The People's Bible by Joseph Parker
Almighty God, make for us, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, entrances into the upper places, where the light is brighter than it is down here. We desire to mount as upon the wings of eagles. Thou hast created in our hearts a passion for better things. Our souls yearn for loftier skies than those which now shelter us. Thou art always calling us away to higher heights and more splendid scenes. In Christ Jesus we know not the rest of mean contentment, but the peace of noble ambition. We would therefore "press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus." We have not attained, neither are we already perfect, but knowing this and knowing the fulness of the grace that is in Christ Jesus, we would run with patience the race that is set before us.
Thou dost continually surprise us with some new comfort and some unexpected revelation. Thou dost keep the best wine; thou dost not give it unto us; thou hast ever something more behind. Thou art from everlasting to everlasting, and there is no searching of thine understanding. We have heard that power belongeth unto thee; unto thee also, O Lord, belongeth mercy. In thy mercy alone can we live; thy mercy as revealed unto us in thy Song of Solomon, Son of Prayer of Manasseh, Son of God, God the Son. Help us to see it in all its purity and fulness, and may it be applied to us in the depth of our humiliation. Our help is in God. In no other can help be found but in our infinite Redeemer. Comfort us every day with his grace, and stablish us in his truth. Accept the thanks we bring thee for all pity, and love, and care; and if any before thee wish to offer special thanksgiving for special mercies, the Lord hear the utterance of thankfulness, and return continual blessing.
Be with those who have new prospects opening before them, and new work on hand, hardly knowing how to do it. The Lord give wisdom to those who desire to walk in the way of understanding, and grant unto those who are looking on a confidence in what is coming, and the steadfastness that comes of faith in a living Providence. Deliver us from all fear, and inspire us with that noble trust in thyself which gives us peace even in the very sanctuary of the storm.
The Lord"s blessing be upon this assembly. The Lord light the fire at the altar, and send us light from the upper Sanctuary. Amen.
WHAT wonderful contrasts there are in this narrative in reference to the character of Saul of Tarsus! He is not the same man throughout, and yet he is the same. The contrasts are so sharp, and, indeed, so violent, as almost to make him into another man altogether. For example, take the first of these contrasts, and you will find that Saul, who went out to persecute, remained to pray. The first verse reads, "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter!" and in the eleventh verse occurs the remarkable expression, "Behold, he prayeth!" He breathed hotly. The breath of his nostrils was a fierce blast that burned the air. How changed in a little time! for his face is turned upward to heaven, and its very look is a pleading supplication. What has occurred? These effects must be accounted for. Have they any counterpart in our own observation and experience? Have any of us passed from fierceness to gentleness, from drunkenness to sobriety, from darkness to light, from blasphemy to worship? Then we understand what is meant by this most startling contrast. There may be others who have advanced so quietly and gradually as to find no such contrast in their own consciousness and experience; but we must not judge the experience of the whole by the experience of the part. This is precisely the work which Christianity undertakes to do. It undertakes to cool your breath, to take the fire out of your blood, to subdue your rancour and your malignity, and to clasp your hands in childlike plea and prayer at your Father"s feet. Such is the continual miracle of Christianity. The religion of Jesus Christ would have nothing to do if this were not to be accomplished. Jesus makes the lion lie down with the lamb, and he causes the child to hold the fierce beast, and to put its hand with impunity on the cockatrice den. Other miracles he has ceased to perform, but this continual and infinite surprise is the standing miracle and the standing testimony of Christ.
Take the second contrast, which is quite as remarkable. When Saul was a Pharisee he persecuted; when Saul became a Christian we read in the twenty-second verse that he "proved." How many miles of the moral kind lie between the word "persecuted" and the word "proved"? Yet this is distinctly in the line of Christian purpose and heavenly intent. As a Pharisee he said, "Destroy Christianity, by destroying Christians. Bind them; put an end to this pestilence. Do not stand it any longer. Open your prison doors, and I will fill your dungeons, and we will bring this new and mischievous heresy to a speedy termination." Such was his first policy. Having seen Jesus, and felt his touch, and entered into his Spirit, what does he say? Does he now say, "The persecution must be turned in the other direction; I have been persecuting the wrong parties; now I find it is you Jews, Pharisees, Sadducees, that must be manacled and fettered and put an end to. I change my policy, and I persecute you, every man and woman of you"? Nothing of the kind. Observe this miracle, admire it, and let it stand before you as an argument invincible and complete. What is Saul"s tone now? Standing with the scrolls open before him, he reasons and mightily contends; he becomes a vehement and luminous speaker of Christian truth. He increases the more in strength, proving that this is the Christ. Has all the persecuting temper gone? Yes, every whit of it. Why did he not prove to the Christians, in his unconverted state, that they were mistaken? When he was not a converted Prayer of Manasseh, he never thought of "proving" anything. He had a rough, short, and easy method with heretics—stab them, burn them, drown them, bind them in darkness, and let them die of hunger! Now that he is a converted Prayer of Manasseh, he becomes a reasoner. He stands up with an argument as his only weapon; persuasion as his only iron; entreaty and supplication as the only chains with which he would bind his opponents. What has happened? Something vital must have occurred. Is there not a counterpart of all this in our own individual experience, and in civilized history? Do not men always begin vulgarly, and end with refinement? Is not the first rough argument a thrust with cold iron, or a blow with clenched fist? Does not history teach us that such methods are utterly unavailing in the extinction or the final arrest of erroneous teaching? Christianity is a moral plea. Christianity burns no man. Wherein professing Christians have resorted to the block and the stake, and to evil instruments, they have proved disloyal to their Master, and they have forgotten the spirit of his cross. Christianity is a plea, a persuasion, an appeal, an address to reason, conscience, heart, and to everything that makes a man a Man. Christianity-uses no force, and asks for no force to be used on its behalf. You cannot make men pray by force of arms. You cannot drive your children to church, except in the narrowest and shallowest sense of the term. You may convince men of their error, and lead men to the sanctuary, and, through the confidence of their reason and their higher sentiments, you may conduct them to your own noblest conclusions. How far is it from persecuting to praying? From threatening and slaughter to proving? That distance Christ took Saul, who only meant to go from Jerusalem to Damascus, some hundred and thirty-six miles. Christ took him a longer journey; he swept him round the whole circle of possibility. He made him accomplish the entire journey which lies between persecution and prayer, slaughter and argument. It is thus that Jesus Christ makes us do more than we intended to do. He meets us on the way of our own choice, and graciously takes us on a way of his own.
Look at the third contrast, which is as notable as the other two. In the opening of the narrative Saul was a strong Prayer of Manasseh, the strongest of the band; the chief, without whose presence the band would dissolve. His nostrils are dilated with anger: his eye burns with a fire that expresses the supreme purpose of his heart. Nothing stands between him and the accomplishment of his purpose. The caravan road from Jerusalem to Damascus, supposing that he took that road, required some six days to traverse it. Saul knew not the lapse of time, so high-strung was his energy, and so resolute his purpose. And in this same narrative, not further on than the eighth verse, we read of the great persecutor that "they led him by the hand." What has happened? We thought he would have gone into the city like a storm; and he went in like a blind beggar! We thought he would have been met at the city gate as the great destroyer of heresy; and he was led by the hand like a helpless cripple! Woe unto the strength that is not heaven-born! Such Song of Solomon -called power will wither away. When we are weak then are we strong. Saul will one day teach us that very doctrine. Really understood, Saul was a stronger man when he was being led by the hand than when he breathed out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. You are mightier when you pray than when you persecute. You are stronger men when you prove your argument than when you seek to smite your opponent. Something will come of this. Such violences have high moral issues.
Saul led by the hand; then why need we be ashamed of the same process? Saul began feebly; why should we hesitate to begin our Church service on a very small scale? Saul led by the hand; then who will despise the day of small things? Presently he will increase in strength, the right strength, the power that has deep roots; not the power of transient fury, but the solid and tranquil strength of complete repose. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and remember that the mightiest chief under Christ that ever led the Christian hosts was conducted by friendly and compassionate men into the city which he intended to devastate.
Turning to another aspect of the case, we see two or three most beautiful and pathetic glimpses of Jesus Christ Himself. He ascended, yet he said, "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age." There we find him leaving, yet not leaving; not visible, yet watchful; looking upon Saul every day, and looking at the same time upon his redeemed Church night and day, the whole year round. Events are not happening without his knowledge; the story of all the ages is written in heaven. He knows your persecuting purpose; he understands well enough what you are doing to interrupt the cause of truth and the progress of Christian knowledge. Jesus Christ knows all your antagonistic plans, thoughts, purposes, and devices. His eye is upon you. As for you Christians, he knows your sufferings, your oppositions, your daily contentions, your painful striving; he knows exactly through how much tribulation you are moving onward to the kingdom.
Not only is he living and watchful, but, in the case of Saul himself, Jesus Christ was compassionate. Listen to the words which he addressed to Saul: "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." He pitied the poor ox that struck its limbs against the sharp and piercing goads. There is nothing destructive in this criticism. There is the spirit of Christ in this remark, Yea, this expostulation repeats the prayer of his dying breath, and shows him to be "the same yesterday, today, and for ever." He does not bind Saul with his own chain; he throws upon him the happy spell of victorious love.
Not only is he living, watchful, and compassionate, he is consistent. He said to Ananias, "I will show him what great things he must suffer for my name"s sake. When Jesus called his disciples to him, and ordained them to go out into the world, he laid before them a black picture; he kept back nothing of the darkness. He told his disciples that they would be persecuted, dragged up before the authorities and cruelly treated; and now, when he comes to add another to the number, he repeats the ordination charge which he addressed to the first band.
All these things were seen in a vision. Say some of you, "We have no visions now. Have we not? How can we? We may eat and drink all visions away. The glutton and the drunkard can have nothing but nightmare. A materialistic age can only have a materialistic religion. If men will satisfy every appetite, indulge every desire to satiety, turn the day into night, and the night into a long revel, they cannot wonder if the vision should have departed from their life. We may grieve the Spirit, we may quench the Spirit; we may so eat, and drink, and live as to divest the mind of its wings, and becloud the whole horizon of the fancy. But is it true that the vision has ceased? It may be so within a narrow sense, but not in its true spiritual intent and thought. Even now we speak about strong impressions, impulses we cannot account for, movements, desires of the mind which lie beyond our control. Even now we are startled by unexpected combinations of events. Even now we have a mysterious side to life, as well as an obvious and patent side. What if the religious mind should see in such realities the continued Presence and the continued Vision which gladdened the early Church? If you would see the spiritual, you must keep down the material. If you would have visions, you must banish the basely substantial. If you would have high dreamings and noble Revelation, you must mortify the flesh.
See from this conversion how true it is that Christianity does not merely alter a man"s intellectual views or modify a man"s moral prejudices. Christianity never makes a little alteration in a man"s thinking and action. Christianity makes new hearts, new creatures, and not new plans and new habits only. Other reformers may change a habit now and again, may modify a prejudice, attemper a purpose with some benign and gracious intent; but this Redeemer, who gave himself the Just for the unjust, who bought with the blood of his own heart, does not make a little difference in our intellectual attitude and our moral purpose. He wants us to be born again. "If any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature; old things have passed away, and all things have become new." There drop from his eyes "as it were scales," and, with a pure heart, he sees a pure God.
Almighty God, we have come through rugged places that we might enter into thy house. The week has been as a wilderness, and all its days have been stony places, yet all the while we have been set in the direction of God"s house, and today we feel its holy peace. Give us rest in thy house, thou God of saints. Here may we know the mystery of completeness, which is the mystery of peace. Make us whole in Christ; complete in him; wanting in nothing, so that we may stand before thee perfect men in Christ Jesus. Thou knowest us altogether; where we are strong, and where we are weak, the door which the devil cannot open, and the gate through which he comes with infinite familiarity. Our prayer is that we may put on the whole armour of God. The helmet and the shield, the sword and the girdle, the breast-plate and the sandals, so that we may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Thy purpose concerning us is our salvation, complete and everlasting. May we be co-workers with thee, labourers together with God. In our souls may thou find sweet consent to thy purposes and a ready obedience to all thy will. We would that we might in Christ Jesus receive our sight. We are blind and cannot see afar off by reason of our sin. Our desire is that as it were scales might fall from our eyes that we may see the beauty of holiness and the glory of thy kingdom. Charmed and fascinated by this beauty we shall be blind to all other attractions, and our life shall be absorbed in the worship of thy Cross and Crown, O Christ of God! We walk before thee because of thy grace. It is of thy mercy that we are not consumed. We live in thy compassion. Without thy mercy we cannot live. Thy tender mercies are over all thy works. Behold, are they not the light and the beauty of everything; yea, in thy compassion the whole creation glistens as with the dew of the morning. Reveal thyself to us every day; in some new vision of glory, or with some new hint of beauty. And thus draw us every one towards thyself in an upward line, in the ascent of which our strength shall grow. Beautiful is the life baptized of heaven. Sweet the service inspired by thy love and comforted by thy grace. Lead us into the mystery of more faithful homage, and in the rendering of our worship may we see heaven opened.
Thou knowest what we would say if we could. Thou understandest well that it is not in speech to tell the secret of the heart. We bless thee for words, yet are we chafed by them. For through them we cannot tell what we want to say, and we are shocked by their rudeness when they shape themselves in articulate prayers. Read the heart, search the spirit. Hold thy candle over the deepest abysses of our nature, and hear each when he says, "Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." Regard us as pastor and people, heads of houses and families, men engaged in merchandize and women in all the silent heroisms of the house, and the Lord send his blessing upon the whole company like an impartial rain. May every soul be blessed, may morn arise upon every life, may the saddest see the returning angel of joy, and may the weakest know that the Deliverer is near at hand. Be the physician of every family, the visitor from heaven of every household, the comforter of all disconsolateness, and speak a word in season to him that is weary. Regard the land in which we live, and the lands from which we come. Remember the whole earth, we beseech thee, in tender compassion and love. Son of God, come forth! Prince of all princes, and Saviour of all men, delay not, but come to the world for which thou didst die, Even Song of Solomon, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
32. And it came to pass, as Peter [from this point to chapter Acts 12:18 the narrative is occupied exclusively with the personal work of Peter] passed throughout all quarters [may have included Galilee], he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda [now Ludd].
33. And there he found a certain man named neas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
34. And Peter said unto him, neas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. [Do for thyself what others have so long done for thee.] And he arose immediately.
35. And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron [a district rather than a town] saw him, and turned to the Lord.
36. Now there was at Joppa [famous in Greek legends as the spot where Andromeda had been bound when she was delivered by Perseus] a certain disciple [no distinction between male and female] named Tabitha [the two names suggesting points of connection with both the Hebrew and the Hellenistic section of the Church], which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works [a favorite formula of Luke, meaning "given up to"] and alms deeds which she did.
37. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed they laid her in an upper chamber.
38. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa [nine miles off], and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39. Then [and] Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments ["the coats were the close-fitting tunics, worn next to the body, the garments the looser outer cloaks that were worn over them"] which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40. But Peter put them all forth [ Matthew 9:23-24], and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
43. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
HOW did there happen to be any saints at Lydda? That place has not come under our attention in our perusal of these apostolic annals. There are saints in unexpected places. Yet, perhaps, not so unexpected if we had read attentively the portions which have already engaged our interest. In the last verse of the preceding chapter we read, "But Philip was found at Azotus; and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Csarea." Lydda lay between Azotus and Csarea, and Philip no doubt had called there and preached the word and founded a Christian Society. How summarily our work is occasionally mentioned. We put a whole history into a single verse. In one broken sentence we sum up a lifetime! There is a cruel condensation which often does not give justice to those who are its subjects. How easily and fluently we read, "But Philip was found at Azotus; and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Csarea." These are epitomes which God himself must break up into detail. And thus in many a hurried phrase we shall find service and suffering, trial and triumph, which only God can recognise. We hear it said of the minister that he "called at the house and offered prayer." And probably the announcement is accompanied by the annotation that he was there but a few minutes. By the clock it was but a handful of minutes the man was there, but into those minutes he condensed the experience and the pathos of a lifetime, and in that one brief prayer he spared not the blood of his very heart. Beware of a ruthless condensation. Suspect any epitome which counts but as small dust the details which makes up the energetic service and the patient suffering of the Christian toiler.
Peter found his way to the saints. By what magnetism? Do we not all find out our other selves in every city to which we go? When the surveyor would find out whether there are metallic strata in the district which he surveys, he takes in his right hand the enclosed magnet, and watching that magnet he sees as he carries it over the surface of the ground how it dips, and says in the dipping, "Here you will find what you are in quest of." He does not need to rip up the sod, and to dig far down. The magnet knows where the metal Isaiah, and instantly points to the secret place. It is so in going through the city. One sentence will tell you what company you are in. A look will warn you from that locality, as from a plague-swept district. A tone will open up communication with the soul, and a sigh may reveal the masonry of the heart. Living constantly in Christian society we may become unhappily too familiar with its advantages. Could we live for a time with those who do not know Christ, who therefore do not worship Christ, or honour him as the standard of morals and the ultimate appeal, how we should love even the most imperfect Christian we have ever known! "He that is least in the kingdom of God" is greater than the greatest outside that sacred circle. We pine for our own, we like to hear our own language; there is music in the familiar tongue. We fall with easy grace and second naturalness into the ways of the company of which we form a part. Christian brotherhood is the salvation of society. Inside your social constitutions you find the saving factor, the souls that believe, the hearts that pray, the lives that live in sacrifice. It would do some of us good in the very soul if we could be shut up with Bedouins and savages for a few days. How we should then yearn for the Old Church, the customary society, the most defective Christian we ever knew! We have become dainty in our appetites because we have lived upon luxuries up to the point of satiety.
No names are given in Acts 9:32. There is something better than a name. There is character. There you find no personal renown, no individuality running up into a flashing pinnacle and throwing its superior glory over the commonplace in the midst of which it stands, but you find a high level of character, a solid quantity of moral and spiritual being, and supreme and effective reality. It is towards that estate we should constantly be moving, to the great republic of common holiness.
When Peter was in Lydda he found the man who is to be found in every city. Locally called Æneas, but everywhere called the sick man. Peter "found a certain man named Æneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. That man is in every city and is never healed, except in the individual instance. The genus remains unhealed—a continual appeal to the Petrine spirit, the apostolic love, the redeemed compassion of the Church. Whom we cannot heal we may at least carry to the gate of the temple. We have read of the lame man who was carried daily. These are the secondary services of life. We are not all in the front rank of the ministry, it is not given to every one of us to speak miracles, but to every one is given the sweet grace of helpfulness in this matter of carrying those we cannot heal. Because we cannot do the first and supreme class of work, it does not follow that we are to sit idle all the day. You can bring to Æneas the Christian friend, the Christian suppliant, the Christian sympathizer. Aye, there is no grief but one that cannot be mitigated by Christian love. And even that surely may be in the distance touched with somewhat of redemptiveness, of solicitude and pity, even insanity itself may have its bed made in its affliction. We hear nothing of Peter"s doings at Lydda except this miracle; but as Philip had done much at Lydda without any record having been made of it, so Peter may have done much beside this miracle. The miracle itself was a sermon. For "all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord."
Now we come to another city. In Joppa there dwelt a woman who "was full of good works and alms deeds which she did," and she died! How was that? There are some people whom we almost wish would die, and die they will not; nights of frost cannot freeze them, rivers cannot drown them, they have a kind of earthly immortality in their evil doing and in their pestilent mischief, and others whom we want to live always wither and die. They die in the act of giving bread to the hungry. Dorcas may have died with her industrious needle in her fingers—the garment for the poor child half done! There seems to be such a waste of nobility and service in this mysterious Providence. We may be wrong in that outlook as we are in others. Why should not the good ship land? Why should we shed tears when the noble life-vessel touches the shore? Why not throw up our arms and exclaim, "Hallelujah, glory be to God!" So foolish are we and ignorant. Yet not unnaturally so. Who cannot recall people whom we wish to have with us every day? Without whom the house is no home, apart from whom life is only a daily tarrying for death. It is so that God trains us, prunes us, and prepares us for the wider revelation and the higher service. Peter was sent for. He came the nine miles to see what could be done. How natural was this. Who does not send for the strong brother? To hear that a strong man is not far away is to hear a kind of angel singing in the skies again, saying, "Peace on earth and good will toward men." There are times when the strong man is sent for, and these are times of darkness, trouble, personal, and social despair. But there is always a strong man to send for. Always some other man is stronger than you are, and in Christ his strength belongs to you. In that sense we must have "all things common," and none must say that aught that he has belongs to himself alone. It is in this spirit of Christian communism that we must keep Society from putrefaction and souls from sudden despair. There is a hint of the One who "sticketh closer than a brother." When your house is very dark, send for Jesus. He can walk upon the darkness as upon solid rocks. When your life gives way in sudden weakness, or in painful fear, send in double prayer for Jesus. He can make "a dying bed feel soft as downy pillows are." But you are not the people to wait for such crises in which to invite the Lord"s anointed to your house. Send for him today, when the table is laden with flowers and every corner of the dwelling is ablaze with His own sunlight. Beautiful was the scene in that house at Joppa. "When he was come they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them." How did these widows come to be thus associated? Who took any interest in their welfare? If you read again the sixth chapter of this book you will find that special arrangements were made for the ministration of the common stock for the needy widows of the Hebrews and the Grecians, and you will find amongst the seven men appointed to administer that fund the name of Philip. So this man lives in his works. At Lydda he founded a Christian Society, at Joppa he organized the widows into a society that should receive help from those who were able to give it. Philip does not appear before us in name, but he leaves behind him memorials of his wisdom and his beneficence.
How is it that we like the coats and the garments even better when the seamstress is dead than we did when she was actually making them? That is a tender mystery in life. It is a fact everywhere. The little child"s little toy becomes infinitely precious when the tiny player can no longer handle it. And the two little shoes are the most precious property in the house when the little feet that wore them are set away in God"s acre. Let us love one another whilst we live! Not a word do I say against the sentiment, which enlarges the actions of the dead, but I would speak for a kind word on behalf of those who are sitting next you and making your own house glad by their deft fingers and their loving hearts.
Now we come to the first miracle of the kind to which apostolic strength was summoned. Up to this time the Apostles had been healing ankle-bones, healing the palsy and divers diseases, and casting out unclean spirits, but now a mightier tyrant looks them in the face. For the first time must the Apostles grapple without the visible Christ with actual DEATH. We may well pause here in the excitement of a great anxiety. Memory rushes upon the heart like a gracious flood as we read these words, "but Peter put them all forth." That was what Christ did! There is the true imitation of the Lord. Some battles may be fought in public, others have to be fought in solitude, so "Peter put them all forth." "Thou when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which is in secret, shall reward thee openly." So "Peter put them all forth," and kneeled down and prayed. Have you ever prayed in the death chamber with none there but the dead friend? How eloquent has been your dumbness, how mighty a rhetoric slumber in your blinding tears! When you were weak then were you strong. "And,"—oh, conjunctive that makes one tremble—"turning to the body," now is the critical moment, "said, Tabitha, arise." "And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up." Let your miracles come through your prayers. Let your prayers always end in the amen of a miracle. What is the use of your solitude and your prayer, your long, intense, mighty communion with God, if when you turn round you cannot work some miracle of love?
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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Acts 9". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25