¶ There was a certain man in Cesarea called Cornelius, a captain of the soldiers of Italy, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his household, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed God always. The same man saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day the angel of God coming in unto him, and saying unto him: Cornelius, when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said: what is it Lord? He said unto him: Thy prayers and thy alms are come up into remembrance in the presence of God. And now send men to Ioppa, and call for one Simon named also Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside. He shall tell thee, what thou oughtest to do. When the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him, to whom he told all the matter, and sent them to Ioppa.
¶ On the morrow as they went on their journey and drew nye unto the city, Peter went up into the uppermost part of the house to pray, about the vj. hour. Then waxed he an hungered, and would have eaten. while they made ready for him. He fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel come down unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the iiij. corners, and was let down to the earth, wherein were all manner of iiij. footed beasts of the earth and vermin and worms, and fouls of the air. And a voice spake unto him from heaven: Rise Peter Kill and eat. Peter said: God forbid Lord, for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time: What God hath cleansed that make thou not common. This was done thrice, And the vessel was received up again into heaven.
¶ While Peter mused in himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius, had made inquirance for Simon's house, and stood before the door. And called out one and asked whether Simon which was also called Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on this vision, the spirit said unto him: Lo, men seek thee: arise therefore, get thee down, and go with them, and doubt not. For I have sent them. Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius, and said: Lo, I am he, whom ye seek, what is the cause wherefore ye are come? They said unto him: Cornelius the captain a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the people of the jews was warned by an holy angel, to send for thee in to his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them.
¶ On the morrow Peter went with them, and certain brethren from Ioppa accompanied him. And the third day entered they into Cesaria. Cornelius waited for them, and had called to gether his kinsmen, and special friends. And as it chanced Peter to come in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. Peter took him up, saying: Even I myself am a man. And as he talked with him he came in, and found many that were come to gether. And he said unto them: Ye do know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a jew to company or come unto an alien: But God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean: therefore came I unto you without scruple, as soon as I was sent for. I ask therefore: for what intent have ye sent for me?
¶ And Cornelius said: This day now. iiij. days I fasted, and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said: Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms deeds are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Ioppa, and call for Simon which is also called Peter. He is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the seaside, the which as soon as he is come, shall speak unto thee. Then sent I for thee immediately, and thou hast well done for to come. Now are we all here, present before God to hear all things that are commanded unto thee of God.
¶ Peter opened his mought and said: Of a truth I perceive, that God is not partial, but in all people he that feareth him and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
¶ Ye know the preaching that God sent unto the children of Israhell, preaching peace by Iesus Christe (which is Lord over all things.) which preaching was published thorowout all Jewery, and began in Galile, after the baptism preached by Ihon, After that God had anointed Iesus of Nazareth with the holy ghost, and with power, he went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with devils, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did in the land of the jewes and at Ierusalem, whom they slew, and hung on tree. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly, not to all the people, but unto us witnesses chosen before of God, which ate and drank with him, after he arose from death. And he commanded us to preach unto the people and testify, that it is he that is ordained of God a judge of quick and dead. To him giveth all the prophets witness, that throwe his name shall receive remission of sins all that believe in him.
¶ While Peter yet spake these words, the holy ghost fell on all them which heard his preaching. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonied, as many as came with Peter, because that on the gentiles also was shed out the gift of the holy ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter: can any man forbid water that these should not be baptised, which have received the holy ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptised in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him, to tarry a few days.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526