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.
I. STEPHEN. The picture of a dying saint.
1. He enjoys the Divine presence and power (ver. 55), "Full of the Holy Ghost." The power of God was present when His faithful servant was passing through the flood.
2. He is lifted above the consciousness of earthly surroundings, enemies, and gnashing teeth.
3. He enjoys a full view of heavenly glory (ver. 55). He saw in that hour what many would have given their all to see, the vision of his glorified Redeemer.
4. He shows the spirit of his Master (ver. 60).
5. He has a peaceful death, though dying by violence. "He fell asleep," though the storm of stones was crashing upon him.
6. He leaves a blessed memory (ver. 2). Though dead he was not forgotten. Godly men mourned him, and many years afterward his name was remembered (Acts 22.). Greater still, his influence endured; for the whole life of Paul was the larger echo of Stephen's dying address.
II. SAUL. We notice in him the picture of an honest persecutor.
1. His spirit of leadership (ver. 58). The young man Saul already shows himself as a master of men.
2. His sincerity. Saul was faithful to his conviction, even while in the wrong (Galatians 1:13, 14; Philippians 3:4-6).
3. His thoroughness. He must carry out his conviction, even to the bitter end.
4. His failure to check the gospel (ver. 4). The storm which was intended to destroy the gospel only served to scatter it over new soil and to cause new churches to spring up.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.