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William Barclay, in his autobiography, tells about Arthur John Gossip, then minister of St. Matthew's in Glasgow, who lived closer to God than any man Barclay had ever known. An incident occurred after a week when pressure of all kinds prevented him from preparing properly for his sermon.

"You know the stair up to the pulpit in St. Matthew's?" Gossip said. "You know the bend on the stair? Jesus Christ met me there. I saw him as clearly as I see you. He looked at the sermon in my hand.

"'Gossip,' he said to me, 'is this the best you could do for me this week?'

"Thinking back over the business of that week, I could honestly say: 'Yes, Lord, it is my best.' "

And then Gossip said, "Jesus Christ took that poor thing that Sunday morning and in His hands it became a trumpet."

Through the centuries, preachers and listeners have experienced some special touch of God in the midst of the preaching event. It seems to indicate God's special blessing, his presence, his power given in the act of preaching. ...

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