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18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

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18. And when Simon. Simon’s hypocrisy is now discovered, not because that he had feigned before that he believed; for when he was convicted he gave Christ his hand in earnest, like as many yield unto the gospel, lest they strive against God, but in the mean season they continue like to themselves; whereas the denial of ourselves ought to follow true faith. And this is to mix Christ with Satan, when doctrine pierceth not unto the hidden affections of the heart, but the inward uncleanness lieth hidden there. 518518     “Quasi sepulta,” as it were buried. Therefore God wipeth away that false color now in Simon, lest by professing the name of Christ he deceive both himself and others. For that ambition which was hidden before breaketh out now, when as he desireth to be equal with the apostles. This is now one vice; another is, because while he thinketh that the grace of God is to be sold, he will get some greedy gain thereby. 519519     “Vult eam ad lucrum prostituere,” he wishes to prostitute it to gain. Whereby it appeareth that he is a profane man, and such as had not tasted the first principles of godliness; for he is touched with no desire of God’s glory; yea, he doth not once think what it is to be a minister of God. As he had heretofore gotten gain by his magic, so he thought that it would be gainsome if he might give the graces of the Spirit. For undoubtedly he hunted after riches, and sought to purchase praise in the sight of the world; and he did God great injury also, because he thought that this heavenly power did nothing differ from his magical enchantments. Now we understand briefly what and how many ways Simon offended. In the gifts of the Spirit he doth not adore, neither acknowledge the power of Christ; he doth not confess that the apostles were endued with heavenly power, to set forth Christ’s glory by their ministry; his own ambition driveth and carrieth him headlong, so that he desireth to become excellent; and to make the world subject to himself, setting God apart, he will buy the Holy Ghost, as if he could be bought with money.




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