The Providential Guidance of the Church
Acts 10:1-48
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,…

The conversion of the Gentiles was no new idea to Jews or Christians, but it had been universally regarded as to take place by their reception into Judaism. A gospel of the uncircumcision however soon began to be recognised by some. Stephen, carrying out the principles of his own apology, could hardly fail to recognise it, and the Cyprian and Cyrenean missionaries of Acts 11:20 preached the Word to pure heathen certainly before the conversion of Cornelius. This state of things might have given rise to a permanent schism in the Church. The Hellenists, and perhaps Saul, with his definite mission to the Gentiles, might have formed one party, and the Hebrews, with Peter at their head, the other. But as Neander observes: The pernicious influence with which from the first the self-seeking and one-sided prejudices of human nature threatened the Divine work was counteracted by the superior influence of the Holy Spirit, which did not allow the differences of men to reach such a point of antagonism, but enabled them to retain unity in variety. We recognise the preventing wisdom of God — which, while giving scope to the free agency of man, knows how to interpose His immediate revelation just at the moment when it is requisite for the success of the Divine work — by noticing that when the apostles needed this wider development of their Christian knowledge for the exercise of their vocation, and when the lack of it would have been exceedingly detrimental, at that very moment, by a remarkable coincidence of inward revelation with a chain of outward circumstances, the illumination hitherto wanting was imparted.

(Dean Alford.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

WEB: Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,

The Pious Centurion
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