Acts 8:14

Peter and John represented the apostolic authority, but not as something to be imposed on believers, but as linking them with the source of spiritual gifts. Simon represented the spirit of this world in the Church - the sins of ambition, covetousness, hypocrisy, priestcraft, intimately connected with the one fatal error of admitting the world's calculations into the Church. "He offered them money." The Church has listened to such offers far too much. The Simon-spirit, the mixture of sorcery and faith, has filled some portions of the professed Church with lies and mammon-worship. Notice-


1. Dependence on prayer.

2. Separation of spiritual gifts from oil money considerations.

3. Detection and denunciation of the false and sordid.

II. The CHURCH'S DANGER from the laxness of discipline.

1. Those that have "neither part nor lot in this matter" must be kept out of the number of God's people.

2. Especially must the ministry be preserved from every form of simony.

3. The bold and fearless course on the part of those in office is much the safest. Hypocrisy is weakness. Simon will succumb to Peter, if Peter only speaks out the Word of God, and stands up for purity of faith and conscientiousness. Better a poor Church with spiritual gifts, than a treasury full of hypocrites' offerings and no Holy Ghost descending on the world. - R.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.
I. THE OCCASION. There is —

1. Christian life to be fostered (ver. 14).

2. A want in the Church to be supplied (ver. 16).


1. Peter — apostolic zeal.

2. Evangelical tenderness.


1. Prayer in the name of the Church (ver. 16).

2. Imposition of hands in the name of God (ver. 17).


1. The strengthening of the Church (ver. 17).

2. The sifting (ver. 18).

(K. Gerok.)

This must have been a most instructive experience to John. The apostle who would have prayed for destructive fire is himself sent down to Samaria to invoke the falling of another flame that burns but does not consume! We cannot tell what we may yet do in life. Amongst our old enmities we may yet find our sweetest friendships. Do not seek to destroy any man, however much he may reject you or misunderstand you. A time may come when you can render him the service of prayer.

I. THE APOSTLES RECEIVE A REPORT FROM SAMARIA (ver. 14). The text is now easy reading, but there was a day when it was a grand story. It is the dawning of a new day, the winning of a great battle; that day the Gentiles were admitted into the kingdom of Christ. We lose so much by forgetting the circumstances of the case. This is a verse now read as if it had no atmosphere. What is it that we lose in history? The atmosphere; that which gives the novelist or the dramatist supremacy over the dry, technical, and most learned annalist! The dreariest part of every missionary meeting to many persons is the reading of the report — a reading which should bring all the Church together in its noblest enthusiasm, shouting as a conquering host — "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."

II. WHEN THIS REPORT WAS MADE THE APOSTLES SENT DOWN PETER AND JOHN. Was Peter then really "sent down"? We thought that Peter would have sent down other men! Yet how delicate the tribute to his undoubted primacy of love and enthusiasm! He it was who was selected to go down. There is nothing papal here. The Pope is not "sent down," he sends down. Our greatest men should always be sent down to the villages under circumstances such as these. Our very grandest prcachers ought to be our missionaries.

III. WHEN PETER AND JOHN WERE COME DOWN WHAT DID THEY DO? This will reveal the right aspect of apostolic influence and office. Let us read the text in a way of our own, "Peter and John sat upon a great and high throne, and waved over the astounded Gentiles a staff that was supposed to. have singular power in it, and the amazed and wonder-struck villagers fell back before such dazzling dignity and bewailed their own unworthiness." That would be poor Scripture! How does the text really read?

1. When they were come down, they prayed for the villagers. Pray for inquirers; do not overpower them. Pray in great religious crises, and thus magnify the event, and do not lessen it. Do we pray now? Do we ask as if we meant to have what we ask?

2. They prayed that Samaria might receive the Holy Ghost. Then what had Samaria already received? Only the first baptism. Water will do you no good. It was meant to be a beginning, not an end. We have believed, but have we received the Holy Ghost? People imagine that when they have believed, the work is done. As well tell me that when you have put the fuel into the grate the fire is lighted. We know the truth, what we want is the burning spark I There is no mistaking that. No man can mistake. fire. You may paint it, but you cannot warm your hands at the flame on the canvas. Fire is like nothing but itself. It separates man from man, yet unites man to man. It burns up selfishness; purifies, glorifies. It gives a man individuality. It detaches him from the common crowd and gives him a singularity of his own. When the Church has received the Holy Ghost she will be unlike every other community. When the pulpit has been baptized by the Holy Ghost it will stand alone in the supremacy of its power. At present it is the retreat of the mumbler, the living of the essayist. Our religion is at present an argument, our desire is that it may become a passion!


1. It is easy to abuse this man, but he acted a most natural and rational part, considering his training, avocation, and the influence he had acquired. He had lived all his life in the market-place; he had never breathed a purer air; he knew but one world, and one language. He saw only the outside — which of us sees any further? We think because we have been to church we are Christians. That is precisely the reasoning of Simon. There has grown up a custom which is known as Simony. He who would hold his place in the Church by virtue of haying bought it is guilty of it. But simony is not in the pulpit alone. We may buy influence, status, and authority in the Church by the use of money. Who is there that does not imagine that everything can be bought? Yet how little in reality can we buy with money! Can you buy sound judgment? Poetic fire? Prophetic insight? Any form of spiritual and enduring power? Know ye that money has hut a little world to live in, and that the highest gifts are not to be purchased with gold. God hath chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and strong in power. To the poorest man He says, "Take this gospel and preach it." A manger will do for a cradle when there is in it the Saviour of the world. Do you suppose that because you have little money you have little power, life, responsibility? What have you? You may have the power of prayer! You may be able to "speak a word in season to him that is weary." You may have the gift of hope and the faculty of music, and you may be able to lift the load from many a burdened heart. Poorest man, do not despair! You may be rich in ideas, in sympathies, in suggestion, and in all the noblest treasures that can make men wealthy with indestructible possession.

2. There was probably no fixed sum in the mind of Simon. If such a bestowal as that of the Spirit could be effected upon him, money should not stand in the way. This was the hour of apostolic temptation. Silver and gold they had none. Money is always a powerful temptation to the empty pocket. It is very easy when there is no temptation to say what we should do; but when the money is in the hand of the tempter, and when in one moment more it may be in our own, and when the thing asked for in exchange is itself a good thing, where is the man who can return a denial with the emphasis of thunder, and the accent of lightning? The Church is always tempted in this same way. We must always reject the unholy patronage. Do I address a minister who preaches to a moneyed pew? Your ministry will be blighted with well-merited condemnation. Do I minister to a Church that could accept secular patronage in order to preach a settled and determined theology? Such a Church would have sold its birthright for a contemptible price. Faith must spread its own daily board. Love must pay its own way. Do I speak to some who represent very feeble communities? Do not ask any man to help you, unless his help be the inspiration of love. Never be bribed into silence. Never keep back the truth of God, lest you should forfeit status or income. It is not necessary for any man to live, but it is necessary for every man to be loyal to Christ's truth. When the king came to meet Abram, and offered him great hospitality and patron. age Abram said, "No, lest thou say, I have made Abram rich" The chief power is spiritual, not financial. But the church has wonderfully fallen under the fallacy which teaches that the Church ought to be socially respectable.

V. HOW WAS IT THAT THE APOSTLES WERE ENABLED TO ESCAPE THIS POTENT TEMPTATION? The answer is that they had a true conception of the spiritual election and function of the Church (ver. 20). The Church had not then become a machine. Ordination was not then a thing to be arranged. It was inspiration. Men are now "prepared" for the ministry. Now we "educate" men for the pulpit. Educate men for the ministry!" Thy education perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God" could be purchased by schooling. Get all the education you can; be the best-informed man of your circle; but inspiration makes a minister and makes the Church. "Not by might, and not by power," etc. Are you, young man, considering whether you will enter Christ's ministry or not? Then pray God you may never enter it; for it is not a question for consideration. There are those, shame on their grey hairs, who are telling us that if the Church would offer more money to the young men of our "better families," they might possibly give themselves to the ministry! A malediction from heaven be upon such thoughts! Does Christ want the members of our "better families" to be kind enough to accept position as His ambassadors, and expositors, and friends? He will choose His own ministers. He will see to it that the pulpit is never silent.

VI. PETER SPOKE IN HIS OWN CHARACTERISTIC TONE. (vers. 21-23). His speech was not a mere denunciation. His moral dignity is positively sublime, and yet, having uttered the word of malediction, he shows that the true object of the denunciation of wrong is to save the wrong-doer. Here is the gospel in an unexpected place. After such a thunderstorm who could have expected this voice of lute and harp? Repent! Forgive! Give up no man. Do not spare his sin; hold the fiercest light over it, but point the wrong-doer himself to the possibility of forgiveness through repentance and supplication.

VII. SIMON DID NOT — NOR COULD HE BE EXPECTED TO — SEIZE THE SPIRITUAL IDEA WHICH RULED THE APOSTLE'S THINKING. His reply is most natural, though often condemned (ver. 24). He asked for prayer, so far he was not wrong. He suggested the prayer "that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me." There he failed to see the right meaning of prayer. We must not go to God in supplication merely to escape penalty, but to escape sin. Yet let a man come through any gate that first opens, only let him come! If one man should come through hatred of sin, if another man of lower mould should say, "I fear hell; God have mercy upon me." Let him also come. Every man must pray as he can. You cannot send the heart to school to teach it how to pray. Where the pain is, the prayer should be.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. THE EFFACEMENT OF PHILIP. Like the Baptist; before our Lord, Philip retires when Peter and John come on the scene: There is something touching in this willingness to be eclipsed. Philip might naturally have felt that he had borne the burden and heat of the day, and that the apostles' success was due to his efforts. "He had laboured" (words spoken about Samaria), "and they had entered into his labours." He had dug the soil, sown the seed, watered it, until the field was white; and now it only remained for the apostles to reap. Nor is he in the least jealous. His aim was the reverse of Simon's, and accordingly any increase and confirmation of faith was a matter of joy. Only those who after honest labour have been superseded by men of more brilliant gifts can appreciate the trial and the grace to bear it.


1. The men chosen.(1) Peter's presence was required by his position in prophecy and providence. Our Lord had entrusted him with the keys of the kingdom of heaven, indicating that he was to throw open the gates of the gospel dispensation.(2) John is so constantly associated with Peter, that we are not surprised to find them companions here. But it is a striking coincidence that he who, giving vent to the prevailing hostility against the Samaritans, called for fire from heaven to consume them, should, now that a more loving spirit actuated him, be selected to call down the fire of God's illuminating and quickening grace.

2. Their official act.(1) This forms the scriptural ground for the rite of confirmation. Baptism is in the nature of a contract into which Christ enters with the soul, and the practice of infant baptism makes it almost a necessity to have some period at which a baptized child may consciously, and of his own accord, enter into this contract. How suitable, then, that they should receive the completion of their baptism by prayer and the imposition of hands. This consecrates, as it were, the baptized person to the royal priesthood, and sets him apart solemnly for the service of Christ. Yet, while we discover in holy Scripture the germ of this rite, we do not regard confirmation as having the universal necessity or virtue of a sacrament. For the gift of the Spirit was vouchsafed independently of the imposition of hands, as in the cases of Cornelius, Saul, and the Ethiopian eunuch.

3. Their treatment of Simon. Once before bad money been offered to Peter, in order to gain a fair reputation. Ananias had laid money down at his feet, wishing it to be understood as the whole. Simon now does the same thing to win power and influence. The secret of the apostles' power was just what he wanted to regain his lost influence and eclipse Philip. What he coveted was not the Holy Spirit, but the power of communicating the Spirit to others. And what he cared to communicate was not the grace of the Spirit, but His gifts, And there can be little doubt that what he offered money for, he intended to win money by. Peter's reproof, and his insinuation of the difficulty of saving a character so far gone in evil ("perhaps") was not too strong for the occasion. Had there been a single stirring of conscience, a single aspiration after goodness, the rejoinder would have been far more lenient.

4. The contrasts of character in the Church. Here is Simon the apostle, a man of the most intense disinterestedness, who had forsaken all to follow his Master, confronted with Simon the sorcerer, who had nominally embraced Christianity as a possible means of wealth and power. What a natural repulsion must there be between the minds of the two when each gets an inkling of the other.

(Dean Goulburn.)

Between no two things is there a greater contrast. The contrast is a double one — between the natural and supernatural, and between the holy and the sinful. With respect to the first, they are for each other; and therein lies the task of the Church. With respect to the second, they are against each other; and therein lies the danger of the Church. Both the task and the danger are exemplified here.


1. The extension of the Church in the world.(1) The words of our departing Lord (Acts 1:8) are the theme of all Church history, as well as that of the first days. The evangelical history of the first thirty-four years of our dispensation conducts us from Nazareth to Jerusalem. The apostolic history of the same number of years leads us from Jerusalem to Rome. The bridge between Jerusalem and the heathen world was Samaria, a field planted by our Lord, whose prophecy of the harvest there (John 4:35-38) was now fulfilled in Philip, driven thither by persecution. The storm destroys flowers, but scatters seeds — a consolation for the Church in every age.(2) Philip was a guardian of the poor, but the Holy Ghost made him an evangelist. The liberty of the Spirit is not bound by human order. He founded the Mother Church of Missions at Antioch by means of private Christians, and the Church of Rome by men unknown; prisoners brought the gospel to the Goths in Europe. He "bloweth where He listeth."(3) In the days of Jesus, Samaria had been greatly moved; then there arose a sorcerer who won the people. Hunger grasps at any food, for which reason also they accepted the word of salvation. The conversion of the Samaritans was a sign for the Jews (Matthew 21:43), and the apostles understood it well. The spread of the gospel is always a sign of warning. In our days the age of missions has begun anew. May not this be a sign that the word of grace will depart if we esteem it slightly. "Buy," says Luther, "while the market is at your door. Gather in while the weather is blight and fair. Use the word of God's grace while you have it. The Jews had it once; but they lost it, and now they have nothing. Paul brought it to Greece; but they lost it, and now they have the Turk. Rome and Italy had it; but they lost it, and now they have the Pope. And you Germans must not think that you will have it for ever; for ingratitude and contempt will not suffer it to remain."

2. The Church preserving its unity in the world. The apostles send Peter and John to sanction the work of Philip, and to incorporate the Christians into the Apostolic Church. The rending of the body of Christ into such a multitude of sects is to be deeply lamented. Unceasingly should we think of the words of Jesus (John 17:12). But a self-conceived, self-made unity, only leads to schism. Unity gives strength, but only true unity — unity in the truth.

3. The testimony of the Church in the world (ver. 15-17). It must not be understood that the baptism of Philip was ineffective, and that laying on of apostolic hands made it so. The action of the Holy Ghost is twofold. He is a Spirit of life and a Spirit of work. He makes us children of God and servants of God. The first work of the Spirit was accomplished through Philip, the second through the apostles. The first is alike in all, the second manifold. God gives various gifts of service, and these are not necessarily and obviously miraculous. The gifts of knowledge, doctrine, guidance, etc., have nothing striking in themselves, and yet they are as much gifts of the Spirit as others. Without the power and blessing of God's Spirit, all our toil and skill are vain; but with that, our work gives evidence to the world that the Church is the possessor of heavenly powers.


1. The gathering of the world into the Church. The net cast into the sea collects all manner of fish. The condition of the Church is necessarily mixed; the wheat and tares must grow together here. When the reapers come at the Judgment, then will the Church be pure. Let us judge not, lest we be judged; but let us see to it that we are the children of God.

2. The spirit of the world in the Church. What is the spirit of the world and the spirit befitting the kingdom of God (Matthew 20:25-28). The world strives to rule, the Christian rejoices to serve; the one wants to be great, the other is willing to be nothing. It was not enough for Simon to be a Christian; he wanted to play the same great part as before his baptism; and to use the powers of the Spirit for the gratification of his self-seeking mind. And yet his sin grew from the corrupt soil of the heart, which is the same in all. Scarcely is the pride of the natural man driven out, when there comes the pride of the spiritual man. And, as Luther says, "the white devil is worse than the black." How hard it is to seek nothing but the favour of God, whatever man's opinion may be.

3. The Church's judgment on that spirit. "Thy money perish with thee" — i.e., all thy arts by which thou thinkest the powers of the Holy Spirit are to be obtained. How marvellous will it appear when, at the Judgment, those now esteemed "great " will be cast out, and the little ones esteemed great (Matthew 7:22, etc.). This judgment we can only escape by a penitent judgment of ourselves.

(Prof. Luthardt.)

Candace, Esaias, Ethiopians, Isaiah, John, Peter, Philip, Saul, Simon, Stephen
Azotus, Caesarea, Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria
Accepted, Apostles, God's, Hearts, Jerusalem, John, Message, News, Peter, Received, Samaria, Sama'ria, Samaritans, Visit
1. By occasion of the persecution in Jerusalem, the church being planted in Samaria,
4. by Philip the deacon, who preached, did miracles, and baptized many;
9. among the rest Simon the sorcerer, a great seducer of the people;
14. Peter and John come to confirm and enlarge the church;
15. where, by prayer and imposition of hands giving the Holy Spirit;
18. when Simon would have bought the like power of them,
20. Peter sharply reproving his hypocrisy and covetousness,
22. and exhorting him to repentance,
25. together with John preaching the word of the Lord, return to Jerusalem;
26. but the angel sends Philip to teach and baptize the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 8:14

     1690   word of God
     6604   acceptance, human
     7241   Jerusalem, significance
     7560   Samaritans, the
     7742   missionaries, support

Acts 8:4-17

     7560   Samaritans, the

Acts 8:9-23

     5714   men

Acts 8:12-17

     7741   missionaries, task

Acts 8:13-23

     6134   coveting, prohibition

Acts 8:14-17

     2424   gospel, promises
     3221   Holy Spirit, and prayer
     7953   mission, of church

Acts 8:14-18

     7708   apostles, function

Simon the Sorcerer
'Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.'--ACTS viii. 21. The era of the birth of Christianity was one of fermenting opinion and decaying faith. Then, as now, men's minds were seething and unsettled, and that unrest which is the precursor of great changes in intellectual and spiritual habitudes affected the civilised world. Such a period is ever one of predisposition to superstition. The one true bond which unites God and man being obscured,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Philip the Evangelist
'But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.'--ACTS viii. 40. The little that is known about Philip, the deacon and evangelist, may very soon be told. His name suggests, though by no means conclusively, that he was probably one of the so-called Hellenists, or foreign-born and Greek-speaking Jews. This is made the more probable because he was one of the seven selected by the Church, and after that selection appointed by the Apostles,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Seed Scattered and Taking Root
'And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Meeting in the Desert
'And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet. 29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The General Spread of the Gospel
"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters covers the sea." Isa. 11:9. 1. In what a condition is the world at present! How does darkness, intellectual darkness, ignorance, with vice and misery attendant upon it, cover the face of the earth! From the accurate inquiry made with indefatigable pains by our ingenious countryman, Mr. Brerewood; (who travelled himself over a great part of the known world, in order to form the more exact judgment;) supposing the world to be divided
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Twenty-Sixth Day for the Holy Spirit on Young Converts
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Holy Spirit on Young Converts "Peter and John prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost; for as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus."--ACTS viii. 15, 16. "Now He which establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."--2 COR. i. 21, 22. How many new converts who remain feeble; how many who fall into sin; how many who backslide
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Period iii. The Critical Period: A. D. 140 to A. D. 200
The interval between the close of the post-apostolic age and the end of the second century, or from about 140 to 200, may be called the Critical Period of Ancient Christianity. In this period there grew up conceptions of Christianity which were felt by the Church, as a whole, to be fundamentally opposed to its essential spirit and to constitute a serious menace to the Christian faith as it had been commonly received. These conceptions, which grew up both alongside of, and within the Church, have
Joseph Cullen Ayer Jr., Ph.D.—A Source Book for Ancient Church History

After very many histories of this place in the Holy Bible, which there is no need to repeat here,--in this city did Alexander the Great, at length, besiege Babemeses the Persian, by the space of two months. "And that city, which before-time was most famous, was laid waste by him, and rendered desert." Not that he had destroyed the building of the city, or consumed it with fire; for presently after his death, Antigonus and Ptolemy, his captains, fighting, it had walls, gates, and fortifications: but
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

And on the Day Following He Went Forth Still More Eagerly Bent on The...
11. And on the day following he went forth still more eagerly bent on the service of God and having fallen in with the old man he had met previously, he asked him to dwell with him in the desert. But when the other declined on account of his great age, and because as yet there was no such custom, Antony himself set off forthwith to the mountain. And yet again the enemy seeing his zeal and wishing to hinder it, cast in his way what seemed to be a great silver dish. But Antony, seeing the guile of
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Whether Baptism Can be Conferred in the Name of Christ?
Objection 1: It seems that Baptism can be conferred in the name of Christ. For just as there is "one Faith," so is there "one Baptism" (Eph. 4:5). But it is related (Acts 8:12) that "in the name of Jesus Christ they were baptized, both men and women." Therefore now also can Baptism be conferred in the name of Christ. Objection 2: Further, Ambrose says (De Spir. Sanct. i): "If you mention Christ, you designate both the Father by Whom He was anointed, and the Son Himself, Who was anointed, and the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Chrism is a Fitting Matter for this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that chrism is not a fitting matter for this sacrament. For this sacrament, as stated above (A[1], ad 1), was instituted by Christ when He promised His disciples the Holy Ghost. But He sent them the Holy Ghost without their being anointed with chrism. Moreover, the apostles themselves bestowed this sacrament without chrism, by the mere imposition of hands: for it is written (Acts 8:17) that the apostles "laid their hands upon" those who were baptized, "and they received the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Imposition of the Priest's Hands is Necessary for this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that the imposition of the priest's hands is necessary for this sacrament. For it is written (Mk. 16:18): "They shall lay hands upon the sick, and they shall recover." Now sinners are sick spiritually, and obtain recovery through this sacrament. Therefore an imposition of hands should be made in this sacrament. Objection 2: Further, in this sacrament man regains the Holy Ghost Whom he had lost, wherefore it is said in the person of the penitent (Ps. 1:14): "Restore unto
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Penance is a Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that Penance is not a sacrament. For Gregory [*Cf. Isidore, Etym. vi, ch. 19] says: "The sacraments are Baptism, Chrism, and the Body and Blood of Christ; which are called sacraments because under the veil of corporeal things the Divine power works out salvation in a hidden manner." But this does not happen in Penance, because therein corporeal things are not employed that, under them, the power of God may work our salvation. Therefore Penance is not a sacrament. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Baptism Should be Deferred?
Objection 1: It seems that Baptism should be deferred. For Pope Leo says (Epist. xvi): "Two seasons," i.e. Easter and Whitsuntide, "are fixed by the Roman Pontiff for the celebration of Baptism. Wherefore we admonish your Beatitude not to add any other days to this custom." Therefore it seems that Baptism should be conferred not at once, but delayed until the aforesaid seasons. Objection 2: Further, we read in the decrees of the Council of Agde (Can. xxxiv): "If Jews whose bad faith often "returns
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether those who had Been Baptized with John's Baptism had to be Baptized with the Baptism of Christ?
Objection 1: It would seem that those who had been baptized with John's baptism had not to be baptized with the baptism of Christ. For John was not less than the apostles, since of him is it written (Mat. 11:11): "There hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist." But those who were baptized by the apostles were not baptized again, but only received the imposition of hands; for it is written (Acts 8:16,17) that some were "only baptized" by Philip "in the name
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Simony is an Intentional Will to Buy or Sell Something Spiritual or Connected with a Spiritual Thing?
Objection 1: It would seem that simony is not "an express will to buy or sell something spiritual or connected with a spiritual thing." Simony is heresy, since it is written (I, qu. i [*Can. Eos qui per pecunias.]): "The impious heresy of Macedonius and of those who with him impugned the Holy Ghost, is more endurable than that of those who are guilty of simony: since the former in their ravings maintained that the Holy Spirit of Father and Son is a creature and the slave of God, whereas the latter
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Holy Spirit Sending Men Forth to Definite Lines of Work.
We read in Acts xiii. 2-4, "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed into Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus." It is evident from this passage that the Holy Spirit calls men into definite lines of work and sends them forth into the work. He not
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Preventive against Backsliding.
It is most instructive to note how exceedingly anxious the early Christians were, that, as soon as a man was converted, he should be "filled with the Holy Ghost." They knew no reason why weary wastes of disappointing years should stretch between Bethel and Peniel, between the Cross and Pentecost. They knew it was not God's will that forty years of wilderness wanderings should lie between Egypt and the Promised Land (Deut. i. 2). When Peter and John came to the Samaritans, and found that they were
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

How Long Between?
It is often asked what time must elapse between the regenerating by the Spirit and the filling with the Spirit? for be it remembered the Filling is as real and distinct and definite a blessing as the regenerating. Many people know the moment of their new birth; they were conscious of the change; so also many know when they were "filled with the Holy Ghost;" it was a blessed, bright, conscious experience, and it is as impossible to argue them out of the one experience as out of the other. On the other
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

The Early History of Particular Churches.
A.D. 67-A.D. 500 Section 1. The Church of England. [Sidenote: St. Paul's visit to England.] The CHURCH OF ENGLAND is believed, with good reason, to owe its foundation to the Apostle St. Paul, who probably came to this country after his first imprisonment at Rome. The writings of Tertullian, and others in the second and third centuries speak of Christianity as having spread as far as the islands of Britain, and a British king named Lucius is known to have embraced the Faith about the middle of
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Philip, the Evangelist
BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. Philip the Evangelist must be carefully distinguished from Philip the Apostle. And though it is little that we are told regarding him in Scripture, that little is very significant. He first comes before us as one of the seven chosen by the early Church at Jerusalem to take charge of the daily ministration of charity to the poor widows (Acts vi. I ff.). And when this work is hindered by the outbreak of persecution following on the death of Stephen, we find him
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Whether Sanctifying Grace is Bestowed in this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that sanctifying grace is not bestowed in this sacrament. For sanctifying grace is ordained against sin. But this sacrament, as stated above [4492](A[6]) is given only to the baptized, who are cleansed from sin. Therefore sanctifying grace is not bestowed in this sacrament. Objection 2: Further, sinners especially need sanctifying grace, by which alone can they be justified. If, therefore, sanctifying grace is bestowed in this sacrament, it seems that it should be given to those
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Only a Bishop Can Confer this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that not only a bishop can confer this sacrament. For Gregory (Regist. iv), writing to Bishop Januarius, says: "We hear that some were scandalized because we forbade priests to anoint with chrism those who have been baptized. Yet in doing this we followed the ancient custom of our Church: but if this trouble some so very much we permit priests, where no bishop is to be had, to anoint the baptized on the forehead with chrism." But that which is essential to the sacraments should
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Of the Five Sacraments, Falsely So Called. Their Spuriousness Proved, and their True Character Explained.
1. Connection of the present discussion with that concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Impiety of the popish teachers in attributing more to human rites than to the ordinances of God. 2. Men cannot institute sacraments. Necessary to keep up a distinction between sacraments and other ceremonies. 3. Seven sacraments not to be found in ecclesiastical writers. Augustine, who may represent all the others, acknowledged two sacraments only. 4. Nature of confirmation in ancient times. The laying on
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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