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The Wisest Fool (12 of 16)
Stephen-The Man Who Looked Like an Angel
Clarence E. Macartney
Every man has within him the possibilities of an angel.
These enraged enemies of Stephen, when they gnashed their
teeth against him at the meeting of the Sanhedrin, and
probably also when they were stoning him, saw his face as
if it had been the face of an angel. That is a great
tribute when you consider it came from men who wanted to
One of Rembrandt's famous paintings is that of himself,
which is to be seen in the National Gallery in London.
Every man produces one masterpiece-himself. Day and night,
year in and year out, in conscious and unconscious moments,
his words and deeds, his secret desires, what he permits or
refuses, every hope, every fear, every purpose all are
strokes of the brush, and produce the painting. One day the
canvas is finished. Death frames it and puts it on
exhibition. Then not a line can be erased or changed, not a
feature retouched or altered. The work is finished. There
is the masterpiece, a masterpiece because it is absolutely
true to life.
Here we have Stephen's unveiling. Here suddenly,
dramatically, at the end of Stephen's life, his masterpiece
is unveiled. And what a lovely portrait it is-like an
angel. Even his hating, bloodthirsty enemies had to confess
that he looked like an angel. They had been looking for a
traitor, a blasphemer; but what they saw instead was the
face of an angel.
He heeded not reviling tones,
Nor sold his heart to idle moans,
Tho' cursed and scorn'd, and bruised with stones;
But looking upward, full of grace,
He pray'd, and from a happy place
God's glory smote him on the face.
One of the seven deacons appointed by the church, Stephen
had proved himself a mighty preacher of the Gospel. In
order to silence him his enemies haled him before the
Sanhedrin on the charge that he spoke blasphemous words
against the law and against Mos ...
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