When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. (Acts 7:54-55)

Stephen’s departing moments were clam, peaceful, confident, joyous. He never flinched while he was addressing that infuriated audience.

He told them the plain truth, with as much quiet deliberation as if he had been gratifying them with a pleasing discourse. When they grew angry he was not afraid.

His lip did not quiver; he did not retract or soften down a single expression, but cut them to the heart with even more fidelity. With the courage of a man of God, his face was set as a flint.

Knowing he was now preaching his last sermon, he used the sharp two-edged sword of the Word, piercing into their very souls. Little cared he how they frowned; nothing was he abashed when they gnashed their teeth.

He was was as calm as the opened heaven above him and continued so though they hurried him out of the city. When they had dragged him outside the gate and stripped off their clothes to carry out his execution, he did not let fall a single timorous word or trembling cry.

He stood up and committed his soul to God with calmness, and when the first murderous stones felled him to the earth, he rose to his knees, still not to ask for pity, nor to utter a craven cry, but to plead with his Lord for mercy upon his assailants.

Then he closed his eyes like a child tired out with the sport of a long summer’s day, and dropping asleep upon its mother’s lap, “he fell asleep.” Believe, then, O Christian, that if you abide in Christ, the like will be the case with you. ((Charles SpurgeonAt the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], September 13.))

Charles Spurgeon

Further reading