Guidance for Men Who Pray
At this point the Church took a new departure, and the gospel broke over the walls of Jewish exclusiveness and was preached for the first time to pure-blooded Gentiles. Caesarea, built by the great Herod, was practically a Roman city, and the official seat of the Roman government in Judea. Cornelius was an officer of high rank, and it would seem naturally of noble character. He had no sympathy with the religious fables and sensuous indulgence of his time, and was attracted to the Jewish faith, which stood alone in the world for pure and undefiled conceptions of God. He adopted some of its characteristic features-its hours of prayer, its practice of fasting, and its almsgiving.
He had apparently set apart the whole of this memorable day for earnest inquiry as to the way of salvation, and as the sun was declining an angel brought the necessary indication of the steps that he should take. In the meanwhile God was about to prepare Peter to bring Cornelius into the perfect light. On the following day, as the messengers of Cornelius were nearing Joppa, the vision of a redeemed world from which Hebrew restrictions had vanished, opened to the Apostle a new and wider conception of God’s purpose.