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NON-CANONICAL ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

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byter Narcissus, and two women in the hospice of the Bithynians, and four others who could not leave their house; and day and night they entreated the Lord either that Paul might return as soon as possible or that someone else might come to care for his servants, whom the devil by his wickedness had perverted.

. . . After a few days there was a great commotion in the congrega­ tion, for some said that they had seen things done by a man named Simon, who was at Aricia. They also added, “He claims to be the great power of God, doing nothing without God. Is he then Christ? We, however, believe in him whom Paul has preached to us. For through him we saw the dead raised and some healed from various diseases. This power seeks conflicts, we know. For it is no small disturbance that has come upon us. Perhaps he has already come to Rome. For yesterday he was invited with great acclamation to do so, being told, ‘You are God in Italy, you are the savior of the Romans; hasten to Rome as quickly as possible.’ And Simon ad­ dressed the people and said with a shrill voice, ‘On the following day about the seventh hour you shall see me fly over the gate of the city in the same form in which I now speak to you.’ Wherefore, brethren, if you agree, let us go and dil­ igently await the end of the matter.” And they all went out and came to the gate. About the seventh hour there suddenly appeared afar off a dust-cloud in the sky, looking like smoke shining with a glare of fire. And when it reached the gate it suddenly disappeared. Then he appeared standing in the midst of the people. They all worshipped him and knew that it was he whom they had seen the day before. And the brethren were exceedingly dis­ turbed, especially as Paul was not at Rome, nor Timothy and Barnabas, whom Paul had sent to Macedonia, nor anyone who could strengthen us (sic) in the faith, especially the neophytes. As Simon’s au­ thority grew more and more, some of those among whom he worked in their daily conversations called Paul a sorcerer and a deceiver and all of the great mul­ titude which had been confirmed in the faith were led astray, excepting the pres­

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While they were grieving and fast­ ing God was already preparing Pe­ ter at Jerusalem for the future. After the twelve years had passed, according to the direction of the Lord to Peter, Christ showed to him the following vision, say­ ing, “Peter, Simon, whom you expelled from Judaea after having exposed him as a magician, has forestalled you at Rome. And in short, all who believed in me he has perverted by the cunning and power of Satan, whose agent he proves to be. But do not delay. Go tomorrow to Cae­ sarea, and there you will find a ship ready to sail to Italy. And within a few days I will show you my grace which is bound­ less.” Instructed by this vision, Peter did not delay to mention it to the brethren and said, “I must go up to Rome to sub­ due the enemy and opponent of the Lord and of our brethren.” And he went down to Caesarea and at once boarded the ship, which was ready to sail, without having obtained for himself any provisions. But the steersman, named Theon, looked at Peter and said, “What we have belongs to you. For what grace is it for us in receiving a man like ourselves in difficult circumstances, without sharing with him what we have? Let us have a safe jour­ ney.” Peter thanked him for his offer. And he fasted in the ship, being dejected, and yet again comforted because God re­ garded him as a servant worthy of his service. A few days later the captain got up at meal time and asked Peter to eat with him, saying to him, “Whoever you are, I hardly know you. You are either a

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