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Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.


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44. And as Peter yet spake. God declareth now by a new miracle, that the doctrine of the gospel is common as well to the Gentiles as to the Jews. And this is an excellent seal of the calling of the Gentiles; because the Lord would never have vouchsafed to bestow upon the Gentiles the graces of his Spirit, unless it had been to declare that even they were adopted together into the society of the covenant. These gifts, mentioned by Luke, differ indeed from the grace of regeneration; and yet, undoubtedly, God did by this means seal both Peter’s doctrine, and also their faith and godliness which heard him. He saith that they were all endowed with the Spirit, like as we saw before, that they came all encouraged to learn and obey.

This visible sign representeth unto us, as it were in a table, what an effectual instrument of God’s power the preaching of the gospel is; for he poured out his Spirit as Peter spake, to the end he might show that he sendeth not teachers to that end, that they may beat the air with the vain sound of their voice, but that he may work mightily by their voice, and may quicken the same by the power of his Spirit, to the salvation of the godly. Thus doth Paul put the Galatians (Galatians 3:2.) in mind, that they received the Holy Ghost by the hearing of faith; and in another place he saith that he is the minister of the Spirit, and not of the letter, (2 Corinthians 3:6.) The gift of the tongues, and other such like things, are ceased long ago in the Church; but the spirit of understanding and of regeneration is of force, and shall always be of force, which the Lord coupleth with the external preaching of the gospel, that he may keep us in reverence of his word, and may prevent the deadly dotings, wherein brain-sick fellows enwrap themselves, whilst that, forsaking the word, they invent an erroneous and wandering spirit. But it doth not, nor shall not, always so fall out, that all those which hear the word with their outward ears, do or shall also receive the Spirit; and the ministers do seldom light upon such hearers as Peter had, who are willing, with one consent, to follow God. Yet he bringeth to pass that all the elect feel in themselves the consent of the external word, and of the secret power of the Spirit.




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