And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.…
The Bible not intended to be a statute-book for nations, but a Book of Divine principles, which, while they should underlie all legislation, are not intended to supersede the natural development of human law. The glimpse into the earliest Church life specially helpful to God's people, indirectly so to the world. Confirmation of the Acts in heathen authors, as Lucian, in his 'Peregrinus Proteus,' who refers to the community of goods and other features of the early Church.
I. THE EDIFICE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH RESTS UPON THE SUPERNATURAL. Fear on every soul; signs and wonders. Divine work both in the outward world and in the hearts and consciences of men.
II. THE STRENGTH OF THE UNITING BOND in the new society is spiritual; not mere companionship, or social instinct, or common necessity, or political aim, but brotherly love springing out of faith - a faith showing itself in self-sacrifice and steadfastness.
III. THE SPECIALITY AND DISTINCTNESS of the Christian life in the midst of such a world. Unselfishness, mutual consideration, compassion for the needy, gladness and singleness of heart, devoutness, purity of home life, steadfast continuing in well-doing.
IV. THE MIGHTY EFFECT of a pure Church upon an impure world. The true method of spreading religion is not by breaking down the distinctions between Church life and worldly life, but by revealing the spiritual power of Christ's kingdom. "They had favor with all the people." The people know how to distinguish between reality and pretence. They will be always moved by sincerity. The Lord will add to his own work. The method which we see in nature is a type of that Which is ordained in grace. The vigorous life is selected to carry on the increase. Half-hearted Christianity cannot convert the world. Multitudinism is a great mistake, as well as mockery of Christ. Let the Lord add to the Church; let not our desires, or even our observances of Christian institutions, multiply numbers without increasing strength. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.