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ACTS V. VERSE V.
Ananias hearing these things, fell down, and gave up the Ghost.
Of all the miracles employed for the propagation of the Gospel, this is the most terrible. In most of the other miracles, the object is merciful, while the means are supernatural; the laws of nature are suspended to cleanse the leper, to illumine, the blind, and even to raise the dead from their graves.-The object here, is to punish, to smite with sudden death :-Ananias and Sapphira are guilty of a lie, and, in an instant, in the full tide of life, they fall down dead at the feet of the Apostle.
As the age
of miracles is no more, and the necessity for their occurrence removed by the diffusion, and security, of the Gospel, we are no longer exposed to the same punishment for the same violation of truth, but that punishment stands on the book as a tremendous record of the magnitude of the Sin-It gives us a full view of that wrath with which it will hereafter be pursued; and teaches us how fatally it moves the displeasure of God. I shall avail myself, then, of this awful history, to examine the nature of truth, its importance as a part of christian righteousness, and to investigate how the habit of speaking truth is impaired, perverted, destroyed, instituted, and confirmed.
Upon truth rests all human knowledge; to truth man is indebted for the hourly preservation of his life, and for a perpetual guide to his actions; without truth the affairs of the world could no longer exist, as they now are, than they could if any of the great physical laws of the universe were suspended. As truth is of indispensable necessity in the great concerns of the world, it is also of immense importance as it relates to the