Section 5, Chapter 11
Cornelius is received into the church. Peter's vision.
10:1. And there was a certain man in Caesarea, named Cornelius, a centurion of that which is called the Italian band:
10:2. A religious man, and fearing God with all his house, giving much alms to the people and always praying to God.
10:3. This man saw in a vision manifestly, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him and saying to him: Cornelius.
10:4. And he, beholding him. being seized with fear, said: What is it, Lord? And he said to him: Thy prayers and thy alms are ascended for a memorial in the sight of God.
10:5. And now send men to Joppe: and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed Peter.
10:6. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. He will tell thee what thou must do.
10:7. And when the angel who spoke to him was departed, he called two of his household servants and a soldier who feared the Lord, of them that were under him.
10:8. To whom when he had related all, he sent them to Joppe.
10:9. And on the next day, whilst they were going on their journey and drawing nigh to the city, Peter went up to the higher parts of the house to pray, about the sixth hour.
10:10. And being hungry, he was desirous to taste somewhat. And as they were preparing, there came upon him an ecstasy of mind.
10:11. And he saw the heaven opened and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great linen sheet let down by the four corners from heaven to the earth:
10:12. Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts and creeping things of the earth and fowls of the air.
10:13. And there came a voice to him: Arise, Peter. Kill and eat.
10:14. But Peter said: Far be it from me. For I never did eat any thing that is common and unclean.
10:15. And the voice spoke to him again the second time: That which God hath cleansed, do not thou call common.
10:16. And this was done thrice. And presently the vessel was taken up into heaven.
10:17. Now, whilst Peter was doubting within himself what the vision that he had seen should mean, behold the men who were sent from Cornelius, inquiring for Simon's house, stood at the gate.
10:18. And when they had called, they asked if Simon, who is surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
10:19. And as Peter was thinking of the vision, the Spirit said to him: Behold three men seek thee.
10:20. Arise, therefore: get thee down and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
10:21. Then Peter, going down to the men, said: Behold, I am he whom you seek. What is the cause for which you are come?
10:22. Who said: Cornelius, a centurion, a just man and one that feareth God, and having good testimony from all the nation of the Jews, received an answer of an holy angel, to send for thee into his house And to hear words of thee.
10:23. Then bringing them in, he lodged them. And the day following, he arose and went with them: and some of the brethren from Joppe accompanied him.
10:24. And the morrow after, he entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, having called together his kinsmen and special friends.
10:25. And it came to pass that when Peter was come in, Cornelius came to meet him and falling at his feet adored.
10:26. But Peter lifted him up, saying: Arise: I myself also am a man.
10:27. And talking with him, he went in and found many that were come together.
10:28. And he said to them: you know how abominable it is for a man that is a Jew to keep company or to come unto one of another nation: but God hath shewed to me, to call no man common or unclean.
10:29. For which cause, making no doubt, I came when I was sent for. I ask, therefore, for what cause you have sent for me?
10:30. And Cornelius said: Four days ago, unto this hour, I was praying in my house, at the ninth hour and behold a man stood before me in white apparel and said:
10:31. Cornelius, thy prayer is heard and thy alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
10:32. Send therefore to Joppe: and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodgeth in the house of Simon a tanner, by the sea side.
10:33. Immediately therefore I sent to thee: and thou hast done well in coming. Now, therefore, all we are present in thy sight to hear all things whatsoever are commanded thee by the Lord.
10:34. And Peter opening his mouth, said: in very deed I perceive that God is not a respecter of persons.
10:35. But in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh justice is acceptable to him.
In every nation, etc. . .That is to say, not only Jews, but Gentiles also, of what nation soever, are acceptable to God, if they fear him and work justice. But then true faith is always to be presupposed, without which (saith St. Paul, Heb. 11. 6) it is impossible to please God. Beware then of the error of those, who would infer from this passage, that men of all religions may be pleasing to God. For since none but the true religion can be from God, all other religions must be from the father of lies, and therefore highly displeasing to the God of truth.
10:36. God sent the word to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all).
10:37. You know the word which hath been published through all Judea: for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.
10:38. Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
10:39. And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem: whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree.
10:40. Him God raised up the third day and gave him to be made manifest,
10:41. Not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him, after he arose again from the dead.
10:42. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead.
10:43. To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him.
10:44. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word.
10:45. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also.
10:46. For they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God.
10:47. Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we?
10:48. And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they desired him to tarry with them some days.