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And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying; and, in a trance, I saw a vision, A certain vessel descending, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me. Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
2.. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Rise, Peter, slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord, for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou .common. And this was done three times; and all were drawn up again into heaven. And behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Cesare'a unto me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover, these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house; and he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which' stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter ; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
3. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said; “ John indeed baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life!
[Acts xiv. 6.] 4. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his [birth, who never had walked. The same heard Paul speak; who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet! And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycao'nia, “ The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men !" And they called Bar'nabas, Ju'piter; and Paul, Mercu'rius, because he was the chief speaker.
5. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which, when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living GOD, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein ; who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
PAUL PREACHES THE TRUE GOD AT ATHENS.
[Acts xvii. 16.] 1. Now, while Paul waited for [Silas and Timothy] at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicure'ans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods; (because he preached unto them Jesus, and the Resurrection.) And they took him, and brought him unto Areop'agus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is ? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears; we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there, spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
2. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription,
To the UNKNOWN God.” Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that He is LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation
; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said,
" For we are also his offspring." 3. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent; because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that inan whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked ; and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them.
THE RIOT AT EPHESUS.
(Acts xix. 23.) 1. AND the same time there arose no small stir about that [belief.] For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen ; whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth : moreover, ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying, That they be no gods which are made with hands. So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia, and the world, worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians !
2. And the whole city was filled with confusion : and have ing caught Gaius and Aristarch'us, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. Some therefore cried one thing, and some another ; for the assembly was confused, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people. But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians !
3. And when the town-clerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter ? Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Wherefore, if Deme'trius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies; let them implead one another. But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he nad thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
PAUL'S FAREWELL ADDRESS TO THE ELDERS AT EPHESUS.
[Acts xx. 17.) 1. And from Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, “ Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews; and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. “And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there, save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, That bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to rec'ord this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men, for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
3. “ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that, after my departing, shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Therefore, watch! and remember, that, by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
4. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my