Page 146



and, filled with the Spirit, he smiled, so that Ariston fell upon his face to the feet of Peter and said, “Brother and Lord, who makes known the sacred mysteries and teaches the right way, which is in the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, through you he has shown us his coming. All whom Paul entrusted to us we have lost through the power of Satan. But now I trust in the Lord, who sent his messenger and told you to hasten to us, that he has deemed us worthy to see his great and wonderful deeds done by your hands. I therefore beg you, come quickly to the city. For I left the brethren who had stumbled, whom I saw fall into the snares of the devil, and fled here saying to them, ‘Brethren, stand firm in the faith; for it is to be that within the next two months the mercy of our Lord will bring you his servant.’ I saw a vision of Paul speaking to me and saying, ‘Ariston, flee from the city.’ Having heard this, I believed with­ out wavering, departed from the city in the Lord, and though the flesh which I bear is weak, yet I came here, stood daily by the shore, and asked the sailors, ‘Has Peter come with you?’ And now that the grace of the Lord abounds, I beseech you to go up to Rome without delay, lest the teaching of the wicked man increases still more.” When Ariston had spoken amidst tears Peter gave him his hand and lifted him up from the ground, and said with tears and sighs, “He who tempts the world by his angels forestalled us; but he who has the power to deliver his servants from all temptation will destroy his de­ ceits and put them under the feet of those who believe in Christ, whom we preach.” And when they entered by the gate Theon entreated Peter and said, “During the long sea voyage you never refreshed yourself on the ship, and now will you go from the ship on such a rough road? No, stay, refresh yourself and then go. From here to Rome the road is rocky, and

I fear you might hurt yourself with the shaking.” But Peter answered and said to them, “But what would have happened if about my neck and that of the enemy of the Lord a millstone were hanged (as my Lord said to us, if any one should offend one of the brethren2), and we be drowned in the depths of the sea? Not only would it be a millstone, but what is worse, I the opponent of this persecutor of his ser­ vants would die far away from those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.” In no way could Theon persuade him to remain a day longer. Whereupon Theon gave everything that was in the ship to be sold at a fair price, and followed Peter to Rome, and accompanied Ariston to the house of the presbyter Narcissus.


Soon it became known among the scattered brethren of the city that Peter had come to Rome on account of Simon, to prove that he was a seducer and persecutor of the good. And the whole multitude came together to see the apostle of the Lord, confirming the con­ gregation in Christ. When they gathered on the first day of the week to meet Peter he began to speak with a loud voice, “You people who are here, hoping in Christ, you who suffered a brief temptation, learn why God sent his Son into the world, or why he begot him by the virgin Mary, if it were not to dispense some mercy or means of salvation. For he meant to annul every offence and every ignorance and every activity of the devil, his instigations and powers, by means of which he once had the upper hand, before our God shone forth in the world. Since with their many and manifold weak­ nesses they fell to death by their igno­ rance, Almighty God had compassion


Matt 18:6.

Profile for sheekh 3arb