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vi.

Acts

528 Peter miraculously cures a man lame from his birth. SECT. then to be displayed in the illustrious miracle to with John, said, Look

be wrought by his means: and turning there- on us.

fore to the poor man, and looking stedfastly upon JII. 5. him, he said, Look upon us. And accordingly 5 And he gave heed he fixed his eyes upon them, as expecting to receive unto them, expecting

to receive something of something from them for the relief of his neces- them. 6 sities. But Peter, under the divine impulse, 6 Then Peter said, intended him a far more important favour ;

Silver and gold have I and therefore said, As for silver and gold, I have have, give I thee: lo

nope: but such as I none of either to impart to theed, were I ever the name of Jesus so free to do it; but what I have in my power

Christ of Nazareth, rise

up and walk.
I willingly give thee; and thou shalt find it not
less valuable : I say unto thee, therefore, in the
great and prevailing name of Jesus Christ of Na-

zareth, and as a proof that he is indeed the
7 Messiah, rise up and walk. And Peter taking 7 And he took him
him by the right hand, encouraged bin to do as lift him up; and im-

by the right hand, and he had said, and ruised him up: And immediately mediately his feet and on his speaking tbis, and touching bim, his feet ancle bones received and his ancle bones, which had before been dis- strength. abled, were in an extraordinary manner strength

ened and reduced to their proper situation. 8 And leaping up from the place were he lay, he

8 And he leaping up, first stood in an erect posture, which he had stood, and walked, and never before been able to do, and then walked to the temple, walking, about with strength and steadiness, and entered and leaping, and praiswith them into the court of the temple, there to ing God, offer his first fruits of thanksgiving; sometimes walking, and sometimes leaping for joy, and in a rapture of astonishment and thankfulness, praising God for so singular a mercy manifested

to him. (Compare Isa. xxxv. 6.) 9

And all the people who were there present, 9 And all the peo. saw him thus walking in the court of the temple ple saw him walking and the cloyster adjacent to it, and heard bim and praising God.

praising God with this uncommon ecstasy of de. 10 light: And they knew him perfectly well, that 10 And they knew

that it was he which this was he who had sat so long at the Beautiful

sat for alms at the gate of the temple, to beg for alms of those that Beautiful gate of the entered in and came out. And they were filled temple ; and they were with awful astonishment, and felt in themselves filled with wonder and

at that likewise a kind of joyful ecstasy, something re- which had happened sembling his, at that miraculous event which had unto him. befallen him.

And

amazement

d Silver and gold I have none. ] This was By his mentioning gold as well as silver, after the estales toere sold, (chap. ii. 45,) (which a beggar like this could not expect and plainly shews, how far the apostles to receive) he probably meant to speak were from enriching themse'ves by the of himself as continuing still a poor man, treasures which passed through their and not merely to say, that he had no gold hands, as Mr. Reynolds well observes in about him. his Letters to a Deist, No. iii. p. 242.

с Kept

vi.

Acts

Reflections on the cure of the blind man.

529 11 And as the lame

And, upon this, while the lame man who was sect, man which was heal; thus wonderfully healed, full of the tenderest John, all the people sentiments of gratitude, still kept his hold of Peter ran together unto them and Johne, and walked on between them, some- 111. 11. in the porch, that is times taking them by the hand, and sometimes ly wondering. embracing them as his great benefactors and

the means of his deliverance; all the people in
the neighbouring parts, alarmed with so strange
a story, ran together to them in great amazement,
to the spacious and celebrated portico of the tem-
ple, which (for reasons elsewhere assigned) was
called Solomon's portico'. And Peter observing
the great concourse of people, and finding that
they were exceedingly affected with the miracle
which had been wrought, took that opportunity
of making a very instructive discourse to them,
which will be recorded in the ensuing section.

IMPROVEMENT.

IIappy are those souls, who are so formed for devotion, that Ver. the proper returning seasons of it, whether public or private, 1 are always welcome! Doubly delightful that friendship, which, like this of Peter and John, is endeared not only by taking sweet counsel together, but by going to the house of God in company! (Psal. Tv. 14.)

If we desire this devotion should be acceptable, let us endeavour not only to lay aside all the malignant passions, and to lift up holy hands without wrath ; (1 Tim. ii. 8.) but let us stretch out our hands in works of benevolence and kindness. To our piety let us 3, 4 add the most diffusive charity wbich our circumstances will permit; and there are none, whose circumstances will forbid every exercise of it. As for those that have neither silver and gold, such as 6 they have let them give.

These holy apostles, we see, had not enriched themselves by being intrusted with the distribution of those goods which were laid at their feet; but had approved themselves faithful stewards : The members of Christ were far dearer to then than any temporal interest of their own: and fatally, sure, would the church in all ages have been mistaken, if it had measured the worth of its pastors by their wealth. They bestowed nevertheless a much more 6

valuable

e Kept his hold of Peter and John.] Per- of building it was, may be seen in note b haps fearing his lameness should return, if on John x. 23. p. 88. To which we may add, he lost sight of them, as Beza and others that this is said to have been the only part have observed.

of the temple, which was not destroyed by f The portico called Solomon's.] The rea the Chaldeans. son why it was so called, and what a sort

530

Peter's discourse on this occasion to the people.

vi.

Ver.

SECT. valuable bounty: And if it be more desirable to heal men's bodies

than to enrich them, how much more advantageous is it to be the instrument of healing their souls? which, if it be ever accomplished, must surely be in the same name, even that of Jesus of Nazareth. May he strengthen the feeble powers of fallen nature, while we are attempting to raise men up; and may spiritual health 7 and vigour, when restored, be improved, like the cure wrought on 9 this lame man, in the service of God, and a thankful acknowledg8 ment of his goodness.

We are not to wonder, that, as the name of Jesus, their great deliverer, is incomparably precious to all that truly believe, such

have also some peculiarly tender friendships for the persons, by 11 whose means he has wrought this good work upon them. May

many such friendships be formed now, and be perfected in glory ; and, in the mean time, may the ministers of Christ be watching every opportunity of doing good, and especially when they see men under any lively impressions which tend towards religion ! May they have that holy mixture of zeal and prudence, which taught the apostles bow to speak a word in season ; a word which proved so remarkably good, and was owned by God in so singular a manner, for the conversion and salvation of multitudes that heard it!

SECT. VII.

Peter makes a most affectionate discourse to the people assembled in

the temple, on occasion of the cure of the lame man. Acts III. 12, to the end.

SECT. vii.

Acts

Acts III. 12.

Acts III. 12. THE miraculous cure of the lame man at the AND the laten Peter saw

Beautiful gate of the temple was presently to the people,

reported in the city, and occasioned (as we have 111. 12. seen before) a vast concourse of people, who

ran together to the temple, and gathered in
cronds about Peter and John, astonished at so
marvellous a cure, and eager to behold the per-
sons who had wrought it. And Peter seeing [this]
was ready to improve it as a proper opportu-
nity of renewing his address to them, upon that
important errand with which, as an apostle of
Jesus, he was charged; accordingly he answered
those of the people who were there assembler,
and were earnestly inquiring into the circum-
stances of the fact, in the following manner.

Ye men of Israel, why do ye wonder so at this -Ye men of Israel, which has now happened, when so much greater why marvel ye at this?

miracles

or

Acts

The cure of the lame man was wrought by faith in Christ.

531 or why look ye so ear. miracles have lately been performed among sent. nesily on us, as though

vii. by our own power or

you? or why do ye fix your eyes so earnestly on holiness we hd made us, with that astonishment which your looks this man to walk : express, as if it were by our own power, or by 111. 1%.

any peculiar piety and holiness of ours, that we 13 The God of had made this poor man able to walk? We 13 Abraham, and of Isaac; would by no means take the honour of this miof our fathers hath racle to ourselves, but would direct

your

views glorified his son Jesus ; unto the great original of all, even the God of whom ye delivered up; Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, whom we presence of Pilate, adore and reverence as the God of our fathersa; when he was deter- and would have you to consider what has now mined to let him go.

happened, as a signal proof that he hath glori-
fied his Son Jesus, and given all power into his
hands, even that Jesus whom you, kind as his
design and exemplary as his life was, ungrate-
fully delivered up to the Roman power as a cri-
minal, and treated with such vile contempt, as
that you openly renounced and refused to accept
of him in the presence of Pilate, when he was sa-

tisfied of his innocence, and determined to release 14 But ye denied the him. But you, I say, renounced the Holy and Just, and 'desired a Righteous One, declaring that you would not murderer to be grant- own him as your king, nor even be contented unto you: ed to admit of his discharge, when it was offer

ed by the Roman governor, and pressed upon
you ; and were so set against him, that with
outrageous clamour you desired rather that
Barrabbas, one of the most infamous of man-

kind, a robber and a murderer, might be grant15 And killed the ed and released unto you : And while you asked

15 Prince of life, whom for the deliverance of so vile a wretch, you God hath raised from inbumanly and insolently killed him who is the the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

great author and Prince of life, the only per-
son who had power to conduct you to it b;
Whom nevertheless God has ampli vindicated,
having raised him up from the dead; of which
we bis apostles are witnesses, upon a repeated
testimony of our own senses, in circumstances
in which it was impossible that they should be

deceived.

a The God of our fathers.] This was b Killed the Prince of life.] Even him, wisely introduced here in the beginning to whom the Father had given to have life of his discourse, that it might appear, in himself, (John v. 26.) and whom he they taught no new religion, inconsistent had appointed to conduct his followers to life with the Mosaic, and were far from hav- and glory. The contrast between their ing the least design to divert their regards killing such a person, and interceding for from the God of Israel.-For the force of the pardon of a murderer, a destroyer of life the word nomorode, wbich we have ren. has a peculiar energy. dered renounced, see Heins. Exercit. Sacr. p. 254, 255.

C And

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vii.

Acts

wot

that

532 Times of refreshment would come, if they repented. SECT. deceived. And God is still continuing to heap 16 And his name, new honours upon him, whom you have treated throgh faith in his

name, hath made this with so much infamy; for be it known unto you, man strong, whom ye 111. 16. it is by faith in his name that he hath strengthen- see and know : yea,

ed this poor man', whom you see here before the faith which is by you, and whom you know to have been unable this perfect soundness from his birtb to walk : Yea] I repeat it again, in the presence of you

all. as what highly concerns you all to know od regard, It is his name, and the faith which is centred in him, and which derives its efficacy from his power, that has given him this perfect strength and soundness, which he now manifests

before you all. 17

17 And now, breAnd now, brethren, while I am urging this

thren, 1
for your conviction, that I may lead you to re- through ignorance ye
pent of your great wickedness in crucifying so did it, as did also your

rulers.
excellent and so divine a person, I would not
aggravate the crime you have been guilty of be-
yond dne bounds, so as to drive you to despair;
as I know that it was through ignorance of his
true character that you did [it] as [did] also
your rulers “, by whom you were led on and
prompted to it : For surely, if the dignity and
greatness of his person, and his divine autho-
rity and mission had been known, both you and

they must have treated him in a very different
18 manner, (Compare i Cor. ii. 9.) But God 18 But those things

God before permitted this that you have done, and over had shewed by the ruled it for wise and gracious purposes ; and mouth of all his prohath thus fulfilled those things which he so plain- phets, that

should suffer, he hath ly bad foretold by the mouth of all his prophets in the various ages of the world': even that Christ should suffer, as an atoning sacrifice for the sins

of bis people. (Compare Acts xui. 27.) 19

See to it therefore, tbat it be your immediate 19 Repent ye there.. care to secure an interest in the benefits purcba- fore, and be converted, sed by his death : And to this purpose let us botted out, when the exhort you to repent of your iniquities, and times of

of refreshing with a sense of wbat you have done amiss to

sball come from the turn to God in the way of sincere and universal presence of the Lord. obedience, that so your sins may be blotted out,

and

which

Christ

so fulfilled.

c And by faith in his name he hath d Through ignoranee you did it, &c.] strengthened, &c.] The construction of the Probably, if it had not been se, they would original as it is commonly pointed, is so have been immediately destroyed, or reserexceedin.ly perplexed, that Heinsius's ved to vengeance without any offer of manner of pointing seems greatly to be pardon. Yet it is plain, their ignorance, preferred. He places a period after sepse being in itself highly criminal amidst such w56, referring that verb to o to in the means of information, did not excuse them preceding verse, and to ovOps% to edwxey from great guilt. in the latter clause of this,

e That

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