At the end of three years they took it.
I do admire the perseverance of Shalmaneser and his successor. For three years they battered at its doors and waited patiently for success. Preaching the other night at Portsmouth, an unknown Christian came up to me after the service with sad face and tearful eye and said, "I wanted a word with you, Mr. Spurgeon. I have been working for two years in the London lodging-houses and I have seen no result." The people were crowding around me; I wanted to have a word with this one and the other, and yet others were pressing for a handshake, so I could not say much, but I hope that the message that was so casually delivered somewhat encouraged him. "For two years," I said, "you have been working and seen no result! Well, it does seem discouraging, but you must keep on" "But," he said, "there is not a solitary sign." "Well," said I in parting with him, "perhaps they will all come in a lump." Well, that was just an off-hand and unpremeditated way of answering him, but I think I saw a sparkle in his eye, and I hope he went away encouraged to believe that God was saving up a blessing for him, and that when it did rain it would pour. God grant it may be so here. "At the end of three years they took it." If I had thought of "this text when the friend greeted me at Portsmouth, I think I should have spoken it." 'At the end of three years they took it.' You have only been labouring two; go on for at least another twelve months and then, if not before, the hard hearts of men will open and the brazen gates may yield."