Acts 6

* The appointment of deacons. (1-7) Stephen falsely accused of

blasphemy. (8-15)

1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often

had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied,

they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up all

the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons

chosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must be

filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to

rightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hating

covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church,

ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of the

church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word and

grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon

by it, who were least likely.
8-15 When they could not answer Stephen's arguments as a

disputant, they prosecuted him as a criminal, and brought false

witnesses against him. And it is next to a miracle of

providence, that no greater number of religious persons have

been murdered in the world, by the way of perjury and pretence

of law, when so many thousands hate them, who make no conscience

of false oaths. Wisdom and holiness make a man's face to shine,

yet will not secure men from being treated badly. What shall we

say of man, a rational being, yet attempting to uphold a

religious system by false witness and murder! And this has been

done in numberless instances. But the blame rests not so much

upon the understanding, as upon the heart of a fallen creature,

which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Yet

the servant of the Lord, possessing a clear conscience, cheerful

hope, and Divine consolations, may smile in the midst of danger

and death.
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