| Hurlbut's Story of the Bible|
|by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut|
|A book which stands in such honor as the Bible should be known by all. And the time when one can most readily obtain a familiarity with the Bible is in early life. Those who in childhood learn the Story of the Bible are fortunate, for they will never forget it. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative. With 168 stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ages 6-12 |
WHAT PETER SAW BY THE SEA
Acts ix: 32, to xi: 18.
S the church was now planted in many cities throughout
the land of the Jews, Peter, who was a leader among the
apostles, went from place to place visiting the
believers in Christ and preaching the gospel. At one
time Peter went down to the plain beside the Great Sea,
and came to a city called Lydda. There Peter found a
man named Aeneas, who had the palsy, and could not walk,
and had been lying on his bed eight years. Peter said
to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes you well; rise up
and roll up your bed."
Then at once Aeneas arose, and was well; and he took up
the roll of matting on which he had been lying so long,
and laid it away. All the people in Lydda and in
Sharon heard of this great work, and many turned to the
There had been living at Joppa, not far from Lydda, a
very good woman, whom everybody loved. She was called
"The Gazelle," which is the name of a beautiful animal,
like a deer. For her name in Hebrew was Tabitha, and
in Greek was Dorcas, words which mean "Gazelle."
Tabitha, or Dorcas, was a believer in Christ, and like
her Lord, she loved the poor and helped them. By her
work and by her gifts.
DORCAS HELPING THE POOR
While Peter was at Lydda, Dorcas was taken ill and
died. They laid her body in an upper room, and then
they sent two men to Lydda for Peter, begging him to
come without delay. Peter went to Joppa at once; and
when he came to the house where the body of Dorcas was
lying he found the room filled with widows and poor
women, who were weeping, and showing the garments which
Dorcas had made for them.
But Peter sent them all out of the room; and when he
was alone with the body of Dorcas, he knelt down and
prayed. Then he turned to the body and said,
LYDDA AS SEEN TO-DAY
she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter she sat up.
Peter took her by the hand, and raised her up; then he
called into the room the widows and the believers in
Christ, and showed Dorcas to them, alive and well. The
news of this wonderful work, of life given to the dead,
amazed all the city of Joppa, and led many to believe
in Christ. Peter stayed many days in Joppa, at the
house of a man named Simon, who was a tanner, and lived
near the sea.
THE HOUSE OF SIMON THE TANNER IN JOPPA AS IT NOW IS
At that time an officer of the Roman army was at
Caesarea, about thirty miles north of Joppa, beside the
Great Sea. His name was Cornelius; and he was the
commander of a company of a hundred soldiers. We would
call such an officer "a captain" but in the Roman army
he was called "a centurion." The centurion Cornelius
was not a Jew, but a Gentile, which was the name that
the Jews gave to all people except themselves. Yet
Cornelius did not worship idols, as did most of the
Gentiles. He prayed always to the God of Israel, and
feared God, and gave to the poor; and he taught his
family to worship the Lord.
One day, in the afternoon, Cornelius was praying in his
house, when an angel came to him and called him by
name, "Cornelius!" Cornelius looked at this strange
and shining being, and he was filled with fear, but he
said, "What is it, Lord?"
And the angel said to him, "Cornelius, the Lord has
seen your gifts to the people and has heard all your
prayers. Now send men to Joppa, and let them bring to
you a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the
house of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea."
Then the angel passed out of sight, and Cornelius
called two servants and a soldier who worshipped the
Lord. He told them what the angel had said, and sent
them to Joppa for Peter. These men travelled all night,
following the road southward by the Great Sea, and
about noon of the next day they drew near to Joppa.
On that day, just before these men came to Joppa at
noon, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray.
He became very hungry, and wished for food; but while
they were making ready the dinner he fell into a
strange sleep, and a vision came to him. In his vision
he saw what seemed to be a great sheet let down by its
four corners from above. In it he saw all kinds of
beasts, and birds, and creeping things. Some of these
were animals and birds that the Jews were allowed to
eat; but many others were of kinds that
 the old
law forbade the Jews to eat; and such as were
forbidden, the Jews called "common" and "unclean."
Peter saw in this great sheet many beasts, and birds,
and creeping things that in his sight were common and
unclean. As he looked, he heard a voice saying to him,
"Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
Peter had always been very strict in keeping the Jewish
rules about food, and he answered, "Not so, Lord; for
I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
Then he hear the voice saying to him, "What God has
made clean, do not thou make common or unclean."
Three times Peter heard these words spoken, and then
the great sheet with all the living creatures in it was
lifted up to heaven and passed out of his sight. Peter
knew at once that the vision and the words which he had
heard must have a great meaning; but as he thought upon
it he could not see what the meaning was. While he was
thinking of the vision and wondering at it, the Spirit
of the Lord spoke to him, saying, "Peter, three men
are looking for you. Go down to the door and meet
them; and go with them, without doubting, for I have
Just at that moment, the three men from Caesarea
 the door, and asked for Simon Peter.
Peter met them, and said to them, "I am here, the man
whom you are looking for. For what reason have you
come to me?"
And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion at Caesarea, a
good man, one that fears God, and is well spoken of by
all the Jews, was yesterday commanded by a holy angel
to send for you, and to listen to words from you.
Then Peter called the men into the house and heard all
their story, and kept them there that night. On the
next morning he went with them, and some of the
believers from the church of Joppa went with the party.
On the next day they came to Caesarea, and entered into
the house of Cornelius. There they found Cornelius
waiting for them, and with him a number of his family
and his friends. As Peter came into the room,
Cornelius fell down at his feet, and was about to
worship him; but Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand
up; I myself, also, am a man, and not God."
And as Peter looked around he saw many people that had
met together; and they were all Gentiles, men who were
not Jews. And Peter said, "You know that it is
against the law of the Jews for a man that is a Jew to
come into the house with one of another nation, or to
meet with him. But God has showed me that I should not
call any man common or unclean. For this reason I came
at once when I was sent for. Now I ask for what
purpose you have sent for me."
Then Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was praying, at
three o'clock in the afternoon, when a man stood by me,
clad in shining garments, and he said to me,
'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your good deeds
are known to God. Send now to Joppa, and send for
Simon who is called Peter.' I sent at once for you,
and you have done well to come so soon. Now we are all
here before God, to hear whatever God has given to you
to speak to us."
Then Peter opened his mouth, and began to speak; for he
saw now what the vision meant which he had seen on the
housetop. He said, "I see now that God cares for all
men alike, not for the people of one nation only; but
that in every nation those that fear God and do right
are pleasing to him." Then Peter began to tell the
story of Jesus; how he lived, how he did good works,
how he died, how he rose again, and how in Jesus Christ
every one who believes may have his sins forgiven.
Peter was speaking the Holy Spirit fell on all who were
in the room. And the Jews who were with Peter were
amazed as they saw the Spirit of God given to Gentiles,
men who were not Jews. Then Peter said, "Can any man
forbid that these should be baptized with water, upon
whom the Spirit has come, as he came upon us?"
Then by Peter's command these Gentile believers with
Cornelius were baptized as members of Christ's Church.
And Peter stayed with them a few days, living with
Cornelius, and eating at his table, though he was a
Gentile, something which Peter would never before have
thought it right for him to do. Soon the news went
through all the churches in Judea that Gentiles had
heard the word, and had been baptized. At first the
Jewish believers could not believe that this should be
allowed; but when Peter had told them all the story of
Cornelius and the angel, of his own vision of the great
sheet full of animals, and of the Spirit coming upon
the Gentiles, then they all praised God, and said, "So
to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews, God has given
to turn from their sins, and to be saved in Jesus
Christ, and to have everlasting life."
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