Acts 5:15

Comparing apostolic miracles with those wrought by our Lord, it should be noticed that he showed power over nature by stilling storms, walking on waters, multiplying food, and withering trees; but the apostles' power was limited to various forms of bodily danger and disease. In each case the miracles illustrated the higher work of those who wrought them. Christ's miracles illustrated his Divine claims and mission as the revelation to men of the Father. Apostolic miracles illustrated their mission to preach Christ to men as the Healer of the soul's disease, Redeemer from sin's penalties, and Savior from sin. The question is often discussed whether the power of miraculous healing has been lost to the Church. Claim to such power has been made in every age, with more or less confidence, and such claims are made now. Singular and interesting instances of bodily healing in response to faith and prayer are narrated by sober witnesses; and it may be admitted that there are certain classes of diseases which can be affected and relieved by the strong will and faith of a fellow-creature. But it is difficult for us to recognize the properly miraculous character of such cures. We may consider -

I. HEALINGS ALONE. God has provided in nature sufficient and efficient healing agents for all man's diseases, lie has given to some among men healing skill, to be used in the service of others. No nobler ministry is entrusted to men than that of healing. A vast and almost overwhelming mass of human suffering calls for the healer's art. Though some forms of bodily disease are beyond human cure, few, if any, are out of the reach of relieving agencies. Apostolic healings materially differed from those of the ordinary doctor.

1. They were immediate.

2. They were without the use of medicinal agencies.

3. They were complete, without peril of any return of the disease.

4. They were wrought by spiritual power - and that not the apostles' own, only operating through them - reaching the very springs of vitality and giving new life. How such healings illustrate the Divine work in sin-sick souls may be fully shown.

II. HEALINGS WITH TEACHINGS. This was the special feature of the apostolic ministry. The end was not reached when a suffering man was cured; that was but the means to a further and higher end, even that soul-healing which comes by the reception of Christ the Savior, whom apostles taught. Illustrate how medical missions are made the agency for winning the attention of the heathen to the gospel message. Point out what are the particular points of spiritual teaching which gain effective illustration from bodily healings; e.g.:

1. The assertion of a necessary relation between sin and suffering. Suffering is no accident, no mere calamity; it is the divinely appointed fruitage and consequence of sin. It is designed to fix the character of sin, to give men conviction through feeling, vision, and sympathy, of the evil of sin. When more clearly understood, suffering is seen to be the corrective agency through which man may be delivered from sin.

2. The assertion of the Divine relation to suffering. God does not pass aside of the diseased or disabled; every day he is working gracious works in sick-rooms and hospitals. Of this his constant work Jesus gave full illustrations in his miracles, when he came to "show us the Father;" and of this apostles renewed the assurance when they healed, in Christ's Name, all the sick and suffering ones that were brought unto them.

3. The consequent assertion of the Divine relation to sin. God would not concern himself with the mere effects; we may be quite sure that he deals with the cause. The great Physician is concerned about our sin. lie would not that any of us should perish in our sins. And, therefore, when the apostles healed a sufferer they preached unto him Jesus, who is precisely this, "God saving men from their sins." - R.T.

Inasmuch that they brought forth the sick.., that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow them.
The miracles of Christ and His apostles were mainly miracles of healing — a fact to be well noted. The power to work these has been withdrawn; but the same object is still accomplished by the prayerful use of natural means. Still the heart of the believer is alive to the tender offices of compassion; still, in the shadow of the Christian, the sorrows of the unfortunate obtain relief. Charity may be not unaptly denominated the Christian's shadow. A shadow is the reflection of a substance: charity is a habit of conduct, reflected from a Christian disposition. A shadow represents, in some degree, the form and aspect of the substance; charity pourtrays, in outline, the figure of the child of God. A shadow moves with the substance it represents, attends and imitates it in every step and posture: charity accommodates itself, in equal vigour, to every change of capacity and circumstance; — in prosperity, is liberal; in adversity, considerate; humble in joy, cheerful in affliction. But a shadow can only be reflected by a stronger light than that in which the substance stands or moves. And what is that light?

I. Shall we find that ray WITHIN? In the tenderness and fervency of our own affections? Many are the deeds of kindness prompted by instinctive feeling: but are not deeds of very different hue as often prompted by the same emotions? Are not "evil thoughts, adulteries," etc., things which "defile a man," the offspring also of the heart? And shall we think to derive our light from such a source? Shall we follow, in security, a guide so blind and treacherous? Nay, we are assured that "the heart," with all its flexibility of control, "is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." So far from directing our judgment, it must itself be brought perpetually to justice; instead of holding "a light unto our path," it ever needs "a lantern to its own."

II. Shall we look AROUND us for that ray? And shall we find it in the selfishness and ambition of the world, the blandishments of man's admiration? It has become a practice somewhat too prevalent to urge the contributions of the wealthy, without regard to rectitude of principle or motive, on the pretext that, so long as charitable institutions are upheld, no matter with what design of their supporters, the object of such application is substantially realised. But there is a case of the giver to be taken into consideration; and the effect on his mind is decidedly injurious. He is taught to repose a merit upon actions which, under existing circumstances, assume a character entirely the reverse of meritorious. He is taught to attach an undue value to wealth, as a vital source, and not an accidental garb, of beneficence: to allow to charity its plenary importance in the rank of virtues, but to limit the scope of charity to the bare performance of alms-giving. And lastly, he is taught to look to man, and not to God, for his reward. Why else are we reminded of the generosity of those who have thought to make their peace with heaven fur the defects of an unprofitable life by bequeathing their possessions to the poor, when the near approach of death withdraws the further prospect of gratifications which have constituted the chief endearment of their lives? The poor enjoy their pittance, it is true; but at whose and at what expense? to those who give, the probability of that mortifying reproof hereafter, "Who hath required this at thy hand?" To those who urged the gift, the sure and certain recompense of the ceremonious Pharisee, who preached sacrifice and not mercy, and put other burdens on the souls of men than the covenant of their Lord and Master.

III. If we find it neither within us, nor around us, it remains only that we lift our eyes ABOVE US, even to that "Sun of Righteousness," who rose, the offering for our redemption, and the example of our duty, with "healing in His wings." "From Him have we this commandment, that he who loveth God, should love his brother also." "The love of Christ constraineth us." It is only under the influence of this prevailing motive that our principles and habits can be warmed into a generous concern for the whole household of Christ; it is only under the brightness of His presence that the Christian's shadow can be reflected. The frame of mind required for such an exercise of benevolence is the repose inspired by a firm and humble trust in the providence of the Almighty, and the efficacy of His Son's atonement; a calm and holy peace, which leaves the mind at liberty to toil, for righteousness' sake, amid the sneers and censures of the ungodly, and, like the pattern of its daily practice, to "go about doing good." And what other influence can be named, capable of producing this blessedness of tone and spirit, but the constraint of the love of God? Will you say that inducements, at least of equal weight, are given us, in the dread of future punishment. But fear is, after all, but a flickering and inconstant meteor, totally incapable of reflecting that steady shadow we are now employed in contemplating. Think not I would deny the efficacy of an arrangement which converts even the fears and apprehensions of the sinner into occasions and instruments of good, and thus not seldom penetrates his soul through the only avenue unchoked by the brambles of worldly-windedness. I merely argue that the sensations of fear and terror are incompetent of themselves to generate that steadiness of principle and habit, that abandonment of selfish and carnal interests, that devotion of the heart and life to the will and purposes of the Creator, which manifests itself in a regard and concern for all the creatures of His hands. I say that an intermediate process must take place; that the inner man must be purified as well as roused; must first learn to love God, and then, and not till then, will love his brother also. There is not a star that twinkles in the firmament on high but has its appointed sphere of service and occupation: but from the sun alone we behold our fair proportions represented. There is not a motive, a feeling, in the constitution of a human being but may be made conducive, by God's blessing, towards the great end of his probation; but it is only beneath the love of God that the Christian's shadow lies unfolded.

(P. Hall, M. A.)

We all cast shadows, i.e., exert unconscious influences. Some men are always, without seeming effort or thought, making other people happy. But there are others whose presence depresses and saddens us. This is so in the secular sphere; but our unconscious influence spreads into wider areas. God works out His grandest purposes by undemonstrative agents. The earthquake and lightning are as nothing compared with attraction and heat. And so with human influences.

1. Because our voluntary efforts are only occasional and interrupted, while our unconscious energy is everywhere operative and constant.

2. Our constant and silent energy is most expressive of our real character. Consider a few practical applications.


II. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. We may think to evade this on the ground that the evil we do is unintentional. But apply this to physical evil; to the case of Solomon's lunatic who said, "I am in sport"; or to the man who, exerting no positive influence, lets a blind man fall over a precipice. Just to do nothing is to do terrible evil; but in such a world no man can do nothing. Our whole mortal life is embodied force.

III. DEATH DOES NOT DESTROY THIS UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. The Greeks used to term the disembodied spirit a shadow, an invisible presence, haunting the scenes of its former life, and though not in this sense yet, as abiding influences, the dead are still with us. On the one hand, Lord Byron, Bonaparte, Voltaire, etc., yet stalk the earth and gibber their influence; on the other, Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Chalmers, still live. This truth is a warning to all workers of iniquity, but an encouragement to every true child of God.

(C. Wadsworth, D. D.)

Our text shows —

I. THE POWER THERE MAY BE IN COMPARATIVE TRIFLES. As a metaphor few figures are more frequently used in the Scriptures than that of the "shadow." Sometimes it is suggestive of blessing, as "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land," or "the shadow of the Almighty"; sometimes the opposite, as "the shadow of death." A shadow! What is more insignificant? Intangible and unsubstantial, is it not the veriest trifle? Yet how solemnly impressive it is.

1. The most irresistible forces of the world in nature are those that we can neither see nor hear. The earthquake's tread makes us tremble, and so does the roar of the hurricane. How appalling the thunder and lightning; but how far inferior are they in either benign or blasting influence to the quieter, subtler force of electricity, gravitation, heat, or light.

2. In science and civilisation the quieter forces have counted most. The grandest discoveries have usually emerged from some by-way of accident. The most thrilling pages of history are but chronicles of events that have nearly all turned on the pivot of some trivial circumstance. Mohammedanism was the product of a spider's web woven behind the fleeing prophet and deceiving his pursuers. The battle of Waterloo was suspended upon the co-operation of Blucher, whose life escaped the enemy's sword by the simple circumstance of wearing the cap of a common soldier, and for the reason that the clasp of his own helmet had broken.

3. Just so it is in religion. Are we not astonished often to find that the little things we say and do tell more radically and widely than some of our most demonstrative actions? Then, too, the very constancy of those trifles tells. Repeated blows of a little hammer may be more effective than the single downfall of the ponderous sledge. The clock strikes at intervals, the ticking is momentary; we hear the one, we do not notice the other; yet the hour stroke comes not if the ticking fails.

II. AS NO SHADOW CAN BE CAST WITHOUT LIGHT, OUR TEXT ILLUSTRATES THE ESSENTIAL PLACE CHRIST HOLDS IN ALL TRUE RELIGION, IN THE WORLD AND IN THE SOUL. If the sun be clouded, or the atmosphere hazy, no distinct shadows can be east. The sun must shine out to make shadows. So the distinctness of shadows of grace indicate the strong or feeble shining of the "Sun of Righteousness."

1. Nationalities like Italy and Russia and South America tell us of "the cloudy and dark day." England and America, on the other hand, bourgeoned with beauty, tell of the sun shining warmly and clearly from a gospel sky.

2. As in the world, so in the soul. Saul of Tarsus, "breathing out threatenings and slaughter," stands in striking contrast with Paul, the singing pilgrim in the dungeon of Philippi, and the same man near martyrdom exclaiming, "I am now ready to be offered up," etc. Whence came the difference? Ah! Christ commenced shining upon him near that Damascene gate, and the light grew brighter and sweeter and clearer every day, so that he shouted, "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Peter and James and John exclaimed on a glory-lit summit, "It is good to be here!" because "Jesus in the midst" was the centre of the glory. Shadows of noble action and happy feeling can come from those only who are wont to bask in the light of "One above the brightness of the sun."

III. EVERY ONE EXERTS AN INFLUENCE, QUIET BUT REAL, UNCONSCIOUS BUT A FACT. Every one casts a shadow. The ghost of Banquo no more persistently refuses to "down at the bidding" of Macbeth than the ghostly shadow of the person or thing on which the sun is falling refuses to disappear. A man may simply stand still in a thoroughfare, he will soon find all eyes upon him, and all excitement about him. Every act, word, look, attitude, is a moral dynamic upon those around us. They are forces with which we are building or destroying. A whisper has often been clothed with the attribute of thunder. Unconsciousness of it is no argument against the fact. Peter was not thinking of the shadow he threw; much less how eagerly the sick sought it. So lasting is the influence that it lingers behind when the living have passed away. "He being dead yet speaketh." "No man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." How startling the warning to the worker of wickedness, while the good may take its lessons of perpetual encouragement. "The evil that men do," and the good, too, "lives after them." This is true of great lives; it is equally true of the humblest. The intoning of Niagara can be heard farther away, but the rippling of the rill is just as real and sweeter. Mont Blanc witnesses to Divine power, but not more effectually than the violet tells us of the Divine skill and goodness by its beauty and fragrance. The eagle may soar higher, but the little canary has a sweeter song. As I mark the trivial act of the poor widow dropping her two mites, unconscious that any eye was watching, and then remember what a sermon that lowly act has been preaching to the world from that day to this; then am I ready to express the deep conviction that a shadow of influence beyond conception clings to the most obscure person; and often the humblest act. How this fact shows the dignity and importance of human life, and with what tremendous responsibility it invests it!

IV. THE SOMBRE AND EMPTY CHARACTER OF SOME KINDS OF RELIGION; only a shadow. The shadow is dark and intangible; alas if our religion be "only that and nothing more"! Pity that any should get but a gloomy, and so a false, impression of religion from the representation we give them. It has been said that "every one lives for a funeral"; but can we not wait for the funeral till life is over? Must we see it every day? "We meet such people," says a writer, "every day, and they have always some new distress for us. Their sweetest smile is suggestive of the neuralgia, and their most cordial greeting depresses like an east wind. They go home at night like an undertaker to a funeral, and children cease singing, and wives refrain from smiles. They go abroad in the morning like a Scotch mist from the Highlands, to drizzle discontent in the street and market-place. They enter the house of God to render its songs of praise requiems, and its oil of joy ice water; and their religious light shines before men as heaven's sunshine through stained glass, and the priest at the shrine looks like a variegated ghost, and the reverend worshippers like brindled hobgoblins. A croaking raven is the device on their shields — a coffin with cross-bones the blazon on their banner." Surely such a religious spirit and demeanour argue a wrong idea altogether of God and of truth. Peevish, morose, severe, fault-finding and censorious Christians are guilty, though they may not mean it, of dishonouring their Lord arid defaming the Church by the cheat of a shadow. True religion is sweet as the light, joyous as childhood, and benevolent as love. So the Scriptures represent it, and true hearts have ever felt it.

V. THE REAL BENEVOLENCE AND CHEER THERE IS, OR OUGHT TO BE, IN GENUINE RELIGION. Peter's shadow was eagerly sought by the sick ones or their friends, not because it was a shadow, but because to them it was the symbol of healing and cheer. So on whatever threshold the shadow of a Christian falls, in whatever company he moves, his coming should start a smile of pleasure; a manifest benison should beam in his face. "Good-will to men" was the cradle song over the Saviour, and it should be perpetuated as an echo in the life of every child of God. Heaven, as represented to us, is all joy, and earth should resemble heaven as far as sin and suffering will allow, by the prevalence of an atmosphere of cheerfulness over it. There are those whose presence is like the ripple of water by the wayside, or the shadow of groves on a hot day like an oasis in a vast sandy desert, or the singing of the nightingale in the darkness.

(J. M. McNulty, D. D.)

Who ever heard of the shadow of a person acting the part of a physician? They had no right to suppose that any good would come of such an extraordinary plan, And they had certainly no right to make Peter cure their friends in their own way, by a device of their own, without consulting him first as to whether it would be agreeable or not. Now the remarkable thing is, though these people were thus ignorant and superstitious, neither God nor Peter found fault with them. They used Peter's shadow as a charm, and God made it to them what they wished it to be. Now, why was this? Because of the simplicity of their belief. And does not God often throw His power into the means which we ourselves devise, if we have only childlike faith? Little children come to church with their parents, and they are not always able to understand the meaning of the service. But their attendance is not useless on that account. If they place themselves in their simple faith under the shadow of God's house, the blessing will assuredly not be wanting. It is not an intellectual knowledge of deep mysteries that God values, but a simple faith in Himself. The shadow of a tree or rock is a very delightful and refreshing thing on a burning summer day. It cools the heated frame, and imparts vigour and strength to the languid body. And if an inanimate thing can do so much good by its shadow, you would expect that the shadow of a human being would be more effectual still. I do not know that the shadow of our bodies would help much to keep off the too hot sun from a friend, but most certainly the shadow or influence of a good character can help others a great deal. We read in the fairy tale of a Peter Schlemihl, the man without a shadow, who frightened everybody else, and was miserable himself. But in real life there is no such thing as a person without a shadow. We have all a shadow to our natures as we have a shadow to our bodies. They say that it was from the shadow thrown by the figure of a girl on a wall, on a sunny day, that the art of drawing a picture was first found out. And so from the shadows which people cast as they pass by on the way of life, we can draw their portraits in our own mind; and these portraits are wonderfully like — much more true to life than the old silhouettes that used to be cut out of black paper. "If people's tempers should cast shadows, what would they be?" said a little boy once, as he walked beside a companion, and saw his shadow on the road. "John's shadow would be a fist doubled up, for he is always quarrelling; and Andrew's would be that of a dove, for he is always amiable and pleasant; and Jane's would be that of a letter X, for she is as cross as two sticks; and my own shadow, what would it be?" He stopped short. He was afraid of what kind of shadow his own temper would cast. Now supposing you follow out the little boy's idea, and believe what is actually true, that you are throwing off impressions of what you really are all around you, and in fact can no more help doing so than you can prevent your bodies from casting real shadows on the road as you walk along; and each of you should ask himself or herself, What kind of shadow is my temper casting? It might perhaps surprise you to see yourselves as others see you.

(H. Macmillan, LL. D.)

This record is the indication of a belief that stirred some human souls in old times, and ought to stir them still — a belief that there is something in a shadow cast from one over another, of a deep and potent power; a deed done sometimes the hand has no part in; a word said the tongue never utters; a virtue going out of me, or a vice, apart from my determination; a shadow of my spirit and life cast for good or evil, as certain and inseparable as my shadow on the wall. For instance, there is some mysterious force by which men, the first time we meet them, cast a shadow of light or darkness we cannot account for, and cannot overcome. What these subtle influences are no man has ever told us.

"I do not like thee, Dr. Fell;

The reason why I cannot tell;

But — I do not like thee, Dr. Fell,"is the inner and instinctive verdict we pass on some men; probably, also, that some men pass on us. Their shadows hurt us: our shadows hurt them. Foremost of all shadows is the shadow of the home; where, four times in a century, God makes a new earth, and out of which he peoples a new heaven. I have sat bareheaded in the noblest Gothic cathedral on the earth. And for years I sat, in my youth, in a simple country church, joining in the old liturgies that, in one form or another, had been said or sung ever since the Saxon embraced the Christian faith. And once, I remember, I rose in the grey light, and stood alone by Niagara, while the sound of its mighty thunder rose up fresh and pure, unbroken as yet and undefiled by the clamour of those many changers who deserve a whip of not very small cords for profaning that place in which, of all places, the soul longs to be alone with her God. These were sacred places. But the holiest of all, the place whose shadow stretches over forty-five hundred miles of earth and sea, and forty years of time, and is still a shadow of healing, is a little place built of gray stone. There, bending over the picture in the great Bible, or listening to psalm or song or story, the child lived in the shadow of that home; and it became to him as the very gate of heaven, so dear and good, that no great cathedral, no grand scene in nature, no place for worship anywhere, can be what that grey-stone cottage was. I wonder whether we have any deep consciousness of the shadows we are weaving about our children in the home; whether we ever ask ourselves if, in the far future, when we are dead and gone, the shadow our home casts now will stretch over them for bane or blessing. It is possible we are full of anxiety to do our best, and to make our homes sacred to the children. We want them to come up right, to turn out good men and women, to be an honour and praise to the home out of which they sprang. But this is the pity and the danger, that while we may not come short in any real duty of father and mother, we may yet cast no healing and sacramental shadow over the child. I look back with wonder on that old time, and ask myself how it is that most of the things I suppose my father and mother built on especially to mould me to a right manhood are forgotten and lost out of my life. But the tender, unspoken love; the sacrifices made, and never thought of, it was so natural to make them; ten thousand little things, so simple as to attract no notice, and yet so sublime as I look back at them — they fill my heart still and always with tenderness when I remember them, and my eyes with tears. All these things, and all that belong to them, still come over me, and cast the shadow that forty years, many of them lived in a new world, cannot destroy. To make this question clear, if we can, let me open to you a glimpse of some shadows that are being cast in some homes every day, not over children alone, but over men and women also.

1. Here is a man who has been down town all day, in the full tide of care, that from morning till night floods the markets, offices, and streets of all our great cities. Tired, nervous, irritable, possibly a little disheartened, he starts for his home. If it is winter, when he enters there is a bit of bright fire, that makes a bad temper seem like a sin in the contrast; a noise of children that is not dissonant; and an evident care for his comfort, telling, plainer than any words, how constantly he has been in the mind of the house-mother, while breasting the stress and strife of the day; while a low, sweet voice, that excellent thing in woman, greets him with words that ripple over the fevered spirit like cool water. And the man who can nurse a bad temper after that deserves to smart for it. There is no place on the earth, into which a man can go with such perfect assurance that he will feel the shadow of healing, as into such a home as that. It is the very gate of heaven.

2. But I will open another door. Here is a home into which the man goes with the same burden on him. When he enters querulous questions meet him as to whether he has forgotten what he ought never to have been required to remember. Plaintive bewailings are made to him of the sad seventy-seventh disobedience of the children, or the radical depravity of the servants; and a whole platoon-fire of little things is shot at him, so sharp and ill-timed, that they touch the nerve like so many small needles. It is in such things as these that the shadows are cast, that hurt, but never heal: that drive thousands of men out of their homes into any place that will offer a prospect of comfort and peace, even for an hour.

3. But let me not be unfair. The evil shadow may just as certainly come from the man. Here is another man in the mood I have tried to touch. All day long he has fretted at the bit; but society has held him in. He goes home too, but it is to spume out his temper. The very sound of his foot casts a shadow that can hurt, but can never heal. If his wife is silent, he calls her sulky: if she speaks, he snaps her. If his children tome to him with innocent teasings he would give a year of his life some day to bring back again, they are pushed aside, or sent out of the room, or even — God forgive him — are smitten. He eats a moody dinner: takes a cigar; bitter, I hope, and serves him right; takes a book, too — not Charles Lamb or Charles Dickens, I warrant you — and, in one evening, that man has cast a shadow he may pray, some day, in a great agony, may be removed, and not be heard.

4. Then again, what shadows of healing fall, in their turn, from the children! No affliction that can ever come through children ever equals that which comes with their utter absence; while the heaviest affliction to most, the death of the little one, often casts a shadow of healing that could come in no other way. I went one day to see a poor German woman, whose children had all been down with scarlet fever. Four were getting well again; one was dead. And it was very touching to see how the shadow of that dead child had come over the mother, and sent its blessing of healing through all the springs of her life. "These are beautiful children," I said. — "Oh, yes! but I should have seen the one that died." While he was with her, he was like the rest. But now, when he was gone, he cast the shadow. The little shroud was turned into a white robe, that glistened and shone in the sun of Paradise, so that she was blinded; the broken prattle had filled out into an angel-song; the face shone as the face of an angel; and, all unknown to herself, God had laid her where the shadow of the little one up in heaven could touch her with its healing. And no shadow is so full of healing as that shadow of the child that is always a child in heaven. The most gentle and patient will sometimes feel a touch of irritation at the waywardness of the one that is with us; but no father or mother in this world ever did bring back any sense of such a feeling toward the one Chat is gone. The shadow of healing destroys it for ever.

(R. Collyer, D. D.)

All things are engaged in writing their history. "The plant, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain; the river, its channel in the soil; the animal, its bones in the stratum; the fern and leaf, their model epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of man inscribes itself on the memory of his fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens; the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered with hints which speak to the intelligent.

Here was the apostle who had gone forth purposed to heal men; and one by one as they were brought up he commanded them to stand; and they stood whole. Thus he exerted a conscious and voluntary power. But as he passed along the streets, his shadow fell upon many, and they sprang up behind him, he knowing little or nothing of it; so that his shadow or unconscious influence, also, was working at the same time. Now, all of us have both kinds of influence or power — that which we understand and mean, and that "which falls like a shadow, the existence of which we do not understand or recognise.

I. Unconscious influence in A BAD SPHERE. Men may act unconsciously in the production of trouble, far more than they themselves suspect; for their unconscious influence works according to the quality of that which is in them. When men pursue voluntary courses, they often hide the reality, and put forth that which is not real but simulated. Thus, perhaps, one makes himself friendly to a person whom he does not like, for purposes of business. Sometimes men suppress anger because good-nature will carry their purposes better. So that a man's overt and open conduct may not be in the line of nature. But there is an influence derived from that which you actually are.

1. A proud man may carry himself intentionally in such a way that every one he meets is made to feel his inferiority. But a man may tarry himself in such a way that without the slightest intention he shall insult his fellow-men, and make a perpetual aggression upon them. Your pride does not always exert itself according to your will. It has a magnetism of its own. A man may carry in his hand, if he please, a mignonette, and he may carry it because it is sweet. He may also put fetid odours in his clothes. He may hide them, not wishing that others shall know that they are there. But they will make themselves known, whether he wants them to or not. So a man may carry himself in the strong qualities of his nature, wishing well; but if those qualities are harmful in their tendency he will produce mischief in spite of his good intentions.

2. A man's selfishness may act as good conductors of heat do. If you put your hand upon wood it seems relatively warm; and if you put it on iron it seems excessively cold. They are of the same temperature, as measured by the thermometer, only the iron, being a good conductor, has the power of drawing heat rapidly from your hand, while the wood, being a poor conductor, draws it but sparingly. So it is with men. Some men exhaust you, they suck you dry, and you know not what is the matter. A man may have a nature such that when you are in his presence you are perpetually conscious that your sympathy is drawn upon and exhausted. He is a good conductor. His effect upon you is to chill you. And he does not intend any harm. Unconscious selfishness always works in that way. A man may be consciously selfish and not half so offensive as a man whose selfishness is never positively aggressive, but who carries an inward nature that all the while and everywhere draws upon men, making the whole room and house uncomfortable.

3. So combativeness may take on forms which will detract from the happiness of every one. The more obvious forms, bad as they are, probably, if measured by the mischief which they work, would not be found to produce one-half the discomfort of society which arises from the latent forms — what we call ill-nature. It hovers in the air. It is in silence as much as in the short, sharp reply. So men oftentimes fill the circles in which they live with malign influences. They poison the air with suspicion, with envy, with jealousy. A look, a hint, a shrug, may convey the wretched insinuation; or the unconscious atmosphere of jealousy make itself felt.

4. I may mention, also. the unconscious wrong which sorrow commits upon those who are about it. Sorrow is not a thing to be controlled altogether; and yet we must exhort men to beware of the extremely selfish tendencies and qualities of sorrow. You have a right, as far as you can, to lean on sympathising friends, and so relieve your sorrow: and men should help the sorrowful; but, after all. one has no right to distribute his sorrow. This is true, too, in the matter of ill-health. Invalids are privileged persons; but they should not privilege themselves. Because one is sick he has no right to set aside all laws of love, and disinterestedness, and honour.

5. Men's good qualities even may act unfavourably upon other men. For example, a man may be perfectly upright, and yet carry his conscience in such a way that it is perpetually condemning men. There is a kind of arrogance of goodness. Deliver me from a person who never does wrong — and knows it; from one whose tongue never makes any mistakes — and keeps account of that fact. If there be anything that is provoking to a poor sinner — and most of us are poor sinners — it is one of these perfect people who move about without much temptation — a perpetual rebuke to us all the time — a kind of stinging censure to our infelicities and inferiorities.

II. Unconscious influence IN A GOOD SPHERE. If the predominant faculties are sweet and gracious, then you will carry with you a sweet and gracious atmosphere, so that while you are doing good on purpose, you will be doing more good without purpose. There be men whom we might almost wish to have walk up and down in the street, in order to shed abroad their disposition — unconscious to themselves. There is goodness that means to be good; and there is a great deal of goodness which is better, that comes out from the eye, from the lips, or from the pores — I had almost said from the skin — and that is not conscious of being good. And when one dwells in such a royal bounty of kindness and goodness in himself that his very shadow, falling on men, makes them happy, that unconscious kindness and goodness is wealth indeed. When the train is stopped, the engineer springs from the locomotive and oils the machinery at every point, so that the oil runs in at all the joints. We look at him and at the engine, and admire them. But we never say a word to the oil, or about it. And yet the engine, and what it does, are largely dependant upon the lubrication which the oil brings. Now there are lubricators among men who keep the machinery of society oiled, so as to prevent its joints from wearing, and its journals from heating.

1. Such a man is one who is thoroughly good-natured. Men are as much perceived that carry good-nature in society as spicewood is that carries sweet odours. There is no danger of there being too many men who are not easily irritated, who look on the bright side of things, and who tend to solace — men that you can cushion on, and not touch the hard angles of an exacting, conscientious spirit. It is a great comfort just to look at a man who is good-natured. I remember once riding on a cold night. I was so cold that I almost feared that I should freeze. After awhile I came across a blacksmith's shop. I saw a bright light on the forge. I wanted to get off and warm myself, but I was afraid that I should be so numb that I could not get on again. So I sat and looked at the fire a moment; and then I said: "Well, I feel better just for looking at you," and rode on. I have seen persons whose very presence, when the night was dark, and the way was difficult, and all things were freezing, filled you with comfort. There are thousands of times when men want to be thawed out. Men have power enough, but it is frozen; they need sympathy. And there are men who are supplying this element without knowing what they are doing. Many men are shot along the way of encouragement, and made to triumph, by some man who never dreams that he is doing anything for them. It is a good investment to have good-nature, and so much of it that you exhale it, as flowers do their odours; for you do not know who will take the comfort of it.

2. So, too, there is great inspiration in humour and in wit. Among the gifts which have been made to humanity, none in the lower sphere of virtues should call forth our thankfulness more than these. They civilise life. They carry with them a perpetual Blessing.

3. Still more are trust, devotion, humility. We think more of what Christ was, than of what He said or did. He always seems as one with a shining face. None go near Him without feeling the sanctity of His presence. None go near Him without feeling inspired toward good.

4. And so while we do and teach, our best work is that which we perform without knowing it. Silence under provocation is better than doctrine to many and many a man. Fortitude under trouble is a testimony to religion which is far better than a thousand proof-texts. In your boyhood, as you will very well remember, you used to write with invisible ink; and there was nothing for the recipient to do but to take the paper and hold it to the fire, and straightway out came the message. You are writing with invisible letters on thousands of children's hearts; on the hearts of passers-by; on the hearts of those whom you meet in every circle where you move.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. WE ALL EXERT SOME KIND OF INFLUENCE. The law of influence every atom has to obey. A bird can neither scatter its songful notes in the air, nor soar in the heavens, without setting in motion pulsations which vibrate through all space. So man is so closely united to his fellows by various ties that he cannot live unto himself. In our social gatherings we meet with some persons around whom there is a kind of atmosphere charged with enkindling and attractive elements; and we meet with others who have a something about them which is dampening and rapelling. As leaven influences the meal, so we in some way affect those with whom we come into contact. Now this influence is —

1. Voluntary. Our Lord declared that the apostles should heal all manner of diseases. In this chapter we have a fulfilment of this prediction. The apostles voluntarily touched the sick. and healed them. So, whenever we do anything with an aim, we exert voluntary and conscious influence.

2. Involuntary. The shadow which Peter cast upon the diseased restored them. Unintentionally and unconsciously a curative virtue went out from him. It is this influence which we all possess, an influence which flows from us, and floats about us insensibly(1) Like our shadow, this involuntary influence is noiseless in its working as the darkness of night, or as the moonbeams which transfigure the sea. But we do not imagine that its power is less because it operates so quietly. The shadow of Peter was heard not, yet it cured the suffering ones by the wayside. Time and sunshine are ever soundless, but are there any forces more omnipotent?(2) As our shadow is the similitude of our form, so our involuntary influence' is the type of our actual self. Good words and deeds do not always spring from a good disposition. Young, in his "Night Thoughts," writes scornfully of worldly glory, and yet no man sought for it more eagerly than he did. Voluntary influence does not always indicate what a man really is, but involuntary influence does. How many there are who try to pass for what they are not. But in spite of their mask we feel when in contact with them that they are playing a false part. Our involuntary influence is as much the outcome of our real nature as the scent is the outcome of the plant,s life. It is a something which we cannot imprison — a something that will out. Our unintended influence, then, is the key to the quality of our being.(3) Our involuntary influence, like our shadow, is ever with us. It is not a mere appendage — a robe of which we can divest ourselves. Voluntary influence is necessarily intermittent, but involuntary influence is incessant. It is co-extensive with our existence. As a pebble when flung into a lake causes ripples to extend over its surface, so as soon as we enter the world we influence it in some degree.

II. THE SECRET OF BENEFICIAL INFLUENCE. Christian character. A man may have but little of this world's goods, and may occupy a lowly sphere; but if he has the Christ-like disposition, his influence, as was the shadow of Peter, will be rife with benediction. On the other hand, a man may possess extensive knowledge, immense wealth, and may move in the highest circles; but unless he has the Christ-like spirit, his treasures and status may fill him with pride; he may use them as instruments in the service of the god of this world, and render his influence as deadly as a pestilence. Or, prompted by some selfish motives, he may devote them very largely to benevolent purposes; but, lacking the true spirit, he produces in our minds a feeling of his hollowness and insincerity. If such an one would really benefit his fellows his heart must be renewed. Spirituality of character alone will give weight and value to riches, learning and position, when used in the service of Christ. If our voluntary influence is to be good, our involuntary influence must be good, and if our involuntary influence is to be good we must be right at the core. We must be quickened ere we can quicken. We must be recipients of the Divine ere we can be its distributors. Lord Peter-borough said of Fenelon: "He is a delicious creature; I was forced to get away from him as fast as I could, else he would have made me pious." Thus our influence will be a wondrous force for good in proportion to the holiness of our life.


1. Because of our responsibility. We are as responsible for the influence which our character pours out apart from our own will, as we are for the influence of the words we intentionally utter, and the deeds we intentionally perform. Surely, then, it should be our supreme effort to model our character according to the Divine plans. We should see to it that our foundation and materials are such as shall endure the fire-tests of the Judgment.

2. Because we owe so much to such influence. The good that men do is not interred with their bones. What would have been the character of our laws, literature, art, commerce, and morals, apart from the influence of those whose footfalls are no longer heard on earth! Do not sceptics and infidels owe their best privileges to the influence of those who were animated by the faith which they reject!

3. Because it will be a source of infinite joy. It will cause joy to well up in the heart now — a joy which springs from the sense of duty done, from a quiet conscience, from making others happy and noble. But who can depict the joy to which it will give rise in the future?

4. Because it is the will of Christ. "Let your light so shine," etc.

(E. H. Palmer.)

1. He repels the wicked (ver. 13), and attracts the good.

2. He is the torment of unclean spirits (ver. 16), but gives rest to the weary and heavy-laden (ver. 18).

3. To the enemies of truth He is as the savour of death unto death — Ananias and Sapphira; the priests and elders — and to souls desiring salvation, a savour of life unto life — the sick, and those who were added to the Church.

(K. Gerok.)

Ananias, Gamaliel, Israelites, Judas, Peter, Sapphira, Solomon, Theudas
Jerusalem, Solomon's Portico
Ailing, Beds, Bring, Broad, Carried, Cots, Couches, Extent, Fall, Forth, Friends, Ill, Insomuch, Laid, Lay, Least, Mats, Mattresses, Order, Overshadow, Pallets, Passed, Passing, Peter, Peter's, Places, Shade, Shadow, Sick, Streets
1. After that Ananias and Sapphira his wife,
3. at Peter's rebuke had fallen down dead;
12. and that the rest of the apostles had wrought many miracles;
14. to the increase of the faith;
17. the apostles are again imprisoned;
19. but delivered by an angel bidding them preach openly to all;
21. when, after their teaching accordingly in the temple,
29. and before the council,
33. they are in danger to be killed;
34. but through the advice of Gamaliel, they are kept alive, and are only beaten;
41. for which they glorify God, and cease no day from preaching.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 5:15

     4846   shadow
     5229   bed

Acts 5:12-16

     5285   cures

Acts 5:13-16

     8332   reputation

Acts 5:15-16

     5114   Peter, apostle
     5333   healing

December 28. "The Holy Ghost, whom God Hath Given to them that Obey Him" (Acts v. 32).
"The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts v. 32). We can only know and prove the fulness of the Spirit as we step out into the larger purposes and plans of Christ for the world. Perhaps the chief reason why the Holy Spirit has been so limited in His work in the hearts of Christians, is the shameful neglect of the unsaved and unevangelized world by the great majority of the professed followers of Christ. There are millions of professing Christians--and, perhaps, real Christians--in
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Our Captain
'Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince.' --ACTS v. 31. The word rendered 'Prince' is a rather infrequent designation of our Lord in Scripture. It is only employed in all four times--twice in Peter's earlier sermons recorded in this Book of the Acts; and twice in the Epistle to the Hebrews. In a former discourse of the Apostle's he had spoken of the crime of the Jews in killing 'the Prince of life.' Here he uses the word without any appended epithet. In the Epistle to the Hebrews
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whom to Obey, --Annas or Angel?
'Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20. Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Gamaliel's Counsel
'Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.'--ACTS v. 38, 39. The little that is known of Gamaliel seems to indicate just such a man as would be likely to have given the advice in the text. His was a character which, on its good side and by its admirers, would be described as prudent, wise, cautious and calm, tolerant, opposed to fanaticism
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Indwelling of the Spirit, the Common Privilege of all Believers
John 7:37-39 -- "In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." Nothing has rendered the cross of Christ of less effect; nothing has been a greater stumbling-block and rock of offense to weak minds, that a supposition, now current
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

On Zeal
"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18. 1. There are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of zeal which has for several ages prevailed,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The First Sermon in the Tabernacle
This afternoon I will try to describe the subject, Christ Jesus; then, secondly, to speak for a little while upon its comprehensiveness; then to enlarge upon sundry of its excellencies; and conclude by testing its power. I. First, then, the SUBJECT. They continued both to teach and preach Jesus Christ. To preach Jesus Christ aright we must preach him in his infinite and indisputable Godhead. We may be attacked by philosophers, who will either make him no God at all, or one constituted temporarily
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Of the Recollection of God's Manifold Benefits
Open, O Lord, my heart in Thy law, and teach me to walk in the way of Thy commandments. Grant me to understand Thy will and to be mindful of Thy benefits, both general and special, with great reverence and diligent meditation, that thus I may be able worthily to give Thee thanks. Yet I know and confess that I cannot render Thee due praises for the least of Thy mercies. I am less than the least of all the good things which Thou gavest me; and when I consider Thy majesty, my spirit faileth because
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Reader Reminded How Much He Needs the Assistance of the Spirit of God to Form Him to the Temper Described Above, and what Encouragement He
1. Forward resolutions may prove ineffectual.--2. Yet religion is not to be given up in despair, but Divine grace to be sought.--3. A general view of its reality and necessity, from reason.--4. And Scripture.--5. The spirit to be sought as the spirit of Christ.--6. And in that view the great strength of the soul.--7. The encouragement there is to hope for the communication of it.--8. A concluding exhortation to pray for it. And an humble address to God pursuant to that exhortation. I HAVE now laid
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

May one Lose the Blessing?
The question trembles from many a lip--If I get the blessing, may I lose it? Most certainly. But, glory be to God! He has made ample provision for failure. There is no reason why we should fail; God has made ample provision against failure; we must not expect to fail; but in case we do fail, provision has been made. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. "The Holy Ghost whom God hath
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Whether Fraud Pertains to Craftiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that fraud does not pertain to craftiness. For a man does not deserve praise if he allows himself to be deceived, which is the object of craftiness; and yet a man deserves praise for allowing himself to be defrauded, according to 1 Cor. 6:1, "Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" Therefore fraud does not belong to craftiness. Objection 2: Further, fraud seems to consist in unlawfully taking or receiving external things, for it is written (Acts 5:1) that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Whatever God Does Outside the Natural Order is Miraculous?
Objection 1: It would seem that not everything which God does outside the natural order of things, is miraculous. For the creation of the world, and of souls, and the justification of the unrighteous, are done by God outside the natural order; as not being accomplished by the action of any natural cause. Yet these things are not called miracles. Therefore not everything that God does outside the natural order is a miracle. Objection 2: Further, a miracle is "something difficult, which seldom occurs,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Subjects are Bound to Obey their Superiors in all Things?
Objection 1: It seems that subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. For the Apostle says (Col. 3:20): "Children, obey your parents in all things," and farther on (Col. 3:22): "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh." Therefore in like manner other subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. Objection 2: Further, superiors stand between God and their subjects, according to Dt. 5:5, "I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you at that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Shamefacedness is About a Disgraceful Action?
Objection 1: It would seem that shamefacedness is not about a disgraceful action. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 9) that "shamefacedness is fear of disgrace." Now sometimes those who do nothing wrong suffer ignominy, according to Ps. 67:8, "For thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face." Therefore shamefacedness is not properly about a disgraceful action. Objection 2: Further, nothing apparently is disgraceful but what is sinful. Yet man is ashamed of things that are not sins,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Anyone Should be Excommunicated for Inflicting Temporal Harm?
Objection 1: It would seem that no man should be excommunicated for inflicting a temporal harm. For the punishment should not exceed the fault. But the punishment of excommunication is the privation of a spiritual good, which surpasses all temporal goods. Therefore no man should be excommunicated for temporal injuries. Objection 2: Further, we should render to no man evil for evil, according to the precept of the Apostle (Rom. 12:17). But this would be rendering evil for evil, if a man were to be
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Human Law Binds a Man in Conscience?
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience. Objection 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God's commandments are made void by human laws, according to Mat. 15:6: "You
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is Directly the Cause of Man's Sinning?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is directly the cause of man's sinning. For sin consists directly in an act of the appetite. Now Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 12) that "the devil inspires his friends with evil desires"; and Bede, commenting on Acts 5:3, says that the devil "draws the mind to evil desires"; and Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 41; iii, 5) that the devil "fills men's hearts with secret lusts." Therefore the devil is directly the cause of sin. Objection 2: Further, Jerome says
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Praiseworthy to Enter Religion Without Taking Counsel of Many, and Previously Deliberating for a Long Time?
Objection 1: It would not seem praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time. For it is written (1 Jn. 4:1): "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God." Now sometimes a man's purpose of entering religion is not of God, since it often comes to naught through his leaving the religious life; for it is written (Acts 5:38,39): "If this counsel or this work be of God, you cannot overthrow it." Therefore it would seem that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Precept of Fraternal Correction Demands that a Private Admonition Should Precede Denunciation?
Objection 1: It would seem that the precept of fraternal correction does not demand that a private admonition should precede denunciation. For, in works of charity, we should above all follow the example of God, according to Eph. 5:1,2: "Be ye followers of God, as most dear children, and walk in love." Now God sometimes punishes a man for a sin, without previously warning him in secret. Therefore it seems that there is no need for a private admonition to precede denunciation. Objection 2: Further,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Wheat and the Tares
'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.' --ACTS iv. 32. 'And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.'--ACTS v. 11. Once more Luke pauses and gives a general survey of the Church's condition. It comes in appropriately at the end of the account of the triumph over the first assault of civil authority, which assault
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

That the Christian Miracles are not Recited, or Appealed To, by Early Christian Writers Themselves So Fully or Frequently as Might have Been Expected.
I shall consider this objection, first, as it applies to the letters of the apostles preserved in the New Testament; and secondly, as it applies to the remaining writings of other early Christians. The epistles of the apostles are either hortatory or argumentative. So far as they were occupied in delivering lessons of duty, rules of public order, admonitions against certain prevailing corruptions, against vice, or any particular species of it, or in fortifying and encouraging the constancy of the
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

The Birth of Jesus.
(at Bethlehem of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke II. 1-7. ^c 1 Now it came to pass in those days [the days of the birth of John the Baptist], there went out a decree [a law] from Cæsar Augustus [Octavius, or Augustus, Cæsar was the nephew of and successor to Julius Cæsar. He took the name Augustus in compliment to his own greatness; and our month August is named for him; its old name being Sextilis], that all the world should be enrolled. [This enrollment or census was the first step
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Holy Spirit Bearing Witness to Jesus Christ.
When our Lord was talking to His disciples on the night before His crucifixion of the Comforter who after His departure was to come to take His place, He said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me: and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning" (John xv. 26, 27, R. V.), and the Apostle Peter and the other disciples when they were strictly commanded
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

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