as he was paid for it. As for the jailor, the first thing we learn of him is, that he thrust Christ's servants into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. He had charged to keep them safely; but it does not a that such cruelty was required. The jailor was a persecutor. He was also a suicide. He was a suicide intention, if not in fact. He would have killed himself and rushed, unbidden, to the bar of God, had he been allowed.
2. They were hearers of the Gospel. Ungodly though they were, and idolators both, they did not refuse hear God's word. Many would have shut Paul's mouth and turned their back upon his doctrine. They did not do that. They listened to the message which the apostle delivered, and permitted him to declare the counsel God. They treated the word with more respect than often done by persons who have been better taught. They were Gospel-hearers; and this was well. The Gospel was and is the very thing for sinners - for a ungodly people. I came not to call the righteous" says the Saviour, "but sinners to repentance." The hearing of the Gospel is a step towards salvation. Repent, and believe the Gospel! He that believeth shall be saved! But how can we believe, unless we hear?
3. They had a desire to know the Gospel This was a farther step. It is possible, and not, alas, an uncommon thing, in some sense to hear the Gospel, that is to say, to give personal attendance on the preaching of it without the least desire for a knowledge of its nature. The Gospel is, to many of its so-called hearers, an object of complete indifference. They never ask, or think, or care what the Gospel means. But it was not so with Felix and the jailor. They did regard the Gospel with interest. One of the reasons why they heard the Gospel was that they wished to know the meaning of the Gospel. Paul was sent for from prison by the one, and the other ran to him in the dungeon, that he might declare its import, and gratify the desire to be acquainted with it.
4. They trembled from spiritual conviction. It was a sublime spectacle - the emotion of Felix. What had he to fear from Paul? Was not he the chief ruler, clothed in the majesty, and armed with the power of imperial Rome? And was not Paul a friendless prisoner in his hands? Paul might tremble, indeed; but why should he? Yet Paul trembled not, and Felix did. The words of his prisoner shook him. He trembled, as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" There was a divine weight and authority in Paul's words, before which the proud magistrate qualled. God spake to him by the mouth of Paul. He experienced a foretaste of the dealings of that judgement to come" concerning which Paul reasoned; he felt the glance of the eye of him who searcheth the hearts in secret; and he was afraid. He became strongly sensible of his life of sin; his conscience suddenly awoke; there arose deep impressions of the power, justice and holiness of God; the connexion between man's sin and God's wrath glared upon his startled soul; and he trembled.
The jailor trembled too. The foundations of the prison had been shaken by an earthquake; but it was not an that account he trembled, at least not on that account alone. He had been alarmed when he found the doors of the prison open, and there was reason to think that the prisoners had fled. But he trembled after his fears on that score were removed. Doubtless he had serious apprehensions of a temporal nature at first, but these soon gave place to other apprehensions. He may have begun by trembling for his office, and for his life; but he ended by trembling for his soul. He sprang in," it is said, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The events of that wonderful night brought God before his mind - the existence of God, the omnipresence of God, the omnipotence of God. The God of Paul and Silas was the true God, and was able to save and to destroy. Against him the poor jailor saw he had been fighting, and so he came trembling and said, What must I do to be saved?"
5. In fine, Felix and the jailor were delivered from their fears. Law terrors are not intended always to prevail, and to disturb and mar the enjoyment of a lifetime. There can be no question that they did not in the case of the jailor. Before the night had passed, he was rejoicing with all his house. There can be as little question that Felix got rid of his fears, and did not tremble long. Happen as it might, the fact is sure that both the one and the other found relief, and escaped from spiritual alarms. Thus far the cases correspond. Two wicked men become attentive hearers of the Gospel, shew a real desire to understand it, are powerfully awakened and are delivered from their apprehensions of the wrath to come! The cases look well. They have a hopeful aspect. - have they not? Can it be that there is any vital distinction between them? Is it possible that only one of them is a case of genuine conversion? Alas, it is true. Only one of the cases fulfils the fair promise that appearances so far hold out! We must go beneath and beyond these appearances, take a wider range of observation, and push our inquiries deeper down, in order to know how the matter stands. In settling a question of this kind, there is no scope for the exercise of the charity that thinketh no evil, and that covereth all sins.
II. THE POINTS OF CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CASES.
1. Felix and the jailor differed from each other in respect of the motives which induced them to hear the Gospel, and seek an acquaintance with it. The jailor's motive was anxiety to be saved. What must I do to be saved ? cried he. Declare the word of God to me, tell me all about Jesus, that I may know in what way I can obtain salvation. I have just been on the brink of eternity, and I feel that I was not prepared. There was only a step between me and hell. Tell me, o tell me, the way to be saved! Perhaps the jailor was struck by the calm demeanour and joyful carriage of Paul and his companion. Under circumstances to appal the bravest heart, they were tranquil and happy. These men, it was clear, had a hope beyond the valley of death. They had a secret that gave them confidence in the prospect of appearing before the tribunal of God. Some reports of their doctrine had probably reached him. He may have heard that they spoke of the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of the soul. And now came the impression irresistibly on his mind, that these men were saved, and that he himself was not. So he sprang in, trembling, and said, What must I do to be saved?" I would be saved as well as you. I, too, would escape from the wrath to come. Say, what must I do?
What, now, was the motive of Felix? When he sent for Paul, and heard the apostle concerning the faith of Christ, was it concern for his soul and desire of salvation that prompted him? Did Felix ever ask, What must I do to be saved?" Never. Curiosity to hear a statement of the new faith from so famous a teacher of it may have had an influence. Although, if left to himself, the haughty Roman might have only felt contempt for the whole thing, his wife Drusilla, as a Jewess, was likely to cause him to take some speculative interest in it, and might excite a wish to hear what the most celebrated champion of the Gospel had to say. But curiosity was not the chief motive, or the worst, by which Felix was swayed. Venality was at the bottom of what he did. It was not salvation that his sordid nature cared for; it was money. He wanted a bribe, and he became a Gospel hearer, to give Paul opportunity and encouragement to offer it. For he hoped that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and comrnuned with him." Here, my brethren, our thoughts naturally turn to the motives by which people are induced to hear the Gospel among ourselves. Scrutinize them, and what do we find? Remove from our congregations all those who come to gratify an idle curiosity - all those who come for a worldly end, to acquire and keep up a name of respectability, by which their temporal interests may be served - and all those who come without any genuine, anxious desire to be saved, or to know, love, and obey the Lord - remove all such, and how many will remain? Will there be a half? or a fourth? Alas, alas, there is not a little of the form of godliness; but where do we see the power? Men and brethren, be not deceived! God is not mocked. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Lord, Lord, is not enough: you may go down to the pit with Lord, Lord, upon your lips!
2. They differed as to the nature of their convictions. Both were in deep alarm. But what were the grounds of their alarm? The idea of God's wrath, of future judgment and hell fire, had been suddenly, and with vivid power, presented to their minds; and so they trembled. The terrors of the Lord had gathered round their spirits for the time, and the involuntary cry of their affrighted natures was, Who can dwell with the devouring fire? Who can dwell with everlasting burnings? All this is true. But we must push the inquiry a little farther. The man who has long pursued a course of secret crime, in violation of human law, is afraid, and trembles when detection seems about to overtake him; and it often happens that, when the detection does not come, his fear departs entirely, and he persists in his evil deeds. Why is this? The reason is that the thought of punishment is the thing which alone unnerves him, and not any sense of the wickedness of his conduct. It gives him no concern that he deserves to suffer the vengeance of the law, but only that he runs a risk of it. Now Felixwas like that man. He had a sense of danger. He saw that God would punish sin. . But that was all. He did not see that God was just in doing so. He did not feel that sin was evil in itself, and that he himself, as a sinner, deserved the pains of hell His heart clung to sin, while his spirit was quaking at the thought of the Almighty wrath to which sin exposed him. It was hell that terrified him, not sin. The anger of God was dreadful to him; but that which causes it was sweet.
With the jailor it was otherwise. He, too, realised his danger. He, too, saw the mouth of the pit before him. But he did more. He saw whence the danger came, and what it was that had brought him to the brink of perdition. He saw that it was sin that was his enemy, rather than God. He saw that, by his life of sin, he had been his own worst foe, and that the wrath to come was the portion he deserved. His convictions were akin to those of the publican, who stood afar off, and smote on his breast, and said, God be merciful to me a sinner." To me a sinner! This it was that shook him. He was a sinner. He knew the fact before, but it never struck him as it struck him now. To be a sinner meant little, nothing serious, in the days of his apathy; but it had a meaning in it now. It was to be without true love to God, without admiration of his character, without loyalty to him as the great Lawgiver and King. It was to feel no pleasure in knowing him, in serving him. It was to be undutiful to him, the most glorious of beings, and the best of benefactors; it was to care little or nothing for his words and messages, and to do one's own will instead of his. And therefore it meant one who was fit and worthy to be flung beyond the pale of his goodness, and cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! Yes; the jailor was convinced of his sin, as well as of his danger. His convictions went farther down than those of Felix. He not only saw the fact of his danger, and that his sin was the source of it- which Felix also saw - but his eyes were opened to the demerit and vileness of sin, and he saw how right and necessary it was that sin should entail the curse of God's law, and bring down divine condemnation.
3. They differed as to the tendency of their convictions. The tendency and influence of the convictions of Felix are remarkably ifiustrated by his language to Paul. Felix trembled, and answered, "Go thy way at this time; when I have a more convenient season I will call for thee" He trembled, and sent Paul away.. He trembled, and recoiled from farther intercourse with the servant of the Lord. He turned his back upon God's ordinance of preaching, and rejected the. instrumentality that might have led to the salvation of his soul Go thy way," said he. "Go thy way." I will have no more of it . I cannot bear these gloomy doctrines. Go thy way at this time." At this time." Unhappy man! That was the very time in all his life when it was most important for him to hear the apostle eagerly, and to learn the whole counsel of God. He was never so near to the kingdom of God as he was at that moment of spiritual alarm. It was the crisis of his personal history, and the destiny of his soul hung upon it. When Felix trembled, there was an unseen observer that trembled too. Satan trembled, lest his prey should escape. But Satan ceased to tremble when the fatal words were uttered, Go thy way at this time."
The jailor trembled to better purpose than Felix did. The tendency of his convictions was the reverse of the other. The convictions brought him to the apostle's feet. They did not estrange him from God's ordinance; on the contrary, they led him to God's minister with the cry, What must I do to be saved?" Felix, awakened, and trembling for his soul, sent Paul away; the jailor, awakened, and trembling for his soul, betook himself to Paul.
Hearers of the word! Are any of you awakened? Do not follow the example of Felix. Do not shut the Bible as a gloomy book Do not turn your back upon the ordinances that have disturbed your slumbers. Do not count it a misfortune that your spiritual sleep is broken. It is true that you had a sort of peace, which the word of God has taken from you; but better far that that peace should be destroyed now by God's word, than that it should be destroyed hereafter by God's wrath. Dream not of returning to it. It was a peace that could not last. It was a peace that might have lasted long enough to ruin you; but that was all. It could only have lasted till in hell you lifted up your eyes. There is another and a safer peace before you, for which your present alarms are a necessary preparation. The false peace must be removed to make room for the true peace. The word of God has done you one good turn by abolishing the peace of Satan. Forsake it not, and it will do you another, by imparting and establishing the peace of God!
The difference between the tendencies of the convictions of Felix and of the jailor farther appears with regard to sin. The convictions of Felix produced no change upon his life. He was the same man after them as he had been before. He was as licentious, as unprincipled, as worldly as ever. Not so the jailor. His feelings, spirit, and conduct were changed. He became a new man, and walked, from thenceforward, in newness of life. The jailor renounced sin, while Felix continued in it.
4. They differed as to the result or issue of their convictions. The heart of Felix was hardened; the jailor's heart was broken. Religious convictions do not always end in conversion. Some degree of them is necessary; and, without convictions, the soul cannot pass from darkness to light. Convictions, more or less, go before conversion; but conversion does not always follow after. When there is conversion we can say. For certain that there have been convictions; but when there are convictions we cannot say for certain that there will be conversion. Pharaoh, Saul, Ahab, Judas, Simon Magus, exemplify this. We may go farther. When convictions do not issue in conversion, they produce a state of things which makes conversion more difficult. They cannot be resisted successfully, or stifled, without rendering the heart and affections less susceptible for the future. This, too, is exemplified in the cases referred to; and the case of Felix very strikingly exemplifies it also.
The heart of Felix was hardened. There are two particulars of his conduct which prove it. We have seen that he sent Paul away. He was not prepared to accept the holy salvation which Paul announced; nevertheless, the terror which Paul's reasoning created was too much for him; and so he dismissed the preacher. But soon he had more nerve, and could hear the apostolic thunder unmoved. He sent for Paul again and again; he often sent for Paul, and gave him full opportunity to say what he pleased, after the first memorable interview. And he never trembled any more. Nay, so bold and reckless had he grown that his motive for thus braving the once terrible logic of the Apostle was the vile desire of obtaining a bribe. This was not all. The bribe being despaired of, and the time having come for his retirement-from office, he resolved to gratify the malice of the Jews, and left Paul bound. He would have released the Lord's servant at once, in spite of the Jews, if money had been given him to do it. The money not forthcoming, he kept Paul a prisoner for two long years. At the end of that period, to get credit with the Jews, and to make them speak well of him after he was gone, he increased the rigour of the Apostle's confinement, and left him to Festus a prisoner in bonds. There was the issue of the convictions, of Felix! He became a more determined enemy of the truth, and fairly joined the ranks of persecution.
But the convictions of the jailor were not of the same sort as the convictions of Felix; and they had another result. The jailor's heart was not hardened. It was broken. The jailor fell down before Paul and Silas." He fell down before his prisoners. His carnal pride gave way. In sorrow and in shame he cast himself at the feet of the men whom he had treated with cruelty; and he cried, in the agony of a contrite .apirit, What must I do to be saved?", His self-abasement before Paul and Silas was the sign and the visible expression of another self-abasement. It proclaimed him to be a man whose soul was humbled before the Lord. He honoured them for the sake of their Master; and he honoured, their Master in them. When he fell down before the servants of Ohrist, it was a virtual confession of sinfulness and guilt. The true meaning of the act is conveyed by the exclamation of the publican, God be merciful to me a sinner!"
.How precious is a broken heart! Although a broken heart is a heart of sorrow, it is a heart that gives joy to holy angels. It is the most welcome - sacrifice that a sinner can bring to God. It is the ground of one of our Lord's beatitudes: Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
5. They differed in the mode of deliverance from their fears. The fears of Felix were overcome by unbelief: the fears of the jailor were banished by faith. In the case of Faux it was unbelief. For a moment he had been taken by surprise. At his first interview with Paul, the action of unbelief was paralysed. It was so far paralysed that natural conscience awoke, under the apostle's arguments and appeals. But unbelief speedily rallied, and the faithful preacher was sent from his presence. Then unbelief came in with its suggestions. Then unbelief spoke, and conscience was soon put to sleep again. Who was this Paul? Why regard the fancies of a Jew? Was a Roman to be moved by a Jew, and him a Jew whose teachings his own nation rejected? What weight could be due to his ravings as to temperance, and righteousness, and judgment to come? Was this obscure person a wiser man than the sages of Athens and Rome? What did he know about it? Were such as he fit to lecture their betters? Was all the world wrong, and only this man right? How was it possible to arrive at any certainty as to the things on which Paul insisted so keenly? Were they not, at the most, points of mere speculation, on which there was much to be said on both sides? And were questions so dubious and dark to be allowed to disturb the enjoyment of life? It was plain that Paul was an enthusiast - a man whose feelings and imagination had run away with him - a scrupulous and crazy ascetic, with some gift of eloquence, whose ambition it was to gather a party, and make them as mad as himself. And he, Felix - what would he have to fear? Was he not like his neighbours? If he followed, as they did, the bent of his nature, and gratified the passions with which he had been born, what great harm was in that, and why should he be blamed? There might be things in his conduct that were not strictly correct, as there were in the conduct of all men; but there were also things to be praised; and God, if a God there was, would surely be mercifuL Away, then, with fear! Thus unbelief cured Felix of his fright. Alas! the remedy was worse than the disease. It was worse, because there were reasonable and proper grounds of alarm, which it did not touch - which it only concealed. It was worse, because terrors, so removed, must one day come back upon him with greater force, when nothing would remain but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries!
The fears of the jailor were banished by faith. It was happy for the jailor that his convictions were not such as to indispose him for listening to the instructions of God's ministers. In his distress he implored Paul and Silas to tell him what he must do. Sirs, what must I do ? cried he. What must I do to be saved?" Believe," said they, Believe - in the Lord Jesus Christ." That is what you must do. You must put faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You must believe, you must trust in the Son of God. It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, not excepting the chief. He is able, he is willing, to save even you. And saved you shall be, if you trust in him. The jailor obeyed.'He believed that Jesus was a Saviour - a mighty Saviour - a willing Saviour. He believed that Jesus was a Saviour for him, and that for him there, was redemption through Jesus' blood, even the forgiveness of sins. He applied the antidote of faith to his fears, and his fears passed away. Alarm gave place to joy; he ceased to tremble; he rejoiced," we are told, believing iu God with all his house." His experience was similar to David's. I had fainted," says the Psalmist, unless I had believed." The ,jailor must have fainted, or fallen back on gloomy and desperate unbelief, unless he had believed. The language of David was appropriate to his case: , The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."
Faith is a blessed remedy for the fear of God's wrath. Faith, is ever accompanied by love, It worketh by love, that sweetest of the graces. Faith worketh by love. And there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. A sullen, reckless apathy is all the peace that unbelief can bring. But faith, with love for its constant fellow-worker, gives a cloudless, joyful, calm, and a wellfounded assurance. The boldness of unbelief will perish before the wrath of the Lamb; but the work of faith and love is boldness in the day of judgment. When the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books are opened, unbelief will be powerless to keep down the wail of, terror; but not so faith. - Faith will assure the heart amid these dread solemnities, and looks of favour and words of approbation from him that sitteth on the throne will reward it.
They differed in important particulars of their conduct. There was their treatment of the Gospel. The Gospel of God came to them both. How did they deal with it? The jailor embraced the Gospel He made it welcome. He received it as God's word. It was Paul that brought it; but he knew and acknowledged that it was God that sent it. He received it as the truth. He received it as good news - as good news that might be depended on. He received it as the revelation of a plan of ineffable love and incomparable wisdom - as the announcement of a Saviour of infinite grace, able to save to the uttermost - as God's undoubted overture of a complete, a free, and an everlasting salvation. He said, in effect, I betake myself to this Saviour; I close with this overture; willingly, joyfully, I accept of this salvation.
Felix, on the other hand, rejected the Gospel He was a hearer of the word, but scarcely more than a wayside hearer. He heard the Gospel to no effect. He despised the Gospel. The good news did not move him. The offer of mercy attracted him not - it did not suit his taste. He would not concur with God's overture of love, nor accept of God's free but holy salvation. Then there was their treatment of Christ. Christ stood at the door and knocked. Felix answered not - paid no regard - gave no admission - -left the illustrious stranger to stand there till he chose to go away. Or rather we might say, that Felix felt annoyed at the summons, - and shewed a desire to be let alone, and that Christ should not knock again. Far other entertainment was given by the jailor. He received the Saviour without delay. When he knew whose knock it was, he received him into his house and into his heart. He received him to be his Prophet, his Priest, and his King. He received him as his Lord, not consulting flesh and blood, or asking what the magistrates would say. He received him at once, and was straightway sworn in by baptism as one of his disciples and servants, and made profession of faith and allegiance.
We pause here, my friends, to ask what is the treatment of the Saviour among yourselves? He stands at the door, and is knocking now, in the case of many of you. This day, this hour, this instant while we speak, Jesus knocks at your door. How long will you keep him outside? When Felix said. to the servant of Christ: Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee - he said it in effect to Christ. Is that your answer to the gracious Saviour? Must he wait for your convenience? Is that the way to treat the Son of God? Is that your return for all his condescension and love? Are you all of one mind to put him off? Is there no one that is ready to receive him now? No one to surrender a heart to him, and to say, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord - come in, thou kind and pitying Saviour - why standest thou without?" Since thou art willing and desirous to enter, God forbid that I should bang back, or be unwilling to receive such a guest!
O God! grant, we beseech thee, that, of the many hearts in this congregation that have been hitherto shut against thy dear Son, there may at least be one that shall be shut no more! Nay, let there be more than one! Let a number of hearts be given him even now, that he may dwell and reign in them from this time and for ever!
There was their treatment of the servants of Christ. If they differed in their treatment of Christ, no wonder that they differed in their treatment of his servants. We have already adverted to the behaviour of Felix to Paul. He sought to turn him to account with a view to a scandalous pecuniary gain; and, failing in that, he persecuted him, to get credit and popularity with his enemies. The conduct of the jailor affords the contrast we might expect. He honoured Paul and Silas. Sirs," said he, addressing them respectfully. He did what he could to lessen their sufferings. He released them from the stocks, brought them out of the dungeon to his own apartments, and washed their stripes. And he supplied their temporal wants. When he had brought them into his own house, he set meat before them." Beautifully did the jailor and his prisoners between them exemplify the Scripture that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
7. In fine, if Felix died as he lived, which we have no reason to doubt, there is a crowning difference now. Felix is in hell, the jailor is in heaven. The terrors of Felix have returned; the jailor is happy and joyful. The terrors of Felix have returned, and he trembles once more for the judgment to come. The jailor is with Jesus in paradise, awaiting the redemption of the body. Felix is himself a prisoner now, and the bribe of a world could not release him. The jailor is with Paul and Silas, whom he took from the stocks and the dungeon, enjoying the liberty of the Sons of God. Felix is with the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, which have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. And the jailor is with them that have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; where he that sitteth on the throne dwells among them; where there is no more curse; where they hunger no more, neither thirst any more, and neither the sun lights on them, nor any heat; and where the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, feeds them, and leads them to living fountains of water, and God wipes away all tears from their eyes.
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