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and cry from the windows above me. I knew, had reached the boundaries of the town, and that my pursuers would be rushing down-stairs, found myself amongst the villas, standing in their through passages and doorways, and that I had own gardens and shrubberies, which formed the but a brief start of them in my race for life. I suburbs of Nocross. I came panting up to that made the most of that start; I darted at my iron gate through which I had seen Vadame à la utmost speed across the paved platform on which Mode and her guests pass on the preceding day. stood the palace of Self-deception; I rushed down It was the back entrance into grounds tastefully the streets which led from that central point of laid out, with abundance of trees rich in their Nocross; I rapidly turned the corner where the thick summer foliage. The gate was a little ajar. workmen were still busy with the pedestal on I saw a place of shelter before me, and pushing which was to be raised the statue to the general back the barrier, I rushed through the opening, benefactor, My speed was not slackened until I | then shut the gate bebind me with a spring.

Ibe @Thurch in the house.




Acts xix, 20.

grer and

divine power.

poured from the Scriptures through Philip's ministry

the thirsty traveller drank the living water, and went THE TWO DIMENSIONS,- BREADTH AND DEPTH.

on his way rejoicing. "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

The instrument which these primitive preachers

wielded was “the Word of God." They had no conHRISTIANITY was new in those days.fidence in the enticing words of man's wisdom. In

The dew of its youth was on it; the ex- simple faith they set forth Him who is the Word of life, perience of its disciples accordingly was and looked to the Spirit for the quickening PosiT.

fresh and tender. If their knowledge was This method was successful. Great results immediately less extensive than ours, their life was perhaps more appeared. vigorous, and their love more warm. The faith of those The terms employed to express these results are ancient believers excelled in directness and simplicity; worthy of special attention. The Word “ when it had less of human attainment, it had more of prevailed.” The work of these missionaries, like that

of the husbandman, has two dimensions-breadth and It is better to have a faith which you cannot explain, depth. One measurement indicates the superficial esthan to be able to explain a faith which you do not tent of the field, and another the perpendicular depth enjoy. Here is a philosopher who understands thor- of the furrow. The gospel, through the preaching of oughly the circulation of the blood, but whose blood, those ministers, reached a great multitude, and it through lack of vital vigour in the heart, is almost penetrated the joints and marrow of each. The World standing stagnant in his veins; and there is a little is said to "grow” when it spreads widely in the work, child, whose blood bounds through his body like a and to "prevail” when it makes all things the mountain stream at every pulse, but who does not know heart and life of a believer. that the blood is circulating in his veins. The philoso

The Word of the Lord grew. The mustard-seel pher would fain change places with the child. Give me dropped into the ground, became a spreading tree. In at all hazards the spiritnal life, and let me add a the hands of Paul and his associates, it soon orer scientific theology if I can. It is better to believe in shadowed the philosophy of Greece, and the arms of Christ to the saving of the soul, although you could not Ronie. demonstrate the nature and origin of saving faith, than For a long period during the Middle Ages the Word to possess the power of analyzing faith so as to resolve of the Lord did not in this sense grow. A very general it into its elements, while you do not yourself believe to corruption overlaid and choked the Word in Europe, the saving of your soul.

and the power of Mahomet quenched its light in rast Faith in those days seems to have been simple, and regions of the East. After the Reformation, the Worl, direct, and strong, like life in childhood. Such was the brought up from its grave again, lived and grew afresh. experience of the Ethiopian treasurer. He thirsted for In our own day, it displays all the energy of its youth. the redemption of Christ, as dry land thirsts for rain Its way has been better prepared in recent times, and from heaven ; on his thirsting soul the water of life was accordingly it has reached many regions which the feet of the apostles never trod. The Lord reigneth. He the pent-up agony of the inner man gathers itself up at has remembered Zion, and is healing her breaches. He is last into the cry, What must I do to be saved ?—the fear building up the walls of his own Jerusalem ; children is blessed, not for its own sake as a result, but for what are playing again on her long-desolate streets. A good it promises as a symptom. time has come, and a better time is coming. Those who 2. “The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified." have lived during the earlier half of the present century This is a sure mark of a genuine and thorough spiritual have seen great things, and those who live out the progress. It is dangerous when a religious movement latter half will see greater.

brings men's names into great prominence. It is true The Word of the Lord prevailed. It put forth a that those who preach with much success must endure power which penetrated every obstacle, and bore its a large measure of publicity. The city that is set on a message home. A thing which is in its own nature hill cannot be hid. But neither the successful preacher beneficent may be widely diffused, and yet fail to confer nor his friends for him should court this distinction. a benefit for lack of power to penetrate. Sunlight in Human hearts are in their own nature all too liable to summer floods the polar regions in continuous day, and spontaneous combustion ; no wise man will do anything yet no grass grows green—no harvest-field grows yellow to fan the flame either in his own or his neighbour's -under its beautiful beams. The light grows there into breast. The preacher who on this occasion proclaimed an immense diffusion, but does not prevail to melt the the gospel with success, has taught us by his own exice and fructify the soil. Times have passed over our own ample to handle roughly this tendency to idolatrous beloved country in which the gospel was like the light adulation. “I am of Paul,” said one large and very of a polar summer-shining everywhere, but melting evangelical section of Christians in a certain church ; nowhere. And the same phenomenon may be observed but this minister was not pleased to see his own name at present in some districts of Europe that are distin- placarded in too large letters on the walls. I think I gnished as Protestant. Men may be proud of Chris- see him breaking forth like a tempest upon those too tianity, and yet ashamed of Christ. Our lot has fallen zealous admirers. Extending his frame, and raising his in more pleasant places; we have obtained a better arm, and knitting his brow, the fire flashing from his heritage. God has in mercy granted to his Church a eyes as he spoke, he hurled at the obsequious partizans little reviving. Besides the growth of the Word in its the piercing challenge, -"Was Paul crucified for you?diffusion over the land and among the nations, there Convicts and converts should enter their closets and has been a prevailing of the Word in the conviction and shut the doors, and forgetting the preachers of the the conversion of sinners.

Word, occupy themselves with the Christ whom they May the kingdom come not in word only, but also in preached. When the stars grow bright, it is a proof power. We have precious seed, and there are many that the sun is down; while the sun is shining, the sowers; it remains that we give heed to the ancient stars, though still in their places, cannot be seen. Let prophet's specific exhortation : “Break up your fallow Jesus be magnified, and all instruments will be lost in ground, and sow not among thorns.”

his light. ** So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed.” 3. “Many that believed came, and showed their The form of the expression directs us to the preceding deeds,” &c. I assume that this confession of sin to verses for an enumeration of the effects actually pro- men was the external accompaniment of confession in duced at that time by the preaching of the Word. secret to the Lord. Confession of sin to one another is

1. “ Fear fell on them all.” Both in the nature of a suitable body; but if it be not animated by the living the case, and in the experience of the Church, this soul of confession to God, it is nothing but a carcass. result is first in order. The sense of need is an essential They who believed, confessed. They did not confess preparation for the reception of the remedy. The im- until they believed. You do not throw away one mediate means of producing fear are various. The portion until you begin to get hold of a better. The earthquake that shook the prison first alarmed the prodigal, I suppose, kept his rags closely round his jailer; the crowing of the cock was the spark that fell person as long as they constituted his only covering; it on Peter's heart and set it on fire. At one time it may is when he gets the fair robe from his father's hand be some external danger, and at another a still, small that he casts the filthy garments passionately away. inner voice; but in all cases of conversion at first or You will never show your own deeds and count them reviving afterwards, a fear springs in the conscience, vile either before God or man, until you begin to see and constrains the convicted to flee for refuge to the way of pardon. the hope set before him. That fear is blessed, When Christ forgives a soul, he gets that soul's which, like the approach of the wolf, compels the wan- secrets; when he gets a soul's secrets, he forgives that dering sheep to return to the fold. When heads that soul's sins. heretofore were held high in pride begin to droop on 4. "They who used curious arts, brought their books sobbing breasts ; when groanings which cannot be articu- and burned them.” The converts on this occasion were lately uttered begin to rend the frame, as the thaw of of the baser sort. The apostle had disturbed a nest of spring rends the ice which spanned the river ; when fortune-tellers and sorcerers that were burrowing under


Acts xix. 21-41.

the shadow of Diana's temple, and preying on the tuous edifice was destroyed by fire in 356 B.C. A fanatic dissipated multitudes of Ephesus. Where the carcass named Hesostratus confessed that he set it on fire in is, there will the eagles be gathered together. To the order to make his own name immortal. It was destroyed poor the gospel is preached. The Master received the same night in which Alexander the Great was born. sinners ; his servants followed his steps. The most It was restored in still greater splendour ; the diniendamaged specimens of humanity will serve the Lord's sions of the new temple were 425 feet by 220. It had purpose when they have been washed in his blood. 127 columns, 60 feet in height. This second edifice Manufacturers of paper do not reject the raw material was standing in all its glory at the date of Paul's visit. because it is torn and filthy. These sorcerers who plied It was consecrated to Diana, one of the twelve greater their disreputable trade in the precincts of a heathen deities of the Greeks. She was worshipped as a hunttemple, will be beautiful when they are new creatures ress, and also as the moon. The month of May mas in Christ.

sacred to her, and was called 'Diana's month. It is How quickly the tree, when it is made good, brings abundantly obvious that a great portion of Romish forth its pleasant fruit! They gave up their trade and Mariolatry was borrowed in a dark age from the wortheir stock in trade as soon as in the light of life they ship of Diana. The appellation Queen of Heaven, saw it to be sinful. Their right arm they resolutely cut and the designation of May as Mary's month, are evioff as soon as they perceive that it injures themselves dently old pagan rites, repainted and regilded for moand dishonours the Lord. Would that all the Pharisees dern use. of the modern Church should, in this respect, follow the A mob of interested artificers, instigated and headel footsteps of these publicans and sinners as they entered by Demetrius the silversmith, attempted to suppress the kingdom of heaven.

by violence the liberty of the gospel in Ephesus. The oration of this demagogue is in outline preserved. It is an interesting antique. Its arguments are skilfully

constructed. They are well fitted to gain the object THE UPROAR IN EPHESUS.

which the speaker had in view. Not relying on one ground, he cunningly groups two or three reasons to

gether in order to enlist a greater number on his side. The sphere of the Christian Church is rapidly enlarg- The craftsmen are reminded that the prevalence of the ing: and the ideas of the great missionary are enlarging gospel means loss of employment, and starvation for along with it. Ephesus is now a station in the middle of themselves and their families: the zealous idolaters are his field. He proposes to make a journey eastward to told that the temple of the great goddess will be deJerusalem, and afterwards to visit Rome. “I must spised : and the patriotic citizens are warned that with also see Rome :" yes, Paul, this is a necessity in the the decadence of the temple, the supremacy which plan of Providence ; but thou knowest not yet in what Ephesus enjoyed among the neighbouring provinces capacity thou shalt travel to the capital. What thou will certainly disappear. The prosperity of the city knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter. Sufficient depended on the popularity of the Diana-worship. The unto the day is the evil thereof. If we could see as far religious capital of Asia will dwindle into insignificance before us, as by memory we can see behind, our courage if Paul's doctrine prevail. would fail, and we should faint by the way. He who This inflammatory address was successful. The meetleads us, sees his own way: it is better for us to be led ing was stirred into rage. Indications appear in the blindfold.

narrative that the preachers were gaining adherents At this time a great commotion occurred in Ephesus, among the cultivated classes. The town-clerk and some which the historian has minutely related. There arose of the Asiarchs were, if not positively believers in Paul's no small stir about the way,—that is, about the gospel doctrine, at least favourable to free discussion. which Paul had preached. The emeute did not spring After the speech of Demetrius, the multitude rushed directly from the fanaticism of the idolaters : it had a tumultuously into the theatre. Ancient theatres were baser origin. Certain artificers of the city had been entirely different in structure from the edifices known accustomed to carry on a profitable trade in the manu- by the same name in modern times and more northerly facture of small models in silver, both of the temple latitudes. They were immense structures shaped like and the image of the goddess. These men perceived the hull of a ship, without roof, having a level space of that the general acceptance of Paul's doctrine would in- oval shape at the bottom for the performers, and seats evitably drain the sources of their trade. To save their in tiers for the spectators. own profits, therefore, they endeavoured to crush or Paul's impulse was to go into the theatre, and speak banish the foreign preachers by a popular tumult. in his own defence. His friends, however, by a friendly

The temple of Diana at Ephesus held a high place constraint prevented him from risking his life in that among heathen shrines. It had a romantic history. excited mob. It was built on artificial foundations in a marsh below A certain Jew named Alexander, was put forward by the city, as a security against earthquakes. The sump- | his countrymen to address the crowd. Probably he was


ACTS XX, 1-12.

selecteil as spokesman in order to show the Greek , would not needlessly trample on the prejudices of the population that, among Paul's own countrymen there heathen. were many who did not take his part. But whatever We obtain here a glimpse of the regular method in may have been the policy of the leaders in selecting this which the law was administered in the Roman Empire. man, it signally failed. The people would not listen ; The town-clerk was able to say in the public assenıbly they hooted him down. This was the commencement that the Courts of Justice were open, and that every of a violent uproar. For two hours the living contents citizen who had a grievance was at liberty to bring his of the vast amphitheatre heaved like the sea in a storm, case in a regular way before the judge. The Roman shouting in chorus, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians." power allowed a large measure of spontaneous action to This extraordinary commotion was at length quelled by the municipalities of conquered provinces in the regulathe presence and authority of the town-clerk, a magis- tion of internal affairs ; but they would not tolerate trate who, by right of office, was accustomed to read all tumults that endangered the public peace. Thus the public documents in the assemblies of the people. Yield- apostles were again delivered by the legitimate action ing to habit, the assembly settled down into quietude of a regular government. The powers that be are orwhen this great officer presented himself. His address dained of God. The shields of the earth are his; and was sensible and moderate. He gently flattered the he knows how to throw now one and now another around populace. Having soothed them into a calmer spirit, he his servants to preserve their lives for subsequent useskilfully insinuated some cogent arguments against their fulness. He sits King on all these floods; and will riotous proceedings. A plain hint of possible penal con- make the tumults of the people turn out for the fursequences for this outrage on the liberty of peaceable therance of the gospel. inhabitants finally brought the rioters to reason, and the assembly was quietly dismissed. Some incidental statements and allusions in the

A COMMUNION SABBATH AT TROAS. speech of the town-clerk are worthy of attention here. A prevailing tradition that the rude little wooden image preserved in a particular shrine of the temple, “ DISCRETION is the better part of valour.” Although had originally fallen down froin Jupiter (or the sky, for that proverb is often tauntingly employed in a sinister the same word has both meanings), he skilfully as- sense, it contains and conveys a precious practical truth. sumes as an acknowledged fact ; although it is very Valour is often crippled and deprived of its result for doubtful whether this trained official had faith in it. want of its “better part.” A man who has courage It is a general rule in all forms of idolatry, that those without prudence is apt to throw away his life. idols are most reverenced that are covered with the Paul was as remarkable for his caution as for his rust of antiquity, and encircled with miraculous legends. courage. When duty calls and a grand object may be This seems inconsistent with the apology usually given gained, he will not count his life dear unto hinself; but by Romish controversialists for the veneration of images. he will count his life very dear both to the Lord and They are accustomed to represent that the devotees do the Church if he can preserve it from needless danger, not worship the image before which they kneel ; but and so retain it for future use. This is the distinction employ it as a help to raise their conceptions to the between a hero and a fanatic. A true hero will prebeing whom the image represents. If that were true, serve his life as far as he can with honour, and will the best executed likeness would be most effective in never give it away cheap. aiding the spirit of devotion. But practically this is Ordinary opposition from Jews or Gentiles the apostle not the case. The most ungainly and repulsive repre- scarcely regrets. He would rather have waters stirred sentations which enjoy a reputation for sanctity, are by such a breeze than waters stagnant for his great frequented in preference to the most perfect results of operation as a fisher of men. Accordingly we learn the sculptor's art. The worshipper is moved by a con- that “the many adversaries” are reckoned among the ception that there is something sacred in the image grounds of encouragement to continue his work in this itself

. This is the nature and the fruit of all idolatry. city. But when such a serious tumult occurs as that If we disregard the letter of the law, we shall inevitably which had just been quelled by the address of the towntransgress its spirit : "Thou shalt not bow down thyself clerk, he considers that he will better serve the great to them.”

cause by bending to the blast than by braving it. He “These men," continues the town-clerk, "are neither will not, by mere bravado, make the place too hot for robbers of churches nor blasphemers of your goddess." the Christians afterwards. It will be expedient to reIt would appear from this that Paul had proceeded at tire in the meantime, and allow the troubled sea to subEphesus with the same cantion which he had dis- side. played at Athens. He effectually undermined all Besides, his work was done in Ephesus. He had idolatry by preaching Christ ; but he did not fly in spent eighteen months almost constantly there. The the face of what his audience considered sacred. seed of the Word had taken root. The tumult was the His argument was always grave and considerate. He evidence and the measure of his success. New work

metropolis. Some burning words would drop from his

awaits him in another place. This missionary must This good news from a far country was as cold waters to arise and run his race.

his thirsty soul. “When we were come into Macedonia, He determines to revisit Macedonia, but first there our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every must be a farewell meeting with the Christians of side ; without were fightings, within were fears. NeverEphesus. “He called the disciples.” How the meet- theless God, that comforteth them that are cast down, ing was summoned we do not know, but we know from comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his all history that amazing powers of intercommunication coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was exist among a persecuted people. Sufferers are inven- comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, tive in the matter of signalling to their friends. It your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that has often puzzled tyrants to comprehend how their vic- I rejoiced the more” (2 Cor. vii. 5-7). tims obtain information. It appears sometimes as if At last Paul, leaving Macedonia, came himself into the ground were a network of telegraphs, transmitting Greece. Although it is the country only that is menfrom the dungeon the groans of the prisoners. By some tioned, it was doubtless chiefly at Corinth that he spent word that passed surely and quickly through the circle his time. He remained about three months. When of disciples, all the faithful in the city were convened. his work was accomplished there, he desired to go by There is no report of Paul's parting address, but it is sea from Corinth to the East; but having discovered a certain he would not omit so good an opportunity of plot laid by the Jews to assassinate him, he changed his exhorting that infant Church in the heart of a heathen plan, and travelled northward once more into Macedonia

Seven men, whose names and nations are recorded, lips as he embraced them, one by one, and commended accompanied Paul on the journey as delegates from the them to the grace of God. These tender partings are Christians of various provinces, to present the contriprofitable though painful. They drive home some pre- butions of the West to the impoverished disciples in cious lessons that were lying on the surface and liable Judæa. This deputation was appointed, not merely as to be rubbed off.

bearers of the gift, but mainly to express to the Church On leaving Ephesus it was his design to go to Mace- in Jerusalem the sympathy of Gentile believers, if so be donia, but there was a long delay ere he reached it. the two constituents of the Church might be run into The history here is a very neagre outline. Materials one by offices of love, and all jealousies between Jers exist in the Epistles for filling up the blank, but it will and Greeks be nipped in the bud. We know that Paul not be expedient here to gather up the scattered threads. experienced a great desire to be at Jerusalem by the Let it suffice to mention merely the successive stages | Pentecost, which occurred seven weeks after his departwithout writing down the various references.

ure from Macedonia. He was bringing with him, in From Ephesus he went to Troas, on the western these seven delegates, the first fruits of the Gentiles, a coast of Asia Minor. He meant to remain and establish pledge and foretaste of an abundant harvest. At one a Church there; for when he was at that place before, Pentecost the Word as a seed had gone forth from Jeruhe was hastening over in answer to the call from Mace-salem, and at another Pentecost the fruit that sprang donia, and could not begin any mission work. Titus had from that seed shall be brought back. The sower who been despatched to Corinth, bearer of the epistle to the had gone forth weeping, bearing precious seed, will reChurch of that city, and Paul expected his messenger turn rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. to meet hin at Troas with news from the congregation The seven delegates crossed the sea to Troas, while at Corinth. He longed to learn how the letter had been Paul and Luke remained for a time at Philippi, proreceived, and what effects it had produced. We may bably induced by urgent entreaties of the Christians assume that while he tarried at Troas he watched that he should minister to them at the approaching eagerly every ship that arrived, to learn if Titus were on passover. The ship in which Paul and Luke at last board. Months passed, and no appearance of Titus. took passage must have been detained by rough weather Hope deferred made the heart sick. He had no rest, be- or other causes to us unknown, as the voyage occupied cause the care of the Corinthian Church, with its conten- five days. Having rejoined their comrades at Troas, tions and schisms, lay like a millstone on his heart, they remained there another week. There is here : But though sorrowful, he was not idle. He preached clear trace of Sabbath observance, and that on the first in Troas. He found an open door ; he planted a Church. day of the week. They landed on a Monday, the second

At length, unable to wait longer, he crossed the sea to day of the week, and left on a Monday. The disciples Macedonia without having obtained news from Corinth. in Troas assembled for public worship and the conAmong the converts at Philippi he was at home again.munion on the first day of the week. Paul preachei While he was enjoying there the society of his friends, the evening sermon, and proceeded on his journey next Titus at last joined him, bringing good news from Corinth. day. Although he was hastening eastward, he must His letter had been received with greater favour than remain in Troas no less than seven days, because, he expected. The divisions were healed, and prosperity through the disappointing length of the voyage, he dil restored. The converts acknowledged the great apostle's not arrive till the Lord's-day was past. This consecrar authority, and submitted themselves to his reproof. / tion of the first day was neither Jewish nor pagan ; it

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