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3. Peter Heals Beggar

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2And 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 entered into the temple; 3Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6Then Peter 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. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10And 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 happened unto him. 11And 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.

12And 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? 13The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16And 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. 17And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

19Repent 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; 20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom 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. 22For 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. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 25Ye are the 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. 26Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

9. And all the people saw. He beginneth now to declare the fruit of the miracle, to wit, that the cripple began to show his thankfulness by praising God, and that all the people were brought into great wondering. And here is a double fruit. For he which was healed doth acknowledge and set forth the benefit of God; on the other side, the people is moved, and the fame is spread abroad, many come to see it. And whereas Luke saith that they were filled with wondering, it doth only declare a preparation, which a more full proceeding 172172     “Profectus,” progress, or profiting. (and going forward) did at length follow. For it was necessary that they should go forward, because this their wondering had served to no end of itself, but did rather make them astonied and amazed, than bring them (from their own proceedings) unto God.

Therefore it was, as it were, the foundation of the building which was to come, in that the people was touched with amazedness. For if we pass over the works of God contemptibly or carelessly, we shall never be able to profit by them. Furthermore, this place cloth teach us what miracles do work of themselves in men; to wit, that they breed a confused amazedness. For although the Lord doth call us straightway unto himself, by showing plainly his goodness and power there, yet such is the weakness of our nature, that we stumble or faint in the midway, until such time as we be holpen by doctrine.

Let us, therefore, learn reverently to consider the works of God, that the wondering at them may make an entrance for doctrine. For when doctrine is cold and unprofitable with us, God doth justly punish our unthankfulness by this means, because we have despised the glory of his works. Again, because we are not so quick of sight, that we can see so much in the works of God alone, as is sufficient, let us learn to join therewithal the help of doctrine. 173173     “Si volumus ad scopum pervenire,” if we would attain to the mark, omitted. To be brief, the one ought not to be separated from the other. Which thing experience doth sufficiently teach us. For hereby it came to pass that the world did so wickedly abuse miracles.

The Papists do object unto us miracles again and again. Let us suppose that they be true, whereof they make such boast, yet do they greatly err in this, that they wrest them to a wrong end; to wit, that they may darken the name of God, and infect the pure truth of the gospel with their inventions. For whence come so many superstitious worshippings of saints, save only from the abuse of miracles? For when any miracle is wrought, men must needs be moved. And because they are deaf when they should hear the Word, and do not mark what God cloth mean, Satan doth craftily take an occasion of superstition by our amazedness. 174174     “Ex nostro stupore,” from our stupor, or stupidity. As, for example, I will acknowledge the power of God in a miracle. If it were wrought by Peter, Satan will by and by put this in my head, and will say thus: 175175     “Suggeret mihi,” will suggest to me. Dost thou not see that this is a man of God? 176176     “Divinum hominem,” a divine man. therefore thou dost owe unto him divine honor. The same thing had befallen the Jews when they were amazed, unless Peter’s sermon had called them back into the right way. But in Popery, where none did call them back or reprove them, 177177     “Ubi nullus ecarguebat superstitionem,” where none condemned the superstition. the preposterous wondering of men did easily get the upper hand. Wherefore, we must so much the more 178178     “Magis sollicite,” the more anxiously. seek for medicine out of the Word, that doctrine may direct us unto the right end, being lifted up 179179     “Erectos,” when we are lifted up, or aroused by. with the miracles.


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