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THE ENEMY SURRENDERS.pdf

THE ENEMY SURRENDERS.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" And he said, Who art thou, Lord.? And the Lord said, I am Jesus
whom thou persecutes (: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And
he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?
And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be
told thee what thou must do," etc. ACTS ix. 5-14.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" And he said, Who art thou, Lord.? And the Lord said, I am Jesus
whom thou persecutes (: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And
he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?
And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be
told thee what thou must do," etc. ACTS ix. 5-14.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 02, 2013
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THE ENEMY SURRENDERS.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT" And he said, Who art thou, Lord.? And the Lord said, I am Jesuswhom thou persecutes (: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.Andhe trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall betold thee what thou must do," etc. ACTS ix. 5-14.SAUL was immediately and fully aware that he had aperson to deal with. Whether, in the first moment of his terror, all that Stephen had preached of Jesus livingand reigning flashed into his memory, we do not know;but it is probable that the thought of Jesus, whomStephen saw at his dying moment, was on Saul s mind1 88 The Chui ch in the House.when he put his first question, "Who art thou, Lord?"Jesus condescends to answer him, for he knew that thepersecutor was in earnest now: "I am Jesus whom thoupersecutest." In this expression all the reproof andconsolation contained in the first word of the Lord isrepeated and is redoubled.The proverbial expression "kick against the pricks,"like many of the Lord s sayings, gives a whole parablein a single sentence. Since attention has been paid toOriental customs, the meaning of the phrase is clearlyand easily understood. The oxen, while under theyoke, were goaded by a long, slender, sharpened rod.Irritated by the puncture, they sometimes kicked againstthe instrument that pained them. This, of course, only
 
lacerated their limbs the more. The parable curtly intimates that Saul was in the grasp of irresistible power,and that it would be wisdom simply to submit.His next question accordingly indicates implicit submission: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Hesurrenders at discretion. As yet, however, his knowledge is very dim. It has often been remarked that hedisplays the character of a novice in demanding whathe should do; and that the Lord, through Ananias, senthim a message more in accordance with the cross whichhe was called to bear: " I will show him how great thingshe must suffer for my name s sake."But while, for great purposes, the risen Lord personally meets the arch-enemy in order to subdue him, hedoes not in person undertake the disciple s instruction.He hands him over to the ministry of man. A simpleChristian disciple, not otherwise known, becomes theeducator of the great apostle.While Saul lay prostrate, probably his eyes wereshut ; it was when he rose, and endeavored to look around,that he discovered his blindness. When he opened hiseyes he saw nothing. They led him by the hand, andbrought him to Damascus.In Damascus he remained three days and threenights, and neither did eat nor drink. During thattime three main channels of communication with earthwere cut off; he saw not, he ate not, he drank not.Isolated from earth, he enters into communication withHeaven; for, "behold, he prays." The Spirit possessesThe Enemy Surrenders. 189him. Hungry, thirsty, blind, he comes to God for food,drink, sight. Nothing from the world now; all from
 
Christ. This vessel has now been emptied, and willsoon be filled again. Emptied of all below, he will befilled, through the channel of prayer, from the treasures that are at God s right hand; emptied of himself,and filled with Christ. Thus, in conversion generally, by means more gentle or more violent, a soul issevered for a time from its relations to earth, that soit may have leisure and freedom to transact with Godfor eternity. The new birth is sometimes more andsometimes less prolonged, with more or less of agony.At some points the experiences of Saul and the Ethiopian are parallel, and at some in contrast. Thesetwo journeys may be compared with profit. The Ethiopian a Gentile, Saul a Jew. The Gentile journeyedtoward Jerusalem to seek Christ; the Jew journeyedfrom Jerusalem to persecute Christians. In the onecase the Scripture exemplified is, "Seek, and ye shallfind;" in the other, "I am found of them who soughtme not." The Lord on high looked sovereignly andmercifully down on both travellers. He gave the onewhat he sought, and the other what he sought not.Both were blessed, and in the end both receivers livedto the Giver s praise.I have already thrown out the suggestion that if Saul and Stephen should meet in heaven, they mightwith profit compare notes of their several experiences.The meeting of Saul and the Ethiopian would beequally interesting. When the secrets of all heartsshall be revealed, it will be found that the devout andhumble inquirer will get no more glory than the proudand cruel blasphemer. It will be found that both weremade willing by the same power. There were indeeddiversities of operation ; but the Worker was one. Thisman was won by a secret distilling of the Spirit, likedew from heaven, upon his heart; that man was subdued by a sudden stroke of omnipotence: but bothalike will ascribe all to the grace of their Redeemer.

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