Acts 16:13

Robert Hawker

"And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river-side, where prayer was wont to be made."–Acts xvi. 13.

What, had they no church, no synagogue, no prayerhouse, in the city? Was it like another Athens, wholly given to idolatry? My soul, think of thy privileges, and learn rightly to prize them, and use them to the glory of the great Giver. It was" on the sabbath." What a mercy to poor fallen man is the sabbath? And yet what multitudes slight, despise, and never profit by it! My soul! think again, in this view also, of thy mercies; and bow down to the dust in the deepest humiliation of soul and body, that the sabbath is precious to thee. "Who made thee to differ from another?" By and by thou wilt enter into the everlasting sabbath of heaven. There is somewhat very interesting in what the apostle here saith of going out" by a river side." Probably it was in the recollection of the church, that in Babylon, where the people were captives, the Lord made the river Chebar famous for visions to one prophet, and Hiddekel to another. But, blessed be God! though our land is so sinful, we are not given up to captivity; and while many of the nations around have their churches turned into stables, amidst the din and horrors of war, our candlestick is not yet removed out of its place. Precious Jesus! wherever prayer is wont to be made by thy people, let my soul delight to be found. Let me hear thy voice inviting to communion: "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon." Yea, Lord, I would follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. I would follow thee to the assemblies of thy people. I would wait to see the goings of my God and King in his sanctuary. I would have my whole soul athirst for thee, as the hart for the cooling streams. And while I join thy people in the great congregation, where prayer is wont to be made, I pray thy grace, and the influences of thy blessed Spirit, to fire my soul with foretastes of that glorious assembly, which are keeping an eternal sabbath above, where the everlasting praises of God and of the Lamb will engage and fill my raptured soul with joy unspeakable and full of glory to all eternity.


Robert Hawker

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