Acts 6* The appointment of deacons. (1-7) Stephen falsely accused ofblasphemy. (8-15)1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this oftenhad been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied,they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up allthe thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The personschosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must befilled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary torightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hatingcovetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church,ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of thechurch. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word andgrace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought uponby it, who were least likely. 8-15 When they could not answer Stephen's arguments as adisputant, they prosecuted him as a criminal, and brought falsewitnesses against him. And it is next to a miracle ofprovidence, that no greater number of religious persons havebeen murdered in the world, by the way of perjury and pretenceof law, when so many thousands hate them, who make no conscienceof false oaths. Wisdom and holiness make a man's face to shine,yet will not secure men from being treated badly. What shall wesay of man, a rational being, yet attempting to uphold areligious system by false witness and murder! And this has beendone in numberless instances. But the blame rests not so muchupon the understanding, as upon the heart of a fallen creature,which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Yetthe servant of the Lord, possessing a clear conscience, cheerfulhope, and Divine consolations, may smile in the midst of dangerand death.
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