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Chapter LXVI.—Truth Told by Lying Lips.

“It is long that the divine patience bears with me, Simon the most unhappy of men; for whatever you have wondered at in me was done, not by means of truth, but by the lies and tricks of demons, that I might subvert your faith and condemn my own soul.  I confess that all things that I said about Peter were lies; for he never was either a magician or a murderer, but has been sent by God for the salvation of you all; and if from this hour you think that he is to be despised, be assured that your very city may suddenly be destroyed.  But, you will ask, what is the reason that I make this confession to you of my own accord?  I was vehemently rebuked by an angel of God this night, and most severely scourged, because I was his enemy.  I therefore entreat you, that if from this hour even I myself shall ever open my mouth against him, you will drive me from your sight; for that foul demon, who is an enemy to the salvation of men, speaks against him through my mouth, that you may not attain to life by his means.  For what miracle could the magic art show you through me?  I made brazen dogs bark, and statues move, men change their appearances, and suddenly vanish from men’s sight; and for these things you ought to have cursed the magic art, which bound your souls with devilish fetters, that I might show you a vain miracle, that you might not believe Peter, who cures the sick in the name of Him by whom he is sent, and expels demons, and gives sight to the blind, and restores health to the palsied, and raises the dead.”

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