1 Then said the high priest, are these things so?
2 Stephen answer'd, my brethren, and you my fathers, lend your attention. The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3 and said to him, quit your country, and your kindred, to go to the land which I shall shew thee.
4 thereupon he went out of Chaldea, and dwelt in Charran: from thence, after his father's death, he removed him to this very country where you now dwell. 5 he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of land: yet he promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his posterity after him, tho' he had then no child. 6 God declar'd likewise, "that his posterity should sojourn in a strange land, where they should be enslaved and abused four hundred years. 7 and the nation to whom they shall be in bondage, will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place."
8 at length he gave him the covenant of circumcision: accordingly Abraham circumcised his son Isaac eight days after he was born, Isaac was father of Jacob, who was father of the twelve patriarchs.
9 the patriarchs being jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt: but God was with him, 10 he delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him wisdom to become acceptable to Pharaoh king of Egypt; who made him governor of Egypt, and all his houshold. 11 in the mean time a famine spread over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, so that our fathers did not know where to get provisions. 12 but when Jacob heard there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers there. 13 at the second voyage Joseph discover'd himself to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred were made known to Pharaoh. 14 after this, Joseph sent to invite his father Jacob to come with all his kindred, being threescore and fifteen persons. 15 so Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he and our fathers, 16 and were transported to Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.
17 now while the time was approaching to accomplish what God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew numerous in Egypt, 18 till another king arose who knew not Joseph. 19 this prince employ'd all his arts against our nation, and persecuted our fathers, by obliging them to expose their young children, in order to extirpate the race. 20 in which time Moses was born, who was exceeding fair, and nourished in his father's house three months: 21 and when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter caused him to be taken up, and maintain'd for her adopted son. 22 at length Moses was instructed in all the sciences of the Egyptians, and had great influence by his counsels and actions.
23 when he was full forty years old, he took the resolution to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 and seeing one of them abus'd, he defended him, and avenged the injury by killing the Egyptian: 25 for he supposed his brethren would have perceiv'd by this, that God design'd to make him the instrument of their deliverance; but they did not perceive it. 26 the next day seeing some that were fighting, he would have persuaded them to agree, saying, sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye injure one another?
27 but he that did his neighbour the injury repelled Moses, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 will you kill me as you kill'd the Egyptian yesterday? at these words Moses fled,
29 and went to reside in the land of Madian, where he became the father of two sons. 30 when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina, an angel of the Lord in a flaming bush. 31 Moses was astonished at this vision: and as he drew near to observe it, he heard the voice of the Lord, which said to him, 32 "I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." and Moses trembled so, he durst not observe any longer.
33 then said the Lord to him, "put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt; I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. come immediately, and I will send you into Egypt."
35 this Moses whom they refused, saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge? the very same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hands of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. 36 he it was, who delivered them by doing prodigies and miracles in the land of Egypt, in the red sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
37 this is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, "a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear." 38 'twas he that was in the assembly with our fathers in the wilderness, and with the angel that spoke to him on mount Sina: and delivered the oracles to him by word of mouth for our use. 39 him our fathers would not obey, but rejected him, and they return'd to their Egyptian disposition. 40 "make us gods, said they to Aaron, to be our guides: for as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him."
41 'twas then they made a calf, and offered sacrifice to the idol, triumphing in the works of their own hands. 42 then God left them, and abandon'd them to the worship of the celestial army; as it is written in the book of the prophets, "O ye house of Israel, is it to me that ye have offered victims, and sacrifices, for the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43 on the contrary, ye carried the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: wherefore I will transport you beyond Babylon."
44 our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, ordering Moses to make it according to the model that he had seen. 45 which our fathers and Joshua having receiv'd, they carry'd it into the territory of those nations whom God drove out upon their arrival: where it staid to the time of David, who was favoured by God, 46 and desired to have a settled tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47 it was Solomon however that built him a temple. 48 altho' the most high does not dwell in temples made with hands; as the prophet said, "heaven is my throne,
49 and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50 hath not my hand made all these things?"
51 stubborn people, whose hearts and ears like the uncircumcised, are always averse to the holy spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 was there ever any prophet whom your fathers did not persecute? have they not slain those who predicted the coming of that just person whom you have so lately betrayed and murder'd? 53 you, I say, who received the law by the administration of angels, but have not however observ'd it.
54 When they heard these things, they were transported with rage, and gnashed their teeth against him. 55 but he, full of the holy spirit, fix'd his eyes towards heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 and he said, there I see the heavens open, and the son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 then they broke out into a loud cry, and stopping their ears, fell upon him all at once. 58 then they dragg'd him out of the city, and stoned him: the false witnesses having laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 59 Thus they stoned Stephen, while he was calling upon God, and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 and on his knees he cried with a loud voice, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." and having said this, he expired.