Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/54

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The Philosophy of

Acts xvi. 26. When Paul and Silas were in prison. At midnight when they pray'd, and sang hymns to God, 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.

Observe the consequence it had upon tho goaler; He called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

The goal trembled; and the goaler trembled, as is observed by a writer on this head, an earthquake could soften his hard heart, and open what he had lock'd, it awaken'd him out of his spiritual slumber, as well as his natural sleep, and made his conscience, as well as the foundations of the prison, to quake. A bad conscience is as a troubled sea that cannot rest, but casteth up mire, and clay. The goaler perceiv'd the celestial warning, and made a proper use of it.

There are many circumstances in the nature of earthquakes, which render them peculiarly proper to be the instruments in God's hand, to give warning to a people, to amend their ways.

The suddenness is one. We saw, not long ago, what an effect was produced by a solar

eclipse,