"His Chains Fell Off. " Acts xii. 7
IN ANSWER TO PRAYER: -- Do you know any one tied and bound? Have you prayed for them without ceasing? Are you conscious of the enemy putting YOUR hands or feet in fetters? Are you unable to reach that purse which was at one time always within your grasp, so that now you do not give to the poor as you once did? Are your feet prevented from going on errands of mercy? Do the manacles keep you at home on Sundays, instead of walking muddy lanes to preach? If so, how do you like it? Do you not think you should cry to God?

We know a godly and cultivated minister who got into Doubting Castle, some years ago. He was losing hold of God, and his duty was becoming irksome, so he cried unto the Lord in his trouble. "I let them all go to bed," said he, "and had an all-night of prayer," and his chains fell off.

VERY QUIETLY. Not a single soldier was awakened. God can speak in loudest tones, as at Phillippi. He can bring His people out without anyone knowing, till they tell the tale themselves. It has often been the case, that some gentle, quiet preacher has been the instrument of deliverance to the Lord's chosen ones. There has been a revolution in nature. What a blessed change! How the chains of winter have fallen off, and that surly east-wind jailer been dismissed without noise or clamour.

When free, Peter went to tell those who had prayed him out. He found them in a state of great surprise. How good of God not to limit our success in prayer by our faith, or the want of it. In this also He does "exceeding abundantly." Still they did not fail, depend on it, to praise the Lord. Herod soon found it out, and was abashed. He would not dare to meet a Christian in the street, for the smile on the believer's face would say, "His chains fell off." Do not let us who can pray be ever discouraged. We can touch the heart of God, so let us sing --

"The Lion of Judah shall break every chain,
And give us the victory again and again."


I. -- Feed an ass once, and he will know the place again. Feed a sinner all his life, and you only make him more capable of rebellion (verses 2 and 3.)

II. -- There are no wounds smart like those given by God's rod (verses 6 and 8.)

III. -- Sin manufactures dunces so stupid, that even God's rod cannot mend them (verse 5.)

IV. -- Religion without piety sickens God (v.11, 14.) There are folk in church and chapel more hateful to God than those in the public-house.

V. -- Sin is dirt (verse 16.)

VI. -- God can bleach even crimson-dyed hands (v.18.)

VII. -- Those who are strong to sin shall burn in a fire hotter than their lusts, and more quenchless than their hatred to goodness (verses 28 and 31.)

v the battle of the
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