Acts 24:5

Robert Hawker

"A ringleader of the sect of the nazarenes."–Acts xxiv. 5

My soul! hast thou arrived at that station of dignity, to be reproached for Christ's sake? If so, thou wilt enter into a proper sense and enjoyment of the title Paul was branded with; a ringleader, or a standardbearer of the cross. One who, not content with receiving Christ into his own heart, determines, let the cost be what it may, the loss of reputation or of life, to proclaim Jesus upon the house-top. This is to be a ring-leader! An honourable station! and one that Jesus loves! Jesus himself was Jehovah's ringleader, for he saith, "In that day, there shah be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious." Isa. xi. 10. And elsewhere, Jehovah saith, "Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people." Isa. Iv. 4. My soul, hast thou taken part in the reproaches of God's choicest servants? It is impossible to be a true follower of the despised Nazarene, unless thou hast followed him "without the camp, bearing his reproach." The world, from the days of Cain, in his persecution of Abel, hath, in all ages, branded the ringleaders of the Lord's cause. The servants were treated as the master. His prophets, "troublers of the land," Amos vii. 10. His city, always "a rebellious city," Ezra iv. 15. Yea, Jesus himself, as "one perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar," Luke xxiii. 2. Precious Lord! could not thy meek, harmless, and inoffensive conduct pass on without this censure; then who can hope to escape? I know, Lord, that to hold thee up, and proclaim thee as Jehovah's ensign to the nation, is to be indeed a ringleader of the cross, against which all hell must wage war, and all the powers of this world's customs will declare enmity. But be thou my standard, and I shall be more than conqueror, through thy grace helping me. Oh! let me unceasingly speak thy praise, and let the fathers to the children make known thy truth.


Robert Hawker

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