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Philip and the Ethiopian

Philip and the Ethiopian

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Acts viii. 39.
and he went on his way rejoicing.

Acts viii. 39.
and he went on his way rejoicing.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PHILIP AD THE ETHIOPIABY ROBERT WALKER Acts viii. 39.and he went on his way rejoicing.THE person of vvbotn this account is given was a manof Ethiopia, who possessed a place of great trust andauthority under the queen of that country. It appearsfrom the history, that he was a proselyte to the Jewishreligion; for he had come as far as Jerusalem to attendon the worship of the God of Israel. The manner of hisconversion to Christianity, by the ministry of Philip theEvangelist, is circumstantially related in the precedingverses; and as there are several striking incidents in thispassage of history, I shall point out a few of them whichare chiefly remarkable.ist. We are told, that when this officer of the Ethi-opian queen was about to take his departure from Jeru-salem, God sent his angel to Philip at Samaria, with aperemptory order to leave that place, and to travel south-ward till he should come upon the road that goeth downfrom Jerusalem to Gaza; which place he had no soonerreached, than lo, the illustrious stranger appears in hischariot, pursuing his journey to his own country.2dly. It deserves our notice, that at the precise mo-inent when Philip, by a divine impulse, ran to meethim, this devout proselyte was reading aloud a part of Isaiah's prophecy, which speaks plainly and directlyconcerning the Messiah. The place of Scripture whichSERMO LXX. 445
he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to theslaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, soopened he not his mouth : In his humiliation his judg-ment was taken away, and who shall declare his gene-ration? for his life is taken from the earth." Upon hear-ing these words, Philip accosted him with this question,<* Understandest thou what thou readest?" The otheringenuously confessed that he did not ; and having, withuncommon courtesy, taken the Evangelist up into hischariot, begged to be informed who the person waswhom the prophet had in his eye. ^^ Then," as we readin the 35th verse, "Philip opened his mouth, and beganat the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."Thus both the preacher and his subject were very re-markably ordered in the providence of God ; and, asmight be expected from such favourable presages, thediscourse was accompanied with the powerful influencesof his grace : For upon their coming to a certain placewhere there was water, the new disciple, of his own ac-cord, modestly signified his desire to be baptized ; andafter professing his faith in Christ, in these few but so-lemn words, " 1 believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God," — the chariot was stopt, and Philip went downwith him into the water and baptized him. A^d Incident, no less remarkable than the former two,is recorded in the verse where my text lies. "Whenthey were come up out of the water, the Spirit of theLord caught away Philip, that the Eunuch saw him nomore." How admirable, how perfect are the works of God ! These two were brought together by the agen-cy of an angel, and now they are parted asunder by amiracle, but a miracle of wisdom as well as of power.For this sudden and su|)ernatural removal of the preach-er, Avas a powerful confirmation of the doctrine which
1 MI SERMO LXX.lie tf»u£;lil, and ha<I an obvious tendency to impress onthe nund of the new convert this important truth, thatalthout:;ii a man had been employed as the instrumentof his conversion, yet the work itself was truly divine,and the i;lory of it due to Ood alone.Accordin<:;ly we learn, from the latter part of theverse, that all these wonderful events had a most happyinlluentx on his mind. He was transported with what hebail seen, and heard, and experienced ; his judii^nnMitapinoved the wise choice he had made, and he went onhis way rejoicini:;. He went on iiis way, i. p. he |)roceed-<'d on his journey homeward. The new persuasion hehad received into his mind did not mislead him into fan-ciful plans of action, inconsistent with, or perhaps oppo.site to, the duties of his station. o, he knew that therelii:;ion he had embraced, instead of releasiui:; him fromthese duties, rather bound him to a more faithful anddilii;ent [icrformance of them. He therefore went on hisway, and he rejoiced as he went. He felt his soul en-riched with heavenly p-ace. He bad now got a treasurewhich he could pro[u'riy call his own, even that pearlof great [)rice, with which all the treasures of Ethiopiawere not worthy to be compared.Your conilition, my brethren, is in several respects si-milar to the condition of this man. He had solemnlyavouched the l^ird to be his fiod: Vou, with ecpial so-lemnity, have (his day done the same. He had just re-ceived one seal of the covenant of i;race : You, this day,have received the other. He had a long journey beforehim : Ye also are travellers through this wilderness, to-waril the, promised laud of rest. In these circumstancesI think that, without apology, 1 may take occasiim, fromthe words that have been read, to address you with atwofold exhortation :

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