ONE day Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour, which was the hour of prayer. As they were coming in at that gate of the temple, called Beautiful, they were accosted by a lame man, who was brought and laid there every day, that he might receive gifts from the people who passed in and out through the gate. When he asked alms of these two disciples, they fixed their eyes steadily upon him, and Peter said, "Look on us." As the man looked up, expecting to receive something, 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." Then Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankles became strong. Leaping up, he stood, and walked with them into the temple, leaping, and praising God. As the people saw him, they knew that it was the same man who had been lame from his birth, and who had for so long a time sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple. As soon as the news of this astonishing miracle had spread among those who had come to the temple for worship, they gathered about the disciples, and the man who had been healed, greatly wondering at what had happened.

When Peter saw this, he said to the assembled 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?

The 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. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And 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 this man this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

"Repent 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; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom 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.

"For 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. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise

foretold of these days. Ye 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. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."

While the apostles were thus speaking to the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being much offended because they taught the people, and preached that through Jesus the dead were to be raised. So they laid hands upon the apostles, and put them in prison _until the next day. But this could not prevent the effect of their words; for about five thousand men, from what they there saw and heard, believed on Jesus as the Son of God, and the Saviour of mankind.











ON the next day after Peter's sermon, the rulers, and elders, and scribes came together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and all the kindred of the high priest. And when they had brought in the apostles, they said,

"By what power, or by what name, have ye 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 you whole. This is the stone, which was set at naught of you builders, 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, whereby we must be saved." Now when the chief priests, and those that were assembled with them, saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned men, they were astonished, and knew at once that they must have been with Jesus, and obtained wisdom from him.

They also saw the man which had been healed, standing by them, and could say nothing against it. So when they had commanded the apostles to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, and said, "What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straightly threaten_ them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name." So they called in the disciples, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said, "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." Now all the people were disposed to glorify God on account of the great miracle which had been done; and the priests and elders, ‘fearing the people,' dared not punish the apostles.  So after threatening them still more, they were obliged to let them go. As soon as Peter and John were let go, they went to their own company, where they told all that had been said to them by the chief priests and elders. When the other disciples heard what Peter and John said, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord, saying, "Lord, thou art God, who hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; who by the mouth of thy servant David " didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord, and against his anointed."

"For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus."

Then they all bowed in prayer, and the place where they 'were was miraculously shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and spoke the word of

God with boldness.’ And all the multitude of believers were so united that it is said of them that they were of one heart and one soul: no one of them claimed anything of his own; but all things were enjoyed by them in common. No one was allowed to want for anything; for those who owned lands or houses sold them, and brought the money to the apostles, in order that those who were needy might have their wants supplied. In the meantime, the apostles, by their words and miracles, gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and a great measure of the blessing and grace of God rested upon them all.











AMONG others who sold their possessions, and brought the money to the apostles, was a man named Ananias, who claimed to give all that he had received for his property, but really kept back a part of the price.  When this man brought his money to the apostles, Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine hear? Thou hast not lied unto man, but unto God."   When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead; and great fear came on all who heard these things. Some of the young men present wrapped up the dead man, and carried him out, and buried him.

About three hours later, Sapphira, the wife of Ananias, came in, not knowing what had been done.

Now she and her husband had planned this deception together; and when Peter said unto her, "Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yea, for so much." Then Peter said, "How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?   Behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out."

Then the woman fell down dead at the apostle's feet, and the young men, coming in, and finding her dead, carried her forth, and buried her by her husband.

When these wonderful things came to be known, the church, and all who heard of these things, were in great fear.

But the mighty works of the apostles did not stop here; they wrought many signs and wonders, and were held in great honor by the people. So great was the power of their words and their miracles, that multitudes, both men and women, believed on Jesus, and joined themselves to the company of disciples.

The faith of the people became so great that they brought forth their sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, believing that the shadow of Peter, falling upon them as he passed, would be sufficient to restore them to health. The fame of these miracles spread throughout the country, so that the sick and insane were brought from other cities to Jerusalem to be healed; and none were brought in vain.

The growing strength and success of the cause of Jesus so enraged the high priest and his friends that they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. This, however, was in vain; for the angel of the Lord came by night, and opened the prison, and brought them forth, saying, "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."


Obedient to this instruction, the apostles entered the temple early in the morning, and taught boldly.

Meanwhile the high priest and his associates called the council together and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have the apostles brought forth.  The officers who went on this errand, not finding those whom they sought, returned, saying,

"The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without, before the doors; but when we had opened, we found no man within."

When the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard this report, they were greatly perplexed, not knowing what would be the end of these things. While they were thus troubled in mind, one came to them, saying, "Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people." The captain and his officers were then sent to bring the apostles before the council, but dared not treat them roughly, for fear of being stoned by the people. When the high priest saw these fearless men before him, he said, "Did not we straightly command you that ye 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." Peter and the other apostles then made reply, saying, "We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew 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 Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."

When the priests and rulers heard these words, they were cut to the heart, and counseled with reference to taking the lives of the apostles. But one Gamaliel, a Pharisee, and a doctor of the law, a man highly esteemed by all the people, commanded that the apostles should be taken aside. Then he addressed the council, saying, "Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

For before these days, rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to naught.  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

This when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus; and then let them go. The apostles went forth from the council, rejoicing greatly that they were deemed worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."