by Clarence E. Macartney

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Great Nights of the Bible (14 of 16)
The Night of the Greatest Question
Clarence E. Macartney
Acts 16:25-26

To the north rises a ridge of hills. To the south an
immense barrier of the Macedonian mountains. In
between is the vast plain where, one hundred and ten
years before, the mastery of the world had been
settled when the ghost of Julius Caesar overtook

On this plain lies the sleeping city of Philippi; but
in the jail men are not sleeping. Hush! What sounds
are these that we hear coming through the iron-barred
window of the prison? Men have sung before in prison,
but they have been songs of obscenity and cursing and
intoxication, the shouts of despair and the groans of
the transgressor, the shriek of the prostitute and the
maledictions of the criminal. But here is a different
kind of music. Two prisoners in this jail, their arms
and their feet in the stocks and their backs bleeding
from the brutal scourging of the Roman magistrates,
are singing praises to God.

It would have been a great thing to have heard Paul
preach, to have stood near him when he preached to the
philosophers on Mars Hill or in the governor's palace
at Caesarea when Felix trembled at his preaching and
Agrippa cried out, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a
Christian!" But still more I would like to have heard
Paul sing, for when a man sings there is an expression
of his soul that no other utterance can give. What if
you could hear a voice on the radio saying, "This is
Station Alpha and Omega, Philippi, Macedonia, St. Luke
speaking. Stand by! In a moment you will hear Paul and
Silas sing!"

Listen! You will hear some of the songs that the soul
still sings when it is in prison. "Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for thou art with me." "I will bless the Lord
at all times." "God is our refuge and strength." "He
hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary;
fro ...

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