And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
And they went out,.... From that part of the country where they then were, some one way, and some another, two by two, with these instructions, and according to these directions; in order to preach the word, and work miracles, in the several parts where they were sent:
and preached that men should repent; both of the evil practices which they were guilty of, and of the bad principles they had imbibed, and change both their sentiments and their conduct: this, they exhorted them to, as John the Baptist, and Christ, had done before, who set out in their ministry the same way; and these, as they did also, preached the Gospel, and the things appertaining to the kingdom of God, and Gospel dispensation, and called upon men to believe them. For faith and repentance went together in Christ's ministry, Mark 1:15, and so they did in the ministry of John, the Baptist, Acts 19:4, and in the ministry of the apostles, Acts 20:21. When they preached that men should repent, it does not from hence follow, that they have a power to repent of themselves: for such is the condition of men by nature, that they neither see their need of repentance, and their hearts are so hard and obdurate, that they cannot work themselves up to it, or work it in them, and exercise it; this requires the powerful and efficacious grace of God to produce it, and it is a gift of his grace; and if he gives the means, and not the grace of repentance itself, it will never appear: but the apostles preaching that men should repent, shows that they were in such a state as to need it; and how necessary it was for them to have it, seeing without it they must all perish: and such a ministration is proper, to awaken the minds of men to a sense of the need of it, and to direct them to Christ the Saviour, who is exalted to give it, as well as the remission of sins.