And from the days of John the Baptist
until now the kingdom of heaven
and the violent take it by force.
- If the wrestler must use force when the athletic arm is raised against him, then so must we, for we wrestle with principalities and powers.
- If the warrior must use force when the army cometh against him, then so must we use force, for there are squadrons between us and everlasting rest.
- If the captive must use force when he would wrench off his chains, then so must we use force, for the fetters of an evil nature bind us to the earth.
- If the traveller must use force when there are mountains to be scaled, then so must we use force, for a rugged land is before us, and the rocks and the torrents block up our path.
- Or if the suppliant use force — the force of earnest entreaty, unwearied solicitation, burning tears, and passionate cries, when he would gain a favour from a great one of the earth; then so must we use force; we must “pray always and not faint;” we must besiege the mercy-seat, seeing that all we need must come from God; and earnest supplication is the condition on which God bestows.
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