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have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out! Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost. And the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
IMPRISONMENT OF ALL THE APOSTLES. ADVICE OF
[Acts v. 12.] 1. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people, insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least, the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed every one.
2. Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught.
3. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors; but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now, when the high priest, and the captain of the temple, and the chief priests, heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
4. Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teach
ing the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council; and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you, that ye should not teach in this name? and behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
5. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree: him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
6. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; and said, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men; for, before these days, rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves; who was slain ; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him : he also perished, and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
7. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone ; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
MARTYRDOM OF STEPHEN.
[Acts vi. 1.] 1. AND in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
2. And the saying pleased the whole multitude; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Proch'o-rus, and Nica'nor, and Timon, and Par'menas, and Nic'olas a proselyte of Antioch, whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they }aid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
3. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Liber'tines, and Cyre'nians, and Alexan'drians, and of them of Cilicia, and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they şuborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blas'phemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law; for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delive ered us.
4. And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Then said the high priest, Are these things so ? And he said, Ye stiff-necked ! and uncircumcised in heart and ears! ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted ? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers; who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
5. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “ Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting unto his death.
6. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and hauling men and women, committed them to prison. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
PHILIP BAPTIZES THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH.
[Acts viii. 26.] 1. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south, unto the way that goeth .down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he
arose, aud went; and behold, a man of Ethio'pia, a eunuch of great authority under Can'da-ce, queen of the Ethio'pians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning; and, sitting in his chariot, read Esai'as the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
2. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esai'as, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up, and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this,
" He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
For his life is taken from the earth.” And the eunuch. answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other
3. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayst. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still ; and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized hiin. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more ; and he went on his way rejoicing.
THE GOSPEL INTENDED FOR ALL NATIONS. PAUL AND
BARNABAS REFUSE DIVINE HONORS.
[Acts xi. 1.] 1. And the apostles and brethren that were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.