by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Wisest Fool (7 of 16)
Cornelius-A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
Clarence E. Macartney
Acts 11:14

God sometimes moves in a mysterious way to perform the
wonders of His grace. The story of the conversion of
the Roman officer Cornelius fixes our attention not
only upon the fact that this soldier bowed at the feet
of the Prince of Peace, but also upon the wonderful
way in which he was brought to hear of the Gospel. The
story of his conversion naturally divides itself into
three parts: first, the congregation and the preacher,
and the way in which they were brought together;
second, the sermon which was preached; and third, the
results of the sermon and its far-reaching

The Congregation and the Preacher

Cornelius was a centurion; that is, the commander of
the sixtieth part of a Roman legion, or one hundred
men. He was stationed at Caesarea, which was the seat
of the Roman government in that part of Syria. His
company, perhaps made up of crack troops, was known as
the Italian Band. All the associations and all the
environment of Cornelius were against his being a good
man and a man of faith. He had an official post in a
day of unspeakable licentiousness and corruption. His
business was that of war. Yet, so placed, Cornelius
was a good man. Too much is made today of heredity and
environment, and too many faults and transgressions
are condoned or excused on their account. There are
indeed some people so situated that religious faith
and character, humanly speaking, seems unlikely, if
not impossible; whereas others are so situated that
good character and religious faith would seem to be
almost inevitable. Yet there are plenty of instances
where men have failed utterly in spite of a favorable
environment; and other instances where men have come
to nobility of character and greatness of faith in
spite of a very unfavorable environment. Joseph, in
the house of Potiphar, did not sink ...

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