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The Angel and the Sandals
George H. Morrison
There is a vividness of detail about this story which assures us that facts are being recorded. No imagination, however lively, could have conceived the scene that is presented here. When a man has played a part in some great hour, or been an eyewitness of some memorable action, there is a note in his telling of it, no matter how he blunders, which is better than all the periods of historians. And unless we be blinded by a foolish prejudice, which deadens the literary as well as other faculties, we cannot but distinguish that note here. Peter had been in prison once before, and once before he had escaped miraculously. Now, having in their hands again this prison-breaker, the authorities were determined there should be no more miracles. But when prayer arises like a continual incense, and when God puts out His mighty arm to help, "stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage."1 Behold, the angel of the Lord came upon Peter, and a light shined in the darkness of the prison. And he smote Peter on the side and raised him up; and the chains fell off from his hands and he was free. Then dazed with the sudden light as Peter was, thinking he dreamed and that his dream was idle, the angel said to him, "Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals."
It is on these words I want to speak tonight, for they are rich in spiritual suggestion, and in the first place they are the angel's argument that what had happened was actually true. Peter was fast asleep when the light shone; asleep, and it was the night before his execution. A man must have a very good conscience, or a very dead one, to be able to sleep on such a night as that. Then in a moment the cell was all resplendent, and the glory of it pierced the sleep of Peter, and he opened his eyes, and the visitant was there, and he was dazed and "dark with excessive bright."2 Was this a dream, and waking would be vain?-"Peter, bind on thy sandals, gird thyself. Art ...
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