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Philip converts the Samaritans and baptizes the eunuch.

[1] And at that time there was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea, and Samaria, except the apostles. [2] And devout men took order for Stephen' s funeral, and made great mourning over him. [3] But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house, and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. [4] They therefore that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. [5] And Philip going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them.

[6] And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did. [7] For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. [8] And many, taken with the palsy, and that were lame, were healed. [9] There was therefore great joy in that city. Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one: [10] To whom they all gave ear, from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, which is called great.

[11] And they were attentive to him, because, for a long time, he had bewitched them with his magical practices. [12] But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [13] Then Simon himself believed also; and being baptized, he adhered to Philip. And being astonished, wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done. [14] Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. [15] Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.

[16] For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [17] Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [18] And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, [19] Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him: [20] Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

[17] They laid their hands upon them: The apostles administered the sacrament of confirmation, by imposition of hands, and prayer; and the faithful thereby received the Holy Ghost. Not but they had received the grace of the Holy Ghost at their baptism: yet not that plenitude of grace and those spiritual gifts which they afterwards received from bishops in the sacrament of confirmation, which strengthened them to profess their faith publicly.

[21] Thou hast no part nor lot in this matter. For thy heart is not right in the sight of God. [22] Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. [23] For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. [24] Then Simon answering, said: Pray you for me to the Lord, that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me. [25] And they indeed having testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel to many countries of the Samaritans.

[26] Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza: this is desert. [27] And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. [28] And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet. [29] And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. [30] And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?

[31] Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. [32] And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth. [33] In humility his judgment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth? [34] And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man? [35] Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.

[36] And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water; and the eunuch said: See, here is water: what doth hinder me from being baptized? [37] And Philip said: If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. [38] And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him. [39] And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. [40] But Philip was found in Azotus; and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

[37] If thou believest with all thy heart: The scripture many times mentions only one disposition, as here belief, when others equally necessary are not expressed, viz., a sorrow for sins, a firm hope, and the love of God. Moreover, believing with the whole heart signifies a belief of every thing necessary for salvation.

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