Page 156



by him, and I dare to call upon him to raise the dead. Go, therefore, woman, and have your son brought here and have him raised.” And the woman made her way through the multitude, ran into the street with great joy, and believed with her heart; coming to the house she made her slaves carry him and came back to the forum. And she told the young men to cover their heads and go before the bier and carry everything that she intended to spend on the body of her son in front of the bier, so that Pe­ ter, seeing this, might have pity on the body and on her. With them all as mourners she came to the assembly, fol­ lowed by a multitude of senators and la­ dies who came to see God’s wonderful deeds. And Nicostratus (the man who had died) was very noble and respected in the senate. They brought him and placed him before Peter. And Peter asked them to be silent and said with a very loud voice, “Romans, let a righteous judgment now take place between me and Simon, and judge which of us believes in the living God, he or I. Let him revive the body which is before us, and believe in him as an angel of God. If he is not able I will call upon my God. I will re­ store the son alive to his mother and then you shall believe that he is a sorcerer and deceiver, this man who enjoys your hos­ pitality.” When they heard this, it seemed right to them what Peter had said. They encouraged Simon saying, “Show your­ self publicly what you can do; either you convince us or you shall be convicted. Why do you stand still? Commence.” When Simon perceived that they all pushed him, he stood in silence. When the people had become quiet and were looking at him, Simon cried out and said, “Romans, when you see that the dead man is raised, will you cast Peter out of the city?” And the whole multitude said, “We shall not only cast him out but also

burn him at once.” Simon came to the head of the dead man, bowed three times, and he showed the people how the dead man had lifted up his head and moved it, and opened his eyes and lightly bowed to Simon. And immediately they began to gather wood to burn Peter. But Peter, having received the power of Christ, lifted up his voice and said to those who were shouting against him, “Now I see, Romans, that I must not call you foolish and silly so long as your eyes and your ears and your senses are blinded. So long as your mind is darkened you do not perceive that you are bewitched, since you seemingly believe that a dead man rose who has not risen. I would have been content, Romans, to keep silent and to die in silence and to leave you among the illusions of this world. But the punish­ ment of the unquenchable fire is before my eyes. If you agree, let the dead man speak, let him rise; if he is alive, let him untie the band from his chin, let him call his mother and say to you, ‘Bawlers, why are you crying?’ Let him beckon to you with his hand. If, therefore, you wish to see that he is dead and you are spell­ bound, let this man step back from the bier, this one who persuaded you to with­ draw from Christ, and you shall see the dead man as you saw him when you brought him in.” And the prefect Agrippa could no longer restrain himself but rose and with his own hand pushed Simon away. And the dead man looked as he had before. And the people were enraged and, converted from the magical spell of Simon, began to cry, “Hear, O Caesar, should the dead not rise let Simon be burned instead of Peter, because he has really deceived us.” But Peter stretched forth his hand and said, “Romans, be patient. I do not say that Simon should be burned if the boy is restored; it is only when I tell you to do it, that you will.” And the people cried, “Even if you

Profile for sheekh 3arb