And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
I. A VERY SELECT FUNERAL.
1. Pre-eminently select. "Devout men" — not rich, learned, or titled, but good men; those who discharged thoroughly, from the purest motives, all the duties of life.
(1) Virtuous, or true to themselves.
(2) Philanthropic, or true to their fellow-men.
(3) Godly, or true to the Most High. Christians — men of the highest type.
2. Suitably select. The good burying the good. The pious should care for each other to the last.
3. Wholly select. Occasionally funerals are very mixed. Some attend because the dead man had been a good customer; some because they were neighbours; some because of a necessary family connection; some as an expression of readiness to put the deceased out of the way; some from a denominational bias. Stephen's funeral was unmixed — composed of sincere and practical lovers of God and man. Perhaps heaven's inhabitants streamed to the balconies of the celestial city and gazed with wonder at the novel sight.
II. A VERY SAD FUNERAL.
1. There have been many non-attendant burials, not an individual present to grieve.
2. There have been largely attended funerals, but the signs of regret were correspondingly small; more talk than tears.
3. Stephen's funeral was attended by men of sense and sanctity, who rent the air with the cries of their broken hearts.
(1) Their sadness was an expression of homage to the excellencies of the departed.
(a) To great religious intelligence.
(b) To moral and religious character. The gospel lived in him, and he in it.
(c) To usefulness.
(2) An expression of sympathy with the sufferings of the departed. It was the loss of —
(1) A leading man.
(2) In a sudden manner.
(3) By cruel treatment.
(4) When he was most needed.
(B. D. Johns.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.