« AnteriorContinuar »
EPIPHANY TO SAUL OF TARSUS.
Last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1 CORINTHIANS XV. 8.
THE EPIPHANY TO SAUL OF TARSUS.
sion of Saul Christ, a party of travelers were on their way
of Tarsus. from the city of Jerusalem to the city of Damas- Acts ix. 1-31;
xxii. 1-21; xxvi. cus. They were led by one who, although still a comparatively young man, had already made himself the most conspicuous of the foes to the New Religion. A man endowed with splendid natural abilities and a magnificent moral temperament, scrupulously trained in the most illustrious school of his country, absolutely irreproachable in life, Saul of Tarsus confessedly stands in the very foremost rank of earth's great men.
But he was a Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee of the strictest sect of the Pharisees; and therefore he felt conscientiously bound to oppose with his utmost power the New Religion as being the most dangerous foe to his own ancestral Faith. Accordingly he had been the most relentless of persecutors, making havoc of the Church of God, imprisoning and beating and punishing oft in every synagogue those who believed, compelling them to blaspheme, entering into private houses
and dragging, binding, and delivering into prisons both men and women, being so exceedingly mad against them that he persecuted them even unto foreign cities, giving his vote against them that they be put to death, standing by and guarding the raiment of those who stoned Stephen. And now, still breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, he goes to the High Priest and asks of him letters to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he should find any who were of this new way of belief, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might be punished. Having secured the needed authority and commission, he and his fellow persecutors start for Damascus. As they approach the City of Gardens, suddenly a great light from Heaven, above the brightness of the midday sun, shines round about them. So overwhelming is the splendor that they all fall prostrate on the ground. And now a Godlike voice pierces the ear of the chief persecutor, saying in the Hebrew tongue: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads.” “Who art Thou, Lord?” asks the trembling persecutor. The Godlike voice answers : “I am Jesus the Nazarene, Whom thou persecutest. Arise and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared to thee for this purpose, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things which thou hast seen and of the things in which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles unto whom I send thee, to open their eyes, that they may turn