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THE ACTS OF PETER

prophet says, ‘He bears our griefs; and is afflicted for us; yet we did esteem him stricken and afflicted.’5 For he is in the Father and the Father in him; in him also is the fullness of all majesty, who has shown us all his benefits. He ate and drank on our account though he was nei­ ther hungry nor thirsty; he suffered and bore reproaches for us, he died and rose for us. He also defended and strength­ ened me through his greatness when I sinned; he will also comfort you, so that you may love him, this Great and Small One, this Beautiful and Ugly One, this Young Man and Old Man, appearing in time, yet utterly invisible in eternity; whom a human hand has not grasped, yet is held by his servants; whom flesh has not seen and now sees; who has not been heard, but is known now as the word which is heard; never chastised, but now chastised; who was before the world and is now perceived in time, beginning greater than all dominion, yet delivered to the princes; glorious, but lowly among us; ugly, yet foreseeing. This Jesus you have, brethren, the door, the light, the way, the bread, the water, the life, the resurrection, the refreshment, the pearl, the treasure, the seed, the abundance, the grain of mustard seed, the vine, the plough, the grace, the faith, the word: he is everything, and there is none greater than he; to him be praise in all eternity. Amen.” . . .

23

The brethren and all who were in Rome came together, and on payment of a piece of gold each occupied a seat. Senators and prefects and officers also assembled. But when Peter came in he stood in the center. All cried aloud, “Show us, Peter, who your God is or which majesty it is which gave you such confidence. Be not disaffected to the Ro­ mans; they are lovers of the gods. We have had evidence from Simon, let us

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have yours also; show us, both of you, whom we must believe.” And when they had spoken Simon also came. Dismayed, he stood by the side of Peter gazing closely at him. After a long silence Peter said, “Roman men, you shall be our true judges. I say that I believe in the living and true God, of whom I will give you proof already known to me, and to which many among you testify. You see that this man is silent because he has been refuted and because I have driven him from Ju­ daea on account of the frauds perpetrated upon Eubola, a highly respected but sim­ ple woman, by means of his magic. Hav­ ing been expelled by me from there, he has come here believing that he could remain hidden among you; and now here he stands face to face with me. Tell me, Simon, did you not fall at my feet and those of Paul, when in Jerusalem you saw the miraculous cures which took place by our hands, and say, ‘I pray you, take as much money from me as you wish, that I too by laying on of hands may perform such deeds’? And when we heard this from you, we cursed you: do you think that we try to possess money? And now are you afraid? My name is Peter, be­ cause the Lord Christ had the grace to call me to be ready for every cause. For I believe in the living God, through whom I shall destroy your magic arts. Let Simon perform in your presence the wonderful things which he used to do. And will you not believe me what I just told you about him?” And Simon said, “You have the impudence to speak of Jesus the Nazarene, the son of a carpen­ ter, himself a carpenter, whose family is from Judaea. Listen Peter. The Romans have understanding, they are no fools.” And turning to the people he said, “Men

5

Isa 53:4.

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