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Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (1871) Volume 2. pp.93-115. The history of Mar Matthew and Mar Andrew, the blessed apostles 




After the days of the ascension of our Lord Jesus the Messiah to Heaven, when the days of Pentecost were fulfilled, and the Paraclete had come to the upper chamber of Zion, and the holy Apostles were filled with the gift of the Spirit of holiness, each of them had the wish to go forth and preach the Gospel of the Messiah. And they began to cast lots and to distribute the countries among them.    And it happened that, when they had cast lots, it fell to Matthew the Apostle to go to the city of which the inhabitants were cannibals.    And the inhabitants of that city neither ate bread nor drank water, but their food was the flesh of men, and their drink too the blood of men. And every man who entered into that city, its inhabitants seized, and dug and put out his eyes, and gave him to drink a cup, which was mingled with sorcery; and as soon as he drank that cup, his heart was changed, and his understanding perished, and he got the heart of a beast.

And it happened that, when S. Matthew entered within the gate of the city, the inhabitants of the city seized him, and dug and put out his eyes, and gave him to drink the cup which was mingled with sorcery, and conveyed him to the prison where every one was imprisoned who fell into their hands; and they threw down for him grass to eat.

And when the blessed Apostle had drunk the cup which they gave him, his heart was not changed; but he was always in urgent prayer and tears, saying: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, for whose sake we have left everything and follow Thee, because we know that Thou art the true God, and the Helper and the Deliverer of all those who trust in Thee,—look, Lord, and see what this hard-hearted people are doing to Thy servant Matthew, how they have made me like unto the beast in which there is no sense; for Thou art the Knower of everything. If thus be Thy will, O Lord; that I should become food for the inhabitants of this city, let Thy will be accomplished; I will not flee from Thy command. Give me the light of my eyes, that I may see what the people of this city do with me. Do not, Lord, forsake me, and do not give me up to this bitter death."                                              

And whilst the blessed Matthew was praying thus, a mighty light shone through the whole place where he was imprisoned, and a voice was heard from the light, saying: "Matthew, my Apostle, lift up thine eyes." And straightway he lifted up his eyes and saw. And again the voice came unto him the second time and said: "Matthew, be firm, and be strong, and fear not; for I will not abandon thee, nor forsake thee; for I will deliver thee from all temptations, and not thee alone but all thy companions, for I am with thee at all times. And now endure in this thy prison-house twenty-five days,2 for the help of the souls of many. And after these things I will send unto thee Andrew, and he shall bring thee out of this prison and all those who are with thee here." And when our Saviour had said these things, He was lifted up to Heaven.

Then Matthew said: "Thy grace be with us, our Lord Jesus the Messiah." And he was within in the prison and was singing. And it happened that, when the executioners came into the prison to take out men for slaughter, Matthew shut his eyes, that they might not perceive that he saw the light. And it happened one day, when the executioners came and reached him, they read the ticket which was attached to his hand, and said among themselves, "In three days more we shall take out this one too and slaughter him;" for they used to write upon a ticket of wood the day on which a man was taken, and to tie it to his hand, that they might know the completion of his days.

And it happened that, when the twenty-seven days were completed, from (the time) that the blessed Matthew had been seized, our Lord Jesus the Messiah appeared unto Andrew in the country in which he was teaching, and said to him: "Andrew, rise, go with thy disciples to the city of which the inhabitants are cannibals, and take Matthew out of the prison in which he is; for after three days those wretches are going to take him out and kill him for their food." And Andrew answered and said: "My Lord, I am not able within three days to go to that city, because the way is long; but send an Angel to take him out thence, for Thou, my Lord, knowest that I am clothed with flesh, and am not able to arrive there quickly, neither do I know the way." And our Lord answered and said to him: "Andrew, listen, and obey Him who made thee and brought thee into being; for He is able in the twinkling of an eye to command, and that city would be lifted up and brought hither. For I will command the wind, and it shall convey thee thither. But arise in the morning, and go down to the sea-shore with thy disciples, and lo, thou shalt find a ship. Go on board of it, thou and thy disciples." And when our Lord had said these things, He gave him (the salutation of) peace, and was lifted up into Heaven.

Then Andrew arose in the morning, as he had been ordered, and went to the sea-shore with his disciples, and saw a small vessel, and in the vessel three men were sitting; for our Lord by His command had prepared a vessel, and He appeared in it in the likeness of a sailor, and there were with Him two Angels in the likeness of men. And Andrew, when he saw the vessel and the three men who were in it, rejoiced (with) a great joy, and drew nigh unto the vessel, and said to them: "Whither are ye going, my brethren ?" And our Lord said to him: "Weare going to the country of the Cannibals." Now Andrew did not perceive that it was Jesus, but our Lord concealed the might and power of His Godhead, and appeared like a steersman. And Andrew answered and said: "We too wish to go to that city." Then our Lord said to him: "Every man flees from that city, and ye wish to go thither!" Andrew answered and said: "We have something to do there, and we must go thither; and now, if ye are going to do a kindness unto us, show (it) to us." And Jesus answered and said to them: "Come on board in peace."

And Andrew answered and said: "I wish thee to know, my brother, before we go on board the vessel, that we have no ship-hire to give thee, nor have we bread for food with us." And our Lord said to him: "And how do ye come on board the vessel, when ye have no ship-hire? " Andrew says to Him : "Listen, my brother; do not suppose that from stiff-neckedness we do not give thee the ship-hire; but we are the disciples of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who loved us, and chose us twelve, and gave us commandment and said: 'When ye go forth to preach, do not take with you purses nor bags, nor copper (coin) in your purses, nor bread, nor a staff, nor shoes; neither have ye two coats.' If then thou wilt have compassion upon us, tell us quickly; and if not, we will look for another vessel." Jesus answered and said unto them: "If this be the commandment which ye have received, and ye keep it, come on board ; for I say unto you, that it is more pleasing to me that the disciples of the Messiah should come on board my vessel than those who give me gold and silver. But this I say unto you, that perhaps I am worthy that the disciple of the Messiah should come on board my vessel." And Andrew answered and said: "Permit me, my brother; may the Lord give thee a reward and pardon."

Then Andrew went on board the vessel,3 and answered and said to his disciples: "My children, if ye choose, stay on shore, until I finish what was commanded me by our Lord, and return unto you." But his disciples said to him: "Far be it from us to do this! For if we remain behind thee, we shall become strangers to the grace which was given us; and now we will be with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Then Jesus answered and said to Andrew: "If thou art in truth the disciple of the Messiah, remind thy disciples of the miracles which thy Lord wrought, that thou mayest strengthen their minds, that they may forget (their) concern about this sea; for lo, we are making ready to loosen the vessel from the land and to sail." Then Jesus made a sign to one of the Angels, and he loosened the vessel from the land; and Jesus came and sat in the midst of the vessel. And Andrew was encouraging his disciples, and saying: "My children, ye have given up  your lives for the Messiah; fear not; for He did not forsake us at the time when we were with Him in the vessel, and He had lain down to sleep in the vessel, trying us, for He was not asleep; and when there was a great wind, and the sea reared its waves so that they rose above the mast of the vessel, and great fear took hold of us, our Saviour arose and rebuked the wind, and the waves were assuaged, and there was a great calm on the sea; for everything obeys His command, because they are His creation. And now, my children, fear not." And when Andrew had said these things, he prayed that his disciples-might remain at rest.

And when they had fallen asleep, Andrew turned and said to Jesus, not knowing that it was Jesus: "Tell me, man, and truly show me this art of thy steering; for I have never seen a steersman who managed a vessel as I now see thee.    For sixteen times have I sailed on the sea, and this is the seventeenth, and I have never seen skill like this; for verily this vessel is in the midst of the sea just as if it were on land. Show me then thy art, O youth."    Then our Lord said to Andrew: "We too have sailed many times on the sea, and a violent storm has risen against us; but because thou art the disciple of the Messiah, the sea has recognised thee and has not uplifted its waves against us." Then Andrew cried with a loud voice and said: "I bless  Thy name, my Lord Jesus the Messiah, that Thou hast let me meet with a man who glorifies Thy name." And Jesus answered and said to him: "Tell me, disciple of Jesus, why the wicked Jews did not believe on thy Lord that He is the true God. Show me; for we have heard that He  showed His power to His disciples." And Andrew answered and  said: "Yes,  my brother,  He showed us that He is the true God;  and now do not suppose that Jesus is not God, for He made man.4"  And Jesus answered and said: "And why did the Jews not believe on Him?" Andrew answered and said: "O man, who hast the spirit of knowledge and all understanding, why temptest thou me?"    Our Lord says to him: "I tempt thee not with these things, but my soul rejoices and exults in them." Andrew says: "My brother, the Lord shall fill thy soul with great joy and grace." Our Lord answered and said: "Narrate to me then." And Andrew answered and said:   "Hast thou not heard of the miracles which He did before them? To the blind He gave light, and to the lame to walk, and to the deaf and dumb to hear and speak; and He cast out devils; the lepers He cleansed, the dead He raised to life; He changed water into wine;  and He took five loaves and two fishes, and ordered the people to recline upon the grass, and blessed, and satisfied them; and five thousand did eat and were satisfied, and left (something) over. And again He spake a blessing over seven loaves, and satisfied four thousand. And He did many signs and wonders and miracles, which,  if I narrate them before thee, thou wilt not be able to bear." Jesus says to him: "I shall be able; but to a  enough, though a fool not even many (words) can persuade."

And when our Lord knew that the vessel had arrived near the land, He leaned His head against one of the Angels, and ceased to converse with Andrew. And when Andrew saw (this), he leaned himself against his disciples, and sank into a heavy sleep. And our Lord said to the Angels: " Spread out your hands, and carry Andrew and his disciples, and go, place them at the gate of that city, the inhabitants of which eat the flesh of men." And the Angels did as they were commanded, and took up Andrew and his disciples, and carried (and) placed them at the gate of that city, the inhabitants of which eat men.

And when Andrew awoke from his sleep and opened his eyes, he saw that he was sitting at the gate of that city, and his disciples beside him, who were asleep. And being astonished at what had happened, he awakened them and said to them: "Rise, my children, and see the grace that has been with us, and know that our Lord was with us in the vessel, proving us, and we did not recognise Him." And his disciples answered and said to him: "Do not suppose, our father,  that we knew that we were sailing on the sea, because we were sunk in a deep sleep; and we saw that Angels came and took our souls and carried them to Paradise; and we saw there great wonders, for we saw our Lord Jesus the Messiah sitting on a glorious throne, and all the Angels beholding Him; and we saw there Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the Fathers and the holy Prophets, and you too the twelve Apostles, standing beside our Lord Jesus the Messiah; and we heard our Lord commanding His holy Angels: 'Be obedient to the Apostles in everything which they say unto you.' This is the vision which we saw, our father."

Then the blessed Andrew, when he had heard these things from his disciples, rejoiced (with) a great joy, that his disciples were worthy to see the great things of God. And he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said: "Pardon me, my Lord, and forgive me what I have done; for as a man I saw Thee in the vessel, and as a man I spake with Thee. Wherein have I sinned, my Lord? (for) Thou didst not show to me Thy majesty." And our Lord said unto him: "Thou hast not sinned, Andrew; but I did these things unto thee, because thou saidst, 'I cannot go to the City of Dogs in three days.' Lo, now have I shown thee that I am able to do everything by (my) power. But arise, and go into the city unto Matthew thy brother, and bring him forth from prison, him and all those who are imprisoned with him. And lo, I make known unto thee, before thou enterest into their city, that they will show thee cruel tortures, and thy body shall be torn, and thy blood shall be poured out upon the earth like water; for death they cannot give unto thee, but great tortures they are about to let pass over thee. But bear up, and harden not thyself against their wickedness. Remember the tortures which I endured, when the Jews smote me with their fists and spat in my face. Was I not able in the twinkling of an eye to move heaven and earth, and to bring chastisement upon those who beat me? But I bore (it), and forgave them, that I might set you an example."

And Andrew straightway arose, and entered into that city with his disciples. And he went to the prison, and saw the seven keepers, who were standing at the gates of the prison and guarding it. And Andrew prayed, and these keepers fell down and died. And when he came nigh to the gate of the prison, he made upon the gate the sign of the Cross; and straightway the gate became open.

And when Andrew had entered the prison with his disciples, Matthew saw Andrew, and straightway he arose, and they asked after each other's welfare. And Andrew said to Matthew: "My brother, how hast thou got in here? For lo, after three days, the men of this city are going to take thee out and kill thee for their food. Where are the holy mysteries which thou hast learned? For if thou didst utter them, heaven and earth would tremble." And Matthew answered  and said: "My brother Andrew, thou hast heard our Lord say: 'Lo, I send you like lambs among wolves.' For as soon as I entered into this prison, I prayed before the Lord, and He appeared unto me, saying: 'Bear up for twenty-seven days, and afterwards I will send unto thee Andrew, and he will take thee out of this prison and also all those who are with thee.' And as our Lord promised to me, lo, I see thee to-day ; and now, what shall we do?"

Then Andrew looked in the midst of the prison, and saw those men who were bound there, stripped (naked) and eating grass like cattle. And Andrew beat his breast and said: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, look and see what they have given to men, who are made in Thy image and in Thy likeness, to eat." And the blessed (one) began to rebuke Satan and to say: "Out upon thee, Satan, thou enemy of our God and of His Angels! How long wilt thou fight with the human race?"

And Andrew and Matthew kneeled and prayed; and afterwards Andrew laid his hands upon the eyes of those men who had been blinded, and straightway they all saw the light. And again he placed his hand upon their heart, and their understanding was changed and became like that of men. And he said to them: "Depart now to the lower part of the city. Lo, ye shall find on the road a large fig-tree; sit down under it, and eat of its fruit, till I come to you. And if I delay, ye will find for yourselves on it as much food as sufficeth for you." And those men answered and said to the blessed Andrew: "Come with us, sir, lest perchance the heathen men of this city see us again, and take us, and put us to tortures which are worse than the former ones." And he said to them: "Go in peace; verily I say unto you, that, whilst ye are going, not even a dog shall bark at you."    And those men went, as the blessed Andrew had said to them; and they were in number forty-nine. But to Matthew he said that he should go with his disciples to the east side of the city. And Andrew prayed, and a cloud descended, and took away Matthew and his disciples, and set them on a mountain, where Peter the Apostle was sitting and teaching; and they remained with him.

But Andrew, after he had gone out of the prison, was walking about in the city. And he saw a pillar, and upon it was standing a statue of brass; and he sat down by the side of that pillar, that he might see what would take place. And it happened that, when the executioners went to the prison to fetch out men for their food, as was the custom of every day, they found the gates of the prison open and the keepers dead and lying on the ground. And they returned to the chief men, and said to them: "We went to the prison, and found it open and the keepers dead and lying on the ground; and when we went in, we found no man there." And when the chief men heard (this), they said among themselves: "What is this thing that has happened? Have men perchance gone into the prison and killed the keepers, and taken those who were bound there, and departed?" Then the chiefs said to the executioners: "Go to the prison, and bring those seven keepers, that we may eat them to day; and straightway collect for us all the old men of the city, and let them cast lots among themselves, and those on whom the lot falls we shall go on killing every day, seven by seven, for our food, until we choose young men and put them on board ship, and they go to the countries around us, and put men on board their ships and bring (them) hither, that they may be to us for food."

And when the executioners had gone to the prison, they brought those seven keepers dead. And there was there a large furnace, which was built in the midst of the city; and by the side of the furnace there was a large trough of stone, in which they used to kill the men, and their blood ran down and was collected in that trough, and they used to draw up the blood and drink it. And it happened that, when they had brought those seven, who were dead, they placed them beside the trough, that they might lay their hands upon them and lift them up. And the blessed Andrew heard a voice saying to him: "Andrew, look and see what is being done in this city." And it happened that, when he saw (it), he prayed and said: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who hast brought me to this city, do not permit that there take place in it anything hateful, but let the knives fall from the hands of these executioners." And straightway their hands were paralysed, and they were not able to lift them up or let them down. And when the nobles saw what had happened, they wept bitterly, saying: "Woe unto us, for there are magicians here, and they have gone into the prison, and slain the keepers, and brought out those who were imprisoned there; and lo, they have bewitched the executioners too. What then shall we do?"

Then they said to the executioners: "Go, collect for us the old men of the city, because we are hungry." And they went and collected them, and found two hundred and sixteen in number, and brought them to their nobles; and they commanded them to cast lots, and the lot of seven old men came forth. And one of the old men, upon whom the lot had fallen, answered and said to the executioners: "I beg of you, I have a little son, take him and kill him in my stead, and let me go." And they said to him  "We cannot do this, unless the nobles bid us." And the executioners went and told their nobles these things. And the nobles answered and said to them: "If he gives a substitute, let him go"; and the executioners made this known to the old man. And the old man answered and said to them : "I have a daughter too ; take her also with her brother for slaughter, and let me go." And he gave them up for slaughter, and the executioners took these children to kill them. And they were weeping and saying: "Do not kill us in this youth (of ours), but allow us to come to full growth, and then ye may kill (us)." And this also was the custom in that city, that they did not bury those who died, but ate them. And the executioners did not heed these children, but took them and went to the trough, in which they used to kill men, to kill them."                                                                  

And when the holy Andrew saw (this), he wept bitterly, and said: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, as Thou didst hear me sinful concerning these dead, and Thy Divinity did not suffer them to be eaten, so now too do not suffer them to be brought nigh to the death of these children, but let their hands be paralysed, and let the knives fall and melt like wax before the fire." And the moment that the blessed Andrew had prayed, the knives were loosened, and fell from the hands of the executioners. And when S. Andrew saw what had happened, he glorified God who had answered him in everything.

And when the rulers saw what had happened, they wept bitterly and said: "Woe unto us! what is there now for us to do?" And Satan took the likeness of an old man, and stood in their midst, and said: "Woe to you! What can ye do? For ye have no food. And now arise, and seize in this city a stranger, whose name is Andrew, and kill him; for he has let out these men who were shut up in the prison." 

And S. Andrew looked upon Satan, how he was talking among the crowd; but Satan did not see the blessed (one). And the Apostle of the Messiah answered and said to Satan:"O thou enemy of all mankind, who art constantly warring against them, our Lord Jesus the Messiah will humble thee and cast thee into the deep abyss of destruction." And when Satan heard this, he said, "Fie, fie upon thee! Thy voice I hear, but where thou art I know not." And the blessed (one) answered and said to Satan: "Verily thou art blind, and thou canst not «m see the saints." And when Satan heard this, he said to the multitude: "See now, seize him with whom I am speaking, because he is the disturber of your affairs." And those wicked (ones) ran and shut the gates of the city; and they were going about and seeking for the blessed Andrew through the whole city, and did not see him. Then our Lord Jesus the Messiah appeared to him and said to him: "Andrew, arise, show them thy power, that they may learn that the power of Satan, who dwells in them, is nought."

Then the blessed Andrew arose in the sight of the whole multitude, and said: "I am Andrew, whom ye seek." Then the whole people ran and seized him, and said to him: "As thou hast done unto us, we will do unto thee." And they began taking counsel together and saying: " With what death shall we kill him? If indeed we take off his head, it is not a bitter death; and if we burn him with fire, neither is this anything." Then one of them, after Satan had entered into him, answered and said to them: "As he made us suffer, so we too will make him suffer. This let us do unto him. Let us put ropes round his neck, and drag him through the streets and lanes of this city; and when he is dead, then we will divide his body among all of us." And this seemed good before the whole people; and they cast ropes upon his neck, and were dragging him through all the streets and lanes of the city, until his body was torn by the stones over which he was dragged, and his blood was flowing like water. And when it was evening, they cast him into prison, with his hands bound behind him.         

And again, when it was morning, they brought him out, and cast cords upon his neck, and dragged him through the whole city, and his whole body was torn by the ground. And the blessed (one) prayed with sighs and said: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, behold what they do with me, and I bear it because of Thy command, —for if it were not because of Thy mercy, Thou wouldest have sent them into the deep abyss, with their city,—but only, Lord, do not permit the enemy to mock me." And when the blessed (one) had said these things, Satan answered from behind him and said to the people: "Be smiting him upon his mouth, that he may not speak."

And when evening came, they cast him into the prison. Then Satan took with him seven demons, and went into the prison. And they stood before S. Andrew, and were mocking him, saying: " Now art thou caught in our hands. Who then shall deliver thee? For lo, thou destroyest our works out of every city, and hast desolated our temples and shrines, which were built for us." And Satan commanded those seven demons which were with him to slay the blessed (one). Then, when these demons drew near, and saw the seal of the Messiah between his eyes, they were afraid and fled from him. And Satan answered and said to them: "Why flee ye from him? "What is it?" And they say to him: "We cannot come near to him because of the seal which is upon him; but do thou go, slay him, if thou art able." And Satan said to them: "Come then, let us mock him." Then those demons came with Satan their master, and were mocking the blessed (one) and saying: "Thou O Andrew, lo, art come to great disgrace and to hard judgement." Then, when the blessed Andrew heard these things, he said: "If ye kill me outright, I will not do your pleasure, but the pleasure of my Lord; for if my Lord visits me in this city, I will chastise you as ye deserve." And when the demons heard these things, they vanished from before him like smoke.

And when it was morning, they brought the blessed Andrew out of the prison, and tied ropes round his neck, and were dragging him. And again his body (was lacerated) and all the hair of his head was pulled out. And the blessed (one) cried with a loud voice, with sighs and tears, and said: "Our Lord Jesus the Messiah, these tortures are enough for me, these three days, by day and by night, of Satan and of the demons and of these heathens. Command, Lord, and receive my spirit, or show me Thy grace that I may be strengthened." And when he had said these things, a voice came to him in Hebrew, saying: "Andrew, heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.And do thou now turn and see thy flesh, which has been plucked from thee, what has become of it." And he looked and saw large trees, which had grown up and bore fruit. And S. Andrew said: "Now, Lord, I know that Thou hast not forsaken me."

And when it was evening, they cast him into the prison, saying: "His body is destroyed, and during this night he will die." Then our Lord Jesus the Messiah appeared to him in the prison, and said to him: "Andrew, give me thy hand." And He took him by his hand, and straightway he rose up whole. And the blessed (one) fell down and worshipped Him. And afterwards he looked into the midst of the pit in which he was imprisoned, and saw a pillar (statue) which was called in Greek Alabastros. And Andrew stretched out his hand and said: "Thou dumb stone, fear the sign of the Cross, at which heaven and earth tremble; and straightway let there flow from thy mouth much water, that it may submerge this city." And straightway that pillar (statue) let much water flow out like a mighty stream; and the water prevailed exceedingly, and killed their children and their cattle; and they were wishing' to flee from the city.

Then the blessed Andrew prayed, and a fiery cloud descended,  and surrounded the city like a wall, and they were unable to flee. And when Andrew knew what had happened, he glorified God and said: "I bless Thee, our Lord Jesus the Messiah!" And all the inhabitants of the city trembled, and were weeping and saying: "Woe to us I for all these things have come upon us because of the stranger who is in the prison; but let us go and release him, that we may not die wretchedly by these waters of the flood and by this fire."

And they all came to the prison, crying out with a mournful voice. And when the blessed Andrew saw that their spirit was humbled to him, he said to the pillar (statue): "Enough now; do not emit water any more. Lo, I will go out and preach the word of God; and I say unto thee, that, if the people of this city believe, I will build in it a church, and I will remove thee hence, and convey thee and set thee up in it, in recompense for thy having answered me and done that which was commanded thee." And at that moment the statue ceased from its flowing. And Andrew went forth from the prison, and the water was running before his feet.

Then the old man, who had given up his children to slaughter in his stead, came nigh before him, and said to him: "Have mercy upon us, our lord." And Andrew answered and said to him: "I ask of thee, how canst thou say to me that I should have mercy upon thee, when thou didst not have mercy upon thy children. But I say unto thee, that in a little while these waters shall go and be swallowed up in the midst of the abyss, and these executioners, who were killing the men, and thou too shalt be swallowed up with them." And he turned and said to the assembly: "Come after me, all of you." And whilst they were going after him, the waters were divided hither and thither before the feet of the holy (one), until he came to the place of the trough. And the blessed Andrew lifted up his face to heaven, and prayed, and the earth opened, and swallowed up the water and the executioners and the old man. And when the people of the city saw what had happened, they began to say among themselves: "Woe to us! for this man has been sent hither by God, and he will kill us because of the tortures which we made him bear; for lo, as it has been with the executioners and with that old man, (so) it will be with us." And the blessed Andrew, when he heard (this), said to them: "Fear not, my children, for not even these will God leave in Sheol; these have been snatched away to the lower earth, that ye might believe."

Then Andrew ordered them to bring all those who had been drowned by the water; and they were not able to bring them, because those who had died by the water were many, men and women, and children and animals. Then the blessed (one) prayed before God, and they were resuscitated and all arose. And after these things he baptised them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Spirit of holiness. And he marked out for them the likeness of a church, and it was built quickly. And they brought the pillar (statue) which had made the water flow, and set it up in the church. And he sketched out for them rules and laws by which they might subsist, and delivered to them the mysteries of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, and bade them sow and be nourished by the sweat of their faces. And he made haste to depart from them; and they were beseeching him, from the youngest to the oldest, and were saying to him: "We beg of thee, tarry with us a few days, (for) we are yet children in the faith, that we may receive of thy blessed fountain and of thy divine words." But he did not consent to abide with them, but went his way.

Then our Lord assumed unto him the likeness of a comely child, and said to him: "Why art thou going, and leaving them without fruit, and not taking pity upon the children who are coming after thee and crying out? Now therefore return to the city, and abide with them seven days; and when thou enterest into the city, bring up those who were swallowed up in the abyss."

Then Andrew glorified God and said: "Blessed art Thou, our Lord Jesus the Messiah, for Thou dost not wish that a man should perish, but that he should live." And he returned, and entered into the city.    And when the people of the city saw that he had returned, they rejoiced (with) a great joy. And he spent there seven days, teaching and confirming them in the faith of our Lord. Then the blessed Andrew prayed, and the men, who had been swallowed up in the abyss, were resuscitated. And after seven days all the people of the city went out, and were accompanying him on his way, from the youngest even to the oldest, and were crying out and saying: "One is the God of the blessed Andrew, our Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Son of the living God;" to whom is befitting glory and worship and thanksgiving, with His blessed Father and His living and holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen.

Here ends the history of Matthew and Andrew, when they converted the City of Dogs; which is ،Írkā.

[All footnotes and biblical references have reluctantly been omitted apart from these. Note that a complete reprint of this book with all notes, page divisions and Syriac text can be bought online by visiting Gorgias Press,  (and search on Wright)]

1. See Clark's Ante-Nicene Library, vol. xvi, p.348.

2. Margin, twenty-seven, as in the Greek and below.

3. Here the Syriac text omits a considerable portion of the Greek, from p.138 l.13, in Tischendorf's edition, to p. 139 l.18.  See Clark's Ante-Nicene Library, vol xvi., pp.351, 352.

4. Here again the Syriac text is shorter than the Greek, and some sentences are  transposed.  See Tischendorf's edition, p.142, line 1, to p.146, line 16, and Clark's Ante-Nicene Library, vol. xvi., pp.353-6.

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Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts