Radiant Religion


In Encouraging Fellow Believers, June 7

And from thence, when the brethren heard us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and the Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. Acts 28:15. RRe 160.1

It was with a heavy heart that Paul went forward to his long expected visit to the world’s metropolis. How different the circumstances from those he had anticipated! How was he, fettered and stigmatized, to proclaim the gospel? ... RRe 160.2

At last the travelers reach Appii Forum, forty miles from Rome. As they make their way through the crowds that throng the great thoroughfare, the gray-haired old man, chained with a group of hardened-looking criminals, receives many a glance of scorn, and is made the subject of many a rude, mocking jest. RRe 160.3

Suddenly a cry of joy is heard, and a man springs from the passing throng and falls upon the prisoner’s neck, embracing him with tears and rejoicing, as a son would welcome a long-absent father. Again and again the scene is repeated.... As the warmhearted disciples eagerly flock around their father in the gospel, the whole company is brought to a stand-still. The soldiers are impatient of delay yet they have not the heart to interrupt this happy meeting; for they too have learned to respect and esteem their prisoner.... RRe 160.4

Few realize the significance of those words of Luke, that when Paul saw his brethren, “he thanked God, and took courage.” In the midst of the weeping, sympathizing company of believers, who were not ashamed of his bonds, the apostle praised God aloud. The cloud of sadness that had rested upon his spirit was swept away.... With firmer step and joyful heart he continued on his way.—The Acts of the Apostles, 448, 449. RRe 160.5