Acts 8:28
and on his return was sitting in his chariot, reading Isaiah the prophet.
Sermons
Method of Bible Reading Determined by Need and PurposeH. W. Beecher.Acts 8:28
Oriental ReadingProf. I. H. Hall.Acts 8:28
Reading the ScripturesJ. Clayton, M. A.Acts 8:28
Reading the Scriptures: Fruits OfActs 8:28
Reading the Scriptures: its AdvantageBp. Jewel.Acts 8:28
Reading the Scriptures: Motive ForActs 8:28
Reading the Scriptures: Unprofitable Method OfJ. Hamilton, D. D.Acts 8:28
Reading: Kinds OfS. T. Coleridge.Acts 8:28
Reading: Results of Good and BadActs 8:28
The Great ProphecyR. Bruce.Acts 8:28
The Word of God, the Best Reading for a JourneyK. Gerok.Acts 8:28
The Second Flight of the GospelR.A. Redford Acts 8:25-40
A Life True to Light Led to the Light True to LifeP.C. Barker Acts 8:26-39
A Special InfusionDean Vaughan.Acts 8:26-39
A Typical Evangelist: a Striking ConversionA. Wood, B.A.Acts 8:26-39
Changing Spheres: a Word for WorkersMark Guy Pearse.Acts 8:26-39
Comparisons and ContrastsHomilistActs 8:26-39
Courtiers and ConversionA. Coquerel.Acts 8:26-39
Four Noble Guides to the Way of SalvationK. Gerok.Acts 8:26-39
GazaDean Plumptre.Acts 8:26-39
How All Things Co-Operate to Promote the Salvation of a Soul Desiring to be SavedK. Gerok.Acts 8:26-39
How the Ethiopian Treasurer Found the True TreasureK. Gerok.Acts 8:26-39
Man Versus AngelH. C. Trumbull, D. DActs 8:26-39
Philip and the EthiopianE. M. Taylor.Acts 8:26-39
Philip and the EthiopianM. C. Hazard.Acts 8:26-39
Philip and the EunuchJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
Philip and the Eunuch: a Remarkable MeetingD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
Philip on His Way to Gaza, a Type of a True MinisterK. Gerok.Acts 8:26-39
Philip the EvangelistA. Maclaren, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
Philip's Audience of OneC. S. Robinson, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
The Christian Teacher's Work and its RewardsMonday Club SermonsActs 8:26-39
The Converted NoblemanW. A. Griffiths.Acts 8:26-39
The EthiopianE. Bersier, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
The Ethiopian Convert: a Typical ManJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 8:26-39
Unto Gaza, Which is DesertH. Macmillan, LL. D.Acts 8:26-39
Worker and SeekerActs 8:26-39
Philip and the EthiopianE. Johnson Acts 8:26-40
The Christian Teacher and DiscipleW. Clarkson Acts 8:26-40
The Inquiring ProselyteR. Tuck Acts 8:27-39
Give some account of Ethiopia, of the queen of that day, of the office the eunuch occupied, and of the probable means by which he had been made a Jewish proselyte. He was one of those men among the heathen who had been awakened to spiritual anxiety by the ever-working Spirit of God. He may have had some Jewish connections, through whom he had come to know of Jehovah. We can recognize in him:

1. An inquirer.

2. A spiritually awakened inquirer, one who had come to see that his own personal relations with God were matters of extreme importance.

3. A wise seeker, who had found the revealed Word of God, and was searching it in full confidence that therein was the "eternal life." To such a seeker help will never be long withheld. "God waiteth to be gracious." Philip was divinely guided to meet the eunuch on his return from the holy city, and to join him in the chariot just when he was hopelessly puzzled with his reading. The passage which engaged his attention was one which opened up the applications of truth to sinful souls. The great chapter of the evangelical Isaiah deals with human sins, calling them transgressions; and it discloses that wonderful scheme of Divine wisdom and love by which those transgressions were vicariously borne, and borne away. Philip preached unto him Jesus, who "was wounded for our transgressions," on whom the "Lord laid the iniquity of us all," whose "soul was made an offering for sin;" who now saves his people from their sins; from the penalty of their sins, by the virtue of his great sacrifice, from the power of their sinfulness by the cleansing energies of his Holy Spirit. With opened soul the eunuch listened, and the truth dawned upon him; Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, was revealed to him. He believed the record, and longed at once to seal in baptism his faith and love to the crucified One. He thus simply declares his faith, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." What was this eunuch's faith? and can we learn from him what the saving faith is? Evidently it was a simple acceptance of and confidence in the testimony rendered by Philip to Christ, based as the testimony was upon the revealed Word of God. And that is faith still - receiving the record which God hath given us of his Son, and acting on the record. Faith is the great difficulty in the way of seekers, yet, when it is won, it seems strange that so simple a matter should have hindered. Some of the expressions and figures of Scripture may help us.

I. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO APPREHEND OR LAY HOLD OF HIM. AS St. Peter, sinking in the waters, put out his hand and grasped the offered hand of Christ, so our souls, sinking in sin and despair, by faith lay hold of the strong, rescuing Savior.

II. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO RECEIVE HIM. As the imprisoned debtor welcomes and receives the man who brings into his cell the money of his ransom, so our souls, by faith, welcome and receive him by whose precious blood we have been bought out of our prison-house of sin.

III. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO ROLL OUR BURDEN UPON HIM. To shift the weight of all the trouble and anxiety from our own shoulders, and let Christ bear it all for us; as one might do who had an important trial coming on, but trusted the whole matter to his skilful lawyer-friend.

IV. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO APPLY TO HIM. As the hungry and the thirsty apply for food and drink, so the hungry soul applies to Christ for the bread which, if a man eats, he lives for ever.

V. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO COME TO HIM. To flee to him as the villagers flee into the strongholds before invading armies; as the doomed man fled into the sanctuary to lay hold of the horns of the altar, or as the manslayer fled before the avenger of blood to gain the shelter of the city of refuge. So the soul enters the stronghold of Christ, takes sanctuary with Christ, passes within the gates of Christ, the Refuge for the sinner.

VI. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO LEAN UPON HIM, TO STAY UPON HIM, as we lean upon a staff for support. Christ is the strong Staff, on which the soul, with all its eternal interests, may safely lean; Christ is the healthy, strong Friend, on whom the sick, fainting, weary soul may wholly rely.

VII. To BELIEVE IN CHRIST IS TO ADHERE TO HIM, TO CLEAVE TO HIM. As the drowning man clutches so must we grasp, cling to, cleave to, the Lord Jesus, binding the soul to him as with everlasting bands. With so many and so simple illustrations, how well you may be urged now - even now - to believe on the Son of God, and find the pardon he speaks, the life he gives, and the love with which he will make you his own forever. - R.T.







Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
If the eunuch followed the general custom of the East, he was not only reading to himself aloud, but so as to be heard easily and distinctly by any one in the immediate neighbourhood. The prayer, or praying, of the Orientals is not usually very noisy, but their reading is a continual sound. They study aloud, read their sacred books aloud, and rehearse their lessons aloud, to an extent that is not seen among the Occidentals, nor enjoyed by an Occidental listener. When there are many together, the babel is astonishing. The idea that it might disturb any one never enters their heads. But the Orientals do many things with noise which we of the west prefer to do with quietness. Our talking seems painfully low and still to them, as theirs seems painfully loud and noisy to us. Yet the Orientals are not very much beyond the ordinary Italians in that respect.

(Prof. I. H. Hall.)

not only on the way from Jerusalem to Gaza, but on the way through time to eternity.

1. We forget thereby the hardships of the way.

2. We look not aside to forbidden paths.

3. We make thereby blessed travelling acquaintances.

4. we go forward on the right path to the blessed goal.

(K. Gerok.)

I. SOME REMARKS ON THIS SUBJECT. It is a duty —

1. Incumbent upon all.

2. In accordance with the dictates of reason.

3. To be performed irrespective of rank and condition.

II. INSTRUCTION RESPECTING IT.

1. Before you read consider whose book it is.

2. Read with a teachable spirit.

3. Practise what you learn.

4. Never read without prayer.

(J. Clayton, M. A.)

The Word of God is the water of life; the more you lave it forth, the fresher it runneth: it is the fire of God's glory; the more ye blow it, the clearer it burneth: it is the corn of the Lord's field; the better ye grind it, the more it yieldeth: it is the bread of heaven; the more it is broken and given forth, the more it remaineth: it is the sword of the Spirit; the more it is scoured, the brighter it shineth.

(Bp. Jewel.)

Ah! the way a man reads the Bible — how much that depends upon his necessity. I have unrolled the chart of the coast many and many a time, particularly in these later days, since there has been so much interest attached to it. I have gone along down with my finger, and followed the shoals and depths in and out of this harbour and that, and imagined a lighthouse here and a lighthouse there that were marked on the chart, and have looked at the inland country lining the shore, and it has been a matter of interest to me, to be sure. But suppose I had been in that equinoctial gale that blew with such violence, and had had the command of a ship off the coast of Cape Hatteras, and the lighthouse had not been in sight, and my spars had been split, and my rigging, had been disarranged, and my sails had been blown away, and I had had all I could do to keep the ship out of a trough of the sea, and I had been trying to make some harbour, how would I have unrolled the chart, and with two men to help me to held it, on account of the reeling and staggering of the vessel, looked at all the signs, and endeavoured to find out where I was! Now, when I sit in my house, where there is no gale, and with no ship, and read my chart out of curiosity, I read it as you sometimes read your Bible. You say, "Here is the headland of depravity; and there is a lighthouse — born again; and here is the channel of duty." And yet every one of you has charge of a ship — the human soul. Evil passions are fierce winds that are driving it. This Bible is God's chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbour is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars. If you have been reading this book to gratify curiosity; if you have been reading it to see if you could mot catch a Universalist; if you have been reading it to find a knife with which to cut up a Unitarian; if you have been reading it for the purpose of setting up or taking down a bishop; if you have been reading it to establish or overthrow any sect; if you have been reading it so, then stop. It is God's medicine-book. You are sick. You are mortally struck through with disease. There is no human remedy for your trouble. But here is God's medicine-book. If you read it for life, for health, for growth in righteousness, then blessed is your reading; but if you read it for disputation and dialectical ingenuities, it is no more to you than Bacon's "Novum Organum" would be. It is the book of life — it is the book of everlasting life — so take heed how you read it. In reading it, see that you have the truth, and not the mere semblance of it. You cannot live without it. You die for ever unless you have it to teach you what are your relations to God and eternity. May God guide you away from all cunning appearances of truth set to deceive men, and make you love the real truth! Above all other things, may God make you honest in interpreting it, and applying it to your daily life and disposition!

(H. W. Beecher.)

To some the Bible is uninteresting and unprofitable, because they read too fast. Among the insects which subsist on the sweet sap of flowers, there are two very different classes. One is remarkable for its imposing plumage, which shows in the sunbeams like the dust of gems; and as you watch its jaunty gyrations over the fields and its minuet dance from flower to flower, you cannot he!p admiring its graceful activity, for it is plainly getting over a great deal of ground. But in the same field there is another worker, whose brown vest and business-like, straightforward flight may not have arrested your eye. His fluttering neighbour darts down here and there, and sips elegantly wherever he can find a drop of ready nectar; but this dingy plodder makes a point of alighting everywhere, and wherever he alights he either finds honey or makes it. If the flower-cup be deep, he goes down to the bottom; if its dragon-mouth be shut, he thrusts its lips asunder; and if the nectar be peculiar or recondite, he explores all about till he discovers it, and then having ascertained the knack of it, joyful as one who has found great spoil, he sings his may down into its luscious recesses. His rival of the painted velvet wing has no patience for such dull and long-winded details. But what is the end? Why, the one died last October along with the flowers; the other is warm in his hive to-night, amidst the fragrant stores which he gathered beneath the bright beams of summer. To which do you belong? — the butterflies or bees? Do you search the Scriptures, or do you only skim them?

(J. Hamilton, D. D.)

Other books can nourish our minds, but only God's Word can feed our souls.

A few years ago a Brahmin of the highest caste, profound in all the history and language and religion of Brahma, came to England. By chance, or rather by special providence, a copy of the Scriptures fell into his hands. He devoured it with avidity; he did not consult any one to interpret for him a single passage, but the light broke upon him, and what produced the greatest effect upon his mind was that which converted Lord Rochester on his death-bed. He read Isaiah 53., and compared it with the account of the crucifixion, and became a profound Christian. That man is now in high favour with the Nizam of Hyderabad, and has founded a church which has several hundred Christian worshippers.

(R. Bruce.)

A Roman Catholic priest in Belgium rebuked a young woman and her brother for reading that "bad book," pointing to the Bible. "Sir," she replied, "a little while ago my brother was an idler, a gambler, and a drunkard. Since he began to study the Bible he works with industry, goes no longer to the tavern, no longer touches cards, brings home money to his poor old mother, and our life at home is quiet and delightful. How comes it, sir, that a bad book produces such good fruits?"

The first class of readers may be compared to an hour-glass; their reading being as the sand: it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a vestige behind. A second class resembles a sponge, which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtier. A third class is like a jelly-bag, which allows all that is pure to pass away, and retains only the refuse and dregs. The fourth class may be compared to the slave of Golconda, who, casting aside all that is worthless, preserves only the pure gems.

(S. T. Coleridge.)

Do not buy, do not borrow, do not touch bad books. One book may decide thy destiny. The assassin of Lord William Russell said he committed that crime as the result of reading the romance, then popular, entitled "Jack Sheppard." George Law was made a millionaire by reading a biography in childhood. Benjamin Franklin became the good man and philosopher that he was by reading in early life Cotton Mather's "Essays to do Good." John Angell James, as consecrated a man as ever lived in England, stood in his pulpit and said: "Twenty-five years ago a lad loaned me a bad book for a quarter of an hour. I have never recovered from it. The spectres of that book have haunted me to this day. I shall not, to my dying day, get over the reading of that book for fifteen minutes." A clergyman, travelling towards the West, many years ago, had in his trunk Doddridge's "Rise and Progress." In the hotel he saw a woman copying from a book. He found that she had borrowed Doddridge's "Rise and Progress" from a neighbour, and was copying some portions out of it, so he made her a present of his copy of the "Rise and Progress." Thirty-one years after, he was passing along that way and he inquired for that woman. He was pointed to a beautiful home. He went there. He asked her if she remembered him. She said, "No." Then, he says, "Do you not remember thirty years ago a man gave you a copy of Doddridge's 'Rise and Progress'?" She said, "Yes; I read it, and it was the means of my conversion. I passed it round, and all the neighbours read it, and there came a revival, and we called a minister and we built a church. The church of Wyoming is the result of that one book which you gave me." The reading of Homer's "Iliad" made Alexander a warrior, and the reading of the "Life of Alexander" made Caesar and Charles XII. men of blood. It is well known that Rochester was, for many years of his life, an avowed infidel, and that a large portion of his time was spent in ridiculing the Bible. One of his biographers has described him as "a great wit, a great sinner, and a great penitent." Even this man was converted by the Holy Spirit in the use of His Word. Reading the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, he was convinced of the truth and inspiration of the Scriptures, the Deity of the Messiah, and the value of His atonement as a rock on which sinners may build their hopes of salvation. On that atonement he rested, and died in the humble expectation of pardoning mercy and heavenly happiness.

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