This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
" Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot." ACTS vm. 29. MARRIAGES, they say, are made in heaven: that is, the steps of two, both being God s dear children, are so directed by an overruling Providence, that after each has passed over many windings, the two paths con verge, and the two lives meet and melt into one like t\vo rivers, flowing thenceforth one broader, deeper, stronger stream. Marriages are made in heaven; and two or three other things besides marriages are made there. Meetings that are of shorter duration, and partnerships that are less intimate, come under the same rule. God, who gives law to the ocean, does not neglect a dew-drop. The hairs of your head are all numbered. Our meetings and partings are under law to God. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. The meeting of Philip and the Ethiopian prince in the desert near Gaza is recorded with great precision in Scripture. On that meeting much depended; from that meeting great things sprang. What hath the Lord wrought ! And how wonderfully he hath wrought it ! If his purposes in creation require the meeting of two circling worlds at some period in the evolutions of time, he will so arrange that the two shall approach and touch each other at the very point of space and time which he has designed. The same might and the same wisdom have been at work to arrange a meeting whereever and whenever one earthen vessel charged bears Christ, and another earthen vessel empty receives Christ at a brother s hand. We must not suppose that this meeting between the evangelist and the Ethiopian
was arranged by the Lord, and that he leaves our meet ings to the chapter of accidents. This case is recorded as a specimen of the Lord s way. This prophecy is not of private interpretation; not a letter, but a type for throwing off millions. It is not that the Redeemer and Ruler of the world made these trysts in ancient times, and ceased to make them afterwards. He ceased to reveal and record them, after he had given character istic specimens; but he has not ceased to make them and keep them. These meetings have been frequent in our own land of late years. Many messengers run to and fro, each bent on fulfilling his own commission, each bent on getting a soul for his hire. How thickly the royal couriers pass and repass. If our eyes were opened,
The Meeting. 169 the whole mountain would seem full of chariots of fire and horses of fire. See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, redeeming the time; for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the messenger sent by God to meet you on your path may heave in sight, and offer 3 ou the friendship of the King. The place whereon you now stand may be holy ground to you the birth place for a better life. On the right hand or the left, in the house of prayer, in the public street, in the lonely path, the messenger may appear, charged to win a soul to Christ. Brother or sister still unconverted, if a message of love is out from the King to you, it would be sad to miss the bearer in the busy throng of life. Would you not grieve if he should go by? Then fear not: those who desire to meet him will not miss him. That vacuum in a longing heart would draw the messenger and the message to your bosom although they were
at the utmost end of the earth. Though the place was desert and the path but dimly traced, and the time not told at all, Philip and the Ethiopian met, with all the exactitude of the tides and seasons. See on a map for the actual landscape is too wide to be comprehended in one view the track of two converging rivers, from their several sources on separ ate mountain ranges to the point of confluence in the intervening valley. There are many windings in their courses. At some parts, indeed, they flow right away from each other, and sometimes back toward their springs; but in spite of all these partial and temporary di vergencies, on the whole the two streams come slowly but surely to a common meeting-place. So spring far apart two human lives, and so these distant lives flow into one. God, who made the mountains and the valleys, and bade the rivers run among them, brought these lives into being, and brought them into one. He brought them together: and that for a purpose of his own. Stand in awe of the meetings and partings of life. Reverence the friendships which you form and the farewells which you pronounce. When one is a dis ciple of Christ, and the other is still of the world, the Master meant by the meeting that grace should find its way from the vessel that has been filled into the
I/O The Church in the House. vessel that still remains empty. Vessel filled, freely you have received, freely give. Vessel empty, although all good comes from Christ the Head, much good comes through Christians the members. The one should strive to be, and the other to get, a blessing. These meetings, long prepared and wisely arranged in providence, are sometimes lost through obstinate unbelief. What a meeting that was in Herod s judg
ment hall at Csesarea between Paul and Felix ! How far up the lines of preparation for it ran; and how skil fully they were held in the hands of the Omniscient until the missionary of the cross and the Roman ruler met at last ! The Roman listened, and the missionary began: Now, Felix, now is your time; now or never. But he hardened his heart and turned away. He cast out the arrow of conviction after it had gone more than half way through the searing of his conscience. "Go thy way for this time:" this time! fool! you will never get another. He thought he was only politely putting off the Christian; but, in reality, he was rudely reject ing Christ. To lose such a meeting may be to lose your soul. That Ethiopian, on the contrary, being thirsty, wel comed the cold water. He received the kingdom of God as a little child; and the kingdom became all his own. He believed to the saving of his soul, and went on his way rejoicing. If any place in this world can remain consecrated more than another in the memory of the saints, that spot in the desert near Gaza is a sacred s pot to one of the saved multitude who stand round the throne in white clothing, for there he was born to the inheritance which he possesses now. Philip ran to meet him. Hitherto he had walked, and that, perhaps, slowly. So when two objects afloat attract each other by hidden magnets, their mutual motion towards a meeting is slow at first and scarcely perceptible; but when they have approached near, the .movement quickens, and they traverse the rest of the space at a rush. The evangelist, on approaching the chariot, heard its occupant reading. The student, though alone, must have been reading aloud. It is a mark of simplicity and earnestness. Like Jacob in a similar solitude, this
The Seed Sown and the Harvest Reaped. iji man wrestled with the angel of the covenant. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the King loves to feel the violent pressing with all his might at the gate. The reading aloud also gave Philip a natural and easy opportunity of introducing himself: " Understandest thou what thou readest ? " A very sugges tive question, by the way, and very suitable in our own times. To read the Scriptures is a duty and a privilege, but it is only a means to an end. If the ground do not take in the seed, the seed left on the surface is soon carried away.
1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books 2. ALL WRITINGS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.