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Great Characters of the Bible (9 of 12)
Paul's Doctor -- Luke
Clarence E. Macartney
Robert Louis Stevenson, who saw much of physicians in
his day of sickness, dedicated his book of verse
Underwoods to the doctors who had ministered to him
and helped to relieve his suffering. In that tribute
There are men and classes of men that stand above the
common herd: the soldier, the sailor, and the shepherd
not unfrequently;...the physician almost as a rule. He
is the flower...of our civilization; and when that
stage of man is done with, only remembered to be
marveled at in history, he will be thought to have
shared as little as any in the defects of the period,
and most notably exhibited the virtues of the race.
That was a fine tribute to the doctors. A great many
fine things have been said about them, but nothing
better than a short sentence from the last letter of
Paul. He was in Rome and in prison, after the second
trial, and was under sentence of death. In a short
time he expected to be "offered up" as another victim
to the wickedness of Nero. But his affectionate heart
longed for companionship. Apparently, most of his
Roman friends had deserted him in his hour of need,
for it was now dangerous to be known as the friend of
Paul. Paul writes his last letter to his dearest
friend and convert Timothy, at Ephesus. He urges him
to come to him, and to "come before winter," and bring
with him Paul's cloak, his books, and his writing
tablets. That Timothy may know Paul's present
situation, he tells him: "Demas hath forsaken me,
having loved this present world, and is departed unto
Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia; Titus unto
Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me."
Only Luke! Time and adversity and persecution had
sifted Paul's friends down to a faithful few, and
among the most faithful and loyal was Luke. "Only Luke
is with me." No long paragraph of eulogy, no white
marble monument wit ...
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