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curred between the facts and the declaration of the facts. The memory of what had been done was full and clear.

God, therefore, who, in former times, had given extraordinary powers to men whom he had chosen as instruments of his will, did thus interfere again, and enable the apostles, who were to "go forth into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," to speak with other tongues, to address every man in his own language, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.5

6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?

8. And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

5 Out of the different countries where Jews resided, who were now come to Jerusalem for the purpose of the festival.

11. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13. Others mocking, said, These men are full of new wine.6

14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:



15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;7

17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy :

19. And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath: blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke :

20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

6 New wine, prepared for the use of the festival.

7 Joel ii. 28-31.

Such had been the language of the prophet Joel, and such the divine promise, of which this was the first accomplishment. A time had been foretold, when a remarkable effusion of God's Spirit should take place: large beyond former experience, and general beyond man's expectation. In the last days, saith God,-in the last days of Jerusalem and of the Jewish nation- I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; upon the Jew first, as had been already fulfilled in the apostles, and afterwards upon the Gentile also; and they shall prophesy; they shall be employed to carry my word into the uttermost ends of the earth. Other signs and wonders shall follow: " signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." So the Lord himself describes, (Luke xxi. 25,) in terms like those of Joel, dangers and national calamities of which these figures are the emblem: dangers and calamities which should usher in that great and notable day of the Lord, when "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles," and suffer the punishment of obstinate disobedience, "because she had not known the time of her visitation."

Where, however, in the Bible, are we left without hope? Where is darkness to be found with

It shall

out light, or judgment without mercy? not here. Here, too, is grace offered. come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. "For in Mount Sion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said." So the original prophecy concludes. There was yet an opening of escape, an interval allowed for repentance and for pardon. "Return unto the Lord, for he will have mercy upon you; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

The apostle points to this in the remainder of his discourse; and thus practically displays the purpose of God, who "willeth not that any should perish, but rather that he should be converted and live."

Could a clearer proof of his merciful will be given than we find here? In the very place where Christ 66 by wicked hands was crucified and slain," redemption through his name is first proclaimed.

There seems, in truth, to be a perpetual contest between God and his creatures;-God as earnest for their salvation as they are indifferent concerning it. He constantly inviting, they as constantly refusing.

How much will this long-suffering on God's part, and this repugnance on the part of men, add

8 Joel ii. 32.

to the bitterness of their condemnation, if they be at last condemned! Because, though warned of danger, they refused to listen: though assured of acceptance, they refused to humble themselves: though acquainted with the means through which redemption is offered to every man, they refused to call on the name of the Lord that they might be saved. And yet, the greater the mercy, the greater the condemnation, if that mercy is despised.

May the God of all grace enlighten the eyes of our understanding, that we may know the riches of the glory of his inheritance, and experience the exceeding greatness of his power towards them that believe.9



ACTS ii. 22-36.

-A. D. 33.

22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain :

9 See Ephes. i. 19.

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