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Chapter LXIII.—A Deserter from Simon’s Camp.

While Peter was thus speaking, the day dawned; and, behold, one of the disciples of Simon came, crying out:709709    [This incident is narrated only in the Recognitions.—R.]  “I beseech thee, O Peter, receive me, a wretch, who have been deceived by Simon the magician, to whom I gave heed as to a heavenly God, by reason of those miracles which I saw him perform.  But when I heard your discourses, I began to think him a man, and indeed a wicked man; nevertheless, when he went out from this I alone followed him, for I had not yet clearly perceived his impieties.  But when he saw me following him, he called me blessed, and led me to his house; and about the middle of the night he said to me, ‘I shall make you better than all men, if you will remain with me even till the end.’  When I had promised him this, he demanded of me an oath of perseverance; and having got this, he placed upon my shoulders some of his polluted and accursed secret things, that I might carry them, and or131dered me to follow him.  But when we came to the sea, he went aboard a boat which happened to be there, and took from my neck what he had ordered me to carry.  And as he came out a little after, bringing nothing with him, he must have thrown it into the sea.  Then he asked me to go with him, saying that he was going to Rome, and that there he would please the people so much, that he should be reckoned a god, and publicly gifted with divine honours.  ‘Then,’ said he, ‘if you wish to return hither, I shall send you back, loaded with all riches, and upheld by various services.’  When I heard this, and saw nothing in him in accordance with this profession, but perceived that he was a magician and a deceiver, I answered:  ‘Pardon me, I pray you; for I have a pain in my feet, and therefore I am not able to leave Cæsarea.  Besides, I have a wife and little children, whom I cannot leave by any means.’  When he heard this, he charged me with sloth, and set out towards Dora, saying, ‘You will be sorry, when you hear what glory I shall get in the city of Rome.’  And after this he set out for Rome, as he said; but I hastily returned hither, entreating you to receive me to penitence, because I have been deceived by him.”


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