The Majestic Voice
"The voice of the Lord is full of majesty."—Psalm 29:4
All God's works praise him, whether they be magnificent or minute, they all discover the wisdom, the power, and the benevolence of their Creator. "All thy works praise thee, O God." But there are some of his more majestic works which sing the song of praise louder than others. There are some of his doings, upon which there seems to be graven in larger letters than usual the name of God. Such are the lofty mountains, which worship God with uncovered heads both night and day; such are the rolling seas, too mighty to be managed by man, but held in check by God, and such, especially, are the thunders and the lightnings. The lightnings are the glances of the eyes of God, and the thunders are the utterings of his voice. The thunder has been usually attributed to God more especially, though philosophers assure us that it is to be accounted for by natural causes. We believe them, but we prefer, ourselves, to look to the first great cause, and we are content with that old and universal belief, that the thunder is the voice of God. It is marvellous what effect the thunder has had upon all kinds of men. In reading an ode of Horace the other day, I found him in the first two verses, singing like a true Ithurean, that he despised God, and intended to live merrily; but by-and-bye he hears the thunder, and acknowledging that there is a Jehovah, who lives on high, he trembles before him. The most wicked of men have been obliged to acknowledge that there must be a Creator, when they have heard that marvellous voice of his sounding through the sky. Men of the stoutest nerve and the boldest blasphemy have become the weakest of all creatures, when God has in some degree manifested himself in the mighty whirlwind, or in the storm. "He breaketh the cedars of Lebanon;" he bringeth down the stout hearts; he layeth down the mighty, and he obliges those who never acknowledged him to reverence him when they hear his voice. The Christian will acknowledge the thunder to be the voice of God, from the fact, that if he be in the right frame of mind, it always suggest to him holy thoughts. I do not know how it may be with you, but I scarce ever hear the rolling thunder, but I begin to forget earth and look upwards to my God. I am unconscious of any feeling of terror or pain; it is rather a feeling of delight that I experience, for I like to sing that verse—
"The God that rules on high,
And thunders when he please,
That rides upon the stormy sky
And manages the seas;
This awful God is ours,
Our Father and our love,
He shall send down his heavenly powers
To carry us above."
He is our God, and I like to sing that, and think of it: but there is something so terrible in the tone of that voice when God is speaking, something so terrific to other men, and humbling to the Christian, that he is obliged to sink very low in his own estimation; then he looks up to God, and cries, "infinite Jehovah, spare a worm, crush not an unworthy wretch. I know it is thy voice; I reverence thee with solemn awe; I prostrate myself before thy throne; thou art my God, and beside thee there is none else." It might well have occurred to a Jewish mind to have called the thunder the voice of God, when he considered the loudness of it, when all other voices are hushed; even if they be the loudest voices mortals can utter, or the most mighty sounds; yet are they but indistinct whispers, compared with the voice of God in the thunder; and indeed, they are entirely lost when God speaks from his throne, and makes even the deaf hear, and those who are unwilling to acknowledge him hear his voice.
But we need not stop to prove, that the thunder is the voice of God, from any natural feeling of man; we have Scripture to back us up, and therefore we shall do our best to appeal to that. In the first place, there is a passage in the book of Exodus where I would refer you; where, in the margin, we are told that the thunder is the voice of God. In the 9th chapter and the 28th verse, Pharaoh says, "Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail." The original Hebrew has it, and my margin has it, and the margin of all you who are wise enough to have marginal Bibles—"Voices of God." "Let there be no more voices of God and hail." So that it is not a mere illusion, but we are really warranted by Scripture, in saying, that "the thunder is the voice of God lifted up in the sky." Now, for another proof; to what shall we refer you unless we send you to the book of Job? In his 37th chapter, 3rd verse, he says, "he directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency: and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend." And so he says in the 40th chapter, at the 9th verse, "Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?" I am glad, in this age, when men are seeking to forget God, and put him entirely out of the creation, and trying to put laws in the place of God, as if laws could govern a universe without some one to execute those laws, and put power and force into them—I am glad, I say, to be able to bear testimony to something which men cannot deny to be caused immediately by God the mighty One himself.
There is one striking proof I would offer to you, that the thunder is the voice of God; and that is the fact, that when God spake on Sinai, and gave forth his law, his voice is then described, if not in the first passage, yet in the reference to it, as being great thunders. "There were thunders and lightnings, exceedingly loud and long." God spoke then, and he spoke so terribly in thunder, that the people requested that they might hear that voice no more. And I must refer you to one passage in the New Testament, which will bear me out thoroughly in describing the thunder to be, indeed, the voice of God; and that is in the 11th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, where Jesus lifted up his voice to heaven at the tomb of Lazarus, and asked his Father to answer him; and then a voice came from heaven, and they that stood by said, "that it thundered;" it was the voice of God which was then heard, and they ascribed it to the thunder. Here is a remarkable proof when God's voice has been heard on any remarkable occasion, it has always been accompanied by the sound of thunder, or, rather, has been the sound of thunder itself.
Well, now, leaving these considerations altogether, we come to make some remarks, not upon the voice of God in the thunder, but upon the voice of God as elsewhere heard; for it is not only heard there naturally, but there are spiritual voices and other voices of the Most High. "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty." God has spoken in various ways to man, in order that man might not think him a God so engrossed with himself that he does not observe his creatures. It has graciously pleased the Divine Being, sometimes to look upon man, at other times to stretch out his hand to man, sometimes to reveal himself in mortal appearance to man, and frequently to speak to man. At sundry times he has spoken absolutely without the use of means—by his own voice, as for instance, when he spoke from Sinai's blazing mountain-top, or when he spoke to Samuel in his bed, and said unto him several times, "Samuel, Samuel;" or when he spoke to Elijah, and Elijah said, "he heard the whirlwind, and he saw the fire;" and after that there was "a still small voice." He has spoken immediately from heaven by his own lips on one or two occasions in the life of Christ. He spoke to him at the waters of Jordan, when he said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." He spoke to him on another occasion, to which we have already referred. He spoke—it was God that spoke, though it was Jesus Christ—he spoke to Saul, when on his way to Damascus, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" He has spoken several times immediately by his own voice, without the intervention of means at all; at other seasons, God has been pleased to speak to men by angels. He has, as it were, written the message, and sent it down by his messenger from on high: he hath told to man many wonders and secrets by the lips of those glorious beings, who are flaming spirits of his, that do his pleasure. As frequently, perhaps, God has spoken to men in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon them. Then, when the natural ear hath been closed, he hath opened the ear of the spirit, and he hath taught truths which, otherwise, men could never have known. More frequently still, God hath spoken to men by men. From the days of Noah even until now, God has raised up his prophets, by whose lips he hath spoken. It was not Jeremiah who uttered that lament which we read, but it was Jehovah, the God in Jeremiah, speaking through the natural organs of his voice. It was not Isaiah who foresaw the future, and foretold the doom of nations, it was God in Isaiah thus speaking. And so with every prophet of the Lord now living, and every minister whom God hath raised up to speak: when we speak with power and efficacy, and unction, it is not we that speak, but it is the Spirit of our Father who dwelleth in us. God speaks through men; and now also, we know that God speaks through his own written Word of Inspiration. When we turn to the page of Scripture, we must not look upon these words as being in any degree the words of men, but as being the words of God. And though they be silent, yet do they speak; and though they cause no noise, yet, verily, "their sound hath gone forth throughout all the world, and their noise unto the ends of the earth." And yet, again, God even now speaks himself by the use of means; he does not make man speak, he does not make the Bible speak merely of itself, but he speaks through the Bible, and through the man, and there be times when the Spirit of God speaks in the heart of man without the use of means. I believe there be many secret impulses, many solemn thoughts, many mysterious directions given to us without a single word having been uttered, but by the simple motions of God's Spirit in the heart. This thing I know, that when I have neither heard nor read, I have yet felt the voice of God within me, and the Spirit hath, himself, revealed some dark mystery, opened some secret, guided me into some truth, given me some direction, led me in some path, or in some other way hath immediately spoken to me himself; and I believe it is so with every man at conversion; with every Christian, as he is carried on through his daily life, and especially as he nears the shores of the grave—that God, the Everlasting One, speaks himself to his soul, with a voice that he cannot resist, although he may have resisted the mere voice of man. The voice of the Lord is still heard, even as it was heard aforetime. Glory be to his name!
And now, my beloved, I come to the doctrine, "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty." First of all, essentially, "The voice of the Lord" must be "full of majesty;" secondly, constantly, "the voice of the Lord is full of majesty;" thirdly, efficaciously, in all it does, "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty."
I. First, then, "THE VOICE OF THE LORD IS FULL OF MAJESTY." Ay, and so it should be. Should not that voice be full of majesty which comes from Majesty? Is not God the King of kings, and the Ruler of the whole earth? Should he, then, speak with a voice below his own dignity? Should not the king speak with the voice of a king? Should not a mighty monarch speak with a monarch's tongue? And surely, if God be God, and if he be the Master of all worlds, and the Emperor of the universe, he must, when he speaks, speak with the monarch's tongue and with a majestic voice. The very nature of God requires that all he does should be God-like. His looks are looks divine; his thoughts are thoughts divine; and should not his words be words divine, since they come from him? Verily, from the very essence of God, we might infer that his voice would be full of majesty.
But what do we mean by a voice having majesty? I take it that no man's voice can have majesty in it unless it is true; a lie, if it should be spoken in the noblest language, would never be majestic; a falsehood, if it be uttered by the most eloquent lips, would be a mean and paltry thing, however it might be spoken; and an untruth, wherever uttered, and by whomsoever, is not majestic; it never can be truth, and truth only can ever have majesty about it; and because God's word are pure truth, unalloyed with the least degree of error, therefore does it come to pass that his words are full of majesty. Whatever I hear my Father say in Scripture, whatever he speaks to me by the ministry, or by his Spirit, if he speaks it, there is not the slightest alloy of untruth about it. I may receive it just as it is.
"My faith may on his promise live,
May on his promise die."
I need not reason about it; it is enough for me to take it and believe it, because he has said it. I need not try to prove it to the worldling: if I were to prove it, he would believe it none the better; if the voice of God's majesty doth not convince him, sure the voice of my reasoning never can. I need not stand and cut and divide between the voice of God and the other; I know it must be true, if he has said it; and therefore I will believe all that I believe God has said, believing that his voice is full of majesty.
Then, again, when we speak of a majestical voice, we mean by it, that it is a commanding voice. A man may speak truth, and yet there may be but little majesty in what he says, because he speaks it in a tone that never can command attention and catch the ear of his fellow creatures. in fact, there are some men, expounders of truth, who had better hold their tongues, for they do truth an injury. We know full many who affect to preach God's truth, who go out to battle, who take the lance in their hands to defend the honor of Christ, but who wield the lance so ill, and who have so little of God's Spirit, that they do but disgrace his holy name, and it would have been better had they remained at home. Oh! beloved, God's voice, when he speaks, is always a commanding voice. Let the monarch arise in the midst of his creatures; they may have been conversing with each other before; but hush! his majesty is about to speak. It is so with the majesty of God; if he should speak in heaven the angels would hush their hallelujahs, and suspend the notes of their golden harps, to hear him; and when he speaks on earth, it is at all times becoming in all his creatures to hush their rebellious passions, and make the voice of their reason be silent. When God speaks, either from the pulpit or from his Word, I hold it to be my duty to keep silence. Even while we sing the glories of our God, our soul stands trembling; but when he speaks forth his own glories, who is he that dares to reply? Who is he that shall life up his voice against the majesty of heaven? There is something so majestic in the voice of God, that when he speaks, it commands silence everywhere, and bids men hear.
But there is something very powerful in the voice of God, and that is the reason why it has majesty in it. When God speaks, he speaks not weakly, but with a voice full of power. We poor creatures, at times, are clothed by God with that might, and when we speak grace comes pouring from our lips; but there are oftentimes seasons when we meet with small success; we talk and talk, and have not our Master's feet behind us, nor our Master's spirit within us, and therefore but little is done. It is not so with God: he never wasted a word yet; never spoke a solitary word in vain. Whatever he intended he had but to speak and it was accomplished. Once he said, "Let there be light," and instantly light was. So he said in past eternity that Christ should be his first elect, and Christ was his first elect. He decreed out salvation; he spake the word, and it was done. He sent his Son to redeem, and proclaimed to his elect justification in him. And his voice was a powerful voice, for it did justify us. Any other man's voice could not pardon sin; none but the voice of the monarch can speak pardon to the subject; and God's is a majestic voice, for he has only to speak, and our pardon is at once signed, sealed, and ratified. God is not magniloquent in his words; he does not speak big, sounding words, without meaning. The simplest word he utters may have little meaning to man, but it has a power and meaning in it equal to the omnipotence of God. There is a majesty about the voice of God which might suffice to nerve my soul to fight the dragon; to say, "Where is thy boasted victory, death? Where is the monster's sting?" That one promise hath majesty enough in it to make the dwarf a giant, and the weakling one of the mighties of the Most High. It has might enough in it to feed a whole host in the wilderness; to guide a whole company through the mazes of mortal life; majesty enough to divide the Jordan, to open the gates of heaven, and admit the ransomed in. Beloved, I cannot tell you how it is that God's voice is so majestic, except from the fact, that he is so mighty himself, and that his words are like him.
But just one thought more concerning the voice of God being essentially majestic; and I must trouble you to remember that, if you forget everything else that I have said. In some sense Jesus Christ may be called the voice of God, for you know he is called the Word of God frequently in Scripture; and I am sure this Word of God "is full of majesty." The voice and the word are very much the same thing. God speaks: it is his Son. His Son is the Word; the Word is his Son, and the voice is his Son. Ah! truly the voice, the Word of God, "is full of majesty." Angels! ye can tell what majesty sublime invested his blest person when he reigned at his Father's right hand; ye can tell what were the brightnesses which he laid aside to become incarnate; ye can tell how sparkling was that crown, how mighty was that sceptre, how glorious were those robes bedecked with stars. Spirits! ye who saw him when he stripped himself of all his glories, ye can tell what was his majesty. And oh! ye glorified, ye who saw him ascend up on high, leading captivity captive—ye beloved songsters, who bow before him, and unceasingly sing his love! ye can tell how full of majesty he is. High above all principalities and powers ye see him sit; angels are but servants at his feet; and the mightiest monarchs like creeping worms beneath his throne. High there, where God alone reigns, beyond the ken of angels or the gaze of immortal spirits—there he sits, not majestic merely, but full of majesty. Christian! adore your Saviour; adore the Son of God; reverence him, and remember at all seasons and times, how little so ever you may be, your Saviour, with whom you are allied, the Word of God, is essentially full of majesty.
II. Now the second point, IT IS CONSTANTLY FULL OF MAJESTY. God's voice, like man's voice, has its various tones and degrees of loudness; but it is full of majesty, constantly so—whatever tone he uses, it is always full of majesty. Sometimes God speaks to man with a harsh voice, threatening him for sin; and then there is majesty in that harshness. When man is angry with his fellows, and he speaks harshly and severely, there is little majesty in that; but when the just God is angry with sinful mortals, and he says, "I will by no means spare the guilty;" "I, the Lord, am a jealous God;" when he declares himself to be exceedingly wroth, and asks who can stand before the fury of his countenance—when the rocks are cast down by him—there is a majesty in that terrific voice of his. Then he adopts another voice. Sometimes it is a gentle didactic voice, teaching us what he would have us learn. And then how full of majesty it is! He explains, he expounds, he declares: he tells us what we are to believe; and what a majesty there is in his voice then! Men may explain God's Word, and have no majesty in what they say; but when God teaches what his people are to hold to be truth, what majesty there is in it! So much majesty, that if any man take away from the words that are written in this Book, God shall take away his name out of the book of life and out of the holy city—so much majesty, that to seek to mend the Bible is a proof of a blasphemous heart, that to seek to alter one word of Scripture is a proof of alienation from the God of Israel. At another time God uses another voice—a sweet consoling voice. And oh! ye mourners that have ever heard God's comforting voice, is not that full of majesty! There is nothing of the mere trifling that sometimes we employ to comfort poor sick souls. Mothers will often talk to those who are sick in some gentle strain; but somehow it appears to be affected, and is, therefore, not full of majesty; but when God speaks to comfort, he uses his majestic words. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Oh! is there not majesty in this sweet voice? "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee." How sweet, but yet how majestic! We cannot avoid being comforted by it if God speaks it to our souls. Sometimes God's voice is a reproving voice; and then it is full of majesty. "The ox knoweth his owner," he says, "and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider;" and he speaks reprovingly, as if he had a controversy with them, and calls the mountains and the hills to hear his reproof of them on account of sin; "I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me." But God's reproving voice is always full of majesty. At other times it is a voice of command to his children, when he appears to them and says, "Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward," And how majestic are God's commands, how mighty is his voice, when he tells us what to do! Some of you have a very poor estimation of what God's voice is. God tells you to be baptized in honor of your Lord and Master; he speaks to you, and he tells you to come round his table, and to remember his dying sufferings; but you do not think much of it: it seems to be lost upon you. But let me tell you, that God's voice of command is as full of majesty, and ought to be as much regarded by his people as his word of promise or his word of doctrine. Whenever he speaks there is a majesty about his voice, whatever tone he may adopt. Ah! beloved, and there are times coming when God will speak words which will be evidently full of majesty—when he will speak and say, "Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment." There will be majesty in that voice; for Hades shall then be unlocked, and the gates of the grave sawn in twain; the spirits of the dead shall again be clothed with flesh, and the dry bones shall be made alive once more. And he will speak by-and-bye, and summon all men to stand before his bar; and there will be majesty in his voice then, when he shall say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you;" and oh! dread thought, there will be tremendous majesty in his voice, when he shall exclaim, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Again. God's voice is full of majesty in all the different degrees of its loudness. Even in calling there is a difference in the loudness of God's voice; many of you were called gently to Christ, and you did not seem to hear the thunders of Sinai, like many of God's people; but whether the voice be loud or soft, it is always full of majesty.
And in all its mediums it is full of majesty. God has sometimes chosen the poor to speak his wisdom by. If I go and hear a countryman or an untaught man preach, who makes many mistakes in grammar, yet if it is God's word that he preaches, it "is full of majesty." And sometimes, when a little child has repeated a text, we have not noticed the child, by reason of the majesty of the voice. In fact, the meaner the instrument employed, the greater the majesty in the voice itself. I have noticed a tendency in many to despise their poorer brethren, members of smaller churches, where there is a more humble minister than one they are in the habit of hearing; but this is all wrong, for God's voice is full of majesty; and he can as well speak by one as the other.
III. In the last place, I must briefly refer to the majesty of God's voice WHEN IT IS REVEALED IN ITS EFFECTS—when it is spoken home to the heart of man. Just look at the Psalm, and let me briefly refer to the facts here mentioned. I shall not understand them naturally, though, doubtless, they were so intended by David, but I shall understand them spiritually. As Dr. Hawker remarks, "Doubtless they were intended to set out gracious operations, as well as natural ones."
First, the voice if the Lord is a breaking voice. "The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars." The proudest and most stubborn sinner is broken before him when he speaks. I believe that even the spirit of Voltaire, stubborn as that spirit was, and hard as a millstone, would have been broken in a single instant, if God had but spoken to him; the hardest heart I have here needs only one syllable from God to break it in a moment. I might hammer away to all eternity, but I could not do it; but "the voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon."
In the next place it is a moving voice, an overcoming voice. "He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn." Who would ever think of a mountain moving? It stands so fast and firm. But God's voice, like his voice in Zerubbabel, speaks to that mountain, and says, "Who art thou, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain." There is not a mountain standing in this world that God cannot move away by his voice, whether it be the mountains of Rome, or the mountain of the false prophet, or the mountains of colossal systems of heresy, or infidelity, or idolatry. God has only to speak the word, and the idols shall fall from their thrones, and the firm mountains of priest-craft shall skip like a calf.
In the next place, the voice of God is a dividing voice. "The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire;" or, as it should be, "The voice of the Lord cutteth out with flames of fire." You saw the lightning on Friday, and you remarked then, when God's voice was heard, that the flash seemed to part the cloud and divide the sky. Just so with God's word. Where God's word is faithfully preached, and his voice is spiritually heard, it is always a dividing voice. You bring all kinds of different characters into a chapel, and God's word splits them all in twain. It is in this place God divides you. The son of God holds his throne, and sits in judgment here. It divides men from men; it divides sinners from their sins; it divides sinners from their righteousness; it splits through clouds and darkness; it divides our troubles, breaks a way for us to heaven. In fact, there is nothing that the voice of God cannot divide. It is a dividing voice.
And then, again, the voice of the Lord is such a loud voice, that it is said to shake the wilderness. "The Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh." Stand in the middle of a wilderness or a desert, and conceive if you would make anything hear; but when God speaks, his voice ringeth through the wilderness, and startleth the desert itself. Minister of God! you have only to speak God's voice, and you will be heard; if you have only half-a-dozen to hear you, you will be heard further than you know of. None of us can preach a gospel sermon, but it is heard and talked of more than we imagine. Yea, there is not a pious conversation with a poor woman but may be carried all over the world, and produce the most wonderful effects. Nobody can tell how loud is God's voice, and how far it may be heard. "Lift up thy voice; lift it up; be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God." And your voice may be ever so weak, and your ability ever so little: only lift it up, and God Almighty, by his grace, may make the very wilderness to shake, yea, he may make the very wilderness of Kadesh to tremble.
And then in the 9th verse there is another idea, which I must not pass over, although I might have preferred to do so, possibly. "The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve." By this I understand what the ancients believed—that so affrighted were the hinds by the noise of the thunder, that the period of calving was often hastened on, and frequently prematurely. It is just so with God's voice. If a man has in him a desire towards Christ, the voice of God makes him bring forth that desire, to the joy and rejoicing of his soul. And very frequently, when a man has a bad design towards God, God has only to speak, and his design becomes abortive. It is brought forth, as it were, before its time, and falls like an untimely fruit to the ground. Whatever man has within him, God can make it come out of him in a single moment: if he has a desire towards God, God can bring forth that desire, and he can bring forth the soul, and make it alive; and if it be a desire against God, God can frustrate that desire, kill it, overwhelm it, and overthrow it; for "the voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve."
And in the next place, the voice of God is a discovering voice. It "discovereth the forests." The trees were your former hiding-place; but in the forest, however thick it may be, there doth the lightning gleam; and under the mighty trees, however thick their covering, the voice of the Lord is heard. God's voice is a discovering voice. You hypocrites! you get hiding yourselves under the trees of the forest; but God's voice thundereth after you when it speaks. Some of you get hiding under ceremonies, good lives, resolutions, and hopes; but God's voice will discover the forests; and recollect, there will be a day with some of you, when you will hide yourselves, or seek to do it, under rocks and mountains, or in the deepest parts of the forests; but when he sits upon his throne, the voice of the Lord will discover the forests. Ye may stand under the old oak, or creep within its trunk, and feel that there you are hidden; but his eyes like balls of fire, shall see you through and through, and his voice, like a voice of thunder, shall say, "Come forth, culprit; come forth, man; I can see thee;
'Mine eye can pierce the shades, and find thy soul as soon
In midnight's darkness as in blazing noon.'
Come forth, come forth!" And vain then will be thy disguises, vain thy subterfuges. "The voice of the Lord discovereth the forests." Oh! I would to God that he would speak to some of you this morning, and discover your souls! I wish he would discover to you your lost and hopeless condition; that you are damned without Christ, every one of you! Oh that he would discover to you how horrible is your position, considered apart from the Saviour; discover to you the fallacy of all your legal hope, and of all your experiences, if they are not experiences allied to Christ! I pray that he would discover to you that all your good works will come tumbling on your head at last, if you build them for a house, and that you must stand surrounded by no covering, but unveiled before the God who discovers the forests.
I would have preached to you this morning; but I cannot. Yet, perhaps, amidst the multitude of my words there may be some still small voice of God, which shall reach your heart. And if the rest of you should despise it, what of that? The voice of God will be as full of majesty in the reprobate as in the elect; and if ye be cast away into hell, God shall get as much glory from the voice which ye heard and which ye despised, as he does from his voice which the elect heard, and at which they trembled and fled to God. Do not think that your damnation will rob God of any of his honor. Why, sirs, he can be as much glorified in your destruction as in your salvation. You are but little creatures in the account of his glory. He can magnify himself anyhow. Oh! humble yourselves, therefore, before God; bow down yourselves before his love and his mercy; and hear now what the plan of salvation is, whereby God brings out his elect. It is this: "He that believeth," in that voice, that Word, that Son of his; "He that believeth,"—not merely he that hopeth; "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned." Ah! hearers, if I could leap out of my body, and could lay aside the infirmities of my spirit, methinks that then I might preach to you; but I know right well that even then it must be God that speaks; and therefore I leave the words. My God! My God! Save these my people; for Jesus' precious name's sake. Amen and Amen.