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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.

13, 14. The God of Abraham. He addeth a remedy now in calling them back unto Christ. And the sum is this, That this is God’s purpose in those miracles which he worketh by the apostles to set forth the glory of his Christ; whereupon it followeth that all those do deal disorderly who set up Peter, or any other, whatsoever he be, forasmuch as all men must decrease, and Christ alone must be excellent, (John 3:30.) Here appeareth a manifest difference between Christ and the apostles. First of all, he is the author, they are only the ministers; secondly, this is the lawful end, that he alone may have the glory; and as for them there is no respect to be had of them as concerning glory; for certainly they which do glorify any in miracles besides Christ, they set themselves flatly against the counsel of God.

He maketh mention of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the end he may declare unto the people that he meaneth nothing less than to lead them away from the old and ancient worship of the true God, which they had received of the fathers. Furthermore, God hath given himself this title, that he might (dissever and) distinguish himself by some mark from idols; for we do not comprehend God in his essence, which cannot be seen, and which is infinite; therefore, he useth such means as agree best with us, to bring us to the knowledge of him. The Turks do boast that they do worship God, which is the creator of heaven and earth; but before they come at heaven they vanish away. Therefore, to the end God might keep his people from vain and erroneous inventions, he kept them in his covenant; therefore, when he calleth himself the God of Abraham, he did briefly teach that which Moses declareth more at large, (Deuteronomy 30:12,)

“Say not, Who shall ascend into heaven? Who shall go down into the depth? Or who shall sail over the seas? The word is nigh,” etc.

Furthermore, as amongst the Jews the name of the holy fathers was in high estimation, so Peter doth closely 181181     “Tacite admonet,” tacitly reminds them. tell them, that they were no better than other men, without the only begotten Son of God. And at this day God will be known by a more evident mark yet, when as he calleth himself the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us now return unto Peter; he saith that he bringeth in no new religion, that. he may draw away the people from the law and the prophets; for if he should attempt this, God had forbidden them to hear him, (Deuteronomy 13:3.) Like as Paul teacheth, that we must retain one foundation in the spiritual building, (1 Corinthians 3:11,) because, so soon as we depart even but a little from Christ, there can nothing ensue but ruin. And hereby also we may easily discern in what sense he calleth God the God of the fathers; for neither doth he take this for a general maxim, that what manner of worship soever the fathers had, we must continue the same, as the Papists do foolishly vaunt that they do follow the manner of worshipping which was used amongst the fathers; for Peter doth expressly reckon up Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from whom true religion did proceed, and by whom it was divinely delivered; whereby he doth signify unto us, that we must not follow all fathers, whereof many did grow out of kind, and became altogether unlike to the first fathers; that this honor is due to the children of God alone, and that others are to be refused; which thing the prophets do also beat in 182182     “Inculcant,” inculcate. everywhere:

“Walk not in the ways of your fathers,” etc.,
(Ezekiel 20:18.)

Whom ye have delivered He mingleth with doctrine a most sharp chiding, according as the matter did require; for it was impossible to bring them truly unto God, unless they were first brought to the knowledge of their sins; neither doth he only lightly touch them, but he doth very gravely show them the horribleness of that offense which they had committed. To this end tendeth that comparison, that they delivered him to be put to death, whom Pilate would have loosed; and again, that, pardoning a murderer, they put the Prince of life to death; that they did reject the just and holy. Men must be so stricken, that being brought to know their guiltiness, they may earnestly fly unto the remedy of pardon. Such vehemence and earnestness did Peter also use in his first sermon; he saith afterward that God raised him up, whereby they ought to know that, in putting Christ to death, they did strive against God; although Peter had respect unto an higher thing, to wit, that their cruelty did no whit impair the glory of Christ, because God had nevertheless restored him to life. When as he saith, that he and his fellows in office were witnesses of the resurrection, his meaning is, that they saw it with their eyes, (Luke 24:48.) Therefore, this is referred not only unto the apostolical function, but because they saw Christ with their eyes after that he was risen from the dead; although I do also grant that this second thing is comprehended under these words, because it is likely that Peter doth make mention of that function which was committed unto him, to the end he may purchase the greater authority.


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