Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter LXX.—Tumult Raised by Saul.

“And when matters were at that point that they should come and be baptized, some one of our enemies, 596 entering the temple with a few men, began to cry out, and to say, ‘What mean ye, O men of Israel?  Why are you so easily hurried on?  Why are ye led headlong by most miserable men, who are deceived by Simon, a magician?’  While he was thus speaking, and adding more to the same effect, and while James the bishop was refuting him, he began to excite the people and to raise a tumult, so that the people might not be able to hear what was said.  Therefore he began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and to undo what had been arranged with much labour, and at the same time to reproach the priests, and to enrage them with revilings and abuse, and, like a madman, to excite every one to murder, saying, ‘What do ye?  Why do ye hesitate?  Oh sluggish and inert, why do we not lay hands upon them, and pull all these fellows to pieces?’  When he had said this, he first, seizing a strong brand from the altar, set the example of smiting.  Then others also, seeing him, were carried away with like readiness.  Then ensued a tumult on either side, of the beating and the beaten.  Much blood is shed; there is a confused flight, in the midst of which that enemy attacked James, and threw him headlong from the top of the steps; and supposing him to be dead, he cared not to inflict further violence upon him.”



A marginal note in one of the manuscripts states that this enemy was Saul.  [This is confirmed by chap. 71.—R.]

Next: Chapter LXXI