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prayed to God always. He saw in a vision, evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him saying, unto him, Cornelius. When he looked on him he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside. He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Or, as Peter says, “Words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."

While these men were on their journey to Joppa, “Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour, and he became very hungry and would have eaten, but while they made ready he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, saying, Arise, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call thou not common. This was done thrice, and the vessel was received up again into heaven. While Peter thought on the vision the Spirit said to him, Behold three men seek thee. Arise, therefore, and get thee down, and go with them,


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a Acts xi. 14.

doubting nothing, for I have sent them.” After he went down and inquired the reason of their coming, they made known their mission by stating that “Cornelius, the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nations of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in and lodged them; and on the morrow Peter went forth with them and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. (Six brethren.) And on the morrow after they had entered into Cæsarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up saying, Stand up; I myself am a man. And as he talked with him he went in and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, We know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company with or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”b Cornelius now relates

" the marvelous manner in which he was led to call for Peter, and concludes by saying: “Now, therefore, we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. But in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.”c Peter here preaches Jesus to these Gen


h Acts x. 22–28.

a Acts x. 9-20.

c Acts x. 33-35..

tiles, giving the great events of His wonderful life from the baptism of John until His death on the cross, and

, His resurrection from the dead and appointment by God to be the “judge of the living and the dead," and concludes by saying: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter was yet speaking these words the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.” Peter in rehearsing this, says: “The Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the Word of the Lord how that he said, John indeed baptized in water but

ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit. If therefore God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I that I could withstand God ?”. Again, he says: “And God,

“ who knoweth the hearts, bears them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”b But we are informed that “those of the circumcision who believed” were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit, for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit, as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. · Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” C a Acts xi. 15-17 b Acts xv. 8, 9.

c Acts X. 45-48.


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Morality and Devotion not Sufficient. Obedience to Christ's Au

thority Required. Baptism of the Holy Spirit-the Gentile and the Jew.

HAVING quoted thus fully from the sacred narrative of this important case, we will now call attention to the leading features in the record. Cornelius was a Roman centurion, a captain of one hundred men, and was stationed at Cæsarea. He was a devout man and feared God with all his house. He was a benevolent and a praying man.

He seemed to be well acquainted with the Jewish religion and worshiped God according to its requirements and was “Of good report among all the nation of the Jews.”a The vision he saw was in daytime, at three o'clock in the afternoon. In this vision he saw an angel who directed him to send for Peter, saying, “He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do,” or, as Peter

puts it, “Shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” It will be observed that the angel did not preach the gospel to him, but told him that Peter would tell him words whereby he and all his house should be saved. Here again we find that salvation is couched in words. This is in harmony with

a Acts x. 22.

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"The things appointed” for Saul to do, and is what he afterward called “The word of faith which we preach," and is in accordance with the teaching of Christ when He said, the “Words that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day.” Here we learn the important lesson that there was something more required under Christ than devotion, benevolence, prayer, and good report—more than moral character. He had to be told words and obey words or submit to Christ's authority in order to be saved.

The next consideration is the vision of Peter which occurred at the sixth hour, or at midday. The great vessel seen by Peter, containing all manner of unclean animals, and birds and creeping things, and the voice commanding him to slay and eat such things as were considered unclean by the Jews, was understood by Peter to teach that he should not consider the Gentiles common or unclean. After this the Spirit directed Peter to go with the men sent by Cornelius,“ doubting nothing, for I have sent them.” We next observe that Peter, when he came to the house of Cornelius, unlike an impostor, refused to be worshiped, claiming to be only a man. It should always be borne in mind that there were considerable numbers present at the house of Cornelius, he having “called together his kinsmen and near friends." The discourse which Peter preached to them was a clear and strong presentation of the great facts connected with the life and mission of Christ.

But here we come to the most remarkable scene witnessed since the day of Pentecost, and in some respects

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