the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24
When the enemy meets us at the threshold of any great work for God, let us accept it as "a token of salvation," and claim double blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed by resistance. The cannon carries twice as far because the exploding power has to find its way through resistance. The way electricity is produced in the powerhouse yonder is by the sharp friction of the revolving wheels. And so we shall find some day that even Satan has been one of God’s agencies of blessing. -- Days of Heaven upon Earth
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head winds right for royal sails.
Is capacity for pain;
And the anguish of the singer
Makes the sweetest of the strain."
Every great book has been written with the author’s blood. "These are they that have come out of great tribulation." Who was the peerless poet of the Greeks? Homer. But that illustrious singer was blind. Who wrote the fadeless dream of "Pilgrim’s Progress"? A prince in royal purple upon a couch of ease? Nay! The trailing splendor of that vision gilded the dingy walls of old Bedford jail while John Bunyan, a princely prisoner, a glorious genius, made a faithful transcript of the scene.
Yet haply, he, who, wounded sore,
Breathless, all covered o’er with blood and sweat,
Sinks fainting, but fighting evermore
Is greater yet.-
The vessel had to stop at Miletus and Paul sent word to the Ephesian elders, urging them to come and see him. He spent the day in their company, and before parting delivered this pathetic and helpful address. There are many incidental touches revealing the nature of his work in the great city, of which there is little or no mention elsewhere in the Acts. For instance, we were not aware of his tears and trials through the opposition of the Jews, Act_20:19, nor of the labors of his toil-worn hands, Act_20:34. We hardly realized that his ministry was not simply the public proclamation of the gospel, but a visitation from house to house as well, Act_20:20.