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changeable. Tlie Apostle then quoted the passage of the Psalm to which he alluded, and observed, that it evidently related to the MESSI AH, as it could not be fully applied to David, but was exactly fulfilled in CHRIST; therefore Christ was to be regarded henceforth as the Lord of whom David spake ; and it was expressly required of the house of Israel, to receive him bosh as the visible representative of God, and the Messiah whom they had by their prophets been taught to expect

would come to bring them salvation.

To enforce the belief of what had been now declared, Peter asserted, that he and his brethren had seen Jesus asa cend to heaven, and were appointed by hin, to bear wit, ness of it. To account for the miraculous gift of tongues, Peter informed his hearers, that the MESSIAH having received from GOD THE FATHER a promise, that he should have power to dispense the gift of the Holy SPIRIT, had now shewed it forth in this wonderful way, to prove that the Divine promise was fulfilled.

Our SAVIOUR repeatedly assured his Apostles that they should on all occasions relating to their ministry be instructed by the Holy SPIRIT what to say. This proinise was remarkably fulfilled at this time; for the most learned and eloquent man in the world could not have chosen better arguments, or conducted his disa course with more propriety than Peter did, who was originally an ignorant illiterate fisherman. The efficacy of this oration on those who heard it, proved its excel.. lency'; for it seems to have convinced the reason of every one present, that the miracle they beheld was a proof of Christ's exaltation to have excited the ut. most awe and reverence of him and to have awakened

* Sic Sect. lvie

their consciences, so that they were sensible of their own sins, and the necessity of redemption, which led them to enquire by what means they mighe obtain remission of their sins. - As soon as they knew the terms of salvation, they gladly complied with them. The terms, we find, were baptism and repentance. 5. There is reason to conclude, that many families were converted to Christianity at this time; for the word souls is generally used in the Seriptures when women, children, and servants, are included ; so that we may understand not merely three thousand men, but so many persons. • The example of the first Christians is a pattern for.ill. sièceeding ones. They exactly followed their Lord's commands to live like brethren, to break bread, or celebrate the sacrament of the LORD's Supper in re. membrance of him, and to be earnest and frequent in prayer and thanksgiving; both in public and private.

They assembled together for pious conversation in companies, according as their language or oiher circum. stances required, excluding from their intimate society all who disbelieved the Gospel ; were cheerful' among themselves, and liberal to all who wanted relief. The blameless simplicity of their lives and conversation, and the cheerfulness with which they discharged the duties of religion, recommended it in the most forcible manner; so that the LORD, through divine grace, added daily to the church numbers of those who should be saved ; that is to say, those who had humble teachable minds. The LORD so ordered events by the dispositions of Providence, that all those who resided at Jerusalem, had opportunities afforded them of hearing the Gospel preached with such evident marks of Divine inspiration, as none who made a proper use of their reason could resist.

Moch

Much useful instruction may be collected from this section. It assures us of the faithfulness of God's pro. mises, made known by the prophets and our blessed SA. VIOUR, respecting the gift of the Holy SPIRIT; and instructs us to study the prophecies of the Old Testament, and receive the completion of them as full evidence of the truth of the Gospel-to believe in our blessed Redeemer, and consider the power and dignity to which he is exalted, and honour him accordingly—to reflect what we have to do, as well as to believe, in order to be saved from everlasting destruction.

Baptism is usually administred in our infant years, and having been once baptized there is no need for us. to repeat it; but repentance is an every-day duty : for, the best of men commit sins daily. How comfortable is it to know, that our sins will be remitted, and the gift. of the Holy Spirit bestowed on us, if we do not obsti. nately resist its Divine influence--for the promise was made not for the Apostles and the immediate disciples of Christ only, nor yet for the generation of men who were alive when they preached, but for them and. their descendants to the end of the world; and for all even of the most distant nations, who would obey the gracious call of God through the Lord Jesus CHRIST, But we must be careful to observe, that none have en. couragement to hope for an irresistable call, our will must co-operate with Divine grace, for the Apostle admonished his hearers to save themselves. The principal. means of doing so he had before pointed out; but he fur, ther intimated, that it was requisite to avoid ghe company of wicked.people. * See Sect. xliv. Vol. V. p. 183; for the definition of Divine grace.

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SECTION

SECTION LVIII.

A LAME MAN CURED BY PETER.

From Acts, Chap. iii. Now Peter and John went up together into the tem. ple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple :

Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the tem. ple, asked an alms. And Peter fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us.

And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee : in the name of JESUS Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength,

And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking, and praising God.

And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple : and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened

unto him.

And as the lame man which was healed, held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.

And

And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this ? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk ?

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you ;

And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesies :

And his name, through faith in his nanie, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him, hath given him this perfect soundness in the

presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that CHRIST should suffer, he

so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like into me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Anel it shall come to pass, that every soul which will

hath

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