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barians saw the venomous beast (a) hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a
murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, 5 yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook 6 off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. How
beit 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. 7 In the same quarters were pofleffions of the chief
man of the island, whose name was Publius, who
received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay
fick of a fever, and of a bloody Aux: to whom Paul
entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, 9 and healed himn. So when this was done, others
also which had diseases in the island, came, and 10 were healed: Who also honoured us with many
honours (b), and when we departed, they laded us 11 with such things as were necessary. And after three
months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which
had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and 12 Pollux (c). And landing at Syracuse, we tarried 13 there three days. And from thence we fetched a com
pass, and came to Rhegium (d): and after one day (e) The viper is a venomous creature, whose bite, without immediate help, is mortal.
(6) Paid us much respect; which however, we may be sure, was not of the nature of religious worship; for that was always refused by the Apostles. See Chap. x. 26. xiv. 15.
(c) The ship was called by that name, and had on its forepart the figures of Castor and Pollux, who being sons of their great God Jupiter, and reckoned propitious to navigation, were held in as great veneration by Heathen seamen, as St. Antony is at present by many Romish ones.
(d) In order to avoid a dangerous whirlpool called Scylla, instead of feering a straight course, they fetched a compass, that is, they kept out a little, and coasted along the island of Sicily, and so came to Rhegium, in Italy.
the south wird blew, and we came the next day to 14 Puteoli: Where we found brethren (e), and were
desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went 15 toward Rome (f). And from thence, when the
brethren (s) heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii-forum (b), and the Three-taverns: whom
when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. 16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion deliver
ed the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but
Paul was suffered to dwell by himfelf, with a soldier: 17 that kept himn. 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 (i) or customs of our fa
thers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerufalem into 18 the hands of the Romans. Who when they had exa
mined me (k), would have let: nne go, because there : 19 was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews
fpake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cefar; not that I had ought to accufe my nation of.. I
. 20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see
you, and to speak with you : because that for the hope 21 of Israel (1), I am bound with this chain. And they
said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren
that came, .fhewed or spake any harm of thee. 22. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest:
for as concerning this fect, we know that every:
(e). Some fellow-chriftiáns. .
(h) Some came to meet us at: Three-taverns : others came as far as Appii-forum.
(i) The people signifies the nation of the Jews. See Chap. xxvi. 17. (k) Wh
they had enquired into the charge against me. ID) The hope of Ifrael was the Messiah, and the resurrection of the dead. Chap. XXIX. 6. xxvi. 6.
23 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 (m), persuading them concern
ing Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of 24. the prophets, from morning till evening. And
fome believed the things which were spoken, and 25 some believed not. And when they agreed not a
mong themselves, they departed, after that Paul had
fpoken one word, Well spake the holy Ghost by 26 Esaias the prophet, unto our fathers, Saying, Go
unto this people, and say, Hearing (n); ye shall hear,
and shall not understanđ; and seeing, ye shall see, 27 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 ; left they should see with their eyes, and hear with their cars, and under
stand with their heart, and should be converted, and 28 I should heal them: Be it known therefore unio you,
that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gen29 tiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had
faid these words, the Jews departed, and had great 30 reasoning among themselves. And Paul dwelt two
whole years in his own hired house, and received all 31 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 ().
(m) See Chap.i. 3. Note:
(n) Ye will hear, but will not consider; and ye will see, and not be convinced.
(0) Ar the close of this history, we cannot but remark, that al. though it is plain, that St. Paul exereised his ministry, and made converts at Rome, yet there is no evidence that St. Peter was then bishopof that Seë : on the contrary, his not being named in this whole chapter affords a strong presumptive argument that he was NOT. And certainly, had he been bishop of Rome, St. Paul would not have failed to pay him the same respect in that eity, as he had before paid to him and St. James at Jerusalem, (Chap. xxi. 18. Gal.i. 19.)
Neither is it probable, that the unconverted Jews of Rome, deo firous as they were of information, (verse 22.) could have been fo ignorant of the nature of christianity. Had St. Peter been bishop there, they would doubtless have applied to him, and have been in. Itructed. The notion then that the church of Rome was founded oy St. Peter, and is in consequence the mother and mistress of all chrittian churches, with all the vain pretensions built upon that ne* tion, muft neceffarily fall to the ground.