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Published by glennpease

" And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. " ACTS iv. 23.

" And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. " ACTS iv. 23.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 02, 2013
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EVERY CREATURE AFTER ITS KIND.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT" And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported allthat the chief priests and elders had said unto them. " ACTS iv. 23.A SECRET, mysterious, reciprocal attraction drew Peterand John together, although the two men were by nomeans similar in character. They were companions intheir visit to the empty sepulchre, and companions inthe dangerous duty of preaching Christ in Jerusalemimmediately after the Pentecost. Perhaps the difference, or even the contrast between them in naturaldisposition, rendered them more suitable to each otherfor mutual help. As a man s strength and a woman sgentleness bind two into one in married life, the robustimpetuous Peter clung to the calm, self-possessed tenderness of John; and John, in his weakness, was fainto lean on Peter s strength.This noble pair of brothers, when their own love waswarm, and the hatred of their enemies sharp, stoodside by side in the courts of the temple and in thestreets of the city, charging home upon the Jewish rulers and people with the terrible indictment, "Ye havecrucified the Lord;" ready, whenever the sword of theSpirit should pierce the conscience of the hearers, torun in and apply for healing the blood of atonement.Grieved that these two witnesses should teach thepeople, through the risen Jesus, the resurrection of thedead, the Sanhedrim had arrested Peter and John atthe close of their day s labor, and shut them in prisonfor the night.How the two prisoners spent the night \ve are notinformed. Perhaps they sang praises, like Paul and
Silas at a later date; or perhaps they were not yet soEvery Creature after its Kind. 85far advanced. It may be they could not do more thansecretly cast their burden on the Lord, without beingable as yet to glory in tribulation.Next day the Council called the prisoners and examined them. Having heard from Peter more of plaintruth than was pleasant to their taste, they orderedthe panels to be removed from the bar, and consultedprivately regarding the case.The aim of the judges was not to arrive at thetruth, but to crush the witnesses. There was notmuch debate, and their resolution was quickly taken.They recalled the prisoners, and straitly threatenedthem that they should speak thenceforth to no man inthe name of Jesus. Lame and impotent conclusion !They omitted the main element from their calculation.They knew not the fire that the love of Christ hadkindled in the hearts of those two men.Suppose that some savages have seen a cannoncharged and discharged. Suppose that when theysaw it charged a second time, dreading the consequences, they should gather stones and clay, andtherewith ram the cannon full to the muzzle, by wayof shutting in the shot, and securing the safety of theneighborhood. They know not the power of gunpowder when it is touched by a spark. This is the sort of blunder into which the Sanhedrim fell. They thoughtthey could stifle the testimony of the apostles by ramming a threat of punishment down their throats. Theyknew not the power of faith in Christ, when it is kindled by a spark from heaven.
Peter and John did not deceive their judges. Withbeautiful simplicity and sublime courage they answered,"Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearkenunto you more than unto God, judge ye." These Jewish rulers have committed a blunder. They havesummoned the sea into their presence, and proclaimedto it, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further !"We cannot but speak the things which we haveseen and heard." It is by no means a universal rulethat every man is bound to proclaim all that he has seenand heard. Many things that we see and hear it is bothour inclination and our duty to conceal. It is the peculiar nature of the message which these men have received86 The Church in the House.that lays an obligation on them to make it known. Thecondition on which any one receives mercy in the covenant is that he should hasten to publish the glad tidingsabroad. When a polished gem receives a sunbeam onits surface, it is under a natural necessity of spreadingout the light in all directions; and so a human soul thatreceives the light of life from the face of Jesus is underlaw to let that light shine before men: " Freely ye havereceived, freely give."After another interdict against preaching Christ, theprisoners were dismissed from the bar. It is intimatedthat the Court would willingly have adopted a severermeasure, but were restrained by a fear of the people.This is an illustrious specimen of special providence.When God has given out his decree, "Touch not mineanointed, and do my prophets no harm," he has suitableinstruments always at hand to execute his will. Thepeople, as such, would be a broken reed for any persecuted witness to lean upon. At the next turn of thetide it might become necessary that a military chief 

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