And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come near to Damascus about noon…
When grace subdues a rebel man, if I may so speak, the citadel first is taken, afterwards the city. It is not as in those great sieges which we have lately watched with such anxious interest. There, approaching with his brigades and cavalry and artillery, man sits down outside the city. He begins the attack from a distance, creeping like a lion to the spring, with trench and parallel and battery, nearer and nearer to the walls. These at length are breached; the gates are blown open; through the deadly gap the red, living tide rolls in. Fighting from bastion to bastion, from street to street, they pass onward to the citadel; and there, giving no quarter, and receiving none, beneath a defiant flag, the rebels, perhaps, stand by their guns, prolonging a desperate resistance. But, when the appointed hour of conversion comes, Christ descends by His spirit into the heart — at once into the heart. The heart won, she fights her way outward from a new heart on to new habits. A change without succeeds the change within.
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.