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things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the Prophets ? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I - except these bonds.

And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Ber'ni-ce, and they that sat with them; and when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death, or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cesar.

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LESSON CVII.

PAUL'S SHIPWRECK ON THE VOYAGE TO ROME.

[Acts xxvii. 1 and 27.] 1. And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. .... But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight, the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country, and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms. And when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then, fearing lest they should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

2. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion, and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when it was day they knew not the land, but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

3. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder-bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stück fast, and remained unmovable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that they which could swim, should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land, and the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Mel'ita.

4. And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness, for they kindled a fire and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit, they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly ; but, after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

5. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul'was suffered to dwell by hiniself, with a soldier that kept him. 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 was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans; who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spakë against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cesar, not that I had aught to accuse my nation of. For this cause, therefore, have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you ; because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

6. And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came, showed or spake any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee, what thou thinkest, for, as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 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 Prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

7. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, “ Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet 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 perceive;
For the heart of this people is waxed gross,

And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes have they closed;
Lest they should see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart,

And should be converted, and I should heal them.' 8. “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

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