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7When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his slaves and a devout soldier from the ranks of those who served him,

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7. And after that the angel. Luke declareth here how ready Cornelius was to obey when as he maketh no tarriance, but doth that with all diligence which he was commanded to do. And this was the cause that he was so forward, because he believed the promise; as want of faith is the cause why we are so slow to follow God. Angels come not flying to us from heaven that they may appoint us certain men, but that voice of Christ soundeth in all men’s cars.

“Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,”
(Matthew 7:7.)

How is it that of an hundred scarce one or two will stir one foot, that some creep so little that they profit but a little, but because we do not indeed believe the promise? Therefore, let us learn that we must not drive off from day to day, but every man must hasten thither whither he is called, so soon as he heareth the voice of God.

Two of his servants. Cornelius had this reward for being so diligent in teaching his family, that he had faithful and honest servants who were willing to do him service; and also such as that he might commit any thing to them. On the other side, the Lord doth oftentimes punish masters with just punishments who have no regard to instruct their families. For they find those justly stubborn and unfaithful whom they would not frame unto godliness and the fear of God, and also they are afraid of their treachery.

A godly soldier. Forasmuch as this soldier was much conversant with Cornelius, he had also taught him to fear God, as well as his household servants. It is meet that we call to mind here that which I touched before, that there is no kind of life which excuseth us but that we must worship God purely. For a soldier’s life was at that time most corrupt; for they were fallen unto filthy licentiousness, from the ancient discipline, and yet the Spirit of God beareth record in this place of the godliness of soldiers. Wherefore, there is no cause why they should require a calling that is free from worshipping God, under color of warfare, who would by one means or other be free from all righteousness. If they deny that they can serve God because they be soldiers, they shall have these two soldiers meet judges and witnesses against them at the last day, who shall condemn them. And in the mean season, those brain-sick fellows are condemned who cry that it is unlawful for Christians to carry weapons. For these men were warriors, and yet godly, and when they embrace Christ they forsake not their former kind of life; they cast not away their armor as hurtful, nor yet forsake their calling.