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ginning at Jerusalem *. Also the following prediction of the prophet Micah t.
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the moun. tain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountain, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall
say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
PETER AND JOHN SEIZED AND EXAMINED BY THE
From Acts, Chap. iv.
And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon
Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day ; for it was now even-tide. Howbeit
of them which heard the word beand the number of the men was about five thousand.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, * Sce Sect. Ivi.
† Micah, Chap. iv. o 2
and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name have
done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before
whole. This is the stone which is set at nought of you buil. ders, which is become the head of the corner.
Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men where. by we must be saved.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled, and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.
And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them, is ma• nifest to all them that dwell at Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
But, that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to Do man in this name.
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God, with one accord, and said, LORD, thou art God which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is :
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things ?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD, and against his CHRIST.
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Ilerod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together.
For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel de. termined before to be done.
And now, Lorn, behold their threatnings: and grant unto thy servants, that with boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thy hand to heal: and that signs
and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy. child Jesus.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul; neither said any of them, that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the LORD Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them that lacked : for
many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet; and dis. tribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The captain of the temple was the officer who commanded the Levites then in waiting. The Sadducees, as has been before observed, were a sect of the Jews who disbelieved the resurrection of the dead. The former acted, as we may suppose, by command of the Priests, who were greatly enraged that Peter should presume to. teach them in the name of Jesus, whom they had so lately condemned to death; and the latter were highly exasperated at the Apostles' doctrine, because it had a direct tendency to overthrow their principles.
Peter and John went up to the temple about three o'clock in the afternoon. As the text informs us it was
fate in the evening when they were seized, we may infer, that they had spent some hours in preaching, and that the discourse related in the last Section is only a part of what was delivered at that time; however, we may be sure every circumstance of it, necessary to be known, has been transmitted to us.
The severity exercised towards the Apostles neither intimidated them, nor prevented the efficacy of their doctrine, for many believers were added to the Christian church : so that the number of men only who resolved to adhere to it amounted to five thousand.
On the next day (we find) a solemn council was assembled. The Scribes, learned in the Law of Moses, who attended the council, came with a view of disputing with the Apostles, in hopes to confute them. Before this august assembly were Peter and John brought, and placed like criminals at the bar of justice, agreeably to our LORD's prediction, that his disciples should be delivered up to the council for his sake*.
The Apostles having received directions from their LORD, during his abode on earth, to yield their minds on such occasions entirely to the guidance of the Holy SPIRIT, and finding themselves filled with a divine energy, stood before this awful tribunal with the utmost composure; and when questioned by the Sanhedrim concerning the power by which they had made the lame man to walk, boldly and solemnly averred, that the cripple received the use of his limbs through the name of Jesus CHRIST of Nazareth ; that very JESUS, whom the council had lately condemned to be crucified as a criminal, but whose doctrine God had justified by raising him from the dead; and had proved him to be
* Sect. lvii.