The Selfish Policy of Magistrates
Scientific Illustrations
Acts 16:32-40
And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.…

There is a thing which passes for generosity which, when analysed, is found to be nothing but selfish policy. Sometimes a flint-hearted magistrate makes a great show of generous consideration for the condition of the prisoner, and pompously discharges him on that ground, as he says. Whereas it will often be found that the charge against the man was one of which the law could take no cognisance, or else which the magistrate felt himself unable to grapple with. He gets great credit for his clemency. His manoeuvre, however, reminds those who see through it of the spider's tricks. We well know that the moment an ill-starred fly or other insect comes in contact with the net of the spider, it is sprung upon with the rapidity of lightning, and if the captured insect be of small size the spider conveys it at once to the place of slaughter, and having at its leisure sucked all its juice, throws out the carcase. If the insect be somewhat larger and struggles to escape, the spider envelops its prey in a mesh of thread passed round its body in various directions, and its wings and legs thus effectually secured, it is conveyed to the den and devoured. But when a bee or large fly, too powerful to be mastered by the spider, happens to get entangled in its toils, then the wary animal, conscious of its incapacity to contend against such fearful odds, makes no attempt to seize or embarrass the victim. On the contrary, it assists the entangled captive in its efforts to free itself, and often goes so far as to break off that part of the web from which it may be suspended. This act has upon it the colour of seeming generosity, but in reality it is nothing more than the performance of selfish cunning. The tyrant, feeling himself incapable of doing an injury, determines to have no molestation. To obtain this end he performs an act of manumission. In this policy he is not unlike the magistrate referred to.

(Scientific Illustrations.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

WEB: They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.

The Assertion or Vindication of Rights
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