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stood and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him and he said, The God of our Fathers hath chosen thee that thou shouldest know his will and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now, why tarriest thou ? arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” a

These quotations give the leading facts in Paul's conversion. We will now call attention to them in their proper order. It is important to note these facts well, as many in modern times claim to have been pardoned as Saul was. The first fact of significance was the light which shone around him and those that journeyed with him. The remarkable feature in regard to this light is that it was seen at midday and that it was “above the brightness of the sun.” Those who claim to have seen such a light, we believe, universally lay the scene in the darkness of the night, at which time persons are liable to see brilliant and unexpected lights which may result from natural causes. But not only was the light seen by Saul at midday, and above the brightness of the sun, but it was seen by those who journeyed with him, and they all fell to the earth and Saul arose from the ground a blind man. No man converted in modern times can relate such experience attested by witnesses. The next fact is that the Lord appeared to Saul. We will here remark that there is no other case recorded, after the ascen

a Acts xxii. 13-16.

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sion of Jesus, in which He appeared to an unpardoned person. This may be considered a remarkable fact when viewed in the light of modern teaching and practise. How many prayers have been offered appealing to Jesus to come down now," and this, too, when Paul, the only one to whom the ascended Savior ever appeared before he was pardoned, speaking by apostolic authority on this subject, expressly forbids such petitions, and assigns the reason for this prohibition. He says: “Say not in thy heart who shall ascend into heaven (that is to bring Christ down), or who shall descend into the deep (that is to bring Christ up again from the dead). But what saith it. The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” It would seem from this that Paul antici

a pated “that in the latter time some shall depart from the faith,”b and that they would even call upon Christ to leave His mediatorial throne. Hence he warns them not to conceive such an idea in their heart, but presents the all-sufficiency of “the word of faith, which we preach," and declares the divine confession of this faith-that is, the gospel—which he has delivered unto them to be “the power of God unto salvation." a Rom. x. 6-10. bi Tim. iv. I.

c Rom. i. 16.

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If we are forbidden the thought of calling “Christ down from above," why then did He appear to Saul ? The reason is ample. The Lord said, “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness.” He appeared for the purpose of making him an apostle. Not only so, but to make him an apostle to the Gentiles. He could not have been a witness nor have filled the apostolic office without the Lord appearing to him. That he understood

. it thus is evident from the fact that he referred to it as a proof of his apostleship when he says, “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord ?” a The primary object of the appearance of Jesus to Saul was to make him an apostle, and not to convert him. No one therefore has a right to expect the Lord to appear unto him unless he expects to be made an apostle as Saul was. If Jesus had an apostle to call now, no doubt He would appear personally and call him. But as Paul completed the apostolic list no one has been called since. The record of nineteen hundred years may be searched in vain for a like example.

The next important consideration in this case is that the Lord did not pardon Saul as He had pardoned others before His death. Nor did He even tell him what he should do in order to be pardoned, but said to him to go into Damascus and “there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.” This gives us the important information that there were “things appointed for Saul to do.” Now, were these things appointed especially for Saul, or

& 1 Cor. ix. I.

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were they things required alike of all who would obtain the forgiveness of sins ? Was Saul, who was called to be an apostle, required to do more, or permitted to do less, than any other sinner who sought pardon through the crucified Savior ? Let the sequel

After Saul had arrived in Damascus, we are next informed that the Lord appeared to Ananias in a vision and said: “Arise, and go into the street that is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for, behold, he prayeth.” Visions and voices, angels and the Holy Spirit directed Peter, Philip and others, but the Lord Himself called Saul and directed Ananias to go to him. When Ananias came he said to Saul: “The Lord Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou comest has sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” It will be observed here that the Holy Spirit was not imparted to Paul by Jesus, for after Ananias came to him and told him “thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard,” he had not yet received his sight nor the Holy Spirit, but was still unpardoned, and, like the “man of Ethiopia,” he had to comply with the last act appointed for him to do before "he could go on his way rejoicing” or “receive meat and be strengthened.” Hence, Ananias said to him, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

a Acts xxii. 16.

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CHAPTER XVII

WORK OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

Saul and His Pardon. An Estimate of His Wondrous Life.

This brings us to the final inquiry, Did Saul comply with the law of pardon heretofore established ? Did he believe, repent, and be baptized before he was pardoned ? That he believed is evident from the fact that he asked the Lord, “What wilt thou have me to do ?” That he repented is evident from his submission to the voice of the Lord and his humble attitude in continuous prayer. Now, if faith, repentance, and prayer complete the terms of pardon, as preached and practised by many in modern times, why was not Saul pardoned on these terms ? Had he not faith? Did he not repent and pray to God earnestly ? Certainly. No one could give stronger evidence of true faith and sincere repentance than the believing, sorrowing, praying Saul. Why did not Ananias say to him, as many would now say, “Pray on, brother Saul; the Lord will hear and bless you.” “Only believe on the Lord, give up thy sins."

“O Lord, come and speak peace to his soul.” “Come down, Lord, come just now”? Not a word do we hear of all this, but Ananias said to the believing, penitent, praying Saul, “Why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy

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