Earnestness in Preaching and Hearing
Acts 20:9-11
And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching…

The subject is suggested by the conversation, or the address, being lengthened out by the mutual affection of St. Paul and his audience. They were unwilling for him to cease; he was unwilling to keep back anything that might be a help and a blessing to them. That night there were just the conditions that made "long preaching" advisable, and prevented its being thought a weariness. The impulse of the preacher is such an audience; the joy of the audience is such a preacher. Tell of the associations of St. Paul with Troas, and give illustrative instances of his singular power to draw out towards himself the affection of those whom he served for Christ's sake. A feeling of oppression and anxiety at this time rested on the apostle - he felt that his missionary labors were almost done, and this gave a peculiar urgency and tenderness and pathos to his preachings. They had the characteristics of "last utterances" and "farewells.

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR HAVING PERSONAL CONFIDENCE IN, AND GLOWING AFFECTION FOE, OUR TEACHERS. So far as mere truth is concerned, a stranger with competent knowledge can instruct us; but truth, in its personal relations with us, can only be taught by those who know us; and our ability to receive such influence depends largely on our love for those who give it. Press the importance of settled ministries, of regular attendance at the same worship, and of coming into such relations with our pastors and teachers" as may bring on us the power of their personal characters. Apply the principle, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend;" and our pastors should be felt such friends that we can receive both reproof and comfort and instruction from them.

II. THE DEMANDS WHICH TRUST AND AFFECTION MAKE UPON OUR TEACHERS. These people would not let St. Paul go; they kept him talking all night. He was compelled to respond to such love, and to pour forth his best treasures of knowledge and experience for their help. Trust and love still make the highest demands on our teachers, demands sometimes so great that ministers feel overwhelmed with the tremendous responsibility. Nothing draws out the best in a man like trusting him and loving him. Money can never buy a man's best; duty can never compel a man's best; love can always win a man's best, just as a pure love makes a man noble, and a babe's love calls a mother to sublime self-denials. The one condition of receiving the best spiritual blessings from a Christian teacher is that you must trust and love him as his disciples did St. Paul. His relations with his disciples are models, and happy are they who can give a like joy to their teacher and can win like blessings from him. In conclusion, deal practically with those things which constitute fitting preparation of hearers for receiving the best spiritual blessings through their teachers. Such preparations are:

1. General bearing upon good worshipping habits; right relations with Church life; and personal knowledge of, and affection for, the teacher.

2. Special to each particular occasion of intercourse or of worshipping; the value of all services depending directly upon a man's mood of soul, as won by home culture. The profit of a hearer depends first and chiefly upon himself. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

WEB: A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.

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