1 My brethren, and fathers, pray hear what I have to say for my self. 2 when they perceiv'd he talk'd Hebrew, they were the more silent. 3 then he said, I am a Jew, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, but had my education in this city: at the feet of Gamaliel I was instructed in the law, and in the exact decisions of our fathers, and was as religiously zealous as you are at this time. 4 for I persecuted this sect even to death, throwing them into chains and prisons both men and women: 5 this the high-priest and the senate know too well: from them I receiv'd my warrant directed to the Jews of Damascus, where I went, to bring the converts there in chains to Jerusalem, in order to be punished.
6 as I was upon the road, advanc'd near Damascus, about mid-day, all of a sudden a great light from heaven broke all around me. 7 I fell to the ground, and heard a voice pronounce these words, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"
8 I answered, who art thou, Lord? it answered, "I am Jesus the Nazarene whom thou dost persecute." 9 the company actually saw the light, but did not hear the voice of him that spoke to me.
10 then I said, Lord, what must I do? and the Lord answer'd, arise, go to Damascus; there you will be inform'd what you are to do.
11 but as I had lost the use of my eyes by the splendor of that light, I was led by the hand to Damascus, by those who were with me. 12 there one Ananias a religious observer of the law, who had the good word of all the Jews in that place, came to see me, 13 and being introduc'd, he said, brother Saul, receive thy sight. and instantly I saw him. 14 then he said, the God of our fathers has singled you out to be acquainted with his will, to see the just one, and to hear the words of his mouth: 15 that you might testify to all men, what you have seen and heard. 16 why should you now delay? arise, be baptized, and cleansed from your sins, by invoking the name of the Lord.
17 at length being return'd to Jerusalem, one day as I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance. 18 then I saw JESUS, who said to me, "make haste, and go out of Jerusalem immediately: for they will not receive the attestations you would give of me." Lord,
19 said I, they know it is I that imprison'd those who believed on thee, and caus'd them to be scourg'd in the assemblies: 20 that I was present, when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, that I abetted the slaughter, and watch'd the clothes of those who slew him.
21 but the Lord said to me, "be gone, for I will send you far hence, even to the Gentiles."
22 Till that word, the Jews had given their attention, but then they broke out into a full cry, "out of the world with such a fellow: for it is not fit he should live."
23 thus they roar'd, and threw off their cloaks, and scatter'd dust in the air: 24 when the commanding officer order'd him to be brought into the castle, and put to the question by the lash, in order to find out the reason of their exclamations against him. 25 as they were tying him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion, does the law allow to scourge a Roman citizen, and without any trial?
26 upon hearing that, the centurion went to acquaint the head officer, take care, said he, what you do; for this man is a Roman.
27 then the head officer came to him, and said, tell me, are you a Roman?
28 he answer'd, yes. the officer rejoin'd, my freedom cost me a considerable sum. but I had it, said Paul, by right of birth.
29 immediately those who were going to put him to the question, withdrew: the commander himself being under some apprehension for having order'd him to be bound.
30 as he was resolv'd to know for certain, the next day, what the Jews laid to his charge, he took off his chains, and summon'd the chief priests, and the council to appear, when Paul was brought, and presented before them.