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ACTS II. 40

Sister Nancy Covault, of Ohio, desires us to explain the sense in which the apostle exhorted the people whom he addressed to “save themselves.” &c.

The people to whom this exhortation was addressed were those to whom he had said the promise of God was made; that is, as we understand, the promise of God of which he was speaking was that promise referred to in the sixteenth and seventeenth verses of the same chapter: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,” &c. This promise evidently embraced these distressed sinners who were pricked in their heart, and cried, What shall we do? They were not told to save themselves from the curse or dominion of the law of God, which they had transgressed, or from the terrible penalties thereof, for nothing short of the precious blood of Christ can save any from sin and death; but as the spirit of God had been manifestly poured upon them, and by the power of the Spirit they were made conscious of their guilt and exposure to divine wrath, they were “with these and many other words exhorted to save themselves from the untoward generation” of the Jews, on whom the impending wrath of God was soon to fall, in the execution of those temporal judgments which should soon be realized in the great and terrible day of the Lord, which should desolate Jerusalem, and leave not one stone upon another that should not be thrown down. These penitent Jews, who were now pricked in their heart, were charged, and justly too, with having with wicked hands crucified and slain the Lord of life and glory, and being now brought to see and realize the enormity of their sins, saw no way to escape; but Peter preached to them the way of salvation by grace, through the blood and righteousness of him whom they had wickedly crucified, and whom God had raised up from the dead, who being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. They now saw and heard what they had never seen nor heard before, and were therefore exhorted to withdraw their connection and co-operation with the carnal and infatuated Jews; to repent, that is, to recede or withdraw from their former course, and be baptized in the name of that same Jesus Christ whom they had rejected and crucified, and who is now risen, and exalted to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of their sins, and they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, according to the promise of God, which is unto them, and to their children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Middletown, N. Y.

SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Volume 48, No. 1
January 1, 1880