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30 speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to

heal: and that figns and wonders may be done by 31 the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they

had prayed, the place was fhaken where they were affembled together, and they were all filled with

the holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God 32 with boldness. And the inultitude of them that be

lieved, were of one heart, and of one foul: neither said any of them, that ought of the things which he

poffeffed, was his own; but they had all things 33 common. And with great power gave the apostles

witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (e) : 34 and great grace was upon them all. Neither was

there any among them that lacked : for as many as

were possessors of lands or houses, fold them, and 35 brought the prices of the things that were fold, And

laid them down at the apostles' feet : and distribution

was made unto every man, according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Bar

nabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consola-37 tion) (f) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

Having land, fold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

(e) With the power of miracles they enforced their arguments in proof of the resurre&tion; and the grace of God was plentifully bestowed upon them ; which appeared in the most pereet unity of fentiment, and unbounded affection, and liberality to each other.

(f) He was probably so called, because of his readiness to sell his estate for the comfort and support of his fellow Christians.


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UT a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira

his wife, fold a poffeffion (a), And kept back part of the price, his wife alfo being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles'

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lye to the holy Ghost (b), and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was fold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou con

ceived this thing in thine heart ? thou hast not lied 5 unto men, but unto God (c). And Ananias hear

ing these words, fell down and gave up the ghost :

and great fear came on all them that heard these 6 things. And the young men arose, wound him up, 7 and carried him out, and buried him. And it was

about the space of three hours after, when his wife, 8 not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter

answered unto her, Tell me whether ye fold the land,

for so much. And she said, Yea,' for so much. 9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that


have greed together, to tempt the Spirit of the Lord (d)?

behold, the feet of them which have buried thy hus10 band are at the door, and ihall carry thee out. Then

fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her



(a) Pretending that he had thrown all that he received for it into the common fund, for the benefit of his fellow Chriftians.

(6) To endeavour to impose on us, to whom the holy Ghost hath given the power of discerning of fpirits, (1 Cor. xii. 10.) and deiecting the most secret evil intentions of the mind.

(c) Thou haft lied not only unto men, but likewise and especially unto God, the searcher of hearts, and the avenger of all wickedness.

(d) To make an experiment, as it were, whether the Holy Spirit could find out the frauda

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II husband. And great fear came upon all the church (e), and upon as many as heard these things.

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people ; (and they 13 were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And

of the rest (f) durst no man join himself to them : 14 but the people magnified them. And believers were

the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men 15 and women). Infomuch that they brought forth the

fick into the streets, and laid them on beds and

couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter pas16 fing by might overihadow some of them. There

came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing fick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits : and they were heal

ed every one. 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that

were with him (which is the feet of the Sadducees)(g), 18 and were filled with indignation, And laid their

hands on the apoftles, and put them in the common 19 prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened

the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people (h) 21 all the words of this life. And when they heard

that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest caine, and they that were with him, and called the council together,

(e) Upon every

christian, After this the hypocritical and prevaricating party, being terrified by the miraculous punishment of Ananias and Sapphira, was entirely broken; and the generality of the people were more and more fixed in their admiration and respect for the apostles, and more earnest in their zeal for christianity.

(g) This is a strong description of the corrupt state of the Jews, when the sect of the Sadducees had so great an influence in their councils.

(h) Preach boldly the doctrine of the resurrection, and the life everlasting ; notwithstanding the rage of the Sadducees, who denied both. See Matt. iii. 7. A&ts xxiii. 8.


and all the fenate of the children of Israel, and fent 22 to the prison to have them brought. But when the

officers came, and found them not in the prison, they 23 returned, and told, Saying, The prison truly found

we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing with

out before the doors : but when we had opened, we 24

found no man within. Now when the high priest, and the captain of the temple, and the chicf priests

heard these things (i), they doubted of them where25 unto this would grow. Then came one and told

them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in pri

son, are standing in the temple, and teaching the 26 people. Then went the captain with the officers,

and brought them without violence : (for they feared 27

the people, left they should have been stoned). And

when they had brought them, they set them before 28 the council: and the high priest asked them, Say

ing, Did not we straitly command you, that you should not teach in this name? and behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to

bring this man’s blood upon us.' 29

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and 30 faid, We ought to obey God rather than men. The

God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye flew, ži and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with

his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to

give repentance to Ifrael, and forgiveness of fins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is

also the holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them 33 that obey him. When they heard that, they were 34 cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. Then

stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, nained Gamaliel, a doctor of law, had in reputation among all

the people (k), and commanded to put the apostles (2) They were perplexed with amazemeni and doubts concerning these things, and debated among themselves what would be the consequence of them. (k) Gamaliel was St. Paul's tutor. Chap. xxii. 3.


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