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THE ACTS OF PETER

should not wish it, Peter, we shall do it.” Peter said to them, “If you continue, the boy shall not rise. We have learned not to recompense evil for evil, but we have learned to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. For should even he repent, it is better. For God will not remember the evil. Let him, therefore, come to the light of Christ. But if he cannot, let him inherit the portion of his father, the devil. But do not let your hands be contaminated.” Having thus spoken to the people he came to the boy, and before raising him he said to his mother, “These young men, whom you set free in honor of your son, can as free men obey their living master. For I know that the souls of some among them will be wounded when they see your risen son and serve again as slaves. But let them all be free and receive their subsistence as before— for your son shall rise again—and let them be with him.” And Peter looked at her for some time awaiting the answer. And the mother of the boy said, “How can I do otherwise? Therefore I declare before the prefect that they should pos­ sess all that which I had to spend on the corpse of my son.” Peter said to her, “Let the rest be divided among the widows.” And Peter rejoiced in his soul and said in the spirit, “O Lord, who are merciful, Jesus Christ, manifest yourself to your servant Peter who calls upon you, as you always show mercy and goodness. In the presence of all these who have been set free, that they may be able to serve, let Nicostratus now arise.” And Peter touched the side of the lad and said, “Arise.” And the lad arose, took up his garment and sat and untied his chin, asked for other garments, came down from the bier, and said to Peter, “I beg you, man, let us go to our Lord Christ, whom I heard speak to you; he said to you, pointing at me, ‘Bring him here, for he belongs to me.’ ” When Peter heard

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this he was still more strengthened in the spirit by the help of the Lord and said to the people, “Romans, thus the dead are awakened, thus they speak, thus they walk when they are raised; they live for so long as it pleases God. But now I turn to you who came to see the spectacle. If you repent now from your sins and from all your human-made gods and from all uncleanness and lust, you shall receive the communion of Christ in faith so that you may obtain life for eternity.”

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From that hour on they wor­ shipped him like a god, and the sick, whom they had at home, they brought to his feet to be cured by him. And when the prefect perceived that such a great multitude adhered to Peter he asked him to depart. And Peter bade the people come into the house of Marcellus. And the mother of the lad asked Peter to come to her house. But Peter had ar­ ranged to go to Marcellus on Sunday to see the widows, as Marcellus had prom­ ised, so that he might minister to them with his own hand. And the lad who had been raised said, “I shall not leave Peter.” And his mother returned joyfully and cheerfully to her house. And on the day after the Sabbath she came into the house of Marcellus and brought two thousand pieces of gold and said to Peter, “Divide these among the virgins of Christ who minister to him.” But the lad who had been raised, perceiving that he had not yet given anything to anyone, ran to his house, opened a chest, and brought four thousand pieces of gold, and said to Peter, “See, I also, who have been raised, offer the double gift and present myself from now on as a living sacrifice to God.”

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And on Sunday Peter spoke to the brethren and encouraged them in the faith of Christ. And many senators and knights and wealthy women

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