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money, if they would give him the power to give the Holy Ghost to others, which showed a proud, ungodly heart.
C. And what answer did they give him ?
M. Peter said to him, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God might be bought with money;" and he told him that his heart was not right, and that he had no part in that matter; but for all his believing and baptism, he was yet in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity, and bid him repent and pray, if, perhaps, he might be forgiven. And Simon being afraid of this threatening, entreated them to pray for him, lest it should fall upon him. And thus the great city Samaria joyfully received the christian faith.
C. What other miracles followed this?
M. When Philip had converted the Samaritans, an angel of God bid him go toward the South, for further work, which God had thus to do. There was a great man that was a treasurer to a queen of Ethiopia, who, being a proselyte, had been worshipping at Jerusalem, and going home, was reading in his chariot part of Isaiah liii., which is a prophecy of Christ's sufferings, but understood it not : and God bid Philip go to him and teach him. And the great man took Philip into his chariot, and Philip expounded it to him, and preached Christ to him, and he was converted, and baptized.
C. But what became of bloody Saul, that persecuted the Church
M. Oh! God made him the greatest example of his mercy that ever was heard of; while he raged against the church in his blind zeal, he was not content to drive them from Jerusalem, but he got letters from the high priest to pursue them to Damascus, the chief city of Syria, and to bring them bound to Jerusalem ; but as he journeyed and came near to Damascus, (a famous city in Syria,) suddenly, at midday, a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shone round about him; whereupon he fell to the earth, and he heard a voice (but they who were with him only heard the noise) saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Saul, trembling and astonished, said, “ Who art thou, Lord?” And, being informed that it was Jesus of Nazareth whom he was persecuting, by this same Jesus he was ordered to arise, and to go into the city, (Damascus,) where he should know more. He, lodging there, in the street called Straight, in the house of Judas, remained blind
three days, fasting and praying. Thither the Lord, in a vision, sent Ananias, a disciple at Damascus, who, having heard of Saul's fury, and errand to Damascus from the high priest, was loth to go, till better satisfied by the Lord concerning him. But when he understood that Christ had fixed on him to be a chosen vessel to himself for extraordinary service, he goes to Saul; and telling Saul what Christ told him, Saul is baptised by him, and recovers his sight : and, after some days' abode with the disciples at Damascus, he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he was the Son of God: and thenceforward he became the most eminent of Christ's servants and apostles, converting souls, edifying churches, and ordering things and persons to their greatest advantage: and his Lord all along owned and prospered him, till he at last sealed his doctrine with martyrdom.
But the course of his ministry, the substance of his doctrine, the dates and occasions of his epistles, with their main scope, sense, and force, his sufferings, with his wisdom and behaviour upon all accounts, as the New Testament informs us, require good time, and close thought.
END OF THE EIGHTEENTH VOLUME.
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