He came near Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light from Heaven.@Acts 9:3
portrait
John Ellerton (1826-1893)

John Ellerton, 1871.

Munich Neuvermehrtes Gesangbuch (Meiningen, Germany: 1693); harmony by Felix Mendelssohn, 1847 (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
The Conversion of Saul
Michelangelo Caravaggio (1571-1610)

We sing the glorious conquest,
Before Damascus’ gate,
When Saul, the Church’s spoiler,
Came breathing threats and hate;
The ravening wolf rushed forward
Full early to the prey;
But lo! the Shepherd met him,
And bound him fast today.

O glory most excelling
That smote across his path!
O light that pierced and blinded
The zealot in his wrath!
O voice that spake within him
The calm, reproving word!
O love that sought and held him
The bondman of his Lord!

O Wisdom ordering all things
In order strong and sweet,
What nobler spoil was ever
Cast at the Victor’s feet?
What wiser master builder
E’er wrought at Thine employ
Than he, till now so furious
Thy building to destroy?

Lord, teach thy Church the lesson,
Still in her darkest hour
Of weakness and of danger,
To trust Thy hidden power;
Thy grace by ways mysterious
The wrath of man can bind,
And in Thy boldest foeman
Thy chosen saint can find.