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their purpose, and commanded that they who

could swim should first leap into the sea, and 44 get to land. The others also reached the

shore ; some on planks, and some on parts of the vessel; and so it was, that they all got safe upon the land.

CHAP. XXVIII.

1 AND when they were secure, they learnt 2 that the island was called Melita. * And the

barbarous people shewed us great kindness : for they kindled a fire, and received us all,

because of the present rain, and because of 3 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 4 on his hand. I. "And when the barbarians saw

the venomous animal 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

* This island is supposed to be the same which is now called Malta.

† The people of this island were called barbarians, to distinguish them from the Romans. The island was first settled by Phænicians, who had the reputation of being kind and hospitable.

This was the first of October. The cold comes on early in that climate : ' and the winds, at that soason, are very tempestuous

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. 7 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 supersti

† Syracuse was a city in the island of Sicily.

tious pagans.

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. 17 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. nation of. I have therefore called for

you, to see and speak with you : because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. * 21 And they said unto him, We neither received

* 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 Ronne where he suffered martyrdom, as well as Paul,

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. Beit known

* For the hope of a future life, which, though now con. firmed 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.

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. 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own

hired house, t. 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. I

* The gospel, which reveals the way of pardon and salvation.

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

I 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 Asià Minor, to instruct and confirm those, whom he had before convert. ed 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.

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