Casting Shadows
Acts 5:15
So that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches…

We all cast shadows, i.e., exert unconscious influences. Some men are always, without seeming effort or thought, making other people happy. But there are others whose presence depresses and saddens us. This is so in the secular sphere; but our unconscious influence spreads into wider areas. God works out His grandest purposes by undemonstrative agents. The earthquake and lightning are as nothing compared with attraction and heat. And so with human influences.

1. Because our voluntary efforts are only occasional and interrupted, while our unconscious energy is everywhere operative and constant.

2. Our constant and silent energy is most expressive of our real character. Consider a few practical applications.


II. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. We may think to evade this on the ground that the evil we do is unintentional. But apply this to physical evil; to the case of Solomon's lunatic who said, "I am in sport"; or to the man who, exerting no positive influence, lets a blind man fall over a precipice. Just to do nothing is to do terrible evil; but in such a world no man can do nothing. Our whole mortal life is embodied force.

III. DEATH DOES NOT DESTROY THIS UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. The Greeks used to term the disembodied spirit a shadow, an invisible presence, haunting the scenes of its former life, and though not in this sense yet, as abiding influences, the dead are still with us. On the one hand, Lord Byron, Bonaparte, Voltaire, etc., yet stalk the earth and gibber their influence; on the other, Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Chalmers, still live. This truth is a warning to all workers of iniquity, but an encouragement to every true child of God.

(C. Wadsworth, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

WEB: They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.

Bodily Healings May Prepare for Spiritual Ones
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