Acts 10:38
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.
A Long Life of BenevolenceJohn Wesley.Acts 10:38
Christ Our ExampleActs 10:38
Doing GoodActs 10:38
Doing Good as a Remedy for Seal DepressionBp. Ryle.Acts 10:38
Doing Good Within Our SphereT. Dwight.Acts 10:38
Going About Doting GoodC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:38
Good not to be Done by DeputyDr. Nevins.Acts 10:38
Our Great ExampleC. J. P. Eyre, M. A.Acts 10:38
Seeking to Do Good in Little WaysChristian AgeActs 10:38
The Benevolent Conduct of JesusTheological Sketch bookActs 10:38
The Blessedness of Doing GoodC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:38
The Christian's Encouragement to Seek and Do GoodJames Brewster.Acts 10:38
The Example of ChristBp. Ryle.Acts 10:38
The Example of Jesus in Doing GoodAbp. Tillotson.Acts 10:38
The First PhilanthropistCanon Liddon.Acts 10:38
The Great ItinerantC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:38
The Great PhilanthropistR.A. Redford Acts 10:38
The Imitable and Inimitable in Jesus ChristW. Clarkson Acts 10:38
The Life BeneficentW. Hoyt, D. D.Acts 10:38
The Life of ChristA. Roberts, M. A.Acts 10:38
The Matchless LifeF. W. Brown.Acts 10:38
The Ministry of JesusJ. W. Burn.Acts 10:38
The Model Home Mission and the Model Home MissionaryC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:38
The Model LifeAlex. Wallace, D. D.Acts 10:38
The Saviour's Active BenevolenceF. W. P. Greenwood.Acts 10:38
The Ways of Doing GoodR. Newton, D. D.Acts 10:38
A Good Man's ConversionC. S. Robinson, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Broadening FoundationsP.C. Barker Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusW. M. Taylor, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusJames Owens.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusPreacher's MonthlyActs 10:1-48
Cornelius of CaesareaG. M. Grant, B. D.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius the Truth SeekerC. H. Payne, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, a Monument of the Omnipotence of GraceK. Gerok.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, an Example of PietyJ. T. Woodhouse.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, the Truth SeekerJ. G. Hughes.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius: a Model for VolunteersG. Venables, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius; Or, New Departures in ReligionJ. Clifford, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
DreamsG. H. James.Acts 10:1-48
Family DevotionC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:1-48
Peter's VisionR. T. Stevenson.Acts 10:1-48
Peter's VisionD. J. Burrell D. D.Acts 10:1-48
The Character and Conversion of CorneliusR. P. Buddicom, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
The Character of CorneliusG. Spence, D. C. L.Acts 10:1-48
The Conversion of the GentilesJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
The Providential Guidance of the ChurchDean Alford.Acts 10:1-48
The Supernatural PreparationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Man in God's Sight; Or, Divine ImpartialityW. Clarkson Acts 10:9-48
The First Trumpet-Sound of the Gospel in the Heathen WorldR.A. Redford Acts 10:23-43
A Model AudienceB. D. Johns.Acts 10:30-48
A Model CongregationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
A Model CongregationWilliam Forsyth, A. M.Acts 10:30-48
Attending At Ordinances EnforcedR. Watson.Acts 10:30-48
Complemental MinistryW. Arnot, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Concerning Audiences, Preachers, Sermons, and ConversionsJ. McNeill.Acts 10:30-48
Congregations to be Well Fed with the TruthC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:30-48
Cornelius and PeterM. C. Hazard.Acts 10:30-48
Cornelius's Sending and Peter's ComingJ. W. Burn.Acts 10:30-48
Different Kinds of HearersT. Boston, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Don't Grumble About the FodderActs 10:30-48
Hearing and its Proper EffectsJ. Newton.Acts 10:30-48
Interested HearersActs 10:30-48
Peter and CorneliusG. Leach, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Peter At CaesareaT. J. Holmes.Acts 10:30-48
Peter At CaesareaD. J. Burrell, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Punctuality in Attendance At ChurchCyclopoedia of Illustrative AnecdotesActs 10:30-48
The Best Remedy for Small CongregationsActs 10:30-48
The Gospel to the GentilesDean Vaughan.Acts 10:30-48
The Ideal CongregationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
The Model CongregationWatson Smith.Acts 10:30-48
The Reciprocal Duties of a Minister and of His PeopleJ. Hughes, M. A.Acts 10:30-48
Truth Liked as a Sentiment, But Disliked as a Law of LifeH. W. Beecher.Acts 10:30-48
Various Kinds of HearersH. Smith.Acts 10:30-48
Discourse of Peter At CaesareaE. Johnson Acts 10:34-43
The Gospel for the HeathenR. Tuck Acts 10:37-43


1. God sent him on a mission altogether higher than our own. He "anointed him" to be the Redeemer of a world, to be its Savior by suffering and dying in its stead, by revealing truth which it could not possibly have discovered.

2. God dwelt in him as he dues not and could not do in us. He was anointed "with the Holy Ghost," and God "gave not the Spirit by measure unto him."

3. He was armed with a power which was irresistible: the "winds and the waves obeyed" him; sickness fled at his touch; death itself was obedient to his voice; the spirit-world owned his presence and yielded to his authority; he "healed all that were possessed of the devil." Our function in the world, our possession by God, our power over the forces around us, - this is in striking contrast with the work and present power of Jesus Christ.


1. We are charged with a holy and benign mission; we are "anointed" to do a good if not a great work in the world (see John 20:21). We are "sent" by our Lord to "bear witness unto the truth," both in word and deed; "to work and speak and think for him;" to "serve our generation by the will of God."

2. We are to be those in whom God dwells by his Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22).

3. We are to be possessed of spiritual power (Ephesians 3:16, 19; Ephesians 6:10; Colossians 1:11).

4. We are to be the sources and channels of blessing; we are to "go about doing good" (Hebrews 13:16). We may "do good" everywhere and always - the smile of encouragement, the look of love, the sigh of sympathy, the touch of kindness, the word of truth, the act of integrity, every manifestation of the Spirit of Christ is "doing good." And all is to be done under the same condition. For:

5. We are to have the continual presence and sanction of our heavenly Father: "God was with him." - C.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth.

1. Active — "went." He did not sit passively and receive applicants: like many nowadays, who are either indolent, or think it sufficient to satisfy a claim when made, or else are afraid of encountering too many claims.

2. Incessant — "about." Not to one place, but everywhere; not in the straight line of duty or circumstances, but in, out, and around. Much of modern charity is partial, and confines itself to "deserving" cases, or those who have superior claims on the ground of kindred, neighbourhood, nationality, etc.

3. Inquiring — "went about." Jesus "sought" that He might save. Many of the objects of His compassion were those who lay outside the beaten track and had to be found.

4. Practical — "doing," not simply "speaking," although sympathetic words are helpful: but a little assistance is worth a good deal of pity.

5. Really beneficent — "good." It is to be feared that much of so-called charity does more harm than good.

6. Victorious — "healing all that were oppressed of the devil." Destruction has often to precede construction. The devil has to be vanquished before good can be done.

II. ITS SANCTION. "God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost."

1. This was fore-announced (Isaiah 61:1-3); and when the prophecy was so abundantly fulfilled nothing but the blindness of criminal unbelief could refuse to see it.

2. This was abundantly given to Christ and claimed by Him.

3. This demonstrated His Messiahship. He was the anointed —(1) Prophet — to declare man's need. All need is not conscious. Men have to be convinced of the existence of their deepest requirements. How many are bound by the fetters of sin, and yet are senseless to their slavery.(2) Priest — to provide for man's need. Through His mediatorial work Christ becomes the grand storehouse of God's riches.(3) King — to supply man's need. "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." "He is able to do exceeding abundantly." He received gifts for the rebellious.

III. ITS POWER. Christ was anointed with "power."

1. He was equal to every emergency. When the wine failed He turned the water into wine. Those whom physicians gave up as incurable He healed with a touch. When the disciples were in danger of perishing in the storm He rebuked the winds and the waves. When Lazarus was dead He recalled him to life. And all this without delay and without exertion.

2. His power was acknowledged by all: nature, men, devils.

IV. ITS REWARD. "God was with Him."

1. Encouraging.

2. Approving.

3. Rendering effectual.

(J. W. Burn.)

Who went about doing good.
Here, then, it is necessary to consider to whom St. Peter was addressing himself. Before him stood the centurion Cornelius, probably a few comrades, and certainly some Jews, who on an occasion like this would not have had the largest place in the apostle's thought. The persons of whom St. Peter was chiefly thinking were Cornelius and the other soldiers present, above all Cornelius. The band to which Cornelius belonged consisted of Italian levies, and Cornelius, as his name shows, belonged to an old Roman family, and when St. Peter says that our Lord, during His earthly life, went about doing good, he knew perfectly well that such an account of that life would have appeared anything but tame, commonplace, inadequate, to those whom he was especially anxious to influence, because it was so sharply contrasted with anything that they had left behind them at home. For that great world in which Cornelius and his comrades had been reared must indeed have made the men and affairs of Palestine, generally speaking, seem by comparison petty enough — as we would say, provincial. Everything outward at Rome, the world's centre, was on a splendid scale. The public buildings, the temples, the baths, the public shows, everything connected with the army, everything connected with the machinery and the apparatus of government, was calculated to impress, and even to awe the imagination. But there was one overshadowing defect, in that great world which would have come home with especial force to the minds of the class from which the rank and file of the Roman forces were chiefly recruited. It was a world without love. It was a world full of want and suffering, and the whole of the great social and political machine went round and round without taking any account of this. Commenting on this fact nearly three centuries later, , after describing the salient features of heathen life, adds: "Compassion and humanity are peculiar to the Christians." Now, isolated efforts to relieve suffering, gifts to the needy, liberality of the orators and the inscriptions, these largesses to the people, these public works, these costly entertainments, as Cornelius and his friends knew well, were not the outcome of love. They were forms of an expenditure which was essentially selfish. The main object of such expenditure was to secure that sort of popularity which means political power. It was repaid, if not in kind, yet substantially. The Roman people, under the system of imperial largesses and entertainments, increasingly hated work. It cared only for such ease and enjoyment as it could wring out of its rulers. It became utterly indifferent to everything in its rulers except their capacity and willingness to gratify itself. In order to do real good, the eye must rest not on what is prudent in, or on what is expected of the giver, but on what is needed in the recipient. And thus mere liberality, if active, is blindfold, while charity seeks out its objects with discrimination and sympathy; liberality has no eye for the really sore places in the suffering and destitute world. Nothing was done systematically in that world with which Cornelius and his friends were familiar for classes or for individuals who could make no return. There was no sort of care for widows or for orphans. And if here and there there were schools, like those under Severus, their main object, when we come to examine them closely, appears to have been to provide recruits for the Roman army. And all this was in harmony with principles laid down by the great teachers of the ancient world, such as Plato and Aristotle. In Plato's ideal state the poor have no place, beggars are expelled or left to die, as injuring the common prosperity. In Aristotle's account of the virtues, the most promising, from a Christian point of view, is generosity; but on examination, generosity turns out to be a prudential mean between avarice and extravagance. The generous man, we are told, gives because it is a fine thing to give, not from a sense of duty, still less at the dictates of love for his fellow creatures. It is no wonder that, when these were governing principles, there were few efforts in that old world, to which Cornelius had belonged, that deserved the name of doing good. When, then, Cornelius heard from St. Peter of such a life as that of our Lord, and had further, in all probability, asked and received answers to the questions which St. Peter's description suggested, he would have listened to a narrative which had all the charm, all the freshness of a great surprise. Those poor lepers, and paralytics, and fever-stricken peasants, could make no return to their Benefactor, and He did not ask for any. And this, Cornelius would have observed, implied nothing short of a new ideal of life and work. The highest and greatest good which He did was done for the souls of men. To have done everything for man's bodily frame and leave his spiritual being untouched would have been a poor and worthless kind of doing good in the estimation of Jesus Christ. The lessons by which our Lord brought men to know and to love the Father and Himself, the pardon which He won for them on the Cross, the grace which He promised them after His Ascension, were His chiefest benefactions. But besides this He did abundant good in the physical, material, social sense. It has been said that Christ our Lord was the first Social Reformer. If by social reform be meant the doing away with all the inequalities between classes, or even the removal from human life of the permanent cause of a great deal of physical suffering, it cannot be said that this description of Him is accurate. He showed no wish whatever in any sort of way to interfere with the existing structure of society. He insisted on Caesar's claims to tribute, He prescribed obedience to the Scribes and Pharisees who sat in Moses' seat. His real work was to point to truths and to a life which made the endurance of poverty and distress for a short time here so easy, as to be in the estimate of real disciples comparatively unimportant, but at the same time He relieved so much of it as would enable human beings to make a real step forward towards the true end of their existence. If our Lord was not, in the restricted modern sense, the first social reformer, He was undoubtedly, in the true and ample sense of the word, the first philanthropist. He loved man as man, He loved not one part but the whole of man, He loved man as none had ever loved him before or since, He died for the being whom He loved so well. And when our Lord had left the earth the spirit of His work became that of a Christian Church. It, too, after its measure, went about the world doing good. The New Testament guides us through the first stage of the subject. The wealthier Churches of Greece were directed to lay by small offerings every Sunday, so that when the apostle came by to fetch the collection the money might be ready for the poor Churches in Palestine. The poorer members of the Church were regularly supplied with food at the Agape or love feast. — Widows were especially provided for. It would be impossible here and now to notice the various activities of Christian work in the primitive times which followed the Apostolic age. Early in the third century, if not in the second, there were houses for the reception of poor widows; orphans were brought up at the expense of the Church by the bishop, or by some private person. Thus, for instance, after the martyrdom of at , his boy, who became the celebrated , was brought up by a pious woman who lived in the city, and an excellent man, Severus, is named as having devoted himself in Palestine to the education of all children — they were a considerable number — whose parents were martyrs. In the middle of the third century the Roman empire was afflicted by a pestilence which, according to the historian Gibbon, destroyed not less than half the population. It broke out at Carthage while St. was still alive. There was a general panic, all the heathen that could do so fled; they avoided contact with infected persons, they left their own relations to die alone. Corpses were lying unburied about the streets, and there were rogues who seized the opportunity of making horrible profits. Cyprian summoned the Christians to aid him in doing all that could be done. He was everywhere encouraging, advising, organising, helping the sick and dying with his own hands, and each man under him had, and knew that he had, his appointed task. Some of the Christians were anxious to confine their aid to their fellow believers, their feelings against the heathen had been irritated by a recent persecution, and they knew that another persecution was impending, but they received no countenance from their bishop. "If," exclaimed St. Cyprian, in a sermon preached at this crisis, "if we only do good to those who do good to us, what do we more than the heathen and the publicans? If we are the children of God, who makes His sun to shine upon the good and the bad, and sends His rain on the just and on the unjust, let us now prove it by our own acts, let us bless those who curse us." One class of persons who were especial objects of primitive Christian charity were those who were sent to work in the mines. They were almost naked; they had the scantiest supply of food; they were often treated with great cruelty by the inspectors of public works. We find from the letters of St. Cyprian these poor people were special objects of his attention; he regularly sent them supplies by the hands of a trusted sub-deacon; and he wrote to them continually, assuring them of his sympathy and his prayers. And another work of mercy in which the primitive Church especially interested itself was the improvement of the condition of the prisoners. The prisons in old Rome were crowded with persons of all descriptions — prisoners of war, especially after the barbarian inroads; prisoners for the non-payment of taxes and for debt — subjects on which the Roman law was very severe; prisoners for the various kinds of felony; and, when a persecution was going on, prisoners for the crime of being Christians. These unhappy people were huddled together, it is little to say, with no attention to the laws of health or to the decencies of life, and one of the earliest forms of Christian charity was to raise funds for the redemption of prisoners by payment as a specially Christian form of mercy. Cyprian raised large sums from his flock to purchase freedom for prisoners of war. It would be impossible within our limits to do any sort of justice to this vast subject — the manner in which the ancient Church of Christ carried on, both in the higher and the lower senses of the term, her Master's work of doing good. The most unshowing and unromantic methods of doing good may be the most acceptable. To work at a night school, to keep the accounts of a charity, to get up Sunday breakfasts for poor people, may mean more in the eyes of the Infinite Mercy than to dispose of immense charitable resources, or even to be a great teacher or ruler in the Church. The vital condition of doing good, whether it be spiritual or physical good, is that simple unity of purpose which springs from disinterestedness, and this can best be learned at His blessed feet, who remains the first and the greatest of philanthropists, since in life and in death He gave Himself for us, that whether we wake or sleep we might live together with Him.

(Canon Liddon.)

He "went about doing good" —


II. AS THE ONE GREAT AIM OF HIS LIFE. The painter or sculptor gives himself up to days and nights of arduous, patient labour, it may be for years, over some favourite piece of art; his soul is inspired, cheered, sustained by the motives which his own genius and the art which he worships supply. The philanthropist pursues his scheme for the amelioration of human misery with an intensity that brooks no delay, with an absorbing interest which robs him of his sleep by night, and fills all his waking thoughts by day. But what is all this devotion to an earthly object compared with the Divine intensity of Christ in the prosecution of His life works and that in the midst of perishing multitudes? His life work was not that of delineating the human form on the glowing canvas, or the breathing marble, but the work of bringing back a lost world to peace, of reproducing the Divine life and the Divine image in the soul of man — not a mere work of fancy, but of faith, not a mere display of genius, but of goodness, not the redressing of a wrong, or the lessening of human suffering, but nothing short of a new creation in the soul that was dark and dead, sunk in trespasses and sins.

III. WITH A CONSTANCY AND DEVOTION THAT NEVER FAILED. Notwithstanding all the hostility that met Him, He continued with unabated ardour.

IV. TO ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Like the stream that loves to linger amid its village homes, nestled amid the shadows of mountains, and the embowering foliage of ancestral trees, where there is little to disturb the even tenor of daily life, it was the special delight of our Lord to move amongst the homes of the poor and the lowly, and pour the riches of His grace around their humble dwellings. But like the rill that will not rest from the moment it bursts on its way, but travels onwards to the sea in ever widening course, and passes on through quiet villages and sweet homesteads till it becomes a great river, bearing on its bosom the mart of nations, the blessings of commerce, and making everything glad and beautiful where it flows, the stream of Divine goodness in the life of Jesus, beginning first in the mountain home at Nazareth, amid the village retreats of Galilee, went forth from that seclusion to carry its rich dower of blessings to villages, towns, and cities, and to pour its treasures at the feet of all classes and conditions of men. He was free to all, as the light of the sun, the air of heaven, the waters of the deep, broad river. His sympathies for man and all his concerns were strong, pure, enduring.

V. BY HIS INSTRUCTIONS, AS WELL AS BY HIS WORKS OF HEALING. These miracles live in history as great, godlike facts, His words live in the heart, and by sanctifying the inner, bless and dignify the outer life.


(Alex. Wallace, D. D.)


1. The kind of good which He dispensed.

2. The extent of good which He thus dispensed.

3. The great diligence which He exercised in doing good.

4. The spirit of compassion with which He did all this good.

5. The unwearied patience and perseverance with which He continued to do good.


1. You are thus instructed and encouraged to seek good from Christ.

2. You are thus instructed and engaged to do good as Christ did. The shortest description and the surest mark of every true Christian is this, to be a doer of good.

(James Brewster.)

There is in this Scripture furnished for life a test, an enterprise, a habit.

I. A TEST. Christ went about doing good. By precisely this question, whether your life is beneficent, are you to test your life.

1. Test your speech by it. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying.

2. Test your amusements by it. Do they do you good in the way of recreating you for better toil; do they exert no harmful influence upon others?

3. Test your business by it. Is the general outcome of your business beneficent; and do you carry it on in beneficent fashion?

4. Test your use of time by this question. Are you putting your time to high and holy uses?

5. Test your position and culture thus: Are you the readier to serve the higher you get up?

II. There is here suggested an ENTERPRISE for life. Christ went about doing good. He personally did it — did not content Himself with doing good by proxy. Christ went after the chance of doing good; did not simply wait for the chance to come to Him.

III. There is suggested also here a HABIT for life. Christ was not intermittent in this matter. It was the habit of His life to go about doing good. Oh for Christians of such pithy pluck that they will habitually keep hold of duty!

(W. Hoyt, D. D.)

Theological Sketch book.
I. THE CONDUCT OF JESUS. He "went about doing good."

1. Jesus did good to the bodies of men. He opened the eyes of the blind; He gave hearing to the deaf; and He raised the dead (Matthew 11:5).

2. He did good to the souls of men. The ignorant were instructed y Him in the essential doctrines and duties of religion (Matthew 5:1, 2; Luke 19:47; John 8:2). He strengthened the weak and wavering, and comforted mourning penitents (Matthew 5:4; Matthew 11:28).

3. Our Lord went about doing good. He was an itinerant preacher. And to accomplish His merciful designs, He frequently visited large and populous places, and places of public resort.

4. The motives of our Lord in doing good were pure and perfect. He was moved by the transcendent goodness of His nature to acts of kindness.

5. Jesus persevered in doing good. It was His constant employment, and He was never weary of it.

6. In all the works, and in all the ways of our Saviour, His lovely temper and amiable conduct shone with resplendent glory. How unlike the renowned conquerors and tyrants of the world, whose glory has been acquired by blood and slaughter!


1. That we may do so, let us study the character and conduct of our great Exemplar. To this end we should carefully read His public and private discourses, examine His temper, and weigh His conduct.

2. But those who copy after His blessed example, must have the mind which was in Him (Philippians 2:5).

3. Having acquired the mind of Jesus, let us endeavour to imitate His conduct. We cannot imitate His miracles; the attempt would be presumption; but we should endeavour to copy His benevolent actions.

4. Let us proceed in these works of love, as the Lord may enable us. More than this is not required; and less than this will not be accepted.

5. This conduct will please the Lord, who is good to all, and whose tender mercies are over all His works (Psalm 145:9).He blesses us that we may be a blessing (Genesis 12:2).

1. In the world, and in the visible Church, we have many bad examples; but we must not follow a multitude to do evil (Exodus 23:2).

2. There are a few in the Church who may be followed in some things; but whatever their excellencies are, we cannot safely follow them in all their ways.

3. But we have a perfect example in the conduct of our Saviour; and we are bound by the most sacred ties to walk in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).

(Theological Sketch book.)

We have all heard of the celebrated Cook, the circumnavigator who went round the globe. Wherever Cook landed he was noticed by the boatmen to go up away from them a bit, and he was seen to take little packets out of his pockets and keep on going round, throwing them out of his hand and circulating them. He belted the whole world with English flowers. He took packets of our seeds, and at those places where he landed he took care to walk a little bit away and sow some of the seed where most likely it would grow. Hence other navigators have been surprised to find that English flowers were growing where they never could have dreamt of seeing them. That is how we ought to do — get some of the precious seed into your own soul, and carry it with you wherever you go. Have it with you on the trip to the seaside, or even to Switzerland, or have it when you stay at home. Always sow the seed of kindness and true happiness, above all the gospel of Jesus Christ, for in this you will be following Christ, of whom it is written, "He went about doing good."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

(children's sermon): — When we hear of any great man we always want to know how he lived, and what he used to do — General Washington, e.g., Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Alfred the Great, etc. But you may put all great men together, and, compared with Jesus, they are only like stars compared with the sun. "Jesus went about doing good" because He was so able to do it. He hadn't much money; for though He made the world, when He was here, He said, "The foxes have holes," etc. But though He had no money to give away, He could do good in hundreds of other ways. Then, again, He went about doing good to show us how to live (1 Peter 2:21). And this is what I wish to talk to you about, viz., four ways in which we should all try to do good.

I. BY BECOMING CHRISTIANS OURSELVES. True Christians are the most useful people in the world. Many of our houses have iron rods running from above the top of the chimney down into the ground. Those lightning rods carry the lightning off and prevent it from doing any harm. And true Christians are like lightning rods. When God is angry with the wicked, He is often kept from punishing them on account of the good Christians who live among them. You see this in Abraham's prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah. You know how useful the light is. Well, Jesus said to His disciples, "Ye are the light of the world." If we were travelling along a dangerous road, the light would show us the road, and how we might keep out of the pits. Now, this world is a road full of dangers. But true Christians see them and know how to avoid them. And if we would be lights in the world, showing people their danger and how they may escape, we must become true Christians. Here is a watch, a very useful thing. The inside is full of works, and in the midst is the mainspring: that makes the watch go and keep good time. But suppose the mainspring is broken, will it keep time? No. So I must take it to the watchmaker, and get a new mainspring. Now, our hearts are like a broken mainspring, and we must take our heart to Jesus, and ask Him to change it; to put a new mainspring in the broken watch of your soul. Then it will be ready to keep time, to do good.

II. BY TRYING TO MAKE OTHERS CHRISTIANS. Suppose you were travelling through a desert with a company of friends. You have no water, and are almost perishing from "thirst. You separate and go in different directions searching for water. Presently you find a spring. You kneel down and take nice long drink. And then of course at the top of your voice you would cry out — "Come this way; where is water!" And this is just the way we should feel when we become Christians. A little heathen girl was taken from New Zealand to England to be educated. She became a Christian. Before this she was so pleased with England that she didn't care about going back. But as soon as she learned to love Jesus, she said: "Do you think I can keep the good news to myself? No; I want to go home and tell my friends there about Jesus." Some time ago an old man became a Christian, and asked himself how he could be doing good. He made out a list of his old associates, which contained one hundred and sixteen names. Some of these were the worst men in the town. He began to pray for these. He talked to them and gave them good books to read. Some refused to listen, and others made fun; but still he went on praying and working for them. And what was the result? Why, within two years, one hundred of them had become Christians too! That was doing good indeed! A Christian gentleman while travelling on a steamboat, distributed some tracts. Many read them carefully. But one gentleman took one of the tracks and doubled it up, and then cut it into little pieces and scattered them over the side of the boat. But one of the pieces stuck to his coat. He looked at it a moment before throwing it away, and found on one side only the word "God," on the other the word "Eternity." He threw it away; but these two solemn words — "God" and "Eternity" — he could not get rid of. They haunted him wherever he went, and he never had any comfort till he became a Christian.

III. BY HELPING THE SICK AND POOR. Jesus was always especially ready to help the poor. He told His disciples that whenever they did a kindness to one of His poor He would consider it as done to Himself. And James tells us that true religion consists in "visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction." We find poor people everywhere, and children can do good in this way as well as grown-up people. Mary Parsons was a bright, happy little girl, because she was always trying to do good. One day a lady called in to see her mother. This lady had just been visiting a poor old woman eighty-six years old, who lived by herself in a dark, damp cellar. Mary listened with great interest while the lady was speaking, and then she said, "Oh, mother, please let me carry her over some breakfast and dinner every day: we have so much left." Mary was so earnest about it that her mother said she might do it. No matter how anxious her little sisters were for Mary to play with them; no matter whether it was hot or cold, wet or dry, Mary never got tired. Sometimes she would read the Bible and sometimes take her doll's frocks and sit down by her side, and chat away merrily to amuse her. And the poor old woman speaking about her one day, her eyes filled with tears, said, "Oh, she brings a ray of sunshine with her every time she comes, and it seems to brighten my dark room long after she is gone. God bless her! She is one of the dear lambs of Jesus, I am sure." Now Mary was only eight years old when she began to do this. Is there no poor old woman, or sick and hungry child, in your neighbourhood to whom you can take food from your table that would not be missed?

IV. BY BEING KIND TO ALL. Jesus was all the time speaking kind words and doing kind things. Read what He said to the widow of Nain, and what He did for her. Two ragged barefooted boys were going along one of the streets of New York. One was perfectly happy over a half-withered bunch of flowers which he had just picked up. "I say, Billy," said he, "wasn't somebody real good to drop these 'ere posies just where I could find them — and they're so pooty and nice? Look sharp, Billy, mebby you'll find something bime-by." Presently the boy exclaimed, "Oh jolly, Billy, if here ain't 'most half a peach, and 'tain't mush dirty neither. 'Cause you hain't found nothin' you may bite first." Billy was just going to take a very little taste of it, when his companion said, "Bite bigger, Billy, mebby we'll find another 'fore long." What a noble heart that poor boy had in spite of his rags and dirt! He was "doing good" in the fourth way that we are speaking of.

(R. Newton, D. D.)

I. HIS GREAT WORK AND BUSINESS IN THE WORLD WAS TO DO GOOD. What He did, and we in imitation of Him ought to do, I shall reduce to two heads.

1. Doing good to the souls of men, and endeavouring to promote their spiritual and eternal happiness.(1) By good instruction. And under instruction I comprehend all the means of bringing men to the knowledge of their duty, and exciting them to the practice of it; by instructing their ignorance, and removing their prejudices, and rectifying their mistakes, by persuasion and by reproof; and by making lasting provision for the promoting of these ends.(2) By good example. And this our blessed Saviour was in the utmost perfection. And this we should endeavour to be. For good example hath a secret influence upon those with whom we converse, to form them into the same disposition and manners. It is a living rule that teacheth men without trouble, and lets them see their faults without open reproof. Besides that, it adds great weight to a man's persuasion, when we see that he advises nothing but what he does, nor exacts anything from which he himself desires to be excused. As, on the contrary, nothing is more insignificant than good counsel from one that does not follow the advice which he is so forward to give to others.

2. Procuring their temporal good, and contributing to their happiness in this present life. And this was a great part of Christ's business in this world. And though we cannot be beneficial to men in the miraculous manner that He was, yet we may be so in the use of ordinary means; we may comfort the afflicted, and vindicate the oppressed, and do a great many acts of charity which our Saviour, by reason of His poverty, could not do without a miracle; we may take a poor child and bring him up in the knowledge and fear of God, and put him into a way wherein, by his industry, he may make a fortune, and be able to relieve hundreds of others. Men glory in raising magnificent structures, and find a secret pleasure to see sets of their own planting to grow up and flourish; but surely it is a greater and more glorious work to build up a man, to see a youth of our own planting take root in the world, and to shoot up and spread his branches so that we, who first planted him, may ourselves find comfort under his shadow. And those who are in the lowest condition may do great good to others by their prayers. For "the fervent prayer of righteous man availeth much."

II. HIS DILIGENCE IN THIS WORK. This will fully appear if we consider —

1. How unwearied He was. He was not only ready to do good to those that gave Him opportunity, and besought Him to do it, but went Himself to seek out objects.

2. How self-denying He was. He neglected the ordinary refreshments of nature, that He might attend this work. He was at everybody's beck and disposal. Nay, He was willing to deny Himself in one of the dearest things in the world — His reputation and good name.

3. Consider the malicious opposition and sinister construction that His good deeds met with. For His casting out of devils, He was called a magician; for His endeavour to reclaim men from their vices, "a friend of publicans and sinners"; for His free and obliging conversation, "a wine bibber and a glutton."

4. How cheerfully, notwithstanding all this, He persevered! It was not only His business, but His delight; "I delight (says He) to do Thy will, O My God."Conclusion: The subject will be of excellent use.

1. To show us our defects. How does this blessed example upbraid those who, instead of "going about doing good," are perpetually intent upon doing mischief? And those likewise who, though they are far from being so bad, yet wholly neglect this blessed work of doing good? And this too under a pretence of being employed about other duties, They are so taken up with prayer, and reading and hearing sermons, and sacraments, that they have scarce any leisure to mind the doing of charitable offices. Others spend all their zeal about some controversies in religion; and therefore think it but reasonable that they should be excused from those meaner kind of duties, as those who serve the king in his wars used to be exempted from taxes. But "pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction."

2. To persuade us to the imitation of this blessed example. Let us "go and do likewise." The work itself is such that men should not need to be courted nor urged to it. But dwell upon these considerations.(1) It shows an inclination and desire to have others happy as well as ourselves. Those who are of a mean and sordid disposition love to contract themselves within themselves, and like the hedgehog, to shoot out their quills at everyone who comes near them. But the noblest and most heavenly dispositions think themselves happiest when others share with them in their happiness.(2) It is the most pleasant employment in the world. This Cato boasts of, as the great comfort of his old age — "that nothing was more pleasant than the conscience of a well-spent life, and the remembrance of many kindnesses done to others." Sensual pleasures are not lasting, and leave a sting behind them. But the pleasure of doing good remains, and the reflection upon it afterwards does forever minister joy.(3) It is to imitate the highest excellency and perfection; it is to be like God, who is good and doth good, and to be like Him in that which He esteems His greatest glory, and that is, His goodness.(4) It is one of the greatest and most substantial duties of religion; and, next to the love and honour which we pay to God Himself, the most acceptable service that we can perform to Him. It is one half of the law, and next to the first and great command, and very like unto it: in the excellency of its nature, and in the necessity of its obligation.(5) It will give us the greatest comfort when we come to die.(6) It is attended with the greatest consideration I shall offer to you — which is reward both in this world and the other.

(Abp. Tillotson.)

I. Look at THE LIFE OF OUR LORD as here described.

1. That life was very short, three and a half years at most; but it was long in point of action; it was filled up with works which will stand forever. No one ever made such a mark on the earth as our Lord.

2. Here is one of the great "notes" that no infidel can explain — Who Christ was, whence Christ came, why Christ did what He did, and left the mark upon the world that He certainly left. Had He money wherewith to bribe the world and make men follow Him? He was poor in every way. Had He power to turn men to follow Him as Mahomet had? His followers were a few publicans and fishermen. Whence, then, the power that Christ had? How account for the effect that He produced on the world? There is no accounting for it all, but on the Christian theory that Christ was God manifest in the flesh.

3. When we look on the life of our Lord, how unlike it is to the conquerors who have shaken the world! Run your mind over the long list — Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, etc. What mark their victories? Death, wounds, poverty, sorrow, ruin. Then turn to the life of that King of kings, and Lord of lords. See the amazing contrast. He brought life and immortality to light; He opened up to men hopes for the present and for the future; the way of peace between God and men. He did good —(1) To bodies. No disease was too loathsome for Him to show kindness to.(2) By His words. Think how they have travelled through the world for eighteen hundred years, and wherever they have gone, they have been the comfort and peace of those who have received them. Think how a text, dormant it may be for many long years, has revived when the time of trial and sickness comes.(3) Continually. Wherever He went He brought blessing with Him.(4) By His witness against sins and superstitions of the generation among which He lived.(5) By His patience. "When He was reviled, He reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not."

4. Learn here —(1) The wickedness of human nature. Think for a moment how this wonderful Person was treated.(2) What constitutes greatness in the sight of God. He is the good man, not who had the highest title and greatest position, and the largest amount to pay for income tax, but he who does the greatest amount of good. Our Lord says, "He that will be great among you, let him be as your minister."


1. I doubt whether that is as much looked at as it should be. We seldom look at more than one thing at a time, for men are so occupied. When they first feel their sins they think only of Christ as a Saviour, and they are apt to forget that He is our Pattern and Example. Yet Christ and the apostles ever insisted upon it. We ought to ask ourselves continually, "Is there anything of Christ ever seen in my tempers, efforts, conduct, home, business?" Am I walking in Jesus Christ's steps? Am I, like Him, endeavouring to do good?

2. You and I were never meant to be idle, nor to be always trying to get good for ourselves. Many, however, run from place to place; hear sermon after sermon, are always thinking of getting; but we are not meant to be always receiving; we are meant to be doing for Christ and for Christ's cause.

3. Men may say, "What can I do?" There is always something that everyone can do. There is no one who has not some influence upon some one or other. If you have a single grain of influence throw it into the scale of good, and not into the scale of evil. Parents can do good to their children; masters and mistresses to their servants.

4. To labour for this does ourselves good. Little by little we find graces grow in proportion as we try to exercise them. And it helps forward the cause of Christ in the world. The eyes of many are upon you, and if the watching, envious world sees you a mere idle Christian, thinking only of your own enjoyment, but never trying to do good, the world will think little of your religion. But when they see you walk in the steps of the Saviour, striving to make all around you happy, it sets the world thinking. There is no book or set of lectures, which ever does so much good to sceptics as a Christ-like life.

5. This was the way of the old Christians; their ways and manners made the heathen think. This was the conduct of the followers of old John Wesley. It was part of that wonderful man's first principle to impress the necessity Of doing good. "Now, then, what are you going to do? We do not want any drones in our hive; we want everyone that becomes a member of our body to do something for the glory of God, for the benefit of man."

(Bp. Ryle.)

We ought to follow Christ in taking all opportunities of doing good.


1. Works of piety.(1) Internal (John 4:24).

(a)Love (Matthew 22:37).

(b)Fear (Proverbs 23:17).


(d)Trust (Proverbs 3:5).

(e)Submission (Luke 22:42).(2) External; as praying, hearing, etc.

2. Works of equity (Micah 6:8).

(1)Distributive (Romans 13:7; Matthew 17:27).

(2)Communicative (Proverbs 3:27, 28; 1 Thessalonians 4:6).

3. Works of charity (1 Timothy 6:17, 18).

(1)To pity others in misery (Matthew 15:32; Matthew 20:34).

(2)To pray for their felicity (Luke 23:34).

(3)To supply their necessities (Matthew 20:34). Consider —

(a)Without this there is no true religion (James 1:27).

(b)By it we imitate God (Luke 6:36).

(c)Whatsoever we have more than is necessary is given for this end.

(d)God, notwithstanding, will repay it (Proverbs 19:17).


1. Exerting the utmost of our power in doing it (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

2. Managing all the circumstances aright.

3. Doing it constantly (Luke 1:74, 75).(1) Negative.

(a)Not for the applause of men (Matthew 6:1).

(b)Nor to merit anything from God (Luke 18:10).(2) Positive.

(a)Subordinately for our own safety (1 Corinthians 9:24, 27).

(b)Ultimately for God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).


1. So as never to do evil (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

2. So as always to be designing good.

3. So as to embrace all opportunities for doing good (John 4:7, 8; John 6:25).


1. We are commanded (Luke 1:74, 75; Psalm 34:13).

2. We are always receiving good.

3. Our beings were first given, and are now continued to us, that we might always be doing good (Isaiah 1:2-4).

4. When we are not doing good we are doing evil (Psalm 37:27).

(Bp. Beveridge.)

"Who went about doing good."

1. Such was the recollection of one who was amongst the nearest and dearest companions of Jesus. Peter had in recollection the aims and habit not of one day, but of every day.

2. We are living in times when "many run to and fro, and knowledge is increased." All classes are restless; the facilities of travelling are inducements to that restlessness. We do not grudge what science has done to annihilate distance and make moving to and fro easy.

3. But here, as elsewhere, are dangers. Facilities for evil may be made out of what God intended only to be facilities for good. "Some people," says Pascal, "wish to move about the more, only that they may just talk the more. For the mere pleasure of seeing, without the pleasure of telling, would have little force upon many." Let us remember, in these days, when so many of us are about to part company for awhile in the excursions of the summer, that we have a Christian rule to walk by in all our journey — a rule which has its example in Jesus, "who went about doing good."

4. The text describes what was the very law of the Redeemer's nature. He was shown to be the Son of the living God in the active, unwearied beneficence of His life. God's providence over this world is active. It is not beneath the dignity of the Almighty to regulate particular events. And the history of Divine interference and legislation is told in these words — "He went about doing good." The active beneficence of the Divine Being is concealed from our eyes behind the curtain of matter; but is exhibited to us in the person of Jesus. And I may go a step further. If active benevolence was a necessary feature in the perfect character of Jesus, because of His relationship to His Father, so active beneficence should be a necessary feature in the real Christian, because of his relationship with Christ. And now think a little of His sphere of active benevolence. It took in the whole range of human distress. And His ministrations of mercy were equally to the evil and the good. And the labour was incessant too. His very rest was devoted to the relief of spiritual and bodily want. And yet the humanity of Jesus wanted calm recreations, still retirement, just as yours and mine does. Note, too, another circumstance. We are all ready to be beneficent when we are sustained by large sights, and great occasions; but how was it with our Divine Master? The isolated case, which no eye saw but His own, His mind and heart were as much absorbed in it as if the appeal of a multitude was before Him. Amongst the poorer sort He was always found comforting, healing, feeding, teaching.

5. That we may be Christlike in active beneficence, we must seek more of that faith which works by love, and is careful to maintain good works. This is the only principle of Christian obedience. Having faith in Him, let us adopt Him as our example. Let each one, then, ask himself, "Am I living for myself or for my Saviour? Does my faith show itself in works of active beneficence?" All have some talent. Only one thing is wanted — unselfish love. If you are converted, you can go and tell others what conversion is. If you pray, you can go and tell others what prayer is. If you have a sick neighbour, you can visit him. You could take a class in the Sunday school; or fill up one of the many chasms in the District Visiting Society. And, my poorer brethren, because you are no scholars, do not think that you cannot imitate your Master, and go about doing good. You may speak a word in season to your poor neighbours, and you may shine as a light in the world.

(C. J. P. Eyre, M. A.)

He went about doing good —

I. BY HIS MIRACLES, which not only compelled attention to His instructions, and demanded assent to His claim of being Divinely sent, but were all deeds of mercy. Not one of them was a useless or vengeful display of power. His first miracle contributed to the social enjoyment of a festive occasion; and His last was the healing of a man whom one of His own disciples had wounded. Objection has, indeed, been made to two of our Lord's miracles on the ground that they were not of a merciful and useful character. One is that by which the demons were sent into the herd of swine. Here, it is said, an injury was inflicted on the owners. But it may be answered that the first and main object was merciful — the restoration of the lunatics to their right mind. Secondly, the injury inflicted was not done revengefully, but punitively. To keep swine was contrary to the Jewish law. The other miracle is the withering of the barren fig tree. But the tree probably stood in the highway, and was therefore no one's property; and on the other hand, the occurrence, was one of great profit to the disciples.

II. BY HIS INSTRUCTIONS. In an age when the art of printing was unknown, and when manuscripts could come into the hands of but few, the oral mode of communicating knowledge was the only way in which instruction could reach the multitude. How indefatigably Jesus went about, "teaching in the synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom." That His teaching was altogether good His recorded precepts are abundant proof. If He stirred up the people, it was with admiring wonder to hear the words of grace and truth which He spake; it was to repentance and holiness, to faith and obedience, to love and piety.

III. BY HIS EXAMPLE. His conduct was a clear and holy commentary on His words. His life transcended, if possible, His instructions; because it is so much more difficult and rare to live unexceptionably than to instruct wisely. His character was tried in many scenes and under diverse circumstances; and in all appeared pure, like gold tried seven times in the fire. And they who know the power of example, and the efficacy which practice gives to preaching, and the great part which being good is of doing good, will perceive that our Saviour's example is an inseparable portion of His benevolence. Conclusion: If the benevolence of His miracles did not make its due impression on the Jews, let us not be likewise insensible to that mark of their truth and divinity. If but few of them were converted by His doctrine, let not us also blindly refuse the proffered light and salvation. If they were not affected by the bright consistency of His example, let us give it more attentive heed ourselves, and transfer it with more exactness to our own conduct.

(F. W. P. Greenwood.)

Here is the life of our Lord comprehended in a single sentence. Note —

I. THE BUSINESS WHICH OUR LORD FOLLOWED. As all ordinary men have their callings, so our Lord had His. It was none of those occupations by which the gains of this world are acquired; it was the holy business of "doing good." One part of this was the "doing good" —

1. To men's bodies. And what a list might be enumerated of His benefactions! How many blind eyes were opened, etc. None applied to Him in vain. None were sent from Him unrelieved.

2. To men's souls.(1) By His holy ministrations. What a preacher of righteousness was He, and in what a variety of ways did He address the hearts of men!(2) By His death. Our case was such as all the preaching in the world could not have rectified. We were dying sinners. We wanted a salvation to be wrought for us; and the only way of doing us effectual good was to provide us one. So Christ crowned all His other acts of goodness by the goodness of His Cross.

II. THE WAY IN WHICH HE CARRIED ON HIS BUSINESS. "He went about." Just as the trader goes about with his wares, and is unwearied in pursuit of gain, so Jesus "went about" upon the business of blessing man. The great enemy "goeth about seeking whom he may devour," and the Great Friend went about seeking whom He might do good to; and literally, for whithersoever the blessed Jesus travelled, He was a traveller on foot. I know not a more striking illustration of our text than is contained in Matthew 9, which contains the story of a day spent by Him.


1. Do you want to have good done to you? If so, behold your Benefactor! He that "went about doing good" when upon earth, is now as ready to do good to you from heaven.

2. Are you copying His character? Jesus is set forth not as the Saviour only of His people but their Pattern. We may do good —(1) By our examples.(2) By our exertions; watching for opportunities of usefulness, and endeavouring to be a help and a comfort, both in spirituals and temporals, to all about us and around us.

(A. Roberts, M. A.)

Christ went about, not like a Pharisee, to make a show; not like the Romans, to parade military prowess; not like the Greeks, to display worldly wit and wisdom; but to do good to the bodies and souls of men. During the great work of creation, God, in each step, pronounced it "very good"; and when God entered upon the work of human redemption He did good, and at its close He exclaimed, with perfect satisfaction, "It is finished." He did not go about getting good, or becoming good, but dispensing good. He did good because He was good. By laying emphasis upon each of the five words before us, we shall see their beauty and feel their power.

I. The life of Christ was full of BENEVOLENT EFFORT — who went about doing "good." How different this from what it might have been! He might have performed miracles of vengeance, as Moses did; He might have come as a judge, to condemn. He remembered mercy, He dealt not with men after their sins. He did good to all, at all times and under all circumstances. His goodness was pure, unmerited, and free. He went about, not to get to Himself a name, not to climb to positions of worldly influence and power, nor to serve His own ends, but to show by His own example the beauty and blessedness of His precept, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." The benevolent acts He performed for the bodies of men were symbols and types of what He would do for their souls. In His gospel Jesus still goes about doing good, for Christianity is philanthropic in its spirit.

II. PRACTICAL EFFORT — "doing." He. was no dreamy, sentimental philanthropist, imagining Utopian plans, nor did He spend His life in pronouncing eulogiums upon goodness, and in endeavouring to stimulate others in that direction. He became, not the president or secretary of a society to do good, but He went about doing the good Himself. Societies are good, but they must never supersede individual effort. Christ did good with His own hands — earnestly, heartily, personally, perpetually; not by proxy, but enjoyed the luxury of being His own almoner. What an example for us to go and do likewise!

III. EXTENSIVE EFFORT — "about." Not only in Jerusalem, but throughout Galilee. His miracles were not performed among a select company, but out and about among all sorts and conditions of men, in secular as well as in sacred places. What an example for the Christian Church; His followers are to begin at Jerusalem, but they are to go out also into all the world. The blessings of Christianity are not to be kept within select limits, or enjoyed by one class. The catholicity of the benevolence of Christ should lead us to regard every living man as our neighbour.

IV. WILLING EFFORT — "went." God sent His Son, but it is equally true that Jesus Christ came. It was from no compulsion, but from choice. It is interesting to notice how many of the benevolent acts He performed for men were done unsolicited. He went to those who could not and to those who would not come to Him, that they might be blessed.

V. PERSONAL EFFORT — "who." When we remember the Deity of Christ, we see that it was the great Creator going about and doing good to His creatures; the Lord of life and glory condescending to attend personally to the wants and woes of fallen men. He might have sent angels, who would gladly have gone about upon so merciful a mission; but He came Himself.

(F. W. Brown.)

Our Lord's ministry was a home mission. "I am not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Afterwards there sprang out of His home work the foreign mission, when they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the gospel. And herein we see His wisdom, for it will be of little avail to attempt much abroad unless there be a solid basis at home, in an earnest sanctified Church, affording a fulcrum for our lever. When England is converted, then shall she become the great herald of Christ's gospel to other lands. We have before us —


1. Christ selected as His great instrument the preaching of the gospel. He would have His followers depend upon the same agency. Other godly efforts are not to be neglected; but first and foremost it pleases God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

2. In connection with His preaching we find the Master forming a seminary for the training of ministers. After He had called Peter and John, and others, He at first admitted them, as it were, into His evening classes; for they pursued their ordinary business, and came to Him at fitting seasons for instruction. But after awhile they separated themselves from all the pursuits of business, and were continually with their great Teacher. They learned how to preach as they marked how He preached. He even taught them to pray. Now this has been too much forgotten. When Calvin and Luther exerted an influence over Europe, it was not only through their preaching or writings, but through the young men who swarmed at Wirtemburg and Geneva to listen to the great Reformers' teaching, and then afterwards went forth to tell abroad what they had learned.

3. The Master also connected with His preaching and His college the invaluable agency of Bible classes; indeed, the whole machinery of a Church can be found in embryo in the doings of Christ. He "expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." If any home mission would see its work established, the converts must be trained in the knowledge of the Word.

4. Our Lord's mission work did not overlook the children. Our Sunday school work is not only justified, but even enforced, by "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven"; and also by His saying to Peter, "Feed My lambs."

5. Of late there has been frequently used by evangelists the plan of free teas, breakfasts, and dinners, at which the poorest persons are affectionately exhorted to seek salvation. It is remarkable that this method has been so long disused, because it is, with a small difference, a plan adopted by our Lord. Though many, no doubt, followed Him because they did eat of the loaves and fishes, yet I do not doubt that some who were first attracted by the earthly food remained to eat of the bread of heaven.

6. A mission would also find great strength in imitating Jesus by combining medical aid with religious teaching. Our Lord was a medical missionary. True, we cannot work miracles, but we may do what is within human reach in the way of healing, and so we may follow our Lord, not with equal footsteps, but in the same track. I pray for a closer connection between the surgeon and the Saviour. May there be many who, like Luke, are both physicians and evangelists.

7. Our Lord also associated with His mission work the distribution of alms. A poor man was found in the street one Sunday morning as he was about to commit suicide. Two of our brethren met him, and led him to this Tabernacle, but first they took him to a coffee shop. I had a far more likely hearer in the man whose hunger was relieved than I could have had in the poor famishing sinner. Then, after the sermon, they gave him a good dinner, and so detained him till they brought him here again in the evening, and God was pleased to bless the Word to him.

8. Our Master's mission was carried on very largely through open-air preaching. All over England there are tens of thousands who never will hear the gospel while open-air preaching is neglected. It is altogether a mischievous thing that we should confine our preaching within walls.

9. Our Lord also set an example to home missionaries, in that He had pity on the villages. Small villages are often thought to be too insignificant for the founding of churches in them. But the villages help to make the large towns, and the character of London depends upon the character of village homes.

10. At the same time the Master also gave much attention to the towns.

II. THE MODEL HOME MISSIONARY. The success of a work depends very little upon the system; almost everything rests, under God, upon the man. There have been men who, with systems unwise and imperfect, have accomplished noble results, while others with admirable organisations have done nothing.

1. The man who is to serve God as a leading missionary must be a man of teaching power and of personal influence. It is of no use to send out a man who cannot speak. If you want a man to spread the gospel he must be one who can preach. Our Lord had this grand capacity in the highest degree.

2. Our Lord as a missionary fraternised with the people. How many of us, if we had seen a poor harlot coming to the well, would have remained purposely to converse with her? He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, but He was the friend of publicans and sinners. And we must be one with those whom we would bless; we must not be ashamed to call them brethren.

3. Our Lord was a man who could toil. He never preached a sermon without weaving His soul into it. His life was a scene of unrivalled labour. Now, if the Church would see souls saved, the work will never be achieved by agents who are half asleep.

4. For a home missionary we want a man who can pray as the Master prayed. He was as great with God in prayer as He was with man in preaching. If we prevail with God for men, we shall prevail with men for God.

5. And if we are to secure useful men and women we must choose those who can weep. I do not covet that moistness of the eye which is the result of effeminacy, but manly weeping is a mighty thing. Our Lord, when He beheld the city, could not restrain the water floods, His great soul ran over at His eyes. If He had not been a man who could weep Himself, He could not have made others weep.

6. To crown all, our Lord knew how to die! Love of life must yield to love of souls. Christ revealed the great secret when it was said of Him, "He saved others, Himself He cannot save." In proportion as a man saves himself he cannot save others.


1. It is your privilege to be a worker together with God, therefore keep close to the footsteps of the great Master worker.

2. Remember that before He went to work He was Himself personally obedient to that gospel which He had to preach. He did not bid others believe and be baptized, and neglect to be baptized Himself.

3. This being done, let me say to you, Is there not some department of mission work at home that you could undertake? Most probably you could not do all those things which I have mentioned as having been done by Christ, but you know that young artists will often be instructed by their masters to sketch, not the whole of a great statue, but one single limb, an arm, a hand, or a foot. Just so it shall be enough to teach you service if, being unable to attempt the whole of the great scheme, you will undertake zealously to labour in one department of it.

4. But whatever you do, do it thoroughly, do it heartily.

5. Take one word which is often used by Mark as a motto for yourselves. Mark is always saying of Christ that "straightway" He did so and so. Now, if you have work for Christ before your eye, straightway hasten to do it. Do something tonight before you go to bed, if it be only the giving away of a tract.

6. There is an all-sufficient power which you may obtain for this service. Our Lord is declared in this very verse to be one who was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. That same Holy Ghost is given to the Church, and that same power lingers in the assemblies of the faithful.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The text is an exquisite miniature of Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a master's pencil. The portrait cannot be mistaken for anyone else. Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon went about destroying. Prophets who professed to have been sent of God have compassed sea and land to make proselytes, but the good which they accomplished none could see. What Peter here draws in words, God's grace drew, in some measure, in lines of real life in the case of Howard and some other followers of Jesus; still, in the highest and fullest sense, these words are applicable to none but the Master. His is the model, and theirs the humble copy. He did good, and good only: but the best of men, being men at the best, sow mingled seed.


1. His object. "He went about," but His travel was no listless motion, no purposeless wandering. O man of God, have a purpose, and devote thy whole life to it! Be not an arrow shot at random, but choose thy target. Christ's object was "doing good:" This was —(1) His eternal purpose. Long before man was formed Jesus was set upon doing good. He did good among the angels, for the heavenly harps owe all their music to His presence. Among the devils there was no room for positive good; but even there restraining goodness bound them down in iron bands, lest their mischief should grow too rampant. On earth, however, was the widest scope for goodness in its largest sense; for that goodness which descends to sin-stricken mortals, to set them upon the throne of glory.(2) His practical object. His presence in the manger did good, as it cheered both rich magi and poor shepherd with the knowledge that God had come down to men. His childhood did good, for it has become the mirror of childhood's obedience to this day. Ye know how His after life was one practical carrying out of this solitary object.(3) His official prerogative. He received the name of Jesus, "For He shall save His people from their sins." He was named "Christ," because the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, etc. Mention any name you please, and you will see that it is incumbent upon Him, ex officio, to go about doing good. Shepherd, Husband, Friend, Lion, Lamb.(4) His actual performance. He did good in all senses — physically and spiritually.

2. His mode.(1) He went about. Personally. He might have sent out His apostles to do good in His stead; but when He sent them out, it was not as proxies, but as heralds, "whither He Himself would come." The evangelists constantly tell us that He touched the leper with His own finger, that He visited the bedside of the sick, etc. I would that much more of benevolence were performed by men themselves. Why should you not go and give away your guinea lovingly and tenderly? It will be better than letting somebody else pare it down to fifteen shillings, and giving it away coldly and officially. So much depends upon the way of doing good. The look, the word, the prayer, the tear, will often be more valuable to the widow than that half-crown which you have given her. The Saviour's very presence did good, apart from the blessings which He bestowed.(2) He went about with incessant activity. He did not only the good which was round about Him, which was brought to Him, but He "went about." He could not be satisfied to be still. Scarcely a village or a hamlet which had not been gladdened by the sight of Him. Oh! the creeping, crawling manner in which some people serve the Lord!(3) He went out of His way to do good. You must not be content to do good in the regular circle of your movements. Break through the bounds of propriety every now and then, and do an odd thing. That was a quaint expedient of those who brake up the roof to let down a palsied man that Jesus might heal him.(4) He went far in doing good. The district of Palestine was not very large, but He went to the limit of it. He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But He went to the verge of it. And I admire the Lord's going about not simply for the miles He travelled, but for the space of character over which He passed. It is nothing wonderful that He went as far as Tyre and Sidon, but it is much that He went as far as publicans and sinners. A minister once announced to his congregation, "I am going on a mission to the heathen." The good people thought their minister was going to leave them, and felt sad at the bare idea of losing him. "But," he added, "I shall not be out of town." If you want men who have gone far in sin, great foreigners in that respect, you need not leave London.(5) No doubt Christ's perseverance is intended, for when rejected in one place, He goes to another.(6) The unity of His purpose is also hinted at. He does not go about with two aims.(7) And the success is here intended. He went about, and not only tried to do good, but He did it.

3. His motive.(1) He did good partly because He could not help it. It was His nature to do good. All the good things which God has made are diffusive. There is light; the clouds; air; fire.(2) His grand motive no doubt is the display of the Divine attributes. He is the manifestation of Godhead. Poor troubled sinner, cannot He glorify God in you? You need pardon: you will be an illustrious instance of God's grace if He should ever save you.


1. As to the past. There are some in all callings who either do positive harm, or at any rate cannot imagine that they are doing any good. Let them repent themselves. But you who are saved, have you done all the good you could?

2. As to the future. The old question comes up, if any man says today, "I am resolved to go about doing good" — is he able to do it? And again, the reply comes, we must first be good, or else we cannot do good. The only way to be good is to seek to the good Master. Then whatsoever our hand findeth to do, let us do it. Let us not ask for greater abilities. If we can get them let us do so; but meanwhile let us use what we have. Go, thou housewife, to thy house, and from the lowest chamber to the top go thou about doing good. Go, thou teacher, to thy little school, and let thine example tell, and there is range enough for thee. You domestic servants, the kitchen is sphere enough for you.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Christian Age.
Mr. Harvey was riding slowly along the dusty road, looking in all directions for a stream, or even a house where he might refresh his tired and thirsty horse with a good draught of water. While he was thinking and wondering, he turned an abrupt bend in the road, and saw before him a comfortable-looking farmhouse, and at the same time a boy ten or twelve years old came out into the road with a small pail, and stood directly before him. "What do you wish, my boy," said Mr. Harvey, stopping his horse. "Would your horse like a drink?" said the boy, respectfully. "Indeed he would, and I was wondering where I could obtain it." Mr. Harvey thought little of it, supposing, of course, the boy earned a few pennies in this manner, and therefore he offered him a bit of silver, and was astonished to see him refuse it. "I would like you to take it," be said, looking earnestly at the child, and observing for the first time that he limped slightly. "Indeed, sir, I don't want it. It is little enough I can do for myself or anyone; I am lame, and my back is bad, sir, and mother says, no matter how small a favour may seem, if it is all we are capable of, God loves it as much as He does any favour; and this is the most I can do for others. You see, sir, the distance from Painesville is eight miles to this spot, and I happen to know there is no stream crossing the road that distance, and the houses are all some distance from the road, and so, sir, almost everyone passing here from that place is sure to have a thirsty horse." Mr. Harvey looked down into the grey eyes that were kindling and glowing with the thought of doing good to others, and a moisture gathered in his own, as a moment later he jogged off, pondering deeply upon the quaint little sermon that had been delivered so innocently and unexpectedly.

(Christian Age.)

A Piedmontese nobleman, whom I met at Turin, had not long before experienced its efficacy; and his story, which he told me without reserve, was as follows: "I was weary of life, and, after a day such as few have known, and none would wish to remember, was hurrying along the street to the river, when I felt a sudden check. I turned and beheld a little boy, who had caught the skirt of my cloak in his anxiety to solicit my notice. His look and manner were irresistible; not less so was the lesson he had learned. 'There are six of us, and we are dying for want of food.' 'Why should I not, said I to myself, relieve this wretched family? I have the means, and it will not delay me many minutes. But what if it does?' The scene of misery he conducted me to I cannot describe. I threw them my purse, and their burst of gratitude overcame me; it filled my eyes — it went as a cordial to my heart. 'I will call again tomorrow!' I cried. Fool that I was to think of leaving a world where such pleasure was to be had, and so cheaply!" May many a reader of these lines find in the true romance of London a relief for all hypochondriacal and dyspeptic sorrows.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Richard Cecil went to preach at Bedford Road Chapel, London, and one day a person came up to him about a certain lady, a great professor of religion. He represented that she was quite out of spirits, unhappy and miserable, and that Mr. Cecil ought to go and try and do her some good. He went to the lady and found her sitting by the fire, with her feet on the fender and looking very miserable, with a great shawl on her back, while the sun was shining in at the window. She asked Mr. Cecil to sit down; but he said," I will not sit down; I know what is the matter. Get up, put on your bonnet, and go out and try and do some good. Within a few hundred yards of this very house there are people dying, and persons that want help. Go out and do something, and try and do good in the world." She took his advice, and went out and tried to do some good, and when he called on her two or three weeks after, he found her quite an altered person. Her voice was altered, she looked cheerful and happy, and her low spirits were all gone. She said, "Oh, Mr. Cecil, you could not have done me a greater favour than ask me to try and do some good."

(Bp. Ryle.)

It is said of a certain New England Congregational minister that when he was young, "in the college and at the seminary he loved to spend his strength in doing that kind of good which other men neglected — and that remained his characteristic through life." In his parish work he was sure to be after the "one sheep" which had been given up as lost. Norman M'Leod, the great friend of the Scotch poor, was industriously maligned in all quarters, although on the day when he was carried out to his burial a workman stood, and, looking at the funeral procession, said: "If he had done nothing for anybody more than he has done for me, he should shine as the stars forever and ever."

Christ spent His life in doing good within the sphere in which He lived, and to the objects within His reach. Thus He has taught us irresistibly that, instead of consuming our time in wishes to do good where we cannot, the true dictate of universal goodwill is to do it where we can.

(T. Dwight.)

Not one of the least remarkable features of the present age is, the system of doing those things by deputy which our forefathers did for themselves. Provided a man has plenty of ready money, he may recline on the sofa, or loll in the easy chair the greater part of the day, and still be a most active Christian by deputy. Does his heart yearn to provide for the orphan, or to comfort the widow, to clothe the naked and to feed the hungry? He has no longer to seek them out as of old; he is not compelled to visit the scenes of destitution and misery; he has but to subscribe a few guineas to some half dozen institutions to qualify himself as a "life governor"; and for the remainder of his days he is freed from the obligations of Christian benevolence, by discharging the mere peppercorn rent of signatures to tickets and proxy papers. Benevolence peripatetic: — Genuine benevolence is not stationary, but peripatetic; it goeth about doing good.

(Dr. Nevins.)

Eighty-seven years have I sojourned on this earth, endeavouring to do good.

(John Wesley.)

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