The Witness of Evil to the Good
Acts 16:16-18
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us…

I. THE SOOTHSAYING DAMSEL. Here was a girl living upon imposture, and bringing gain to her masters out of traffic in fancies and lies. Magic and soothsaying trades upon the imagination and wishes of the popular mind. Instead of leading the mind to the truth, it leads the mind to the habit of postponing truth to device and interest. It is the very opposite temper to that of true Christianity.

II. HER WITNESS TO THE TRUTH. It was doubtless involuntary, extorted from her by overpowering conviction. So does the truth not seldom come from strange lips. The girl felt the contrast in these men to herself. Here were servants of God; she was the servant of lucre and self-interest. They with truth upon their lips, and their lives in their hands; she with cunning lies and deceits, framed to defraud men of their substance and injurious to their souls. They lead on the way to salvation and blessedness; she, to disappointment and ruin.

III. THE CONDUCT OF THE APOSTLES. It gives a rule to us. There can be no fellowship, and therefore no pact nor even momentary compromise, between light and darkness. Truth needs no such help, and never have such devices been known to forward its course. Compliments are to be distrusted by the worker for God. The tinder of vanity is ever ready to be inflamed. The temptation is to put down to our own merit that which is the work of Divine grace. Jealousy against evil is disarmed, watchfulness relaxed. Good men may thus be seduced from the service of God into that of men, or worse. Before firmness and loyalty to conscience the evil and seducing spirits flee. - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

WEB: It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.

The Soothsaying Damsel At Philippi
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