Acts 11:18
The worst hindrances to the spread of Christianity and to its hold upon the world have always been found to be, not so much the native opposition of the human heart, nor the direct conflict with Satan and with sin, but those indirect conflicts which are entailed by:

1. The inconsistencies of Christians in their individual life.

2. The "contentions of Christians in their mutual or collective life. We have before us a threatening instance of this latter kind, and an agreeable example of the way in which it was averted. Notice -

I. A THREATENING INSTANCE OF CONTENTION AMONG A BODY OF CHRISTIANS. We read that when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him." Though the more unfavorable turn of the word as now used by us need not be pressed, yet it certainly implies, as it stands, dissatisfaction with what he had done, and not the gentlest or suavest manner exhibited in calling him to account for it.

1. Contentions within Christian communities are in their simplest principle and beginning justifiable. It need not be said of them, as of offences, "Woe to him by whom they come!" though it may, nay, almost must, be said of them, that they "will come." It is for this reason, because the Church on earth is, as amongst its own members, its own guardian. It acknowledges the headship of Christ. It acknowledges the rule of the Spirit. It does not acknowledge any earthly lord, any vicar of Christ, any earthly sovereign authority. Hence it is answerable for its own doctrine and for its own discipline within its own pale. And investigation, debate, yea, all the formality of judicial trial (so that neither motives, methods, nor weapons are carnal), are within its province.

2. Contentions within Christian communities very generally arise on some plausible ground, to say the least. It was certainly so now. It is highly important to discriminate as far as possible between what is really legitimate and what is merely plausible. Of the first are -

(1) zeal of scriptural doctrine and revealed fact;

(2) zeal of a holy and consistent life.

But of the second are

(1) mere love of precedent;

(2) ascription of motives;

(3) generally scant charity.

3. Contentions within Christian communities fix stern responsibility on those who stir them, only second to that of those who cause them, when this is really done.

4. Contentions within Christian communities demand as much, as solemnly as any position whatsoever in life, singleness of eye and a pure conscience. Feeling, personal feeling, party feeling priestly feeling, and even the perfection of ignorant prejudice, have, in probably the saddest preponderance of history, profanely trampled on the ground and made it mournfully all their own. Nor is there any more hollow hypocrisy, more miserable mockery, more insulting blasphemy, than when these counterfeit zeal for the Lord of hosts and a pure and sensitive conscience.

II. A GRATEFUL EXAMPLE OF THE METHOD BY WHICH IT WAS AVERTED. It takes two persons to make a bargain, and two to make a quarrel; and, if a reconciliation is to be genuine and have in it the elements of lasting, both parties must do their share. It was so now.

1. Peter did what lay in him to remove cause of offence and to explain difficulty.

(1) He seems to have been taxed in a somewhat point-blank style. Yet he does not rein himself up, though he does rein temper in. He does not stand on his dignity, and refuse any account of himself and doings till he is addressed in a somewhat milder and more deferential style.

(2) He does not assert simply that what he had done he had done under an overpowering conviction "of duty" - a phrase among the worst abused of moral phrases.

(3) He does not assert positively, even though he had good right to know it, that what he had done was right and all right, and no two opinions about it with any man of understanding and principle.

(4) Discarding all irritating and aggravating beginnings, he even waives any expression of claim to the confidence of "the brethren," and instead, at once conciliating tells his tale. He tells it all from the beginning to the end succinctly. He narrates the revelations made to him (vers. 5-10). He states the facts, which could be easily disproved if incorrect (ver. 11). He instances his "six brethren" companions, who were witnesses of all he had done, and were now in the position of witnesses for him (ver. 12). He tempts out their memory by just quoting his own (ver. 16). And in closing even he does not pronounce a dogmatic verdict for self, but rather asks a verdict, and whether his hearers think the case admits of any verdict different from what he had in his conduct practically given. It is well worthy of notice how different the result might have been if Peter had at all, in a hectoring tone, begun with this question. But he did not begin with it; and when, with Christian gentleness, he now closes with it, all are ready in their answer to acquit him of blame. They see with his eye and are one with him.

2. On the other hand, those who had at first possibly rather peremptorily challenged Peter's conduct may be observed with some commendation now. Presumably these were some of his fellow "apostles and brethren" (vers. 1, 2). And of their disposition it is to be noted favorably that:

(1) If they had begun by putting themselves a little in the wrong so far as their tone was concerned, they do not therefore persist in it. The injurer is often the last to give in and forgive. So frequent is the occurrence and so fraught with mischief, that this may be called one of the "devices of Satan," that even Christian men will cleave to the thing they have said, let alone quite the subject of it, because they have once said it in a wrong manner. Eye and mind and heart get sealed up in deference to one humiliating fact, that they have uttered so much sound in wrong tone. Well, this was not the case now with those who called Peter to account.

(2) They give Peter a patient, and no doubt what soon became a riveted, hearing.

(3) They accept unquestioningly every statement that he makes, so far as it purported to be a statement of fact. There is no quibbling nor attempt at cross-questioning. This was Peter's due under any circumstances. But even fellow-Christians are chary sometimes in the matter of justice to one another.

(4) At the right yielding-point they do yield heartily. To "hold their peace" was a very victory of goodness. Better than this, while they "hold their peace" from blaming Peter, they open their mouth to "glorify God," Their mode of yielding bespeaks truth and honesty in them at the first, if even these manifested themselves forth in a manner a trifle unceremonious. Doubt, perplexity, a little vexation, clouded brow, all went in a moment. Pent-up anxiety and distrust are relieved. They are glad to hear and be persuaded by the things now "rehearsed to them" of Peter. They are not envious and still exclusive, but welcome the admission of the large Gentile brotherhood to the family of God and to "repentance unto life." And the end of that meeting was peace and joy - yes, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. We may give our better feelings leave to flow and our higher imagination to play while we think of the reconciliation, hearty and unfeigned, that those happy moments witnessed between Peter and the brethren. Nor shall we doubt that, for his fidelity and unflinching consistency in a moment's trying "ill report," he is henceforth held in higher honor and surer trust by those same brethren. - B.







Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Consider —

I. CERTAIN FALSE REPENTANCES.

1. Trembling beneath the sound of the gospel is not repentance. "Felix trembled," but had no sorrow for sin.

2. You may be "almost persuaded" to turn to Christ, you may even desire the gospel, you may even go upon your knees in prayer, and yet have no repentance, for you may get no further than Agrippa's "almost."

3. It is possible for men to positively humble themselves under the hand of God, and yet they may be total strangers to repentance. Ahab humbled himself, but did not turn from sin.

4. It is possible that you may confess your sins, and yet may not repent, for you may acknowledge your transgressions, and yet have no abhorrence of sin.

5. You may do some work meet for repentance, and yet you may be impenitent. Judas made restitution, but "he went out and hanged himself."

II. TRUE REPENTANCE.

1. Let me correct one or two mistakes.(1) That there must be deep, horrible manifestations of the terrors of law and of hell before repentance. Terrible thoughts are very often not the gift of God at all, but the insinuations of the devil; and even where the law worketh these thoughts, they do not enter into the essence of repentance. "Repentance" is a hatred of sin; a turning from sin and a determination in the strength of God to forsake it.(2) That they cannot repent enough. But there is not any eminent degree of "repentance" which is necessary to salvation. There are degrees of faith, and yet the least faith saves; so there are degrees of repentance, and the least repentance will save the soul if it is sincere.

2. And now what are the signs of true "repentance" in the sight of God?(1) There is always sorrow with it. More or less intense, it may be, according to the way in which God calls, and previous manner of life; but there must be some sorrow. Not, however, that you must shed actual tears. Some men cannot.(2) Practice — practical repentance. "'Tis not enough to say we're sorry, and repent, and then go on from day to day, just as we always went." We know tree by its fruit; and you who are penitent will bring forth works of repentance.(3) Does it last or does it not? Many of your repentances are like the hectic flush upon the cheek of the consumptive person, which is no sign of health.(4) Do you think you would repent if there were no punishment? Do you repent because you know you shall be punished forever if you remain in your sins? Every murderer hates his crime when he comes to the gallows. If you knew that you might give up your life to sin with impunity, would you still desire holiness? If so, you need not fear but that you have a "repentance" which is "unto life."

III. THE BLESSED BENEFICENCE OF GOD IN GRANTING TO MEN "REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE." It is the marvel of Divine mercy that it not only provides the way of salvation, and not only invites men to receive grace, but that it positively makes men willing to be saved.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. I begin with THE BLESSING OR BENEFIT HERE SAID TO BE BESTOWED. "Repentance unto life." Repentance is the infinite and inestimable gospel privilege, which the grace of God does, in and through Jesus Christ, allow to sinful men, and the happy consequence of this being no less than eternal life, it is therefore styled repentance unto life. As to the import of the word "repentance," the expression in the Greek plainly signifies a change of mind; and the Scripture sense of the word implies somewhat more than that, and takes in besides a thing which naturally follows it, or is caused by it, viz., an alteration likewise of practice or behaviour, a changing or turning from one course or custom of life to another. By "life" here some indeed understand that present most blessed and desirable state and condition in which sinners are placed by repentance; whereas before this they were in a state of wretched darkness, no better than spiritually dead. And this is undoubtedly a true and good notion of repentance unto life, viz., that repentance is that which brings men to live like themselves, i.e., happily and at ease and with comfort; which it was not possible for them to do, so long as they continued in their former course, For that was irregular and disorderly and unnatural; and whatsoever is so is a certain enemy to quiet, and utterly destructive of true satisfaction. I see no inconvenience in considering life in this place in both acceptations, viz., the rational and religious life which repentance brings men to here, and that blessed and immortal life to which, upon their true repentance, they are to be advanced hereafter. For they are of very near affinity to each other. Life considered in the former sense is the certain forerunner of life considered in the latter, and the latter is the undoubted effect of the former, and a greater benefit or blessing than both of them together cannot be desired or imagined. And happy is it for us, happy for the whole race of mankind, that God has dealt out so great a blessing with so liberal a hand. For —

II. THE PERSONS IT IS BESTOWED UPON. "The Gentiles." We find that this favour was not confined, as the Jews, upon the first promulgation of the gospel, imagined it to be, to one people and nation, so that none besides themselves were to be partakers of it. By the term Gentiles the Jews understood all that were not of their own people and country and religion.. Heathens and nations and Gentiles are synonymous expressions in Holy Scripture, as may be seen by the following texts: 1 Samuel 8:20; Psalm 44:2, and Psalms 79:1, and by many other places. These were the people whom the Jews, in comparison of themselves, greatly scorned. "Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:5), was the scornful language of the Jew to the poor neglected Gentile. And this distinction between the Jews and the other nations, or Gentiles, was also mightily kept up even in the time of our Saviour; nay, perhaps never was at a greater height than then. So little aware were they, at the time of the appearance of the Son of God, of the gracious errand upon which He was sent, which was to break down the partition wall that was betwixt Jews and Gentiles, and to make both one, imply two things considerable.

1. I say, here is implied the wide and universal extent of this blessing, which seemed to the Jews very strange and wonderful.

2. Here was likewise a great difficulty and stumbling block in their way, and that was, that the people on whom this favour was conferred seemed to them, on other accounts, so utterly unfit for it, besides their not being of their stock and country. The Gentiles were persons that wholly set themselves against God, and were addicted to all manner of idolatry, but as for themselves they were a holy and a peculiar people. Nay, St. Peter himself, till convinced by the fore-mentioned miracle, was of this mind. He was for keeping up the distinction of clean and unclean till God Himself commanded him to the contrary.

III. THE AGREEABLENESS OF THIS METHOD OF PROCEEDING WITH THE NATURE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD AND WITH THE SEVERAL DECLARATIONS HE HAD MADE TO THIS PURPOSE BY HIS PROPHETS. Now they had great reason to think it highly probable that even to the Gentiles God would grant repentance unto life, from the three following considerations.

1. From the contemplation of the boundless mercies and infinite goodness of God. The infinite goodness of God, if the Jews had attended to that consideration, might have rendered it to them highly probable that God would allow to the Gentiles also access to eternal salvation, or, in the words of the text, "repentance unto life." These attributes, though inseparable from the idea of God, the Jews most plainly overlooked, or else they would never have gone 'about to confine God's blessings and engross His favours wholly to themselves, but must have argued after this, or the like manner, with themselves. "God being, as the very natural notions of Him do imply, a God of infinite and unlimited goodness, surely He will not continue to shine upon us only, but will dart the rays of His bounty over all the world. He is not, as Esau suspected of his father Isaac, furnished only with one blessing, but has an unexhausted fountain of blessings, and will therefore undoubtedly visit other nations in His good time with the same. For they likewise are the work of His hands as well as we. They, too, are of the same make, and have enstamped upon them the like Divine and heavenly image with ourselves. They are preserved by the continual care of His providence, and do already enjoy the common blessings of this life, such as health and strength and sunshine and rain."

2. The Jews might have argued the great probability of this, from the extraordinary great need the Gentiles had of the blessing here spoken of, and that whether they considered their number or their condition. As to their number they were vastly the greater part of the world, the inhabitants of Judaea being very few and inconsiderable in comparison of those of all the earth besides; and yet that only, like Goshen in Egypt, was a land of light, whilst other parts were overspread with darkness and ignorance; and this suggests to us also the consideration of their condition. And the more sick the more need had they of a physician. Such sinners as they had the greatest need of all to be called upon to repentance. Their necessities were great, their indigences and wants were pressing and crying out for help; and these were such things as could not but plead strongly for them, with a good and merciful God, that they too might have a share in the blessed redemption effected by the Son of God.

3. This was not an instance of the Divine goodness barely to be hoped for from those lovely attributes of God, His mercy and loving kindness, but it is what God had promised and foretold He would do (Genesis 22:18; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 5:2; Psalm 98:3; Haggai 2:7).

IV. THE GREAT REASON THAT PERSONS ALREADY ADMITTED TO THE BLESSING OF THE GOSPEL, HAVE TO USE THEIR HEARTY ENDEAVOURS, THAT IT MAY BE ENJOYED BY OTHERS AS WELL AS BY THEMSELVES.

1. In the first place, I say, gratitude to our Lord and Saviour, who hath redeemed us with His most precious blood, should make us not only pray that the kingdom of God may come, but should make us as on the one side, highly delighted to see it flourishing, so, on the other, uneasy whenever we see either any of the subjects of Christ's kingdom in danger of falling away from Him, or others (who might, would we but take the pains to gain them, become subjects of His kingdom), not so much as knowing the Lord that bought them, nor consequently capable of bringing their thoughts and actions to the obedience of Christ.

2. And in the next place, this is the greatest instance of charity to man that is possible (1 John 5:12). If, affirmatively, the belief of the gospel be the way to life, and negatively, there be no other way beside it, how great a blessing, how valuable a privilege do we suffer men to want by letting them continue in unbelief? But to this it may be said, with regard to the infidel part of the world, Ignoti nulla cupido. As they have not heard of the joys of heaven, so it is not to be supposed that want of knowing the gospel can cause in them any uneasiness. But then we are to consider that the rewards of the gospel are a great prize, and to miss of that prize is a great loss for any to sustain, who might, if we so pleased, have had an opportunity of obtaining it. In the meantime, their being at present sensible, or not sensible, of their loss, makes no manner of alteration as to the truth and reality of it. With regard to persons who are in a lethargy, whilst they lie under the power of their distemper, and are utterly insensible of the badness of their own case, it cannot, because they are so, be therefore said of them that they are well. No; bystanders know the contrary, and pity them, and if they have any humanity will endeavour to relieve them. Just so should Christians act with regard to the Gentile world. We know how wretched a state the heathen world was in at the time of the promulgation of the gospel. And what reason have we to think that, at this present time, it can fare better with any people who have not amongst them the gospel of Christ to free them from these evils? Has not the common enemy of mankind, now as formerly, the same frailties and corruptions of fallen man to work upon? Or has he, since the mischief he did to our first parents, abated anything of his inveterate hatred to our race?

(Bishop of St. David's, 1736.)

Consider —

1. A blessing granted; repentance unto life; so called, to distinguish it from legal repentance, and the sorrow that is unto death. This true repentance is unto life; for, by God's appointment, it must go before eternal life; and whoso have it shall be sure of that.

2. The parties to whom it was granted; "the Gentiles," those who were once without hope and without God in the world.

3. The author of it, "God." It is His gift, as well as faith is. He works it in the heart. The doctrine of the text is, "Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience;" Note —

I. The KINDS of repentance.

1. Legal, such as was in Judas, and is not saving (Matthew 27:3), being produced by law terrors, without gospel grace changing the heart.

2. Evangelical, which is that in the text, and is the only true and saving repentance. The general difference betwixt them lies here, that in this last, one repents of his sin as it is sin, or offensive to God, as David did (Psalm 51:4); in the other, only as it brings wrath on him (Genesis 4:13).

II. Its GENERAL NATURE. It is a saving grace (2 Timothy 3:25), disposing the soul unto all the acts of turning from sin unto God.

1. It is not a transient action, a sigh for sin, a pang of sorrow for it, which goes away again; but an abiding grace, a new frame and disposition, fixed in the heart, disposing one to turn from sin to God on all occasions (Zechariah 12:10).

2. Nor yet a passing work of the first days of one's religion, but a grace in the heart, setting one to an answerable working all their days.

3. It is a saving grace, distinguishing one from a hypocrite, and having a necessary connection with eternal life.

III. Its AUTHOR.

1. Not men themselves; it is not owing to one's natural powers (Jeremiah 22:23). The stony heart is beyond man's power to remove.

2. It is God's free gift, and wrought by the power of His Spirit in the heart (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Jeremiah 31:18, 19). Sometimes notorious sinners become penitents, as Manasseh, Paul, etc. The knottiest timber is as easy for the Spirit to work as any other. The means the Spirit makes use of is the Word; hence we read of preaching repentance. And(1) The law serves to break the hard heart (Jeremiah 23:29). It is like the Baptist preparing the way for the Messiah's coming. Hence it is called "the Spirit of bondage" (Romans 8:15).(2) The gospel serves to melt the hard heart, like a fire (Jeremiah 23:29); and so bow and bend it toward God. The soul is driven by the law, but drawn by the gospel.

IV. Its SPRINGS.

1. A true sense of sin.(1) A sight of it (Psalm 51:3). The man's eyes are opened to his sinfulness; the evil of his sin, its misery and danger to himself, and the dishonour it does to God.(2) A painful feeling of it (Acts 2:37; Acts 16:30). This is necessary, because otherwise the sinner will never part with his sin, nor prize Christ and His grace (Revelation 3:17).

2. An apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ (Joel 5:12, 13). Not mercy for mercy's sake, bug Christ's sake. This is necessary. For without it, one will either —(1) Go on in secret despair, casting off the thoughts of his case, and making the best of it he can (Jeremiah 2:25); or(2) Lie down in tormenting despair, like Judas. Both which will fix sin in the heart, and bar out repentance.

V. Its PARTS.

1. Humiliation. The sinner goes from God by the highway of pride and self-conceit, but always comes back the low way of humiliation. Grace pulls him down from the seat of the scorner, and lays him at the Lord's feet (1 Peter 5:6). In it there is —(1) Sorrow for sin;(2) A holy shame for sin (Romans 6:21). They see now their spiritual nakedness and pollution.(3) Self-loathing (Ezekiel 36:31; Luke 18:1.13).(4) Penitent confession (Jeremiah 3:13), accusing and condemning themselves.

2. Conversion, or returning —

(1)From sin,

(2)To God and holiness.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

The passage I have chosen as the subject of our present inquiry informs us of the impressions produced on the minds of the Jewish converts at Jerusalem by St. Peter's relation of the circumstances and success of his first mission to the Gentiles. The passage implies the previous operation of prejudice; it records the confutation of that prejudice; and it illustrates the argument in support of missions which arises from their success.

I. The passage implies THE PREVIOUS OPERATION OF PREJUDICE — a prejudice against missions to the Gentiles. "They held their peace." Then they had before opposed them. Was there anything in the character and genius of the gospel that could warrant the indulgence of this prejudice? No. How can we account for their prejudices against missions? They can be ascribed to their strong nationality, their religious distinction, and their material views of the Messiah's reign. The old Jewish spirit was specially exclusive.

II. The passage records the CONFUTATION OF THEIR PREJUDICES. "When they heard these things, they held their peace." Their prejudices were refuted and their objections silenced by the facts which the apostle reported.

III. The passage illustrates THE ARGUMENT FOR THE SUPPORT OF MISSIONS ARISING FROM THEIR SUCCESS. Success, abstractedly considered, is not the invariable criterion of a Divine religion, or the unequivocal proof of truth. The success of the false prophet of Mecca and of the Jesuits in China, on account of the way in which that success was won, proves nothing as to the value of their mission. But the success of the gospel does. It is a success against the passions, prejudices, and habits of mankind, won by moral means, and moral means alone.

(1)The success explains and vindicates the object of missions.

(2)The success supports and confirms our expectations.

(3)The success demands increased exertions.

(J. Fletcher, D. D.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
The wise man hath said, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame to him." Without waiting for the reasons of the apostle's conduct, his Jewish brethren had contended with him. They listened to his explanation, and their reproaches are converted into praise. Upright minds may err in opinion and feeling, but they are accessible to evidence. They deny not themselves the pleasure and advantage of fresh discoveries in the path of truth, because they cannot endure the proof of their own fallibility.

I. ITS NATURE.

1. In general. Repentance is distinguished by infallible signs. Not only does it awaken fear, by considerations of consequences, but hatred, by a perception of its intrinsic malignity. Such a repentance never fails to produce meet fruits. The subject of it abandons the sins he mourns, and enters on a new and holy course. Such was David's repentance, but not Herod's or Judas's.

2. This repentance is unto life. The life with which it is connected is of the highest order; not animal life, alike the gift of worms and man; not mere intellectual life, by which man bears resemblance to angels, whether holy or fallen; but spiritual life, consisting in a right bias and employment of natural powers; its business, the service — its bliss, the enjoyment of God. True repentance originates in a principle of this life, implanted by the Holy Spirit, introduces into a course of it on earth, and issues in the eternal perfection of it in heaven.

II. ITS AUTHOR AND GIVER. So hardening is the deceitfulness of sin, that repentance to life would never have become the inmate of the human bosom, but as a gift from God.

I. Who, except the merciful Author of our being, grants space and opportunity to repent? Why was not the persecuting Saul cut down in his sins? The prolongation of existence is the continuance of opportunity to return to God. He is "long suffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." The long suffering of God waited on the people of the old world. They disregarded, and they perished. Let their example be our warning.

2. He who grants the opportunity also bestows the means. Are some awakened by the preaching of the gospel? It is His appointment. Are others affected under the reading of the Word? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Is a third aroused by afflictions? They are the chastisements of their heavenly Father's hand. If, in a further instance, the counsel and prayers and holy example of friends have been instrumental, whose gift are they? And, if in any cases the effect has been the result of a concurrence in these various kinds of subordinate agency, from whom do they all descend?

3. The best adapted means, however, will be unavailing unless the Father of lights bestow the Spirit of repentance. Jesus is exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, that He may give repentance. Shall the necessity of this heavenly gift be pleaded to excuse a neglect of the means of repentance? Nothing can excuse it. Penitence is God's command as well as His gift; and the Spirit which produces it is promised to him who seeks.

III. ITS EFFECTS ON CHRISTIAN BEHOLDERS. The joy here was —

1. Benevolent. The good man knows the way of transgressors to be hard. He thinks of the tremendous end that awaits them; of the felicities in which penitence results.

2. Devout joy. He beholds in the repentance of a sinner a glorious triumph of almighty power over the might and artifice of Satan, and the ignorance, pride, and obstinacy of the human mind; of Divine mercy over its awful demerit. He contemplates an immortal mind debased and polluted by subjection to sin, emerging from its degradation, and resuming its primitive beauty. And thus it is an exultation like that of the angels of God. Such a blessing granted to an individual may well kindle joyful admiration of Divine goodness and power, but extended to many the effect should be proportionably augmented. If the bestowment of this blessing on others be a just ground of exultation, what pleasure and gratitude should it awaken when conferred on ourselves? Of a blessing, so preeminently important, can any regard themselves as destitute, and abide in tranquillity?

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

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