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to disregard His people in Egypt. How long in preparing the way
for Christ. How slowly the Gospel seems to move. He is not in a hurry: He has plenty of time, &c.
III. Here is a picture of SUCCESSFUL INVOCATION.
This widow said, “Avenge me of mine adversary!" " and he would not for a while : but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me." Her success depended not upon the justice or mercy of the judge, for he had none, but simply on her importunity-selfishness moved him at last. It is not the DUTY of prayer that is taught here, nature teaches that man has an ineradicable instinct for it, an instinct which danger has never failed to excite! Hence the prayer of theoretic Atheists in peril. Nor is it the privilege of prayer that is here taught, the philosophy of mind and the experience of the good in all ages teach that; the point here is the certain efficacy of importunate prayer. Three remarks may serve to throw light upon the subject : first, importunity is the essence of all true prayers. Prayer does not consist in words or occasional services—prayer is an aviding and deeply-felt consciousness of dependence upon God. Hence it is something 66 without season.
A man that does not always pray never prays. Secondly, importunity is an essential qualification for the enjoyment of Divine favours. Unless we are brought to feel the need of a thing we shall neither properly value nor rightly
The Syro-Phænician mother is a case in point. Thirdly, importunity insures the interposition of Heaven. This point Christ here teaches by a sort of à fortiori argument. The famous John Howe fully illustrates this in a discourse on this text. He points out the difference between the petitioned
-the petition—and the petitioner. The gist of the argument here implied is to show the certainty that God will answer the importunate prayer of His people. Their prayer is “day and night”-it is the breathing spirit of the soul, and this is sure to be answered-in truth, is answered every day.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.- EMENDATIVE RENDERINGS. Chap. xix.-1. And it came to pass, while Apollos was in Corinth, that Paul, going through the upper regions, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples.
2. And he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed? And they said] to him, On the contrary, we did not even hear whether the Holy Ghost was.
3. And he said, To what, then, were ye baptized? And they said, To the baptism of John.
4. And Paul said, John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe on Him who was coming after him, that is, on Jesus.
5. And having heard, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
6. And when Paul had put hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied.
7. And all the men (ävdpes] were about twelve.
8. And entering into the synagogue, he spake boldly for three months, disputing and persuading concerning the kingdom of God.
9. But when certain were hardened and believed not, speaking evil of the way before the multitude, going from them he separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of Tyrannus.
10. And this was done for two years, so that all the dwellers in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
11. And God did extraordinary mighty works by the hands of Paul.
12. So that to the sick there were brought from his body (properly, skin) napkins or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out. 13. But certain also of the wandering Jews, exorcists,
undertook to name over those that had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, I adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth.
14. And there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chiefpriest, doing this.
15. And the evil spirit answering said, Jesus I know, and Paul I am acquainted with ; but who are ye?
16. And the man in whom was the evil spirit, leaping upon them, having got the mastery of both, prevailed against them, so that naked and wounded they fled out of that house.
17. And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks that were dwelling in Ephesus, and there fell fear upon all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18. And many of them that had believed came confessing and announcing their practices.
19. And considerable numbers of those that had practised magical doings, having brought the books together, burned [them] up before all; and reckoned together the values of them, and found fifty thousand of silver.
20. Thus mightily the Lord's word grew and prevailed.
21. When these things were fulfilled, Paul settled in the spirit, having gone through Macedonia and Achaia, to journey to Jerusalem, saying, after I have been there, I must see Rome also.
22. And having sent into Macedonia two of those that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus, himself remained a time at Asia.
23. And there came to pass at that season a disturbance not small concerning that way.
24. For a certain man, Demetrius by name, a silversmith, making silver temples of Artemis, occasioned to the artisans' earnings not small.
25. Whom having assembled, and the workers about such like things, he said, sirs [åvepes], ye understand that from this art is the wealth to us.
26. And ye see and hear that not only of Ephesus, but
almost of all Asia, this Paul having persuaded, has perverted a considerable crowd, saying that they are not gods which are made by hands.
27. And not only is this portion for us in danger of coming to contempt, but also the sanctuary of the great goddess Artemis to be reckoned for nothing, and for her greatness to come even to be destroyed, whom the whole of Asia and the world worships.
28. And having heard [this] and growing full of wrath, they cried, saying, Great [is] Artemis of the Ephesians.
29. And the city was filled with the confusion ; and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, having snatched Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, fellow-travellers of Paul.
30. And Paul counselling to enter in to the people, the disciples permitted him not.
31. And certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, having sent to him, besought [him] not to give himself into the theatre.
32. Some then cried one thing, some another; for the assembly was confused, and the most knew not for what sake they were come together.
33. And they drew Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews thrusting him forth. And Alexander having waved the hand, desired to plead for himself to the people.
34. But they knowing that he was a Jew, one voice arose from all, crying for about two hours, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.
35. And the Recorder having quelled the crowd, says : Sirs [ăvpdes] of Ephesus, who is there of men that knows not that the city of Ephesians is temple-guardian of the great Artemis, and of that which fell from Zeus !
36. These things then not to be gainsaid, it is necessary for you to be quiet, and to do nothing rash
37. For ye have brought these men [äv&pas] neither robbers of sanctuaries, nor blaspheming your god.
38. If then Demetrius, and the artisans with him, have
a complaint against any man, assizes are held, and there are proconsuls ; let them summon each other.
39. But if ye seek something further, in a lawful assembly it shall be resolved.
40. For we are even in danger to be summoned concerning the uproar of this day, there being no reason about which we shall be able to render account of this concourse.
41. And having spoken these swords] he dismissed the assembly.
The Preacher's Finger-Post.
A PARABOLIC PICTURE OF cause they have committed a tresISRAEL.
pass, saith the Lord God.”—Ezek.
xv. 1–8. " And the word of the Lord
The subject of this chapter came unto me, saying, Son of man, What is the vine-tree more
is the incorrigible depravity than any tree, or than a branch of the Hebrew people, inwhich is among the trees of the cluding both the men of Isforest ? Shall wood be taken
rael and of Judah. They thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any
had defeated the ends of their vessel thereon ? Behold, it is cast high calling, and exposed into the fire for fuel; the fire de themselves to the righteous voureth both the ends of it, and
judgments of Heaven. The the midst of it is burnt. Is it meet for any work? Behold, following chapter exhibits the when it was whole, it was meet same subject at greater length, for no work: how much less shall and in more minute detail. it be meet yet for any work, when
This chapter, which is our the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned? Therefore thus saith the
text, is a parabolic represenLord God, As the vine-tree among
tation of the Jewish people. the trees of the forest, which I From it we infer three genehave given to the fire for fuel, so
ral truths. will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my
I. THAT GOD HAS PLACED face against them; they shall go SOME SECTIONS OF THE HUMAN out from one fire, and another fire
RACE UNDER SPECIAL CULTURE. shall devour them: and ye shall
Their conditionis analogous to know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. And I
that of the “ vine” planted in will make the land desolate, be a suitable soil, well-guarded