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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 en tered into the temple :
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, 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 Péter 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 happen. ed 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 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 Gon of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers hath glorified his Son JESUS; whom and denied him in the presence delivered ye up, of Pilate, when he was determined to let him
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 witnesses:
And his name, through faith in his name, 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 Gon before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that CHRIST should suffer, he hath 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 unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will
not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Ye are children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Unto you first, GOD having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is not certain at what time the circumstance mertioned in the beginning of this Section happened; but it is supposed to have been during the feast of Pentecost, or shortly after. Some miraculous works had been before performed by the hands of the Apostles, but this miracle of curing the lame man was the most public one, and therefore was particularly mentioned.
When Peter beheld this poor cripple, he felt a charitable desire to relieve him, and immediately knew, by a Divine impulse on his mind, that he should be the instrument of conveying to him a more valuable blessing than riches could purchase; and that the NAME of the LORD JESUS was to be glorified in his cure. No sooner had he pronounced this Sacred Name, than the miracle was effected; for the man believed as well as Peter, and it was unto them according to their faith. Thus was Isaiah's prediction * literally fulfilled; for the cripple, recovered from his lameness, in an ecstacy of joy,
See Section xxix. Vol. V.
leaped like a hart; and the people who beheld him were convinced there was no deception in the case, for the man was known to them as a real cripple. From Peter's address to the people we learn, that this miracle was intended to inforce the belief of his assertions, that. JESUS was glorified-that he was the SON OF GODthe true MESSIAH-the Prince of Life-and the great Prophet. Peter disclaimed all merit in the case. Hence we learn, that the Apostles, though (as we lately read) filled with the HOLY GHOST, were inferior to CHRIST; for the SPIRIT that rested on him was derived immediately from the FATHER, to them it was communicated by the SON: in him it was inherent, in them occasioned. He shewed forth the power of GoD, they shewed forth the power of CHRIST,
Having convinced those who heard him, that the Jews had actually crucified the MESSIAH, and that GOD had raised him again, the Apostles, to keep the people from despair, intimated, that even those who were concerned in so atrocious an act were not absolutely unpar donable, as it was possible they had been guilty through ignorance. This indeed did not entirely exculpate them, for it was in those who had such means of knowing the truth a great crime to be ignorant; but still it was some mitigation, as they would have been much more guilty had they been fully convinced of the dignity of our LORD's character before they crucified him; and in such a case they could not have hoped for pardon, but now they had encouragement to do so. Peter therefore earnestly exhorted them to repent, that they might have remission of sins, and escape destruction.
With these powerful arguments did Peter address himself to the Jews in the temple, having received commandment
mandment to preach the Gospel to them before he attempted to propagate it amongst the gentiles; that the memory of faithful Abraham, with whom God made the everlasting Covenant, might be honoured, by giving a preference to his faithful descendants.
From this discourse of Peter, we may infer the great advantages of being a Christian, and the absolute necessity of repentance. We also learn, that there will be a future state of retribution, when our LORD JESUS CHRIST will appear again. Then the sins of those who have been faithful will be blotted out, and everlasting refreshment and comfort bestowed on them for his sake.
Christians as well as Jews have much to repent of: even our sins of ignorance have a great degree of guilt; for while the sacred Scriptures are open to our exami nation, we may know the whole of our duty, and what our SAVIOUR is. May all who have ever undervalued our LORD, as the Jewish rulers did, by regarding him merely as a MAN, or neglected to gain information con*cerning him or his doctrine, repent without delay, and apply themselves with diligence to the study of his precepts and example! And let us all, from comparing the prophecies of the Old Testament with their completions in the New, learn "to adore the wisdom of God's providence, and the fidelity of his grace, which overruled the folly and wickedness of men, to subserve his own holy purposes, and to accomplish the promises long before made, by sending the MESSIAH to bring us salvation."
By preaching repentance and remission of sins, Peter partly fulfilled our LORD's words, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, beginning