THE  town of Lydda, where Peter healed Eneas of the palsy, is not far from Joppa; and when the people of Joppa heard of the great miracle at Lydda, they sent two men to invite him to come to them; for a disciple named Tabitha, or Dorcas, had been sick, and had died, and they hoped that Peter might in the name of Jesus raise her even from the dead. They seemed to have the more confidence that God would do great things for her, because she had been such a good woman, and had done so much for the poor.

On arriving at the place, Peter was shown into an upper chamber, where all of the widows were gathered together. When Peter came into the room, these widows thronged about him, showing him the garments that Dorcas had made, and weeping bitterly for the loss of one who had been such a blessing to all about her. Peter had all these noisy persons go out of the room, and when all was quiet, he kneeled by the bed, and after lifting up his heart to God in prayer, he turned to the body, saying, "Tabitha, arise."

Immediately the woman opened her eyes; and when she had looked upon Peter, she sat up. Then Peter took her by the hand, and when she had risen to her feet, he called in the saints and the widows, and presented her to them alive. The news of this miracle spread throughout the city, and caused many to believe in the Lord. Peter remained many days in Joppa, making his home with one Simon a tanner.

"There was a certain man in Cesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said,

What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel, which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; and when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

"On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour; and he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth; wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice; and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate, and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

"While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him."









ON the next day after setting out on their journey, Peter and his companions arrived at Cesarea, where they found Cornelius waiting for them, together with his kinsmen and near friends, whom he had called in that they might hear what Peter had to say. As Peter came in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet to worship him; but Peter raised him up, saying,

"Stand up; I myself also am a man."

So Peter and Cornelius, talking as they went, entered the room, where they found many assembled.

Then Peter said, "You all know how unlawful it is for a man that is a Jew to associate with those of other nations; but God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. So as soon as I was sent for, I came unto you without gainsaying; and now I would ask for what intent you have sent for me."

Then Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.  Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner, by the seaside; who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately, therefore, I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou hast come. Now therefore we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God."

Then Peter replied, saying, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word, which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)-that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

"And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew, and hanged on a tree: him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he, which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead.

To him give all the prophets witness that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

While Peter was yet speaking, the Holy Spirit came upon all that heard him. Now the believing Jews who came with Peter from Joppa, were greatly amazed at seeing the Holy Spirit poured out upon the

Gentiles, whom they heard speaking with tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter said, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we!" At the command of Peter, these Gentiles were then baptized in the name of the Lord. So delighted were these happy converts, and so anxious to learn more of the way of righteousness, that they urged Peter to remain for some days with them.

The news of what Peter had done at Caesarea spread abroad, and soon reached the ears of the apostles and other brethren who dwelt in Judea. When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the disciples who had been converted from among the Jews, contended with him, saying, "Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them."  But Peter related, from the beginning, all that pertained to the matter, carefully explaining every part in order. When he came to tell them how the Holy Spirit descended on Cornelius and his friends, causing them to speak with tongues, just as the apostles did on the day of Pentecost, he said, "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. • Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God?"

On hearing this account from Peter, they were all satisfied, and contended no more; but glorified God, saying, "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."