¶ When it was concluded that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Iulius, an undercaptain of Cesar's soldiers. And we entered into a ship of Adramicium, and lowsed from land, appointed to sail by the coasts of Asia, one Aristarcus out of Macedonia, of the country of Thessalia, being with us. The next day came we to Sidon, and Iulius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends, and to refresh himself. And from thence launched we and sailed hard by Cypers, because the winds were contrary. Then sailed we over the sea of Cicill, and Pamphylia, and came to Myra a city in Lycia.
¶ And there the undercaptain found a ship of Alexandry ready to sail into Italy, and put us therein, and when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Gnydon (because the wind withstood us) we sailed hard by the coast of Candy, over against Salmo, and with much work sailed beyond it, and came unto a place called Goode port. Nye whereunto was a city called Lasea. When much time was spent and sailing was now jeopardous, because also that we had overlong fasted, Paul put them in remembrance, and said unto them: Sirs I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and damage, not of the lading and ship only: but also of our lives. But the undercaptain believed the governor, and the master, better than those things which were spoken of Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, many took counsel to depart thence, if by any means they might attain to Phenices and there to winter, which haven pertaineth to Candy, and serveth to the southwest, and northwest wind. When the south wind blew, they supposing to obtain their purpose lowsed unto Asson, and sailed past all Candy.
¶ But anon after there arose (against their purpose) a flaw of wind out of the northeast. When the ship was caught, and could not resist the wind, we let her go and drave with the weather. We came unto an isle named Clauda, And had much work to come by a boat, which they took up, and used help undergirding the ship, fearing lest we should have fallen into Syrtes, and we let down a vessel and so were carried. The next day when we were tossed with an exceeding tempest, they lightened the ship, and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. When at the last neither sun nor star in many days appeared, And no small tempest lay upon us, all hope that we should be saved, was taken away.
¶ Then after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them and said: Sirs ye should have heard me, and not have departed from Candy, neither to have brought unto us this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of goad cheer, for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you: But of the ship only. For there stood by me this night the angel of God whose I am, and whom I serve, saying: fear not Paul, for thou must be brought before Cesar. And lo, God hath given unto thee all that are in the ship with thee, wherefore sirs be of good cheer, for I believe God that so it shall be even as it was told me, and we must be cast into a certain island.
¶ But when the fourteenth night was come as we were carried in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that there appeared some country unto them, and they sounded, and found it xx. fathoms. they went a little further and sounded again, and found xv. fathoms. Then fearing lest they should have fallen on some Rocke, they cast iiij. anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. As the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, and had let down the boat into the sea, under a colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship: Paul said unto the undercaptain and the soldiers: except these abide in the ship ye cannot be safe. Then the soldiers cut off the rope of the boat, and let it fall away.
¶ And in the meantime, betwixt that and day, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying: this is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting receiving nothing at all, wherefore I pray you to take meat: for this no doubt is for your health, for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken he took bread and gave thanks to God in presence of them all, and brake it, and began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took meat. We were all together in the ship, two hundred and three score and sixteen souls. When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and cast out the wheat into the sea.
¶ When it was day they knew not the land, but they spied a certain reach with a bank, into the which they were minded (if it were possible) to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and lowsed the rudder bonds and hoised up the main sail to the wind and drew to land, but they fell into a place, which had the sea on both the sides, and thrust in the ship. And the fore part stuck fast, and moved not, but the hinderpart brake with the violence of the waves.
¶ The Soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners lest any of them, when he had swum out should flee away: but the undercaptain willing to save Paul kept them from their purpose, and commanded that they that could swim should cast themselves first in to the sea, and scape to land. And the other he commanded to go, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they came all safe to land.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526