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5Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter;

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5. Now send to Joppa. God dealt most favorably with Cornelius, in that he doth not command him to go himself, but to send messengers unto Peter, that he may stay quietly at home, and that Peter may endure the toil of the journey for his sake. But let us not wonder that Cornelius was so courteously handled, seeing that God thrusteth the ministers of his word daily upon the unwilling; so that he appeareth of his accord to those which do not seek him, as he saith by Isaiah, (Isaiah 65:1.) But why doth not the angel rather teach him? 665665     “Doctoris partes implet,” fulfill the office of teacher. For this seemeth an inconvenient 666666     “Parum rationi consentareum,” little accordant with reason. thing that he resigneth his office to a mortal man; for the oracle should have had greater authority than when the gospel is preached to him by a mortal man. As when Christ appeared to Paul by a vision, he set, notwithstanding, Ananias to teach him, that he might by such an example establish the ministry of the preaching of the gospel, which he committed to his Church; so now the angel giveth place to Peter, that he may execute the office committed unto him by Christ. Therefore, whosoever will be the disciple of Christ, and be illuminated by the (heavenly) light of the heavenly wisdom, let him not grudge to use attentiveness and docility toward the external voice of men, which Christ useth as an instrument, and whereunto he will have our faith annexed. And we see how sore God hath punished their furious pride, who, contemning preaching, have looked for 667667     “Captarunt,” have caught at, longed for. revelations from heaven. For since God will be heard in men, the ministers to whom he hath given his word 668668     “Apud quos verbum suum deposuit,” with whom he had deposited. cannot be contemned without contempt and reproach of him. Nevertheless, I confess that the spirits must be proved, (1 John 4:1,) that we hear not without choice whosoever do pretend that they are ministers of Christ. But because faith cometh by hearing, (Romans 10:17,) no man shall attain thereunto which shall refuse and despise the word when it is preached,




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