Imatges de pÓgina
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5 live. And he shook off the beast into the 6 fire, and felt no harm. And they expected that he would have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly but after they had looked some time, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

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And in the country near to this place, was the estate of the chief of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and 8 entertained us kindly, three days. Now the father of Publius was lying sick of a fever, and of a bloody-flux and Paul went in unto him and prayed, and laid his hands on him, 9 and healed him. So when this was done, others also who had diseases in the island 10 came, and were healed: And they shewed us great respect and when we departed, they presented us with such things as were necessary. 11 And after three months, we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the island, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.t 12 And landing at Syracuse, we abode there 13 three days. And thence we went round, and

came opposite to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next

*This was a poisonous reptile, benumbed by the cold; but which the heat invigorated. The ignorant, superstitious people imagined Paul was a great sinner, because he was seized and bitten by the serpent. Equally unfounded, generally, are the fears and opinions of an uninformed mind.

The ancients, as well as the moderns, placed images on the head of their vessels. This vessel bore the images of Castor and Pollux, two imaginary deities of the superstitious pagans.

Syracuse was a city in the island of Sicily.

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14 day to Puteoli: where we found brethren, and were desired to remain with them seven days and then we went towards Rome : 15 From which, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii-forum, and the Three taverns :* and when Paul saw them, he blessed God, and took courage. 16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with a soldier who kept him.

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And it came to pass, that after three days, Paul called the chief of the Jews together. And when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people or customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans : 18 Who, when they had examined me, would have released me, because there was no cause 19 of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cæsar; not that I had any thing to accuse 20 my nation of. I have therefore called for

to see and speak with you: because that for
you,

* The former of these places was about fifty miles from Rome; the other thirty. Probably there had been Christians in this city several years. It was now more than thirty years from the death of Christ. If none of the apostles had been at Rome before, other disciples undoubtedly had; as there was a constant intercourse between Rome and Judea. Soon after this period, Peter visited Rome, where he suffered martyrdom, as well as Paul.

the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.* 21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, nor have any of the brethren who came shewed or spake 22 any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as to this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the 24 prophets, from morning until evening. And

some believed the things which were spoken, 25 and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the prophet, 26 unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not 27 perceive. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be 28 converted, and I should heal them. Be it known

For the hope of a future life, which, though now confirmed by the gospel, was promised to Israel by the prophets of old.

+ Though ye hear, ye will not understand; and though ye see, ye will not perceive."

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therefore unto you, that the salvation of God* is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will 29 hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

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And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house,† and received all that came in 31 unto him; preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concerned the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.‡

*The gospel, which reveals the way of pardon and salva

tion.

+ Though Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he was not, at this time, in close confinement. See 16th verse.

During this time, the apostle addressed several epistles to churches he had before established, with a view to their comfort and edification. After this St.Paul left Rome, and travelled through many parts of Greece and Asia Minor, to instruct and confirm those, whom he had before converted to the Christian faith: And returned again to Rome, where he was beheaded. At this time the gospel was known throughout Judea, Syria, Arabia, Italy, and the states of Greece; in Persia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, and the western parts of India; and probably in Spain, France and Germany.

APPENDIX.

IT may very reasonably be expected, that this volume should furnish a more particular account of the apostles of our Lord, than is given in the Gospels or Acts. Of Matthew and John, two of the apostles, all the information to be depended on, which has been preserved in the Christian church, may be found in the prefatory remarks to their respective gospels. The history of the others, stript of legend and conjecture, is as follows:

PETER, who was also called Simon, is said to have been the eldest of the apostles, and of the age of forty, when first called by Christ. This may be the reason, for which he is usually first named. For John certainly possessed, in a peculiar degree, the confidence and affection of our blessed Lord. We learn from the evangelical history, that Peter was sincere, ardent and intrepid. Of his activity and zeal in the cause of Christianity, we have abundant testimony from the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke. It is unnecessary to repeat the account there given of him. From ecclesiastical history, we learn that he visited Rome, and there made many proselytes to the Christian faith. On a second visit to that city, after he had preached the gospel in various parts of Asia, he was crucified by order of the emperor Nero, in the year 65.

The apostle ANDREW was a brother of Peter. He was one of the Baptist's disciples before he attached himself to Christ and it was in consequence of the explicit testimony of John in favor of Jesus, as the expected Messiah, that he became a disciple and follower of the great prophet of Nazareth. He is said to have preached the gospel to the Scythians, and to others in the north of Greece; and

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