CXXVII. The Man of Macedonia.

ACTS xvi. 9.
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a
man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into
Macedonia, and help us.”

THE passage of the Gospel from Asia to Europe was a
marked epoch in the early history of the propagation of
Christianity. The results of it have been very important
to the Church and to the world. It was an occasion
worthy of supernatural interposition. It is the only time
after St. Peter’s mission to Cornelius when God introduced
a miracle to guide the course of missions.
I. The Divine call. “Come over and help us.” Whoever
“the man of Macedonia” may have been, who appeared
to Paul at Troas, it was God that sent him, with His own
message.
The people who most need Christian influence are not
the persons who ask for it. Here was the Divine call
taking the form of those who needed to be taught and
converted, and which spoke in them, and for them, what
they themselves would never have heard. There are many
who do not invite us to care for their souls, but Christ is
interested for them, and the more they are indifferent we
should see Him and hear Him personating them: “Come,
and help us.”
II. The cry for help. “Help us.” There is in every
living creature a feeling, consciously or unconsciously,
which looks out for “help.” It is a true and a blessed
name for Christ and His truth, “Help, help,” and it
matches with the void and the impotence of every man’s
soul. Once consent to stoop to be helped, and the work is
half done.
III. How we can answer the cry of heathenism, “Come
over and help us.”
There is a power abroad in this world to which nothing
is really an antagonistic force but Christ. That power
develops in heathenism into idolatry, darkness and fan-
aticism. We have the remedy, which is the simple truth as
it is in Jesus. Before it, in Macedon, Lydia’s heart was
opened, and the jailor’s iron-bound soul burst its fetters.
If, having the remedy, we dispense it not, then how can
we escape that ancient malediction, “Curse ye Meroz, be-
cause they came not to the help of the Lord.”
James Vaughan, M.A.