“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of faith and the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city and stoned him.: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen,calling upon God and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this he fell asleep.” Acts 7: 54-60.
THE FIRST MARTYR STEPHEN
We have here the death of the first martyr of the Christian church, and there is in this story a lively instance of the outrage and fury of the persecutors (such as we may expect to meet with, if we are called out to suffer for Christ) and of the courage and comfort of the persecuted, that are thus called out. Here is hell in its fire and darkness and heaven in its light and brightness; and these serve as foils to set off each other. – Matthew Henry
The Work of Sussex Martyrs Commemoration Council
Speaker: Michael Hobbis