The Brook Kerith
George Moore

Part 8 out of 8

waking often out of shallow sleeps. He could hear Timothy breathing by
his side, and when he raised his eyes he saw the stars that were to
guide them along the coasts; but the beauty of the stars could not blot
out of his mind the shepherd's face: and Paul's thoughts murmured, he
who believed himself the Messiah and still thinks he is Jesus of
Nazareth which was raised by his Father from the dead. Yet without his
help I should not have reached Caesarea. It then seemed to Paul that the
shepherd was an angel in disguise sent to his aid, or a madman. A madman
with a strange light in his eyes, he continued, and fell to thinking if
the voice that spoke out of the cloud bore any likeness to the voice
that had compelled his attention for so long a term on the hillside. But
a bodily voice, he said, cannot resemble a spiritual voice, and it is
enough that the Lord Jesus spoke to me, and that his voice has abided in
me and become my voice. It is his voice that is now calling me to Rome,
and it is his voice that I shall hear when my life is over, saying:
Paul, I have long waited for thee; come unto me, faithful servant, and
receive in me thy gain and the fruit of all thy labour. He repeated the
words so loudly that Timothy awoke, and at the sight of the young man's
face the present sank out of sight and he was again in Lystra, and on
looking into the young man's eyes he knew that Timothy would remind him
always of the woman in Lystra whom he would never see again. Of what art
thou thinking, Paul? The voice seemed to come from the ends of the
earth, but it came from Timothy's lips. Of Lystra, Timothy, that we
shall never see again nor any of the people we have ever known. We are
leaving our country and our kindred. But remember, Timothy, that it is
God that calls thee Homeward. And they sat talking in the soft starlight
of what had befallen them when they separated in the darkness. Timothy
told that he remembered the way he had come by sufficiently not to fall
far out of it, and that at daybreak he had met shepherds who had
directed him. He had walked and he had rested and in that way managed to
reach Caesarea the following evening. A long journey on foot, but a poor
adventure. But thou hast been away three days, three days and three
nights.... How earnest thou hither? Thy eyes are full of story. A fair
adventure, Timothy, and he related his visit to the Essenes and their
dwelling among the cliffs above the Brook Kerith. A fair adventure
truly, Timothy. Would I'd been with thee to have seen and heard them.
Would indeed that we had not been separated---- He was about to tell the
shepherd's story but was stopped by some power within himself. But how
didst thou come hither? Timothy asked again, and Paul answered, the
Essenes sent their shepherd with me. Timothy begged Paul to tell him
more about the Essenes, but the sailors begged them to cease talking,
and next day the ship touched at Sidon, and Julius, in whose charge Paul
had been placed, gave him the liberty to go unto his friends and to
refresh himself.

The sea of Cilicia was beautifully calm, and they sailed on, hearing all
the sailors, who were Greek, telling their country's legends of the wars
of Troy, and of Venus whose great temple was in Cyprus. After passing
Cyprus they came to Myra, a city of Cilicia, and were fortunate enough
to find a ship there bound for Alexandria, sailing from thence to Italy.
Julius put them all on board it; but the wind was unfavourable, and as
soon as they came within sight of the Cnidus the wind blew against them
and they sailed to Crete and by Salome till they came to a coast known
as the Fair Havens by the city of Lasea, where much time was spent to
the great danger of the ship, and also to the lives of the passengers
and the crew as Paul fully warned them, the season, he said, being too
advanced for them to expect fair sailings. I have fared much by land and
sea, he said, and know the danger and perils of this season. He was not
listened to, but the Haven being not safe in winter they loosed for
Phoenice; and the wind blew softly, and they mocked Paul, but not long,
for a dangerous wind arose known as euroclydon, against which the ship
could not bear up, and so the crew let her drive before it till in great
fear of quicksands they unloaded the ship of some cargo. And next day,
the wind rising still higher, they threw overboard all they could lay
hands upon, and for several days and nights the wrack was so thick and
black overhead that they were driven on and on through unknown wastes of
water, Paul exhorting all to be of good cheer, for an angel of God had
exhorted him that night, telling that none should drown.

And when the fourteenth day was spent it seemed to the sailors that they
were close upon land. Upon sounding they found fifteen fathoms, and
afraid they were upon rocks, they cast out anchors. But the anchors did
not hold, and the danger of drowning became so great as the night
advanced that the sailors would have launched a boat, but Paul besought
them to remain upon the ship; and when it was day they discovered a
certain creek in which they thought they might beach the ship, which
they did, and none too soon, for the ship began to break to pieces soon
after. But shall our prisoners be supposed to swim ashore? the soldiers
asked, and they would have killed the prisoners, but the centurion
restrained them, for he was minded to save Paul's life, and all reached
the shore either by swimming or clinging to wreckage which the waves
cast up upon the shore.

They were then upon the island of Melita, where Paul was mistaken for a
murderer because a viper springing out of a bundle of sticks fastened on
his hand. But he shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm, and
the barbarians waited for him to swell and fall down suddenly, but when
he showed no sign of sickness they mistook him for a god, and in fear
that they would offer sacrifices in his honour, as the priests of Lystra
wished to do when he bade the cripple stand straight upon his feet, he
told them that he was a man like themselves; he consented, however, that
they should bring him to Publius, the chief man of the island, who lay
sick with fever and a flux of blood, and he rose up healed as soon as
Paul imposed his hand upon him. And many other people coming, all of
whom were healed, the barbarians brought him presents.

After three months' stay they went on board a ship from Alexandria,
whose sign was Castor and Pollux, and a fair wind took them to Syracuse,
where they tarried three days; a south wind arose at Rhegium and carried
them next into Puteoli, where Paul found the brethren, who begged the
centurion Julius to allow him to remain with them for a few days, and on
account of his great friendship and admiration of Paul he allowed him to
tarry for seven days.

From Puteoli Paul and Timothy and Aristarchus went forward towards Rome
with the centurion, and the news of their journey having preceded them
the brethren came to meet them as far as The Three Taverns.... With
great rejoicing they all went on to Rome together, and when they arrived
in Rome the centurion delivered the prisoners to the Captain of the
Guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with a soldier on guard
over him, and he enjoyed the right to see whom he pleased and to teach
his doctrine, which he did, calling as soon as he was rested the chiefs
of the Jews together, and when they were come together he related to
them the story of the persecutions he had endured from the Jews from the
beginning, and that he had appealed to Caesar in order to escape from
them. He expounded and testified the Kingdom of God, persuading them on
all matters concerning Jesus, his birth, his death and his resurrection,
enjoining them to look into the Scriptures and to accept the
testification of five hundred, many of whom were still alive, while some
were sleeping. He spoke from morning to evening.

The rest of his story is unknown.


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