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And when the people saw the venomous beast, they said among themselves, “ No doubt this man is a murderer, whom though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.” But he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Then the people changed their minds respecting him, and said that he was a god.

They spent the winter in the island, and Paul had many opportunities there of healing the sick. After three months they continued their voyage in another ship, and came at last safely to Rome. There Paul preached to the Jews, and excited great reasonings among them. Some believed the things that were spoken, and some believed not. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all who came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching all things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. b

62.

THE DIFFUSION OF THE GOSPEL BY THE

APOSTLES.

Paul expressed the hope, in several of the letters which he wrote from Rome, that he should be again set at liberty. And it is related, in Church History, that he came to Rome a second time, and there, for his confession of Christ, was slain with the sword. During this second imprisonment, he wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy. Previously to this, he had, partly on his journeys, and partly during his first imprisonment at Rome,

b Acts xxviii.

written a number of letters to the different Christian churches with which he had become acquainted during his apostolic travels. These letters we have in the New Testament. Before his death, also, the first three Gospels were written, which form the beginning of the New Testament. Matthew wrote for the Jewish Christians in Palestine; Mark, probably, for the Romans; Luke for å Greek Christian of rank, named Theophilus. John wrote his Gospel and the Book lof Revelation at a later period, after the prophecy of Jesus of the destruction of Jerusalem (seventy years after the birth of Christ) had been fulfilled. We have also in the New Testament epistles from Peter, James, and Jude. Respecting John, we know that he died at a very advanced

age.

Of the rest of the apostles we have no particular accounts. This much only is certain, that they fulfilled the command of Jesus, to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel. Within the space of five and twenty years, the gospel of Christ was preached in almost all the countries then known. And as they fulfilled his command, so He fulfilled his promise, and is daily fulfilling it still. Yes, all his disciples find it to be true, that HE, IS WITH THEM, EVEN UNTO THE END OF

THE WORLD.

END OF BIBLE STORIES (NEW TESTAMENT.)

RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY: INSTITUTED 1799.

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