And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia…
And a vision, etc.
I. HUMANITY WITHOUT THE GOSPEL. The Macedonian life representative.
1. The social failure of Rome. The corrupt state of society. The loss of liberty. The lack of real advancement. Help required in every department of men's lives.
2. The intellectual failure of Greece. Contradictions of philosophy. Neglect of the poor and ignorant. Follies of heathenism. Worship of human nature itself. Awful vices by the side of wonderful development of mental faculties.
3. The spiritual destitution of the world. Idea of God. Degradation of the masses. Comparison between the state of the Greek world and the state of the Jewish. Nothing like synagogues.
4. The Macedonian a type of the moral helplessness of men, both in heathen nations and in the heathenish portion of Christendom. "Come over and help us.
II. THE CHARGE OF THE SPIRIT TO THE CHURCH.
1. We must shut our ears to all other voices but that of the Holy Ghost; as, e.g. reasonings about the future destiny of the heathen; attempts unduly to exalt the uninspired books of heathen religions; exaggerations of difficulties and discouragements; pretended special regard to home claims. Look to the marching orders. Go over and help them.
2. As God speaks to his most eminent servants, let the voice of the Spirit command us through them. If they tell us an enterprise is charged upon them, we must support them with all our might. If Livingstone says Africa is open, then follow his lead, even though at great cost, and let there be no looking back.
3. The missionary enterprise is a great lesson to the Church to find its blessedness in listening to the cries of needy souls. An extended sphere demands a deepened faith and zeal. If we cannot go over with a true gospel and with a self-denying spirit, let us stay at home; if we carry the power of God with us, then we shall find, in the fullness of the Gentiles brought in, not only the reward of a satisfied conscience, but the elevation of our own faith and the glory of our Jerusalem. A larger Christianity has been taking the place of the old and narrow religion of former days, since the Spirit was poured out, and we sent the Word forth to the ends of the earth. We help ourselves when we help others. Wonderful signs of the times, showing that God is opening the minds of men to the universal claims of the gospel. All things uniting to say, Go into all the world," etc. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.