Bible History for the Use of Catholic Schools - R. Gilmour

The History of the Apostles

96.—A Preliminary Remark.

1. Jesus Christ came into the world that He might destroy the power of the devil, and in its place establish the kingdom of God; hence at His Ascension He left His Church small, it is true, but yet complete, that, like a grain of mustard-seed, it might grow until it had filled the whole world.

2. This growth and expansion of the Church was first begun in Judea, and afterwards extended to the whole world, under and by the apostles themselves, whose history we are about to relate in the following chapters.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 96. What is said of the rise and development of the Church?

97.—The Election of the Apostle Matthias.

1. After the Ascension the apostles remained at Jerusalem, as they had been commanded. For ten days they continued in prayer, the Blessed Virgin and many of the disciples being with them. They occupied an upper room—called among Eastern nations a Cenaculum. Here in all were assembled about a hundred and twenty persons.

2. It was during this time Peter rose and proposed that, as Judas Iscariot had proved false to his apostleship, another be chosen in his stead. The proposition was approved, and, having prayed to God, lots were cast, and Matthias, one of the disciples, chosen.

98.—The Descent of the Holy Ghost.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Ten days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ was celebrated the Jewish Pentecost. On this day, while the apostles and disciples were still within the upper chamber, suddenly there was heard the sound as if it were of a great wind coming from heaven. At the same time tehre appeared cloven tongues of fire, that sat upon each one present.

2. In a moment all were filled with the Holy Ghost. No longer timid or fearful, the apostles sallied forth to preach Christ and Him crucified.

Jerusalem was filled with strangers who had come up from all parts of the world to celebrated the feast of Pentecost. Soon the news spread abroad, and in a short time an immense multitude assembled round the house in which the apostles were. But what was their astonishment when each one heard the apostles speaking in his own tongue!

3. Amazed and confounded the asked: "Are not these Galileans who speak? and how comes it that we every one hear our own tongue?" But others said: "They are full of new wine."

4. Then Peter rose, and standing with the eleven, said: "Men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, know that these men are not drunk, but in them are fulfilled the words of the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass and I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.'

5. "Moreover, this also hear: Jesus of Nazareth, a man who, by the wonders and miracles He wrought in your midst, proved Himself sent by God, was crucified and put to death by wicked men; but now He is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. It is He that has poured out His Spirit upon us, as you see; and it is certain that Jesus is the Savior and the Lord of Heaven and earth."

6. When the multitude heard this, they were touched with compunction, and asked Peter what they would do. But he answered: "Do penance, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."

On this occasion about three thousand were baptized. With them began that miraculous expansion of the Church, that, increasing day by day, ended in the conversion of the world and the establishment of Christianity.

7. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost enlightened the minds of the multitude, that they might understand the apostles; but at Babel God confounded the multitude, that by the confusion of tongues their pride might be humbled and their vain project stopped.

8. The first Jewish Pentecost was celebrated at Mount Sinai, amid thunder and lightning. There God proclaimed the Old Law. On the first Christian Pentecost the Holy Ghost came in the form of fiery tongues, that He might confirm and give testimony of the New Law.

The Jewish Pentecost was celebrated during the harvest feast; on the first Christian Pentecost the Holy Ghost reaped a rich harvest of converts among the Jews.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 98.—When was Pentecost celebrated? What happened to the apostles? Who were in Jerusalem? What caused astonishment? What did Peter say? What did the people do? How many were converted at Peter's first sermon? What is said of the Jewish and what of the Christian Pentecost?

99.—Peter Cures the Lame Man.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Shortly after Peter's first sermon to the Jews, and the miraculous conversion of the three thousand, Peter and John went up to the Temple to pray. A man who had been lame from his birth was every day carried by his friends and laid at one of the gates of the Temple, that he might beg alms from those who entered.

2. When this man saw Peter and John entering, he begged an alms from them. Peter said to him: "Gold or silver I have none to give, but what I have I will give: in the name of Jesus Christ, rise and walk."

On the spot the man rose, and, leaping for joy, entered the Temple, praising God.

3. When the multitude saw this, they stood confounded and amazed. Peter, seeing their astonishment, said: "Why do you wonder at this? or why do you look at us as if by our power we had made this man to walk? Know it is in the name and by the power of Jesus of Nazareth that this man walks."

This discourse, and the sight of the miracle that had been wrought, produced so great an impression on the multitude that five thousand people were converted and baptized.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 99. Who cured the lame man? What did Peter say? What was the result of Peter's words?

100.—Peter and John before the Great Council.

1. Whilst Peter and John were yet speaking to the people, the priests and the officers commanding in the Temple came to them. Enraged to find the apostles openly teaching, they laid hands on them and cast them into prison.

2. On the following day the chief priests assembled in the council hall. Peter and John, being brought in, were asked by what power they had cured the lame man. Peter said "the lame man had been cured in the name and by the power of Jesus Christ, whom they had crucified, and who was now risen from the dead."

3. When the priests heard this, they put the apostles out of the council hall. Consulting with themselves, they asked what should be done. "It was clear," said they, "a miracle had been wrought, and they could not deny it."

4. Having agreed among themselves, they recalled the apostles, and forbade them either to speak or to teach any more in the name of Jesus. But Peter asked: "Is it just we should obey you rather than God? We must speak what we have seen and heard."

The judges contented themselves with merely threatening the two apostles, and then dismissed them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 100. What happened to Peter and John? What answer did they give the council?

101.—The Lives of the First Christians.

1. Nothing could exceed the holiness of the lives of the first Christians. All had but one heart, and all were animated with the same spirit. The apostles were unwearied in their labors, and the faithful were constant in the breaking of bread and in the labor of prayer.

2. All their goods were in common. Those who had fields or houses sold them and placed the price in the hands of the apostles, who distributed to each according as he needed. Soon their unbounded charity to the poor and their brotherly love for each other began to produce their effects. Both Jew and Gentile was forced to respect them. Their numbers increased daily.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 101.—What is said of the early Christians? How were their goods held? What effects did their lives produce?

102.—Ananias and Saphira.

1. At this time there lived a man named Ananias and his wife Saphira. They sold a field, but secretly kept back a part of the price. The balance Ananias gave to the apostles, pretending it was all he had received.

2. Peter said to him: "Ananias, why have you suffered Satan to tempt you to lie to the Holy Ghost? and why have you kept back a part of the price of the field? You have not lied to men, but to God."

On the spot Ananias fell down dead at the feet of the apostle.

3. Three hours after, Saphira came and, not knowing what had happened to her husband, repeated the same lie. She also fell dead. When these things were heard, fear and terror came upon all the faithful.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 102.—Tell the history of Ananias and Saphira.

103.—The Apostles are Thrown into Prison.

1. The apostles continued to work miracles. From the villages round about, the sick and those possessed by unclean spirits were brought to Jerusalem, and the apostles cured them. Peter, above all the rest, was held in the highest esteem. So unlimited became his power, that his very shadow cured the sick as he passed through the streets.

2. By the authority of the Jewish priests, Peter and John were again seized and cast into prison; but during the night an angel opened the prison doors and bade them go forth to the Temple and teach the people.

3. In the morning, when the officers went to bring the apostles before the council, they found the doors of the prison indeed closed, and the guards at their post, but no prisoners. The council was confounded.

4. Shortly after a man came, who told them Peter and John were in the Temple teaching the people. An officer hastened and, with great violence, brought them before the council. The high priest rose and reproached them for continuing to preach, notwithstanding the former prohibitions of the council. The apostles said, "God must be obeyed." At the same time Peter declared that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was the Christ, and that He was risen from the dead.

5. When the priests heard this they gnashed their teeth, and in their rage began to consider how they might put them to death.

At this part of the proceedings, Gamaliel, a member of the great council, and also a doctor of the Law, rose and commanded the apostles to be put out.

6. "Men of Israel," said lie, "consider well what you are about to do. If this be the work of men, it will soon fall to nothing; but if it be the work of God, you cannot destroy it." They despised this advice.

7. The apostles were recalled, and, having been scourged, were forbidden again to speak in the name of Jesus. But they went forth from the council rejoicing that they were found worthy to suffer for their divine Master. Neither did they cease, either in the Temple or in the houses, to preach Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 103.—What did the apostles continue to do? What is said of Peter's shadow? What was done to Peter and John? How were they set at liberty? What did the council do? What did Peter answer? What did Gamaliel say? What was done to the apostles? How did they act after?

104.—Stephen the Deacon.—The First Martyr.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. As the number of the faithful increased, there arose murmurs on account of the manner in which the food was distributed. When the apostles saw this they directed the people to choose seven men, of good character, full of wisdom and the Holy Ghost, and they laid their hands upon them. These were the seven deacons spoken of in the Scriptures, among whom were Philip and Stephen. To them was intrusted the care of the temporalities of the Church, that the apostles might give themselves entirely to prayer and to the preaching of the word of God.

2. Stephen did great wonders and wrought many miracles; few could resist the power of his eloquence.

The Jews accused him of having spoken against Moses and blasphemed against God; then they seized him and led him before the great council. When he stood before the judges, those who looked at him thought they saw the face of an angel.

3. The high priest rose and asked him if the charge that had been made against him were true. Stephen, standing before the council, answered by reviewing the history of the Jewish Church, and showing that it was but the forerunner of the Christian dispensation. He concluded with reproaching the Jews for their disbelief in having resisted the Holy Ghost, and for having crucified the Messiah.

4. When they heard this, they shook with rage, and gnashed their teeth against him. Their anger knew no bounds when Stephen, lifting up his eyes, cried out, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

5. Hearing this, the multitude stopped their ears, and, rushing upon him, hurried him out of the city to stone him. The witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul—afterwards better known as the celebrated St. Paul. Whilst they were stoning him, Stephen exclaimed: "Lord, lay this not to their charge." Having said this, he slept in the Lord.

6. All, who deliberately resist God and His representatives, have a dreadful account to give to God. There has always been persecution of God's Church, but truth spreads the more it is persecuted, so that the saying "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" has passed into an adage,

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 104.—Why were deacons chosen? What was intrusted to their care? What did Stephen do? What did he say before the council? How was it received? What was done to Stephen? What was said at the feet of Saul? What effect has persecution on the Church?

105.—Confirmation.—The Baptism of the Ethiopian.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. With Stephen's death began at Jerusalem a cruel persecution against the Church. Saul was one of the bitterest enemies of the Christians; his anger knew no rest. With unsparing fury men and women were dragged before the tribunals and cast into prison. Many fled from Jerusalem and spread themselves through Judea and Samaria.

2. Those who thus fled, passing from place to place, preached the word of God. Amongst the number was Philip the deacon, who, going to Samaria, preached the Gospel. He wrought miracles, and many were converted.

3. The apostles at Jerusalem, hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent thither Peter and John. When they were come, praying, they laid their hands upon the converts, and as many as were baptized received the Holy Ghost.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

4. In this visit of Peter and John to Samaria there is the clearest evidence of the conferring by the apostles of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Philip could preach and baptize, but being only a deacon, could not confirm. Apostles alone, and their successors, the bishops of the Church can confirm.

5. Whilst Philip was at Samaria, an angel came to him and commanded him to go down by the road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip obeyed. On the way he met a distinguished Ethiopian eunuch, the treasurer of the queen of Ethiopia. He had been up to Jerusalem to attend at one of the feasts. At the moment Philip met him he was sitting in his chariot, reading from the prophet Isaiah.

6. Directed by the Holy Ghost, Philip drew near, and asked him if he understood what he read. But the eunuch answered, L6 How can I, unless some one show me?" Philip went up into the chariot and began to speak to him of Jesus and the Gospel.

7. Amongst other things, Philip spoke to him of Baptism. Meanwhile they came to a place where there was water, when the eunuch asked why he could not be baptized. Philip said, if he believed, there was no objection. Upon the eunuch declaring he did believe in Jesus Christ, he was baptized.

The eunuch, full of joy, continued his journey, but the Spirit of God took Philip away.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 105.—After Stephen's death, what happened at Jerusalem? Who was a bitter enemy? Who preached at Samaria? How do you show that the apostles administered Confirmation? Tell the history of Philip and the eunuch.

106.—The Conversion of St. Paul.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the martyrdom of St. Stephen, Saul became one of the most active persecutors of the Christians. Resolved on their ruin, he went to the high priest and asked for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, authorizing him to seize upon every man or woman whom he would find either believing in Jesus or teaching in His name.

2. Animated with this spirit, and armed with the authority of the Jewish priesthood, he started for Damascus. As he approached the place, suddenly a bright light shone round about him. Struck as if by lightning, he fell to the ground, while, at the same time, a voice said to him: "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?" Saul asked who spoke to him; when the voice said, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

3. Trembling and confounded, Saul asked what he should do. Jesus bade him rise and go into the city, when it would be told him what he must do. Saul rose, but discovered he was blind. His companions led him into Damascus, where be remained three days at the house of one Judas, neither eating nor drinking.

4. At this time there lived in Damascus a man named Ananias. The Lord commanded him to go to Saul and place his hands upon him. No sooner had Ananias touched Saul than scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his sight. Saul rose and was baptized. His name was changed to Paul.

5. With all the zeal of a new convert, Paul began to preach Jesus. All that heard him were astonished. The Jews became very angry, and by every means in their power strove to put him to death; but God protected him.

6. In the history of Saul we have the fulfilment of Jacob's prophecy to his son Benjamin, when he said: "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall eat the prey, and in the evening he shall divide the spoil."

Saul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. In his youth, the morning of life, he persecuted the Church; afterwards, in the evening of life, he gathered together both Jew and Gentile, and offered them as a precious gift at the feet of Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 106.—What is said of Saul? What happened to him on the road to Damascus? Who baptized Saul? How did Saul act after his baptism? What prophecy is fulfilled in Saul?

107.—Peter Visits the Different Churches in Judea.—Cornelius is Baptized.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the persecution had somewhat ceased, Peter visited the several churches in Judea, preaching to the people, and confirming them in their faith.

At Lydda Peter cured a man named Aeneas, who for eight years had been confined to his bed by the palsy. At Joppa he raised to life the charitable Tabitha. By the fame of these miracles many were converted and the influence of Christianity extended.

2. While Peter was still at Joppa there lived at Caesarea a man named Cornelius. One day, whilst Cornelius was at prayer, an angel appeared to him, and bade him send to Joppa for a man named Peter, who would tell him what to do. Cornelius sent at once.

3. About the time the messengers drew near to Joppa, Peter was praying; he also had a vision. The heavens appeared to him to open, and as it were a great sheet was let down, in which were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things and birds; a voice said to him: "Arise, kill, and eat."

4. Now it was not allowed the Jews to eat all manner of beasts; so Peter answered he could not, as he had never eaten anything unclean. But the voice said to him, "Call not that common that God has purified." This was done three times, when the vision disappeared.

5. While Peter was reflecting on the meaning of the vision, the Spirit of God said to him, "Three men seek you; rise and go with them."

On the next day Peter went with the messengers. When Cornelius related the vision he had had, Peter understood his own. By it Peter understood that hereafter there was to be no distinction between Jew and Gentile in the Christian Church, and that Christ had died for all mankind.

6. Then Peter began to speak of Jesus: how He had been crucified, and how He had risen again from the dead, and that through Him was man to be saved. While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Ghost came upon the Gentiles who were present, and to the astonishment of the apostle they began to speak in divers tongues. When Peter saw this, he commanded them to be baptized. These were the first Gentiles received into the Church.

7. From this time the apostles turned their attention to the Gentile as well as the Jew. Paul became especially the apostle of the Gentile. At Antioch the converts were first called Christians—that is, followers of Christ.

8. Jesus died for all; and as Joseph during the seven years' famine fed not only the Egyptian, but also the Israelite and the stranger, so must the Jew and the Gentile share in the merits of Jesus Christ. The Jews formed but a small part of mankind, and at best never were very docile; hence the Christian Church from the beginning was formed principally from the Gentiles.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 107.—Where did Peter go? What did he do at Lydda and Joppa? Tell how Cornelius was received into the Church. Who were the first Gentiles received into the Church? Who became especially the apostle of the Gentiles? Where were the Christians first known by that name?

108.—Peter Cast into Prison. [A.D.44]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the conversion of Cornelius, Peter returned to Jerusalem. About the year 44, Herod Agrippa, the king, again raised a persecution against the Christians. He beheaded James, the brother of John, and cast Peter into prison. But the Church prayed for her venerated head.

2. The night before he was to have been led forth to punishment, Peter lay, bound with chains, between two soldiers, while guards walked before the door.

On a sudden an angel stood before him, and a heavenly light filled the prison. The angel touched Peter and bade him rise and put on his sandals and follow him. Peter obeyed, not knowing whether or not it was a vision he saw. They passed the first and second guard, and came to an iron gate that of itself opened to them. Having passed out into the city the angel disappeared.

3. Peter coming to himself, saw that God had sent an angel to deliver him from the power of Herod. Then he went to the house of Mark, where many of the faithful were assembled in prayer. Rapping, a young woman named Rode, or Rose, came to open the door.

4. When she recognized Peter's voice, filled with joy, she ran back to tell those who were within that Peter was at the door. They would not believe her; but as Peter continued to rap, they at length opened the door, and to their amazement Peter walked in. When he told them how he had been delivered out of prison, they all began to praise God.

5. In the morning there was great consternation among the soldiers. No one could tell how Peter had escaped or where he had gone. Herod questioned the soldiers, and then punished them severely.

6. Shortly after this, Herod was receiving ambassadors from Caesarea. The people began to applaud him, and flattering him cried out, "You speak as a god, not as a man."

Herod took the glory to himself. On the spot an angel struck him with a loathsome disease, and in a few days he died amid the most horrid torments—a fit example of the power of God and the pride of man.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 108.—What did Herod raise? Who was beheaded? Who was cast into prison? How was Peter liberated? What happened at the house of Mark? What was done to the soldiers? How did Herod die?

109.—St. Paul's First Apostolic Journey. [A.D. 42]

1. After his miraculous conversion St. Paul was received with much joy among the apostles. For some time he continued to teach at Antioch; but after a while, directed by the Holy Ghost, he and Barnabas were sent to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

2. Wherever he went Paul first preached to the Jews, and only when they refused to hear him did he turn to the Gentiles. Many of these latter were converted, while the former, rejecting the grace thus offered them, were left with out excuse.

3. Long before had the prophet Isaiah spoken of St. Paul and his labors, when he declared that "God would choose of the elect and send them to the people of the sea: He would send them into Africa and Lydia, into Italy and Greece, and the islands afar off, that they might announce His glory to the Gentiles, and all flesh should adore."

4. When St. Paul and Barnabas left Antioch they directed their steps to the island of Cyprus. On their arrival Sergius, the Roman proconsul, sent for them, that he might hear the word of God. But there was at the proconsul's house a Jewish magician, named Elymas, who strove to turn Sergius from the faith.

5. St. Paul, seeing the malice of Elymas, and also inspired by the Holy Ghost, turning to him, said: "Because you have tried to pervert the ways of God, you shall be blind for a time." Immediately he was struck blind. When tho proconsul saw this he believed, and was baptized.

6. From Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas sailed for Asia Minors Arriving at Antioch in Pisidia, they preached to both Jew and Gentile. Many were converted. Here the Jews became very much excited, and coming together, contradicted Paul; but he, turning to them, said: "It behooved us to preach to you first; now you have rejected the word of God, and we turn to the Gentile."

7. The Jews continued to harass and persecute Paul and Barnabas, until, wearied, they shook the dust from their feet and left the place. They passed from city to city, preaching and establishing churches.

8. At Lystra, a city of Lycaonia, Paul cured a man who had been lame from his birth. When the people saw this, they thought Paul and Barnabas were gods, and wished to offer sacrifice to them; but Paul forbade them. Many believed.

9. Soon after this certain Jews came to Lystra from the cities where Paul had already been preaching. They succeeded in exciting an insurrection against him, and the multitude rising up stoned him, and dragging him out of the city, left him for dead. Paul, however, recovered, and returned into the city, where he remained for some time.

10. After preaching the Gospel at Derbe, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, passing through the places where they had already preached. Everywhere they exhorted the faithful to persevere, and in every church they appointed bishops, having first prayed and imposed hands upon them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 109.—What is said of Paul after his conversion? To whom did he first preach? What was done at Cyprus? What happened to Ely etas? From Cyprus, where did Paul and Barnabas go? How did the Jews act? What was done at Lystra? What was done to Paul? Who were appointed in the churches?

110.—The Council of Jerusalem. [A.D. 50]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the apostolic time several subjects of dispute arose. Amongst these was, at Antioch, the subject of circumcision—some of the Jewish converts insisting on it, while Paul and Barnabas resisted it. To avoid all possibility of error, it was agreed to refer the whole matter to the apostles at Jerusalem. For this purpose Paul and Barnabas were sent thither.

2. When they arrived the apostles and the ancients assembled, under the presidency of Peter, to deliberate on the subject. After the matter had been well discussed, Peter rose and said: "As God had made no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, giving the Holy Ghost to the one as well to the other, there should be no difference within the Church; nor should the law of circumcision be imposed on any one."

3. Under this teaching it was decided that the ancient ceremonial laws of Moses had lost their effect, and for the future should not be imposed upon the Christians.

The council wrote to the faithful at Antioch, saying: "It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, not to lay this burden upon you."

4. When the bishops of the Catholic Church, who are the legitimate successors of the apostles, assemble under the presidency of the pope, who is the true successor of Peter, we have a general council similar to that held at Jerusalem under the apostles. Its decisions are infallible, for they are the decisions of God's Church, which according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, is in an invisible manner guided and preserved from error by and through the Holy Ghost.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 110. On what was their dispute? What was done on the matter? What did Peter say? What conclusion did the council come to? What is said of the Catholic Church?

111.—The Second Voyage of St. Paul.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Some time after this St. Paul started on a second missionary journey. He passed through Syria, and again went into Asia Minor, preaching everywhere, visiting the old and establishing new churches.

At Troas he had a vision in which he was called to Macedonia. Immediately he set sail, accompanied by Silas, Luke, and Timothy. They passed over from Asia, and arrived safely at Philippi, the capital of Macedonia.

2. Here the apostle stayed with a merchant named Lydia, one of the new converts. There was also in the city a girl possessed by a divining spirit. She brought much gain to her masters. Paul, taking her, drove out the evil spirit.

3. When her masters saw their hopes of gain gone, they became very much displeased, and seizing Paul and Silas, cast them into prison, having first beaten them with rods. About the middle of the night, while Paul and Silas were praying, suddenly there came a great earthquake and shook the jail to its foundations. All the doors were opened, and the bonds of the prisoners were loosened.

4. When the jailer awoke and found the doors of the prison open, he took his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out they were there. The jailer, trembling, entered with a light, and falling down at the feet of Paul, asked what he must do to be saved. Paul bade him believe in the Lord Jesus; and, having instructed him, that same night baptized him and all his family.

5. In the morning the magistrates, hearing that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, sent to beg their pardon for having scourged them, for it was unlawful to scourge a Roman citizen. They then set them at liberty.

6. Paul established a small church at Philippi; thence he passed to Thessalonica, and afterwards to Berea and several other cities, establishing churches and preaching the word. At last he came to Athens, the capital of Greece.

7. Seeing how the city was given up to idolatry, his zeal was roused, and he began to preach in the market-place. He was taken before the Areopagus, where the philosophers and leading men of the city were assembled, and was asked to state the nature of the doctrines he taught.

8. Paul rose and addressed the vast multitude, saying, "Athenians, in passing through your city, I found an altar on which was written: 'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD:' what you here worship without knowing it, I preach." He then gave a long and detailed account of the nature of God and the character of the Christian religion, concluding with the resurrection of the dead.

9. When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, but others said they would hear him again. A few joined him; amongst whom was one named Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

10. From Athens Paul went to Corinth. He first preached to the Jews; but they contradicting, and refusing to listen to him, he said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean."

He then preached to the Corinthians, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing many converted. After a year and a half spent at Corinth, Paul passed over to Asia, and, returning by Ephesus, came to Antioch.

11. The Church grew with astonishing rapidity; her influence was felt everywhere. The little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, had begun to grow, and now covered nearly the face of the heavens. The earth was about to receive the genial rain. Christ came to call the Jews, but they threw away their vocation with the same indifference that Esau had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 111.—What is said of Paul's second voyage? Where was he called to go? Into what trouble did Paul and Silas get? What is said of their imprisonment? How did they get out of jail? From Philippi, where did Paul go? What did he do at Athens? Who joined him? How long did Paul stay at Corinth?

112.—St. Paul's Third Voyage.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Soon after his return from his second voyage, St. Paul started on a third missionary tour. Again he passed through Asia Minor, and finally came to Ephesus, at that time the capital of the Roman possessions in Asia. Here he baptized twelve men who formerly had received the baptism of John, and, laying hands upon them, they received the Holy Ghost.

2. For two years Paul remained at Ephesus. Through his teaching most of the inhabitants of that part of Asia learned the doctrines of Christianity. Paul wrought many miracles, and his power became so great, that the simple touch of the handkerchiefs that had touched his body was sufficient to cure the sick. Fear came upon those who saw these things, and many came, confessing their sins.

3. While St. Paul was at Ephesus there arose a violent persecution against him. There was in the place a grand temple, dedicated to the goddess Diana. The silversmiths made small miniature temples, which they sold at considerable gain. When, by the conversion of the inhabitants, they saw their trade gone, headed by one Demetrius, they rose up against Paul, and only with much difficulty could the magistrates save him from their hands.

4. When the tumult had subsided, Paul, having exhorted the disciples to persevere, passed over to Macedonia, and afterwards to Greece. From thence he returned to Asia, and came to Troas, where he stayed a week. On Sunday, the faithful assembled in a large hall to celebrate the divine mysteries. While St. Paul was preaching, a young man, who had been sleeping, fell from one of the windows, and was killed. Paul raised him to life.

5. From Troas, Paul went to the islands of Lesbos and Chios, and thence to Samos and Miletus. At this latter place he sent for the chief men of the church at Ephesus, and spoke to them words of affectionate adieu: "I go," said he, "to Jerusalem, but I know not what shall befall me. Only this I know: that the Holy Ghost has warned me that chains and afflictions await me. But I fear not these things, only that I fulfil my mission. I know you shall see my face no more; therefore take heed to yourselves, and to the flock over which the Holy Ghost has placed you.

6. "After my departure there shall rise up men speaking perverse things. Watch, therefore, remembering that, for three years, I ceased not, night nor day, to admonish every one of you. And now I commend you to God, who is able to give you an inheritance amongst His saints."

7. When he had said this, he knelt down and prayed with them. All began to weep, and, falling upon his neck, kissed him. They grieved particularly because he had said they would see him no more. Leading him to the ship, they bade him an affectionate farewell.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 112.—Where did Paul go on his third voyage? What did he do at Ephesus? What wonders did Paul do at Ephesus? What caused the persecution against Paul at Ephesus? What happened at Troas? What was done at Miletus?

113.—Imprisonment and Death of St. Paul. [A.D.67.]

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The conversion of St. Paul had, from the beginning, been a sore blow to the Jews. His zeal for Christianity and his great success in making converts only increased their hatred; hence on his return to Jerusalem they excited so great a tumult against him, that in order to save him from violence it became necessary for the Roman governor to cast him into prison, and finally to send him to Felix, the governor of Caesarea.

2. Paul remained two years a prisoner at Caesarea, when he appealed to the emperor at Rome. On the voyage the ship was wrecked at the island of Malta, and Paul was saved only by a miracle.

3. After two years of easy captivity spent at Rome, Paul was set at liberty. Again he visited the scenes of his former labors, preaching anew the word of God, and confirming the converts in their faith.

About the year 67, St. Paul again returned to Rome. Shortly after, Nero, the emperor, raised a cruel persecution against the Christians; St. Paul was seized upon and cast into prison, and, a few days after, beheaded.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 113.—Why was Paul sent to Caesarea? On the voyage to Rome, what happened to St. Paul? How did St. Paul die? When?

114.—The Other Apostles.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. While St. Paul was preaching in Asia and Europe, the other apostles were not idle. Everywhere they preached the Gospel and established churches, appointing bishops to guide the faithful and transmit the doctrines they had received. Some went to Persia, others to Arabia, while some went even to the distant India. By the end of the first century there was no country then known that had not heard of Christ.

2. During this time some of the apostles and two of their disciples, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, wrote short histories of Our Savior's life. St. Paul and some of the other apostles also wrote letters, or, as they are better known, "Epistles," of instruction, either to churches they had themselves established, or to others that asked them for advice. By degrees these writings were gathered together, and became known under the general name of the New Testament.

3. After preaching at Jerusalem, for a while St. Peter chose Antioch as the centre of his apostolic labors. At a later period he established his see at Rome, where to-day his successors reside, and from whence they rule the Church of God. At the same place and on the same day that St. Paul was beheaded, St. Peter was crucified with his head down. All the other apostles, John excepted, also shed their blood in proof of their faith in Jesus Christ.

4. After Our Savior's death, St. John took the Blessed Virgil: to himself, and by his tender love partly recompensed for the loss of her divine Son. After her death John was seized upon and cast into a caldron of boiling oil. Saved by a miracle, he was banished to the island of Patmos, where he wrote his prophetic Revelations. After his release he dwelt in Ephesus. Here he wrote his gospel, and for many years preached but one sermon: "My children, love one another."

About the year 100 he died—alone of all the apostles—a natural death.

5. Under the Old Law Jerusalem was the centre of the Jewish religion; under the Christian dispensation, Rome is the centre of Catholicity, and the Pope is the head of the Christian Church.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 114.—Whatis said of the other apostles? What did some of the apostles write? What did St. Paul write? Under what name are these writings known? Where did Peter establish his see? How did Peter die? How did the other apostles die? What is said of St. John? What is said of Rome and Jerusalem?


1. In this short and exceedingly condensed history it will be seen how God, for four thousand years, strove to prepare mankind for the coming of Jesus Christ: at one time by revelations made directly by Himself; at another by the prophets whom from time to time He sent to enlighten the world.

2. When Jesus Christ did come, He showed how the revelations made concerning Him were verified in Himself, and also proved His divinity by His miracles. He then preached and established His Church, choosing His apostles to be witnesses both of His words and His works. In time He died, rose again, and ascending into heaven, the work of redemption was accomplished.

3. The first apostles whom Christ chose to announce His doctrines to the world have also passed away, but the work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Catholic Church, remains, and will remain to the end.

4. She is founded upon truth; her voice is the voice of truth; hence she is as imperishable as truth itself. The cement that binds together the parts of this grand old edifice is none other than the blood of Jesus Christ; also the blood of His apostles and martyrs, who have so generously and freely sacrificed their lives in proof of the doctrines they so fearlessly preached, and which were once delivered to them by their divine Master, Jesus Christ.

5. Let the storms of human passion rage as they may against this Church; let the violence of human power spend itself for her ruin; let the poison of heresy and the malice of blasphemy conspire against her, yet this Church shall never be shaken nor destroyed.

6. Let us then rejoice that we belong to the Catholic Church; let us only remain faithful to the end; let us keep the commandments, and enlightened, purified, and strengthened by the graces which the Church alone can give, we need have no fear; one day we must, we infallibly will, pass from God's kingdom upon earth to God's kingdom in heaven, where, with the angels, we will for endless ages rejoice in an ocean of bliss; where, in the heavenly Jerusalem, with the saints of the Old as well as with the saints of the New Law, we shall forever bless and adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 115.—What is said in this last chapter? When Christ came, what did He do? Who have passed away? What work of Christ still remains? What is said of the Church?