Ellen G. White Writings

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Sketches from the Life of Paul, Page 222

innocence offended his accusers, and when he fearlessly addressed them, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day,” their hatred was kindled afresh, and the high priest ordered him to be smitten upon the mouth. At this inhuman command, Paul exclaimed, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall, for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” These words were not an outburst of passion. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Paul uttered a prophetic denunciation similar to that which Christ had uttered in rebuking the hypocrisy of the Jews. The judgment pronounced by the apostle was terribly fulfilled when the iniquitous and hypocritical high priest was murdered by assassins in the Jewish war. But the bystanders regarded the words of Paul as profane, and exclaimed with horror, “Revilest thou God's high priest?” Paul answered, with his usual courtesy, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”

Paul was convinced that he could not hope for a fair trial and just decision at this tribunal. And his natural penetration and shrewdness enabled him to take advantage of the circumstances. The Sanhedrim council was made up of Pharisees and Sadducees, who had long been at variance upon the doctrine of the resurrection. Knowing this, the apostle cried out, in clear, decided tones, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.”

These words, appealing to the sympathies of

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