Every Creature After its Kind
Acts 4:23-37
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.…

A mysterious, reciprocal attraction drew Peter and John together, although they were by no means alike. Perhaps their differences rendered them more suitable to each other; as a man's strength and a woman's gentleness bind two into one in married life. This noble pair were of the three chosen disciples, were companions at the sepulchre, and were together through all the stages of this incident. Now being free they go to their own. Like draws to like. When evil was to be done the rulers laid their heads together. "Birds of a feather flock together"; and if one bird has been for a time imprisoned, when the cage is opened it will fly straight and quick to the place where it left its mates. On this principle proceeds the pigeon telegraph. The instincts of animals are perfect in their kind. When a captive lamb is set at liberty it never halts until it has rejoined the flock. With equal exactness does the washed sow return to wallow with her fellows in the mire. Thus suddenly and surely did a worldling, who had for a time been arrested by the discourses of Jesus, leap back into his element of filthy lucre. As soon as there was a pause in the sermon he went to his own: "Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me." An example of the opposite tendency in a renewed heart is seen in the possessed man whom our Lord delivered at Gadara. Being let go of Satan he went to his own — to his own Saviour and fellow disciples. How often when professing Christians go abrOad, they leave their religion behind them. It was never more than an external thing, a bondage, and therefore when removed the irreligious soul goes to its irreligion. A young man has been accustomed to the order of a Christian household. As the lines of restraint were laid on him while an infant, he is not very conscious of them. But he leaves for the great metropolis. If his religion has been only a cord round his neck, like the bit and bridle which holds the horse, he is now free; he will go to his own and seek the company of the careless or the profane. Cords of this kind were fastened on Judas, but when at last he was let go what a leap he made into his own place! Demas was brought for a time under the mighty influence of Paul, which, however, gave way one day, and to the present world, his chosen portion, gravitated Demas, as a stone sinks when you let it go. But the new creature acts after its kind as well as the old; when the chains of bondage are broken the captive returns to his Father's house. A youth who has got a new heart becomes an apprentice in an engineering establishment where his lot is east among the profane. In the first hour they discover that a saint is among them, and do everything that devilish ingenuity can suggest to make him one of themselves. If his religion had been a conventional gilding it would have been rubbed off in the first week; but as it was all gold the more it was rubbed the brighter it grew. The first evening came, and each went to his own company — the apprentice, articled by an eternal covenant to the Saviour, went to the fields, the flowers, the birds, with which he had been wont to keep company at home; then to his food, which he enjoyed with the fresh relish of a labourer, and the fresher relish of a child of God constantly getting daily bread from a Father's hand; then to his Bible, his own Book; then to his own Saviour, in faith's confiding prayer. A whole legion of wicked men will not overcome this youth — maybe he will subdue some of them and lead them captive to Christ. Yet another lesson. The grave has a greedy appetite, and all go to it. A strange place for Christ's members to be in! But some day they must be let go, and then they will go to their own company. An atom of air may have been imprisoned in some strong vessel at the bottom of the sea for ages. At last the vessel gives way, and the atom of air, though long an exile, has not forgotten its home, and will not miss its way. It rises in a sheer straight line through the thick heavy waters, nor halts till with a joyful burst it reaches its own. Be of good cheer, disciples of Jesus. Ye are of more value than many atoms of air.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

WEB: Being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

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