Imatges de pÓgina
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also endeavoured to keep others in darkness and ignorance. This miracle convinced the pro-consul of the truth of the doctrines taught by the apostles, and made him a convert to the faith.

St. Paul, after this remarkable success in Cyprus, repaired to Phrygia, in Pamphylia, and taking another with him, in the room of Mark, who was gone to Jerusalem, travelled to Antioch, the metropolis of Pisidia.

Soon after their arrival, they entered the synagogue of the Jews, on the sabbath-day, and after the reading of the law, Paul being invited by the rulers of the synagogue, delivered himself in the following manner; "Hearken, all ye descendants of Jacob, and ye that fear the Almighty, to the words of my mouth. The God of Israel made choice of our fathers, and loved them, when they had no city of their own to dwell in, but were strangers and slaves in Egypt, bringing them from thence with a mighty hand, and a stretched-out arm; fed them in the wilderness forty years, and would not suffer his anger to arise against them, though they often provoked him in the desert. On their arrival in the land he promised their fathers, he destroyed the nations that inhabited it, and placed them in that fruitful country, dividing it to them by lot.

"When they were settled in the land, he gate them judges during four hundred and fifty years, till Samuel the prophet. But on their desiring a king, he placed over them Saul, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, who reigned about forty years. After his death, he placed David on the throne of Israel, giving him this testimony, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will." And according to his promise the Almighty hath raised up to the sons ofDavid, a Saviour Jesus, which is Christ the Lord; the baptism of repentance having been preached before his coming by John. And No. 20.

as his fore-runner executed his office, he asked his followers, whom think ye that I am? You must not mistake me for the Messiah; he will soon follow me; but I am not worthy to perform the meanest office for him.

"To you, therefore, ye descendants of Abraham, and all others who fear the Almighty, is this word of Salvation sent. For the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and rulers of Israel, being ignorant of him, and the voices of the prophets, though read every sabbath in the synagogues, fulfilled their predictions by condemning the immaculate Son of the Most High. They found, indeed, no fault with him, though they earnestly desired Pilate that he might be slain.

"When every thing that had been written by the prophets concerning him was fulfilled, they took him from the tree, and deposited his body in the chambers of the grave. But death had no power to detain him his Almighty Father raised him from the habitations of the dead. After which,. he was seen during many days by his discipies, who attended him from Galilee, and were the witnesses chosen by Omnipotence, of these great and miraculous works. And we now declare unto you glad tidings, namely, that the promise made by the Almighty to our forefathers, he hath performed to us the children, by raising Jesus from the dead. The prophet David also said, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." He also foretold, that he should return from the chambers of the dust, and no more be subject to corruption: "I will give him, said he, the sure, mercies of David. And again, Thou shalt not suffer thine holy one to see corruption." Now this prophecy must relate to the Messiah; for David himself, after he had swayed the sceptre of Israel a certain time, tell asleep, was deposited in the chambers of the grave, and his flesh saw corruption: but the great Son of David, who the Almighty raised from the dead, never saw corruption.

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"Be it therefore known unto you, men and brethren, that through this Saviour is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. It is by his merits we are justified from all things, which were impossible by the law of Moses. Be careful, therefore, lest what was foretold by the prophets come upon you. "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your day, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you."

This spirited address of the great apostle carried with it its own weight, and obtained, from the converted Jews, a request that it should again be delivered the ensuing sabbath; when almost the whole city flocked to hear the apostle; at which the Jews were filled with envy, and contradicted Paul, uttering many blasphemous expressions against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. But their opposition could not daunt the apostles, who boldly declared that our blessed Saviour had charged them to preach the gospel first to the Jews, but as they so obstinately rejected it, they were now to address themselves to the Gentiles; who hearing this, rejoiced exceedingly, magnifying the words of the Almighty, and many of them embraced the doctrines of the gospel.

This increased the malice and fury of the Jews, who by false and artful insinuations, prevailed on some of the more bigotted and honourable women to bring over their husbands to their party; by which means Paul and Barnabas were driven out of the city. At which the apostles departed, shaking off the dust from their feet, as a testimony of the sense they had of the ingratitude and infidelity of the Jews.

From Antioch they went to Iconium, the metropolis of Lycania, a province of the Lesser Asia, where they entered into the synagogue of the Jews, notwithstanding the ill-treatment they had met with from the Jews in other places; for so great was their zeal for the gospel, that they were not to be deterred from preaching it by ill-usage,

however great. Therefore, aecording their usual method, they again began their preaching in the assembly of Israelites, and the Almighty so far assisted their endeavours, that many, both Jews and proselytes, believed. Their success encouraged them to continue a considerable time in this city, to instruct the converts, and confirm their faith by miracles. But though they had gained a considerable part of the city to the faith, yet many continued in their infidelity : the old leaven of Jewish malice began again to ferment, and the unbelieving Jews, having stirred up many Gentiles against the apostles, at last prevailed on the multitude to stone them. But the apostles, having timely notice of their design, fled from the city and travelled to Lystra, where they preached the gospel to the inhabitants, and those who dwelt in the adjacent country.

Among the converts at Lystra was a man who had been lame from his mother's womb,. and never had walked. But Paul, perceiving that he had faith to be saved, thought proper to add the cure of his body to that of his soul, knowing that it would not only be beneficial to him, but to all the rest of the believers, by confirming their faith. And that the miracle might be wrought in the most conspicuous manner, he, in the midst of the congregation, said, in an audible voice to the man, Stand upright on thy, feet. And the words were no sooner pronounced, than his strength was at once restored, aud he leaped up and walked..

The people who beheld this miracle well knew that it was not wrought by any human power; but having been initiated into the superstitious customs of the heathens, they cried out, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. Accordingly they called Barnabas Jupiter, because of his venerable gravity, and Paul Mercury,from his eloquence. Nor was it long before the whole city resounded with acclamations ; so that almost all the inhabitants gathered themselves together, and, preceded by the

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