the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters.”
Acts 27:30 , Acts 27:31
The sailors, under pretence of casting out anchors from the bow, lowered the boat to make their escape, leaving the vessel and all the passengers to certain destruction; but Paul saw through their cowardly purpose and prevented it. It is a shameful thing to leave others to perish while we can be of any service to them.
Acts 27:33 , Acts 27:34
Picture this one brave man, in the dim twilight, standing in the midst of nearly three hundred haggard faces, speaking so calmly, and giving them such sound advice. Faith ennobles believers, and makes them comforters of others.
Such calm devotion spreads courage on all sides. If Paul, even in a storm, gave thanks, what shall be said of those persons who rush upon their meals like swine, and never thank the Lord who provides for them?
No longer abandoning themselves to despair, they adopted the last means for relieving the vessel, by throwing out the cargo, determining, when thus lightened, to run her on shore.
They were responsible for their safe custody, and would forfeit their own lives if they allowed them to escape; we need not therefore wonder at the soldiers’ cruel proposition.
Acts 27:43 , Acts 27:44
Thus was the promise of God kept to the letter: the peril was great, but all were saved from death. God never did forfeit his word, and he never will. It is nothing more than right that we should, without wavering, believe his promises; and if we do so, our lives will be free from care, and we shall have daily cause for rejoicing. This day may unbelief be cast out, and may childlike confidence rule our spirits.
Jesu, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high!
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life be past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder.”
island was called Melita or Malta.
Compassion and kindness are such precious things, that the Spirit of God records them in favour of the barbarians: even thus will Jesus remember a cup of cold water given to his disciples. Should not kindness be yet more abundantly found in the followers of Jesus?
He was not too proud to gather sticks, nor should the most eminent Christian think any work beneath him by which he may minister to the comfort of others. It seemed strange that there should be but one viper, and that it should fasten upon the apostles hand; serpent-bites will wound the most benevolent and holy hands.
So readily do we interpret every accident into a judgment, but such a habit is cruelly unjust to good men. Such an instance as this ought to cure us of crying out “What a judgment!” whenever sudden calamities fall on men. God’s judgments are reserved for another world, and are rarely seen in this life.
Acts 28:5 , Acts 28:6
Paul remained unmoved amid the changes of human judgment. Though to men he was a murderer one moment and a god the next, in patience he possessed his soul, unmoved in holy faith. We must not allow the opinions of men to affect our minds, or we shall be changing as the wind.
The shipwreck of the vessel had not shipwrecked the cause of the gospel; on the other hand, it had given to Malta a noble opportunity of hearing the gospel. The apostle well improved his stay.
God has hidden ones everywhere, and there amid the excessive vice of such cities as Pompeii, Naples, Baiæ, and the like, were found saints who met Paul at the landing-place of Puteoli, near which commences the Appian Way, along which he marched towards Rome. The news of his arrival reached the brethren in Rome during the week of Paul’s halting at Puteoli, and parties at once set out to meet him. This was thoughtful love, and showed that they were not ashamed to be identified with Christ’s suffering servant.
they came to meet us as far as Appii forum about forty Roman miles from Rome
and The three taverns about twenty miles
Plagues and deaths around me fly,
Till he bids I cannot die:
Nor can deadly serpents kill,
Till it is my Father’s will.
O thou Gracious, Wise, and Just,
In thy hands my life I trust:
I am safe, for thou art near;
Wherefore should I yield to fear?