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At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. Acts 16:25, 26.

As the messengers of the cross went about their work of teaching, a woman possessed of a spirit of divination followed them, crying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days.” ...

Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost Paul commanded the evil spirit to leave the woman.... Restored to her right mind, the woman chose to become a follower of Christ. Then her masters were alarmed for their craft. They saw that all hope of receiving money from her divinations and soothsayings was at an end and that their source of income would soon be entirely cut off....

Stirred by a frenzy of excitement, the multitude rose against the disciples. A mob spirit prevailed and was sanctioned by the authorities, who tore the outer garments from the apostles and commanded that they should be scourged. “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely.” ...

With astonishment the other prisoners heard the sound of prayer and singing issuing from the inner prison. They had been accustomed to hear shrieks and moans, cursing and swearing, breaking the silence of the night....

But while men were cruel and vindictive, or criminally negligent of the solemn responsibilities devolving upon them, God had not forgotten to be gracious to His servants. All heaven was interested in the men who were suffering for Christ's sake, and angels were sent to visit the prison. At their tread the earth trembled. The heavily bolted prison doors were thrown open; the chains and fetters fell from the hands and feet of the prisoners; and a bright light flooded the prison.... The jailer had fallen into a sleep from which he was awakened by the earthquake and the shaking of the prison walls.

Starting up in alarm, he saw with dismay that all the prison doors were open, and the fear flashed upon him that the prisoners had escaped.... Drawing his sword, he was about to kill himself, when Paul's voice was heard in the words of cheer, “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” Every man was in his place, restrained by the power of God exerted through one fellow prisoner....

The jailer dropped his sword.... Then, bringing them out into the open court, he inquired, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”—The Acts of the Apostles, 212-216.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 342


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Reflecting Christ